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  • 19 Feb 2019
    It is without doubt that the relationship between contractors and subcontractors is the construction industry’s bread and butter. Maintaining healthy relations between all the parties involved in a project is completely essential to delivering a project on time and to specification, writes Richard Boston, Marketing Director at Eque2. However, in some cases difficulties between contractors and subcontractors can arise, particularly in terms of price estimation and job costing. With this in mind, how can construction management software solutions prevent these issues from occurring? Why relationships matter There are many mutual benefits when it comes to sustaining a positive working relationship between contractors and subcontractors. An equal, transparent relationship between these two parties ensures projects are completed efficiently and safely; for the benefit of not only the building’s occupants but the companies’ reputations.   In comparison, negative relationships between contractors and subcontractors can have adverse effects on a build, potentially jeopardising productivity, quality, completion times and securing future work. On a large commercial project a single contractor can be working with up to 20 subcontractors, possibly more. For the contractor, there is a huge amount of responsibility on their shoulders to manage their subcontractors efficiently. On the other hand, for the subcontractor, there is always a pressure to deliver what is required of them. A positive working relationship between the two operates in exactly the same way most healthy, mutual bonds work – through clarity, communication and respect.  Creating the best working relationship To build and maintain honest relationships throughout a project’s lifecycle, it is crucial to put these three factors into practice at each stage, particularly when it comes to dealing with more sensitive tasks that are likely to cause temporary confusion and disagreement. For example, let’s consider a delicate subject such as a project’s initial job costing stage. A common procedure across the construction industry and indeed further afield, job costing is a crucial process which creates an image of the labour and materials required and how profit can be made. The usual process is: one party, a subcontractor, estimates the cost of labour and materials and delivers this quote to the other party, the contractor. Although this description sounds relatively straightforward and unambiguous, this process can be more complicated when put into practice. In some cases, a contractor might be sceptical that the cost of materials or labour is a little higher or lower than originally anticipated. But, as this would typically be a manual process in which a subcontractor would present physical documentation to a contractor, there is little means for the contractor to accurately benchmark the costing to any other source. The lack of consistency and standardisation is an issue here and rarely bodes well for the remainder of a project. Immediately, this kind of situation creates a precarious bond between contractor and subcontractor. Although the contractor might go ahead with the job, there will always be that seed of doubt at the back of their minds which questions the reliability and accuracy of the job costing. “Is that piece of machinery really needed?”, “Could I have got it at a different price?” Consistency is crucial Clearly, there needs to be a standard process in which price estimations can be traced and compared to a faithful source. An example would be a modern construction estimating solution such as Eque2’s Evaluate, which incorporates industry-recognised and centuries-old Laxton’s pricing book. Built into Eque2’s EValuate, Laxton’s Priced Libraries features authentic, standardised rates for contractor’s to benchmark subcontractors’ tenders. Compatible with both SMM and NRM rules of measurement, Laxton’s provides annually updated rates for accurate up-to-date information. EValuate with Laxton’s Priced Libraries is fully compliant with industry standards, giving contractors and subcontractors complete peace of mind when it comes to labour and material cost estimation. And, what’s more, as Laxton’s is now fully integrated within modern estimating software, it means all estimations can be traced, recorded and accessed easily in the same place. But what does this mean for contractor and subcontractor relationships? With modern estimating software, subcontractors and contractors feel more comfortable during the estimation process. This is because Laxton’s can be used as a benchmarking tool for contractors to compare rates with an accurate, reliable source, and can work with the subcontractors collaboratively from there. Overall, it creates a mutually healthy and beneficial business relationship for all. There is no doubt that the contractor and subcontractor relationship is essential to a project’s success. With this in mind, isn’t it high time that more robust, digital measures were employed to preserve this important bond? Visit:  https://www.eque2.co.uk
    51 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It is without doubt that the relationship between contractors and subcontractors is the construction industry’s bread and butter. Maintaining healthy relations between all the parties involved in a project is completely essential to delivering a project on time and to specification, writes Richard Boston, Marketing Director at Eque2. However, in some cases difficulties between contractors and subcontractors can arise, particularly in terms of price estimation and job costing. With this in mind, how can construction management software solutions prevent these issues from occurring? Why relationships matter There are many mutual benefits when it comes to sustaining a positive working relationship between contractors and subcontractors. An equal, transparent relationship between these two parties ensures projects are completed efficiently and safely; for the benefit of not only the building’s occupants but the companies’ reputations.   In comparison, negative relationships between contractors and subcontractors can have adverse effects on a build, potentially jeopardising productivity, quality, completion times and securing future work. On a large commercial project a single contractor can be working with up to 20 subcontractors, possibly more. For the contractor, there is a huge amount of responsibility on their shoulders to manage their subcontractors efficiently. On the other hand, for the subcontractor, there is always a pressure to deliver what is required of them. A positive working relationship between the two operates in exactly the same way most healthy, mutual bonds work – through clarity, communication and respect.  Creating the best working relationship To build and maintain honest relationships throughout a project’s lifecycle, it is crucial to put these three factors into practice at each stage, particularly when it comes to dealing with more sensitive tasks that are likely to cause temporary confusion and disagreement. For example, let’s consider a delicate subject such as a project’s initial job costing stage. A common procedure across the construction industry and indeed further afield, job costing is a crucial process which creates an image of the labour and materials required and how profit can be made. The usual process is: one party, a subcontractor, estimates the cost of labour and materials and delivers this quote to the other party, the contractor. Although this description sounds relatively straightforward and unambiguous, this process can be more complicated when put into practice. In some cases, a contractor might be sceptical that the cost of materials or labour is a little higher or lower than originally anticipated. But, as this would typically be a manual process in which a subcontractor would present physical documentation to a contractor, there is little means for the contractor to accurately benchmark the costing to any other source. The lack of consistency and standardisation is an issue here and rarely bodes well for the remainder of a project. Immediately, this kind of situation creates a precarious bond between contractor and subcontractor. Although the contractor might go ahead with the job, there will always be that seed of doubt at the back of their minds which questions the reliability and accuracy of the job costing. “Is that piece of machinery really needed?”, “Could I have got it at a different price?” Consistency is crucial Clearly, there needs to be a standard process in which price estimations can be traced and compared to a faithful source. An example would be a modern construction estimating solution such as Eque2’s Evaluate, which incorporates industry-recognised and centuries-old Laxton’s pricing book. Built into Eque2’s EValuate, Laxton’s Priced Libraries features authentic, standardised rates for contractor’s to benchmark subcontractors’ tenders. Compatible with both SMM and NRM rules of measurement, Laxton’s provides annually updated rates for accurate up-to-date information. EValuate with Laxton’s Priced Libraries is fully compliant with industry standards, giving contractors and subcontractors complete peace of mind when it comes to labour and material cost estimation. And, what’s more, as Laxton’s is now fully integrated within modern estimating software, it means all estimations can be traced, recorded and accessed easily in the same place. But what does this mean for contractor and subcontractor relationships? With modern estimating software, subcontractors and contractors feel more comfortable during the estimation process. This is because Laxton’s can be used as a benchmarking tool for contractors to compare rates with an accurate, reliable source, and can work with the subcontractors collaboratively from there. Overall, it creates a mutually healthy and beneficial business relationship for all. There is no doubt that the contractor and subcontractor relationship is essential to a project’s success. With this in mind, isn’t it high time that more robust, digital measures were employed to preserve this important bond? Visit:  https://www.eque2.co.uk
    Feb 19, 2019 51
  • 18 Feb 2019
    In a world where businesses are measured by their efficiency, intelligent solutions and more efficient methods of construction have become the order of the day in the building industry writes Steve Cocker, senior sales manager at Sika. It’s why the company and its engineers keep close to the customer base and fine-tune products accordingly.  Sikafloor®-RB58 is one such product and for car park operators having an asset in need of refurbishment, it’s a proven way of ensuring a car park is back to its best within the shortest downtime possible. Regardless of how well designed or constructed car parks are, they are inherently vulnerable due to their exposure to aggressive and corrosive elements such as oil and diesel spills, carbon dioxide gasses, de-icing salts and water, all of which become more of a problem if cracks exist in concrete decks. With car park owners or operators legally obliged to maintain their car park in a safe condition, key revenues will be lost when any one of the multi-storey and underground car parks across the UK needs to be closed temporarily for refurbishment. Any closure of a car park can result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of pounds for owners or operators.  By simply specifying a Sika system, 80% of the car park can stay open as normal during refurbishment work.  For example, Sikafloor ®-RB58 is a slip resistant, fast curing waterproofing system that can be applied to asphalt or concrete. As each layer cures within one hour, the system is rapid-setting allowing for fast track applications. Works can therefore be completed overnight in critical areas such as ramps which in turn will reduce the time the car park is out of service to the client.   The system can be applied down to 0°C which allows for both winter or colder, external nighttime applications.  With good mechanical, chemical and abrasion resistance, Sikafloor®-RB58 comprises several layers to guarantee a robust, watertight, performance. The system has been tested in accordance with BS EN 1062-7 for dynamic crack bridging class B 4.2; a test carried out at a temperature of -20°C, a harsher environment than even the UK winter generally provides. As the system can be applied directly over asphalt this in turn reduces waste to landfill, cost to the client and length of programme of the works.  It’s also easy to repair and bonds to itself reducing maintenance costs.  A range of highly decorative colours are also available which can significantly lighten and brighten parking facilities. By using a fast-track and innovative solution such as Sikafloor®-RB58, owners and operators of car parks can ensure their car park is returned to its best within the shortest time frame possible. And once it is installed there is no doubting its superb, durable and waterproofing credentials which will stand the time and traffic for many years to come. Visit: https://gbr.sika.com/content/united_kingdom/main/en/solutions_products/products-solutions.html  
    92 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In a world where businesses are measured by their efficiency, intelligent solutions and more efficient methods of construction have become the order of the day in the building industry writes Steve Cocker, senior sales manager at Sika. It’s why the company and its engineers keep close to the customer base and fine-tune products accordingly.  Sikafloor®-RB58 is one such product and for car park operators having an asset in need of refurbishment, it’s a proven way of ensuring a car park is back to its best within the shortest downtime possible. Regardless of how well designed or constructed car parks are, they are inherently vulnerable due to their exposure to aggressive and corrosive elements such as oil and diesel spills, carbon dioxide gasses, de-icing salts and water, all of which become more of a problem if cracks exist in concrete decks. With car park owners or operators legally obliged to maintain their car park in a safe condition, key revenues will be lost when any one of the multi-storey and underground car parks across the UK needs to be closed temporarily for refurbishment. Any closure of a car park can result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of pounds for owners or operators.  By simply specifying a Sika system, 80% of the car park can stay open as normal during refurbishment work.  For example, Sikafloor ®-RB58 is a slip resistant, fast curing waterproofing system that can be applied to asphalt or concrete. As each layer cures within one hour, the system is rapid-setting allowing for fast track applications. Works can therefore be completed overnight in critical areas such as ramps which in turn will reduce the time the car park is out of service to the client.   The system can be applied down to 0°C which allows for both winter or colder, external nighttime applications.  With good mechanical, chemical and abrasion resistance, Sikafloor®-RB58 comprises several layers to guarantee a robust, watertight, performance. The system has been tested in accordance with BS EN 1062-7 for dynamic crack bridging class B 4.2; a test carried out at a temperature of -20°C, a harsher environment than even the UK winter generally provides. As the system can be applied directly over asphalt this in turn reduces waste to landfill, cost to the client and length of programme of the works.  It’s also easy to repair and bonds to itself reducing maintenance costs.  A range of highly decorative colours are also available which can significantly lighten and brighten parking facilities. By using a fast-track and innovative solution such as Sikafloor®-RB58, owners and operators of car parks can ensure their car park is returned to its best within the shortest time frame possible. And once it is installed there is no doubting its superb, durable and waterproofing credentials which will stand the time and traffic for many years to come. Visit: https://gbr.sika.com/content/united_kingdom/main/en/solutions_products/products-solutions.html  
    Feb 18, 2019 92
  • 15 Feb 2019
    GroupBC celebrated 20 years in operation with an exclusive event held for partners, customers and staff at its head office in Reading. Unveiling BC HQ’s fresh look as well as its new employees and an exciting solution roadmap, the event was well attended by both new and old faces alike. Festivities included drinks and canapes, followed by a welcome from CEO, Wes Simmons. Speaking at the event, Mr. Simmons said: “Commemorating our 20th year in operation with an event such as this allows us to reflect on the company’s successes and achievements. We have proved to be an organisation which blends passion for technology with proven pedigree in enterprise scale, construction CDE solution design and delivery, and reward ourselves on the positive impacts we have made to the industry.” “This event was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our new office spaces, upcoming projects and our latest software developments as we look forward into the future of BC.” One of the evening’s highlights was an informative talk by Dr. Mark Bew MBE, chairman of BIM consultancy PCSG. A widely-recognised industry expert, Dr. Mark Bew MBE reflected on how he became involved with BC during his time at Costain and Scott Wilson, as well as looking at the leading technologies which have revolutionised the construction sector; giving his forecast of what the industry might look like in the next 20 years. GroupBC is delighted to have celebrated its 20 years with its loyal customers, such as Balfour Beatty,  Sainsbury’s, Thames Water, and Mackley; partners including PCSG, Excitech, and Secura, as well as staff members and is extremely excited to see what its next phase has in store. Visit: www.groupbc.com
    235 Posted by Talk. Build
  • GroupBC celebrated 20 years in operation with an exclusive event held for partners, customers and staff at its head office in Reading. Unveiling BC HQ’s fresh look as well as its new employees and an exciting solution roadmap, the event was well attended by both new and old faces alike. Festivities included drinks and canapes, followed by a welcome from CEO, Wes Simmons. Speaking at the event, Mr. Simmons said: “Commemorating our 20th year in operation with an event such as this allows us to reflect on the company’s successes and achievements. We have proved to be an organisation which blends passion for technology with proven pedigree in enterprise scale, construction CDE solution design and delivery, and reward ourselves on the positive impacts we have made to the industry.” “This event was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our new office spaces, upcoming projects and our latest software developments as we look forward into the future of BC.” One of the evening’s highlights was an informative talk by Dr. Mark Bew MBE, chairman of BIM consultancy PCSG. A widely-recognised industry expert, Dr. Mark Bew MBE reflected on how he became involved with BC during his time at Costain and Scott Wilson, as well as looking at the leading technologies which have revolutionised the construction sector; giving his forecast of what the industry might look like in the next 20 years. GroupBC is delighted to have celebrated its 20 years with its loyal customers, such as Balfour Beatty,  Sainsbury’s, Thames Water, and Mackley; partners including PCSG, Excitech, and Secura, as well as staff members and is extremely excited to see what its next phase has in store. Visit: www.groupbc.com
    Feb 15, 2019 235
  • 13 Feb 2019
    The construction industry reminds me, writes Gerald Kelly, of that old argument about aliens from another planet, it goes something like this – there can’t be any advanced aliens on other planets because they would have visited us by now. Ah, a reasonable hypothesis you may think. However, it can also be argued that being enlightened aliens they have listened to our radio broadcasts that have leaked out from Earth into the void of space since the 1930’s and have concluded that Earth is a planet that is troubled and should be avoided. This could also be said of the construction industry as the sector is deeply troubled with; insanely low profit margins; worsening levels of insolvencies; a deepening skills crisis; a recruitment image problem; BREXIT uncertainty, rising costs of materials and labour; quality problems; continued poor contractual practices which includes -altering standard forms of subcontract; insisting on onerous terms and conditions; collecting retentions and participating in systematic late payment practices.  Thus, the question remains, is construction a sector to visit or should it be avoided? To make the construction sector worth a visit, changing the Tier 1 contractor business model would be a good start. Instead of tendering for contracts at ridiculously low profit margins and then relying on variation orders and the systematic squeezing of the supply chain in an effort to boost profit and mitigate risk, main contractors should be selective on the projects they proceed with and should substantially increase their margins on projects with increased risk and difficulty.  Yes, the cost of construction may rise, however, in truth it already has. The increase is being borne out by main contractors who are more than likely carrying huge debts, making losses or entertaining small profit margins in comparison to the risk taken, and by the specialised supply chain who are relentlessly forced to endure bad contractual and payment practices, reduced margins and losses. Turnover vanity has to end. The sanity of profit has to prevail if the construction industry is to strengthen and move away from increasing insolvencies and losses. Government procurement can help with the transition by moving its focus away from securing the lowest cost. And there should be an insistence that a sustainable profit is made by all involved in the project. Using the old worn-out excuse that driving down costs is enabling best value for the tax payer’s money is a nonsense. It is not in the interest of anyone to have the UK construction industry scrabbling around on its knees. With more money in the system, main contractors would be able to work in a true respectful partnership with their supply chain (okay, this may be a fantasy, but it is more likely if there is money in the pot). Furthermore, increased profits for all will see money being spent on improving quality; investments in improving productivity; training; increases in pay; better health & safety measures and working practices. An industry that is making profit and has a workforce that is content through better working conditions, training and pay is an industry that has an improving image and is attractive to new recruits.  Although, as a harmonious partnership between main contractors and their supply chains won’t happen overnight, the supply chain absolutely needs to be equipped with up-to-date contractual knowledge to administer the contract properly to protect themselves from dubious contract alterations, onerous terms and conditions, and poor payment practices. According to the ARCADIS 2018 Global Construction Disputes Report, the main causes of contractual dispute are: 1st A failure to properly administer the contract 2nd Employer/Contractor/Subcontractor failing to understand and/or comply with its contractual obligations 3rd Failure to serve the appropriate notice under the contract And with 19% of subcontractors not thoroughly checking contracts before they sign them and 38% stating construction contracts are too complex to understand (Bibby financial Services Subcontracting Growth Report) it is not surprising that poor contractual and payment practices are prevalent in the industry and insolvencies are on the rise. Contractual training is essential for subcontractors so that contracts can be administered properly to stop time consuming and costly disputes. Since 1983 our confederation (CCS) has been campaigning; providing legal and contractual advice; and developing and delivering professional contractual training to empower its members and the wider construction community to optimise contractual arrangements when dealing with main contractors and clients. Gerald Kelly is General Manager of the Confederation of Construction Specialists. Visit: www.constructionspecialists.org  
    275 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The construction industry reminds me, writes Gerald Kelly, of that old argument about aliens from another planet, it goes something like this – there can’t be any advanced aliens on other planets because they would have visited us by now. Ah, a reasonable hypothesis you may think. However, it can also be argued that being enlightened aliens they have listened to our radio broadcasts that have leaked out from Earth into the void of space since the 1930’s and have concluded that Earth is a planet that is troubled and should be avoided. This could also be said of the construction industry as the sector is deeply troubled with; insanely low profit margins; worsening levels of insolvencies; a deepening skills crisis; a recruitment image problem; BREXIT uncertainty, rising costs of materials and labour; quality problems; continued poor contractual practices which includes -altering standard forms of subcontract; insisting on onerous terms and conditions; collecting retentions and participating in systematic late payment practices.  Thus, the question remains, is construction a sector to visit or should it be avoided? To make the construction sector worth a visit, changing the Tier 1 contractor business model would be a good start. Instead of tendering for contracts at ridiculously low profit margins and then relying on variation orders and the systematic squeezing of the supply chain in an effort to boost profit and mitigate risk, main contractors should be selective on the projects they proceed with and should substantially increase their margins on projects with increased risk and difficulty.  Yes, the cost of construction may rise, however, in truth it already has. The increase is being borne out by main contractors who are more than likely carrying huge debts, making losses or entertaining small profit margins in comparison to the risk taken, and by the specialised supply chain who are relentlessly forced to endure bad contractual and payment practices, reduced margins and losses. Turnover vanity has to end. The sanity of profit has to prevail if the construction industry is to strengthen and move away from increasing insolvencies and losses. Government procurement can help with the transition by moving its focus away from securing the lowest cost. And there should be an insistence that a sustainable profit is made by all involved in the project. Using the old worn-out excuse that driving down costs is enabling best value for the tax payer’s money is a nonsense. It is not in the interest of anyone to have the UK construction industry scrabbling around on its knees. With more money in the system, main contractors would be able to work in a true respectful partnership with their supply chain (okay, this may be a fantasy, but it is more likely if there is money in the pot). Furthermore, increased profits for all will see money being spent on improving quality; investments in improving productivity; training; increases in pay; better health & safety measures and working practices. An industry that is making profit and has a workforce that is content through better working conditions, training and pay is an industry that has an improving image and is attractive to new recruits.  Although, as a harmonious partnership between main contractors and their supply chains won’t happen overnight, the supply chain absolutely needs to be equipped with up-to-date contractual knowledge to administer the contract properly to protect themselves from dubious contract alterations, onerous terms and conditions, and poor payment practices. According to the ARCADIS 2018 Global Construction Disputes Report, the main causes of contractual dispute are: 1st A failure to properly administer the contract 2nd Employer/Contractor/Subcontractor failing to understand and/or comply with its contractual obligations 3rd Failure to serve the appropriate notice under the contract And with 19% of subcontractors not thoroughly checking contracts before they sign them and 38% stating construction contracts are too complex to understand (Bibby financial Services Subcontracting Growth Report) it is not surprising that poor contractual and payment practices are prevalent in the industry and insolvencies are on the rise. Contractual training is essential for subcontractors so that contracts can be administered properly to stop time consuming and costly disputes. Since 1983 our confederation (CCS) has been campaigning; providing legal and contractual advice; and developing and delivering professional contractual training to empower its members and the wider construction community to optimise contractual arrangements when dealing with main contractors and clients. Gerald Kelly is General Manager of the Confederation of Construction Specialists. Visit: www.constructionspecialists.org  
    Feb 13, 2019 275
  • 12 Feb 2019
    Twickenham Stadium has undergone a multi-million pound redevelopment which has seen the East Stand transformed to offer six levels of contemporary hospitality and event space.  Central to the design of the exterior facade and to meet the passive fire protection and noise transfer requirements were fire stop and acoustic barrier insulation systems from SIDERISE. The first major redevelopment of this iconic building since the completion of the South Stand in 2008, the new East Stand facilities will provide an extension to the current hospitality and conferencing facilities. Working with the building envelope contractor Prater on behalf of the main contactor Mace, SIDERISE provided a comprehensive range of vertical and horizontal cavity barriers and fire stops to maintain continuity of fire resistance between the floor slab and the external façade. As part of the façade design and to enhance the fire safety of the new East Stand, SIDERISE recommended using their CW-FS Curtain Wall Fire Stop System with acoustic upgrades along with the SIDERISE RH ‘Open State’ horizontal and RV vertical cavity barriers. Designed and manufactured by SIDERISE, these cavity barriers consist of a pre-compressed, non-combustible stonewool lamella core, with reinforced aluminium foil faces. In addition to providing an effective seal against the passage of smoke and fire, the products will also function as an effective acoustic barrier and plenum lining. Whilst specifying the correct product is vital, the quality of installation is equally as important. In addition to Prater’s own quality checks and to achieve the required level of performance, a simple-to-use Inspection and Reporting App from SIDERISE allowed Prater to record and assess the quality of the installation of all of the company’s standard firestop, cavity barrier and acoustic barrier systems. With robust inspection and reporting methods essential across the construction sector, the SIDERISE Inspection and Reporting App has provided Prater with an efficient way to effectively inspect, record and seamlessly audit the quality of its installation work.  By capturing the relevant information on a tablet device, the contractor was able to highlight any issues in need of a resolution. Commenting on the Inspecting and Reporting App, Jose Menezes, Construction Manager at Prater, said: “This was the first time we have used the App. It was simple-to-use and once the information and photos were sent to SIDERISE, they were able to provide us with additional assurance that our installation was correctly installed.” The App allows the user to easily update data input fields, capture multiple photos for each area or element inspected and then record as in accordance with recommendations, or otherwise.  A comprehensive report is immediately generated which effectively offers feedback on the quality of installation of areas inspected as in or not in accordance with recommendations, thereby identifying areas that require remedial treatment. The SIDERISE Inspection and Reporting App is part of a comprehensive range of services from the company’s site services team which ensures that each stage of a project, from product selection to final installation, runs smoothly.   Visit: www.siderise.com
    271 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Twickenham Stadium has undergone a multi-million pound redevelopment which has seen the East Stand transformed to offer six levels of contemporary hospitality and event space.  Central to the design of the exterior facade and to meet the passive fire protection and noise transfer requirements were fire stop and acoustic barrier insulation systems from SIDERISE. The first major redevelopment of this iconic building since the completion of the South Stand in 2008, the new East Stand facilities will provide an extension to the current hospitality and conferencing facilities. Working with the building envelope contractor Prater on behalf of the main contactor Mace, SIDERISE provided a comprehensive range of vertical and horizontal cavity barriers and fire stops to maintain continuity of fire resistance between the floor slab and the external façade. As part of the façade design and to enhance the fire safety of the new East Stand, SIDERISE recommended using their CW-FS Curtain Wall Fire Stop System with acoustic upgrades along with the SIDERISE RH ‘Open State’ horizontal and RV vertical cavity barriers. Designed and manufactured by SIDERISE, these cavity barriers consist of a pre-compressed, non-combustible stonewool lamella core, with reinforced aluminium foil faces. In addition to providing an effective seal against the passage of smoke and fire, the products will also function as an effective acoustic barrier and plenum lining. Whilst specifying the correct product is vital, the quality of installation is equally as important. In addition to Prater’s own quality checks and to achieve the required level of performance, a simple-to-use Inspection and Reporting App from SIDERISE allowed Prater to record and assess the quality of the installation of all of the company’s standard firestop, cavity barrier and acoustic barrier systems. With robust inspection and reporting methods essential across the construction sector, the SIDERISE Inspection and Reporting App has provided Prater with an efficient way to effectively inspect, record and seamlessly audit the quality of its installation work.  By capturing the relevant information on a tablet device, the contractor was able to highlight any issues in need of a resolution. Commenting on the Inspecting and Reporting App, Jose Menezes, Construction Manager at Prater, said: “This was the first time we have used the App. It was simple-to-use and once the information and photos were sent to SIDERISE, they were able to provide us with additional assurance that our installation was correctly installed.” The App allows the user to easily update data input fields, capture multiple photos for each area or element inspected and then record as in accordance with recommendations, or otherwise.  A comprehensive report is immediately generated which effectively offers feedback on the quality of installation of areas inspected as in or not in accordance with recommendations, thereby identifying areas that require remedial treatment. The SIDERISE Inspection and Reporting App is part of a comprehensive range of services from the company’s site services team which ensures that each stage of a project, from product selection to final installation, runs smoothly.   Visit: www.siderise.com
    Feb 12, 2019 271
  • 11 Feb 2019
    Sika is delighted to have presented the British Heart Foundation with a cheque for £8,000 at their Preston office on 24th January 2019. Having raised funds through the annual Sika Cycle Charity Event, Dragan Maksimović, of Sika, was on hand to present the cheque on behalf of the company, to BHF volunteer and cardiac arrest survivor, Chris Connor, a volunteer fundraiser in the Warrington area, who has been volunteering with the BHF for nearly eight years. Michelle Bailey, Area Fundraising Manager (North West) at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this generous donation from Sika,which will help fund life-saving research and support people affected by heart and circulatory conditions. The support we receive from companies like Sika can make a tremendous difference.” Presenting the cheque to the BHF, Dragan said: “The work that the BHF does is vital in saving lives, and their research into heart disease must continue.  I would like to say a big thank you to all Sika employees, suppliers and customers, who took part in the cycle charity event last September.” The sponsored Sika Cycle 2018 event on 15th September saw pedal-pushing participants take on one of four challenging routes – lasting 25, 50, 70 and 100 miles – with courses weaving their way through the dramatic landscape of Teesdale and Nidderdale, within County Durham and North Yorkshire. The routes gave the riders a glorious view of two of England’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The fundraising is vital to the research of the British Heart Foundation, currently helping to support over 1,000 research projects into heart disease around the UK. For more information, visit www.sika.co.uk/everyday
    276 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Sika is delighted to have presented the British Heart Foundation with a cheque for £8,000 at their Preston office on 24th January 2019. Having raised funds through the annual Sika Cycle Charity Event, Dragan Maksimović, of Sika, was on hand to present the cheque on behalf of the company, to BHF volunteer and cardiac arrest survivor, Chris Connor, a volunteer fundraiser in the Warrington area, who has been volunteering with the BHF for nearly eight years. Michelle Bailey, Area Fundraising Manager (North West) at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this generous donation from Sika,which will help fund life-saving research and support people affected by heart and circulatory conditions. The support we receive from companies like Sika can make a tremendous difference.” Presenting the cheque to the BHF, Dragan said: “The work that the BHF does is vital in saving lives, and their research into heart disease must continue.  I would like to say a big thank you to all Sika employees, suppliers and customers, who took part in the cycle charity event last September.” The sponsored Sika Cycle 2018 event on 15th September saw pedal-pushing participants take on one of four challenging routes – lasting 25, 50, 70 and 100 miles – with courses weaving their way through the dramatic landscape of Teesdale and Nidderdale, within County Durham and North Yorkshire. The routes gave the riders a glorious view of two of England’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The fundraising is vital to the research of the British Heart Foundation, currently helping to support over 1,000 research projects into heart disease around the UK. For more information, visit www.sika.co.uk/everyday
    Feb 11, 2019 276
  • 10 Feb 2019
    Brett Martin Plumbing and Drainage is delighted to announce its membership with the British Plastics Federation (BPF) Pipes Group, consolidating its promise of being a provider of best practice, guidance and advice on plastic piping systems for its customers. Brett Martin’s membership with the BPF Pipes Group - the leading trade association representing manufacturers and material suppliers of plastic piping systems in the UK – is testament to the company’s investment in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, R & D and stringent testing and approvals to ensure products are fit for purpose for each application. Commenting on Brett Martin’s membership, Caroline Ayres, Director of the British Plastics Federation, said: “We are thrilled that Brett Martin are joining us and look forward to their involvement in the latest industry developments and campaigns the BPF are working towards.” Established in 1962, the BPF Pipes Group fosters better standards across the industry and is dedicated to promoting the development, acceptance and usage of manufactured plastic piping systems at all levels in the building, construction, civil and utilities industries. Mark Spacie, Managing Director of Brett Martin Plumbing & Drainage said: “We are delighted and proud to become members of the well-established BPF Pipes Group and look forward to bringing our technical and industry expertise to this market leading forum.  For all our customers, it provides the assurance that we are a trusted partner while it is a further endorsement of the company striving for the highest standards in product, service and support.” Brett Martin began life in 1958 and has built a solid reputation with the nation’s building merchants, building contractors and installers as a company that can be relied upon for quality, service and value. Testament to the company’s commitment to producing world-class products, the company has invested in two dedicated centres of excellence for Plastic Pipe Extrusion and Injection Moulded Fittings in Derbyshire and County Antrim. Brett Martin Plumbing and Drainage remains at the forefront of the industry thanks to the continuous development of its range of Underground, Rainwater and Soil & Waste above and below ground drainage systems.  Product highlights in the Brett Martin range include Cascade Cast Iron Style Rainwater Systems, Anthracite Grey Rainwater Systems, Universal BBA Approved Twinwall Multi-Fittings, SfA7 Adoptable Chamber Assemblies and 50Kn Lids.  These are all manufactured in Brett Martin’s own BS EN 9001:2015 quality approved factories to the relevant industry standards with BBA certification, BSI Kitemarks and CE marking throughout the range. The company has dedicated teams of sales, service and technical support professionals to provide one-to-one product, specification and service assistance throughout the UK and Ireland.  Round-the-clock manufacturing, a stock holding along with a dedicated distribution fleet, ensures Brett Martin’s on time delivery of goods. Visit: www.brettmartin.com
    305 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Brett Martin Plumbing and Drainage is delighted to announce its membership with the British Plastics Federation (BPF) Pipes Group, consolidating its promise of being a provider of best practice, guidance and advice on plastic piping systems for its customers. Brett Martin’s membership with the BPF Pipes Group - the leading trade association representing manufacturers and material suppliers of plastic piping systems in the UK – is testament to the company’s investment in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, R & D and stringent testing and approvals to ensure products are fit for purpose for each application. Commenting on Brett Martin’s membership, Caroline Ayres, Director of the British Plastics Federation, said: “We are thrilled that Brett Martin are joining us and look forward to their involvement in the latest industry developments and campaigns the BPF are working towards.” Established in 1962, the BPF Pipes Group fosters better standards across the industry and is dedicated to promoting the development, acceptance and usage of manufactured plastic piping systems at all levels in the building, construction, civil and utilities industries. Mark Spacie, Managing Director of Brett Martin Plumbing & Drainage said: “We are delighted and proud to become members of the well-established BPF Pipes Group and look forward to bringing our technical and industry expertise to this market leading forum.  For all our customers, it provides the assurance that we are a trusted partner while it is a further endorsement of the company striving for the highest standards in product, service and support.” Brett Martin began life in 1958 and has built a solid reputation with the nation’s building merchants, building contractors and installers as a company that can be relied upon for quality, service and value. Testament to the company’s commitment to producing world-class products, the company has invested in two dedicated centres of excellence for Plastic Pipe Extrusion and Injection Moulded Fittings in Derbyshire and County Antrim. Brett Martin Plumbing and Drainage remains at the forefront of the industry thanks to the continuous development of its range of Underground, Rainwater and Soil & Waste above and below ground drainage systems.  Product highlights in the Brett Martin range include Cascade Cast Iron Style Rainwater Systems, Anthracite Grey Rainwater Systems, Universal BBA Approved Twinwall Multi-Fittings, SfA7 Adoptable Chamber Assemblies and 50Kn Lids.  These are all manufactured in Brett Martin’s own BS EN 9001:2015 quality approved factories to the relevant industry standards with BBA certification, BSI Kitemarks and CE marking throughout the range. The company has dedicated teams of sales, service and technical support professionals to provide one-to-one product, specification and service assistance throughout the UK and Ireland.  Round-the-clock manufacturing, a stock holding along with a dedicated distribution fleet, ensures Brett Martin’s on time delivery of goods. Visit: www.brettmartin.com
    Feb 10, 2019 305
  • 09 Feb 2019
    Leading insulation manufacturer, Recticel Insulation has announced two key appointments to enhance its regional presence in the UK. Laura Katon is the company’s new House Building Manager for the Southern region. With more than 20 years’ experience in sales and account management, liaising with house builders, local developers and building contractors, Laura is ideal for the role. She takes-up her position from December 10th.  She said: “I’ve been given a fantastic opportunity. Throughout the industry there is growing awareness of Recticel’s culture of innovation and quality with regard to its insulation products. It’s a very exciting time for the insulation sector; therefore it’s great to be on board with one of its leading lights.” Recticel has also appointed an Area Sales Manager for East Anglia. Kevin Lee is responsible for distribution, merchant, contractor and sales relating to Recticel’s tapered- roofing sister company, Gradient. Based in Norwich, Kevin reports to the area’s Regional Director, Paul Griffiths. Kevin, who has vast sales management experience in the technical insulation sector, said he was relishing the challenge of his latest role. “It’s a new chapter in my career, working with an exciting company with a superb product offering and innovative ethos,” he said. “I’ve joined a friendly, welcoming group of colleagues who are experts in their field. It’s a team built for success.”   Speaking of the appointments, Recticel’s Commercial Director, Kevin Bohea, said: “Laura and Kevin are excellent additions to Recticel’s regional operation. Their skills and experience will prove invaluable in strengthening our building and sales services. We offer them the warmest of welcomes and trust they will enjoy a long and fulfilling career with Recticel.“ . Visit: www.recticelinsulation.co.uk
    113 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Leading insulation manufacturer, Recticel Insulation has announced two key appointments to enhance its regional presence in the UK. Laura Katon is the company’s new House Building Manager for the Southern region. With more than 20 years’ experience in sales and account management, liaising with house builders, local developers and building contractors, Laura is ideal for the role. She takes-up her position from December 10th.  She said: “I’ve been given a fantastic opportunity. Throughout the industry there is growing awareness of Recticel’s culture of innovation and quality with regard to its insulation products. It’s a very exciting time for the insulation sector; therefore it’s great to be on board with one of its leading lights.” Recticel has also appointed an Area Sales Manager for East Anglia. Kevin Lee is responsible for distribution, merchant, contractor and sales relating to Recticel’s tapered- roofing sister company, Gradient. Based in Norwich, Kevin reports to the area’s Regional Director, Paul Griffiths. Kevin, who has vast sales management experience in the technical insulation sector, said he was relishing the challenge of his latest role. “It’s a new chapter in my career, working with an exciting company with a superb product offering and innovative ethos,” he said. “I’ve joined a friendly, welcoming group of colleagues who are experts in their field. It’s a team built for success.”   Speaking of the appointments, Recticel’s Commercial Director, Kevin Bohea, said: “Laura and Kevin are excellent additions to Recticel’s regional operation. Their skills and experience will prove invaluable in strengthening our building and sales services. We offer them the warmest of welcomes and trust they will enjoy a long and fulfilling career with Recticel.“ . Visit: www.recticelinsulation.co.uk
    Feb 09, 2019 113
  • 05 Feb 2019
    The construction industry has this stereo-typical image of the macho male and in spite of the huge influx of women workers that perception has changed little in recent years. And because men are more likely to bottle up feelings of anxiety and depression there is no doubt that we are seeing an increase in mental health issues on building sites writes Michael Younge. Just in case anyone is in any doubt, just look at the statistics. There were more than 13,000 suicides of construction workers in the UK between 2011 and 2015 according to the Office of National Statistics. This represented some 13% of the total workforce suicides in Britain – and to get this figure into perspective, construction workers as a whole only account for 7% of the working population. As a result, we are now seeing the industry looking at techniques such as Mindfulness and positive thinking as a way of reducing the suicide figures and enhancing the lives of construction workers. This might seem like new age hippy speak but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that mindfulness promotes wellbeing and most importantly better health and safety – a vital part of the construction industry. So what is Mindfulness? There have been many definitions but I prefer to call it – thinking in the NOW - by being aware at all times of our own feelings and surroundings, by allowing your thoughts to focus on the immediate situation.  When practiced properly, it allows the person to forget about the past and to avoid future outcomes. This is a very simple explanation and readers who want to know more should visit my website – for once you have mastered the art of Mindfulness and positive thinking you can change your life, as this practice has been proven to reduce depression, anxiety and stress. There is very little that’s new about the subject - it has been practiced by Buddhist Monks for centuries - but there is now strong anecdotal evidence that building companies are looking to introduce such techniques as a way of reducing stress and promoting harmony within the workplace. A more focussed workforce will make better decisions, be more positive about outcomes and objectives and most importantly, because they will become more aware of their feelings and surroundings – health and safety will also improve. The biggest challenge for employers is to take the workforce with them. Unless individuals are prepared to buy into the concept of Mindfulness then it is clearly not going to work and there is no magic button that can be pressed that will transform an individual overnight – it takes commitment and practice and for many, it might be a step too far. However, for those prepared to try, there can be enormous benefits. By nature our minds wander but Mindfulness promotes a feeling of success allowing individuals to be more vigilant and stay focussed on the job in hand for longer. More importantly, the majority become more positive and this will change their attitude to work and life in general. Banning those negative thoughts is the first step to better mental health and wellbeing and hopefully, in time, it will lead to a reduction in those appalling suicide figures. Michael Younge is an established blogger specialising in positivity and the benefits it offers to all of us. To read more visit: www.powerfulpositivethinking.org
    180 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The construction industry has this stereo-typical image of the macho male and in spite of the huge influx of women workers that perception has changed little in recent years. And because men are more likely to bottle up feelings of anxiety and depression there is no doubt that we are seeing an increase in mental health issues on building sites writes Michael Younge. Just in case anyone is in any doubt, just look at the statistics. There were more than 13,000 suicides of construction workers in the UK between 2011 and 2015 according to the Office of National Statistics. This represented some 13% of the total workforce suicides in Britain – and to get this figure into perspective, construction workers as a whole only account for 7% of the working population. As a result, we are now seeing the industry looking at techniques such as Mindfulness and positive thinking as a way of reducing the suicide figures and enhancing the lives of construction workers. This might seem like new age hippy speak but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that mindfulness promotes wellbeing and most importantly better health and safety – a vital part of the construction industry. So what is Mindfulness? There have been many definitions but I prefer to call it – thinking in the NOW - by being aware at all times of our own feelings and surroundings, by allowing your thoughts to focus on the immediate situation.  When practiced properly, it allows the person to forget about the past and to avoid future outcomes. This is a very simple explanation and readers who want to know more should visit my website – for once you have mastered the art of Mindfulness and positive thinking you can change your life, as this practice has been proven to reduce depression, anxiety and stress. There is very little that’s new about the subject - it has been practiced by Buddhist Monks for centuries - but there is now strong anecdotal evidence that building companies are looking to introduce such techniques as a way of reducing stress and promoting harmony within the workplace. A more focussed workforce will make better decisions, be more positive about outcomes and objectives and most importantly, because they will become more aware of their feelings and surroundings – health and safety will also improve. The biggest challenge for employers is to take the workforce with them. Unless individuals are prepared to buy into the concept of Mindfulness then it is clearly not going to work and there is no magic button that can be pressed that will transform an individual overnight – it takes commitment and practice and for many, it might be a step too far. However, for those prepared to try, there can be enormous benefits. By nature our minds wander but Mindfulness promotes a feeling of success allowing individuals to be more vigilant and stay focussed on the job in hand for longer. More importantly, the majority become more positive and this will change their attitude to work and life in general. Banning those negative thoughts is the first step to better mental health and wellbeing and hopefully, in time, it will lead to a reduction in those appalling suicide figures. Michael Younge is an established blogger specialising in positivity and the benefits it offers to all of us. To read more visit: www.powerfulpositivethinking.org
    Feb 05, 2019 180
  • 31 Jan 2019
    It can be difficult to look to the future with a sense of optimism at times. Anxieties over our ever-burgeoning global population, with its increasing thirst for finite natural resources, always seem to be just a headline away. But in-between all of the doom and gloom are remarkable success stories. The sustainable prowess of the steel industry is one of them. For starters, steel is one of the few materials in the modern world that is encapsulated in a truly closed recycling loop. It can be used again and again. Whereas other highly recyclable products tend to degenerate or diminish over time, steel can actually be enhanced in quality and strength. This is known as ‘upcycling’. This fact alone may explain why steel is the most recycled material in the world. It might be more appropriate to say that steel is not ‘consumed’ like almost everything else. Rather, it is just ‘used’. Steel hegemony Steel is everywhere in our building, planning, and construction thanks to its reusability, but also because it is manufactured from one of the most abundant elements on Earth – Iron and Carbon. Iron ore is mined in around 50 countries, but Australia, Brazil, and China are the largest producers. The overwhelming majority of iron ore is extracted for steel-making (98 per cent). Steel has a high tensile strength and low cost, with a malleability and strength-to-weight ratio that goes a long way and invites creativity and ingenuity among the world’s planners and architects. Steel is thought to have been in production as early as 4,000 years ago in modern-day Spain and the Roman military are understood to have used a form of Celtic (Noric) steel for weaponry. Steel is still used for weaponry in the twenty-first century, but it is also used to support – both literally and metaphorically – modern-day economies. China’s economic growth invigorated a huge thirst for steel, and the British Geological Survey has estimated China to be the top steel producer today, churning out about one-third of the total global output. The United Kingdom is one of the world’s leaders in steel construction (although it only accounts for 0.7 per cent of world production, this puts it in the top ten), yet it has shown remarkable leadership in so-called ‘circular economy’ of steel. Current levels of recovery rates from demolition sites stands at 99 per cent for structural steel work and 96 per cent for steel based products. This is in comparison to a global recycling rate of about 60 per cent. The steel industry in the United Kingdom has an output of around £1.6 billion, approximately 0.1 per cent of the economy. It employs a similar percentage of the available workforce, with most of them being located in Wales, and Yorkshire and the Humber. Steel Adaptability The steel frames that make up building structures can be thought of as a kit of parts. This means they can easily dismantled and repurposed. Because so many connections are bolted in place, these bolts can simply be removed, in prime condition, and entire structures can almost always be used for some other purpose without much reconfiguring. In some cases buildings can be dismantled, and their steel structures repurposed in a matter of months. This relatively minimal deconstruction and construction can take place with minimal dust, dirt, and noise pollution. Because steel can span large distances, this means that most steel buildings have large open-plan spaces. That is why airplane hangers, warehouses, areas, stadiums and agricultural buildings all tend to be made entirely out of steel. These open-plan spaces can easily be reused – often as lightweight partition walls. Steel frames can always have parts added or taken away to accommodate extra floors without overloading the existing foundations. Existing steel buildings can also be modified relatively easily. Changes, such as the addition of new lift spaces or stairways, or the raising or lowering of ceilings for more column spaces, are much easier to make with the flexibility of steel. Creating shallower floor depths can also help minimize heating and cooling costs in the long run. Steel is not just adaptable, but durable. It is non-combustible and highly resistant to fire. It is also virtually invulnerable to structural damage posed by insect infestation or water. Steel can be primed or galvanized to shield it from rust and rot. It doesn’t settle, warp, swell, or twist, either. Steel structures have been built (in their respective areas) to withstand high winds, heavy snow, and even earthquakes.   The future of steel The future continues to look positive for sustainable steel. Energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions from European steelmaking have already made considerable progress over the past 50 years – achieving reductions of up to 60 per cent. But target reductions are always being implemented to further drive down these emissions. The Ultra-Low CO2 Steelmaking Partnership (ULCOS) has set goals of reducing CO2 emissions of steel production by half by the middle of the century – an ever important goal if the ‘tipping point’ of runaway climate change is to be avoided. The steel industry has already met and exceeded its carbon emissions reduction targets set out by the 1992 Kyoto Protocol by an astonishing 240 per cent. The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded it a “best industry performance” designation. At the same time steel is manufactured at strength 40 per cent greater than it was just 25 years ago, while using much less energy. Over 22 billion tonnes of steel are estimated to have been recycled worldwide since the beginning of the twentieth century. If only the other major industries of the world could encapsulate the success of the steel industry over the last 50 years. If it were possible for similar success stories to dominate most of the world’s important industries, then thinking about the future would no longer be met with troubled thoughts, but with a warm smile. Check out the below Infographic for more feel-good facts about steel. -- This article was provided by Weldwide, an organization of architectural and structural metal workers based in London.
    186 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It can be difficult to look to the future with a sense of optimism at times. Anxieties over our ever-burgeoning global population, with its increasing thirst for finite natural resources, always seem to be just a headline away. But in-between all of the doom and gloom are remarkable success stories. The sustainable prowess of the steel industry is one of them. For starters, steel is one of the few materials in the modern world that is encapsulated in a truly closed recycling loop. It can be used again and again. Whereas other highly recyclable products tend to degenerate or diminish over time, steel can actually be enhanced in quality and strength. This is known as ‘upcycling’. This fact alone may explain why steel is the most recycled material in the world. It might be more appropriate to say that steel is not ‘consumed’ like almost everything else. Rather, it is just ‘used’. Steel hegemony Steel is everywhere in our building, planning, and construction thanks to its reusability, but also because it is manufactured from one of the most abundant elements on Earth – Iron and Carbon. Iron ore is mined in around 50 countries, but Australia, Brazil, and China are the largest producers. The overwhelming majority of iron ore is extracted for steel-making (98 per cent). Steel has a high tensile strength and low cost, with a malleability and strength-to-weight ratio that goes a long way and invites creativity and ingenuity among the world’s planners and architects. Steel is thought to have been in production as early as 4,000 years ago in modern-day Spain and the Roman military are understood to have used a form of Celtic (Noric) steel for weaponry. Steel is still used for weaponry in the twenty-first century, but it is also used to support – both literally and metaphorically – modern-day economies. China’s economic growth invigorated a huge thirst for steel, and the British Geological Survey has estimated China to be the top steel producer today, churning out about one-third of the total global output. The United Kingdom is one of the world’s leaders in steel construction (although it only accounts for 0.7 per cent of world production, this puts it in the top ten), yet it has shown remarkable leadership in so-called ‘circular economy’ of steel. Current levels of recovery rates from demolition sites stands at 99 per cent for structural steel work and 96 per cent for steel based products. This is in comparison to a global recycling rate of about 60 per cent. The steel industry in the United Kingdom has an output of around £1.6 billion, approximately 0.1 per cent of the economy. It employs a similar percentage of the available workforce, with most of them being located in Wales, and Yorkshire and the Humber. Steel Adaptability The steel frames that make up building structures can be thought of as a kit of parts. This means they can easily dismantled and repurposed. Because so many connections are bolted in place, these bolts can simply be removed, in prime condition, and entire structures can almost always be used for some other purpose without much reconfiguring. In some cases buildings can be dismantled, and their steel structures repurposed in a matter of months. This relatively minimal deconstruction and construction can take place with minimal dust, dirt, and noise pollution. Because steel can span large distances, this means that most steel buildings have large open-plan spaces. That is why airplane hangers, warehouses, areas, stadiums and agricultural buildings all tend to be made entirely out of steel. These open-plan spaces can easily be reused – often as lightweight partition walls. Steel frames can always have parts added or taken away to accommodate extra floors without overloading the existing foundations. Existing steel buildings can also be modified relatively easily. Changes, such as the addition of new lift spaces or stairways, or the raising or lowering of ceilings for more column spaces, are much easier to make with the flexibility of steel. Creating shallower floor depths can also help minimize heating and cooling costs in the long run. Steel is not just adaptable, but durable. It is non-combustible and highly resistant to fire. It is also virtually invulnerable to structural damage posed by insect infestation or water. Steel can be primed or galvanized to shield it from rust and rot. It doesn’t settle, warp, swell, or twist, either. Steel structures have been built (in their respective areas) to withstand high winds, heavy snow, and even earthquakes.   The future of steel The future continues to look positive for sustainable steel. Energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions from European steelmaking have already made considerable progress over the past 50 years – achieving reductions of up to 60 per cent. But target reductions are always being implemented to further drive down these emissions. The Ultra-Low CO2 Steelmaking Partnership (ULCOS) has set goals of reducing CO2 emissions of steel production by half by the middle of the century – an ever important goal if the ‘tipping point’ of runaway climate change is to be avoided. The steel industry has already met and exceeded its carbon emissions reduction targets set out by the 1992 Kyoto Protocol by an astonishing 240 per cent. The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded it a “best industry performance” designation. At the same time steel is manufactured at strength 40 per cent greater than it was just 25 years ago, while using much less energy. Over 22 billion tonnes of steel are estimated to have been recycled worldwide since the beginning of the twentieth century. If only the other major industries of the world could encapsulate the success of the steel industry over the last 50 years. If it were possible for similar success stories to dominate most of the world’s important industries, then thinking about the future would no longer be met with troubled thoughts, but with a warm smile. Check out the below Infographic for more feel-good facts about steel. -- This article was provided by Weldwide, an organization of architectural and structural metal workers based in London.
    Jan 31, 2019 186
  • 25 Jan 2019
    A superb housing development created within the walls of an historic naval fortress has been hailed as a ‘bold’ and imaginative scheme by judges of a high-profile industry awards. Ordnance Yard, an innovative nine-home scheme in Gosport, Hampshire earned a highly-valued ‘Commendation’ at this year’s RTPI South East Awards for Planning Excellence.  The recognition was awarded in the ‘Excellence in Planning for Homes’ category. In commending the development, which lies within the Priddy’s Hard Ministry of Defence Ordnance Depot, judges praised Elite Homes for its ‘courage and drive’ in taking on a challenging site ‘with a range of characteristics that other developers saw only as constraints’. Judges said they were also impressed by the bold approach to the design of the houses; ‘not only their appearance and choice of materials, but also their sustainability’. Ordnance Yard occupies a stretch of waterfront which formed a vital part of the Victorian and wartime armouries, providing the arsenal that protected the UK during these industrial times. Elite Homes and John Pardey Architects embarked on the derelict site’s regeneration after an attempt by a previous developer to build nine homes and demolish its six shell filling rooms and associated structures failed. A new vision was required. It resulted in a unique and thoroughly modern development that also reflected the site’s naval heritage. Six open-fronted homes, clad in metal with a battleship grey tone, ‘float’ between giant blast walls used to protect the demolished shell filling rooms. Bookending the development are two elevated houses. Occupying the sites of two former Trotyl melting room structures, the homes - clad in a lighter grey metal -  also ‘float’  above a continuation of the existing blast walls. The final house, which sits squarely on the ground, occupies a central location on the former footprint of the shell emptying room towards the site entrance where it acts as a gatehouse to the development. Each home contains energy-efficient air source heat pumps and exceeds building regulation levels for airtightness.  An on-site drainage and sewage system, which converts wastewater into potable drinking water, has also been installed to enhance the development’s sustainability. David Craddock, Director at Elite Homes, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Ordnance Yard received a commendation. The RTPI awards are revered throughout the industry and the competition was fierce. Ours was the only private housing development to win a south east award. The award is testament to the hard work and vision of everyone at Elite Homes and John Pardey Architects. All involved are rightly proud with what they achieved with this remarkable development.”  Following the Ordnance Yard development, Elite Homes has been granted planning permission to carry-out a wider regeneration of Priddy’s Hard. Phase one of the £11million scheme includes the creation of 30 homes, an armed forces museum and an alcohol distillery. It is hoped the renovation will transform the dilapidated naval fortress into one of the most desirable residential and tourist hubs on the south coast.
    158 Posted by Talk. Build
  • A superb housing development created within the walls of an historic naval fortress has been hailed as a ‘bold’ and imaginative scheme by judges of a high-profile industry awards. Ordnance Yard, an innovative nine-home scheme in Gosport, Hampshire earned a highly-valued ‘Commendation’ at this year’s RTPI South East Awards for Planning Excellence.  The recognition was awarded in the ‘Excellence in Planning for Homes’ category. In commending the development, which lies within the Priddy’s Hard Ministry of Defence Ordnance Depot, judges praised Elite Homes for its ‘courage and drive’ in taking on a challenging site ‘with a range of characteristics that other developers saw only as constraints’. Judges said they were also impressed by the bold approach to the design of the houses; ‘not only their appearance and choice of materials, but also their sustainability’. Ordnance Yard occupies a stretch of waterfront which formed a vital part of the Victorian and wartime armouries, providing the arsenal that protected the UK during these industrial times. Elite Homes and John Pardey Architects embarked on the derelict site’s regeneration after an attempt by a previous developer to build nine homes and demolish its six shell filling rooms and associated structures failed. A new vision was required. It resulted in a unique and thoroughly modern development that also reflected the site’s naval heritage. Six open-fronted homes, clad in metal with a battleship grey tone, ‘float’ between giant blast walls used to protect the demolished shell filling rooms. Bookending the development are two elevated houses. Occupying the sites of two former Trotyl melting room structures, the homes - clad in a lighter grey metal -  also ‘float’  above a continuation of the existing blast walls. The final house, which sits squarely on the ground, occupies a central location on the former footprint of the shell emptying room towards the site entrance where it acts as a gatehouse to the development. Each home contains energy-efficient air source heat pumps and exceeds building regulation levels for airtightness.  An on-site drainage and sewage system, which converts wastewater into potable drinking water, has also been installed to enhance the development’s sustainability. David Craddock, Director at Elite Homes, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Ordnance Yard received a commendation. The RTPI awards are revered throughout the industry and the competition was fierce. Ours was the only private housing development to win a south east award. The award is testament to the hard work and vision of everyone at Elite Homes and John Pardey Architects. All involved are rightly proud with what they achieved with this remarkable development.”  Following the Ordnance Yard development, Elite Homes has been granted planning permission to carry-out a wider regeneration of Priddy’s Hard. Phase one of the £11million scheme includes the creation of 30 homes, an armed forces museum and an alcohol distillery. It is hoped the renovation will transform the dilapidated naval fortress into one of the most desirable residential and tourist hubs on the south coast.
    Jan 25, 2019 158
  • 08 Jan 2019
    With the UK construction, operation and maintenance industry accounting for 48% of the UK’s carbon emissions, the focus of many innovations in construction is now on reducing the construction sector's CO2 output. Protection Supplies have uncovered the cutting-edge yet conscious building materials of the future before revealing how these materials are changing the way that buildings are now being constructed. The UK's construction industry also needs to build 300,000 homes a year to overcome the current housing shortage. As the industry is failing to do this, materials which can shorten the time it takes to build homes and make them more affordable are crucial for revolutionising the industry. Some of the benefits of these innovative materials include: Speeding up housing production Improving the longevity of buildings Helping buildings to adapt to their surroundings, such as in the event of earthquakes Increasing natural light Reducing fuel bills Making construction more environmentally friendly by lowering CO2 production 1. Transparent Wood Invented by Swedish researchers, wood can now be treated and compressed to become a transparent material. What it does: Researcher Lars Berglund creates the transparent wood by compressing strips of wood veneer in a process similar to pulping. This removes the lignin and replaces it with the polymer, making the wood 85% transparent. Benefits: This material will create a strong and environmentally friendly alternative to plastic and glass. The material has the strength of lumber but is far lighter. It can be used in the construction of homes to bring more light in and reduce the need for artificial light which can quickly use up a lot of power. It is as environmentally friendly and biodegradable as normal wood.   2. Hydrogel Architects at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona are in the process of creating walls which are able to cool themselves down, using the substance Hydrogel. What it does: Bubbles of Hydrogel are layered between two ceramic panels. These can then be installed into already constructed walls. Benefits: Hydrogel is able to absorb water when the air around Hydrogel heats up it evaporates and cools the room down by up to 5°C. The mechanism is inspired by the way the human body cools itself down. Once installed in buildings it will act as an alternative to the overuse of air conditioning which is detrimental to the environment, producing 100 million tonnes of CO2.   3. Cigarette **** Bricks Smoking is bad for your health and bad for the environment as discarded cigarettes make up an estimated 38% of all waste. Researchers at the Australian RMIT University have found that adding discarded cigarettes to bricks lessens the amount of energy needed for baking. What it does: The bricks made with the addition of cigarette butts, require less baking time than traditional bricks. This means they are cheaper and more eco-friendly to produce. Benefits: As the cigarettes within the brick reduce the time of baking bricks, they reduce the energy required to produce them by up to 58%. Additionally, the bricks are better insulators than those without cigarette butts within them and solve an ongoing pollution problem of what to do with discarded cigarettes to prevent contamination. 4. Super-hydrophobic Cement Scientists in Mexico have discovered that changing the microstructure of cement can make it absorb and reflect light, creating super-hydrophobic cement, also known as luminescent cement. What it does: The cement is able to absorb and reflect light, offering an alternative to street lighting as the ground would be lit up using this luminescent cement. Benefits: Often cement needs to be replaced within thirty to fifty years, however, this alternative product is far more durable and will last for up to hundred years. It also offers power free lighting and therefore can reduce the energy consumed and CO2 produced by lighting the streets of the world.   5. Synthetic Spider Silk A spider's web is the strongest material in the natural world. It is a naturally tough and strong material that for years scientists have been trying to create a synthetic version. Now, with the help of 3D printing, they are closer than ever. What it does: The synthetic spider's silk is created at room temperature using water, silica and cellulose which are all easily accessible. The finished product could be used as a biodegradable alternative to nylon and other tough fabrics. Benefits: The material will offer an alternative to the textile industry which is currently one of the biggest producers of CO2 in the world. The product will be used as an alternative to an array of strong materials such as parachutes and eventually it is hoped the Synthetic Spider Silk will be used in creating building materials such as blocks as well as in mechanics, making super strong car parts. 6. Breathe Bricks Acting as a secondary layer of insulation, these pollution absorbing bricks can remove 30% of fine particles and 100% of coarse particles making air within office spaces and public buildings healthier to breathe. This is particularly useful in areas with poor air quality as a way to improve air within buildings. What it does: Composed of two key parts, concrete bricks and recycled plastic coupler, the aligned bricks create a route from the outside into the brick’s hollow centre. The surface of the bricks themselves helps to direct airflow and a cavity removes pollution. Benefits: This is a cost-effective way to reduce air pollution as it requires no further maintenance once installed. It would be particularly helpful in developing countries where air quality is poor and other solutions could be too expensive to maintain.   7. Bamboo-reinforced Concrete A natural alternative to the steel reinforcement usually used in most countries, this Singaporean method of reinforcing concrete is far more sustainable. What it does: The use of bamboo rather than steel to reinforce concrete is more environmentally friendly and creates flexibility within the concrete that can better withstand earthquakes. Benefits: Bamboo grows at a high rate, meaning it absorbs a lot of CO2 as it grows and therefore increased production of bamboo would benefit the environment. It is also a great alternative to materials which cause harm as they are produced. Bamboo also has a higher tensile strength than steel because its fibres run axially and it is flexible so is great for use in earthquake-prone areas.   8. Super Wood Although wood has been used for millennia in construction, it isn’t as strong as metals used in building today. Scientists have now discovered a way to add strength to wood by boiling it in a solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and sodium sulfite (Na2SO3) before it is compressed so that the molecules within the wood are strengthened. What it does: The compressed wood is far stronger and more durable than wood in its natural state, therefore it can be used in a greater range on construction projects. Benefits: As this product relies on the already abundant and natural material of wood, it is still affordable and can be created in an environmentally sustainable way according to its creators at University of Maryland, College Park. The wood is so strong it can stop bullets but is far lighter than comparable materials of the same strength.   The diversity of these materials showcases how much the industry is starting to consider the environment and the affordability of construction. The construction industry is revolutionising the way that we live. Even the materials that make up our homes are increasingly innovative and futuristic. Visit: https://www.protectionsupplies.co.uk
    326 Posted by Talk. Build
  • With the UK construction, operation and maintenance industry accounting for 48% of the UK’s carbon emissions, the focus of many innovations in construction is now on reducing the construction sector's CO2 output. Protection Supplies have uncovered the cutting-edge yet conscious building materials of the future before revealing how these materials are changing the way that buildings are now being constructed. The UK's construction industry also needs to build 300,000 homes a year to overcome the current housing shortage. As the industry is failing to do this, materials which can shorten the time it takes to build homes and make them more affordable are crucial for revolutionising the industry. Some of the benefits of these innovative materials include: Speeding up housing production Improving the longevity of buildings Helping buildings to adapt to their surroundings, such as in the event of earthquakes Increasing natural light Reducing fuel bills Making construction more environmentally friendly by lowering CO2 production 1. Transparent Wood Invented by Swedish researchers, wood can now be treated and compressed to become a transparent material. What it does: Researcher Lars Berglund creates the transparent wood by compressing strips of wood veneer in a process similar to pulping. This removes the lignin and replaces it with the polymer, making the wood 85% transparent. Benefits: This material will create a strong and environmentally friendly alternative to plastic and glass. The material has the strength of lumber but is far lighter. It can be used in the construction of homes to bring more light in and reduce the need for artificial light which can quickly use up a lot of power. It is as environmentally friendly and biodegradable as normal wood.   2. Hydrogel Architects at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona are in the process of creating walls which are able to cool themselves down, using the substance Hydrogel. What it does: Bubbles of Hydrogel are layered between two ceramic panels. These can then be installed into already constructed walls. Benefits: Hydrogel is able to absorb water when the air around Hydrogel heats up it evaporates and cools the room down by up to 5°C. The mechanism is inspired by the way the human body cools itself down. Once installed in buildings it will act as an alternative to the overuse of air conditioning which is detrimental to the environment, producing 100 million tonnes of CO2.   3. Cigarette **** Bricks Smoking is bad for your health and bad for the environment as discarded cigarettes make up an estimated 38% of all waste. Researchers at the Australian RMIT University have found that adding discarded cigarettes to bricks lessens the amount of energy needed for baking. What it does: The bricks made with the addition of cigarette butts, require less baking time than traditional bricks. This means they are cheaper and more eco-friendly to produce. Benefits: As the cigarettes within the brick reduce the time of baking bricks, they reduce the energy required to produce them by up to 58%. Additionally, the bricks are better insulators than those without cigarette butts within them and solve an ongoing pollution problem of what to do with discarded cigarettes to prevent contamination. 4. Super-hydrophobic Cement Scientists in Mexico have discovered that changing the microstructure of cement can make it absorb and reflect light, creating super-hydrophobic cement, also known as luminescent cement. What it does: The cement is able to absorb and reflect light, offering an alternative to street lighting as the ground would be lit up using this luminescent cement. Benefits: Often cement needs to be replaced within thirty to fifty years, however, this alternative product is far more durable and will last for up to hundred years. It also offers power free lighting and therefore can reduce the energy consumed and CO2 produced by lighting the streets of the world.   5. Synthetic Spider Silk A spider's web is the strongest material in the natural world. It is a naturally tough and strong material that for years scientists have been trying to create a synthetic version. Now, with the help of 3D printing, they are closer than ever. What it does: The synthetic spider's silk is created at room temperature using water, silica and cellulose which are all easily accessible. The finished product could be used as a biodegradable alternative to nylon and other tough fabrics. Benefits: The material will offer an alternative to the textile industry which is currently one of the biggest producers of CO2 in the world. The product will be used as an alternative to an array of strong materials such as parachutes and eventually it is hoped the Synthetic Spider Silk will be used in creating building materials such as blocks as well as in mechanics, making super strong car parts. 6. Breathe Bricks Acting as a secondary layer of insulation, these pollution absorbing bricks can remove 30% of fine particles and 100% of coarse particles making air within office spaces and public buildings healthier to breathe. This is particularly useful in areas with poor air quality as a way to improve air within buildings. What it does: Composed of two key parts, concrete bricks and recycled plastic coupler, the aligned bricks create a route from the outside into the brick’s hollow centre. The surface of the bricks themselves helps to direct airflow and a cavity removes pollution. Benefits: This is a cost-effective way to reduce air pollution as it requires no further maintenance once installed. It would be particularly helpful in developing countries where air quality is poor and other solutions could be too expensive to maintain.   7. Bamboo-reinforced Concrete A natural alternative to the steel reinforcement usually used in most countries, this Singaporean method of reinforcing concrete is far more sustainable. What it does: The use of bamboo rather than steel to reinforce concrete is more environmentally friendly and creates flexibility within the concrete that can better withstand earthquakes. Benefits: Bamboo grows at a high rate, meaning it absorbs a lot of CO2 as it grows and therefore increased production of bamboo would benefit the environment. It is also a great alternative to materials which cause harm as they are produced. Bamboo also has a higher tensile strength than steel because its fibres run axially and it is flexible so is great for use in earthquake-prone areas.   8. Super Wood Although wood has been used for millennia in construction, it isn’t as strong as metals used in building today. Scientists have now discovered a way to add strength to wood by boiling it in a solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and sodium sulfite (Na2SO3) before it is compressed so that the molecules within the wood are strengthened. What it does: The compressed wood is far stronger and more durable than wood in its natural state, therefore it can be used in a greater range on construction projects. Benefits: As this product relies on the already abundant and natural material of wood, it is still affordable and can be created in an environmentally sustainable way according to its creators at University of Maryland, College Park. The wood is so strong it can stop bullets but is far lighter than comparable materials of the same strength.   The diversity of these materials showcases how much the industry is starting to consider the environment and the affordability of construction. The construction industry is revolutionising the way that we live. Even the materials that make up our homes are increasingly innovative and futuristic. Visit: https://www.protectionsupplies.co.uk
    Jan 08, 2019 326