• 07 Jan 2020
    After significant improvement, numbers of women entering construction have started to stagnate. What are the reasons for this and what can we do to improve? Getting more women into construction has been a long-term ambition for the construction industry. Even though there has been a lot of work done on this issue, recent data has shown that the numbers of women in the construction sector have remained pretty much the same – around 13% participation with only a negligible increase in the last 8 years. In addition, only about 9% of new apprentices are women; a figure which highlights the work still to be done when trying for more equitable gender participation in the future There are a number of factors for this disparity and a lot of ongoing work is being done to address the issues at play. This is evident even at a micro level as the industry has been incentivised to create bespoke clothing options for female workers employed onsite – there’s now a range of appropriately sized clothing for women to wear including high visibility jackets, boots and hard-wearing trousers. However, there’s a lot more work to be done to attract females into the construction industry. One of the most significant factors in female recruitment is around perception. It is clear from survey date commissioned by organisations like Keepmoat that the majority of women do not see a role for themselves in construction. Furthermore, they are also unaware of how many women are already in construction and how diverse their roles are. The Keepmoat survey showed that 56% of respondents were surprised to learn that women are represented at executive, manager and director level in construction. On hearing of these opportunities, 72% said that the industry needed to do more to highlight them. After completing the survey, 45% of young women said they were more interested in a construction career compared to only 13% before. However, the numbers remain relatively low in terms of other labour sectors. There are challenges at all levels of the industry – the representation of women in top roles in construction reveal the work still to be achieved. Only 16% of women have C-Level roles whilst only 3% of companies have a female construction manager. Additional surveys from trade bodies and contractors reveal that the gender pay gap is growing and women aren’t really aware of the different opportunities that the construction industry can offer. Here at Base Energy, we are proud of our record in recruiting the very best and most talented people regardless of their gender. We are also proud that some of our leading and most influential figures are women. We want to shout about this success and highlight to women around the country that construction needs them and that they are valued and vital members of the construction industry. Our experience also tells that women are playing an integral part in the growth of the industry. Nowhere more so that right here at Base Energy. Base Energy’s Director & Operations Manager, Shirley Hunter has been with Base Energy for the last three years and has contributed so much to our continued success. Shirley has worked with the construction industry for over 20 years and has always enjoyed the challenge: “I have always been drawn into traditional ‘male dominated’ roles such as the Japanese Shipping Industry, Logistics and the construction industry.  I tend to go for the roles that appeal to me and then let people judge me by my work ethic and commitment as well as my determination to achieve no matter what the odds.” Shirley is a fantastic example to people of how celebrating hard work and dedication can lead to career advancement and opportunity. It is these qualities which Shirley believes will have a big impact when addressing the gender imbalance within the construction: “I feel that it is up to individuals to promote the industry more and celebrate its achievements. This can be done in a number of ways; including through networking.  The construction sector is very friendly if you make the effort and push yourself outside your comfort zone. The promotion of women within the industry should happen naturally based on merit.  I went from being Commercial Manager to Director within 12 months of joining the company.” From a woman with 20 year’s experience to someone who has just entered the industry. Bethany Sutton joined Base Energy this January after enjoying a career in the beauty industry. Bethany now works for Base Energy as a Sustainability Support Manager and is thoroughly enjoying her role: “I did initially perceive the industry to be male dominated as prior to entering the industry and I was not really aware of the number of different roles that were available. I have become really invested in our work in sustainability. It has made me realise the importance and impact of construction within the current environmental climate.” “My experience at Base as a whole has been amazing. We are all treated equally, regardless of our position in the company, gender, age etc. The directors genuinely want the best for us and give us a lot of freedom in terms of what career paths we would like to progress into within construction. They support us with training courses and constant mentoring so that we can achieve as much as possible.” Another great example of available opportunities is our Sustainability Consultant, Carina Hassall who specialises in BREEAM and Flood Risk, Surface Water and SuDS. Carina has worked at Base Energy since 2013 and has extensive flood risk and sustainability experience with residential and commercial projects across the UK. Although, it’s clear more needs to be done to encourage women to take up onsite work, the career options available throughout the sector are attractive to those with a wide range of interests. Base Energy’s success is a direct result of the recruitment of people such as Carina’s who’s drive and dedication have been key to growing the business in recent years. It is well understood that such promotion has a tangible and positive impact on inspiring young women to consider future careers in the construction industry and that can only be a huge positive for the industry as it continues to face up to the challenges of the 21st century. We are proud of all our staff and want to recognise the hard work and commitment shown by our female employees. We hope that conversations continue to be had about gender equality in an effort to address the unequitable participation of females in the construction industry. We believe the strength of any organisation is dependent on those who work for it and it’s clear that opening up the industry to wider pools of talent can only make the construction industry stronger as we all move forward. For more information, please contact Base Energy Services Editor’s notes. Founded in 2008, Base Energy are a building sustainability consultancy providing expert building regulations and planning services for the built environment. We work with architects, builders, contractors, developers and surveyors to take away the complication of regulative planning restrictions and offer a guide though the whole planning process from start to finish; ensuring that projects meet full compliance.
    664 Posted by Talk. Build
  • After significant improvement, numbers of women entering construction have started to stagnate. What are the reasons for this and what can we do to improve? Getting more women into construction has been a long-term ambition for the construction industry. Even though there has been a lot of work done on this issue, recent data has shown that the numbers of women in the construction sector have remained pretty much the same – around 13% participation with only a negligible increase in the last 8 years. In addition, only about 9% of new apprentices are women; a figure which highlights the work still to be done when trying for more equitable gender participation in the future There are a number of factors for this disparity and a lot of ongoing work is being done to address the issues at play. This is evident even at a micro level as the industry has been incentivised to create bespoke clothing options for female workers employed onsite – there’s now a range of appropriately sized clothing for women to wear including high visibility jackets, boots and hard-wearing trousers. However, there’s a lot more work to be done to attract females into the construction industry. One of the most significant factors in female recruitment is around perception. It is clear from survey date commissioned by organisations like Keepmoat that the majority of women do not see a role for themselves in construction. Furthermore, they are also unaware of how many women are already in construction and how diverse their roles are. The Keepmoat survey showed that 56% of respondents were surprised to learn that women are represented at executive, manager and director level in construction. On hearing of these opportunities, 72% said that the industry needed to do more to highlight them. After completing the survey, 45% of young women said they were more interested in a construction career compared to only 13% before. However, the numbers remain relatively low in terms of other labour sectors. There are challenges at all levels of the industry – the representation of women in top roles in construction reveal the work still to be achieved. Only 16% of women have C-Level roles whilst only 3% of companies have a female construction manager. Additional surveys from trade bodies and contractors reveal that the gender pay gap is growing and women aren’t really aware of the different opportunities that the construction industry can offer. Here at Base Energy, we are proud of our record in recruiting the very best and most talented people regardless of their gender. We are also proud that some of our leading and most influential figures are women. We want to shout about this success and highlight to women around the country that construction needs them and that they are valued and vital members of the construction industry. Our experience also tells that women are playing an integral part in the growth of the industry. Nowhere more so that right here at Base Energy. Base Energy’s Director & Operations Manager, Shirley Hunter has been with Base Energy for the last three years and has contributed so much to our continued success. Shirley has worked with the construction industry for over 20 years and has always enjoyed the challenge: “I have always been drawn into traditional ‘male dominated’ roles such as the Japanese Shipping Industry, Logistics and the construction industry.  I tend to go for the roles that appeal to me and then let people judge me by my work ethic and commitment as well as my determination to achieve no matter what the odds.” Shirley is a fantastic example to people of how celebrating hard work and dedication can lead to career advancement and opportunity. It is these qualities which Shirley believes will have a big impact when addressing the gender imbalance within the construction: “I feel that it is up to individuals to promote the industry more and celebrate its achievements. This can be done in a number of ways; including through networking.  The construction sector is very friendly if you make the effort and push yourself outside your comfort zone. The promotion of women within the industry should happen naturally based on merit.  I went from being Commercial Manager to Director within 12 months of joining the company.” From a woman with 20 year’s experience to someone who has just entered the industry. Bethany Sutton joined Base Energy this January after enjoying a career in the beauty industry. Bethany now works for Base Energy as a Sustainability Support Manager and is thoroughly enjoying her role: “I did initially perceive the industry to be male dominated as prior to entering the industry and I was not really aware of the number of different roles that were available. I have become really invested in our work in sustainability. It has made me realise the importance and impact of construction within the current environmental climate.” “My experience at Base as a whole has been amazing. We are all treated equally, regardless of our position in the company, gender, age etc. The directors genuinely want the best for us and give us a lot of freedom in terms of what career paths we would like to progress into within construction. They support us with training courses and constant mentoring so that we can achieve as much as possible.” Another great example of available opportunities is our Sustainability Consultant, Carina Hassall who specialises in BREEAM and Flood Risk, Surface Water and SuDS. Carina has worked at Base Energy since 2013 and has extensive flood risk and sustainability experience with residential and commercial projects across the UK. Although, it’s clear more needs to be done to encourage women to take up onsite work, the career options available throughout the sector are attractive to those with a wide range of interests. Base Energy’s success is a direct result of the recruitment of people such as Carina’s who’s drive and dedication have been key to growing the business in recent years. It is well understood that such promotion has a tangible and positive impact on inspiring young women to consider future careers in the construction industry and that can only be a huge positive for the industry as it continues to face up to the challenges of the 21st century. We are proud of all our staff and want to recognise the hard work and commitment shown by our female employees. We hope that conversations continue to be had about gender equality in an effort to address the unequitable participation of females in the construction industry. We believe the strength of any organisation is dependent on those who work for it and it’s clear that opening up the industry to wider pools of talent can only make the construction industry stronger as we all move forward. For more information, please contact Base Energy Services Editor’s notes. Founded in 2008, Base Energy are a building sustainability consultancy providing expert building regulations and planning services for the built environment. We work with architects, builders, contractors, developers and surveyors to take away the complication of regulative planning restrictions and offer a guide though the whole planning process from start to finish; ensuring that projects meet full compliance.
    Jan 07, 2020 664
  • 11 Dec 2019
    A natural occurrence of someone walking is human induced vibrations. The effects of these vibrations aren’t life and death but can impact structures in a variety of ways, whether they’re buildings or bridges. Although not as serious as structural failure, minimising vibrations is a part of design that engineers need to largely consider in order to make people feel safe and comfortable. In this article, we’ll look at the impacts of vibrations. The Main Effects The two main effects of human induced vibrations are resonance and aeroelastic fluttering. In simpler terms, resonance happens when Object X vibrates at the same frequency as Object Y’s natural frequency. Object Y resonates with this and begins to vibrate too. Think singing to break a wine glass! Although the person singing isn’t touching the glass, the vibrations of their voice are resonating with the glass’s natural frequency, causing this vibration to get stronger and stronger and eventually, break the glass. Aeroelastic flutter happens when a force is exerted to an object which in turn makes it shake. It’s not necessarily at the same frequency as Object B’s natural vibration, but it makes Object B move all the same. When something resonates, it also flutters. But not everything that flutters is necessarily resonating. This is how confusion over disasters such as the Tacoma Bridge collapse occur — for a long time, and to this day, the event is used as a textbook example of resonance. However, it’s been argued that the bridge’s collapse wasn’t caused by resonance, but by fluttering. When human force is exerted and causes an object to vibrate, this is fluttering. Some instances would also see resonation happening too, but it wouldn’t be a certainty. Engineers must, of course, design to reduce the damage or discomfort caused by either fluttering or resonating.  Possible Effects Vibrations from human footfall, and the fluttering or resonation it can cause, can have many effects on a structure. These include: Hindering sensitive equipment. Depending on the building’s purpose, what it houses can be affected by the vibrations of people using the building. Universities, for example, may have sensitive equipment whose accuracy and performance could be damaged by vibrations. Effecting the structural integrity. The build-up of constant vibrations on a structure can, eventually, lead to structural integrity being compromised. A worse-case scenario would be the complete collapse of said structure. Effecting human health. According to research, vibrations in buildings and structures can cause depression and even motion sickness in inhabitants. Buildings naturally respond to external factors such as the wind or human footfall within. This low-frequency vibration can be felt, even subconsciously, by people. It has been argued that modern designs featuring thinner floor slabs and wider spacing in column design mean that these new builds are not as effective at dampening vibrations as older buildings are.  Wobbling bridges. One of the most famous examples of resonance, human induced vibrations, and fluttering all impacting a structure occurred with the Millennium Bridge. As people walked across the bridge, the vibrations and swaying caused oscillations in the bridge. Everyone crossing the bridge would then sway at the same time to avoid falling over, resulting in a cycle of increasing and amplifying the swaying effect. How to Prevent it Compared to old designs, contemporary structures tend to integrate thinner slabs and columns that are spaced widely, making them vulnerable to vibrations. Using structural design software at the design stage is an effective method for engineers to test footfall on a design and see the resulting vibrations. Although vibrations are something that happen naturally, engineers must consider reducing the effects of them in their designs to ensure security and comfort. Sources: https://www.oasys-software.com/news/analysing-vibration-with-gsa/ https://www.oasys-software.com/case-studies/footfall-analysis-singapores-helix-bridge/ https://www.oasys-software.com/case-studies/princeton-university-frick-laboratory/ http://homepage.tudelft.nl/p3r3s/MSc_projects/reportRoos.pdf https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/05/24/science-busts-the-biggest-myth-ever-about-why-bridges-collapse/#1b9e3b001f4c https://phys.org/news/2017-03-impact-bridges-skyscrapers-human-health.html https://phys.org/news/2017-03-impact-bridges-skyscrapers-human-health.html https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-difference-between-resonance-and-aeroelastic-flutter https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/03/19/wobbly-skyscrapers-may-trigger-motion-sickness-depression-warn/  
    617 Posted by Talk. Build
  • A natural occurrence of someone walking is human induced vibrations. The effects of these vibrations aren’t life and death but can impact structures in a variety of ways, whether they’re buildings or bridges. Although not as serious as structural failure, minimising vibrations is a part of design that engineers need to largely consider in order to make people feel safe and comfortable. In this article, we’ll look at the impacts of vibrations. The Main Effects The two main effects of human induced vibrations are resonance and aeroelastic fluttering. In simpler terms, resonance happens when Object X vibrates at the same frequency as Object Y’s natural frequency. Object Y resonates with this and begins to vibrate too. Think singing to break a wine glass! Although the person singing isn’t touching the glass, the vibrations of their voice are resonating with the glass’s natural frequency, causing this vibration to get stronger and stronger and eventually, break the glass. Aeroelastic flutter happens when a force is exerted to an object which in turn makes it shake. It’s not necessarily at the same frequency as Object B’s natural vibration, but it makes Object B move all the same. When something resonates, it also flutters. But not everything that flutters is necessarily resonating. This is how confusion over disasters such as the Tacoma Bridge collapse occur — for a long time, and to this day, the event is used as a textbook example of resonance. However, it’s been argued that the bridge’s collapse wasn’t caused by resonance, but by fluttering. When human force is exerted and causes an object to vibrate, this is fluttering. Some instances would also see resonation happening too, but it wouldn’t be a certainty. Engineers must, of course, design to reduce the damage or discomfort caused by either fluttering or resonating.  Possible Effects Vibrations from human footfall, and the fluttering or resonation it can cause, can have many effects on a structure. These include: Hindering sensitive equipment. Depending on the building’s purpose, what it houses can be affected by the vibrations of people using the building. Universities, for example, may have sensitive equipment whose accuracy and performance could be damaged by vibrations. Effecting the structural integrity. The build-up of constant vibrations on a structure can, eventually, lead to structural integrity being compromised. A worse-case scenario would be the complete collapse of said structure. Effecting human health. According to research, vibrations in buildings and structures can cause depression and even motion sickness in inhabitants. Buildings naturally respond to external factors such as the wind or human footfall within. This low-frequency vibration can be felt, even subconsciously, by people. It has been argued that modern designs featuring thinner floor slabs and wider spacing in column design mean that these new builds are not as effective at dampening vibrations as older buildings are.  Wobbling bridges. One of the most famous examples of resonance, human induced vibrations, and fluttering all impacting a structure occurred with the Millennium Bridge. As people walked across the bridge, the vibrations and swaying caused oscillations in the bridge. Everyone crossing the bridge would then sway at the same time to avoid falling over, resulting in a cycle of increasing and amplifying the swaying effect. How to Prevent it Compared to old designs, contemporary structures tend to integrate thinner slabs and columns that are spaced widely, making them vulnerable to vibrations. Using structural design software at the design stage is an effective method for engineers to test footfall on a design and see the resulting vibrations. Although vibrations are something that happen naturally, engineers must consider reducing the effects of them in their designs to ensure security and comfort. Sources: https://www.oasys-software.com/news/analysing-vibration-with-gsa/ https://www.oasys-software.com/case-studies/footfall-analysis-singapores-helix-bridge/ https://www.oasys-software.com/case-studies/princeton-university-frick-laboratory/ http://homepage.tudelft.nl/p3r3s/MSc_projects/reportRoos.pdf https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/05/24/science-busts-the-biggest-myth-ever-about-why-bridges-collapse/#1b9e3b001f4c https://phys.org/news/2017-03-impact-bridges-skyscrapers-human-health.html https://phys.org/news/2017-03-impact-bridges-skyscrapers-human-health.html https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-difference-between-resonance-and-aeroelastic-flutter https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/03/19/wobbly-skyscrapers-may-trigger-motion-sickness-depression-warn/  
    Dec 11, 2019 617
  • 03 Dec 2019
    The importance of acoustic sound testing in a space should never be underestimated, especially when it comes to open-plan commercial offices writes Genghis Akay, Director at Planet Partitioning. With substandard acoustic performance one of the cardinal errors of a poorly-designed office, how important is it to test sound levels in life-like scenarios? More to the point, if an office’s acoustic performance is below par, it can have negative repercussions on employees, affecting concentration, productivity and health. Considering employees’ wellbeing is at the heart of every business, how crucial is it to test a space’s acoustic performance for the sake of its occupants? Test as true to life Whilst there are computer-simulated assessment tests available which can provide an estimate of a space’s acoustic performance, it isn’t necessarily conclusive or reliable. In most cases, these tests will not account for what happens in reality. Considering every item in a space can affect acoustic performance – from the kinds of glazing seals to the method of construction – it is crucial to test acoustics in conditions as close to its real-time use. For instance, in some testing locations, glass partition framework is buried into the ceiling and the floor. But what happens if the framework is exposed? How will this discrepancy – between testing design and real-time design – affect the space’s acoustics? Products must be tested in true-to-life scenarios to ensure there are no discrepancies between when the product is tested and when it is installed. By selecting a testing centre which analyses the real-time performance of a space, clients achieve an accurate picture and ensure noisy acoustics are kept to a minimum. As well as being more or less true to real-life use, acoustic testing must also be without influence or bias. Prior to product installation, it is essential for all acoustic testing to be executed by an independent body, in which testing locations are UKAS-accredited (United Kingdom Accreditation Service). Installation phase When it comes to product installation, flanking sound transmission is an important consideration when it comes to partitions. Flanking sound transmission is when sound passes over and is not absorbed by objects. Sound that passes around objects is more disruptive for occupants, and tends to be more present in spaces with flimsy or weaker partitions. In these kinds of spaces it is crucial to strike the right balance. If companies install a sophisticated acoustic performance glass partition between a raised access floor and a suspended ceiling, the raised access floor and ceiling must be treated properly to combat flanking sound transmission. Essentially, it is about taking a holistic snapshot of how the space will perform to ensure acoustic levels are kept to the correct minimum. Without installing the right products, the quality of the whole space will be compromised. All of the components – from the services, to the partitions, to the type of surface – have to work in harmony within the space to assure acoustic performance. Visit: https://www.planetpartitioning.co.uk/
    637 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The importance of acoustic sound testing in a space should never be underestimated, especially when it comes to open-plan commercial offices writes Genghis Akay, Director at Planet Partitioning. With substandard acoustic performance one of the cardinal errors of a poorly-designed office, how important is it to test sound levels in life-like scenarios? More to the point, if an office’s acoustic performance is below par, it can have negative repercussions on employees, affecting concentration, productivity and health. Considering employees’ wellbeing is at the heart of every business, how crucial is it to test a space’s acoustic performance for the sake of its occupants? Test as true to life Whilst there are computer-simulated assessment tests available which can provide an estimate of a space’s acoustic performance, it isn’t necessarily conclusive or reliable. In most cases, these tests will not account for what happens in reality. Considering every item in a space can affect acoustic performance – from the kinds of glazing seals to the method of construction – it is crucial to test acoustics in conditions as close to its real-time use. For instance, in some testing locations, glass partition framework is buried into the ceiling and the floor. But what happens if the framework is exposed? How will this discrepancy – between testing design and real-time design – affect the space’s acoustics? Products must be tested in true-to-life scenarios to ensure there are no discrepancies between when the product is tested and when it is installed. By selecting a testing centre which analyses the real-time performance of a space, clients achieve an accurate picture and ensure noisy acoustics are kept to a minimum. As well as being more or less true to real-life use, acoustic testing must also be without influence or bias. Prior to product installation, it is essential for all acoustic testing to be executed by an independent body, in which testing locations are UKAS-accredited (United Kingdom Accreditation Service). Installation phase When it comes to product installation, flanking sound transmission is an important consideration when it comes to partitions. Flanking sound transmission is when sound passes over and is not absorbed by objects. Sound that passes around objects is more disruptive for occupants, and tends to be more present in spaces with flimsy or weaker partitions. In these kinds of spaces it is crucial to strike the right balance. If companies install a sophisticated acoustic performance glass partition between a raised access floor and a suspended ceiling, the raised access floor and ceiling must be treated properly to combat flanking sound transmission. Essentially, it is about taking a holistic snapshot of how the space will perform to ensure acoustic levels are kept to the correct minimum. Without installing the right products, the quality of the whole space will be compromised. All of the components – from the services, to the partitions, to the type of surface – have to work in harmony within the space to assure acoustic performance. Visit: https://www.planetpartitioning.co.uk/
    Dec 03, 2019 637
  • 02 Sep 2016
    In the absence of a crystal ball it is almost impossible to predict how construction companies will fare following the vote to leave the EU… Within days of the vote being announced it was clear that there would be winners and losers and it will probably be a least another six months or so before certainty returns to the market. But it would seem that, for companies willing to grasp the opportunities in Europe’s second largest construction market, the future could look very good indeed and some organisations are predicting that UK manufacturers could do extremely well if they are willing to be bold. The BBA is one such organisation that has identified an unexpected trend in the market and a mood of optimism from companies that believe they can succeed – by simply being better than their competitors – particularly in the areas of quality and excellence. It has long been accepted that a BBA accreditation is a standard of excellence that manufacturers of construction products should aspire to, but there are some who clearly want to go to the next step by driving quality forward still further to leave the competition behind. In short there seems to be a growing number of companies out there prepared to go that extra mile to get the best possible accreditations for their products to ensure that they have a greater advantage in a highly competitive market. There is no doubt that such companies will succeed against a background where building owners and specifiers are not prepared to risk anything but the best and it could be that the BBA has identified a positive move to even greater quality in the marketplace – although it must be emphasised they do not claim to have any definitive answers regarding the future. So it seems, then, that Britain could once again be a byword for quality, and if the BBA is right – then the entire UK construction market stands to benefit – and what’s wrong with that? http://www.bbacerts.co.uk/
    1 Posted by BBA
  • By BBA
    In the absence of a crystal ball it is almost impossible to predict how construction companies will fare following the vote to leave the EU… Within days of the vote being announced it was clear that there would be winners and losers and it will probably be a least another six months or so before certainty returns to the market. But it would seem that, for companies willing to grasp the opportunities in Europe’s second largest construction market, the future could look very good indeed and some organisations are predicting that UK manufacturers could do extremely well if they are willing to be bold. The BBA is one such organisation that has identified an unexpected trend in the market and a mood of optimism from companies that believe they can succeed – by simply being better than their competitors – particularly in the areas of quality and excellence. It has long been accepted that a BBA accreditation is a standard of excellence that manufacturers of construction products should aspire to, but there are some who clearly want to go to the next step by driving quality forward still further to leave the competition behind. In short there seems to be a growing number of companies out there prepared to go that extra mile to get the best possible accreditations for their products to ensure that they have a greater advantage in a highly competitive market. There is no doubt that such companies will succeed against a background where building owners and specifiers are not prepared to risk anything but the best and it could be that the BBA has identified a positive move to even greater quality in the marketplace – although it must be emphasised they do not claim to have any definitive answers regarding the future. So it seems, then, that Britain could once again be a byword for quality, and if the BBA is right – then the entire UK construction market stands to benefit – and what’s wrong with that? http://www.bbacerts.co.uk/
    Sep 02, 2016 1
  • 02 Sep 2016
    Finding themselves priced out of rural areas where they grew up, younger residents are leaving to find housing they can afford. Thanks to new Permitted Development planning laws however disused farm buildings can be transformed into good quality homes for rent or sale, meaning families can stay in the area and an asset is brought back into use for farmers. A mismatch between housing supply and demand in rural areas is forcing many residents to move to cities to find good affordable housing for themselves and their families. A solution which could defuse this demographic time bomb, while also giving disused farm buildings a new lease of life, is being trialled by one company across several farms in Cambridgeshire. In April 2014 the Government confirmed that permitted development rights within the 2012 National Policy Framework would enable change of use of agricultural buildings to residential, flexible (i.e. commercial) or educational use. With many farmers having disused and dilapidated barns or other buildings on their land which are no longer fit for purpose and present a maintenance headache, the potential to turn them into desirable and practical rural family homes and generate income in the process is tempting. In reusing existing building assets the idea is environmentally sustainable as well as being economically sustainable as a new long-term revenue stream for farmers. As one example in Cambridgeshire, contractor Richardson & Peat has been commissioned by AgReserves Ltd which owns farmland across the county to put together a design team to convert under permitted development their semi-derelict barns into high quality homes for rent to local people. Permitted development rules The following rules form a basic guide to developing an agricultural building under permitted development rights:• Developments cannot be larger than 450m² and must fall within existing footprint.• The previous use must be solely agricultural. • The maximum number of separate dwellings on one site is three.• The building cannot be Listed. • No previous permitted developments can have been accepted or built on the same farm.• The site is not in a safety hazard area or site of scientific interest or of military use.• The site complies with any requirements if it falls within a flood zone. • The building will comply with current Building Regulations when constructed. To proceed with taking on this challenge a good architect is essential in understanding not only rural design and planning but also the needs of future occupants. It’s unlikely that an existing barn will be in a condition in order to meet new housing standards in Building Regulations so the adaption of the existing barn must provide a new thermal envelope as a key component to the construction alongside good natural light levels from windows and doors. Structural engineers can also be critical particularly if you are looking at older barns where substantial work is going to be needed to strengthen existing foundations and new and existing floors and walls. Above all the final design should provide a good practical living environment for a family. With this planning option available farm living gives local people wishing to stay in the area an opportunity that would otherwise not be available and it also opens up the possibility for people looking to move back to a rural surrounding from an urban environment. From a farmers prospective it’s crucial that the building is laid out thoughtfully to maximise its asset value as this is a once only application under permitted development rules. The Cambridgeshire project will widen the housing choices for local residents, but could provide a template for other farmers looking to take up the idea which would create a major impact across the UK. From a financial position farmers looking to develop are likely to be given a fair hearing from lenders given that the land is already a free asset and would bring an impressive return on any borrowing, meaning there is a realistic opportunity to turn thousands of obsolete rural buildings into badly-needed homes for future generations.
    1 Posted by Natasha Wills
  • Finding themselves priced out of rural areas where they grew up, younger residents are leaving to find housing they can afford. Thanks to new Permitted Development planning laws however disused farm buildings can be transformed into good quality homes for rent or sale, meaning families can stay in the area and an asset is brought back into use for farmers. A mismatch between housing supply and demand in rural areas is forcing many residents to move to cities to find good affordable housing for themselves and their families. A solution which could defuse this demographic time bomb, while also giving disused farm buildings a new lease of life, is being trialled by one company across several farms in Cambridgeshire. In April 2014 the Government confirmed that permitted development rights within the 2012 National Policy Framework would enable change of use of agricultural buildings to residential, flexible (i.e. commercial) or educational use. With many farmers having disused and dilapidated barns or other buildings on their land which are no longer fit for purpose and present a maintenance headache, the potential to turn them into desirable and practical rural family homes and generate income in the process is tempting. In reusing existing building assets the idea is environmentally sustainable as well as being economically sustainable as a new long-term revenue stream for farmers. As one example in Cambridgeshire, contractor Richardson & Peat has been commissioned by AgReserves Ltd which owns farmland across the county to put together a design team to convert under permitted development their semi-derelict barns into high quality homes for rent to local people. Permitted development rules The following rules form a basic guide to developing an agricultural building under permitted development rights:• Developments cannot be larger than 450m² and must fall within existing footprint.• The previous use must be solely agricultural. • The maximum number of separate dwellings on one site is three.• The building cannot be Listed. • No previous permitted developments can have been accepted or built on the same farm.• The site is not in a safety hazard area or site of scientific interest or of military use.• The site complies with any requirements if it falls within a flood zone. • The building will comply with current Building Regulations when constructed. To proceed with taking on this challenge a good architect is essential in understanding not only rural design and planning but also the needs of future occupants. It’s unlikely that an existing barn will be in a condition in order to meet new housing standards in Building Regulations so the adaption of the existing barn must provide a new thermal envelope as a key component to the construction alongside good natural light levels from windows and doors. Structural engineers can also be critical particularly if you are looking at older barns where substantial work is going to be needed to strengthen existing foundations and new and existing floors and walls. Above all the final design should provide a good practical living environment for a family. With this planning option available farm living gives local people wishing to stay in the area an opportunity that would otherwise not be available and it also opens up the possibility for people looking to move back to a rural surrounding from an urban environment. From a farmers prospective it’s crucial that the building is laid out thoughtfully to maximise its asset value as this is a once only application under permitted development rules. The Cambridgeshire project will widen the housing choices for local residents, but could provide a template for other farmers looking to take up the idea which would create a major impact across the UK. From a financial position farmers looking to develop are likely to be given a fair hearing from lenders given that the land is already a free asset and would bring an impressive return on any borrowing, meaning there is a realistic opportunity to turn thousands of obsolete rural buildings into badly-needed homes for future generations.
    Sep 02, 2016 1
  • 22 Aug 2017
    Horrible looking drains, manhole covers and inspection chambers appear in driveways and footpaths everywhere. You can even find them in the middle of your lawn or garden! How do you hide ugly manhole covers and drains?                     There are several ways to pretty up these ugly necessities but, however you choose to do it, remember that water utility companies require access at all times. If they cannot be accessed when required they will be dug up and not only will you receive a bill for doing so, you will also be left with the expense of repairing any damage. A much better idea is to (where possible) replace the existing industrial looking cover with a removable recessed (or inset) tray. Then you have the option to either blend them in with the surface or make a feature out of them. Recessed tray options A quick internet search will show you just how many different types of recessed trays are available – too many to mention here! You choose depending on where they are and what material you are going to fill them with. Basically they fall into two categories: Standard recessed tray Currently the most popular choice, made from polypropylene, aluminium or stainless steel and can be suitable for use by both pedestrians and vehicles. Permeable recessed tray This more recent option from EcoGrid provides a load bearing surface that features membranes and a perforated base which allows water to slowly filter through to the drain underneath. Infill options Another internet search will result in a lot of options for infilling a recessed tray. Your final choice will depend on where the drain, manhole cover or inspection chamber is and what the surface will be used for. Here are a few of the most popular infill options: Block paving or bricks These are common choices and can be cut to either blend in or contrast with the surrounding surface. Resin bound paving This is the most popular choice for the seamless finish - created by infilling the recessed tray with the same colour aggregate. You can also create contrast by using a different colour or produce a logo or design in the recessed tray. Using a permeable recessed tray with resin bound paving creates a fully permeable surface. Loose gravel Probably the quickest and easiest way to infill a recessed tray is with loose gravel, but it will inevitably scatter. The fleeing gravel will need regular sweeping and replacing and your lawn mower won’t like it much either... Grass Whilst sowing grass seeds into a recessed tray blends in with a lawn it can be awkward to mow and unless it’s sown in a permeable recessed tray, it will dry out very quickly. Of course you could opt for artificial grass… Plants and flowers Infilling with flowers and/or plants can help disguise unsightly drains, manhole covers or inspection chambers. You can also create a spectacular feature, but as with grass they will dry out very quickly unless a permeable recessed tray is used. Useful links: How to build a recessed manhole cover : http://www.diy.com/help-ideas/how-to-build-a-manhole-cover/CC_npcart_400198.art An overview http://www.pavingexpert.com/recess01.htm  from the Paving Expert. We strongly recommend clarifying ownership and responsibility before modifying or carrying out maintenance to drains, sewers and manholes. Author: Gail Gilkes, Head of Marketing, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: www.sureset.co.uk Follow us: https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    3344 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Horrible looking drains, manhole covers and inspection chambers appear in driveways and footpaths everywhere. You can even find them in the middle of your lawn or garden! How do you hide ugly manhole covers and drains?                     There are several ways to pretty up these ugly necessities but, however you choose to do it, remember that water utility companies require access at all times. If they cannot be accessed when required they will be dug up and not only will you receive a bill for doing so, you will also be left with the expense of repairing any damage. A much better idea is to (where possible) replace the existing industrial looking cover with a removable recessed (or inset) tray. Then you have the option to either blend them in with the surface or make a feature out of them. Recessed tray options A quick internet search will show you just how many different types of recessed trays are available – too many to mention here! You choose depending on where they are and what material you are going to fill them with. Basically they fall into two categories: Standard recessed tray Currently the most popular choice, made from polypropylene, aluminium or stainless steel and can be suitable for use by both pedestrians and vehicles. Permeable recessed tray This more recent option from EcoGrid provides a load bearing surface that features membranes and a perforated base which allows water to slowly filter through to the drain underneath. Infill options Another internet search will result in a lot of options for infilling a recessed tray. Your final choice will depend on where the drain, manhole cover or inspection chamber is and what the surface will be used for. Here are a few of the most popular infill options: Block paving or bricks These are common choices and can be cut to either blend in or contrast with the surrounding surface. Resin bound paving This is the most popular choice for the seamless finish - created by infilling the recessed tray with the same colour aggregate. You can also create contrast by using a different colour or produce a logo or design in the recessed tray. Using a permeable recessed tray with resin bound paving creates a fully permeable surface. Loose gravel Probably the quickest and easiest way to infill a recessed tray is with loose gravel, but it will inevitably scatter. The fleeing gravel will need regular sweeping and replacing and your lawn mower won’t like it much either... Grass Whilst sowing grass seeds into a recessed tray blends in with a lawn it can be awkward to mow and unless it’s sown in a permeable recessed tray, it will dry out very quickly. Of course you could opt for artificial grass… Plants and flowers Infilling with flowers and/or plants can help disguise unsightly drains, manhole covers or inspection chambers. You can also create a spectacular feature, but as with grass they will dry out very quickly unless a permeable recessed tray is used. Useful links: How to build a recessed manhole cover : http://www.diy.com/help-ideas/how-to-build-a-manhole-cover/CC_npcart_400198.art An overview http://www.pavingexpert.com/recess01.htm  from the Paving Expert. We strongly recommend clarifying ownership and responsibility before modifying or carrying out maintenance to drains, sewers and manholes. Author: Gail Gilkes, Head of Marketing, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: www.sureset.co.uk Follow us: https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    Aug 22, 2017 3344
  • 04 Jul 2017
    One of the world’s oldest and most traditional waterproofing materials, mastic asphalt is a truly versatile performer, outlasting other materials and proven time and time again on everything from sealing dams to flooring, flat roofs to sports facilities, walkways to balconies and car parks to bridges. Successfully used to provide unbeatable protection from water penetration for centuries, in recent years mastic asphalt has been reformulated to include advanced polymers for increased durability, combining its traditional strengths with modern technology.   Mastic asphalt is highly resistant and robust enough to withstand all types of weather situations and attacks from thermal shock (rapid temperature changes), which are a frequent source of break down in many other types of membrane.It’s also non-toxic and non-flammable. Its durability and seamless application means that it is one of the few membranes able to handle consistent heavy foot and vehicular traffic, including from Heavy Goods Vehicles, and still maintain its waterproof integrity. With no application too tricky, it is also easy to repair should alterations or damage occur. Another major advantage with mastic asphalt is that it can be laid at speed, reducing the project costs significantly. It also cools very rapidly, allowing foot traffic within two to three hours, dependent upon ambient temperature. Providing such excellent wear against the extremes of weather – and with a life expectancy of 50 years and more - the waterproof membrane is fast becoming the material of choice for a manner of different buildings including, schools, offices, shopping centres, hotels and even churches. Mastic asphalt has one further advantage over other types of waterproof membrane – it is carbon neutral – a massive bonus for any building owner anxious to show their green credentials and, when it has reached the end of its useful life, it can be recycled or used as roof screed, minimising the impact on the environment. Highly cost-effective, mastic asphalt offers lower installation costs than many other types of membrane. Its versatility makes it the ideal choice, so whether it’s a 31 mile bridge in Hong Kong or St Paul’s Cathedral, this market- leading product is revered across the world. By Mastic Asphalt Council. Visit MAC: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/      
    3074 Posted by Talk. Build
  • One of the world’s oldest and most traditional waterproofing materials, mastic asphalt is a truly versatile performer, outlasting other materials and proven time and time again on everything from sealing dams to flooring, flat roofs to sports facilities, walkways to balconies and car parks to bridges. Successfully used to provide unbeatable protection from water penetration for centuries, in recent years mastic asphalt has been reformulated to include advanced polymers for increased durability, combining its traditional strengths with modern technology.   Mastic asphalt is highly resistant and robust enough to withstand all types of weather situations and attacks from thermal shock (rapid temperature changes), which are a frequent source of break down in many other types of membrane.It’s also non-toxic and non-flammable. Its durability and seamless application means that it is one of the few membranes able to handle consistent heavy foot and vehicular traffic, including from Heavy Goods Vehicles, and still maintain its waterproof integrity. With no application too tricky, it is also easy to repair should alterations or damage occur. Another major advantage with mastic asphalt is that it can be laid at speed, reducing the project costs significantly. It also cools very rapidly, allowing foot traffic within two to three hours, dependent upon ambient temperature. Providing such excellent wear against the extremes of weather – and with a life expectancy of 50 years and more - the waterproof membrane is fast becoming the material of choice for a manner of different buildings including, schools, offices, shopping centres, hotels and even churches. Mastic asphalt has one further advantage over other types of waterproof membrane – it is carbon neutral – a massive bonus for any building owner anxious to show their green credentials and, when it has reached the end of its useful life, it can be recycled or used as roof screed, minimising the impact on the environment. Highly cost-effective, mastic asphalt offers lower installation costs than many other types of membrane. Its versatility makes it the ideal choice, so whether it’s a 31 mile bridge in Hong Kong or St Paul’s Cathedral, this market- leading product is revered across the world. By Mastic Asphalt Council. Visit MAC: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/      
    Jul 04, 2017 3074
  • 31 Aug 2017
    The headline says it all - and it particularly applies to the construction industry; especially when it comes to our small corner of it, the resin bound permeable paving market. We are not afraid to tell you that we sometimes lose out to competitors quoting up to 20% cheaper than us. “What?” I hear you say “Some of your competitors are 20% cheaper than you and you are admitting it?”  Yes we are and for a very, very good reason… All too often we hear from customers who, having previously bought a cheaper product, ask us to rectify problems associated with inferior resin bound paving. Knowing that the basic requirement of every company is to make a profit, we can rule out companies doing too many jobs ‘out of the kindness of their heart’ or free of charge.  So, with only a limited number of ways to make one resin bound product cheaper than another, and ruling out profit as the major difference, the only other ways are: Cheaper resins Everyone in the industry knows that the resin used (very unsurprisingly) within resin bound paving is the single most crucial factor in determining whether your product is average or great.  Although the quality, cleanliness and consistency of the stone is vitally important, what really differentiates material suppliers is the quality of the resin binder used. There are many ‘tunes’ which can be played with the resin including using different types of vastly differing qualities and altering the formulation percentages to make products stronger or weaker.   Obviously less resin equals cheaper, and I seriously doubt anyone would be surprised that cheaper equals weaker. At SureSet we only use high quality resins, in the correct formulas, ensuring that the durability of our product is top of the agenda. Poor mix design Not investing in technical expertise is another way of reducing cost. Every blend we create at SureSet is tested using a process we have developed over 18 years.  We know that each type and size of individual aggregate has different characteristics, which means that some types of aggregate require different amounts of resin than others. I have heard many companies say “just dump this 7kg resin on top of any 100kg of dry stone and away you go”, but the reality is producing high quality, long lasting products is a far more technical process than that. This completely rules out the ‘one size fits all’ theory, yet there are many well established companies who are still doing just that. Hand in hand with good design is the need to manage quality so that the product produced is consistent and meets required standards.  Customers should look for suppliers who demonstrate this by achieving and maintaining national standards, such as ISO 9001 and Investors in People. Total quantity of material used There are some companies who, to keep the cost of a job low, will install the material at less than optimal depths, regardless of its end use.  When buying resin bound paving you should make sure that each quote has the same specification; if one company is stating a 20mm depth, and the other a 16mm depth, ask both companies why.  The likelihood is that the company stating 20mm will have done so due to turning vehicles, large vehicles or heavier usage etc.  The 20mm material will last longer, and withstand its intended use.  Let’s not forget the company stating 20mm also wants to be as competitive as possible, so it does not make commercial sense to state a greater depth, and therefore increased cost, than is necessary.  If 16mm will do the job, then 16mm would have been quoted for. Poor workmanship Labour costs are also a significant factor when determining the selling point of resin bound paving, both in having the necessary skills, and having enough labour on site. Our experience allows us to precisely assess how many installers are needed to install a particular job and enables us to price accurately.  A mistake commonly made is in thinking that three installers can do the job of five… In theory they probably could, but will the quality and attention to detail be the same if your surface were laid by five skilled installers? The simple answer is no.  If we at SureSet took that approach, whilst our quote would be more competitive and our profit margin increase, the reality is that the installation would be rushed and shortcuts taken. We do everything in our power to avoid under-estimating the time needed for each installation - at the end of the day you are ‘only as good as your last job’. In short there would be no time to walk that ‘extra mile’ and deliver the high quality associated with SureSet.  To summarise Throughout the 18 years SureSet has been manufacturing, supplying and installing permeable resin bound paving, we have been called upon to rectify poor installations. Some can be repaired, while others require complete replacement. Unfortunately for the customer, the original cheap price is no longer the bargain they originally thought it was. When buying resin bound paving I urge you not to buy on price, but consider these points when making your decision: Value – don’t just consider the upfront cost, but the whole life investment into the quality of the product. Remember you can only make cheap resin bound paving by compromising the quality of the end product. Quality– a product that has been well designed, researched and invested in will look better and last longer. Reputation – read testimonials, ask to see installations near you or speak to customers before purchasing.  ‘Word of mouth’ still goes a long way. Guarantee – established companies offering long guarantees offer them for a reason. Likewise companies offering a short guarantee also do so for a reason. Although we would love to, we don’t expect to win every tender we submit - it is not feasible or conducive to a healthy market. However when we lose out to an inferior, cheaper product is frustrating because we know that at some point in the future the customer, who thought they were choosing between ‘like for like’ products will be disappointed with their decision.  Not only was this a loss to SureSet, but more worryingly it could be a loss to the resin bound paving market.  So as the title of my blog suggests: Please, please don’t purchase purely on price, purchase on value. Author: Ben Shave, Sales Director, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: https://www.sureset.co.uk/ Follow Us: https://www.facebook.com/suresetuk/ https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    2139 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The headline says it all - and it particularly applies to the construction industry; especially when it comes to our small corner of it, the resin bound permeable paving market. We are not afraid to tell you that we sometimes lose out to competitors quoting up to 20% cheaper than us. “What?” I hear you say “Some of your competitors are 20% cheaper than you and you are admitting it?”  Yes we are and for a very, very good reason… All too often we hear from customers who, having previously bought a cheaper product, ask us to rectify problems associated with inferior resin bound paving. Knowing that the basic requirement of every company is to make a profit, we can rule out companies doing too many jobs ‘out of the kindness of their heart’ or free of charge.  So, with only a limited number of ways to make one resin bound product cheaper than another, and ruling out profit as the major difference, the only other ways are: Cheaper resins Everyone in the industry knows that the resin used (very unsurprisingly) within resin bound paving is the single most crucial factor in determining whether your product is average or great.  Although the quality, cleanliness and consistency of the stone is vitally important, what really differentiates material suppliers is the quality of the resin binder used. There are many ‘tunes’ which can be played with the resin including using different types of vastly differing qualities and altering the formulation percentages to make products stronger or weaker.   Obviously less resin equals cheaper, and I seriously doubt anyone would be surprised that cheaper equals weaker. At SureSet we only use high quality resins, in the correct formulas, ensuring that the durability of our product is top of the agenda. Poor mix design Not investing in technical expertise is another way of reducing cost. Every blend we create at SureSet is tested using a process we have developed over 18 years.  We know that each type and size of individual aggregate has different characteristics, which means that some types of aggregate require different amounts of resin than others. I have heard many companies say “just dump this 7kg resin on top of any 100kg of dry stone and away you go”, but the reality is producing high quality, long lasting products is a far more technical process than that. This completely rules out the ‘one size fits all’ theory, yet there are many well established companies who are still doing just that. Hand in hand with good design is the need to manage quality so that the product produced is consistent and meets required standards.  Customers should look for suppliers who demonstrate this by achieving and maintaining national standards, such as ISO 9001 and Investors in People. Total quantity of material used There are some companies who, to keep the cost of a job low, will install the material at less than optimal depths, regardless of its end use.  When buying resin bound paving you should make sure that each quote has the same specification; if one company is stating a 20mm depth, and the other a 16mm depth, ask both companies why.  The likelihood is that the company stating 20mm will have done so due to turning vehicles, large vehicles or heavier usage etc.  The 20mm material will last longer, and withstand its intended use.  Let’s not forget the company stating 20mm also wants to be as competitive as possible, so it does not make commercial sense to state a greater depth, and therefore increased cost, than is necessary.  If 16mm will do the job, then 16mm would have been quoted for. Poor workmanship Labour costs are also a significant factor when determining the selling point of resin bound paving, both in having the necessary skills, and having enough labour on site. Our experience allows us to precisely assess how many installers are needed to install a particular job and enables us to price accurately.  A mistake commonly made is in thinking that three installers can do the job of five… In theory they probably could, but will the quality and attention to detail be the same if your surface were laid by five skilled installers? The simple answer is no.  If we at SureSet took that approach, whilst our quote would be more competitive and our profit margin increase, the reality is that the installation would be rushed and shortcuts taken. We do everything in our power to avoid under-estimating the time needed for each installation - at the end of the day you are ‘only as good as your last job’. In short there would be no time to walk that ‘extra mile’ and deliver the high quality associated with SureSet.  To summarise Throughout the 18 years SureSet has been manufacturing, supplying and installing permeable resin bound paving, we have been called upon to rectify poor installations. Some can be repaired, while others require complete replacement. Unfortunately for the customer, the original cheap price is no longer the bargain they originally thought it was. When buying resin bound paving I urge you not to buy on price, but consider these points when making your decision: Value – don’t just consider the upfront cost, but the whole life investment into the quality of the product. Remember you can only make cheap resin bound paving by compromising the quality of the end product. Quality– a product that has been well designed, researched and invested in will look better and last longer. Reputation – read testimonials, ask to see installations near you or speak to customers before purchasing.  ‘Word of mouth’ still goes a long way. Guarantee – established companies offering long guarantees offer them for a reason. Likewise companies offering a short guarantee also do so for a reason. Although we would love to, we don’t expect to win every tender we submit - it is not feasible or conducive to a healthy market. However when we lose out to an inferior, cheaper product is frustrating because we know that at some point in the future the customer, who thought they were choosing between ‘like for like’ products will be disappointed with their decision.  Not only was this a loss to SureSet, but more worryingly it could be a loss to the resin bound paving market.  So as the title of my blog suggests: Please, please don’t purchase purely on price, purchase on value. Author: Ben Shave, Sales Director, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: https://www.sureset.co.uk/ Follow Us: https://www.facebook.com/suresetuk/ https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    Aug 31, 2017 2139
  • 25 Jul 2018
    Contractors generally begin a project with an estimate of how much it will cost writes Eric Block, but no construction company wants to budget for the price of an accident. A safety incident on a job site can do more than disrupt a schedule and increase costs. It also can take a human toll that can have a much greater impact than any line item in a budget.   From start to finish, operating a project safely is a construction company’s most important obligation. Everyone involved in construction shares the responsibility for a safe working environment. Executives and managers must build and reinforce a culture of safety. Workers must be mindful of the proper procedures related to their roles. Because there is so much at risk at all times, no task is too small to do safely.   For example, something as simple as hammering a nail must be done with the utmost attention to proper techniques and procedures. These include wearing safety goggles, inspecting tools for signs of wear and taking periodic breaks to avoid repetitive stress injuries.   Operating heavy equipment also requires workers to pay attention to safety protocols. Such rules include surveying the surrounding area to ensure you will have enough clearance and having a spotter check your blind spots. Construction projects are costly. No contractor wants to add to the price of a project through accidents, especially those that can be avoided. The accompanying guide lays out many of the most important safety tips crews should keep in mind before they begin the workday.   Author bio: Eric Block is VP of Sales and Marketing at USA Hoist. He has been in the industry for 15 years, and has the experience and knowledge to help achieve the most effective hoisting solutions for general contractors — assisting with everything from value engineering to logistics plans.
    1896 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Contractors generally begin a project with an estimate of how much it will cost writes Eric Block, but no construction company wants to budget for the price of an accident. A safety incident on a job site can do more than disrupt a schedule and increase costs. It also can take a human toll that can have a much greater impact than any line item in a budget.   From start to finish, operating a project safely is a construction company’s most important obligation. Everyone involved in construction shares the responsibility for a safe working environment. Executives and managers must build and reinforce a culture of safety. Workers must be mindful of the proper procedures related to their roles. Because there is so much at risk at all times, no task is too small to do safely.   For example, something as simple as hammering a nail must be done with the utmost attention to proper techniques and procedures. These include wearing safety goggles, inspecting tools for signs of wear and taking periodic breaks to avoid repetitive stress injuries.   Operating heavy equipment also requires workers to pay attention to safety protocols. Such rules include surveying the surrounding area to ensure you will have enough clearance and having a spotter check your blind spots. Construction projects are costly. No contractor wants to add to the price of a project through accidents, especially those that can be avoided. The accompanying guide lays out many of the most important safety tips crews should keep in mind before they begin the workday.   Author bio: Eric Block is VP of Sales and Marketing at USA Hoist. He has been in the industry for 15 years, and has the experience and knowledge to help achieve the most effective hoisting solutions for general contractors — assisting with everything from value engineering to logistics plans.
    Jul 25, 2018 1896
  • 24 Nov 2017
    Biodiversity is something that is all too often overlooked in building design and built environment projects, especially on inner city, industrial and commercial projects. Often seen as exclusive for urban development, biodiversity has taken on a new importance and is something that should be considered on every project. Drawing from a pioneering and collaborative strategic ecological framework, BREEAM helps design teams consider how to incorporate biodiversity on every project by looking at the science behind biodiversity, encouraging alignment of relevant processes and promoting consideration of the environmental, social and economic benefits that ecological protection and enhancements can bring. There have been significant developments over the past decade in best practice for evaluating, protecting and enhancing ecological features. In response to industry feedback BRE Global’s BREEAM team has worked with a wide range of stakeholders to understand how to progress development of its ecology assessment content which covers master planning, infrastructure and buildings. Strategic Ecology Framework for BREEAM Scheme Development Following extensive feedback from ecology and landscape professionals and others commonly engaged with BREEAM assessments, the BREEAM team concluded that the ratings scheme should take a more strategic approach to encouraging high ecological standards. As a result, the treatment of ecology in UK BREEAM schemes has therefore been extensively reviewed in order to develop a Strategic Ecology Framework (SEF) for improving and evaluating the ecological performance of buildings, assets and developments. The SEF has been developed to reflect the advances in the field of ecology and landscape management. It forms the basis for future development of relevant ecology-related assessment criteria according to the respective life cycle stages covered by UK BREEAM schemes Measuring and Specifying for Ecological Performance BREEAM UK’s Ecology related content encourages project teams and facilities managers to reduce and manage impacts on the natural environment and local biodiversity/habitats and identify opportunities for enhancement. It does this by identifying ecological value on and around a site and the risks and opportunities that arise as a result of the design, construction and operation of an asset. It focuses on processes and actions that protect features of value, mitigate unavoidable impacts, and enhance habitats. Importantly, it also seeks to promote best practice regarding long term biodiversity management practices and strategies for assessed sites and ecologically associated surrounding areas to maximise the outcomes. Assessment content relate to the use of land of low ecological value, mitigation and enhancement of ecological value, long term ecological and biodiversity management and seek to maximise the wider benefits to occupants and the broader society through provision of additional amenity and economic value in a manner which is context specific. There are four key issues which make up the Ecology content: Identifying and understanding the risks and opportunities for project Managing negative impacts on habitats and biodiversity Enhancement of ecological value Long term biodiversity management and maintenance Part of each issue focuses on looking at how ecology, biodiversity and soft landscaping can support and link other core specification areas such as landscape and habitat management, surface water run-off management, flood risk management, light and noise pollution, health and wellbeing, and recreational space. Promoting consideration and where appropriate specification of elements which support sustainability and resilience on the site. Process of implementation With the SEF published in the spring of 2016, the process of implementation is underway through the BREEAM scheme development update process. BRE has brought together a group of ecologists, landscape architects and many others involved in the design, construction, handover and operational aspects of the built environment to advise on the development of a methodology for implementing the SEF which could be used across all BREEAM schemes. These individuals span all of the BREEAM schemes. This includes the following BREEAM new build suite of schemes currently being updated: BREEAM UK Non Domestic New Construction Home Quality Mark Next version of CEEQUAL (incorporating BREEAM Infrastructure pilot scheme) These schemes will be the first to take account of the updated ecology content informed by the Strategic Ecology Framework. Specifying and Creating a Sustainable Built Environment It is vital that we aspire to a built environment that is optimal in terms of ecology, and not only in terms of technology and costs. Of course not all projects can be ecologically ambitious, but they can take steps to protect and enhance the ecological value of buildings and sites, such as preserving natural areas, maintaining ponds, promoting bee-friendly planting and very many others. Protecting and improving ecology and how it relates to the built environment can contribute greatly to the environmental quality of our increasingly urbanised world and – as a growing body of evidence shows – improve the health, wellbeing and even productivity of building users. The new and comprehensive ecological framework developed by BREEAM will be key to both promoting and rewarding. By Yetunde Abdul, BREEAM Scheme Development Manager, BRE Global Visit: www.breeam.com/sef.
    1893 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Biodiversity is something that is all too often overlooked in building design and built environment projects, especially on inner city, industrial and commercial projects. Often seen as exclusive for urban development, biodiversity has taken on a new importance and is something that should be considered on every project. Drawing from a pioneering and collaborative strategic ecological framework, BREEAM helps design teams consider how to incorporate biodiversity on every project by looking at the science behind biodiversity, encouraging alignment of relevant processes and promoting consideration of the environmental, social and economic benefits that ecological protection and enhancements can bring. There have been significant developments over the past decade in best practice for evaluating, protecting and enhancing ecological features. In response to industry feedback BRE Global’s BREEAM team has worked with a wide range of stakeholders to understand how to progress development of its ecology assessment content which covers master planning, infrastructure and buildings. Strategic Ecology Framework for BREEAM Scheme Development Following extensive feedback from ecology and landscape professionals and others commonly engaged with BREEAM assessments, the BREEAM team concluded that the ratings scheme should take a more strategic approach to encouraging high ecological standards. As a result, the treatment of ecology in UK BREEAM schemes has therefore been extensively reviewed in order to develop a Strategic Ecology Framework (SEF) for improving and evaluating the ecological performance of buildings, assets and developments. The SEF has been developed to reflect the advances in the field of ecology and landscape management. It forms the basis for future development of relevant ecology-related assessment criteria according to the respective life cycle stages covered by UK BREEAM schemes Measuring and Specifying for Ecological Performance BREEAM UK’s Ecology related content encourages project teams and facilities managers to reduce and manage impacts on the natural environment and local biodiversity/habitats and identify opportunities for enhancement. It does this by identifying ecological value on and around a site and the risks and opportunities that arise as a result of the design, construction and operation of an asset. It focuses on processes and actions that protect features of value, mitigate unavoidable impacts, and enhance habitats. Importantly, it also seeks to promote best practice regarding long term biodiversity management practices and strategies for assessed sites and ecologically associated surrounding areas to maximise the outcomes. Assessment content relate to the use of land of low ecological value, mitigation and enhancement of ecological value, long term ecological and biodiversity management and seek to maximise the wider benefits to occupants and the broader society through provision of additional amenity and economic value in a manner which is context specific. There are four key issues which make up the Ecology content: Identifying and understanding the risks and opportunities for project Managing negative impacts on habitats and biodiversity Enhancement of ecological value Long term biodiversity management and maintenance Part of each issue focuses on looking at how ecology, biodiversity and soft landscaping can support and link other core specification areas such as landscape and habitat management, surface water run-off management, flood risk management, light and noise pollution, health and wellbeing, and recreational space. Promoting consideration and where appropriate specification of elements which support sustainability and resilience on the site. Process of implementation With the SEF published in the spring of 2016, the process of implementation is underway through the BREEAM scheme development update process. BRE has brought together a group of ecologists, landscape architects and many others involved in the design, construction, handover and operational aspects of the built environment to advise on the development of a methodology for implementing the SEF which could be used across all BREEAM schemes. These individuals span all of the BREEAM schemes. This includes the following BREEAM new build suite of schemes currently being updated: BREEAM UK Non Domestic New Construction Home Quality Mark Next version of CEEQUAL (incorporating BREEAM Infrastructure pilot scheme) These schemes will be the first to take account of the updated ecology content informed by the Strategic Ecology Framework. Specifying and Creating a Sustainable Built Environment It is vital that we aspire to a built environment that is optimal in terms of ecology, and not only in terms of technology and costs. Of course not all projects can be ecologically ambitious, but they can take steps to protect and enhance the ecological value of buildings and sites, such as preserving natural areas, maintaining ponds, promoting bee-friendly planting and very many others. Protecting and improving ecology and how it relates to the built environment can contribute greatly to the environmental quality of our increasingly urbanised world and – as a growing body of evidence shows – improve the health, wellbeing and even productivity of building users. The new and comprehensive ecological framework developed by BREEAM will be key to both promoting and rewarding. By Yetunde Abdul, BREEAM Scheme Development Manager, BRE Global Visit: www.breeam.com/sef.
    Nov 24, 2017 1893
  • 21 Sep 2017
    The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group is calling on the Government to solve the UK construction industry’s long-standing and crippling payments problem, labelling the current cashflow position as “critical”. In a recent article, the SEC Group – which represents SMEs in the construction engineering sector – warns that its members are increasingly being propped up by their directors’ wallets as an interim cashflow ‘solution’. They cite Funding Options figures that show directors lent their construction businesses £38 million in 2015/2016, up from £29.7 million in 2013/2014 – a jump of 28 per cent in just two years.  Unsurprisingly, the SEC Group labels this rise as “unsustainable” and has urged the Government to introduce legislation to solve the problem. We agree wholeheartedly with the SEC Group – the cashflow issue has affected growth of construction businesses of all shapes and sizes for too long and needs to be addressed urgently. However, we feel that while the Government has a role to play in improving B2B payments in the industry, businesses themselves can do much more to take greater control of their finances. We’ve partnered with Invapay, an Optal company, to make this easily achievable. Our unique proposition – a combined full-service payment solution – provides construction businesses with a quick and effortless way to manage their payment process and maximise working capital benefits. With Open ECX and Invapay, businesses are able to make their payment processes simple, streamlined and effortless from the moment a payment application is made right through to the point that it is paid. Our cloud-based paper-free WebContractor solution manages the first half of the process, giving subcontractors and suppliers the ability to submit invoices quickly and easily through an online portal. The automated service then processes the application, sending verification notices emails to the applicant and the QS, allowing invoicing authorisation to be granted hassle-free. At this stage Invapay’s payment solution comes into play. With no changes to processes and systems, Invapay’s business-tobusiness payment platform allows businesses to optimise their payments to suppliers and subcontractors. Through Invapay, businesses can take greater control of their cash flow – across working capital, credit lines and third party funds – ensuring long term cash flow benefits for buyers and subcontractors. By Matthew Jones, CEO of Open ECX For more information and to download a free payments guide visit: http://openecx.co.uk/maximising-payments-maximising-cash-flow/
    1763 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group is calling on the Government to solve the UK construction industry’s long-standing and crippling payments problem, labelling the current cashflow position as “critical”. In a recent article, the SEC Group – which represents SMEs in the construction engineering sector – warns that its members are increasingly being propped up by their directors’ wallets as an interim cashflow ‘solution’. They cite Funding Options figures that show directors lent their construction businesses £38 million in 2015/2016, up from £29.7 million in 2013/2014 – a jump of 28 per cent in just two years.  Unsurprisingly, the SEC Group labels this rise as “unsustainable” and has urged the Government to introduce legislation to solve the problem. We agree wholeheartedly with the SEC Group – the cashflow issue has affected growth of construction businesses of all shapes and sizes for too long and needs to be addressed urgently. However, we feel that while the Government has a role to play in improving B2B payments in the industry, businesses themselves can do much more to take greater control of their finances. We’ve partnered with Invapay, an Optal company, to make this easily achievable. Our unique proposition – a combined full-service payment solution – provides construction businesses with a quick and effortless way to manage their payment process and maximise working capital benefits. With Open ECX and Invapay, businesses are able to make their payment processes simple, streamlined and effortless from the moment a payment application is made right through to the point that it is paid. Our cloud-based paper-free WebContractor solution manages the first half of the process, giving subcontractors and suppliers the ability to submit invoices quickly and easily through an online portal. The automated service then processes the application, sending verification notices emails to the applicant and the QS, allowing invoicing authorisation to be granted hassle-free. At this stage Invapay’s payment solution comes into play. With no changes to processes and systems, Invapay’s business-tobusiness payment platform allows businesses to optimise their payments to suppliers and subcontractors. Through Invapay, businesses can take greater control of their cash flow – across working capital, credit lines and third party funds – ensuring long term cash flow benefits for buyers and subcontractors. By Matthew Jones, CEO of Open ECX For more information and to download a free payments guide visit: http://openecx.co.uk/maximising-payments-maximising-cash-flow/
    Sep 21, 2017 1763