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Talk. Build 's Entries

  • 13 Jun 2019
    A muddy site, a tool belt and hard hat, wolf whistling, dirty finger nails, Bob the Builder and middle-aged men are just some of the perceptions we have when we think of people who work in the construction industry. Lest we forget our hard-working tradesmen who are up at the crack of dawn laying bricks, but ‘construction’ has way more to it than that. There is no escaping construction. The building you’re sitting in right now keeping you warm and safe is ‘construction’ yet our nation sees it as an unappealing career option, but guess what! I’m a woman in my mid-thirties and I work in construction and I love it writes Kelly Slociak, Head of PR, Fabrick . When I was 16 I had already mapped out that I was going to be an actress and have 4 children (including one set of twins) by the age of 30. I spoke to the careers advisor and my teachers and I chose my GCSE disciplines ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ and off I went. Limited choices, limited opportunities… Did I really know at that age what I really wanted to do, or more importantly, what my best skills were in order to guide me? Probably not, but back then that was what it was. For the record, I quickly learnt I was a rubbish actress, and actually the thought of having 4 children in my twenties meant I couldn’t go out partying, so that plan, to say the least, did not work out. I am often asked how I ended up working in construction and I always answer with ‘probably the same way you did, I ‘fell’ into it’. Just like most things in my life, I fell into Art College, I fell into doing a PR and journalism degree, I fell into a career in PR and marketing and then I fell into the construction industry. And now I am a voice for my clients who want to be at the forefront of decision makers in the industry. If I could go back to school and start afresh, it would be nice to know that construction isn’t just for men and actually there are lots of exciting opportunities within the industry. If I knew what an architect’s role was or a Quantity Surveyor’s role was or what a BIM expert was, perhaps my mind-set may have been somewhat different. So how can we ensure that the children of our future know about the construction industry and actually encourage these opportunities? I was invited to an inspiring talk by Mark Farmer at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Industry Group (CIMCIG) debate last week on the ‘Image of Construction’ at the House of Lords. ‘Young people need to be inspired and motivated and we need to achieve a better gender balance’ were just a few of the points addressed to make the industry more attractive. Farmer also went on to speculate that the term ‘construction industry’ was perhaps maybe now outdated and asked if we should now be addressing it as the ‘built environment’. This is a term, that as an agency, we started to introduce a couple of years ago which sounds more appealing and represents more of a diverse range of prospects. ‘As an industry, how can we change the image of construction? The opportunity here is to be collaborative’ – which was heavily echoed in the Q&A debate from the panel of speakers which included Sadie Morgan of dRMM, Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive of Mace Group, Sam Stacey of Transforming Construction and Jade Lewis of St Gobain Group. Talking to a room full of fellow marketers, Farmer made a plea for better co-ordination, asking for more collaboration to reflect the increasingly high-tech nature of the industry and the solutions it presents to global issues such as climate change and living standards. Training has been neglected and the skills shortage continues so we need to be working together and reaching out to the schools, colleges and the next generation in general to educate them. Yes, we have a massive industry, and yes it comes with many problems, but it also comes with lots of opportunities to tackle those problems. For people of all ages, gender and backgrounds, this has to be an inspiring prospect. An opportunity to improve lives and help save our planet! So now what? They say it begins at home. So, every household with children that owns Lego bricks, I’d say that’s a good place to start… Visit: www.wearefabrick.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • A muddy site, a tool belt and hard hat, wolf whistling, dirty finger nails, Bob the Builder and middle-aged men are just some of the perceptions we have when we think of people who work in the construction industry. Lest we forget our hard-working tradesmen who are up at the crack of dawn laying bricks, but ‘construction’ has way more to it than that. There is no escaping construction. The building you’re sitting in right now keeping you warm and safe is ‘construction’ yet our nation sees it as an unappealing career option, but guess what! I’m a woman in my mid-thirties and I work in construction and I love it writes Kelly Slociak, Head of PR, Fabrick . When I was 16 I had already mapped out that I was going to be an actress and have 4 children (including one set of twins) by the age of 30. I spoke to the careers advisor and my teachers and I chose my GCSE disciplines ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ and off I went. Limited choices, limited opportunities… Did I really know at that age what I really wanted to do, or more importantly, what my best skills were in order to guide me? Probably not, but back then that was what it was. For the record, I quickly learnt I was a rubbish actress, and actually the thought of having 4 children in my twenties meant I couldn’t go out partying, so that plan, to say the least, did not work out. I am often asked how I ended up working in construction and I always answer with ‘probably the same way you did, I ‘fell’ into it’. Just like most things in my life, I fell into Art College, I fell into doing a PR and journalism degree, I fell into a career in PR and marketing and then I fell into the construction industry. And now I am a voice for my clients who want to be at the forefront of decision makers in the industry. If I could go back to school and start afresh, it would be nice to know that construction isn’t just for men and actually there are lots of exciting opportunities within the industry. If I knew what an architect’s role was or a Quantity Surveyor’s role was or what a BIM expert was, perhaps my mind-set may have been somewhat different. So how can we ensure that the children of our future know about the construction industry and actually encourage these opportunities? I was invited to an inspiring talk by Mark Farmer at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Industry Group (CIMCIG) debate last week on the ‘Image of Construction’ at the House of Lords. ‘Young people need to be inspired and motivated and we need to achieve a better gender balance’ were just a few of the points addressed to make the industry more attractive. Farmer also went on to speculate that the term ‘construction industry’ was perhaps maybe now outdated and asked if we should now be addressing it as the ‘built environment’. This is a term, that as an agency, we started to introduce a couple of years ago which sounds more appealing and represents more of a diverse range of prospects. ‘As an industry, how can we change the image of construction? The opportunity here is to be collaborative’ – which was heavily echoed in the Q&A debate from the panel of speakers which included Sadie Morgan of dRMM, Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive of Mace Group, Sam Stacey of Transforming Construction and Jade Lewis of St Gobain Group. Talking to a room full of fellow marketers, Farmer made a plea for better co-ordination, asking for more collaboration to reflect the increasingly high-tech nature of the industry and the solutions it presents to global issues such as climate change and living standards. Training has been neglected and the skills shortage continues so we need to be working together and reaching out to the schools, colleges and the next generation in general to educate them. Yes, we have a massive industry, and yes it comes with many problems, but it also comes with lots of opportunities to tackle those problems. For people of all ages, gender and backgrounds, this has to be an inspiring prospect. An opportunity to improve lives and help save our planet! So now what? They say it begins at home. So, every household with children that owns Lego bricks, I’d say that’s a good place to start… Visit: www.wearefabrick.com
    Jun 13, 2019 0
  • 07 Jun 2019
    Following a report last week by BBC’s Watchdog highlighting the hundreds of new build homes which are a fire risk, we are once again reminded of the dangerous gap between the expectation of safety, the reality of building regulations and the performance of buildings writes Tom Roche, Secretary of the Business Sprinkler Alliance. People assume that buildings are safe but if a building is built to regulations, what does that mean? What do people hear? Is it that the building complies with the statutory minimums to secure the health and safety of those in and around the building? In other words, you will escape the fire but your property is totally lost.  Or do people hear their property is protected by fire so both they and their possessions will be safe and protected from fire?  Or do people think we are safe from fire but there may be a little damage? The issue is therefore a case of clarity and an understanding of what the terms mean. It’s not unusual to hear after a fire that the building complied with building regulations. The fire may well have been devastating in terms of property damage but it was a success in terms of regulation and we could do no more. One only has to look at the devastating fire on New Year’s Eve at the Shurgard self-storage facility in Croydon as an example of the ambiguity and misunderstanding of building regulations. It was built to regulations but that did not stop the fire from destroying 1,198 rented units and the impact it had on the hundreds of people whose possessions were lost in the blaze. It was another painful reminder that fire does not discriminate; whether it is a self-storage warehouse, a university, a car park or an office, fires happen on a regular basis. The issue raised by Watchdog needs to be addressed but at the same time we need to work to help people clearly understand it is the minimum required. Building regulations will not protect their property from being lost in the event of a fire. In the case of a new build home, it means meeting the minimum required. Fire spread in building voids and the time for a fire to break out of a room will be limited and the occupants will have time to escape Regulation and guidance is about minimums but all too often the minimum is not clearly defined or communicated. The protection of property is often misunderstood. A recent YouGov survey found that 69% of the businesses polled thought that following Building Regulations’ Approved Document B (ADB) guidance meant that their business premises and contents would be adequately protected from fire events. It doesn’t, but it should. The decision to review Building Regulations Approved Document B (ADB) is welcomed by the BSA and many construction organisations across the industry.  Property protection should be a consideration of the ADB guidance to make buildings of the future resilient to fire. If you want to be resilient to fire you cannot rely on the minimum. Visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Following a report last week by BBC’s Watchdog highlighting the hundreds of new build homes which are a fire risk, we are once again reminded of the dangerous gap between the expectation of safety, the reality of building regulations and the performance of buildings writes Tom Roche, Secretary of the Business Sprinkler Alliance. People assume that buildings are safe but if a building is built to regulations, what does that mean? What do people hear? Is it that the building complies with the statutory minimums to secure the health and safety of those in and around the building? In other words, you will escape the fire but your property is totally lost.  Or do people hear their property is protected by fire so both they and their possessions will be safe and protected from fire?  Or do people think we are safe from fire but there may be a little damage? The issue is therefore a case of clarity and an understanding of what the terms mean. It’s not unusual to hear after a fire that the building complied with building regulations. The fire may well have been devastating in terms of property damage but it was a success in terms of regulation and we could do no more. One only has to look at the devastating fire on New Year’s Eve at the Shurgard self-storage facility in Croydon as an example of the ambiguity and misunderstanding of building regulations. It was built to regulations but that did not stop the fire from destroying 1,198 rented units and the impact it had on the hundreds of people whose possessions were lost in the blaze. It was another painful reminder that fire does not discriminate; whether it is a self-storage warehouse, a university, a car park or an office, fires happen on a regular basis. The issue raised by Watchdog needs to be addressed but at the same time we need to work to help people clearly understand it is the minimum required. Building regulations will not protect their property from being lost in the event of a fire. In the case of a new build home, it means meeting the minimum required. Fire spread in building voids and the time for a fire to break out of a room will be limited and the occupants will have time to escape Regulation and guidance is about minimums but all too often the minimum is not clearly defined or communicated. The protection of property is often misunderstood. A recent YouGov survey found that 69% of the businesses polled thought that following Building Regulations’ Approved Document B (ADB) guidance meant that their business premises and contents would be adequately protected from fire events. It doesn’t, but it should. The decision to review Building Regulations Approved Document B (ADB) is welcomed by the BSA and many construction organisations across the industry.  Property protection should be a consideration of the ADB guidance to make buildings of the future resilient to fire. If you want to be resilient to fire you cannot rely on the minimum. Visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org  
    Jun 07, 2019 0
  • 05 Jun 2019
    Young people and their lack of interest in construction is a continual conversation within the industry, so as a 23 year old female who works in construction, I have to ask myself ‘Why has the industry lost its shine for our youth? What does the industry really need to do to make construction an industry of choice for young people, writes Paige Chapman? Construction is one of the most diverse and creative industries in the world. Spanning centuries and every country, there’s a rich history and a bright future that cannot be denied. So why is the younger generation uninterested in becoming a part of it? If they could see and experience the diversity of roles and projects that I help promote through social media, I’m sure they’d change their minds. I feel perception is a big part of the problem, as put simply young adults often think that working in construction is difficult manual labour that is poorly paid and better suited to men. Construction was once treated like a family heirloom, passed down from father to son for generations, but many young people are rejecting their parents’ expectations of them, without realising just how much the sector now has to offer. A career in the skilled trades is not seen as an exciting option in these times of YouTube and Instagram stars. Why go and physically exert yourself to get paid when you see people every day making videos and posting #Ads on Instagram… and getting paid a lot of money for it?! With such a masculine history, it’s understandable that so many young women don’t realise that it is a great career option for them. So many of the world’s top architects, engineers and surveyors are women, but there are also opportunities to be a graphic designer for a major contractor, or a copywriter, or a marketing or social media specialist talking about the exciting advancements that the world is making every day in construction. Check out the author of this blog! More and more young women are taking on trades and becoming excellent carpenters, plumbers, electricians etc. The promotion of these jobs needs to be stronger within education and from companies. A recent report by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) stated that a third of homeowners would rather hire a female builder. Young women should be encouraged to take up these roles and the success stories of these women, who are paving the way, should be shared. Together we need to break down the outdated perceptions relating to the industry as they are both wrong and damaging to its future. Young people are vital to businesses, they bring with them enthusiasm, new ideas, an instant understanding of new technologies and they are ultimately our future. Because of this, every industry - not just construction - should be trying their hardest to welcome graduates and apprentices into the fold. So what needs to be done? Education needs to be the starting point in changing people’s opinions of a career in construction. Schools need to communicate and promote, to both genders, the diversity of construction, the roles it offers and the pathways into such a great industry. Ultimately, they need to push construction as a viable career option. Construction is creative and gives people the opportunity to leave behind a legacy. Any building work they may physically build, design or be a part of will be around for centuries to come and a great sense of pride and accomplishment comes with that. There has never been a better time to join the building industry. It is ripe with new opportunities and the shifting responsibilities of current roles, as new technology comes into play. Which is why there needs to be more communication to get the message out there that this industry isn’t just for older men. Young people, boys and girls alike, will bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm into this industry and expand it even further into the future. Here at Fabrick, we see the potential in young apprentices and graduates and each of our departments has a trainee or junior just brimming with innovative approaches to our work and ideas that our other members of staff may have never thought of. Meanwhile, our older staff members share their industry knowledge and experience with them. We find that a mixture of ages in each team really enhances the ability of the group as a whole, as they all have different areas of speciality and expertise! So, to conclude, companies should be pushing to show young people that the construction industry is a great place to spread their wings in the world of work. Paige Chapman is Digital Media Trainee, at Fabrick, a construction specialist Marketing and communications company. Visit: www.wearefabrick.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Young people and their lack of interest in construction is a continual conversation within the industry, so as a 23 year old female who works in construction, I have to ask myself ‘Why has the industry lost its shine for our youth? What does the industry really need to do to make construction an industry of choice for young people, writes Paige Chapman? Construction is one of the most diverse and creative industries in the world. Spanning centuries and every country, there’s a rich history and a bright future that cannot be denied. So why is the younger generation uninterested in becoming a part of it? If they could see and experience the diversity of roles and projects that I help promote through social media, I’m sure they’d change their minds. I feel perception is a big part of the problem, as put simply young adults often think that working in construction is difficult manual labour that is poorly paid and better suited to men. Construction was once treated like a family heirloom, passed down from father to son for generations, but many young people are rejecting their parents’ expectations of them, without realising just how much the sector now has to offer. A career in the skilled trades is not seen as an exciting option in these times of YouTube and Instagram stars. Why go and physically exert yourself to get paid when you see people every day making videos and posting #Ads on Instagram… and getting paid a lot of money for it?! With such a masculine history, it’s understandable that so many young women don’t realise that it is a great career option for them. So many of the world’s top architects, engineers and surveyors are women, but there are also opportunities to be a graphic designer for a major contractor, or a copywriter, or a marketing or social media specialist talking about the exciting advancements that the world is making every day in construction. Check out the author of this blog! More and more young women are taking on trades and becoming excellent carpenters, plumbers, electricians etc. The promotion of these jobs needs to be stronger within education and from companies. A recent report by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) stated that a third of homeowners would rather hire a female builder. Young women should be encouraged to take up these roles and the success stories of these women, who are paving the way, should be shared. Together we need to break down the outdated perceptions relating to the industry as they are both wrong and damaging to its future. Young people are vital to businesses, they bring with them enthusiasm, new ideas, an instant understanding of new technologies and they are ultimately our future. Because of this, every industry - not just construction - should be trying their hardest to welcome graduates and apprentices into the fold. So what needs to be done? Education needs to be the starting point in changing people’s opinions of a career in construction. Schools need to communicate and promote, to both genders, the diversity of construction, the roles it offers and the pathways into such a great industry. Ultimately, they need to push construction as a viable career option. Construction is creative and gives people the opportunity to leave behind a legacy. Any building work they may physically build, design or be a part of will be around for centuries to come and a great sense of pride and accomplishment comes with that. There has never been a better time to join the building industry. It is ripe with new opportunities and the shifting responsibilities of current roles, as new technology comes into play. Which is why there needs to be more communication to get the message out there that this industry isn’t just for older men. Young people, boys and girls alike, will bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm into this industry and expand it even further into the future. Here at Fabrick, we see the potential in young apprentices and graduates and each of our departments has a trainee or junior just brimming with innovative approaches to our work and ideas that our other members of staff may have never thought of. Meanwhile, our older staff members share their industry knowledge and experience with them. We find that a mixture of ages in each team really enhances the ability of the group as a whole, as they all have different areas of speciality and expertise! So, to conclude, companies should be pushing to show young people that the construction industry is a great place to spread their wings in the world of work. Paige Chapman is Digital Media Trainee, at Fabrick, a construction specialist Marketing and communications company. Visit: www.wearefabrick.com
    Jun 05, 2019 0
  • 23 May 2019
    Of the 673 new schools built and open under the government’s flagship school programme, only 105 were fitted with sprinklers.  With hundreds of schools in the UK having a fire each year, this alarming statistic once again only emphasises that money spent on dealing with the aftermath of fires should be being spent on sprinklers writes Iain Cox, Chair of the BSA.  The BSA shares the concerns of Labour MP and former teacher Stephanie Peacock who said: “The ridiculous thing is that we spend far more rebuilding and repairing schools after fires than we would have paid to install sprinklers in the first place.” School fires have a devastating impact on both a school and a community. Measures such as sprinklers drastically reduce the amount of damage done when there is a fire, and enable schools to get up-and-running quickly, reducing the cost, both economically and socially, to the public. On the 24th April, the Selsey Academy opened the doors to its rebuilt premises after a fire devastated the original, unsprinklered school in August 2016. In the interim, pupils were taught in temporary classrooms in four locations in the Selsey area and then temporary school portakabins until the new school was completed. Sadly, the trust that runs it has confirmed the new school has been rebuilt without sprinklers. Commenting on the lack of sprinklers in schools, Iain Cox, Chairman of the BSA, said: “This is another case of value engineering, where the cost of installing sprinklers has been cut out without any idea of the potential impact. Surely, it is better to protect the asset, so you won’t have disruption and the lost opportunity?”   Ensuring the safety of a building’s occupants is considered the bare minimum under current regulations, but it is clearly not the optimal outcome. A sprinkler system would serve to protect both the occupants and the building, allowing students to return to normality far more rapidly and with considerably less disruption to teachers’ already hectic schedules. Furthermore, the Association of British Insurers says the most expensive school fires typically cost around £2.8 million to address, and over the past four years an average 24 of these large-loss fires have occurred every year, totalling £67.2 million. Currently, sprinklers are mandatory in new school buildings in Scotland and Wales, but not in England and Northern Ireland.   The government advises that even a single missed day of education can have significant effects on future exam results. The installation of sprinklers could limit the damage from fire; significantly reducing the potential disruption to the students’ school life. The same misconceptions about cost and the impact of disruption can be seen across the commercial and industrial sector. The BSA is calling for better education on the substantial benefits that fire sprinklers can deliver to the business community and wider economy. Fire does not discriminate; whether it is a school, a car park a warehouse or an office, fires happen on a regular basis. However, they can be contained and extinguished by systems such as sprinklers to ensure that life is not put at risk and businesses, jobs and the economy are protected. Visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Of the 673 new schools built and open under the government’s flagship school programme, only 105 were fitted with sprinklers.  With hundreds of schools in the UK having a fire each year, this alarming statistic once again only emphasises that money spent on dealing with the aftermath of fires should be being spent on sprinklers writes Iain Cox, Chair of the BSA.  The BSA shares the concerns of Labour MP and former teacher Stephanie Peacock who said: “The ridiculous thing is that we spend far more rebuilding and repairing schools after fires than we would have paid to install sprinklers in the first place.” School fires have a devastating impact on both a school and a community. Measures such as sprinklers drastically reduce the amount of damage done when there is a fire, and enable schools to get up-and-running quickly, reducing the cost, both economically and socially, to the public. On the 24th April, the Selsey Academy opened the doors to its rebuilt premises after a fire devastated the original, unsprinklered school in August 2016. In the interim, pupils were taught in temporary classrooms in four locations in the Selsey area and then temporary school portakabins until the new school was completed. Sadly, the trust that runs it has confirmed the new school has been rebuilt without sprinklers. Commenting on the lack of sprinklers in schools, Iain Cox, Chairman of the BSA, said: “This is another case of value engineering, where the cost of installing sprinklers has been cut out without any idea of the potential impact. Surely, it is better to protect the asset, so you won’t have disruption and the lost opportunity?”   Ensuring the safety of a building’s occupants is considered the bare minimum under current regulations, but it is clearly not the optimal outcome. A sprinkler system would serve to protect both the occupants and the building, allowing students to return to normality far more rapidly and with considerably less disruption to teachers’ already hectic schedules. Furthermore, the Association of British Insurers says the most expensive school fires typically cost around £2.8 million to address, and over the past four years an average 24 of these large-loss fires have occurred every year, totalling £67.2 million. Currently, sprinklers are mandatory in new school buildings in Scotland and Wales, but not in England and Northern Ireland.   The government advises that even a single missed day of education can have significant effects on future exam results. The installation of sprinklers could limit the damage from fire; significantly reducing the potential disruption to the students’ school life. The same misconceptions about cost and the impact of disruption can be seen across the commercial and industrial sector. The BSA is calling for better education on the substantial benefits that fire sprinklers can deliver to the business community and wider economy. Fire does not discriminate; whether it is a school, a car park a warehouse or an office, fires happen on a regular basis. However, they can be contained and extinguished by systems such as sprinklers to ensure that life is not put at risk and businesses, jobs and the economy are protected. Visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org
    May 23, 2019 0
  • 22 May 2019
    When you become a business owner, you take great care in protecting your business as well as employees. Part of the protection needs includes fire safety. To keep your business safe, elements of fire safety are added, including smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers. Did you know that there are several types of fire extinguishers? Because fires can be caused by varying elements, it is important to have the right extinguisher type within your business. Get to know the options below to ensure you are protecting your business the right way. Most people think that every fire extinguisher is the same. They look at an extinguisher as a way to put out the flames. However, there are five different types, each belonging to a certain class. Understanding the classes and what type of extinguisher you need for your business is essential or fire safety. Class A This type of fire extinguisher is used for fires involving combustible materials. This can include fires that involve straw, paper, and textiles. When you operate a business that uses these types of materials, then you can benefit from this type of extinguisher. Class B This type involves fires where flammable liquids are at play. This would include fire with fats, tar or petrol. Only this type of extinguisher will put out fires involving flammable liquids. If you work with such materials, this type should be on hand. Class C This type of fire extinguisher will work on fires that involve flammable gasses. Natural gas, propane and methane fires can be put out with this type of unit. Certain chemicals are placed inside this fire extinguisher to counteract with the flammable gas chemicals. Class D This type of fire extinguisher reacts to fires involving flammable metals. This would include fires with potassium, metal, and aluminium. If you own a business that works with such materials, then this type of fire extinguisher must be on hand. Class F This extinguisher type involves fires from cooking. This could be in a domestic setting or from a deep fryer. The extinguisher also works with electrical fires. Any fires started from electrical components or appliances will react to this extinguisher type. Fires are separated based on classes due to how the fire needs to be managed. There is unfortunately not just one way that a fire can be treated. In certain scenarios, fighting a fire with the wrong class of extinguisher can see the flames grow. Take for example a cooking-related fire. With a Class F fire, if you use a water extinguisher, the fire will be exacerbated. Fire Extinguisher Types It is essential to choose the right fire extinguisher for your business needs. With so many types available, it can be confusing. A water type can be used for Class A fires. However, using this type of extinguisher requires care. Be sure to avoid any electrical components as the water can be a conductor for electricity. This type of unit will have the word WATER displayed on the side. Another type of extinguisher is AFFF Foam. This type will work for Class A and Class B fires. This type is known for helping to prevent fires from reigniting by creating a foam blanket on the fire to stop the oxygen supply. Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers are another type, one that will work for Class B and Class C fires. This type is basically ineffective for a Class A fire. ABC extinguishers are another type, one that will work for Class A, B and C fires. This one is beneficial to businesses that might be at risk of these types of fires. Additional fire extinguisher types include water mist, wet chemical and specialist dry powder. Each of these types will provide fire safety for a specific class of fires. Water mist and dry powder work for Class D while the wet chemical will work for Class F. When it comes to your business, it is important to have the right fire extinguisher on hand. Speak to a specialist today about your options.
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • When you become a business owner, you take great care in protecting your business as well as employees. Part of the protection needs includes fire safety. To keep your business safe, elements of fire safety are added, including smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers. Did you know that there are several types of fire extinguishers? Because fires can be caused by varying elements, it is important to have the right extinguisher type within your business. Get to know the options below to ensure you are protecting your business the right way. Most people think that every fire extinguisher is the same. They look at an extinguisher as a way to put out the flames. However, there are five different types, each belonging to a certain class. Understanding the classes and what type of extinguisher you need for your business is essential or fire safety. Class A This type of fire extinguisher is used for fires involving combustible materials. This can include fires that involve straw, paper, and textiles. When you operate a business that uses these types of materials, then you can benefit from this type of extinguisher. Class B This type involves fires where flammable liquids are at play. This would include fire with fats, tar or petrol. Only this type of extinguisher will put out fires involving flammable liquids. If you work with such materials, this type should be on hand. Class C This type of fire extinguisher will work on fires that involve flammable gasses. Natural gas, propane and methane fires can be put out with this type of unit. Certain chemicals are placed inside this fire extinguisher to counteract with the flammable gas chemicals. Class D This type of fire extinguisher reacts to fires involving flammable metals. This would include fires with potassium, metal, and aluminium. If you own a business that works with such materials, then this type of fire extinguisher must be on hand. Class F This extinguisher type involves fires from cooking. This could be in a domestic setting or from a deep fryer. The extinguisher also works with electrical fires. Any fires started from electrical components or appliances will react to this extinguisher type. Fires are separated based on classes due to how the fire needs to be managed. There is unfortunately not just one way that a fire can be treated. In certain scenarios, fighting a fire with the wrong class of extinguisher can see the flames grow. Take for example a cooking-related fire. With a Class F fire, if you use a water extinguisher, the fire will be exacerbated. Fire Extinguisher Types It is essential to choose the right fire extinguisher for your business needs. With so many types available, it can be confusing. A water type can be used for Class A fires. However, using this type of extinguisher requires care. Be sure to avoid any electrical components as the water can be a conductor for electricity. This type of unit will have the word WATER displayed on the side. Another type of extinguisher is AFFF Foam. This type will work for Class A and Class B fires. This type is known for helping to prevent fires from reigniting by creating a foam blanket on the fire to stop the oxygen supply. Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers are another type, one that will work for Class B and Class C fires. This type is basically ineffective for a Class A fire. ABC extinguishers are another type, one that will work for Class A, B and C fires. This one is beneficial to businesses that might be at risk of these types of fires. Additional fire extinguisher types include water mist, wet chemical and specialist dry powder. Each of these types will provide fire safety for a specific class of fires. Water mist and dry powder work for Class D while the wet chemical will work for Class F. When it comes to your business, it is important to have the right fire extinguisher on hand. Speak to a specialist today about your options.
    May 22, 2019 0
  • 21 May 2019
    Digital construction is at the forefront of the UK’s overarching Industrial Strategy. With an abundance of digital solutions available to streamline project management and workflow, which measures can be taken to assure there are sufficient skilled employees to use them and secure the construction industry’s future, writes Erica Coulehan, Content Marketing Manager at GroupBC ? Attracting younger generations At present, it is estimated that 22% of the construction industry’s current workforce is over 50 and 15% is over 60; startling figures which are indicative of the industry’s ageing workforce. Therefore, as time progresses it is becoming more crucial to identify potential avenues which will attract pools of young people to fill the emerging skills gap. According to a Redrow report, 52% of young people disregard a career in construction, either because they are simply disinterested or completely unaware of what a career in construction entails. This statistic needs explicating, as it could infer that the current construction industry skills shortage is perpetuated by the multiple misconceptions and misperceptions which have been rife in the industry for a long period of time. The industry has made significant progression over the past decade, yet the majority of young people unfortunately associate construction with muddy hi-vis vests, dust and little opportunity for development. A misrepresentation that is almost as shocking as the statistic mentioned above: what is it going to take to let young people see how enterprising, innovative and ‘digital’ the construction industry is? Technology is used throughout our everyday lives, transcending age groups. Even though the construction industry is no exception, it is still perceived as relatively low-tech. Start with secondary schools Whilst architecture university degrees are prolific in the education of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and other digital construction solutions, this trend is by no means concurrent with secondary schools. The reasons for this are not necessarily to do with a matter of choice or preference; UK schools are under pressure to offer students – at GCSE particularly – the sought-after STEM subjects which are at the foundation of an industrial, corporate world.   Even though STEM subjects open-up multiple opportunities for young people, the same sentiment applies to the construction industry. For example, digital construction is part of the UK’s wider Industrial Strategy, where the creation of software such as BIM has generated jobs requiring a high level of technical education and skills which form the base of ‘STEM careers’. An example would be the use of augmented reality across construction projects. Although the technology is in its early stages, augmented reality (AR) is radically changing the building process, described as a way to visualise, manage and coordinate data throughout a building’s lifecycle. AR creates a virtual 3D structure of a building, providing important data about each component that can be accessed pre, during and post construction. Therefore, as this working method continues to develop, complementary skillsets will have to be nurtured within client organisations to ensure the software can be operated and utilised efficiently by Operations and FM teams. Digital construction in action A few years ago the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) developed ‘Craft Your Future’, a programme for 12-14 year olds which is integrated into the computer game Minecraft. Designed to encourage young people to consider careers in city planning, construction management and more, ‘Craft Your Future’ is a virtual solution which gives young people crucial insight into the real-time operation of a construction project. Whilst ‘Craft Your Future’ may be playing a vital role in addressing the future skills gap and labour shortages, the industry in its present state has more pressing concerns. It is widely known that throughout the industry there is a reluctance to adopt digital solutions. Bodies such as the UK BIM Alliance – which GroupBC is a patron of – educate companies on the benefits of digital construction and aim to ensure a common approach amongst vendors. However, much needs to be achieved to counteract this unproductive cultural stalemate if the industry is to embrace modern methods of working, such as off-site manufacturing. Recent initiatives such as reverse mentoring programmes, offered by the likes of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering – in which the more ‘digitally-experienced’ workers are helping senior colleagues transition to digital processes – are softening the alien transition from one way of working to another. As such, these will hopefully provide them with a better understanding of the business benefits of digital technologies. The initiatives outlined above are just a small portion of the many programmes that are being developed to realise the industry’s digital future. For this reason, the industry would do well to continually develop programmes such as these, headed by inspirational industry specialists who can showcase the excellence, worth and opportunities in digital construction to people of all ages and abilities. Not only will this help close the skills gap, it will ensure construction businesses have enough highly-skilled workers to steer the construction industry into its digital chapter.
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Digital construction is at the forefront of the UK’s overarching Industrial Strategy. With an abundance of digital solutions available to streamline project management and workflow, which measures can be taken to assure there are sufficient skilled employees to use them and secure the construction industry’s future, writes Erica Coulehan, Content Marketing Manager at GroupBC ? Attracting younger generations At present, it is estimated that 22% of the construction industry’s current workforce is over 50 and 15% is over 60; startling figures which are indicative of the industry’s ageing workforce. Therefore, as time progresses it is becoming more crucial to identify potential avenues which will attract pools of young people to fill the emerging skills gap. According to a Redrow report, 52% of young people disregard a career in construction, either because they are simply disinterested or completely unaware of what a career in construction entails. This statistic needs explicating, as it could infer that the current construction industry skills shortage is perpetuated by the multiple misconceptions and misperceptions which have been rife in the industry for a long period of time. The industry has made significant progression over the past decade, yet the majority of young people unfortunately associate construction with muddy hi-vis vests, dust and little opportunity for development. A misrepresentation that is almost as shocking as the statistic mentioned above: what is it going to take to let young people see how enterprising, innovative and ‘digital’ the construction industry is? Technology is used throughout our everyday lives, transcending age groups. Even though the construction industry is no exception, it is still perceived as relatively low-tech. Start with secondary schools Whilst architecture university degrees are prolific in the education of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and other digital construction solutions, this trend is by no means concurrent with secondary schools. The reasons for this are not necessarily to do with a matter of choice or preference; UK schools are under pressure to offer students – at GCSE particularly – the sought-after STEM subjects which are at the foundation of an industrial, corporate world.   Even though STEM subjects open-up multiple opportunities for young people, the same sentiment applies to the construction industry. For example, digital construction is part of the UK’s wider Industrial Strategy, where the creation of software such as BIM has generated jobs requiring a high level of technical education and skills which form the base of ‘STEM careers’. An example would be the use of augmented reality across construction projects. Although the technology is in its early stages, augmented reality (AR) is radically changing the building process, described as a way to visualise, manage and coordinate data throughout a building’s lifecycle. AR creates a virtual 3D structure of a building, providing important data about each component that can be accessed pre, during and post construction. Therefore, as this working method continues to develop, complementary skillsets will have to be nurtured within client organisations to ensure the software can be operated and utilised efficiently by Operations and FM teams. Digital construction in action A few years ago the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) developed ‘Craft Your Future’, a programme for 12-14 year olds which is integrated into the computer game Minecraft. Designed to encourage young people to consider careers in city planning, construction management and more, ‘Craft Your Future’ is a virtual solution which gives young people crucial insight into the real-time operation of a construction project. Whilst ‘Craft Your Future’ may be playing a vital role in addressing the future skills gap and labour shortages, the industry in its present state has more pressing concerns. It is widely known that throughout the industry there is a reluctance to adopt digital solutions. Bodies such as the UK BIM Alliance – which GroupBC is a patron of – educate companies on the benefits of digital construction and aim to ensure a common approach amongst vendors. However, much needs to be achieved to counteract this unproductive cultural stalemate if the industry is to embrace modern methods of working, such as off-site manufacturing. Recent initiatives such as reverse mentoring programmes, offered by the likes of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering – in which the more ‘digitally-experienced’ workers are helping senior colleagues transition to digital processes – are softening the alien transition from one way of working to another. As such, these will hopefully provide them with a better understanding of the business benefits of digital technologies. The initiatives outlined above are just a small portion of the many programmes that are being developed to realise the industry’s digital future. For this reason, the industry would do well to continually develop programmes such as these, headed by inspirational industry specialists who can showcase the excellence, worth and opportunities in digital construction to people of all ages and abilities. Not only will this help close the skills gap, it will ensure construction businesses have enough highly-skilled workers to steer the construction industry into its digital chapter.
    May 21, 2019 0
  • 20 May 2019
    With the construction industry in need of a widespread culture change and a chain of responsibility, who will have responsibility for delivering standards of performance throughout the lifecycle of a building writes Dr Gavin Dunn, Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)? By looking at both the existing regulatory framework and performance beyond regulations we can gain a clear picture of how we design and construct buildings and how quality can better be managed. There is a radical and changing set of expectations of what people, business, government and society are looking for out of the built environment. Fundamentally, the industry hasn’t changed much in fifty years. Government has massive expectations in terms of what construction should deliver around climate change, social value and cultural integration within cities; coupled with the treasury’s need for productivity and economic growth. Homeowners have their own set of expectations and want to be comfortable in their own homes while there are also health drivers to consider. Technology and the range of materials related to the improvement of building performance have also improved considerably in the last 25 years, but sadly the industry has yet to embrace what digital transformation can offer.  All these things are being layered to create massive opportunity as well as considerable missed expectations for our sector.  As an industry we are still all too often focused on delivering building regulations as a performance standard, but expectations are way beyond that. The sector is geared up to deliver the lowest capital cost at a single point in time, but this value conversation rarely goes beyond the completion of the initial build. There are clear financial benefits to end-users, owners, occupiers and investors by not looking at lowest capital costs upfront, but the best lifecycle value. In commercial real estate, high-end markets, including central London, most buildings are built to much higher performance standards and as a result have a better fundamental economic return and the ROI (return on investment) can be tremendous through higher rents, lower running costs and higher residual values.  Asset value There needs to be a cultural shift away from lowest capital cost, but unless a client’s behaviour changes, professionals will always cow-tow to getting the work. The clients don’t spend the money because the market won’t put a value on it. The flipside is the market will not put a value on it because it does not trust they will get the outcome. One of the reasons they don’t trust the outcome is that it is not the norm and no one is doing it. Therefore, there is no danger to prove the benefit, this creates a vicious circle. Standards compliance, by definition, engenders and builds trust in outcomes and the confidence a certain level of performance will be achieved. Consider compliance as more than building regulations; it is compliance against a range of standards that meets the end-user’s needs. It is designing to a high performance and structured around building what we design. We need to be designing with the end-user in mind and having the discipline to check the variations and documentation before handing it over so that the future value isn’t lost. Enabling quality is, therefore about, the critical flow of information between the different parties over the lifecycle of the project and the building. It’s also where the digitalisation of that process becomes an enabler to drive quality. Information must be independently validated and needs to belong to the asset, not the individual or organisations. Competency of professionals In a fragmented and siloed construction world, there needs to be an awareness which is much broader than the technical aspects. Sadly, people either don’t have a viewpoint on the wider impacts such as climate change, future values and health implications, or if they do, they don’t feel empowered to use it in a constructive way. Similarly with the concerns raised by the Hackitt review; many professionals completely agree with the sentiment, indeed many claim to have shared such concerns for years, but have not been able to act on them.  In terms of the future, the continued professionalisation of construction management, and site supervision, as well as, some of critical trades will be essential, but so will technology with information becoming more of a driver on site. The way buildings are managed and operated, both legally and technically, will change. The greater professionalisation and automation of construction will go hand-in-hand.  Professionals are going to have to demonstrate their skillsets more overtly and more regularly, particularly if they are working on high-risk projects. We, therefore, need to adopt a better process that allows us to identify those individuals who have providence and precision, and the necessary skills to do the job.    If we can move beyond the single-minded chasing of lowest capital cost to one of best value, then we can begin to see a world where everything else will start to change.  This will create a wide range of opportunities and economic benefits, and professionals will need to respond.  The idea of competence will then have changed. Visit www.cbuilde.com.
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • With the construction industry in need of a widespread culture change and a chain of responsibility, who will have responsibility for delivering standards of performance throughout the lifecycle of a building writes Dr Gavin Dunn, Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)? By looking at both the existing regulatory framework and performance beyond regulations we can gain a clear picture of how we design and construct buildings and how quality can better be managed. There is a radical and changing set of expectations of what people, business, government and society are looking for out of the built environment. Fundamentally, the industry hasn’t changed much in fifty years. Government has massive expectations in terms of what construction should deliver around climate change, social value and cultural integration within cities; coupled with the treasury’s need for productivity and economic growth. Homeowners have their own set of expectations and want to be comfortable in their own homes while there are also health drivers to consider. Technology and the range of materials related to the improvement of building performance have also improved considerably in the last 25 years, but sadly the industry has yet to embrace what digital transformation can offer.  All these things are being layered to create massive opportunity as well as considerable missed expectations for our sector.  As an industry we are still all too often focused on delivering building regulations as a performance standard, but expectations are way beyond that. The sector is geared up to deliver the lowest capital cost at a single point in time, but this value conversation rarely goes beyond the completion of the initial build. There are clear financial benefits to end-users, owners, occupiers and investors by not looking at lowest capital costs upfront, but the best lifecycle value. In commercial real estate, high-end markets, including central London, most buildings are built to much higher performance standards and as a result have a better fundamental economic return and the ROI (return on investment) can be tremendous through higher rents, lower running costs and higher residual values.  Asset value There needs to be a cultural shift away from lowest capital cost, but unless a client’s behaviour changes, professionals will always cow-tow to getting the work. The clients don’t spend the money because the market won’t put a value on it. The flipside is the market will not put a value on it because it does not trust they will get the outcome. One of the reasons they don’t trust the outcome is that it is not the norm and no one is doing it. Therefore, there is no danger to prove the benefit, this creates a vicious circle. Standards compliance, by definition, engenders and builds trust in outcomes and the confidence a certain level of performance will be achieved. Consider compliance as more than building regulations; it is compliance against a range of standards that meets the end-user’s needs. It is designing to a high performance and structured around building what we design. We need to be designing with the end-user in mind and having the discipline to check the variations and documentation before handing it over so that the future value isn’t lost. Enabling quality is, therefore about, the critical flow of information between the different parties over the lifecycle of the project and the building. It’s also where the digitalisation of that process becomes an enabler to drive quality. Information must be independently validated and needs to belong to the asset, not the individual or organisations. Competency of professionals In a fragmented and siloed construction world, there needs to be an awareness which is much broader than the technical aspects. Sadly, people either don’t have a viewpoint on the wider impacts such as climate change, future values and health implications, or if they do, they don’t feel empowered to use it in a constructive way. Similarly with the concerns raised by the Hackitt review; many professionals completely agree with the sentiment, indeed many claim to have shared such concerns for years, but have not been able to act on them.  In terms of the future, the continued professionalisation of construction management, and site supervision, as well as, some of critical trades will be essential, but so will technology with information becoming more of a driver on site. The way buildings are managed and operated, both legally and technically, will change. The greater professionalisation and automation of construction will go hand-in-hand.  Professionals are going to have to demonstrate their skillsets more overtly and more regularly, particularly if they are working on high-risk projects. We, therefore, need to adopt a better process that allows us to identify those individuals who have providence and precision, and the necessary skills to do the job.    If we can move beyond the single-minded chasing of lowest capital cost to one of best value, then we can begin to see a world where everything else will start to change.  This will create a wide range of opportunities and economic benefits, and professionals will need to respond.  The idea of competence will then have changed. Visit www.cbuilde.com.
    May 20, 2019 0
  • 13 May 2019
    In the closing weeks of January 2019, the first two parts of a new international Building Information Modelling (BIM) standard were published. Providing the framework for managing information on collaborative projects, and forming part of ISO 19650, the frameworks cover areas including concepts, principles and asset delivery writes Stuart Bell, Sales and Marketing Director at Group BC. But although these newly international standards are set to refine the construction industry’s approach to work, what kind of obstacles are in the way of their adoption? What traction will the standards have in an industry which is already falling behind in terms of the education and adoption of supporting processes and technology? Undoubtedly, the UK’s current PAS 1192 suite has provided a solid framework for BIM Level 2 adoption in the UK. The UK is a trusted authority with over three years’ experience working to the PAS 1192 and is recognised globally as being at the forefront of Building Information Modelling. The recently released standard, BS EN ISO 19650, is an evolution of the PAS 1192 suite, except the new standard can now be adopted internationally, providing a common term of reference for approaches to design, construction and building operations. During a period of Brexit uncertainty, does this new International standard provide further opportunity for UK Construction Plc to export our skills and knowledge overseas? The international opportunity UK construction businesses that are working with or targeting overseas clients and project work should embrace the move towards the ISO. Given the maturity of UK BIM adoption to date, you could argue British companies are best placed to advise overseas clients and be the information management lead on projects. A universally accepted industry ‘language’ and ‘process approach’ (that has evolved from the level 2 standards) means less will be lost in translation and the time to value for clients on the benefits of BIM delivery approaches will be greatly increased. What are the implications? However, whilst the new ISO is set to refine building standards, some are concerned the changes will only cause further polarisation between the early adopters who fully embrace BIM and those that are still catching up, uncertain of the application and benefits of BIM to their businesses. It could be argued that large tier one consultants and contractors have stolen a march over SME’s in terms of BIM Level 2 adoption, being better placed to secure positions on public sector frameworks and having the available finances to invest in training and technology. Inevitably, as the pace of technology innovation and standard’s evolution accelerates and outstrips the pace of industry’s digital transformation, some businesses are at risk of being left behind. Evidence suggests that the worst adopted are businesses in the construction supply chain that are responsible for a significant proportion of the physical construction work. For this reason, if we want to deliver real transformational change, we must ensure all BIM (systems and technology) is accessible to all. Education is the key Understanding the business case for change, and educating companies on the benefits of process driven technology is now fundamental. To increase adoption, continual education is the key to recognising the benefits of BIM and the wider change it will deliver to clients and the supply chain alike. BIM is not a technology or a solution - it is a holistic approach to collaborative working that drives benefits to all project participants. It provides a standardised framework to monitor performance across a built asset’s entire lifecycle, from initial design, through construction to real-time operation. It ensures data is consistently captured, approved and retained to support better decision making at every stage of the capital phase as well as operational occupancy/asset use. Thus, the benefits of this approach must be articulated with this in mind. BIM shouldn’t be viewed as another tax on the industry borne out of the maintenance of standards and regulatory controls; it is a real enabler for change for a marginal industry that has historically been slow to adapt and evolve. Educating companies on the standards are equally as important as BIM itself. As a matter of course, clients want to access trusted, reliable and secure digital information regarding their physical assets. Adopting standards ensures that contractors, consultants and lead designers can offer their clients consistency in delivery approach and, with that consistency, a better designed and delivered product. At the same time, those companies embracing the standards have an opportunity to develop competitive differentiation and better position themselves to win more work. At a time where the industry is under enormous pressure to deliver projects to stringent affordability criteria, attain carbon targets and meet tight construction deadlines, solutions which drive increased efficiency and quality are a must. ISO 19650 is a more unified, transferable standard which will help companies adopt a straightforward approach to managing information on digital platforms and across international boundaries. However, whilst the new standard provides a solid framework for improved project and asset information management, there needs to be continual education to encourage industry-wide BIM adoption from large tier one contractors and consultants down to regional trade contractors. In doing so, we will see a more significant step change in approach and delivered value. Only then might the construction industry be viewed as progressive rather than polarised and primitive in terms of its technology adoption. Visit: https://www.groupbc.com/
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In the closing weeks of January 2019, the first two parts of a new international Building Information Modelling (BIM) standard were published. Providing the framework for managing information on collaborative projects, and forming part of ISO 19650, the frameworks cover areas including concepts, principles and asset delivery writes Stuart Bell, Sales and Marketing Director at Group BC. But although these newly international standards are set to refine the construction industry’s approach to work, what kind of obstacles are in the way of their adoption? What traction will the standards have in an industry which is already falling behind in terms of the education and adoption of supporting processes and technology? Undoubtedly, the UK’s current PAS 1192 suite has provided a solid framework for BIM Level 2 adoption in the UK. The UK is a trusted authority with over three years’ experience working to the PAS 1192 and is recognised globally as being at the forefront of Building Information Modelling. The recently released standard, BS EN ISO 19650, is an evolution of the PAS 1192 suite, except the new standard can now be adopted internationally, providing a common term of reference for approaches to design, construction and building operations. During a period of Brexit uncertainty, does this new International standard provide further opportunity for UK Construction Plc to export our skills and knowledge overseas? The international opportunity UK construction businesses that are working with or targeting overseas clients and project work should embrace the move towards the ISO. Given the maturity of UK BIM adoption to date, you could argue British companies are best placed to advise overseas clients and be the information management lead on projects. A universally accepted industry ‘language’ and ‘process approach’ (that has evolved from the level 2 standards) means less will be lost in translation and the time to value for clients on the benefits of BIM delivery approaches will be greatly increased. What are the implications? However, whilst the new ISO is set to refine building standards, some are concerned the changes will only cause further polarisation between the early adopters who fully embrace BIM and those that are still catching up, uncertain of the application and benefits of BIM to their businesses. It could be argued that large tier one consultants and contractors have stolen a march over SME’s in terms of BIM Level 2 adoption, being better placed to secure positions on public sector frameworks and having the available finances to invest in training and technology. Inevitably, as the pace of technology innovation and standard’s evolution accelerates and outstrips the pace of industry’s digital transformation, some businesses are at risk of being left behind. Evidence suggests that the worst adopted are businesses in the construction supply chain that are responsible for a significant proportion of the physical construction work. For this reason, if we want to deliver real transformational change, we must ensure all BIM (systems and technology) is accessible to all. Education is the key Understanding the business case for change, and educating companies on the benefits of process driven technology is now fundamental. To increase adoption, continual education is the key to recognising the benefits of BIM and the wider change it will deliver to clients and the supply chain alike. BIM is not a technology or a solution - it is a holistic approach to collaborative working that drives benefits to all project participants. It provides a standardised framework to monitor performance across a built asset’s entire lifecycle, from initial design, through construction to real-time operation. It ensures data is consistently captured, approved and retained to support better decision making at every stage of the capital phase as well as operational occupancy/asset use. Thus, the benefits of this approach must be articulated with this in mind. BIM shouldn’t be viewed as another tax on the industry borne out of the maintenance of standards and regulatory controls; it is a real enabler for change for a marginal industry that has historically been slow to adapt and evolve. Educating companies on the standards are equally as important as BIM itself. As a matter of course, clients want to access trusted, reliable and secure digital information regarding their physical assets. Adopting standards ensures that contractors, consultants and lead designers can offer their clients consistency in delivery approach and, with that consistency, a better designed and delivered product. At the same time, those companies embracing the standards have an opportunity to develop competitive differentiation and better position themselves to win more work. At a time where the industry is under enormous pressure to deliver projects to stringent affordability criteria, attain carbon targets and meet tight construction deadlines, solutions which drive increased efficiency and quality are a must. ISO 19650 is a more unified, transferable standard which will help companies adopt a straightforward approach to managing information on digital platforms and across international boundaries. However, whilst the new standard provides a solid framework for improved project and asset information management, there needs to be continual education to encourage industry-wide BIM adoption from large tier one contractors and consultants down to regional trade contractors. In doing so, we will see a more significant step change in approach and delivered value. Only then might the construction industry be viewed as progressive rather than polarised and primitive in terms of its technology adoption. Visit: https://www.groupbc.com/
    May 13, 2019 0
  • 10 May 2019
    Construction is a very perplexing business where many different stakeholders, tools and equipment are involved in every step along the way. In that sense, it comes as no surprise that the industry is continuously struggling with low productivity, budget overruns and costly delays. The emergence of digital technologies in the course of the last two decades has started to change things for the better but there is still a long way to go before we can claim that construction has managed to become fully-digitised. Lack of trust on contractual relations and the undisputed power of habit are two of the main factors which hinder the digital transformation of the building sector so far. It goes without saying that all the parameters described above have a strong impact on the plan of every construction project. Real-time communication is probably the number one challenge as many project agents end up to work on outdated versions of the plan due to the lack of a simple way to share and receive the latest updates from the site. The problem is that every construction project is a chain of tasks, specifications and deadlines. Even the slightest alteration on the programme (eg. a two-day delay on the delivery of on-site materials) can bring a project weeks or months behind the initial schedule resulting in considerable financial and resource losses. Keeping all that in mind, we did our research and present to you below five powerful tips that will help you stay on top of your plan in construction: 1. Invest in standardisation Adding clarity to all the systems and processes that you are using both on the field and the office is extremely important for your effort to keep your project under control. The earlier you implement such an approach the easier it will be for every member of your team to follow the agreed plan. Standardisation in a project can be achieved in a number of ways. For example, using the same type of equipment in every project of following the same process when it comes to reporting from the field can help you monitor easier if everything goes according to the plan. Especially if this process has been replicated in previous projects, you will already have some substantial benchmarks which can effortlessly show you whether there are any threats for the smooth development of your project. Given the increasing momentum of prefabrication and modularisation, it is quickly understandable that investing in standardisation can have a positive influence on the future development of your company, too. 2. Implement software early in the process Once all your processes are in place, it’s time to implement software in your project. There are many types of digital solutions where you can choose from. In any case, there is one parameter that you should always consider a must. That is the ability of your new tool to interact. It is of paramount importance that all project agents can effortlessly exchange updates, documents or photos from the site. On top of that, all members of your team should have access to real-time overview of your project’s progress. The existence of a single source of truth can make a big difference for the development of your project as it will decrease misunderstandings to a great extent. Of course, the implementation of a new digital tool can be received with skepticism in the beginning so you want to start the roll out as early as possible in order to give your workers time to work with the tool and explore the features and possibilities that it offers. 3. Learn by your data One of the most valuable services that construction software can provide to you in order to stay on top of your plan is data. These precious pieces of information can reveal a lot about the progress of your project and warn you on time if your programme isn’t going as expected. Moreover, data can be the groundwork on which you can build your future tasks and projects as it can point out the areas where you should improve. Data can also play a decisive role in resolving disputes on and off site offering an objective representation of what’s happening in the project. In other words, a data-driven plan equals to higher accountability and more precise overview of the construction process. In the long run, this can be the key for a healthy project with low rework rates, increased productivity and a good connection between the office and the construction site. 4. Hold regular meetings with your team Construction software can help a lot with bridging the gap between the boardroom and the field but this doesn’t mean that you should remain proactive and willing to meet all members of your team on a regular basis. The best way to achieve this is by holding frequent update meetings with your team. These meetings should be the time where all your co-workers can voice their concerns, discuss any problems that they might face and ask for advice. In the same sense, it’s a good opportunity for you to provide guidance and give constructive feedback. This exchange of updates and opinions can eventually result in a better coordinated project where everyone remains at the same page and feels part of the team. Such an approach will greatly increase your chances for a successful project with no delays and clear communication. 5. Replicate the process in future projects In the long term, being able to replicate the same process in your future projects is the safest way to remain on top of your plan in construction. Through repetition, the development of a project can become much faster and efficiently. Everyone will have a good grasp of what it is expected by them and how they should complete their tasks. Without a doubt, this will lead to a smoother project process with fewer miscommunications and substantially less waste. In addition, due to the high standardisation of the entire procedure it will be much faster for your team to detect mistakes or areas which could hinder the progress of your project. Final word Wrapping it all up, staying on top of your plan in construction is always a challenge. Nevertheless, with the right processes and systems in place it can be much easier to retain control over multiple projects and connect the site to the office in real time eliminating budget overruns and project delays. About the author: Anastasios Koutsogiannis is Content Marketing Manager at LetsBuild (formerly GenieBelt).    
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Construction is a very perplexing business where many different stakeholders, tools and equipment are involved in every step along the way. In that sense, it comes as no surprise that the industry is continuously struggling with low productivity, budget overruns and costly delays. The emergence of digital technologies in the course of the last two decades has started to change things for the better but there is still a long way to go before we can claim that construction has managed to become fully-digitised. Lack of trust on contractual relations and the undisputed power of habit are two of the main factors which hinder the digital transformation of the building sector so far. It goes without saying that all the parameters described above have a strong impact on the plan of every construction project. Real-time communication is probably the number one challenge as many project agents end up to work on outdated versions of the plan due to the lack of a simple way to share and receive the latest updates from the site. The problem is that every construction project is a chain of tasks, specifications and deadlines. Even the slightest alteration on the programme (eg. a two-day delay on the delivery of on-site materials) can bring a project weeks or months behind the initial schedule resulting in considerable financial and resource losses. Keeping all that in mind, we did our research and present to you below five powerful tips that will help you stay on top of your plan in construction: 1. Invest in standardisation Adding clarity to all the systems and processes that you are using both on the field and the office is extremely important for your effort to keep your project under control. The earlier you implement such an approach the easier it will be for every member of your team to follow the agreed plan. Standardisation in a project can be achieved in a number of ways. For example, using the same type of equipment in every project of following the same process when it comes to reporting from the field can help you monitor easier if everything goes according to the plan. Especially if this process has been replicated in previous projects, you will already have some substantial benchmarks which can effortlessly show you whether there are any threats for the smooth development of your project. Given the increasing momentum of prefabrication and modularisation, it is quickly understandable that investing in standardisation can have a positive influence on the future development of your company, too. 2. Implement software early in the process Once all your processes are in place, it’s time to implement software in your project. There are many types of digital solutions where you can choose from. In any case, there is one parameter that you should always consider a must. That is the ability of your new tool to interact. It is of paramount importance that all project agents can effortlessly exchange updates, documents or photos from the site. On top of that, all members of your team should have access to real-time overview of your project’s progress. The existence of a single source of truth can make a big difference for the development of your project as it will decrease misunderstandings to a great extent. Of course, the implementation of a new digital tool can be received with skepticism in the beginning so you want to start the roll out as early as possible in order to give your workers time to work with the tool and explore the features and possibilities that it offers. 3. Learn by your data One of the most valuable services that construction software can provide to you in order to stay on top of your plan is data. These precious pieces of information can reveal a lot about the progress of your project and warn you on time if your programme isn’t going as expected. Moreover, data can be the groundwork on which you can build your future tasks and projects as it can point out the areas where you should improve. Data can also play a decisive role in resolving disputes on and off site offering an objective representation of what’s happening in the project. In other words, a data-driven plan equals to higher accountability and more precise overview of the construction process. In the long run, this can be the key for a healthy project with low rework rates, increased productivity and a good connection between the office and the construction site. 4. Hold regular meetings with your team Construction software can help a lot with bridging the gap between the boardroom and the field but this doesn’t mean that you should remain proactive and willing to meet all members of your team on a regular basis. The best way to achieve this is by holding frequent update meetings with your team. These meetings should be the time where all your co-workers can voice their concerns, discuss any problems that they might face and ask for advice. In the same sense, it’s a good opportunity for you to provide guidance and give constructive feedback. This exchange of updates and opinions can eventually result in a better coordinated project where everyone remains at the same page and feels part of the team. Such an approach will greatly increase your chances for a successful project with no delays and clear communication. 5. Replicate the process in future projects In the long term, being able to replicate the same process in your future projects is the safest way to remain on top of your plan in construction. Through repetition, the development of a project can become much faster and efficiently. Everyone will have a good grasp of what it is expected by them and how they should complete their tasks. Without a doubt, this will lead to a smoother project process with fewer miscommunications and substantially less waste. In addition, due to the high standardisation of the entire procedure it will be much faster for your team to detect mistakes or areas which could hinder the progress of your project. Final word Wrapping it all up, staying on top of your plan in construction is always a challenge. Nevertheless, with the right processes and systems in place it can be much easier to retain control over multiple projects and connect the site to the office in real time eliminating budget overruns and project delays. About the author: Anastasios Koutsogiannis is Content Marketing Manager at LetsBuild (formerly GenieBelt).    
    May 10, 2019 0
  • 10 May 2019
    Even though every business operates in a different way, in most cases, the commercial office has transformed into a contemporary working environment where employees no longer sit in the same seat for eight hours a day writes Genghis Akay at Planet Partitioning. Instead people are more mobile; transitioning between office locations on an hourly basis depending on the nature of the tasks at hand. In part, this change has been fuelled by the advent of agile working. With the agile workplace leading to changes in interior design, how can designers create workspaces which strike the fine chord between open, collaborative zones and more secluded areas where confidential meetings can take place? Agile working: the basics The definition of agile working is broad and wide-ranging. It exists as both an ideology and a practical approach to working, and can pertain to either flexible working or co-working zones within office areas. One element that is for certain is that agile working has been steadily on the increase over the past few years. Made fashionable by the likes of global co-working organisation, We Work, agile working not only enables employees to be flexible, it avoids long-term lease commitments and reinforces a working culture based on collaboration and community. As agile working is now a common component of the way businesses are run, it is changing the way contemporary commercial office spaces are designed and occupied. And with more and more companies requiring design schemes which enhance the employee health, satisfaction and productivity that agile working enables, there are now greater demands on design companies to satisfy these needs. Creating co-working spaces As indicated above, agile working is an umbrella topic housing a multitude of different ideas and methods. However, the strands of agile working relevant to designers creating office spaces include flexible working and co-working spaces. Flexible working is itself a large topic, but can be commonly interpreted as a style of working which allows employees to move to different locations; to either squeeze in a doctor’s appointment or to feel more motivated in a secluded area. Conversely, co-working spaces are mostly to do with improving cross-collaboration and communication between teams. It could be a collaborative bench space, a breakout space with soft seating for brainstorms or relaxing, or a touchdown space which people passing through can use as a base to log-on and recharge. Either way, each space should be designed to suit the different tasks employees undertake. Glass is the answer When designing the layout of an office, it’s imperative to get the balance right between collaborative and open agile spaces and the more enclosed quieter areas which give people their own territory. Glass office partitioning enables a design team to create a layout that provides privacy without compromising flexible working. The use of glass partitioning, and glass doors which can offer exceptional acoustic performance, gives the designer the tools to create secure areas which can be used for sensitive or confidential discussions, still offering visibility. These partition panels can also be tinted, with special films designed to ensure screen privacy without jeopardising the overall flow of the space. Excellent spatial planning is crucial in co-working spaces, where employees are filtering in and out throughout the working day. Due to this high amount of traffic, co-working spaces should be designed to be secure and acoustically sound. To maintain an open, agile aesthetic without compromising safety, high-performance glass sliding doors are great design considerations that hit the mark on visuals and practicalities. With a soft, soundless open-and-close function which maintains acoustic comfort, glass sliding doors are elegant, effortless design solutions perfect for agile working environments where user-comfort and maximising usable space is fundamental. Furthermore, full height, demountable glazed partitions can be used to create small booths or informal meeting rooms for the optimum co-working environment. What is more, demountable glass partitions can be easily removed, which in turn reduces the cost implications for future alterations. A staple of modern office design, the industrial-look has swept through commercial co-working spaces, creating spaces which employees feel motivated to work in. Considering employees move to different working environments as a way to boost productivity, it is crucial to have an attractive design motif which inspires them to work.   Agile working is here to stay; therefore it is crucial for designers to create office environments which complement this approach to work. By selecting pioneering design solutions such as glass partitioning, companies ensure they devise agile working environments which hit the right note when it comes to elegance and function.   Visit www.planetpartitioning.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Even though every business operates in a different way, in most cases, the commercial office has transformed into a contemporary working environment where employees no longer sit in the same seat for eight hours a day writes Genghis Akay at Planet Partitioning. Instead people are more mobile; transitioning between office locations on an hourly basis depending on the nature of the tasks at hand. In part, this change has been fuelled by the advent of agile working. With the agile workplace leading to changes in interior design, how can designers create workspaces which strike the fine chord between open, collaborative zones and more secluded areas where confidential meetings can take place? Agile working: the basics The definition of agile working is broad and wide-ranging. It exists as both an ideology and a practical approach to working, and can pertain to either flexible working or co-working zones within office areas. One element that is for certain is that agile working has been steadily on the increase over the past few years. Made fashionable by the likes of global co-working organisation, We Work, agile working not only enables employees to be flexible, it avoids long-term lease commitments and reinforces a working culture based on collaboration and community. As agile working is now a common component of the way businesses are run, it is changing the way contemporary commercial office spaces are designed and occupied. And with more and more companies requiring design schemes which enhance the employee health, satisfaction and productivity that agile working enables, there are now greater demands on design companies to satisfy these needs. Creating co-working spaces As indicated above, agile working is an umbrella topic housing a multitude of different ideas and methods. However, the strands of agile working relevant to designers creating office spaces include flexible working and co-working spaces. Flexible working is itself a large topic, but can be commonly interpreted as a style of working which allows employees to move to different locations; to either squeeze in a doctor’s appointment or to feel more motivated in a secluded area. Conversely, co-working spaces are mostly to do with improving cross-collaboration and communication between teams. It could be a collaborative bench space, a breakout space with soft seating for brainstorms or relaxing, or a touchdown space which people passing through can use as a base to log-on and recharge. Either way, each space should be designed to suit the different tasks employees undertake. Glass is the answer When designing the layout of an office, it’s imperative to get the balance right between collaborative and open agile spaces and the more enclosed quieter areas which give people their own territory. Glass office partitioning enables a design team to create a layout that provides privacy without compromising flexible working. The use of glass partitioning, and glass doors which can offer exceptional acoustic performance, gives the designer the tools to create secure areas which can be used for sensitive or confidential discussions, still offering visibility. These partition panels can also be tinted, with special films designed to ensure screen privacy without jeopardising the overall flow of the space. Excellent spatial planning is crucial in co-working spaces, where employees are filtering in and out throughout the working day. Due to this high amount of traffic, co-working spaces should be designed to be secure and acoustically sound. To maintain an open, agile aesthetic without compromising safety, high-performance glass sliding doors are great design considerations that hit the mark on visuals and practicalities. With a soft, soundless open-and-close function which maintains acoustic comfort, glass sliding doors are elegant, effortless design solutions perfect for agile working environments where user-comfort and maximising usable space is fundamental. Furthermore, full height, demountable glazed partitions can be used to create small booths or informal meeting rooms for the optimum co-working environment. What is more, demountable glass partitions can be easily removed, which in turn reduces the cost implications for future alterations. A staple of modern office design, the industrial-look has swept through commercial co-working spaces, creating spaces which employees feel motivated to work in. Considering employees move to different working environments as a way to boost productivity, it is crucial to have an attractive design motif which inspires them to work.   Agile working is here to stay; therefore it is crucial for designers to create office environments which complement this approach to work. By selecting pioneering design solutions such as glass partitioning, companies ensure they devise agile working environments which hit the right note when it comes to elegance and function.   Visit www.planetpartitioning.co.uk
    May 10, 2019 0
  • 03 May 2019
    There is one major factor, the elephant that is constantly in the room that dictates almost everything that happens in the construction industry – it is called the lowest possible price. It is frequently responsible for shoddy workmanship, poor building materials and more failures than anything else. It blights the construction industry, has done for decades and in spite of many good intentions, little has changed over the years and say Proteus, one of the country’s leading waterproofing companies, there are few signs that it ever will. Every part of our business is price led and this particularly applies to roofing and waterproofing – a vital component of every building, but frequently the poor relation, possibly because much of its work is mostly out of sight and not considered quite as glamorous or as cosmetic as other parts of a building such as cladding or balconies. Without the intervention of a strong architect or a contractor unwilling to compromise, cheap will nearly always win the day. Some 80% of all specifications are changed before buildings are completed with the phrase “or similar” constantly used as justification for changing products or systems. The fact is – or similar – does not quite cut it on every occasion. There is little policing or testing of substituted products prior to installation, just a strong acceptance that the chosen alternative will do the same job and will do it just as well. Most of the time, that will be the case, but there have been many examples where projects have failed because the alternative failed to match up. Nearly every construction professional will testify and give examples where cheaper alternatives have not offered the same longevity or performance, are often more difficult or less user friendly to install, which in turn, totally negates any upfront cost savings. Proteus Waterproofing, like most companies in this sector of the roofing market, offer value for money lower cost systems for buildings where a reduced performance is more than acceptable. However, their experience has shown that some customers are still prepared to accept lower cost alternatives even when the project demands that they should be trading up to take into account increased longevity and performance. A small increase in material costs can make a huge difference, but it could then be the choice of losing that project to a competitor if the building owner or specialist contractor is determined to go down the cheapest route. Yes, the building will be waterproof for 10 or more years but it could have been much longer with a better high performance product. Built up felt systems are a classic example of this. Choose a top of the range elastomeric, professionally installed and it can deliver up to 40 years or more of useful life. Start to come down the range and you begin to lose that performance Proteus Waterproofing say they will always recommend the best system for the job and like everyone else are very aware of budget constraints but often there is so little in price to consider, especially when looked at over the whole life of the building that it seems wrong to go for cheaper alternatives. You cannot really blame the manufacturers or contractors. These are the ground rules where the lowest possible price is still the system of choice. Will it ever change – sadly no – unless there is draconian new legislation and with Grenfell still fresh in everyone’s mind – that may yet happen. Visit: www.proteuswaterproofing.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • There is one major factor, the elephant that is constantly in the room that dictates almost everything that happens in the construction industry – it is called the lowest possible price. It is frequently responsible for shoddy workmanship, poor building materials and more failures than anything else. It blights the construction industry, has done for decades and in spite of many good intentions, little has changed over the years and say Proteus, one of the country’s leading waterproofing companies, there are few signs that it ever will. Every part of our business is price led and this particularly applies to roofing and waterproofing – a vital component of every building, but frequently the poor relation, possibly because much of its work is mostly out of sight and not considered quite as glamorous or as cosmetic as other parts of a building such as cladding or balconies. Without the intervention of a strong architect or a contractor unwilling to compromise, cheap will nearly always win the day. Some 80% of all specifications are changed before buildings are completed with the phrase “or similar” constantly used as justification for changing products or systems. The fact is – or similar – does not quite cut it on every occasion. There is little policing or testing of substituted products prior to installation, just a strong acceptance that the chosen alternative will do the same job and will do it just as well. Most of the time, that will be the case, but there have been many examples where projects have failed because the alternative failed to match up. Nearly every construction professional will testify and give examples where cheaper alternatives have not offered the same longevity or performance, are often more difficult or less user friendly to install, which in turn, totally negates any upfront cost savings. Proteus Waterproofing, like most companies in this sector of the roofing market, offer value for money lower cost systems for buildings where a reduced performance is more than acceptable. However, their experience has shown that some customers are still prepared to accept lower cost alternatives even when the project demands that they should be trading up to take into account increased longevity and performance. A small increase in material costs can make a huge difference, but it could then be the choice of losing that project to a competitor if the building owner or specialist contractor is determined to go down the cheapest route. Yes, the building will be waterproof for 10 or more years but it could have been much longer with a better high performance product. Built up felt systems are a classic example of this. Choose a top of the range elastomeric, professionally installed and it can deliver up to 40 years or more of useful life. Start to come down the range and you begin to lose that performance Proteus Waterproofing say they will always recommend the best system for the job and like everyone else are very aware of budget constraints but often there is so little in price to consider, especially when looked at over the whole life of the building that it seems wrong to go for cheaper alternatives. You cannot really blame the manufacturers or contractors. These are the ground rules where the lowest possible price is still the system of choice. Will it ever change – sadly no – unless there is draconian new legislation and with Grenfell still fresh in everyone’s mind – that may yet happen. Visit: www.proteuswaterproofing.co.uk
    May 03, 2019 0
  • 01 May 2019
    The UK’s media well documents the housing crisis we have dealt with in recent years. However, could the problem be solved by the rise of garden villages? Arbordeck, suppliers of plastic decking, take a look at the regional implications which these villages could have and what these villages could look like for new buyers. What is a garden village? The term garden village represents a brownfield land that has been used to create housing for new communities. They are usually smaller projects and can contain from 1,500 to 10,000 homes. Often, garden villages have their own facilities — such as schools, shops and transport stations — which makes this type of living space perfect for families and first-time buyers looking to lead the picture-perfect life. New communities living here establish their own identity and rules, meaning there is no definitive way to describe garden villages. However, there are a few ways to identify them. They must be a settlement outside of an existing town or city and not closely attached. The British government is currently supporting 17 locations around the country, with £6 million expected to go towards funding 14 new garden villages and £1.4 million to support three garden towns (which are similar to garden villages, only larger). What are the regional implications? With garden towns and villages supplying Britain with over 50,000 homes, there will be a rise in the need of manual work due to large development projects. This will help to boost the economy, as it will provide people with more jobs in the area. Also, as people will be buying new homes, these regions will become more populated. There is a popular misconception that this will put a strain on the resources of current residents nearby, such as school places for their children and obtaining doctor appointments. However, this is not the case, as garden villages are built with their own facilities including schools and general practices. In turn, this will also create more jobs in the area of development. Garden villages are usually built with their own transport links for easy commuting in and out of the area, although more traffic on the roads could be a problem. What will these garden villages look like? Due to garden villages being built on brownfield areas, there will be a lot of greenery in the vicinity of the new builds and this will include garden spaces of their own.  With everything looking brand new, there will be a need for updated garden furniture and other outdoor products — but what are the current trends? One such trend is the increased popularity of hot tubs, whether you’re renting or buying. Over the past few years, it seems like more and more people are purchasing hot tubs for their gardens. In North Wales, a businessman has even had to double the size of his hot tub showroom this year to keep up with demand! These are a great addition to any garden, especially if you have a rural view of the surrounding countryside. According to Andrew Hartley, research director at market research company, AMA, garden buildings including sunhouses have “high potential growth” in the industry. Sunhouses are great for maximising your garden space and creating an extra room for your family without having to pay for an expensive house extension. Typically, these are small and easy to fit into your garden with enough room for a few chairs and a table to unwind with drinks and food. Sunhouses infuse your garden with character and are excellent refuges for reading, relaxing and socialising, so these are ideal for new garden village homes. Another big trend in gardening currently is having an artificial lawn. Slashing the time we have to spend maintaining our outdoor spaces and beautiful to look at from season to season, fake grass is a high-demand gardening commodity. If you’ve decked much of your back garden, you can add colour by creating a small space of artificial grass on the ground level, or putting a full artificial lawn at the front of your home that you don’t have to keep weeding and watering.  Likewise, lighting is another outdoor feature that’s big for people setting up new homes. From hanging Chinese lanterns between decking posts to placing LED fairy lights into vintage jam jars, how you illuminate your garden is going to be in focus. Speaking of vintage, garden furniture is set to head back in time when it comes to design and textures. We’ll see more natural, traditional materials used for tables and chairs — such as teak and rattan — to create a more rustic look, as well as a rise in woven and crochet techniques for the retro effect. Needless to say, garden village homeowners will have a lot of inspiration for their green spaces. With the rise of garden villages set to alleviate the pressures of the housing crisis in the UK, it’s potentially a huge boost for families, communities and the entire UK economy, even though there are a few points for concern. Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/02/new-garden-towns-villages-provide-200000-homes-ease-housing http://www.dailymail.co.uk/property/article-4087946/What-garden-village-welcome-one-nearby.html https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2517967/garden-villages-towns-what-where-why https://www.insidermedia.com/insider/wales/hot-tub-company-doubles-in-size-with-new-showroom https://www.chesneys.co.uk/outdoor/heat-collection/the-heat-collection-of-barbecue-heaters/heat-500
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The UK’s media well documents the housing crisis we have dealt with in recent years. However, could the problem be solved by the rise of garden villages? Arbordeck, suppliers of plastic decking, take a look at the regional implications which these villages could have and what these villages could look like for new buyers. What is a garden village? The term garden village represents a brownfield land that has been used to create housing for new communities. They are usually smaller projects and can contain from 1,500 to 10,000 homes. Often, garden villages have their own facilities — such as schools, shops and transport stations — which makes this type of living space perfect for families and first-time buyers looking to lead the picture-perfect life. New communities living here establish their own identity and rules, meaning there is no definitive way to describe garden villages. However, there are a few ways to identify them. They must be a settlement outside of an existing town or city and not closely attached. The British government is currently supporting 17 locations around the country, with £6 million expected to go towards funding 14 new garden villages and £1.4 million to support three garden towns (which are similar to garden villages, only larger). What are the regional implications? With garden towns and villages supplying Britain with over 50,000 homes, there will be a rise in the need of manual work due to large development projects. This will help to boost the economy, as it will provide people with more jobs in the area. Also, as people will be buying new homes, these regions will become more populated. There is a popular misconception that this will put a strain on the resources of current residents nearby, such as school places for their children and obtaining doctor appointments. However, this is not the case, as garden villages are built with their own facilities including schools and general practices. In turn, this will also create more jobs in the area of development. Garden villages are usually built with their own transport links for easy commuting in and out of the area, although more traffic on the roads could be a problem. What will these garden villages look like? Due to garden villages being built on brownfield areas, there will be a lot of greenery in the vicinity of the new builds and this will include garden spaces of their own.  With everything looking brand new, there will be a need for updated garden furniture and other outdoor products — but what are the current trends? One such trend is the increased popularity of hot tubs, whether you’re renting or buying. Over the past few years, it seems like more and more people are purchasing hot tubs for their gardens. In North Wales, a businessman has even had to double the size of his hot tub showroom this year to keep up with demand! These are a great addition to any garden, especially if you have a rural view of the surrounding countryside. According to Andrew Hartley, research director at market research company, AMA, garden buildings including sunhouses have “high potential growth” in the industry. Sunhouses are great for maximising your garden space and creating an extra room for your family without having to pay for an expensive house extension. Typically, these are small and easy to fit into your garden with enough room for a few chairs and a table to unwind with drinks and food. Sunhouses infuse your garden with character and are excellent refuges for reading, relaxing and socialising, so these are ideal for new garden village homes. Another big trend in gardening currently is having an artificial lawn. Slashing the time we have to spend maintaining our outdoor spaces and beautiful to look at from season to season, fake grass is a high-demand gardening commodity. If you’ve decked much of your back garden, you can add colour by creating a small space of artificial grass on the ground level, or putting a full artificial lawn at the front of your home that you don’t have to keep weeding and watering.  Likewise, lighting is another outdoor feature that’s big for people setting up new homes. From hanging Chinese lanterns between decking posts to placing LED fairy lights into vintage jam jars, how you illuminate your garden is going to be in focus. Speaking of vintage, garden furniture is set to head back in time when it comes to design and textures. We’ll see more natural, traditional materials used for tables and chairs — such as teak and rattan — to create a more rustic look, as well as a rise in woven and crochet techniques for the retro effect. Needless to say, garden village homeowners will have a lot of inspiration for their green spaces. With the rise of garden villages set to alleviate the pressures of the housing crisis in the UK, it’s potentially a huge boost for families, communities and the entire UK economy, even though there are a few points for concern. Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/02/new-garden-towns-villages-provide-200000-homes-ease-housing http://www.dailymail.co.uk/property/article-4087946/What-garden-village-welcome-one-nearby.html https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2517967/garden-villages-towns-what-where-why https://www.insidermedia.com/insider/wales/hot-tub-company-doubles-in-size-with-new-showroom https://www.chesneys.co.uk/outdoor/heat-collection/the-heat-collection-of-barbecue-heaters/heat-500
    May 01, 2019 0
  • 18 Apr 2019
    Technology is evolving through all work sectors, and in particular, it is streamlining construction processes. As software offers ways to gain and store data for projects, and hardware is developed to pick up basic tasks such as bricklaying, concern has been rising over how much longer the human element will be needed in the workplace. Here with structure analysis software experts Oasys, we investigate what the future of builders holds. Worrying over technology taking over jobs It’s a common concern within the industry that technology will ‘steal’ jobs. Technology will not steal our jobs, but just replace us as we shift roles. But how will this impact the construction industry? To understand, we need to have an oversight on statistics that have been released regarding this issue. Boston Consulting Group has said that by 2025, up to a quarter of jobs will be replaced by smart software or robots. This includes a range of professions, from factory workers to doctors, and even journalists. However, a study carried out by Oxford University has said that 35% of existing jobs in Britain are at risk of automation in the next 20 years. There is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the reduction of physical workers, however. However, this can be challenged if we start preparing early and encourage current and future workers to adapt to the changes. This could include advancing their own skillset with a focus on how they can do their job better with the use of technology. How roles in construction are shifting With all the worries over technology taking jobs, there’s often little focus on the need to maintain this technology and the jobs that will create. It’s also left unmentioned that workers will need to use technology, and that leads us to the decision that in the construction industry, builders of the future will become programmers. Over the years, we have seen constant changes in the way we work, and the construction sector has been very accepting to new and innovative methods to make jobs easier. From hammers to nail guns, shovels to diggers — and now practical labour to programming. This isn’t a change that will happen rapidly though. Programming is a topic that schools around the UK should be looking to implement into their curriculums as a core subject to keep up with the demand of jobs and to keep up with the constant changes in technology. If we’re teaching young people old ways, they will be useless when it comes to doing the work and there might not even be jobs available that match their skillsets. With the constant growth in technology surrounding construction, young people need to be prepared with the skills and this shouldn’t be up for debate. Like the studies discussed earlier, more jobs are at risk of being lost due to smart software and robots. Workers need to be as good as the technology. Let’s consider this technology. When it comes to a common piece of software that is used in construction, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an element that can be beneficial, as it allows the appropriate people to access all of the information about a project in one place. It can look at key stages of a project across the lifecycle of a job and provide the information that is needed. This can save both time and money for any construction company and allows builders to have a clear oversight. BIM can help illustrate the entire building, from starting processes to its demolition, and can even show how materials can be reused. Technology is, in a way, taking over the workplace, but in order to maintain relevance in the industry, people must be willing to pick up new digital skills. Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-33327659 https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/19/robot-based-economy-san-francisco  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Technology is evolving through all work sectors, and in particular, it is streamlining construction processes. As software offers ways to gain and store data for projects, and hardware is developed to pick up basic tasks such as bricklaying, concern has been rising over how much longer the human element will be needed in the workplace. Here with structure analysis software experts Oasys, we investigate what the future of builders holds. Worrying over technology taking over jobs It’s a common concern within the industry that technology will ‘steal’ jobs. Technology will not steal our jobs, but just replace us as we shift roles. But how will this impact the construction industry? To understand, we need to have an oversight on statistics that have been released regarding this issue. Boston Consulting Group has said that by 2025, up to a quarter of jobs will be replaced by smart software or robots. This includes a range of professions, from factory workers to doctors, and even journalists. However, a study carried out by Oxford University has said that 35% of existing jobs in Britain are at risk of automation in the next 20 years. There is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the reduction of physical workers, however. However, this can be challenged if we start preparing early and encourage current and future workers to adapt to the changes. This could include advancing their own skillset with a focus on how they can do their job better with the use of technology. How roles in construction are shifting With all the worries over technology taking jobs, there’s often little focus on the need to maintain this technology and the jobs that will create. It’s also left unmentioned that workers will need to use technology, and that leads us to the decision that in the construction industry, builders of the future will become programmers. Over the years, we have seen constant changes in the way we work, and the construction sector has been very accepting to new and innovative methods to make jobs easier. From hammers to nail guns, shovels to diggers — and now practical labour to programming. This isn’t a change that will happen rapidly though. Programming is a topic that schools around the UK should be looking to implement into their curriculums as a core subject to keep up with the demand of jobs and to keep up with the constant changes in technology. If we’re teaching young people old ways, they will be useless when it comes to doing the work and there might not even be jobs available that match their skillsets. With the constant growth in technology surrounding construction, young people need to be prepared with the skills and this shouldn’t be up for debate. Like the studies discussed earlier, more jobs are at risk of being lost due to smart software and robots. Workers need to be as good as the technology. Let’s consider this technology. When it comes to a common piece of software that is used in construction, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an element that can be beneficial, as it allows the appropriate people to access all of the information about a project in one place. It can look at key stages of a project across the lifecycle of a job and provide the information that is needed. This can save both time and money for any construction company and allows builders to have a clear oversight. BIM can help illustrate the entire building, from starting processes to its demolition, and can even show how materials can be reused. Technology is, in a way, taking over the workplace, but in order to maintain relevance in the industry, people must be willing to pick up new digital skills. Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-33327659 https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/19/robot-based-economy-san-francisco  
    Apr 18, 2019 0
  • 16 Apr 2019
    Transparency is vital in order to maintain positive business relations and to ensure important payments are made without delay writes Matthew Jones. For this reason, it is crucial to have a robust but intuitive payment management system which keeps contractor and subcontractor finances above board and provides both parties with visibility of progress towards payment. Automated solutions such as Open ECX’s WebContractor takes control of key payment processes, improving subcontractors’ visibility of the status of their payment applications, for instance. This blog outlines how digital, straightforward applications for payment systems guarantee clearer visibility across business supply chains. Maintaining healthy business operation is at the top of every company’s agenda, particularly when finances are involved. In the past year, the construction industry has seen a great deal of change in terms of payment practices and the call for evidence. This change, in part, was accelerated by the collapse of Carillion in January 2018 which shocked both the construction industry and the UK at large. After investigation, the construction giant was known to have paid subcontractors up to 120 days late. Undoubtedly, such an event has had huge repercussions on the taxpayer, Caillion’s supply chain and its staff. Carillion’s collapse has even, in some cases, affected the amount of money UK banks loan to construction companies perhaps in fear of a similar occurence. What is the solution? It goes without doubt that an event such as the Carillion collapse cannot happen again. Even though its collapse is a stand-alone case, it still begs several questions on how and why payments were so late. But, moving forward, it is important to identify key solutions to prevent similar events from occuring. All contractors desire a risk-free environment in which their payment processes are rigorous, safe and reliable; such solutions allow contractors to be more organised and efficient with their payments, preventing any late payments from slipping beneath the surface. It is, therefore, crucial to implement innovative solutions which ensure payments can be traced, recorded and accessed accordingly. Open ECX’s WebContractor provides end-to-end management of applications for payment in construction, ensuring complete transparency and accessibility across the supply chain. It is a cloud-based portal for subcontractors to upload payment applications so contractors can manage payments more effectively. As the portal can be accessed anywhere, it is an efficient alternative to submitting paper-based documents or sending applications for payment by emails. Subcontractors upload and submit their applications anywhere and at any time – they aren’t restricted to their office but can complete payments onsite, at home or while travelling elsewhere. Using a system which ensures better visibility of payment applications safeguards businesses and removes risks or threats such as litigation. Timely and accurate submission of payment applications,  means faster processing of these by contractors.. In essence, a solution such as WebContractor removes all the loopholes that a company such as Carillion were able to eschew. It makes for an honest, healthier and more productive financial system beneficial to all parties involved. Visit www.openecx.co.uk  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Transparency is vital in order to maintain positive business relations and to ensure important payments are made without delay writes Matthew Jones. For this reason, it is crucial to have a robust but intuitive payment management system which keeps contractor and subcontractor finances above board and provides both parties with visibility of progress towards payment. Automated solutions such as Open ECX’s WebContractor takes control of key payment processes, improving subcontractors’ visibility of the status of their payment applications, for instance. This blog outlines how digital, straightforward applications for payment systems guarantee clearer visibility across business supply chains. Maintaining healthy business operation is at the top of every company’s agenda, particularly when finances are involved. In the past year, the construction industry has seen a great deal of change in terms of payment practices and the call for evidence. This change, in part, was accelerated by the collapse of Carillion in January 2018 which shocked both the construction industry and the UK at large. After investigation, the construction giant was known to have paid subcontractors up to 120 days late. Undoubtedly, such an event has had huge repercussions on the taxpayer, Caillion’s supply chain and its staff. Carillion’s collapse has even, in some cases, affected the amount of money UK banks loan to construction companies perhaps in fear of a similar occurence. What is the solution? It goes without doubt that an event such as the Carillion collapse cannot happen again. Even though its collapse is a stand-alone case, it still begs several questions on how and why payments were so late. But, moving forward, it is important to identify key solutions to prevent similar events from occuring. All contractors desire a risk-free environment in which their payment processes are rigorous, safe and reliable; such solutions allow contractors to be more organised and efficient with their payments, preventing any late payments from slipping beneath the surface. It is, therefore, crucial to implement innovative solutions which ensure payments can be traced, recorded and accessed accordingly. Open ECX’s WebContractor provides end-to-end management of applications for payment in construction, ensuring complete transparency and accessibility across the supply chain. It is a cloud-based portal for subcontractors to upload payment applications so contractors can manage payments more effectively. As the portal can be accessed anywhere, it is an efficient alternative to submitting paper-based documents or sending applications for payment by emails. Subcontractors upload and submit their applications anywhere and at any time – they aren’t restricted to their office but can complete payments onsite, at home or while travelling elsewhere. Using a system which ensures better visibility of payment applications safeguards businesses and removes risks or threats such as litigation. Timely and accurate submission of payment applications,  means faster processing of these by contractors.. In essence, a solution such as WebContractor removes all the loopholes that a company such as Carillion were able to eschew. It makes for an honest, healthier and more productive financial system beneficial to all parties involved. Visit www.openecx.co.uk  
    Apr 16, 2019 0
  • 18 Mar 2019
    There has been a lot of talk about HS2 and about how, once completed, it will help to shrink the north-south divide and provide a much-needed transport spine across the country writes Mark Tomlin, CEO of VJ Technology. However, if recent reports are to be believed government sources are claiming that there is talk of cancelling HS2 in its entirety, despite the fact that groundworks have started and considerable time and money have been invested in design, tendering and feasibility. So, what’s the reality – does the UK need a north-south high-speed rail link or is it just financial folly? High Speed 2 (HS2) is a high-speed railway which, once completed, will directly connect London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester. Scheduled to open in phases between 2026 and 2033, high-speed trains will travel up to 400 km/h on 330 miles of track. One of the largest civil engineering projects currently being undertaken in Europe, a recent episode of Dispatches on Channel 4 focussed on the financial viability of the project with it quoting sources within the government who warn that the cost may soon be considered so high that the entire project may be cancelled. One possible scenario of the project being terminated once the first stretch of the new line reaches Birmingham was also presented. The programme claimed industry sources have stated that the project cost could reach a staggering £100bn, substantially up from both 2011's initial estimate of £33bn and today's £56bn promise. More worrying is that in a poll by the programme two-thirds of rail users in the north stated they would rather see the money invested in regional rail. Understandably, for many commuters, local links are more important than another, faster, north-south route. However, I think we could be missing the point. Yes, the costs are high, but this is a project the country sorely needs. The UK used to be second-to-none when it came to infrastructure. Our rail, ports, roads and airports are admired the world over. However, time has taken its toll and a combination of growth in population and a lack of investment has meant that the UK has dropped down the pecking order when it comes to infrastructural excellence. All too often our trains are delayed, our motorways jammed, and our airports and shipping ports are tired and in need of modernisation. Whilst speed of travel is one thing, there is also the user experience. If you compare the UK to any one of the major international airports around the world, I’m not sure we come out on top. HS2 is therefore a critical part of the ongoing investment the government needs to make in UK infrastructure. It is as much about providing UK residents and businesses with improved transportation, as it is about ensuring we maintain our position as an international destination. It will also be a catalyst for improving transport in the North West as, at the end of January, Transport for the North agreed the submission of the business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail, the transformational east-west network. This will connect the northern cities of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Hull, etc, and will provide the local links that residents in the north so desperately need. It will also create job opportunities and attract overseas investment for organisations looking for space, skills and connectivity. However, will this project go ahead without HS2 coming to Leeds and Manchester? Very unlikely, as it simply won’t be viable.  As a key product supplier to major infrastructure projects, VJ Technology has a vested interest in seeing schemes such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail deliver. However, it is more than that. Personally, I would like to see projects such as this succeed as I believe they are important for the nation. Investment in infrastructure is not a folly, it is investment in maintaining our great nation. Yes, it comes at a cost, but if we continue to neglect our infrastructure it will have a far- reaching and significantly more damaging financial impact on our economy, our tourism and our global reputation. Visit: http://www.vjtechnology.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • There has been a lot of talk about HS2 and about how, once completed, it will help to shrink the north-south divide and provide a much-needed transport spine across the country writes Mark Tomlin, CEO of VJ Technology. However, if recent reports are to be believed government sources are claiming that there is talk of cancelling HS2 in its entirety, despite the fact that groundworks have started and considerable time and money have been invested in design, tendering and feasibility. So, what’s the reality – does the UK need a north-south high-speed rail link or is it just financial folly? High Speed 2 (HS2) is a high-speed railway which, once completed, will directly connect London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester. Scheduled to open in phases between 2026 and 2033, high-speed trains will travel up to 400 km/h on 330 miles of track. One of the largest civil engineering projects currently being undertaken in Europe, a recent episode of Dispatches on Channel 4 focussed on the financial viability of the project with it quoting sources within the government who warn that the cost may soon be considered so high that the entire project may be cancelled. One possible scenario of the project being terminated once the first stretch of the new line reaches Birmingham was also presented. The programme claimed industry sources have stated that the project cost could reach a staggering £100bn, substantially up from both 2011's initial estimate of £33bn and today's £56bn promise. More worrying is that in a poll by the programme two-thirds of rail users in the north stated they would rather see the money invested in regional rail. Understandably, for many commuters, local links are more important than another, faster, north-south route. However, I think we could be missing the point. Yes, the costs are high, but this is a project the country sorely needs. The UK used to be second-to-none when it came to infrastructure. Our rail, ports, roads and airports are admired the world over. However, time has taken its toll and a combination of growth in population and a lack of investment has meant that the UK has dropped down the pecking order when it comes to infrastructural excellence. All too often our trains are delayed, our motorways jammed, and our airports and shipping ports are tired and in need of modernisation. Whilst speed of travel is one thing, there is also the user experience. If you compare the UK to any one of the major international airports around the world, I’m not sure we come out on top. HS2 is therefore a critical part of the ongoing investment the government needs to make in UK infrastructure. It is as much about providing UK residents and businesses with improved transportation, as it is about ensuring we maintain our position as an international destination. It will also be a catalyst for improving transport in the North West as, at the end of January, Transport for the North agreed the submission of the business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail, the transformational east-west network. This will connect the northern cities of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Hull, etc, and will provide the local links that residents in the north so desperately need. It will also create job opportunities and attract overseas investment for organisations looking for space, skills and connectivity. However, will this project go ahead without HS2 coming to Leeds and Manchester? Very unlikely, as it simply won’t be viable.  As a key product supplier to major infrastructure projects, VJ Technology has a vested interest in seeing schemes such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail deliver. However, it is more than that. Personally, I would like to see projects such as this succeed as I believe they are important for the nation. Investment in infrastructure is not a folly, it is investment in maintaining our great nation. Yes, it comes at a cost, but if we continue to neglect our infrastructure it will have a far- reaching and significantly more damaging financial impact on our economy, our tourism and our global reputation. Visit: http://www.vjtechnology.com
    Mar 18, 2019 0
  • 13 Mar 2019
    From residential care homes to hospitals, schools to offices, upgrading old and inefficient heating systems is a proven way to ensure reliability and long-term savings.  Daniel Sturch, Commercial Product Engineer at Alpha Heating Innovation, lifts the lid on fan-assisted condensing boilers which offer a range of features and benefits including high energy efficiency, low emissions and a wide modulation range. A fan-assisted condensing boiler is the ideal heating solution in a commercial heating environment due to its high output, small footprint and the fact that you can cascade up to five boilers in series for multiple outputs.  They are quick to cope with changing heating demands and are a very cost effective solution compared to a single boiler installation.   Fan-assisted boilers such as Alpha’s ProTec Plus range offer greater siting flexibility with options for wall hanging or frame mounting within small boiler rooms.  They also have multiple options for flue terminal position, flue route, and offer greater overall flue length than atmospheric boilers. These boilers achieve high energy efficiency due to a combination of heat exchanger design and technology along with intelligent combustion control from the Honeywell on-board PCB. The importance of a wide modulation range It is ultimately very important to achieve a high modulation range to allow the appliance to make the most efficient cost savings for the user by using the least amount of gas whilst delivering the output required. This modulation rate is therefore a key contributing factor to reducing fuel use. The wider the modulation range, the more flexible the boiler model is, which in turn allows for easier product selection for the installer. Ultimately, it allows the appliance to offer both a high enough output to cope with peak demand, but a low enough minimum input to offer the maximum in fuel savings. High efficiency boilers such as ProTec also offer improved air quality. Reducing emissions such as carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) is due initially to good product design and extensive R&D testing, but then must be aided during the life of a boiler appliance by regular planned preventative maintenance. A ProTec boiler provides installation benefits to the installer both in terms of versatility and the capacity to have a range of outputs that can be cascaded together with three outputs starting from 50kw to 115kW. ProTec offers a simple logical layout, a wide range of accessories to aid installation and multiple flue options along with support from a dedicated commercial technical department. The typical life expectancy of a commercial boiler is 10-15 years depending upon construction material and maintenance regime.  Nursing home heating remedy When it came to bringing an inefficient heating system into the 21st century, a care home in Polmont, Falkirk, received a major efficiency boost from two new boilers supplied by Alpha Heating Innovation that combine domestic and commercial technology.  Providing heat to the Ivybank House facility, which has 42 ensuite rooms and five dining and lounge areas, the new heating system replaced an extremely inefficient, 30-year-old, floorstanding boiler sited in the main building. Having installed boilers from Alpha Heating Innovation on a number of previous occasions, installer Raymond Beveridge trusted the brand and knew it could provide the right products for the job. He said: “I like installing Alpha boilers, especially on the commercial side. I’ve fitted them in a number of care homes and I’ve had no trouble with any of them. Plus, you’re getting the three-year warranty that comes from the manufacturer, so it’s good for the client to know they’ve got that backup for the first three years.” The new boiler fitted in the main nursing home had to be wall hung rather than floorstanding, to enable more space to move around the small plant room. Alpha’s ProTec Plus 115kw system boiler was chosen and met the brief. It offers a condensing central heating output of 121.7kW, and has a seasonal efficiency of 96.4%. A stainless steel heat exchanger and fully modulating built-in circulator pump offers long-term reliability, while features include frost protection, weather compensation compatibility and a back-lit LCD interface. The ProTec Plus has a wide 1:10 modulation range to boost efficiencies further and is compatible with Alpha’s open and concentric push-fit flue systems. The separate laundry room had been using a gas-fired water heater to supply hot water to the sink, with electric heaters keeping the space warm in winter. Originally installed incorrectly, acidic corrosion had damaged the old heater, ultimately causing it to burst and leak water. As a more economical solution, the old system was replaced with Alpha’s 33kW E-Tec combi boiler to run both the heating and the hot water. The E-Tec 33 comes with a stainless steel heat exchanger, as well as a high-efficiency Grundfos pump with hydroblock assembly. A zinc-plated expansion vessel prevents corrosion, which was particularly appealing to the owners of the nursing home, following their experience with the previous system. For peace of mind, the E-Tec comes with a five-year warranty, with three years for the ProTec Plus. The tried and tested boiler condensing technology installed at Ivybank is a game-changer when it comes to reducing carbon and energy savings.  Offering the installer ease of installation and maintenance, compact and versatile fan-assisted boilers such as Alpha’s ProTec Plus can futureproof the energy demands in a wide range of commercial buildings. Visit: www.alpha-innovation.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • From residential care homes to hospitals, schools to offices, upgrading old and inefficient heating systems is a proven way to ensure reliability and long-term savings.  Daniel Sturch, Commercial Product Engineer at Alpha Heating Innovation, lifts the lid on fan-assisted condensing boilers which offer a range of features and benefits including high energy efficiency, low emissions and a wide modulation range. A fan-assisted condensing boiler is the ideal heating solution in a commercial heating environment due to its high output, small footprint and the fact that you can cascade up to five boilers in series for multiple outputs.  They are quick to cope with changing heating demands and are a very cost effective solution compared to a single boiler installation.   Fan-assisted boilers such as Alpha’s ProTec Plus range offer greater siting flexibility with options for wall hanging or frame mounting within small boiler rooms.  They also have multiple options for flue terminal position, flue route, and offer greater overall flue length than atmospheric boilers. These boilers achieve high energy efficiency due to a combination of heat exchanger design and technology along with intelligent combustion control from the Honeywell on-board PCB. The importance of a wide modulation range It is ultimately very important to achieve a high modulation range to allow the appliance to make the most efficient cost savings for the user by using the least amount of gas whilst delivering the output required. This modulation rate is therefore a key contributing factor to reducing fuel use. The wider the modulation range, the more flexible the boiler model is, which in turn allows for easier product selection for the installer. Ultimately, it allows the appliance to offer both a high enough output to cope with peak demand, but a low enough minimum input to offer the maximum in fuel savings. High efficiency boilers such as ProTec also offer improved air quality. Reducing emissions such as carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) is due initially to good product design and extensive R&D testing, but then must be aided during the life of a boiler appliance by regular planned preventative maintenance. A ProTec boiler provides installation benefits to the installer both in terms of versatility and the capacity to have a range of outputs that can be cascaded together with three outputs starting from 50kw to 115kW. ProTec offers a simple logical layout, a wide range of accessories to aid installation and multiple flue options along with support from a dedicated commercial technical department. The typical life expectancy of a commercial boiler is 10-15 years depending upon construction material and maintenance regime.  Nursing home heating remedy When it came to bringing an inefficient heating system into the 21st century, a care home in Polmont, Falkirk, received a major efficiency boost from two new boilers supplied by Alpha Heating Innovation that combine domestic and commercial technology.  Providing heat to the Ivybank House facility, which has 42 ensuite rooms and five dining and lounge areas, the new heating system replaced an extremely inefficient, 30-year-old, floorstanding boiler sited in the main building. Having installed boilers from Alpha Heating Innovation on a number of previous occasions, installer Raymond Beveridge trusted the brand and knew it could provide the right products for the job. He said: “I like installing Alpha boilers, especially on the commercial side. I’ve fitted them in a number of care homes and I’ve had no trouble with any of them. Plus, you’re getting the three-year warranty that comes from the manufacturer, so it’s good for the client to know they’ve got that backup for the first three years.” The new boiler fitted in the main nursing home had to be wall hung rather than floorstanding, to enable more space to move around the small plant room. Alpha’s ProTec Plus 115kw system boiler was chosen and met the brief. It offers a condensing central heating output of 121.7kW, and has a seasonal efficiency of 96.4%. A stainless steel heat exchanger and fully modulating built-in circulator pump offers long-term reliability, while features include frost protection, weather compensation compatibility and a back-lit LCD interface. The ProTec Plus has a wide 1:10 modulation range to boost efficiencies further and is compatible with Alpha’s open and concentric push-fit flue systems. The separate laundry room had been using a gas-fired water heater to supply hot water to the sink, with electric heaters keeping the space warm in winter. Originally installed incorrectly, acidic corrosion had damaged the old heater, ultimately causing it to burst and leak water. As a more economical solution, the old system was replaced with Alpha’s 33kW E-Tec combi boiler to run both the heating and the hot water. The E-Tec 33 comes with a stainless steel heat exchanger, as well as a high-efficiency Grundfos pump with hydroblock assembly. A zinc-plated expansion vessel prevents corrosion, which was particularly appealing to the owners of the nursing home, following their experience with the previous system. For peace of mind, the E-Tec comes with a five-year warranty, with three years for the ProTec Plus. The tried and tested boiler condensing technology installed at Ivybank is a game-changer when it comes to reducing carbon and energy savings.  Offering the installer ease of installation and maintenance, compact and versatile fan-assisted boilers such as Alpha’s ProTec Plus can futureproof the energy demands in a wide range of commercial buildings. Visit: www.alpha-innovation.co.uk
    Mar 13, 2019 0
  • 06 Mar 2019
    Tendering for any project takes a great deal of consideration and attention. Although it is an important task which is completely instrumental to securing a project, it can be time-consuming. And, depending on the scale of a project and size of a company, the tendering process can be extremely varied. With this in mind, what are the hidden secrets to efficient and accurate job costing and estimating? How can construction estimating software ensure better visibility and traceability throughout the tendering process? Is there one solution which can truly streamline these complex processes?   Setting the scene Once a contractor has meticulously analysed whether a potential project is feasible, the tendering process can begin. Tendering processes vary from company to company but typically there are two formulas, ‘open’ or ‘restricted’ tendering. Whereas open tendering means applications can be received from a number of contractors, restricted tendering is limited to invited parties only. Even though there are two different methods such as these, there is one area which is a mainstay for all construction projects: the creation of a product library. To build a product library, the following methods can be adopted. Whereas smaller contractors might use a directory such as Laxton’s SMM and NRM price books, larger contractors might use this reference as a way to benchmark their own, or their subcontractors’ rates. For more specialist contractors, they might follow their own methods and only use a price book to help calculate the cost of work outside their usual scope. When ready to estimate for a particular project, the relevant items and resources from the product library are selected and converted into a BOQ (Bills of Quantities) – a crucial statement holding important project information such as prices and resource build up information of materials, labour, quantities and dimensions. Depending on the contractor’s preferred method, they can either create the BOQ themselves, or disseminate to subcontractors for price-approval. In all of these situations however, collating estimates for different parts of a project is a long process which takes time, attention and plenty of correspondence. Streamlining this process This initial cost estimation is vital to the overarching tendering process, but without the right resources it can be heavily time-consuming. Usually, a contractor might be juggling multiple tender applications at one time, which means there is double, even triple the amount of data recorded across various spreadsheets. Handling this level of data comes with storage and security risks, particularly as the spreadsheets cannot be easily recovered should they be mislaid. Adding to this, spreadsheets are consistently sent back-and-forth between contractor and subcontractor during the estimation process. And, as this method means information can be difficult to collate and track, accuracy might be compromised. For such a crucial process, this carries too much uncertainty and risk. Whilst these manual processes can work quite successfully for some construction companies, there are other approaches designed to streamline these tasks. What is the secret? To streamline processes, including the creation of product libraries, construction estimating software such as Eque2’s EValuate can help you to describe, measure and price tenders without duplication of effort. EValuate is also integrated with Laxton’s Priced Libraries which provides resource build up’s with annually updated rates for pricing items directly, or for comparison with your rates or subcontractor rates which is compatible with both SMM and NRM rules of measurement. A solution such as EValuate expedites the tendering process so companies can move on to secure more work. With this solution, a contractor can tend for multiple projects as they have the time and resource to do so. Conversely, for a company receiving the tender, they can accurately benchmark the costs against other sources to ensure they achieve the right price for a project. Therefore, modern estimating software such as EValuate incorporated with Laxton’s Priced Libraries is an efficient and user-friendly tool which cleanses an otherwise long and complex tendering process. For construction companies, it is a solution which enhances business productivity as opposed to disrupting it. With added benefits including data security, accuracy and performance efficiency, EValuate can be accessed by all parties involved to assure consistency across the board. For larger companies with multiple estimators working on multiple projects across different sectors, an unrivalled solution such as EValuate ensures data can be accessed and stored in one secure location. Evolving with industry changes, this innovative software is revolutionising the construction industry’s tendering process, helping to reduce risk, save time and win more work. Visit: https://www.eque2.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Tendering for any project takes a great deal of consideration and attention. Although it is an important task which is completely instrumental to securing a project, it can be time-consuming. And, depending on the scale of a project and size of a company, the tendering process can be extremely varied. With this in mind, what are the hidden secrets to efficient and accurate job costing and estimating? How can construction estimating software ensure better visibility and traceability throughout the tendering process? Is there one solution which can truly streamline these complex processes?   Setting the scene Once a contractor has meticulously analysed whether a potential project is feasible, the tendering process can begin. Tendering processes vary from company to company but typically there are two formulas, ‘open’ or ‘restricted’ tendering. Whereas open tendering means applications can be received from a number of contractors, restricted tendering is limited to invited parties only. Even though there are two different methods such as these, there is one area which is a mainstay for all construction projects: the creation of a product library. To build a product library, the following methods can be adopted. Whereas smaller contractors might use a directory such as Laxton’s SMM and NRM price books, larger contractors might use this reference as a way to benchmark their own, or their subcontractors’ rates. For more specialist contractors, they might follow their own methods and only use a price book to help calculate the cost of work outside their usual scope. When ready to estimate for a particular project, the relevant items and resources from the product library are selected and converted into a BOQ (Bills of Quantities) – a crucial statement holding important project information such as prices and resource build up information of materials, labour, quantities and dimensions. Depending on the contractor’s preferred method, they can either create the BOQ themselves, or disseminate to subcontractors for price-approval. In all of these situations however, collating estimates for different parts of a project is a long process which takes time, attention and plenty of correspondence. Streamlining this process This initial cost estimation is vital to the overarching tendering process, but without the right resources it can be heavily time-consuming. Usually, a contractor might be juggling multiple tender applications at one time, which means there is double, even triple the amount of data recorded across various spreadsheets. Handling this level of data comes with storage and security risks, particularly as the spreadsheets cannot be easily recovered should they be mislaid. Adding to this, spreadsheets are consistently sent back-and-forth between contractor and subcontractor during the estimation process. And, as this method means information can be difficult to collate and track, accuracy might be compromised. For such a crucial process, this carries too much uncertainty and risk. Whilst these manual processes can work quite successfully for some construction companies, there are other approaches designed to streamline these tasks. What is the secret? To streamline processes, including the creation of product libraries, construction estimating software such as Eque2’s EValuate can help you to describe, measure and price tenders without duplication of effort. EValuate is also integrated with Laxton’s Priced Libraries which provides resource build up’s with annually updated rates for pricing items directly, or for comparison with your rates or subcontractor rates which is compatible with both SMM and NRM rules of measurement. A solution such as EValuate expedites the tendering process so companies can move on to secure more work. With this solution, a contractor can tend for multiple projects as they have the time and resource to do so. Conversely, for a company receiving the tender, they can accurately benchmark the costs against other sources to ensure they achieve the right price for a project. Therefore, modern estimating software such as EValuate incorporated with Laxton’s Priced Libraries is an efficient and user-friendly tool which cleanses an otherwise long and complex tendering process. For construction companies, it is a solution which enhances business productivity as opposed to disrupting it. With added benefits including data security, accuracy and performance efficiency, EValuate can be accessed by all parties involved to assure consistency across the board. For larger companies with multiple estimators working on multiple projects across different sectors, an unrivalled solution such as EValuate ensures data can be accessed and stored in one secure location. Evolving with industry changes, this innovative software is revolutionising the construction industry’s tendering process, helping to reduce risk, save time and win more work. Visit: https://www.eque2.co.uk
    Mar 06, 2019 0
  • 26 Feb 2019
    Creating sustainable buildings which make occupants feel better as well as happier and more productive should be a given writes Sarah Peake, Sustainability Manager for Sika.  After all, we spend much of our day indoors. The global sustainability standard BREEAM embraces many different facets of sustainability from materials to energy to water use with Health and Wellbeing representing one of the biggest proportions of credits available.  Other green building standards, such as the WELL Building Standard and the Living Building Challenge put the occupant’s health and wellbeing at the centre of the entire standard.  However you don’t have to be working to a green building standard to see the benefits of some simple measures that are easy to incorporate into a new build or even in some cases a refurbishment project. It has been estimated that staff costs, including salaries and benefits, typically account for about 90% of business operating costs. Therefore, what may appear to be a modest improvement in employee health or productivity can have a huge financial implication for employers – one that is many times larger than any other financial savings associated with an efficiently designed and operated building. Lighting in the workplace is a key consideration and must satisfy a variety of needs.  As well as allowing us to see the task in front of us, lighting can also affect many aspects of wellbeing, including comfort, communication, mood, health, safety and aesthetics. Poor visibility, glare, flicker and lack of control of the visual environment can all affect task performance, whilst visual discomfort may lead to headaches and eyestrain.  It is also important to note that not all colours of light have the same affect on the human body.  Blue wavelengths, as exhibited by electronic screens and energy efficient lighting, are useful during daylight hours in that they boost attention, reaction times and moods, but appear to be problematic at night with a potential link to disturbed sleep patterns, diabetes and obesity1. A Room With A View A recent study by neuroscientists suggested that office workers with windows received 173 percent more white light exposure during work hours and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night2. Workers without windows reported poorer scores than their counterparts on quality of life measures related to physical problems and vitality, as well as poorer outcomes on measures of overall sleep quality, sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances and daytime dysfunction – all of which can be classed as circadian rhythm disorders. However, attributing these results solely to access to daylight is erroneous. Many researchers now believe that levels of exposure to white light is not the most significant factor and that in fact, views of nature and other biophilic experiences are more important.  As such, biophilic research is now increasingly focusing on physiological responses such as brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormone levels. When used appropriately, many Sika products can contribute towards a more sustainable building design potentially leading to a more positive impact upon the building occupant’s health and wellbeing.  For example, Sika sealants can be used to minimise the amount of window frame and maximise the amount of glazing, increasing the potential for natural lighting.  Also Sika’s Green Roof Systems can increase the opportunities for views of nature in heavily urbanised environments. Design in Good Air Quality Building occupants can be exposed to a range of airborne pollutants including chemicals, micro-organisms and other particles from a variety of sources such as carpets, finishes, cleaning products, office equipment and traffic.  Design strategies that ensure good air quality, both by allowing a supply of fresh air through ventilation and stopping pollutants at source by minimising emissions from materials, are essential for the development of a healthy and productive working environment.  Furthermore, the increasing availability of cost-effective wearable devices that measure CO2 levels means that design features - such as mixed-mode ventilation systems that consider thermal comfort and fresh-air requirements - will, in the future, be expected by millennials, generation Zs and top class candidates. Design out Volatile Organic Compounds While many volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as gases from certain solids and liquids, are considered harmless others can adversely affect human health.  Many Sika products have very low VOC content, meeting European standards such as EMICODE EC1 Plus and the requirements of BREEAM New Construction 2018.  All new product creation projects at Sika have to consider all aspects of sustainability at the outset, resulting in the development of products that have been specifically designed to have lower emission levels. Standards of the Future Putting the focus on the end-user and their wellbeing is something the pioneering WELLBuilding Standardhas done for many years.  The recently releasedWELL v2TM pilot has expanded on this, reportedly consideringbuildings as “health intervention tools”.  In addition, the RICS SKA rating – an environmental assessment method, benchmark and standard for non-domestic fit-outs – is also undergoing an update that is expected to return the standard to its roots by focusing on a fit-out’s impact upon the buildings occupants. The ever increasing popularity and evolution of these standards clearly confirms that the impact of building solutions on the health and wellbeing of building occupants is a topic that is not going to go away. As such in order to appeal to the staff of the future, companies can no longer ignore the needs of the workers and must do more than simply providing a space to work. The 21st century workplace must offer good design that benefits both the planet and the occupants.  As a world class construction material manufacturer, Sika has a clear understanding that all aspects of sustainability and wellbeing impact each other and so can offer sustainable solutions that have a positive impact on the health, wellbeing and productivity of building occupants. Visit: SikaEveryday
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Creating sustainable buildings which make occupants feel better as well as happier and more productive should be a given writes Sarah Peake, Sustainability Manager for Sika.  After all, we spend much of our day indoors. The global sustainability standard BREEAM embraces many different facets of sustainability from materials to energy to water use with Health and Wellbeing representing one of the biggest proportions of credits available.  Other green building standards, such as the WELL Building Standard and the Living Building Challenge put the occupant’s health and wellbeing at the centre of the entire standard.  However you don’t have to be working to a green building standard to see the benefits of some simple measures that are easy to incorporate into a new build or even in some cases a refurbishment project. It has been estimated that staff costs, including salaries and benefits, typically account for about 90% of business operating costs. Therefore, what may appear to be a modest improvement in employee health or productivity can have a huge financial implication for employers – one that is many times larger than any other financial savings associated with an efficiently designed and operated building. Lighting in the workplace is a key consideration and must satisfy a variety of needs.  As well as allowing us to see the task in front of us, lighting can also affect many aspects of wellbeing, including comfort, communication, mood, health, safety and aesthetics. Poor visibility, glare, flicker and lack of control of the visual environment can all affect task performance, whilst visual discomfort may lead to headaches and eyestrain.  It is also important to note that not all colours of light have the same affect on the human body.  Blue wavelengths, as exhibited by electronic screens and energy efficient lighting, are useful during daylight hours in that they boost attention, reaction times and moods, but appear to be problematic at night with a potential link to disturbed sleep patterns, diabetes and obesity1. A Room With A View A recent study by neuroscientists suggested that office workers with windows received 173 percent more white light exposure during work hours and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night2. Workers without windows reported poorer scores than their counterparts on quality of life measures related to physical problems and vitality, as well as poorer outcomes on measures of overall sleep quality, sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances and daytime dysfunction – all of which can be classed as circadian rhythm disorders. However, attributing these results solely to access to daylight is erroneous. Many researchers now believe that levels of exposure to white light is not the most significant factor and that in fact, views of nature and other biophilic experiences are more important.  As such, biophilic research is now increasingly focusing on physiological responses such as brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormone levels. When used appropriately, many Sika products can contribute towards a more sustainable building design potentially leading to a more positive impact upon the building occupant’s health and wellbeing.  For example, Sika sealants can be used to minimise the amount of window frame and maximise the amount of glazing, increasing the potential for natural lighting.  Also Sika’s Green Roof Systems can increase the opportunities for views of nature in heavily urbanised environments. Design in Good Air Quality Building occupants can be exposed to a range of airborne pollutants including chemicals, micro-organisms and other particles from a variety of sources such as carpets, finishes, cleaning products, office equipment and traffic.  Design strategies that ensure good air quality, both by allowing a supply of fresh air through ventilation and stopping pollutants at source by minimising emissions from materials, are essential for the development of a healthy and productive working environment.  Furthermore, the increasing availability of cost-effective wearable devices that measure CO2 levels means that design features - such as mixed-mode ventilation systems that consider thermal comfort and fresh-air requirements - will, in the future, be expected by millennials, generation Zs and top class candidates. Design out Volatile Organic Compounds While many volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as gases from certain solids and liquids, are considered harmless others can adversely affect human health.  Many Sika products have very low VOC content, meeting European standards such as EMICODE EC1 Plus and the requirements of BREEAM New Construction 2018.  All new product creation projects at Sika have to consider all aspects of sustainability at the outset, resulting in the development of products that have been specifically designed to have lower emission levels. Standards of the Future Putting the focus on the end-user and their wellbeing is something the pioneering WELLBuilding Standardhas done for many years.  The recently releasedWELL v2TM pilot has expanded on this, reportedly consideringbuildings as “health intervention tools”.  In addition, the RICS SKA rating – an environmental assessment method, benchmark and standard for non-domestic fit-outs – is also undergoing an update that is expected to return the standard to its roots by focusing on a fit-out’s impact upon the buildings occupants. The ever increasing popularity and evolution of these standards clearly confirms that the impact of building solutions on the health and wellbeing of building occupants is a topic that is not going to go away. As such in order to appeal to the staff of the future, companies can no longer ignore the needs of the workers and must do more than simply providing a space to work. The 21st century workplace must offer good design that benefits both the planet and the occupants.  As a world class construction material manufacturer, Sika has a clear understanding that all aspects of sustainability and wellbeing impact each other and so can offer sustainable solutions that have a positive impact on the health, wellbeing and productivity of building occupants. Visit: SikaEveryday
    Feb 26, 2019 0