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Talk. Build 's Entries

  • 26 Oct 2018
    One of the biggest problems facing contracting companies is the ability to keep in touch with the workforce, particularly when they are scattered over several sites writes John Ridgeway. It is particularly difficult to know when workers have turned up and what time they leave. In this “Big Brother” world no employer wants to be seen to be tagging staff but there is considerable anecdotal evidence of abuse by workers who clock in late and leave early. As well as losses for the company, employers have to prove a duty of care particularly with staff who might be working alone. Strict health and safety rules also mean that bosses should know where their workers are at all times – and of course what they are doing. Over the years employers have tried different tracking devices, mostly on vehicles but this does not give you any idea where individuals are located. To counter this some companies have looked at personal trackers most of which have failed to deliver – mainly for not being accurate or tough enough to face the challenging environments of building sites. But now it seems, there could be an answer with a new type of tracking product from www.trackmyworld.net which offers huge potential for the construction industry. It’s a tough and robust personal tracker, especially developed for people with equally tough and demanding jobs. Its waterproof built to cope with rough handling and will continue to deliver even under the most difficult conditions. The suppliers claim that it is rapidly becoming the personal tracker of choice for employers who need to keep in contact with key members of staff working in the most challenging and difficult environments. The tracker clips on to a belt or other item of clothing and in the event of an emergency there is an SOS button to instantly summon help. Tests show that it will tell you exactly when your team arrives on site and when they leave using advanced geo fence technology with the addition of real time pin point location to keep in touch and get alerts if speed limits are broken and much more. The device is controlled using an advanced App which will allow an administrator to monitor a limitless number of teams or individuals anywhere in the world from a mobile phone. The TMW GPS Tracker also offers a long battery life and can be easily recharged from the mains or via a cigar lighter in a vehicle. It’s the tough tracker for tough jobs say TMW – and when it’s vital to keep to keep in touch – it appears to have no equal. Visit: www.trackmyworld.net  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • One of the biggest problems facing contracting companies is the ability to keep in touch with the workforce, particularly when they are scattered over several sites writes John Ridgeway. It is particularly difficult to know when workers have turned up and what time they leave. In this “Big Brother” world no employer wants to be seen to be tagging staff but there is considerable anecdotal evidence of abuse by workers who clock in late and leave early. As well as losses for the company, employers have to prove a duty of care particularly with staff who might be working alone. Strict health and safety rules also mean that bosses should know where their workers are at all times – and of course what they are doing. Over the years employers have tried different tracking devices, mostly on vehicles but this does not give you any idea where individuals are located. To counter this some companies have looked at personal trackers most of which have failed to deliver – mainly for not being accurate or tough enough to face the challenging environments of building sites. But now it seems, there could be an answer with a new type of tracking product from www.trackmyworld.net which offers huge potential for the construction industry. It’s a tough and robust personal tracker, especially developed for people with equally tough and demanding jobs. Its waterproof built to cope with rough handling and will continue to deliver even under the most difficult conditions. The suppliers claim that it is rapidly becoming the personal tracker of choice for employers who need to keep in contact with key members of staff working in the most challenging and difficult environments. The tracker clips on to a belt or other item of clothing and in the event of an emergency there is an SOS button to instantly summon help. Tests show that it will tell you exactly when your team arrives on site and when they leave using advanced geo fence technology with the addition of real time pin point location to keep in touch and get alerts if speed limits are broken and much more. The device is controlled using an advanced App which will allow an administrator to monitor a limitless number of teams or individuals anywhere in the world from a mobile phone. The TMW GPS Tracker also offers a long battery life and can be easily recharged from the mains or via a cigar lighter in a vehicle. It’s the tough tracker for tough jobs say TMW – and when it’s vital to keep to keep in touch – it appears to have no equal. Visit: www.trackmyworld.net  
    Oct 26, 2018 0
  • 19 Oct 2018
    As specialist contractors carry out the vast majority of construction work in the UK, isn’t it about time the construction industry acknowledged their role writes Gerald Kelly.  Specialist contractors and suppliers will together produce the bulk of the detailed design work and will manufacture, fabricate, supply, install, commission and maintain the components which make up the finished building or structure.  However, this is conveniently forgotten when Main Contractors deal with the Client. The Main Contract Agreement between the Client and Main Contractor is considered as the most significant contract, even though the expertise of specialist contractors is indispensable. Specialist contractors invariably end up having no direct contractual link to the client, operating as sub-contractors to the Main Contractor and having to deal with Main Contractors unloading risk down through the supply chain. So, why is there a reluctance to acknowledge the functions of specialist contractors and suppliers? Could it be that it is far easier to abuse contractual positions if specialist contractors are relegated to being functional accessories to the Main Contractor rather than being recognised for the crucial role that they perform. Of course, Main Contractors will argue that their supply chain is extremely important and are recognised and rewarded for the expertise they bring to construction projects. However, if this were the case, why do Main Contractors alter standard forms of subcontract, insist on onerous Terms and Conditions and participate in late payment practices. A quick look at data compiled by Build UK on their members’ payment performance, using data published under the Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Performance, highlights the appalling late payment practices of many Main Contractors. Company Name          % of invoices NOT paid within agreed terms   Average time taken to pay invoices (days) Clugston                                             13                                                 32 Willmott Dixon                                   8                                                   33 Canary Wharf Contractors                 8                                                   34 VolkerWessels                                  19                                                   35 Bouygues                                          31                                                   40 AECOM                                              52                                                   40 Skanska                                            11                                                   41 ISG                                                    48                                                  42 Multiplex                                           47                                                  43 Seddon                                               7                                                   44 Morgan Sindall                                 24                                                  44 Wates                                               62                                                  44 Mace                                                 43                                                  45 BAM Construct                                 49                                                  45 Keltbray                                           11                                                  47 Galliford Try                                    26                                                  47 Sir Robert McAlpine                        70                                                  49 Interserve                                       83                                                  50 William Hare                                   29                                                  51 Vinci                                                36                                                  52 John Sisk & Son                              64                                                  52 Kier                                                  48                                                  54 Balfour Beatty                                 54                                                  54 Engie                                                 1                                                   61 Murphy Group                                 66                                                   66 The Guidance to reporting on payment practices and performance specifies that the average time taken to pay should be measured from the date of receipt of invoice to the date the supplier receives payment. For construction contracts in scope of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, businesses must use the earliest point at which they have notice of an amount for payment, which would generally be the date they receive an application for payment. It truly is the time for the construction industry to move forward. A good start would be to recognise the worth of specialist contractors, issue fair contracts, pay on time and stop all detrimental payment practices. The construction industry has many problems; however, they can be solved if all work together and put aside the adversarial attitude that is prevalent within the industry. Gerald Kelly is General Manager of the Confederation of Construction Specialists, an organisation which fights for fair and ethical contracts within the construction industry.  Visit: www.constructionspecialists.org    
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • As specialist contractors carry out the vast majority of construction work in the UK, isn’t it about time the construction industry acknowledged their role writes Gerald Kelly.  Specialist contractors and suppliers will together produce the bulk of the detailed design work and will manufacture, fabricate, supply, install, commission and maintain the components which make up the finished building or structure.  However, this is conveniently forgotten when Main Contractors deal with the Client. The Main Contract Agreement between the Client and Main Contractor is considered as the most significant contract, even though the expertise of specialist contractors is indispensable. Specialist contractors invariably end up having no direct contractual link to the client, operating as sub-contractors to the Main Contractor and having to deal with Main Contractors unloading risk down through the supply chain. So, why is there a reluctance to acknowledge the functions of specialist contractors and suppliers? Could it be that it is far easier to abuse contractual positions if specialist contractors are relegated to being functional accessories to the Main Contractor rather than being recognised for the crucial role that they perform. Of course, Main Contractors will argue that their supply chain is extremely important and are recognised and rewarded for the expertise they bring to construction projects. However, if this were the case, why do Main Contractors alter standard forms of subcontract, insist on onerous Terms and Conditions and participate in late payment practices. A quick look at data compiled by Build UK on their members’ payment performance, using data published under the Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Performance, highlights the appalling late payment practices of many Main Contractors. Company Name          % of invoices NOT paid within agreed terms   Average time taken to pay invoices (days) Clugston                                             13                                                 32 Willmott Dixon                                   8                                                   33 Canary Wharf Contractors                 8                                                   34 VolkerWessels                                  19                                                   35 Bouygues                                          31                                                   40 AECOM                                              52                                                   40 Skanska                                            11                                                   41 ISG                                                    48                                                  42 Multiplex                                           47                                                  43 Seddon                                               7                                                   44 Morgan Sindall                                 24                                                  44 Wates                                               62                                                  44 Mace                                                 43                                                  45 BAM Construct                                 49                                                  45 Keltbray                                           11                                                  47 Galliford Try                                    26                                                  47 Sir Robert McAlpine                        70                                                  49 Interserve                                       83                                                  50 William Hare                                   29                                                  51 Vinci                                                36                                                  52 John Sisk & Son                              64                                                  52 Kier                                                  48                                                  54 Balfour Beatty                                 54                                                  54 Engie                                                 1                                                   61 Murphy Group                                 66                                                   66 The Guidance to reporting on payment practices and performance specifies that the average time taken to pay should be measured from the date of receipt of invoice to the date the supplier receives payment. For construction contracts in scope of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, businesses must use the earliest point at which they have notice of an amount for payment, which would generally be the date they receive an application for payment. It truly is the time for the construction industry to move forward. A good start would be to recognise the worth of specialist contractors, issue fair contracts, pay on time and stop all detrimental payment practices. The construction industry has many problems; however, they can be solved if all work together and put aside the adversarial attitude that is prevalent within the industry. Gerald Kelly is General Manager of the Confederation of Construction Specialists, an organisation which fights for fair and ethical contracts within the construction industry.  Visit: www.constructionspecialists.org    
    Oct 19, 2018 0
  • 15 Oct 2018
    High-rise curtain wall buildings have become architectural statements across the globe, their façades projecting image and a creative intent which sets them apart from other buildings across city skylines. While curtain walls offer formability, durability and weather resistance, it’s vitally important that passive fire protection and compartmentation measures are installed to limit the spread of fire, saving lives and property. Chris Hall, Commercial Development Officer at SIDERISE, feels that passive fire protection solutions such as firestops are crucial to prevent the passage of flames and noxious gases travelling from one compartment floor or room to the next. Fires in high-rise buildings can generate large quantities of smoke that tend to spread vertically throughout the building, even if the fire is contained to one room. When the gap/cavity at the perimeter edge between the floor and curtain wall is not properly sealed, flames and smoke can spread vertically to higher floors, and horizontally from one room to the next. Addressing these gaps/cavities by properly installing firestops maintains the floors’ fire compartmentation of the building. This delays vertical smoke-spread and reduces the risk of smoke-related injury in the upper floors of the building, and adjacent rooms. Closing the gap The perimeter barrier firestops seal the gap between the edge of the compartmentfloor slab and external curtain wall. Due to project designs and site tolerances, this linear gap can be variable, so the firestop system used needs to have a degree of ‘dynamic’ movement capability – compression and recovery – in order to accommodate serviceability movement, and more significant movement under fire load. It’s critical the firestop system does this in combination with the primary functional requirement, which is to maintain continuity of fire resistance between the compartmentfloor and the external wall. The installed firestop system needs to match the same period of fire resistance as the compartment floor. All firestop systems need to be tested to two criteria – Integrity and Insulation (EI). Integrity (E) refers to the ability of the system to prevent the passage of flame, smoke and combustible gases either through, and around the material or through joints in an assembly; while Insulation (I) refers to a measure of the increase in conducted heat transferred from the exposed to unexposed surfaces of 180°C rises above ambient. These two criteria are critical in the development of curtain wall perimeter firestop products. The most effective products combine a number of material features – density, thickness, resin content, fibre structure and controlled compression – which together determine the resistance properties. When looking at the Integrity (E) criteria, the material chosen must be impervious to the transfer of flame and gases, easy to install with minimal site management and accommodate all real-world requirements at interfaces, joints and details. In order to meet the fire and smoke stop requirements in all external façade applications, Certifire Approved perimeter barrier and firestop systems offer an unrivalled combination of fully-qualified performance, practical installation and service benefits. The principal function of these systems is to maintain continuity of fire resistance by sealing the gap between the compartment floors or walls and external curtain walls horizontally and vertically. These systems can offer tested fire rating options ranging from 30 minutes to five hours and accommodate void widths up to 1200mm. In addition to providing an effective seal against the passage of smoke and fire, the products will also function as an effective acoustic barrier and plenum lining. Key design considerations The firestop should be installed under compression and must have test evidence to show that it is capable of accommodating movement of a façade. It is imperative that the installed seal is able to function effectively with due regard to all designed movement serviceability limits.  Curtain walling and cladding façade systems will deflect due to positive and negative windloads as well as occupational live loads.  These criteria are covered by EN 13116:2001.  Typically, a project may stipulate that the curtain walling system may have the following allowable deflection limits: Under the declared wind loads the maximum frontal deflection of the curtain walling’s framing members shall not exceed L/200 or 15mm, whichever is less, when measured between the points of support or anchorage to the building’s structure in compliance with EN 13116. (Extract from EN 138300) These factors may inevitably combine to preclude the suitability and therefore, use of certain systems e.g. high density material slab products. Perimeter barriers must be installed to provide horizontal compartmentation at every floor level.  Vertical cavity barriers should be provided as a minimum to fall in line with any compartment wall and more frequently if dictated by the fire strategy of the building. Products should be fitted tightly around all bracketry to restrict the passage of smoke.  Where there is potential for gaps, the product must be sealed with a sealant that carries the same fire insulation and integrity rating as the perimeter barrier. All installations should be in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions and where fixing brackets are required these should be fitted and spaced in accordance with a certified fire test report. Products used for fire safety installation should carry an independent third party certification in order to ensure that the product supplied is the same as that tested. The gap between the slab edge and the façade is often a weak point acoustically.  Any products used to improve the acoustic performance must not contribute to the fire load or inhibit the performance of the perimeter barrier. Seal the voids At the $135 million Al Fattan Crystal Towers in the Dubai Marina, UAE, fire safety was paramount in a development which houses hotel rooms, suites and residential apartments. With both vertical and horizontal fire compartmentation requirements, the specification of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops provided the contractor Cladtech with a one-stop-shop solution that could maintain a fire and smoke seal in one product and could successfully fill lineargaps at the podium levels in excess of 300mm. For the two towers, Cladtech installed 12,000 LM of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops including horizontal (floor slab) and vertical compartmentation. With the timeline on the project critical, the use of this dry fix system enabled the work to be completed quickly and efficiently, ready for handover to subcontractors.   Throughout the application, SIDERISE provided comprehensive support including drawing assistance, liaison with the authorities for approval, installation training and periodic site inspection and assistance. Whilst specifying the correct product is vital, the quality of installation is equally as important.  Contractors installing life saving measures such as perimeter barriers and firestops must have adequate training on the particular manufacturer’s products and be qualified to install it in the first place.  When it comes to saving lives and protecting businesses and property, a well designed and installed system can make the difference.  Visit: www.siderise.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • High-rise curtain wall buildings have become architectural statements across the globe, their façades projecting image and a creative intent which sets them apart from other buildings across city skylines. While curtain walls offer formability, durability and weather resistance, it’s vitally important that passive fire protection and compartmentation measures are installed to limit the spread of fire, saving lives and property. Chris Hall, Commercial Development Officer at SIDERISE, feels that passive fire protection solutions such as firestops are crucial to prevent the passage of flames and noxious gases travelling from one compartment floor or room to the next. Fires in high-rise buildings can generate large quantities of smoke that tend to spread vertically throughout the building, even if the fire is contained to one room. When the gap/cavity at the perimeter edge between the floor and curtain wall is not properly sealed, flames and smoke can spread vertically to higher floors, and horizontally from one room to the next. Addressing these gaps/cavities by properly installing firestops maintains the floors’ fire compartmentation of the building. This delays vertical smoke-spread and reduces the risk of smoke-related injury in the upper floors of the building, and adjacent rooms. Closing the gap The perimeter barrier firestops seal the gap between the edge of the compartmentfloor slab and external curtain wall. Due to project designs and site tolerances, this linear gap can be variable, so the firestop system used needs to have a degree of ‘dynamic’ movement capability – compression and recovery – in order to accommodate serviceability movement, and more significant movement under fire load. It’s critical the firestop system does this in combination with the primary functional requirement, which is to maintain continuity of fire resistance between the compartmentfloor and the external wall. The installed firestop system needs to match the same period of fire resistance as the compartment floor. All firestop systems need to be tested to two criteria – Integrity and Insulation (EI). Integrity (E) refers to the ability of the system to prevent the passage of flame, smoke and combustible gases either through, and around the material or through joints in an assembly; while Insulation (I) refers to a measure of the increase in conducted heat transferred from the exposed to unexposed surfaces of 180°C rises above ambient. These two criteria are critical in the development of curtain wall perimeter firestop products. The most effective products combine a number of material features – density, thickness, resin content, fibre structure and controlled compression – which together determine the resistance properties. When looking at the Integrity (E) criteria, the material chosen must be impervious to the transfer of flame and gases, easy to install with minimal site management and accommodate all real-world requirements at interfaces, joints and details. In order to meet the fire and smoke stop requirements in all external façade applications, Certifire Approved perimeter barrier and firestop systems offer an unrivalled combination of fully-qualified performance, practical installation and service benefits. The principal function of these systems is to maintain continuity of fire resistance by sealing the gap between the compartment floors or walls and external curtain walls horizontally and vertically. These systems can offer tested fire rating options ranging from 30 minutes to five hours and accommodate void widths up to 1200mm. In addition to providing an effective seal against the passage of smoke and fire, the products will also function as an effective acoustic barrier and plenum lining. Key design considerations The firestop should be installed under compression and must have test evidence to show that it is capable of accommodating movement of a façade. It is imperative that the installed seal is able to function effectively with due regard to all designed movement serviceability limits.  Curtain walling and cladding façade systems will deflect due to positive and negative windloads as well as occupational live loads.  These criteria are covered by EN 13116:2001.  Typically, a project may stipulate that the curtain walling system may have the following allowable deflection limits: Under the declared wind loads the maximum frontal deflection of the curtain walling’s framing members shall not exceed L/200 or 15mm, whichever is less, when measured between the points of support or anchorage to the building’s structure in compliance with EN 13116. (Extract from EN 138300) These factors may inevitably combine to preclude the suitability and therefore, use of certain systems e.g. high density material slab products. Perimeter barriers must be installed to provide horizontal compartmentation at every floor level.  Vertical cavity barriers should be provided as a minimum to fall in line with any compartment wall and more frequently if dictated by the fire strategy of the building. Products should be fitted tightly around all bracketry to restrict the passage of smoke.  Where there is potential for gaps, the product must be sealed with a sealant that carries the same fire insulation and integrity rating as the perimeter barrier. All installations should be in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions and where fixing brackets are required these should be fitted and spaced in accordance with a certified fire test report. Products used for fire safety installation should carry an independent third party certification in order to ensure that the product supplied is the same as that tested. The gap between the slab edge and the façade is often a weak point acoustically.  Any products used to improve the acoustic performance must not contribute to the fire load or inhibit the performance of the perimeter barrier. Seal the voids At the $135 million Al Fattan Crystal Towers in the Dubai Marina, UAE, fire safety was paramount in a development which houses hotel rooms, suites and residential apartments. With both vertical and horizontal fire compartmentation requirements, the specification of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops provided the contractor Cladtech with a one-stop-shop solution that could maintain a fire and smoke seal in one product and could successfully fill lineargaps at the podium levels in excess of 300mm. For the two towers, Cladtech installed 12,000 LM of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops including horizontal (floor slab) and vertical compartmentation. With the timeline on the project critical, the use of this dry fix system enabled the work to be completed quickly and efficiently, ready for handover to subcontractors.   Throughout the application, SIDERISE provided comprehensive support including drawing assistance, liaison with the authorities for approval, installation training and periodic site inspection and assistance. Whilst specifying the correct product is vital, the quality of installation is equally as important.  Contractors installing life saving measures such as perimeter barriers and firestops must have adequate training on the particular manufacturer’s products and be qualified to install it in the first place.  When it comes to saving lives and protecting businesses and property, a well designed and installed system can make the difference.  Visit: www.siderise.com
    Oct 15, 2018 0
  • 08 Oct 2018
    If you think that some of the tallest towers in the world are impressive now, then you’ve seen nothing yet. Not only will the next generation of skyscrapers be in amongst the tallest in the world, with one becoming THE tallest and by a long way, they are also far greener too. Below is a graphic that highlights these new cloud puncturing structures, what they’ll have inside them and the green features that have been incorporated as well. Visit: http://rubberbond.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • If you think that some of the tallest towers in the world are impressive now, then you’ve seen nothing yet. Not only will the next generation of skyscrapers be in amongst the tallest in the world, with one becoming THE tallest and by a long way, they are also far greener too. Below is a graphic that highlights these new cloud puncturing structures, what they’ll have inside them and the green features that have been incorporated as well. Visit: http://rubberbond.co.uk
    Oct 08, 2018 0
  • 03 Oct 2018
    Bridges carry you across the water, or across a busy road, but you might not have bothered to pay much attention to what is under your feet. Then again, not all bridges are built equal. Some are built from sketches that were lost for 400 years. Some are said to be built by the Devil himself! Here, Oasys, structure analysis software providers, take a look at these fascinating structures…  1.      The Rolling Bridge – UK Photograph by Loz Pycock This amazing steel bridge was created by Heatherwick studios to cross an inlet in London. What makes this bridge so unique is that it can tidy itself away! When needed, this bridge curls up into an octogen shape to stand on one side of the canal until a boat passes. The bridge also curls up every day at noon, if you want to see it in action!  Da Vinci Bridge – Norway Photograph by Egil Kvaleberg This next bridge, in Norway, was built from designs intended to be used in Istanbul that were drawn up by Leonardo da Vinci. The original drawing had a single span of 240 metres, but the project did not go ahead as it was believed that such a design was not feasible. As the first major engineering feat from a da Vinci drawing, the bridge finally came into the world in Norway. The bridge has just three arches to support the structure. Though the Norwegian bridge is a smaller version of the original plans, it shows that the design works — one arch under the bridge, and two arches either side leaning inwards to spread the weight.  The Devil’s Bridge – Germany Photograph by A. Landgraf Known as Rakotzbrücke, the bridge’s appearance looks like a perfect circle. The bridge is said to have been commissioned by a knight in 1860. But the rocks and stones used for its creation are jagged and spikey, so it was dangerous to cross. The bridge’s design was deemed a masonry challenge, according to Earth Trekkers. The idea was that only Satan himself could help with a difficult build such as these bridges, and the first human who crossed the completed bridge would pay for the Devil’s helping hand by giving up his soul. The bridge is no longer open to be crossed, due to preservation measures. But it is still an oddly beautiful sight to behold!  Fire-breathing dragon Bridge — Vietnam Photograph by Ehrin Macksey / Noi Pictures This next bridge might be the most flamboyant build on our list. Located in Da Nang in Vietnam, the Dragon Bridge is certainly a spectacular sight! The bridge is the result of an international competition by the Da Nang People’s Committee in order to improve travel in the city. The bridge has six lanes for vehicles, two lanes for pedestrians, and 2,500 LED lights. Of course, as a dragon, the bridge can breathe fire! In fact, the bridge can spout water or fire, and this display is often used for special occasions in the city.  Living Roots Bridges – India Photograph by Arshiya Urveeja Bose If ever there were living examples of the payoff of patience, these bridges are just that. These beautifully natural bridges were formed by guiding rubber tree roots with hollow canes so that they would grow outwards and meet from either side of a stream. It would take years to reach the opposite bank, but the hard work paid off as these Living Roots bridges can support the weight of a human. They were originally made by the Khasi tribe, who realised the bamboo bridges they were building would collapse or rot after a monsoon or heavy storm. Sources: https://bocadolobo.com/blog/architecture/10-of-the-worlds-most-beautiful-and-unique-bridges/ https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/design/g248/4335705/ http://boredomtherapy.com/unique-bridges-around-the-world/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azalea_and_Rhododendron_Park_Kromlau https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_root_bridges https://www.bemytravelmuse.com/rakotzbrucke-devils-bridge/ https://www.earthtrekkers.com/rakotzbrucke-fairytale-bridge-saxony-germany/ https://www.flickr.com/people/45649858@N08 http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150218-indias-amazing-living-root-bridges https://www.flickr.com/photos/blahflowers/ https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/rolling-bridge-london
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Bridges carry you across the water, or across a busy road, but you might not have bothered to pay much attention to what is under your feet. Then again, not all bridges are built equal. Some are built from sketches that were lost for 400 years. Some are said to be built by the Devil himself! Here, Oasys, structure analysis software providers, take a look at these fascinating structures…  1.      The Rolling Bridge – UK Photograph by Loz Pycock This amazing steel bridge was created by Heatherwick studios to cross an inlet in London. What makes this bridge so unique is that it can tidy itself away! When needed, this bridge curls up into an octogen shape to stand on one side of the canal until a boat passes. The bridge also curls up every day at noon, if you want to see it in action!  Da Vinci Bridge – Norway Photograph by Egil Kvaleberg This next bridge, in Norway, was built from designs intended to be used in Istanbul that were drawn up by Leonardo da Vinci. The original drawing had a single span of 240 metres, but the project did not go ahead as it was believed that such a design was not feasible. As the first major engineering feat from a da Vinci drawing, the bridge finally came into the world in Norway. The bridge has just three arches to support the structure. Though the Norwegian bridge is a smaller version of the original plans, it shows that the design works — one arch under the bridge, and two arches either side leaning inwards to spread the weight.  The Devil’s Bridge – Germany Photograph by A. Landgraf Known as Rakotzbrücke, the bridge’s appearance looks like a perfect circle. The bridge is said to have been commissioned by a knight in 1860. But the rocks and stones used for its creation are jagged and spikey, so it was dangerous to cross. The bridge’s design was deemed a masonry challenge, according to Earth Trekkers. The idea was that only Satan himself could help with a difficult build such as these bridges, and the first human who crossed the completed bridge would pay for the Devil’s helping hand by giving up his soul. The bridge is no longer open to be crossed, due to preservation measures. But it is still an oddly beautiful sight to behold!  Fire-breathing dragon Bridge — Vietnam Photograph by Ehrin Macksey / Noi Pictures This next bridge might be the most flamboyant build on our list. Located in Da Nang in Vietnam, the Dragon Bridge is certainly a spectacular sight! The bridge is the result of an international competition by the Da Nang People’s Committee in order to improve travel in the city. The bridge has six lanes for vehicles, two lanes for pedestrians, and 2,500 LED lights. Of course, as a dragon, the bridge can breathe fire! In fact, the bridge can spout water or fire, and this display is often used for special occasions in the city.  Living Roots Bridges – India Photograph by Arshiya Urveeja Bose If ever there were living examples of the payoff of patience, these bridges are just that. These beautifully natural bridges were formed by guiding rubber tree roots with hollow canes so that they would grow outwards and meet from either side of a stream. It would take years to reach the opposite bank, but the hard work paid off as these Living Roots bridges can support the weight of a human. They were originally made by the Khasi tribe, who realised the bamboo bridges they were building would collapse or rot after a monsoon or heavy storm. Sources: https://bocadolobo.com/blog/architecture/10-of-the-worlds-most-beautiful-and-unique-bridges/ https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/design/g248/4335705/ http://boredomtherapy.com/unique-bridges-around-the-world/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azalea_and_Rhododendron_Park_Kromlau https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_root_bridges https://www.bemytravelmuse.com/rakotzbrucke-devils-bridge/ https://www.earthtrekkers.com/rakotzbrucke-fairytale-bridge-saxony-germany/ https://www.flickr.com/people/45649858@N08 http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150218-indias-amazing-living-root-bridges https://www.flickr.com/photos/blahflowers/ https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/rolling-bridge-london
    Oct 03, 2018 0
  • 01 Oct 2018
    The ever-widening skills shortage faced by the construction sector is driving up wages and having a significant impact on the government’s ambitious plan to build 300,000 homes every year in England alone.   But it is not just building targets that need to be met, there are also the hugely important carbon reduction targets and the need to ensure buildings are properly insulated with high quality products and installed correctly to allow them to perform. With the demand for tradespeople across all sectors of the construction industry outstripping supply, the skills’ shortage is a key constraint to the housebuilding industry severely impacting the quality of new buildings, the ability to build to budget and ensuring that all performance characteristics meet both design and regulatory requirements. How can the construction industry put in place measures that might put an end to the skills’ crisis? The contributing factors of the construction skills’ shortage are well documented; from an ageing workforce not being replaced, to a younger generation not seeing the industry as an attractive and viable option. Britain’s decision to leave the EU has only added to the industry-wide fear over the building skills’ shortage. Of the UK’s 270,653 migrant construction force, about 45% are workers from EU countries. When or if the UK’s divorce from the continent is finalised, there is a real fear that many employees who have arrived from overseas will leave, taking their building skills and experience with them.  Reaching out to students Inspiring the next generation to take-up a career in construction is fundamental to filling the current skills’ gap over the long-term. Changing the outdated and negative perceptions of the industry is part of this. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) recently asked a group of 14 to 19-year-olds which careers interested them - construction only scored 4.2 out of 10. According to the survey, young people claimed that construction means ‘being outdoors and getting dirty’. Young people overlook the fact a career in construction is incredibly diverse and is an industry with cutting-edge technologies, such as robotics, digitisation and modular building techniques – key to attracting a tech savvy younger generation. Companies in the industry need to reach out and engage with students, parents and teachers to create a better image of construction, right through from manufacturing, engineered solutions to site management. The industry needs to expand its recruitment and attract more women and people from ethnic diversities, which are currently under-represented. Women represent just 13% of the workforce, a shocking statistic considering the skills shortage. A fundamental shift towards inclusiveness is necessary while a joined-up approach between industry, the government and education sector – beginning with young people at primary school and then throughout education – will pave the way towards a more inclusive and accessible industry. The government has launched a number of initiatives to help plug the skills gap and has set a new target of three million new apprentices by 2020 across all sectors.  A £34 million investment in construction training and an apprenticeship levy – estimated to raise £3 billion a year - might go some way to securing a skilled and stable workforce. Alternative educational models such as part-time degree apprenticeships will also widen the route into the industry. An off-site approach Modern methods of construction can also play a part in plugging the gap by reducing on-site labour whilst at the same time addressing the high demand for new buildings. The increased use of off-site fabrication and systems such as structural insulated panels (SIPS), modular buildings and pre-engineered insulated roof systems for example can encourage greater efficiency and higher productivity within the sector, give a much needed boost to the UK housing supply capacity and ensure that the regulatory targets for energy efficiency are met or even exceeded.  Rethinking the way we design, engineer and construct buildings will help deliver projects quicker, better and with a greater degree of precision. Schemes such as the Each Home Counts Quality Mark will go a long way to ensuring that insulation measures are properly installed by skilled tradespeople and link this in with the Energy Company Obligation, this will ensure that consumers get the standards they expect and deserve. When it comes to addressing the chronic skills’ shortage, there is no easy solution, but rather a broad range of measures which can relieve the pressure on construction companies trying to compete within their sectors. The built environment is evolving all the time and the demand for construction has never been greater which means addressing the skills’ gap is now more critical than ever.  It is down to construction companies, the government and our educational system to play their part in closing the skills’ shortage gap. Visit: www.insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The ever-widening skills shortage faced by the construction sector is driving up wages and having a significant impact on the government’s ambitious plan to build 300,000 homes every year in England alone.   But it is not just building targets that need to be met, there are also the hugely important carbon reduction targets and the need to ensure buildings are properly insulated with high quality products and installed correctly to allow them to perform. With the demand for tradespeople across all sectors of the construction industry outstripping supply, the skills’ shortage is a key constraint to the housebuilding industry severely impacting the quality of new buildings, the ability to build to budget and ensuring that all performance characteristics meet both design and regulatory requirements. How can the construction industry put in place measures that might put an end to the skills’ crisis? The contributing factors of the construction skills’ shortage are well documented; from an ageing workforce not being replaced, to a younger generation not seeing the industry as an attractive and viable option. Britain’s decision to leave the EU has only added to the industry-wide fear over the building skills’ shortage. Of the UK’s 270,653 migrant construction force, about 45% are workers from EU countries. When or if the UK’s divorce from the continent is finalised, there is a real fear that many employees who have arrived from overseas will leave, taking their building skills and experience with them.  Reaching out to students Inspiring the next generation to take-up a career in construction is fundamental to filling the current skills’ gap over the long-term. Changing the outdated and negative perceptions of the industry is part of this. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) recently asked a group of 14 to 19-year-olds which careers interested them - construction only scored 4.2 out of 10. According to the survey, young people claimed that construction means ‘being outdoors and getting dirty’. Young people overlook the fact a career in construction is incredibly diverse and is an industry with cutting-edge technologies, such as robotics, digitisation and modular building techniques – key to attracting a tech savvy younger generation. Companies in the industry need to reach out and engage with students, parents and teachers to create a better image of construction, right through from manufacturing, engineered solutions to site management. The industry needs to expand its recruitment and attract more women and people from ethnic diversities, which are currently under-represented. Women represent just 13% of the workforce, a shocking statistic considering the skills shortage. A fundamental shift towards inclusiveness is necessary while a joined-up approach between industry, the government and education sector – beginning with young people at primary school and then throughout education – will pave the way towards a more inclusive and accessible industry. The government has launched a number of initiatives to help plug the skills gap and has set a new target of three million new apprentices by 2020 across all sectors.  A £34 million investment in construction training and an apprenticeship levy – estimated to raise £3 billion a year - might go some way to securing a skilled and stable workforce. Alternative educational models such as part-time degree apprenticeships will also widen the route into the industry. An off-site approach Modern methods of construction can also play a part in plugging the gap by reducing on-site labour whilst at the same time addressing the high demand for new buildings. The increased use of off-site fabrication and systems such as structural insulated panels (SIPS), modular buildings and pre-engineered insulated roof systems for example can encourage greater efficiency and higher productivity within the sector, give a much needed boost to the UK housing supply capacity and ensure that the regulatory targets for energy efficiency are met or even exceeded.  Rethinking the way we design, engineer and construct buildings will help deliver projects quicker, better and with a greater degree of precision. Schemes such as the Each Home Counts Quality Mark will go a long way to ensuring that insulation measures are properly installed by skilled tradespeople and link this in with the Energy Company Obligation, this will ensure that consumers get the standards they expect and deserve. When it comes to addressing the chronic skills’ shortage, there is no easy solution, but rather a broad range of measures which can relieve the pressure on construction companies trying to compete within their sectors. The built environment is evolving all the time and the demand for construction has never been greater which means addressing the skills’ gap is now more critical than ever.  It is down to construction companies, the government and our educational system to play their part in closing the skills’ shortage gap. Visit: www.insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    Oct 01, 2018 0
  • 26 Sep 2018
    Summer has ended and September has begun, meaning it is back-to-school week for all children across the UK. Sadly, this won’t be the case for pupils at Roding Primary School, Dagenham, as a huge fire tore through half the school’s premises, reducing classrooms, break-out-areas and equipment to ruins and preventing the school from opening. This disaster brings into sharp focus the destructive impact of fire in a school, but what are the wider effects of fire on education and how can its impact be averted? Taking place a day before the start of term, the fire at the school’s campus on Hewett Road has caused significant disruption, with the school forced to close down on one of the most important weeks in the academic calendar. Not only has the fire damaged the school’s building; the repercussions will be felt at a time where young students are most sensitive, particularly as adjusting to a new school routine can be a pretty daunting prospect. Whilst most students settle into school-life, young pupils at Roding Primary School have to face fire’s disruptive effects on their education. So how does fire impact on a child’s education? According to recent statistics, there are up to 700 school fires a year in the UK; 184 fires in London schools in 2017 alone; and 47 fires in London schools this year. These figures highlight fire’s ability to cause a substantial amount of stress and disruption to children and families, with school closures and refits reducing the amount of time in the classroom. Cost of school damage Last month, London fire commissioner Dany Cotton stressed that every year millions of pounds of government money is wasted on repairing schools destroyed by fire. Furthermore, statistics from the Fire Protection Association indicate the average repair cost rose from £330,000 per fire in 2009 to £2.8 million in 2014. Fire’s effect on education Fire can have negative effects on children’s productivity levels, especially if a costly refurbishment is necessary after a large fire. Not only does a considerable refit pose huge financial cost to the affected school, it can also disturb children’s education, with low grades jeopardising a child’s career and potential. The children at the Roding School will be provided with assignments to do at home but they will miss lessons. When they do return, temporary classrooms are by no means ideal teaching conditions and do not encourage students to feel comfortable and secure in their learning spaces. And the bigger the fire, the more costly the refit, meaning students will be forced to spend more time in these uninspiring and possibly inapt temporary classrooms. Combined with the added noise levels from construction equipment, this hardly makes for a productive learning environment for young students. The government acknowledges that missing lessons has an impact on attainment at key stages. They track attendance and have commissioned reports to confirm it. The pursuit of parents who take children out of education for holidays is backed by government spokespeople affirming the detrimental impact on educational attainment of missing a single day of education. The impact of these fires and the disruption that they cause can reduce the results of the students, and the government’s own statistics therefore affirm this. Surely, if government understands the importance of missing a days’ worth of education, and is willing to pursue and fine parents to ensure attendance, then more effective solutions must be implemented to quell the spread of fire? What is the solution? Government do understand the solution. Their own guidance, Building Bulletin 100 (BB100) highlights the importance of minimising the effects of fire on teaching, limiting the effects of interruption to operation of the school and seeking to have the school operational within 24 hours. It supports the use of property protection and an expectation of the use of sprinklers. Roding Primary School is split between two sites: one on Cannington Road and one on Hewett Road, the campus destroyed by the fire. Cannington Road is the newer build out of the two and the one featuring sprinklers, presenting the question: would the Hewett Road site still be standing if sprinklers were installed? Even though the government understands the impact on education, it is currently reviewing Building Bulletin 100 (BB100). It has suggested that the ‘sprinkler expectation’ will be removed. The number of new schools being erected with sprinklers installed has fallen to just 30% from a high of 70%. The BSA wants the government to explicitly maintain and reaffirm the ‘sprinkler expectation’ in the revised BB100 so that fewer schools are damaged and destroyed by fire. This is backed by Dany Cotton and the Fire Protection Association which has called for sprinkler installation in schools. The government has the opportunity to do this when it reviews the fire safety technical guidance of the building regulations later this year. It is evident that when sprinklers do operate they extinguish or contain the fire on 99% of occasions across a wide range of building types, so why are they not considered a necessity in building design?[1] Undoubtedly, fire is a huge educational and monetary cost to schools, with the fire at Roding Primary School exemplifying the short and long term effects fire can have on a school’s function. From disruption to education, to its impact on finances, fire in schools must be avoided. Although sprinkler systems are a celebrated solution to resolve this crisis, their effectiveness has not led to successful implementation across the UK’s schools. How many more fires need to occur and children’s educations disrupted before sprinkler installation becomes a prerequisite of school design and safety? Visit: www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org [1] Efficiency and Effectiveness of Sprinkler Systems in the United Kingdom: An Analysis from Fire Service Data – Optimal Electronics May 2017
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Summer has ended and September has begun, meaning it is back-to-school week for all children across the UK. Sadly, this won’t be the case for pupils at Roding Primary School, Dagenham, as a huge fire tore through half the school’s premises, reducing classrooms, break-out-areas and equipment to ruins and preventing the school from opening. This disaster brings into sharp focus the destructive impact of fire in a school, but what are the wider effects of fire on education and how can its impact be averted? Taking place a day before the start of term, the fire at the school’s campus on Hewett Road has caused significant disruption, with the school forced to close down on one of the most important weeks in the academic calendar. Not only has the fire damaged the school’s building; the repercussions will be felt at a time where young students are most sensitive, particularly as adjusting to a new school routine can be a pretty daunting prospect. Whilst most students settle into school-life, young pupils at Roding Primary School have to face fire’s disruptive effects on their education. So how does fire impact on a child’s education? According to recent statistics, there are up to 700 school fires a year in the UK; 184 fires in London schools in 2017 alone; and 47 fires in London schools this year. These figures highlight fire’s ability to cause a substantial amount of stress and disruption to children and families, with school closures and refits reducing the amount of time in the classroom. Cost of school damage Last month, London fire commissioner Dany Cotton stressed that every year millions of pounds of government money is wasted on repairing schools destroyed by fire. Furthermore, statistics from the Fire Protection Association indicate the average repair cost rose from £330,000 per fire in 2009 to £2.8 million in 2014. Fire’s effect on education Fire can have negative effects on children’s productivity levels, especially if a costly refurbishment is necessary after a large fire. Not only does a considerable refit pose huge financial cost to the affected school, it can also disturb children’s education, with low grades jeopardising a child’s career and potential. The children at the Roding School will be provided with assignments to do at home but they will miss lessons. When they do return, temporary classrooms are by no means ideal teaching conditions and do not encourage students to feel comfortable and secure in their learning spaces. And the bigger the fire, the more costly the refit, meaning students will be forced to spend more time in these uninspiring and possibly inapt temporary classrooms. Combined with the added noise levels from construction equipment, this hardly makes for a productive learning environment for young students. The government acknowledges that missing lessons has an impact on attainment at key stages. They track attendance and have commissioned reports to confirm it. The pursuit of parents who take children out of education for holidays is backed by government spokespeople affirming the detrimental impact on educational attainment of missing a single day of education. The impact of these fires and the disruption that they cause can reduce the results of the students, and the government’s own statistics therefore affirm this. Surely, if government understands the importance of missing a days’ worth of education, and is willing to pursue and fine parents to ensure attendance, then more effective solutions must be implemented to quell the spread of fire? What is the solution? Government do understand the solution. Their own guidance, Building Bulletin 100 (BB100) highlights the importance of minimising the effects of fire on teaching, limiting the effects of interruption to operation of the school and seeking to have the school operational within 24 hours. It supports the use of property protection and an expectation of the use of sprinklers. Roding Primary School is split between two sites: one on Cannington Road and one on Hewett Road, the campus destroyed by the fire. Cannington Road is the newer build out of the two and the one featuring sprinklers, presenting the question: would the Hewett Road site still be standing if sprinklers were installed? Even though the government understands the impact on education, it is currently reviewing Building Bulletin 100 (BB100). It has suggested that the ‘sprinkler expectation’ will be removed. The number of new schools being erected with sprinklers installed has fallen to just 30% from a high of 70%. The BSA wants the government to explicitly maintain and reaffirm the ‘sprinkler expectation’ in the revised BB100 so that fewer schools are damaged and destroyed by fire. This is backed by Dany Cotton and the Fire Protection Association which has called for sprinkler installation in schools. The government has the opportunity to do this when it reviews the fire safety technical guidance of the building regulations later this year. It is evident that when sprinklers do operate they extinguish or contain the fire on 99% of occasions across a wide range of building types, so why are they not considered a necessity in building design?[1] Undoubtedly, fire is a huge educational and monetary cost to schools, with the fire at Roding Primary School exemplifying the short and long term effects fire can have on a school’s function. From disruption to education, to its impact on finances, fire in schools must be avoided. Although sprinkler systems are a celebrated solution to resolve this crisis, their effectiveness has not led to successful implementation across the UK’s schools. How many more fires need to occur and children’s educations disrupted before sprinkler installation becomes a prerequisite of school design and safety? Visit: www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org [1] Efficiency and Effectiveness of Sprinkler Systems in the United Kingdom: An Analysis from Fire Service Data – Optimal Electronics May 2017
    Sep 26, 2018 0
  • 19 Sep 2018
    It makes a difference when it comes to relationships, but having the right chemistry is also a key ingredient in the creation of polyurethane coatings, adhesives, and sealants. Like any good relationship, it’s something you must work hard at in order to achieve the best result. This is why custom chemistry is often seen as one of the best ways to create tailored products that will continually take performance to new levels. So, what is the secret to custom chemistry, and how can it make a difference in a market saturated with so much choice? The secret to any great relationship starts through conversation. As a leading global manufacturer of specialist resin and polymer technologies, Incorez has a team of chemists who listen to their customers, so they can solve their problems. It could be a new resin, or a matter of tweaking an existing formulation. It might be helping a customer achieve the finish they have been wanting, or pass a regulation they have failed for years. Regardless of the requirement, custom chemistry will help improve a customer’s product in the long term. Let’s look at osmotic blistering, a common problem in the coatings industry. Traditional polyurethane coating applications have a slow and haphazard curing process, which allows moisture or humidity to cause unwanted reactions, generating CO2 bubbles. These create pinholes or blisters, which weaken the film integrity, and spoil the finished appearance. The fact that these bubbles occur during the curing process would be seen by many as unavoidable, but oxazolidines speed up curing, and prevent the generation of CO2. In other words, oxazolidine technology will eliminate bubbling during application, helping to preserve aesthetics, and minimise pinhole defects. This ensures a better finish, and improved film integrity. Moisture-triggered chemistry enables curing in all temperatures and humidity conditions, with the same end result – a tougher, more durable film. Chemically related to oxazolidines, Incorez also offers an aldimine latent hardener, Incozol BH, which hydrolyses on exposure to moisture, to give you a reactive amine crosslinker ideally suited for use in high-build polyurethane systems, such as sealants and adhesives. This unique latent curing agent not only speeds up the cure of low NCO-containing prepolymers, but also allows for faster through-cure with no bubbles from the formation of carbon dioxide, giving you a perfectly cured product no matter what the environment. The huge rise in resin flooring has seen customers demand greater levels of performance for specific applications, but much depends on the nature of the amine curing agent. There are many perceived weaknesses of water-based curing agents, one being that they cannot achieve the same performance as solvent-based technology. Incorez has taken performance to a new level, developing a hardener that has good universal compatibility with all epoxy resin types, and addresses fundamental challenges with water-based technology, such as low-temperature cure, blushing, and water resistance. This coupled with physical characteristics such as excellent abrasion and impact resistance, together with high chemical, water and solvent resistance, make Incorez curing agents the perfect choice for user-friendly industrial and decorative concrete floor paints. But, when it comes to customised solutions, there are few technologies that can match waterbased polyurethane dispersions for versatility and performance.  The launch of the Dispurez product range in 2015 was the start of a new era for these waterbased products, delivering high performance with environmentally and user-friendly chemistry.  With the recent addition of a new tough, chemically and hydrolytically stable product, Dispurez 103, the product range offers a great starting point for the development of next generation, high performance products.  However, if these don’t quite suit your needs then our skilled and experienced research team in Preston can go one step further and tailor these to deliver exactly what you want. The search for products that help improve the performance of formulated systems is constantly evolving whatever industry you are in. By working closely with our customers, continually innovating and breaking new ground Incorez can make a real difference where it counts. Visit https://incorez.com/
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It makes a difference when it comes to relationships, but having the right chemistry is also a key ingredient in the creation of polyurethane coatings, adhesives, and sealants. Like any good relationship, it’s something you must work hard at in order to achieve the best result. This is why custom chemistry is often seen as one of the best ways to create tailored products that will continually take performance to new levels. So, what is the secret to custom chemistry, and how can it make a difference in a market saturated with so much choice? The secret to any great relationship starts through conversation. As a leading global manufacturer of specialist resin and polymer technologies, Incorez has a team of chemists who listen to their customers, so they can solve their problems. It could be a new resin, or a matter of tweaking an existing formulation. It might be helping a customer achieve the finish they have been wanting, or pass a regulation they have failed for years. Regardless of the requirement, custom chemistry will help improve a customer’s product in the long term. Let’s look at osmotic blistering, a common problem in the coatings industry. Traditional polyurethane coating applications have a slow and haphazard curing process, which allows moisture or humidity to cause unwanted reactions, generating CO2 bubbles. These create pinholes or blisters, which weaken the film integrity, and spoil the finished appearance. The fact that these bubbles occur during the curing process would be seen by many as unavoidable, but oxazolidines speed up curing, and prevent the generation of CO2. In other words, oxazolidine technology will eliminate bubbling during application, helping to preserve aesthetics, and minimise pinhole defects. This ensures a better finish, and improved film integrity. Moisture-triggered chemistry enables curing in all temperatures and humidity conditions, with the same end result – a tougher, more durable film. Chemically related to oxazolidines, Incorez also offers an aldimine latent hardener, Incozol BH, which hydrolyses on exposure to moisture, to give you a reactive amine crosslinker ideally suited for use in high-build polyurethane systems, such as sealants and adhesives. This unique latent curing agent not only speeds up the cure of low NCO-containing prepolymers, but also allows for faster through-cure with no bubbles from the formation of carbon dioxide, giving you a perfectly cured product no matter what the environment. The huge rise in resin flooring has seen customers demand greater levels of performance for specific applications, but much depends on the nature of the amine curing agent. There are many perceived weaknesses of water-based curing agents, one being that they cannot achieve the same performance as solvent-based technology. Incorez has taken performance to a new level, developing a hardener that has good universal compatibility with all epoxy resin types, and addresses fundamental challenges with water-based technology, such as low-temperature cure, blushing, and water resistance. This coupled with physical characteristics such as excellent abrasion and impact resistance, together with high chemical, water and solvent resistance, make Incorez curing agents the perfect choice for user-friendly industrial and decorative concrete floor paints. But, when it comes to customised solutions, there are few technologies that can match waterbased polyurethane dispersions for versatility and performance.  The launch of the Dispurez product range in 2015 was the start of a new era for these waterbased products, delivering high performance with environmentally and user-friendly chemistry.  With the recent addition of a new tough, chemically and hydrolytically stable product, Dispurez 103, the product range offers a great starting point for the development of next generation, high performance products.  However, if these don’t quite suit your needs then our skilled and experienced research team in Preston can go one step further and tailor these to deliver exactly what you want. The search for products that help improve the performance of formulated systems is constantly evolving whatever industry you are in. By working closely with our customers, continually innovating and breaking new ground Incorez can make a real difference where it counts. Visit https://incorez.com/
    Sep 19, 2018 0
  • 14 Sep 2018
    Attention has been quite rightly focused on fire safety issues in new and existing buildings since the terrible events at Grenfell Tower writes Richard Harral, Technical Director at CABE. It is vital that the problems identified within the Hackitt review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety are addressed, and that the lessons emerging from the public inquiry are studied and learnt from. This will require extensive change in industry culture, custom and practice, procurement and competency, most of which is long overdue and, driven through as these changes must be, will undoubtedly prove to be broadly beneficial in curing many of the industry’s structural ills. As industry and government work to clarify how this change will be implemented, it is vital that time is also given to broader consideration of the value we need to place on our relationship with our built environment both individually and as a society. What would we conclude if the lens of public opinion was focussed on more clearly defining what society should expect the building industry to deliver? Firstly, it is clear that the public expect government and industry to act responsibly in protecting them from harm. Establishing safety is, however, not a static condition - construction is increasingly sophisticated and evolving by necessity at a pace far faster than the historic norm to address rapidly emerging issues of national and global concern which reach beyond fire safety. The overheating issue As the threat of hosepipe bans becomes reality and temperatures continue to remain high through a glorious but parching summer, it must now be clear that the impact of climate change will require the way we shape our built environment to evolve further to protect us better. The risk of overheating is becoming more tangible, and periods of sustained high temperature pose life safety risks to many thousands of people as well as degrading working conditions for many millions in poor performing buildings. The Committee on Climate Change predicts that premature deaths from overheating will increase by two-thirds by the 2020s which places the risks associated with overheating in clear perspective. There is a growing body of evidence to show that the risk of overheating is increasing, especially in new homes, and that the current regulatory checks for overheating contained in the current Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) have fallen behind and need to be updated. Heavy rain amid such dry weather risks flash flooding as water runs off baked ground – but similar extreme weather events also increase the risk of flooding in the non-summer seasons. We need to be sure that the way we design and renovate our buildings provides protection and resilience where these events are likely to occur. Closing the gap We must also continue to look to play our part in limiting climate change by making our buildings more energy efficient. The expectation in the UK’s Climate Change Act is that the entirety of the UK Building Stock is carbon neutral by 2050, a date which no longer feels in the distant future. The well recognised performance gap that exists between the way buildings are intended to perform and the way they perform in practice may be closing but needs to be closed entirely. The reasons for poor performance are numerous, with many potentially energy efficient systems not operating as the designer intended as a result of not been properly checked and signed off. This has only emphasisedthe importance of testing and commissioning to ensure systems actually work at least at the point of handover when new systems are installed. The necessary step change in energy efficiency will also need to be achieved safely. Airtightness is critical to reducing heat loss, but in achieving the desired low levels of leakage, adequate ventilation becomes a critical concern to avoid risk of moisture and condensation (which can cause respiratory problems) and degraded air quality that similarly affects health. Ensuring that we have good indoor air quality requires good design, specification installation and commissioning, and evidence continues to grow that on all counts the industry is struggling to deliver the right performance consistently.Government is currently looking at and considering key changes to both energy and ventilation requirements which is a step in the right direction. Societal changes also need to be properly considered. Our understanding of the impacts on equality resulting from the way we design and manage our buildings, workplaces and public spaces are also changing and it is absolutely right that we now expect places to be inclusive for the widest possible range of users. These are only a few of the areas where the decisions we make as clients, designers, engineers, constructors and operators of buildings are likely to impact on public safety and welfare. Which is why now is the right time to pause and step back to look at the bigger picture. Many of the recommendations from Dame Judith Hackitt’s review are relevant to ensuring the construction industry has the ability to deliver against this wider agenda of health, safety, sustainability and welfare. We have a once in a generation opportunity to move away from bad business models based on lowest price towards an industry that is focused on lifetime value and as a result is more profitable, more productive and more valued for the work it does. Extending many of the Hackitt review’s proposals for structural reform beyond high risk buildings will be key in ensuring that the necessary changes to business practice and culture required to embed this step change in performance take effect. We must also ensure that industry improves its expenditure on research and development to deliver higher levels of confidence in system performance and to support policy makers in making informed decisions. At the same time we should recognise the need to invest more in our people to ensure they are competent and empowered to work in an ethical way. Government clearly has a key role in ensuring that the right regulatory measures are in place to enable industry to meet the wider public expectation that they are adequately protected and to ensure that safety standards are consistently delivered on. Fire safety will rightly be at the forefront of thinking, but as Ministers start the process of reshaping the building safety policy landscape, it is important that they also take into account the broader scope of building regulations and policies that will be needed in the future to keep people safe. Visit www.cbuilde.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Attention has been quite rightly focused on fire safety issues in new and existing buildings since the terrible events at Grenfell Tower writes Richard Harral, Technical Director at CABE. It is vital that the problems identified within the Hackitt review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety are addressed, and that the lessons emerging from the public inquiry are studied and learnt from. This will require extensive change in industry culture, custom and practice, procurement and competency, most of which is long overdue and, driven through as these changes must be, will undoubtedly prove to be broadly beneficial in curing many of the industry’s structural ills. As industry and government work to clarify how this change will be implemented, it is vital that time is also given to broader consideration of the value we need to place on our relationship with our built environment both individually and as a society. What would we conclude if the lens of public opinion was focussed on more clearly defining what society should expect the building industry to deliver? Firstly, it is clear that the public expect government and industry to act responsibly in protecting them from harm. Establishing safety is, however, not a static condition - construction is increasingly sophisticated and evolving by necessity at a pace far faster than the historic norm to address rapidly emerging issues of national and global concern which reach beyond fire safety. The overheating issue As the threat of hosepipe bans becomes reality and temperatures continue to remain high through a glorious but parching summer, it must now be clear that the impact of climate change will require the way we shape our built environment to evolve further to protect us better. The risk of overheating is becoming more tangible, and periods of sustained high temperature pose life safety risks to many thousands of people as well as degrading working conditions for many millions in poor performing buildings. The Committee on Climate Change predicts that premature deaths from overheating will increase by two-thirds by the 2020s which places the risks associated with overheating in clear perspective. There is a growing body of evidence to show that the risk of overheating is increasing, especially in new homes, and that the current regulatory checks for overheating contained in the current Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) have fallen behind and need to be updated. Heavy rain amid such dry weather risks flash flooding as water runs off baked ground – but similar extreme weather events also increase the risk of flooding in the non-summer seasons. We need to be sure that the way we design and renovate our buildings provides protection and resilience where these events are likely to occur. Closing the gap We must also continue to look to play our part in limiting climate change by making our buildings more energy efficient. The expectation in the UK’s Climate Change Act is that the entirety of the UK Building Stock is carbon neutral by 2050, a date which no longer feels in the distant future. The well recognised performance gap that exists between the way buildings are intended to perform and the way they perform in practice may be closing but needs to be closed entirely. The reasons for poor performance are numerous, with many potentially energy efficient systems not operating as the designer intended as a result of not been properly checked and signed off. This has only emphasisedthe importance of testing and commissioning to ensure systems actually work at least at the point of handover when new systems are installed. The necessary step change in energy efficiency will also need to be achieved safely. Airtightness is critical to reducing heat loss, but in achieving the desired low levels of leakage, adequate ventilation becomes a critical concern to avoid risk of moisture and condensation (which can cause respiratory problems) and degraded air quality that similarly affects health. Ensuring that we have good indoor air quality requires good design, specification installation and commissioning, and evidence continues to grow that on all counts the industry is struggling to deliver the right performance consistently.Government is currently looking at and considering key changes to both energy and ventilation requirements which is a step in the right direction. Societal changes also need to be properly considered. Our understanding of the impacts on equality resulting from the way we design and manage our buildings, workplaces and public spaces are also changing and it is absolutely right that we now expect places to be inclusive for the widest possible range of users. These are only a few of the areas where the decisions we make as clients, designers, engineers, constructors and operators of buildings are likely to impact on public safety and welfare. Which is why now is the right time to pause and step back to look at the bigger picture. Many of the recommendations from Dame Judith Hackitt’s review are relevant to ensuring the construction industry has the ability to deliver against this wider agenda of health, safety, sustainability and welfare. We have a once in a generation opportunity to move away from bad business models based on lowest price towards an industry that is focused on lifetime value and as a result is more profitable, more productive and more valued for the work it does. Extending many of the Hackitt review’s proposals for structural reform beyond high risk buildings will be key in ensuring that the necessary changes to business practice and culture required to embed this step change in performance take effect. We must also ensure that industry improves its expenditure on research and development to deliver higher levels of confidence in system performance and to support policy makers in making informed decisions. At the same time we should recognise the need to invest more in our people to ensure they are competent and empowered to work in an ethical way. Government clearly has a key role in ensuring that the right regulatory measures are in place to enable industry to meet the wider public expectation that they are adequately protected and to ensure that safety standards are consistently delivered on. Fire safety will rightly be at the forefront of thinking, but as Ministers start the process of reshaping the building safety policy landscape, it is important that they also take into account the broader scope of building regulations and policies that will be needed in the future to keep people safe. Visit www.cbuilde.com
    Sep 14, 2018 0
  • 12 Sep 2018
    Flooring in schools isn’t just a necessary part of a building’s fabric; it can help create the ideal learning environment in which children can thrive. Design and specification is key, however, to a floor living up to expectation in terms of performance.  Durability ought to be a major factor in the surface selection process, as flooring installed in schools and places of higher education will need to withstand a huge amount of footfall during its lifetime. Maintenance or repairs to damaged flooring could leave a large hole in a school or education authority’s budget; unnecessary expenditure when councils, in particular, are having to tighten the purse strings like never before. No slip-ups Health and safety standards are another prime aspect when it comes to floor selection. A non-slip surface is essential to minimising falls and potential injury. Even wet flooring, caused by outdoor-to-indoor foot traffic or spillages, should remain non-slip. In densely-populated interior spaces, such as schools and higher education establishments, hygiene is paramount. Infection and disease can spread like wildfire in such areas, therefore flooring that is smooth and easy to clean is critical. Colour science When it comes to design, school flooring should be selected for its inspirational qualities as well as its practical properties. The colour of interior walls and floors, for example, is scientifically proven to affect people’s mood and behavior. Red is known to inspire anger and aggression whilst shades of green can instill a sense of calm and tranquility. Patterns or logos can be incorporated into modern flooring design, presenting an opportunity for schools to display its motto or a particularly inspiring image. Suits you In schools, it’s possible that each floor will have a different set of requirements depending on the area of learning. A woodwork class, for instance, might be suited to a surface specifically designed to withstand heavy machinery, whilst flooring highly-resistant to corrosive liquids would be ideal for a science lab. Lifecycle benefits Traditionally, the default flooring materials specified for educational facilities have been vinyl or linoleum sheet flooring. Compared to polyurethane resin floor systems - which are widely used in northern Europe - the lifecycle of sheet materials is short, generally lasting between five and 10 years before being consigned to landfill. In contrast, Sika's (polyurethane) Comfort Floor system has a lifecycle of 40 years. Of its many benefits, Sika Comfort Floor - in the event of damage – can be seamlessly spot repaired, rather than replaced. Unlike sheet materials, which have joints where bacteria can build-up over time, Comfort Floor’s super-smooth finish facilitates a rapid and simple cleaning regime, minimising the threat of germs and infection-spread. Resin systems are also extremely simple to install, in a process that takes just three days to complete. As the 21st century proceeds, so the demand for epoxy resin flooring, with its abundant qualities, will increase. Its new technologies are helping take flooring to exciting places in terms of design without compromise to its core properties – smoothness, strength and durability for the safety and comfort of youngsters during their school years. Visit www.sika.co.uk .
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Flooring in schools isn’t just a necessary part of a building’s fabric; it can help create the ideal learning environment in which children can thrive. Design and specification is key, however, to a floor living up to expectation in terms of performance.  Durability ought to be a major factor in the surface selection process, as flooring installed in schools and places of higher education will need to withstand a huge amount of footfall during its lifetime. Maintenance or repairs to damaged flooring could leave a large hole in a school or education authority’s budget; unnecessary expenditure when councils, in particular, are having to tighten the purse strings like never before. No slip-ups Health and safety standards are another prime aspect when it comes to floor selection. A non-slip surface is essential to minimising falls and potential injury. Even wet flooring, caused by outdoor-to-indoor foot traffic or spillages, should remain non-slip. In densely-populated interior spaces, such as schools and higher education establishments, hygiene is paramount. Infection and disease can spread like wildfire in such areas, therefore flooring that is smooth and easy to clean is critical. Colour science When it comes to design, school flooring should be selected for its inspirational qualities as well as its practical properties. The colour of interior walls and floors, for example, is scientifically proven to affect people’s mood and behavior. Red is known to inspire anger and aggression whilst shades of green can instill a sense of calm and tranquility. Patterns or logos can be incorporated into modern flooring design, presenting an opportunity for schools to display its motto or a particularly inspiring image. Suits you In schools, it’s possible that each floor will have a different set of requirements depending on the area of learning. A woodwork class, for instance, might be suited to a surface specifically designed to withstand heavy machinery, whilst flooring highly-resistant to corrosive liquids would be ideal for a science lab. Lifecycle benefits Traditionally, the default flooring materials specified for educational facilities have been vinyl or linoleum sheet flooring. Compared to polyurethane resin floor systems - which are widely used in northern Europe - the lifecycle of sheet materials is short, generally lasting between five and 10 years before being consigned to landfill. In contrast, Sika's (polyurethane) Comfort Floor system has a lifecycle of 40 years. Of its many benefits, Sika Comfort Floor - in the event of damage – can be seamlessly spot repaired, rather than replaced. Unlike sheet materials, which have joints where bacteria can build-up over time, Comfort Floor’s super-smooth finish facilitates a rapid and simple cleaning regime, minimising the threat of germs and infection-spread. Resin systems are also extremely simple to install, in a process that takes just three days to complete. As the 21st century proceeds, so the demand for epoxy resin flooring, with its abundant qualities, will increase. Its new technologies are helping take flooring to exciting places in terms of design without compromise to its core properties – smoothness, strength and durability for the safety and comfort of youngsters during their school years. Visit www.sika.co.uk .
    Sep 12, 2018 0
  • 11 Sep 2018
    Now that students have opened their A level and GCSE results, it brings a fresh reminder that the construction sector is facing a major skills challenge writes Kevin Bohea. Government has pledged to deliver 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s. The issue we have is that we simply don’t have a workforce to achieve this. The sector is also facing questions over the quality to which we build. So what do we need to do to make sure we have a skilled workforce that can deliver high quality buildings that are fit for purpose? The big challenge is that many people perceive the construction industry as an outdated, uninspiring and manual work based sector- to these people it simply doesn’t seem like a attractive sector in which to find an exciting career. However, for those that work in the sector we know that that couldn’t be further from the truth. The construction sector is exciting, varied, constantly evolving and full of opportunity. In June, the Government launched the Construction Skills Fund. Part of the government's National Retraining Scheme in England, the scheme aims to support innovative ways of training new entrants and retraining adults in areas for which public funding is not available.It will fund on-site training to allow learners to apply their knowledge in the real-world. The £22 million fund is being administered and implemented by CITB and will run for 18 months. The plan is that employers, housing associations and other interested bodies such as LEPs and local authorities submit expressions of interest. From these submissions, 20 on-site training hubs will be created. This will be on major construction project across England and will provide work experience and placements for people working to join the industry. On the face of it this seems like a great idea – offering real hand on work experience for young people as well as opportunities for returning adults and those looking for a pathway for a career switch. But does it go far enough to address the bigger issue – that is making the industry appealing for people to want to join in the first place? We still need to overcome our outdated image. Recticel has created a graduate development programme and a graduate intern programme to help introduce young talent to industry. As a company we invest time engaging with young people to help them understand what we can offer as a business and how a step with us could lead them on to a really fulfilling career in the construction sector. And it’s working. We have a growing intake of young people who are excited the sector offers and who are enthusiastic to learn. I’m confident that once young people start working in the construction they will get a completely different opinion of it. And – as many of us can relate to – once you start work in the construction sector, you very rarely leave. You may go on to take up different roles (one of the advantages of a diverse sector) but it is unlikely you will change sectors completely. The Construction Skills Fund is a step in the right direction although I would be interested to understand what happens after the 18 month period - I just hope it isn’t canned in favor of another Government initiative. We can’t keep having one step forward, one step backwards. Skills is a shared responsibility. If we get it right we can deliver the ambitious targets we have been set and at the same time take a big step forward in terms of improving built quality. Recticel will continue to play its part in attracting the next generation, as well as those returning to work or looking for a career change and I hope that the rest of sector will continue to keep reminding young people construction can be highly rewarding. Visit: www.recticelinsulation.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Now that students have opened their A level and GCSE results, it brings a fresh reminder that the construction sector is facing a major skills challenge writes Kevin Bohea. Government has pledged to deliver 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s. The issue we have is that we simply don’t have a workforce to achieve this. The sector is also facing questions over the quality to which we build. So what do we need to do to make sure we have a skilled workforce that can deliver high quality buildings that are fit for purpose? The big challenge is that many people perceive the construction industry as an outdated, uninspiring and manual work based sector- to these people it simply doesn’t seem like a attractive sector in which to find an exciting career. However, for those that work in the sector we know that that couldn’t be further from the truth. The construction sector is exciting, varied, constantly evolving and full of opportunity. In June, the Government launched the Construction Skills Fund. Part of the government's National Retraining Scheme in England, the scheme aims to support innovative ways of training new entrants and retraining adults in areas for which public funding is not available.It will fund on-site training to allow learners to apply their knowledge in the real-world. The £22 million fund is being administered and implemented by CITB and will run for 18 months. The plan is that employers, housing associations and other interested bodies such as LEPs and local authorities submit expressions of interest. From these submissions, 20 on-site training hubs will be created. This will be on major construction project across England and will provide work experience and placements for people working to join the industry. On the face of it this seems like a great idea – offering real hand on work experience for young people as well as opportunities for returning adults and those looking for a pathway for a career switch. But does it go far enough to address the bigger issue – that is making the industry appealing for people to want to join in the first place? We still need to overcome our outdated image. Recticel has created a graduate development programme and a graduate intern programme to help introduce young talent to industry. As a company we invest time engaging with young people to help them understand what we can offer as a business and how a step with us could lead them on to a really fulfilling career in the construction sector. And it’s working. We have a growing intake of young people who are excited the sector offers and who are enthusiastic to learn. I’m confident that once young people start working in the construction they will get a completely different opinion of it. And – as many of us can relate to – once you start work in the construction sector, you very rarely leave. You may go on to take up different roles (one of the advantages of a diverse sector) but it is unlikely you will change sectors completely. The Construction Skills Fund is a step in the right direction although I would be interested to understand what happens after the 18 month period - I just hope it isn’t canned in favor of another Government initiative. We can’t keep having one step forward, one step backwards. Skills is a shared responsibility. If we get it right we can deliver the ambitious targets we have been set and at the same time take a big step forward in terms of improving built quality. Recticel will continue to play its part in attracting the next generation, as well as those returning to work or looking for a career change and I hope that the rest of sector will continue to keep reminding young people construction can be highly rewarding. Visit: www.recticelinsulation.co.uk
    Sep 11, 2018 0
  • 30 Aug 2018
    When a façade is constructed, the insulation used for fire, thermal and acoustic performance is often hidden so its impact from a building control point of view is very difficult to see writes  William McDowell, Business Development & Product Manager, SIDERISE. Whether the insulation is there or not, it is extremely hard to determine if it has been installed correctly. Building control therefore has an unenviable task to ensure buildings comply with building regulations and local agreements.   One of the biggest difficulties is that building control officers are covering a wide range of building performance criteria. Materials are constantly evolving and enter the marketplace on a frequent basis while challenging designs are commonplace. This means that building control are presented on a daily basis with situations that they don’t 100% know. Invariably, they default to a very conservative position.  If ‘x’ is required then they won’t move from that standpoint even if there is a good argument to suggest that allowance needs to be made. Understandably, they end up being very conservative in their approach and only react on the information they have. To help building control, it’s very important that manufacturers of building products are able to technically support their products with a great deal of knowledge and a comprehensive database supported by appropriate and current test data. If building control were to speak to the technical team at SIDERISE for example, they can respond with confidence and knowledge, to help steer them toward a sensible conclusion.  Building control officers won’t be swayed by a salesperson; they will be speaking to a technical expert who can show them they understand the application. They can demonstrate they have the appropriate technical knowledge and test data to support the argument which in turn can help building control move towards a viable decision. Furthermore, manufacturers have a responsibility to demonstrate how to use their products by offering installer’s toolbox talks and providing product literature that demonstrates how products should be correctly used. It’s not uncommon to learn that someone has installed something incorrectly because they didn’t know how to install it in the first place. With building regulations lagging behind the development of new materials and their impact on design, it has become increasingly important for manufacturers of construction products to provide advice and assistance at every stage of a project’s process, from conception through to construction and after. Visit: www.siderise.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • When a façade is constructed, the insulation used for fire, thermal and acoustic performance is often hidden so its impact from a building control point of view is very difficult to see writes  William McDowell, Business Development & Product Manager, SIDERISE. Whether the insulation is there or not, it is extremely hard to determine if it has been installed correctly. Building control therefore has an unenviable task to ensure buildings comply with building regulations and local agreements.   One of the biggest difficulties is that building control officers are covering a wide range of building performance criteria. Materials are constantly evolving and enter the marketplace on a frequent basis while challenging designs are commonplace. This means that building control are presented on a daily basis with situations that they don’t 100% know. Invariably, they default to a very conservative position.  If ‘x’ is required then they won’t move from that standpoint even if there is a good argument to suggest that allowance needs to be made. Understandably, they end up being very conservative in their approach and only react on the information they have. To help building control, it’s very important that manufacturers of building products are able to technically support their products with a great deal of knowledge and a comprehensive database supported by appropriate and current test data. If building control were to speak to the technical team at SIDERISE for example, they can respond with confidence and knowledge, to help steer them toward a sensible conclusion.  Building control officers won’t be swayed by a salesperson; they will be speaking to a technical expert who can show them they understand the application. They can demonstrate they have the appropriate technical knowledge and test data to support the argument which in turn can help building control move towards a viable decision. Furthermore, manufacturers have a responsibility to demonstrate how to use their products by offering installer’s toolbox talks and providing product literature that demonstrates how products should be correctly used. It’s not uncommon to learn that someone has installed something incorrectly because they didn’t know how to install it in the first place. With building regulations lagging behind the development of new materials and their impact on design, it has become increasingly important for manufacturers of construction products to provide advice and assistance at every stage of a project’s process, from conception through to construction and after. Visit: www.siderise.com
    Aug 30, 2018 0
  • 22 Aug 2018
    Events over the past 12 months have meant that the construction industry has had to take a good hard look at itself in the mirror writes Dr Gavin Dunn, Chief Executive Officer at CABE. Unfortunately not everyone likes what they see. Public perception is at an all-time low and this scrutiny doesn’t look like it will ease up any time soon. So what do we need to do to get confidence back and to start to deliver the buildings that we promise? I believe it hinges on competency. Last year’s Grenfell tower tragedy highlighted some of the shortcomings of the construction industry. This was further reinforced in the publication of Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety last month. Together they have shown that the industry is unable police itself and we have created a profound loss of confidence in how we deliver buildings that are fit for purpose. Entitled ‘Building a Safer Future’ the review from the very front cover says what we need to do – building things safer – and better – in the future. And this is the very crux of where I believe the issue lies. It is about how we do things better and do to this we need to have competent professionals at every stage of the process. I believe our process of creating professionals needs to be looked at. As it currently stands you complete your studies and graduate as a professional. To maintain your position you then have to complete CPDs. Whilst on face value this seems a logical process, I don’t think it is adequate. The way we are designing and build buildings is changing – and fast. They are becoming more complex and technologies are changing the way in which they operate. The problem is that this change is far outpacing the way our industry professionals maintain their expertise and knowledge. We 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. This will have to be achieved through greater education and training and I believe it is the responsibility of the professional bodies to do this. CABE are already creating a framework to enable members to enhance their skills through the application of engineering principles that are in line with today’s every changing world. This can be supported by organisations such as UKAS, the UK's National Accreditation Body, taking charge of product and service certification. This way we have competent professionals and accredited products and together this will go a long way to put us back on track to deliver the buildings we should be delivering. We have to expect big changes right across the industry over the coming months and years and it will not be enough to sit back and wait to be told what we need to do. The industry needs pro-active, competent professionals that can take the lead and prove they have the right skills and understanding to do what is expected of them. By doing this we can start to rebuild public confidence and create a legacy of buildings that are fit for purpose. Visit: www.cbuilde.com.
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Events over the past 12 months have meant that the construction industry has had to take a good hard look at itself in the mirror writes Dr Gavin Dunn, Chief Executive Officer at CABE. Unfortunately not everyone likes what they see. Public perception is at an all-time low and this scrutiny doesn’t look like it will ease up any time soon. So what do we need to do to get confidence back and to start to deliver the buildings that we promise? I believe it hinges on competency. Last year’s Grenfell tower tragedy highlighted some of the shortcomings of the construction industry. This was further reinforced in the publication of Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety last month. Together they have shown that the industry is unable police itself and we have created a profound loss of confidence in how we deliver buildings that are fit for purpose. Entitled ‘Building a Safer Future’ the review from the very front cover says what we need to do – building things safer – and better – in the future. And this is the very crux of where I believe the issue lies. It is about how we do things better and do to this we need to have competent professionals at every stage of the process. I believe our process of creating professionals needs to be looked at. As it currently stands you complete your studies and graduate as a professional. To maintain your position you then have to complete CPDs. Whilst on face value this seems a logical process, I don’t think it is adequate. The way we are designing and build buildings is changing – and fast. They are becoming more complex and technologies are changing the way in which they operate. The problem is that this change is far outpacing the way our industry professionals maintain their expertise and knowledge. We 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. This will have to be achieved through greater education and training and I believe it is the responsibility of the professional bodies to do this. CABE are already creating a framework to enable members to enhance their skills through the application of engineering principles that are in line with today’s every changing world. This can be supported by organisations such as UKAS, the UK's National Accreditation Body, taking charge of product and service certification. This way we have competent professionals and accredited products and together this will go a long way to put us back on track to deliver the buildings we should be delivering. We have to expect big changes right across the industry over the coming months and years and it will not be enough to sit back and wait to be told what we need to do. The industry needs pro-active, competent professionals that can take the lead and prove they have the right skills and understanding to do what is expected of them. By doing this we can start to rebuild public confidence and create a legacy of buildings that are fit for purpose. Visit: www.cbuilde.com.
    Aug 22, 2018 0
  • 10 Aug 2018
    The average UK household spends around £1,230 on fuel bills each year which can be up to 50% more than necessary due to the lack of energy saving measures being implemented in the home. Poor insulation is a major contributor to domestic energy wastage. To help combat this, the construction industry is increasingly turning to rigid foam PIR panels, rather than mineral fibre-based insulation solutions. Kevin Bohea, Commercial Director at leading UK PIR manufacturers, lists five ways in which insulation boards offer an advantage over the mineral-based equivalent. PIR insulation board has a closed cell structure that means it doesn’t absorb water. This allows the thermal performance and reliability of the panel to be retained over time. The panels are light and easy to transport as well as being simple to install, helping save on-site labour costs. Unlike fibrous insulation which deteriorates over time when damp sets in, PIR insulation’s structural strength enables a consistent performance that will last the lifetime of a building, negating costly repairs and maintaining its thermal and soundproof qualities. PIR insulation is also renowned for its flexible qualities, providing the ideal solution for a range of applications such as floors, walls, pitched and flat roofing. Innovative PIR solutions such as Eurowall+, manufactured by Recticel, features a unique tongue-and-groove joint on the board’s four sides to ensure a tight, secure lock. It means Eurowall+ board increases protection against wind-driven rain which can cause poorly-fitted mineral fibre products to deteriorate over time. Although mineral-based insulation is fairly flexible – it can be manipulated around wall ties, etc – its propensity to degrade over time, particularly if damp sets-in, means rigid PIR board is increasingly seen as a preferable cavity insulation option. It has a long-term cost benefit, too. For mineral wool to attain the same level of thermal performance as Eurowall+ board, it’s estimated 150mm-thick insulation would need to be installed, resulting in an accordant increase in the cavity wall size. Once the cavity width increases, wall-tie lengths have to be lengthened and window and door lintels expanded - the whole building process becomes more costly.  With developers looking to fit as many homes onto allocated plots as possible, maintaining a 100mm cavity in new buildings has become a necessity. Eurowall+ 90mm PIR board not only helps to achieve a 0.18 U-value in a 100mm cavity, the 10mm air gap makes for a less inconvenient fit for bricklayers when it comes to installing the insulation. Therefore, Eurowall+ maximises space whilst minimising cost for housebuilders, making it not only an ideal alternative to mineral-based insulation; it’s the superior PIR solution.  Visit: www.recticelinsulation.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The average UK household spends around £1,230 on fuel bills each year which can be up to 50% more than necessary due to the lack of energy saving measures being implemented in the home. Poor insulation is a major contributor to domestic energy wastage. To help combat this, the construction industry is increasingly turning to rigid foam PIR panels, rather than mineral fibre-based insulation solutions. Kevin Bohea, Commercial Director at leading UK PIR manufacturers, lists five ways in which insulation boards offer an advantage over the mineral-based equivalent. PIR insulation board has a closed cell structure that means it doesn’t absorb water. This allows the thermal performance and reliability of the panel to be retained over time. The panels are light and easy to transport as well as being simple to install, helping save on-site labour costs. Unlike fibrous insulation which deteriorates over time when damp sets in, PIR insulation’s structural strength enables a consistent performance that will last the lifetime of a building, negating costly repairs and maintaining its thermal and soundproof qualities. PIR insulation is also renowned for its flexible qualities, providing the ideal solution for a range of applications such as floors, walls, pitched and flat roofing. Innovative PIR solutions such as Eurowall+, manufactured by Recticel, features a unique tongue-and-groove joint on the board’s four sides to ensure a tight, secure lock. It means Eurowall+ board increases protection against wind-driven rain which can cause poorly-fitted mineral fibre products to deteriorate over time. Although mineral-based insulation is fairly flexible – it can be manipulated around wall ties, etc – its propensity to degrade over time, particularly if damp sets-in, means rigid PIR board is increasingly seen as a preferable cavity insulation option. It has a long-term cost benefit, too. For mineral wool to attain the same level of thermal performance as Eurowall+ board, it’s estimated 150mm-thick insulation would need to be installed, resulting in an accordant increase in the cavity wall size. Once the cavity width increases, wall-tie lengths have to be lengthened and window and door lintels expanded - the whole building process becomes more costly.  With developers looking to fit as many homes onto allocated plots as possible, maintaining a 100mm cavity in new buildings has become a necessity. Eurowall+ 90mm PIR board not only helps to achieve a 0.18 U-value in a 100mm cavity, the 10mm air gap makes for a less inconvenient fit for bricklayers when it comes to installing the insulation. Therefore, Eurowall+ maximises space whilst minimising cost for housebuilders, making it not only an ideal alternative to mineral-based insulation; it’s the superior PIR solution.  Visit: www.recticelinsulation.co.uk
    Aug 10, 2018 0
  • 07 Aug 2018
    In the past few years significant progress has been made to make the construction industry accessible to women; whether that be lowering the gender pay-gap or increasing the amount of jobs on offer. Whilst the changes are positive and reassuring, there are still some gender imbalances which need addressing. Baumit, a global building materials manufacturer, is making a commendable effort to make the sector more inclusive for women, standing as a fine example of how the construction industry is levelling-out gender biases in the sector. Whilst the construction industry appears to be heading in the right direction, with women currently accounting for 18.8% of the sector’s workforce compared to 12.1% a decade ago, the figures still show how building and associated trades predominantly remain a man’s world. This is an issue that urgently needs to be addressed, and companies should be focusing on how they can change this. The industry is missing a trick by not tapping into the largely ignored talent pool at its disposal, and further attention needs to be paid to how women can access jobs within the construction industry. Whether by learning the skills to be a plasterer or becoming head of marketing for a building company, there are plenty of opportunities for women. They just need to be highlighted and made available.  A survey commissioned by house builder Keepmoat, for example, revealed that only 13% of women aged 16 to 25 would consider a career in construction. To find out why this figure is so low, certain questions need to be raised. For example, are women not encouraged to enter the industry, or are they simply not being given the right opportunities to make construction their career? Baumit’s current employment ratio of men to women is almost at 50%, showcasing how the company is leading a new generation of building manufacturers that are bringing women into the job sector. At Baumit, employees are hired on merit and credibility and the company is a known advocate for equal pay in the construction industry. Research carried out in 2016 by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that on average men earned £11,000 more than women in a similar role. This was up from a pay gap of £7,000 in the same survey a year earlier. At Baumit, both men and women in the same roles are paid similar rates, and both female and male employees are given equal opportunities. This equal environment allows women to cultivate their skillset while working for one of the leading innovators in the built environment. It is important that the construction industry continues to make positive attempts to promote inclusivity in the sector. Organisations such as Women in Roofing seek to inspire and support young women hoping to make their way into the trade. Hopefully, organisations such as this will help dismantle perceptions about the sector being inherently male. The annual Women in Construction conference is another important step, providing a space for discussion on equal rights and female representation throughout the industry. Change is happening because of these timely and honest conversations, but in the meantime, Baumit remains a testament to equal opportunities and gender equality in the construction workplace. Visit:  https://www.baumit.co.uk  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In the past few years significant progress has been made to make the construction industry accessible to women; whether that be lowering the gender pay-gap or increasing the amount of jobs on offer. Whilst the changes are positive and reassuring, there are still some gender imbalances which need addressing. Baumit, a global building materials manufacturer, is making a commendable effort to make the sector more inclusive for women, standing as a fine example of how the construction industry is levelling-out gender biases in the sector. Whilst the construction industry appears to be heading in the right direction, with women currently accounting for 18.8% of the sector’s workforce compared to 12.1% a decade ago, the figures still show how building and associated trades predominantly remain a man’s world. This is an issue that urgently needs to be addressed, and companies should be focusing on how they can change this. The industry is missing a trick by not tapping into the largely ignored talent pool at its disposal, and further attention needs to be paid to how women can access jobs within the construction industry. Whether by learning the skills to be a plasterer or becoming head of marketing for a building company, there are plenty of opportunities for women. They just need to be highlighted and made available.  A survey commissioned by house builder Keepmoat, for example, revealed that only 13% of women aged 16 to 25 would consider a career in construction. To find out why this figure is so low, certain questions need to be raised. For example, are women not encouraged to enter the industry, or are they simply not being given the right opportunities to make construction their career? Baumit’s current employment ratio of men to women is almost at 50%, showcasing how the company is leading a new generation of building manufacturers that are bringing women into the job sector. At Baumit, employees are hired on merit and credibility and the company is a known advocate for equal pay in the construction industry. Research carried out in 2016 by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that on average men earned £11,000 more than women in a similar role. This was up from a pay gap of £7,000 in the same survey a year earlier. At Baumit, both men and women in the same roles are paid similar rates, and both female and male employees are given equal opportunities. This equal environment allows women to cultivate their skillset while working for one of the leading innovators in the built environment. It is important that the construction industry continues to make positive attempts to promote inclusivity in the sector. Organisations such as Women in Roofing seek to inspire and support young women hoping to make their way into the trade. Hopefully, organisations such as this will help dismantle perceptions about the sector being inherently male. The annual Women in Construction conference is another important step, providing a space for discussion on equal rights and female representation throughout the industry. Change is happening because of these timely and honest conversations, but in the meantime, Baumit remains a testament to equal opportunities and gender equality in the construction workplace. Visit:  https://www.baumit.co.uk  
    Aug 07, 2018 0
  • 02 Aug 2018
    The construction industry is struggling with its image writes Jayne Hall.  The media coverage of Grenfell and the collapse of Carillion are all negative stories which fuel a general outlook which is not good for the industry as a whole. Even a TV programme like Cowboy Builders paints a picture of an unattractive industry that hasn’t got a grip on itself.  Unfortunately that’s what prevails in people’s minds and it’s a stereotypical perception. It’s hardly surprising then the industry’s ever-widening skills shortage is getting worse. Modernisation should be the order of the day and with that it should be addressing what is sadly the worst gender balance of any industry.  So how can we challenge the typical, often negative stereotypes of an industry where less than 14% of workers are women? Dirty, dangerous and macho is the age-old, stereotypical image of construction and many women, even now, think that they will get wolf-whistled or ogled when they pass a building site.  But that is not the reality; it’s something that happens rarely. In fact, it hardly ever happens. Thankfully, the construction sector has moved on from this scenario and there are positive advances. There remains however a pressing need to do more to encourage gender diversity in the workplace, which in turn will make it more attractive. As someone who champions inclusivity for CABE, I firmly believe the industry needs to sharpen up its image and make itself appear attractive to women and ethnic minorities. Despite construction being one of the largest employees in the UK, progress is slow. It needs to come across as more professional and dispel the myths of misogyny and glass ceilings. Of course this is much broader than construction - industries as a whole are reducing their talent pool.  Diversity is a key driver of innovation.  A report on gender diversity by Mckinsey called Women Matter, suggests that the companies where women are most strongly represented at board or top management level are the same companies that perform best. The more diversity you have on a team, the more experienced and broader you are.  Otherwise it is self-limiting.    At fifteen or sixteen years old young people are asked to choose options but the stereotypes discourage them. They don’t want to be outnumbered and the only girl on a physics or technology course for example. Educational institutions need to address this imbalance to get true equality. Girls end up making unconscious assumptions but if you can engage them earlier to tackle these limiting and harmful gender stereotypes, it will encourage girls into the profession. Sadly colleges don’t do as much as they should to attract and encourage women on engineering courses. A young girl would have to encounter the uncomfortable situation of walking into a male dominated classroom.  The lack of encouragement, and a curriculum that isn’t inclusive as it should be, has meant we are damaging both the potential of women but also the potential of the economy as a whole.  We need to show young women there is a career path at every level. By fully understanding that diversity within the built environment is a contributing factor to the skills shortage and other issues, CABE plays an active role in reaching out to a diverse audience and ensuring we make the case for a truly inclusive built environment which caters for all.   With the 100th anniversary of women having the vote, gender equality and diversity is high on the agenda. The engineering profession as a whole is making progress on gender and inclusivity with many women, like myself, who have forged happy and successful careers in engineering. It’s a great industry to be part of.  Tackling gender diversity will widen the talent pipeline, improve the image of the sector and will go some way to tackling the skills shortage. Visit:www.cbuilde.com. About the author: Jayne Hall is Building Control and Planning Enforcement Manager for South Gloucestershire Council  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The construction industry is struggling with its image writes Jayne Hall.  The media coverage of Grenfell and the collapse of Carillion are all negative stories which fuel a general outlook which is not good for the industry as a whole. Even a TV programme like Cowboy Builders paints a picture of an unattractive industry that hasn’t got a grip on itself.  Unfortunately that’s what prevails in people’s minds and it’s a stereotypical perception. It’s hardly surprising then the industry’s ever-widening skills shortage is getting worse. Modernisation should be the order of the day and with that it should be addressing what is sadly the worst gender balance of any industry.  So how can we challenge the typical, often negative stereotypes of an industry where less than 14% of workers are women? Dirty, dangerous and macho is the age-old, stereotypical image of construction and many women, even now, think that they will get wolf-whistled or ogled when they pass a building site.  But that is not the reality; it’s something that happens rarely. In fact, it hardly ever happens. Thankfully, the construction sector has moved on from this scenario and there are positive advances. There remains however a pressing need to do more to encourage gender diversity in the workplace, which in turn will make it more attractive. As someone who champions inclusivity for CABE, I firmly believe the industry needs to sharpen up its image and make itself appear attractive to women and ethnic minorities. Despite construction being one of the largest employees in the UK, progress is slow. It needs to come across as more professional and dispel the myths of misogyny and glass ceilings. Of course this is much broader than construction - industries as a whole are reducing their talent pool.  Diversity is a key driver of innovation.  A report on gender diversity by Mckinsey called Women Matter, suggests that the companies where women are most strongly represented at board or top management level are the same companies that perform best. The more diversity you have on a team, the more experienced and broader you are.  Otherwise it is self-limiting.    At fifteen or sixteen years old young people are asked to choose options but the stereotypes discourage them. They don’t want to be outnumbered and the only girl on a physics or technology course for example. Educational institutions need to address this imbalance to get true equality. Girls end up making unconscious assumptions but if you can engage them earlier to tackle these limiting and harmful gender stereotypes, it will encourage girls into the profession. Sadly colleges don’t do as much as they should to attract and encourage women on engineering courses. A young girl would have to encounter the uncomfortable situation of walking into a male dominated classroom.  The lack of encouragement, and a curriculum that isn’t inclusive as it should be, has meant we are damaging both the potential of women but also the potential of the economy as a whole.  We need to show young women there is a career path at every level. By fully understanding that diversity within the built environment is a contributing factor to the skills shortage and other issues, CABE plays an active role in reaching out to a diverse audience and ensuring we make the case for a truly inclusive built environment which caters for all.   With the 100th anniversary of women having the vote, gender equality and diversity is high on the agenda. The engineering profession as a whole is making progress on gender and inclusivity with many women, like myself, who have forged happy and successful careers in engineering. It’s a great industry to be part of.  Tackling gender diversity will widen the talent pipeline, improve the image of the sector and will go some way to tackling the skills shortage. Visit:www.cbuilde.com. About the author: Jayne Hall is Building Control and Planning Enforcement Manager for South Gloucestershire Council  
    Aug 02, 2018 0
  • 01 Aug 2018
    When you look on a food label, chances are you will see some ingredients you have never heard of, some of which you might even find hard to pronounce. Found in many products, silicon dioxide or silica is, for example, one such ingredient writes Gregory A. Cade . What is silica? Silica is a natural element, composed of two of the earth’s most common materials: oxygen and silicon, more precisely: one atom of silicon and two atoms of oxygen – from where the chemical formula SiO2. Quartz represents the most ordinary form of crystalline silica and is the second most common mineral on earth. It is found in almost every type of rock and thus in nearly all mining operations. The first industrial use of silica was most likely related to the glass making activity in three to five thousand years BC. It continued to support progress throughout history, being an important factor in the industrial revolution, especially in the construction, ceramic and glass industries and it contributes even today in key branches of technology, providing material for silicon chips and computer mice. Quartz is the solely natural silica mineral used in significant quantity: millions of tons are annually consumed by industry. Crushed sandstone is used in the construction of roads and railways, relatively pure quartz is important as ingredient for glass and porcelain manufacture and high purity quartz is fused to achieve premium optical glass. Quartz and its derivatives were also used since antiquity as semiprecious gems or ornamental stones. Precious opal, which is a form of silica, has been a gemstone since the Roman period. When does silica represent a danger? Silica is found in many materials from construction sites, including sand, soil, concrete, rock or granite. The dust created when any of those materials are drilled, cut or disturbed in any way can contain small silica particles. The particles are so small that they cannot even be seen and it can take only a minor amount of airborne silica dust in order to create a health problem. Yet it is important to know that repeated exposures to silica dust can even raise the chances of developing a serious lung disease. What kind of diseases can silica lead to? Extended and aggressive exposure to fine particles of silica dust can lead to the very well known occupational illness called silicosis, but lung cancer, tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or even autoimmune diseases cannot be ignored as well. Silicosis is one of the world’s oldest occupational illnesses. It is a nodular progressive fibrosis caused by the deposition of fine respirable silica particles in the lungs. This disease mainly affects people exposed in the workplace, as environmental exposures to silica dust are not dangerous enough to cause this occupational disease. Because silicosis has a very long latency period, the new cases registered today are due to exposure of a few decades ago. There is no specific treatment, removing the source of exposure is often important in preventing the disease from getting worse. Any potential cancer risk due to respirable crystalline silica exposure is limited to lung cancer and any cancer effect is actually secondary to silicosis. A recent study determined that between 3,600 and 7,300 cases of silicosis occur annually in the United States. The Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. has successfully represented people with silica-related diseases, so if you have been diagnosed with such an illness, they are able to help you file an action against responsible parties. The most common silica containing products A lot of materials contain silica and when they are used in large quantities at workplace, they can generate silica dust. Among these materials are abrasives, concrete, dirt, coal dust, filter aids, natural graphite, mineral products, paint, pavement, asphalt, cosmetics, cleansers, bricks and tiles. Who is at risk? Industries where significant amounts of respirable silica dust are present include mining, quarrying, mineral processing, bricks and tiles and constructions. So the people who are at risk in developing a silica-related illness are mainly workers from these occupational fields. Another important aspect is that the response of an individual is likely to depend on the nature of the silica dust, the dust fraction, the duration and frequency of the exposure and also the smoking habits. “People should be well aware of the dangers silica particles actually represent and to protect themselves accordingly by avoiding industrial sites that perform high-energy operations such as cutting, drilling or crushing stone or by carefully reading the list of ingredients from cleansers or cosmetics.” said Gregory Cade, attorney specializing in asbestos and environmental law.  However, if you or a loved one have already been exposed to silica dust and unfortunately have developed a silica related illness, you should seek medical attention right away and waste no time in contacting a law firm for legal representation, as it would not be advisable to let reckless companies get away with it. About the author: Gregory A. Cade has been an attorney for over 20 years, specializing in environmental, mesothelioma & asbestos law. His firm, Environmental Litigation Group, has processed over 200.000 claims and has recovered more than $1 billion for asbestos victims. Gregory always treats his clients with professionalism and compassion and he always fights to ensure that they get the help they need.
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • When you look on a food label, chances are you will see some ingredients you have never heard of, some of which you might even find hard to pronounce. Found in many products, silicon dioxide or silica is, for example, one such ingredient writes Gregory A. Cade . What is silica? Silica is a natural element, composed of two of the earth’s most common materials: oxygen and silicon, more precisely: one atom of silicon and two atoms of oxygen – from where the chemical formula SiO2. Quartz represents the most ordinary form of crystalline silica and is the second most common mineral on earth. It is found in almost every type of rock and thus in nearly all mining operations. The first industrial use of silica was most likely related to the glass making activity in three to five thousand years BC. It continued to support progress throughout history, being an important factor in the industrial revolution, especially in the construction, ceramic and glass industries and it contributes even today in key branches of technology, providing material for silicon chips and computer mice. Quartz is the solely natural silica mineral used in significant quantity: millions of tons are annually consumed by industry. Crushed sandstone is used in the construction of roads and railways, relatively pure quartz is important as ingredient for glass and porcelain manufacture and high purity quartz is fused to achieve premium optical glass. Quartz and its derivatives were also used since antiquity as semiprecious gems or ornamental stones. Precious opal, which is a form of silica, has been a gemstone since the Roman period. When does silica represent a danger? Silica is found in many materials from construction sites, including sand, soil, concrete, rock or granite. The dust created when any of those materials are drilled, cut or disturbed in any way can contain small silica particles. The particles are so small that they cannot even be seen and it can take only a minor amount of airborne silica dust in order to create a health problem. Yet it is important to know that repeated exposures to silica dust can even raise the chances of developing a serious lung disease. What kind of diseases can silica lead to? Extended and aggressive exposure to fine particles of silica dust can lead to the very well known occupational illness called silicosis, but lung cancer, tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or even autoimmune diseases cannot be ignored as well. Silicosis is one of the world’s oldest occupational illnesses. It is a nodular progressive fibrosis caused by the deposition of fine respirable silica particles in the lungs. This disease mainly affects people exposed in the workplace, as environmental exposures to silica dust are not dangerous enough to cause this occupational disease. Because silicosis has a very long latency period, the new cases registered today are due to exposure of a few decades ago. There is no specific treatment, removing the source of exposure is often important in preventing the disease from getting worse. Any potential cancer risk due to respirable crystalline silica exposure is limited to lung cancer and any cancer effect is actually secondary to silicosis. A recent study determined that between 3,600 and 7,300 cases of silicosis occur annually in the United States. The Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. has successfully represented people with silica-related diseases, so if you have been diagnosed with such an illness, they are able to help you file an action against responsible parties. The most common silica containing products A lot of materials contain silica and when they are used in large quantities at workplace, they can generate silica dust. Among these materials are abrasives, concrete, dirt, coal dust, filter aids, natural graphite, mineral products, paint, pavement, asphalt, cosmetics, cleansers, bricks and tiles. Who is at risk? Industries where significant amounts of respirable silica dust are present include mining, quarrying, mineral processing, bricks and tiles and constructions. So the people who are at risk in developing a silica-related illness are mainly workers from these occupational fields. Another important aspect is that the response of an individual is likely to depend on the nature of the silica dust, the dust fraction, the duration and frequency of the exposure and also the smoking habits. “People should be well aware of the dangers silica particles actually represent and to protect themselves accordingly by avoiding industrial sites that perform high-energy operations such as cutting, drilling or crushing stone or by carefully reading the list of ingredients from cleansers or cosmetics.” said Gregory Cade, attorney specializing in asbestos and environmental law.  However, if you or a loved one have already been exposed to silica dust and unfortunately have developed a silica related illness, you should seek medical attention right away and waste no time in contacting a law firm for legal representation, as it would not be advisable to let reckless companies get away with it. About the author: Gregory A. Cade has been an attorney for over 20 years, specializing in environmental, mesothelioma & asbestos law. His firm, Environmental Litigation Group, has processed over 200.000 claims and has recovered more than $1 billion for asbestos victims. Gregory always treats his clients with professionalism and compassion and he always fights to ensure that they get the help they need.
    Aug 01, 2018 0
  • 25 Jul 2018
    Contractors generally begin a project with an estimate of how much it will cost writes Eric Block, but no construction company wants to budget for the price of an accident. A safety incident on a job site can do more than disrupt a schedule and increase costs. It also can take a human toll that can have a much greater impact than any line item in a budget.   From start to finish, operating a project safely is a construction company’s most important obligation. Everyone involved in construction shares the responsibility for a safe working environment. Executives and managers must build and reinforce a culture of safety. Workers must be mindful of the proper procedures related to their roles. Because there is so much at risk at all times, no task is too small to do safely.   For example, something as simple as hammering a nail must be done with the utmost attention to proper techniques and procedures. These include wearing safety goggles, inspecting tools for signs of wear and taking periodic breaks to avoid repetitive stress injuries.   Operating heavy equipment also requires workers to pay attention to safety protocols. Such rules include surveying the surrounding area to ensure you will have enough clearance and having a spotter check your blind spots. Construction projects are costly. No contractor wants to add to the price of a project through accidents, especially those that can be avoided. The accompanying guide lays out many of the most important safety tips crews should keep in mind before they begin the workday.   Author bio: Eric Block is VP of Sales and Marketing at USA Hoist. He has been in the industry for 15 years, and has the experience and knowledge to help achieve the most effective hoisting solutions for general contractors — assisting with everything from value engineering to logistics plans.
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Contractors generally begin a project with an estimate of how much it will cost writes Eric Block, but no construction company wants to budget for the price of an accident. A safety incident on a job site can do more than disrupt a schedule and increase costs. It also can take a human toll that can have a much greater impact than any line item in a budget.   From start to finish, operating a project safely is a construction company’s most important obligation. Everyone involved in construction shares the responsibility for a safe working environment. Executives and managers must build and reinforce a culture of safety. Workers must be mindful of the proper procedures related to their roles. Because there is so much at risk at all times, no task is too small to do safely.   For example, something as simple as hammering a nail must be done with the utmost attention to proper techniques and procedures. These include wearing safety goggles, inspecting tools for signs of wear and taking periodic breaks to avoid repetitive stress injuries.   Operating heavy equipment also requires workers to pay attention to safety protocols. Such rules include surveying the surrounding area to ensure you will have enough clearance and having a spotter check your blind spots. Construction projects are costly. No contractor wants to add to the price of a project through accidents, especially those that can be avoided. The accompanying guide lays out many of the most important safety tips crews should keep in mind before they begin the workday.   Author bio: Eric Block is VP of Sales and Marketing at USA Hoist. He has been in the industry for 15 years, and has the experience and knowledge to help achieve the most effective hoisting solutions for general contractors — assisting with everything from value engineering to logistics plans.
    Jul 25, 2018 0