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Talk. Build 's Entries

  • 13 Jun 2019
    A muddy site, a tool belt and hard hat, wolf whistling, dirty finger nails, Bob the Builder and middle-aged men are just some of the perceptions we have when we think of people who work in the construction industry. Lest we forget our hard-working tradesmen who are up at the crack of dawn laying bricks, but ‘construction’ has way more to it than that. There is no escaping construction. The building you’re sitting in right now keeping you warm and safe is ‘construction’ yet our nation sees it as an unappealing career option, but guess what! I’m a woman in my mid-thirties and I work in construction and I love it writes Kelly Slociak, Head of PR, Fabrick . When I was 16 I had already mapped out that I was going to be an actress and have 4 children (including one set of twins) by the age of 30. I spoke to the careers advisor and my teachers and I chose my GCSE disciplines ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ and off I went. Limited choices, limited opportunities… Did I really know at that age what I really wanted to do, or more importantly, what my best skills were in order to guide me? Probably not, but back then that was what it was. For the record, I quickly learnt I was a rubbish actress, and actually the thought of having 4 children in my twenties meant I couldn’t go out partying, so that plan, to say the least, did not work out. I am often asked how I ended up working in construction and I always answer with ‘probably the same way you did, I ‘fell’ into it’. Just like most things in my life, I fell into Art College, I fell into doing a PR and journalism degree, I fell into a career in PR and marketing and then I fell into the construction industry. And now I am a voice for my clients who want to be at the forefront of decision makers in the industry. If I could go back to school and start afresh, it would be nice to know that construction isn’t just for men and actually there are lots of exciting opportunities within the industry. If I knew what an architect’s role was or a Quantity Surveyor’s role was or what a BIM expert was, perhaps my mind-set may have been somewhat different. So how can we ensure that the children of our future know about the construction industry and actually encourage these opportunities? I was invited to an inspiring talk by Mark Farmer at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Industry Group (CIMCIG) debate last week on the ‘Image of Construction’ at the House of Lords. ‘Young people need to be inspired and motivated and we need to achieve a better gender balance’ were just a few of the points addressed to make the industry more attractive. Farmer also went on to speculate that the term ‘construction industry’ was perhaps maybe now outdated and asked if we should now be addressing it as the ‘built environment’. This is a term, that as an agency, we started to introduce a couple of years ago which sounds more appealing and represents more of a diverse range of prospects. ‘As an industry, how can we change the image of construction? The opportunity here is to be collaborative’ – which was heavily echoed in the Q&A debate from the panel of speakers which included Sadie Morgan of dRMM, Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive of Mace Group, Sam Stacey of Transforming Construction and Jade Lewis of St Gobain Group. Talking to a room full of fellow marketers, Farmer made a plea for better co-ordination, asking for more collaboration to reflect the increasingly high-tech nature of the industry and the solutions it presents to global issues such as climate change and living standards. Training has been neglected and the skills shortage continues so we need to be working together and reaching out to the schools, colleges and the next generation in general to educate them. Yes, we have a massive industry, and yes it comes with many problems, but it also comes with lots of opportunities to tackle those problems. For people of all ages, gender and backgrounds, this has to be an inspiring prospect. An opportunity to improve lives and help save our planet! So now what? They say it begins at home. So, every household with children that owns Lego bricks, I’d say that’s a good place to start… Visit: www.wearefabrick.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • A muddy site, a tool belt and hard hat, wolf whistling, dirty finger nails, Bob the Builder and middle-aged men are just some of the perceptions we have when we think of people who work in the construction industry. Lest we forget our hard-working tradesmen who are up at the crack of dawn laying bricks, but ‘construction’ has way more to it than that. There is no escaping construction. The building you’re sitting in right now keeping you warm and safe is ‘construction’ yet our nation sees it as an unappealing career option, but guess what! I’m a woman in my mid-thirties and I work in construction and I love it writes Kelly Slociak, Head of PR, Fabrick . When I was 16 I had already mapped out that I was going to be an actress and have 4 children (including one set of twins) by the age of 30. I spoke to the careers advisor and my teachers and I chose my GCSE disciplines ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ and off I went. Limited choices, limited opportunities… Did I really know at that age what I really wanted to do, or more importantly, what my best skills were in order to guide me? Probably not, but back then that was what it was. For the record, I quickly learnt I was a rubbish actress, and actually the thought of having 4 children in my twenties meant I couldn’t go out partying, so that plan, to say the least, did not work out. I am often asked how I ended up working in construction and I always answer with ‘probably the same way you did, I ‘fell’ into it’. Just like most things in my life, I fell into Art College, I fell into doing a PR and journalism degree, I fell into a career in PR and marketing and then I fell into the construction industry. And now I am a voice for my clients who want to be at the forefront of decision makers in the industry. If I could go back to school and start afresh, it would be nice to know that construction isn’t just for men and actually there are lots of exciting opportunities within the industry. If I knew what an architect’s role was or a Quantity Surveyor’s role was or what a BIM expert was, perhaps my mind-set may have been somewhat different. So how can we ensure that the children of our future know about the construction industry and actually encourage these opportunities? I was invited to an inspiring talk by Mark Farmer at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Industry Group (CIMCIG) debate last week on the ‘Image of Construction’ at the House of Lords. ‘Young people need to be inspired and motivated and we need to achieve a better gender balance’ were just a few of the points addressed to make the industry more attractive. Farmer also went on to speculate that the term ‘construction industry’ was perhaps maybe now outdated and asked if we should now be addressing it as the ‘built environment’. This is a term, that as an agency, we started to introduce a couple of years ago which sounds more appealing and represents more of a diverse range of prospects. ‘As an industry, how can we change the image of construction? The opportunity here is to be collaborative’ – which was heavily echoed in the Q&A debate from the panel of speakers which included Sadie Morgan of dRMM, Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive of Mace Group, Sam Stacey of Transforming Construction and Jade Lewis of St Gobain Group. Talking to a room full of fellow marketers, Farmer made a plea for better co-ordination, asking for more collaboration to reflect the increasingly high-tech nature of the industry and the solutions it presents to global issues such as climate change and living standards. Training has been neglected and the skills shortage continues so we need to be working together and reaching out to the schools, colleges and the next generation in general to educate them. Yes, we have a massive industry, and yes it comes with many problems, but it also comes with lots of opportunities to tackle those problems. For people of all ages, gender and backgrounds, this has to be an inspiring prospect. An opportunity to improve lives and help save our planet! So now what? They say it begins at home. So, every household with children that owns Lego bricks, I’d say that’s a good place to start… Visit: www.wearefabrick.com
    Jun 13, 2019 0
  • 07 Jun 2019
    Following a report last week by BBC’s Watchdog highlighting the hundreds of new build homes which are a fire risk, we are once again reminded of the dangerous gap between the expectation of safety, the reality of building regulations and the performance of buildings writes Tom Roche, Secretary of the Business Sprinkler Alliance. People assume that buildings are safe but if a building is built to regulations, what does that mean? What do people hear? Is it that the building complies with the statutory minimums to secure the health and safety of those in and around the building? In other words, you will escape the fire but your property is totally lost.  Or do people hear their property is protected by fire so both they and their possessions will be safe and protected from fire?  Or do people think we are safe from fire but there may be a little damage? The issue is therefore a case of clarity and an understanding of what the terms mean. It’s not unusual to hear after a fire that the building complied with building regulations. The fire may well have been devastating in terms of property damage but it was a success in terms of regulation and we could do no more. One only has to look at the devastating fire on New Year’s Eve at the Shurgard self-storage facility in Croydon as an example of the ambiguity and misunderstanding of building regulations. It was built to regulations but that did not stop the fire from destroying 1,198 rented units and the impact it had on the hundreds of people whose possessions were lost in the blaze. It was another painful reminder that fire does not discriminate; whether it is a self-storage warehouse, a university, a car park or an office, fires happen on a regular basis. The issue raised by Watchdog needs to be addressed but at the same time we need to work to help people clearly understand it is the minimum required. Building regulations will not protect their property from being lost in the event of a fire. In the case of a new build home, it means meeting the minimum required. Fire spread in building voids and the time for a fire to break out of a room will be limited and the occupants will have time to escape Regulation and guidance is about minimums but all too often the minimum is not clearly defined or communicated. The protection of property is often misunderstood. A recent YouGov survey found that 69% of the businesses polled thought that following Building Regulations’ Approved Document B (ADB) guidance meant that their business premises and contents would be adequately protected from fire events. It doesn’t, but it should. The decision to review Building Regulations Approved Document B (ADB) is welcomed by the BSA and many construction organisations across the industry.  Property protection should be a consideration of the ADB guidance to make buildings of the future resilient to fire. If you want to be resilient to fire you cannot rely on the minimum. Visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Following a report last week by BBC’s Watchdog highlighting the hundreds of new build homes which are a fire risk, we are once again reminded of the dangerous gap between the expectation of safety, the reality of building regulations and the performance of buildings writes Tom Roche, Secretary of the Business Sprinkler Alliance. People assume that buildings are safe but if a building is built to regulations, what does that mean? What do people hear? Is it that the building complies with the statutory minimums to secure the health and safety of those in and around the building? In other words, you will escape the fire but your property is totally lost.  Or do people hear their property is protected by fire so both they and their possessions will be safe and protected from fire?  Or do people think we are safe from fire but there may be a little damage? The issue is therefore a case of clarity and an understanding of what the terms mean. It’s not unusual to hear after a fire that the building complied with building regulations. The fire may well have been devastating in terms of property damage but it was a success in terms of regulation and we could do no more. One only has to look at the devastating fire on New Year’s Eve at the Shurgard self-storage facility in Croydon as an example of the ambiguity and misunderstanding of building regulations. It was built to regulations but that did not stop the fire from destroying 1,198 rented units and the impact it had on the hundreds of people whose possessions were lost in the blaze. It was another painful reminder that fire does not discriminate; whether it is a self-storage warehouse, a university, a car park or an office, fires happen on a regular basis. The issue raised by Watchdog needs to be addressed but at the same time we need to work to help people clearly understand it is the minimum required. Building regulations will not protect their property from being lost in the event of a fire. In the case of a new build home, it means meeting the minimum required. Fire spread in building voids and the time for a fire to break out of a room will be limited and the occupants will have time to escape Regulation and guidance is about minimums but all too often the minimum is not clearly defined or communicated. The protection of property is often misunderstood. A recent YouGov survey found that 69% of the businesses polled thought that following Building Regulations’ Approved Document B (ADB) guidance meant that their business premises and contents would be adequately protected from fire events. It doesn’t, but it should. The decision to review Building Regulations Approved Document B (ADB) is welcomed by the BSA and many construction organisations across the industry.  Property protection should be a consideration of the ADB guidance to make buildings of the future resilient to fire. If you want to be resilient to fire you cannot rely on the minimum. Visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org  
    Jun 07, 2019 0
  • 05 Jun 2019
    Young people and their lack of interest in construction is a continual conversation within the industry, so as a 23 year old female who works in construction, I have to ask myself ‘Why has the industry lost its shine for our youth? What does the industry really need to do to make construction an industry of choice for young people, writes Paige Chapman? Construction is one of the most diverse and creative industries in the world. Spanning centuries and every country, there’s a rich history and a bright future that cannot be denied. So why is the younger generation uninterested in becoming a part of it? If they could see and experience the diversity of roles and projects that I help promote through social media, I’m sure they’d change their minds. I feel perception is a big part of the problem, as put simply young adults often think that working in construction is difficult manual labour that is poorly paid and better suited to men. Construction was once treated like a family heirloom, passed down from father to son for generations, but many young people are rejecting their parents’ expectations of them, without realising just how much the sector now has to offer. A career in the skilled trades is not seen as an exciting option in these times of YouTube and Instagram stars. Why go and physically exert yourself to get paid when you see people every day making videos and posting #Ads on Instagram… and getting paid a lot of money for it?! With such a masculine history, it’s understandable that so many young women don’t realise that it is a great career option for them. So many of the world’s top architects, engineers and surveyors are women, but there are also opportunities to be a graphic designer for a major contractor, or a copywriter, or a marketing or social media specialist talking about the exciting advancements that the world is making every day in construction. Check out the author of this blog! More and more young women are taking on trades and becoming excellent carpenters, plumbers, electricians etc. The promotion of these jobs needs to be stronger within education and from companies. A recent report by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) stated that a third of homeowners would rather hire a female builder. Young women should be encouraged to take up these roles and the success stories of these women, who are paving the way, should be shared. Together we need to break down the outdated perceptions relating to the industry as they are both wrong and damaging to its future. Young people are vital to businesses, they bring with them enthusiasm, new ideas, an instant understanding of new technologies and they are ultimately our future. Because of this, every industry - not just construction - should be trying their hardest to welcome graduates and apprentices into the fold. So what needs to be done? Education needs to be the starting point in changing people’s opinions of a career in construction. Schools need to communicate and promote, to both genders, the diversity of construction, the roles it offers and the pathways into such a great industry. Ultimately, they need to push construction as a viable career option. Construction is creative and gives people the opportunity to leave behind a legacy. Any building work they may physically build, design or be a part of will be around for centuries to come and a great sense of pride and accomplishment comes with that. There has never been a better time to join the building industry. It is ripe with new opportunities and the shifting responsibilities of current roles, as new technology comes into play. Which is why there needs to be more communication to get the message out there that this industry isn’t just for older men. Young people, boys and girls alike, will bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm into this industry and expand it even further into the future. Here at Fabrick, we see the potential in young apprentices and graduates and each of our departments has a trainee or junior just brimming with innovative approaches to our work and ideas that our other members of staff may have never thought of. Meanwhile, our older staff members share their industry knowledge and experience with them. We find that a mixture of ages in each team really enhances the ability of the group as a whole, as they all have different areas of speciality and expertise! So, to conclude, companies should be pushing to show young people that the construction industry is a great place to spread their wings in the world of work. Paige Chapman is Digital Media Trainee, at Fabrick, a construction specialist Marketing and communications company. Visit: www.wearefabrick.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Young people and their lack of interest in construction is a continual conversation within the industry, so as a 23 year old female who works in construction, I have to ask myself ‘Why has the industry lost its shine for our youth? What does the industry really need to do to make construction an industry of choice for young people, writes Paige Chapman? Construction is one of the most diverse and creative industries in the world. Spanning centuries and every country, there’s a rich history and a bright future that cannot be denied. So why is the younger generation uninterested in becoming a part of it? If they could see and experience the diversity of roles and projects that I help promote through social media, I’m sure they’d change their minds. I feel perception is a big part of the problem, as put simply young adults often think that working in construction is difficult manual labour that is poorly paid and better suited to men. Construction was once treated like a family heirloom, passed down from father to son for generations, but many young people are rejecting their parents’ expectations of them, without realising just how much the sector now has to offer. A career in the skilled trades is not seen as an exciting option in these times of YouTube and Instagram stars. Why go and physically exert yourself to get paid when you see people every day making videos and posting #Ads on Instagram… and getting paid a lot of money for it?! With such a masculine history, it’s understandable that so many young women don’t realise that it is a great career option for them. So many of the world’s top architects, engineers and surveyors are women, but there are also opportunities to be a graphic designer for a major contractor, or a copywriter, or a marketing or social media specialist talking about the exciting advancements that the world is making every day in construction. Check out the author of this blog! More and more young women are taking on trades and becoming excellent carpenters, plumbers, electricians etc. The promotion of these jobs needs to be stronger within education and from companies. A recent report by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) stated that a third of homeowners would rather hire a female builder. Young women should be encouraged to take up these roles and the success stories of these women, who are paving the way, should be shared. Together we need to break down the outdated perceptions relating to the industry as they are both wrong and damaging to its future. Young people are vital to businesses, they bring with them enthusiasm, new ideas, an instant understanding of new technologies and they are ultimately our future. Because of this, every industry - not just construction - should be trying their hardest to welcome graduates and apprentices into the fold. So what needs to be done? Education needs to be the starting point in changing people’s opinions of a career in construction. Schools need to communicate and promote, to both genders, the diversity of construction, the roles it offers and the pathways into such a great industry. Ultimately, they need to push construction as a viable career option. Construction is creative and gives people the opportunity to leave behind a legacy. Any building work they may physically build, design or be a part of will be around for centuries to come and a great sense of pride and accomplishment comes with that. There has never been a better time to join the building industry. It is ripe with new opportunities and the shifting responsibilities of current roles, as new technology comes into play. Which is why there needs to be more communication to get the message out there that this industry isn’t just for older men. Young people, boys and girls alike, will bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm into this industry and expand it even further into the future. Here at Fabrick, we see the potential in young apprentices and graduates and each of our departments has a trainee or junior just brimming with innovative approaches to our work and ideas that our other members of staff may have never thought of. Meanwhile, our older staff members share their industry knowledge and experience with them. We find that a mixture of ages in each team really enhances the ability of the group as a whole, as they all have different areas of speciality and expertise! So, to conclude, companies should be pushing to show young people that the construction industry is a great place to spread their wings in the world of work. Paige Chapman is Digital Media Trainee, at Fabrick, a construction specialist Marketing and communications company. Visit: www.wearefabrick.com
    Jun 05, 2019 0
  • 22 May 2019
    When you become a business owner, you take great care in protecting your business as well as employees. Part of the protection needs includes fire safety. To keep your business safe, elements of fire safety are added, including smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers. Did you know that there are several types of fire extinguishers? Because fires can be caused by varying elements, it is important to have the right extinguisher type within your business. Get to know the options below to ensure you are protecting your business the right way. Most people think that every fire extinguisher is the same. They look at an extinguisher as a way to put out the flames. However, there are five different types, each belonging to a certain class. Understanding the classes and what type of extinguisher you need for your business is essential or fire safety. Class A This type of fire extinguisher is used for fires involving combustible materials. This can include fires that involve straw, paper, and textiles. When you operate a business that uses these types of materials, then you can benefit from this type of extinguisher. Class B This type involves fires where flammable liquids are at play. This would include fire with fats, tar or petrol. Only this type of extinguisher will put out fires involving flammable liquids. If you work with such materials, this type should be on hand. Class C This type of fire extinguisher will work on fires that involve flammable gasses. Natural gas, propane and methane fires can be put out with this type of unit. Certain chemicals are placed inside this fire extinguisher to counteract with the flammable gas chemicals. Class D This type of fire extinguisher reacts to fires involving flammable metals. This would include fires with potassium, metal, and aluminium. If you own a business that works with such materials, then this type of fire extinguisher must be on hand. Class F This extinguisher type involves fires from cooking. This could be in a domestic setting or from a deep fryer. The extinguisher also works with electrical fires. Any fires started from electrical components or appliances will react to this extinguisher type. Fires are separated based on classes due to how the fire needs to be managed. There is unfortunately not just one way that a fire can be treated. In certain scenarios, fighting a fire with the wrong class of extinguisher can see the flames grow. Take for example a cooking-related fire. With a Class F fire, if you use a water extinguisher, the fire will be exacerbated. Fire Extinguisher Types It is essential to choose the right fire extinguisher for your business needs. With so many types available, it can be confusing. A water type can be used for Class A fires. However, using this type of extinguisher requires care. Be sure to avoid any electrical components as the water can be a conductor for electricity. This type of unit will have the word WATER displayed on the side. Another type of extinguisher is AFFF Foam. This type will work for Class A and Class B fires. This type is known for helping to prevent fires from reigniting by creating a foam blanket on the fire to stop the oxygen supply. Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers are another type, one that will work for Class B and Class C fires. This type is basically ineffective for a Class A fire. ABC extinguishers are another type, one that will work for Class A, B and C fires. This one is beneficial to businesses that might be at risk of these types of fires. Additional fire extinguisher types include water mist, wet chemical and specialist dry powder. Each of these types will provide fire safety for a specific class of fires. Water mist and dry powder work for Class D while the wet chemical will work for Class F. When it comes to your business, it is important to have the right fire extinguisher on hand. Speak to a specialist today about your options.
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • When you become a business owner, you take great care in protecting your business as well as employees. Part of the protection needs includes fire safety. To keep your business safe, elements of fire safety are added, including smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers. Did you know that there are several types of fire extinguishers? Because fires can be caused by varying elements, it is important to have the right extinguisher type within your business. Get to know the options below to ensure you are protecting your business the right way. Most people think that every fire extinguisher is the same. They look at an extinguisher as a way to put out the flames. However, there are five different types, each belonging to a certain class. Understanding the classes and what type of extinguisher you need for your business is essential or fire safety. Class A This type of fire extinguisher is used for fires involving combustible materials. This can include fires that involve straw, paper, and textiles. When you operate a business that uses these types of materials, then you can benefit from this type of extinguisher. Class B This type involves fires where flammable liquids are at play. This would include fire with fats, tar or petrol. Only this type of extinguisher will put out fires involving flammable liquids. If you work with such materials, this type should be on hand. Class C This type of fire extinguisher will work on fires that involve flammable gasses. Natural gas, propane and methane fires can be put out with this type of unit. Certain chemicals are placed inside this fire extinguisher to counteract with the flammable gas chemicals. Class D This type of fire extinguisher reacts to fires involving flammable metals. This would include fires with potassium, metal, and aluminium. If you own a business that works with such materials, then this type of fire extinguisher must be on hand. Class F This extinguisher type involves fires from cooking. This could be in a domestic setting or from a deep fryer. The extinguisher also works with electrical fires. Any fires started from electrical components or appliances will react to this extinguisher type. Fires are separated based on classes due to how the fire needs to be managed. There is unfortunately not just one way that a fire can be treated. In certain scenarios, fighting a fire with the wrong class of extinguisher can see the flames grow. Take for example a cooking-related fire. With a Class F fire, if you use a water extinguisher, the fire will be exacerbated. Fire Extinguisher Types It is essential to choose the right fire extinguisher for your business needs. With so many types available, it can be confusing. A water type can be used for Class A fires. However, using this type of extinguisher requires care. Be sure to avoid any electrical components as the water can be a conductor for electricity. This type of unit will have the word WATER displayed on the side. Another type of extinguisher is AFFF Foam. This type will work for Class A and Class B fires. This type is known for helping to prevent fires from reigniting by creating a foam blanket on the fire to stop the oxygen supply. Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers are another type, one that will work for Class B and Class C fires. This type is basically ineffective for a Class A fire. ABC extinguishers are another type, one that will work for Class A, B and C fires. This one is beneficial to businesses that might be at risk of these types of fires. Additional fire extinguisher types include water mist, wet chemical and specialist dry powder. Each of these types will provide fire safety for a specific class of fires. Water mist and dry powder work for Class D while the wet chemical will work for Class F. When it comes to your business, it is important to have the right fire extinguisher on hand. Speak to a specialist today about your options.
    May 22, 2019 0
  • 21 May 2019
    Digital construction is at the forefront of the UK’s overarching Industrial Strategy. With an abundance of digital solutions available to streamline project management and workflow, which measures can be taken to assure there are sufficient skilled employees to use them and secure the construction industry’s future, writes Erica Coulehan, Content Marketing Manager at GroupBC ? Attracting younger generations At present, it is estimated that 22% of the construction industry’s current workforce is over 50 and 15% is over 60; startling figures which are indicative of the industry’s ageing workforce. Therefore, as time progresses it is becoming more crucial to identify potential avenues which will attract pools of young people to fill the emerging skills gap. According to a Redrow report, 52% of young people disregard a career in construction, either because they are simply disinterested or completely unaware of what a career in construction entails. This statistic needs explicating, as it could infer that the current construction industry skills shortage is perpetuated by the multiple misconceptions and misperceptions which have been rife in the industry for a long period of time. The industry has made significant progression over the past decade, yet the majority of young people unfortunately associate construction with muddy hi-vis vests, dust and little opportunity for development. A misrepresentation that is almost as shocking as the statistic mentioned above: what is it going to take to let young people see how enterprising, innovative and ‘digital’ the construction industry is? Technology is used throughout our everyday lives, transcending age groups. Even though the construction industry is no exception, it is still perceived as relatively low-tech. Start with secondary schools Whilst architecture university degrees are prolific in the education of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and other digital construction solutions, this trend is by no means concurrent with secondary schools. The reasons for this are not necessarily to do with a matter of choice or preference; UK schools are under pressure to offer students – at GCSE particularly – the sought-after STEM subjects which are at the foundation of an industrial, corporate world.   Even though STEM subjects open-up multiple opportunities for young people, the same sentiment applies to the construction industry. For example, digital construction is part of the UK’s wider Industrial Strategy, where the creation of software such as BIM has generated jobs requiring a high level of technical education and skills which form the base of ‘STEM careers’. An example would be the use of augmented reality across construction projects. Although the technology is in its early stages, augmented reality (AR) is radically changing the building process, described as a way to visualise, manage and coordinate data throughout a building’s lifecycle. AR creates a virtual 3D structure of a building, providing important data about each component that can be accessed pre, during and post construction. Therefore, as this working method continues to develop, complementary skillsets will have to be nurtured within client organisations to ensure the software can be operated and utilised efficiently by Operations and FM teams. Digital construction in action A few years ago the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) developed ‘Craft Your Future’, a programme for 12-14 year olds which is integrated into the computer game Minecraft. Designed to encourage young people to consider careers in city planning, construction management and more, ‘Craft Your Future’ is a virtual solution which gives young people crucial insight into the real-time operation of a construction project. Whilst ‘Craft Your Future’ may be playing a vital role in addressing the future skills gap and labour shortages, the industry in its present state has more pressing concerns. It is widely known that throughout the industry there is a reluctance to adopt digital solutions. Bodies such as the UK BIM Alliance – which GroupBC is a patron of – educate companies on the benefits of digital construction and aim to ensure a common approach amongst vendors. However, much needs to be achieved to counteract this unproductive cultural stalemate if the industry is to embrace modern methods of working, such as off-site manufacturing. Recent initiatives such as reverse mentoring programmes, offered by the likes of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering – in which the more ‘digitally-experienced’ workers are helping senior colleagues transition to digital processes – are softening the alien transition from one way of working to another. As such, these will hopefully provide them with a better understanding of the business benefits of digital technologies. The initiatives outlined above are just a small portion of the many programmes that are being developed to realise the industry’s digital future. For this reason, the industry would do well to continually develop programmes such as these, headed by inspirational industry specialists who can showcase the excellence, worth and opportunities in digital construction to people of all ages and abilities. Not only will this help close the skills gap, it will ensure construction businesses have enough highly-skilled workers to steer the construction industry into its digital chapter.
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Digital construction is at the forefront of the UK’s overarching Industrial Strategy. With an abundance of digital solutions available to streamline project management and workflow, which measures can be taken to assure there are sufficient skilled employees to use them and secure the construction industry’s future, writes Erica Coulehan, Content Marketing Manager at GroupBC ? Attracting younger generations At present, it is estimated that 22% of the construction industry’s current workforce is over 50 and 15% is over 60; startling figures which are indicative of the industry’s ageing workforce. Therefore, as time progresses it is becoming more crucial to identify potential avenues which will attract pools of young people to fill the emerging skills gap. According to a Redrow report, 52% of young people disregard a career in construction, either because they are simply disinterested or completely unaware of what a career in construction entails. This statistic needs explicating, as it could infer that the current construction industry skills shortage is perpetuated by the multiple misconceptions and misperceptions which have been rife in the industry for a long period of time. The industry has made significant progression over the past decade, yet the majority of young people unfortunately associate construction with muddy hi-vis vests, dust and little opportunity for development. A misrepresentation that is almost as shocking as the statistic mentioned above: what is it going to take to let young people see how enterprising, innovative and ‘digital’ the construction industry is? Technology is used throughout our everyday lives, transcending age groups. Even though the construction industry is no exception, it is still perceived as relatively low-tech. Start with secondary schools Whilst architecture university degrees are prolific in the education of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and other digital construction solutions, this trend is by no means concurrent with secondary schools. The reasons for this are not necessarily to do with a matter of choice or preference; UK schools are under pressure to offer students – at GCSE particularly – the sought-after STEM subjects which are at the foundation of an industrial, corporate world.   Even though STEM subjects open-up multiple opportunities for young people, the same sentiment applies to the construction industry. For example, digital construction is part of the UK’s wider Industrial Strategy, where the creation of software such as BIM has generated jobs requiring a high level of technical education and skills which form the base of ‘STEM careers’. An example would be the use of augmented reality across construction projects. Although the technology is in its early stages, augmented reality (AR) is radically changing the building process, described as a way to visualise, manage and coordinate data throughout a building’s lifecycle. AR creates a virtual 3D structure of a building, providing important data about each component that can be accessed pre, during and post construction. Therefore, as this working method continues to develop, complementary skillsets will have to be nurtured within client organisations to ensure the software can be operated and utilised efficiently by Operations and FM teams. Digital construction in action A few years ago the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) developed ‘Craft Your Future’, a programme for 12-14 year olds which is integrated into the computer game Minecraft. Designed to encourage young people to consider careers in city planning, construction management and more, ‘Craft Your Future’ is a virtual solution which gives young people crucial insight into the real-time operation of a construction project. Whilst ‘Craft Your Future’ may be playing a vital role in addressing the future skills gap and labour shortages, the industry in its present state has more pressing concerns. It is widely known that throughout the industry there is a reluctance to adopt digital solutions. Bodies such as the UK BIM Alliance – which GroupBC is a patron of – educate companies on the benefits of digital construction and aim to ensure a common approach amongst vendors. However, much needs to be achieved to counteract this unproductive cultural stalemate if the industry is to embrace modern methods of working, such as off-site manufacturing. Recent initiatives such as reverse mentoring programmes, offered by the likes of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering – in which the more ‘digitally-experienced’ workers are helping senior colleagues transition to digital processes – are softening the alien transition from one way of working to another. As such, these will hopefully provide them with a better understanding of the business benefits of digital technologies. The initiatives outlined above are just a small portion of the many programmes that are being developed to realise the industry’s digital future. For this reason, the industry would do well to continually develop programmes such as these, headed by inspirational industry specialists who can showcase the excellence, worth and opportunities in digital construction to people of all ages and abilities. Not only will this help close the skills gap, it will ensure construction businesses have enough highly-skilled workers to steer the construction industry into its digital chapter.
    May 21, 2019 0
  • 20 May 2019
    With the construction industry in need of a widespread culture change and a chain of responsibility, who will have responsibility for delivering standards of performance throughout the lifecycle of a building writes Dr Gavin Dunn, Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)? By looking at both the existing regulatory framework and performance beyond regulations we can gain a clear picture of how we design and construct buildings and how quality can better be managed. There is a radical and changing set of expectations of what people, business, government and society are looking for out of the built environment. Fundamentally, the industry hasn’t changed much in fifty years. Government has massive expectations in terms of what construction should deliver around climate change, social value and cultural integration within cities; coupled with the treasury’s need for productivity and economic growth. Homeowners have their own set of expectations and want to be comfortable in their own homes while there are also health drivers to consider. Technology and the range of materials related to the improvement of building performance have also improved considerably in the last 25 years, but sadly the industry has yet to embrace what digital transformation can offer.  All these things are being layered to create massive opportunity as well as considerable missed expectations for our sector.  As an industry we are still all too often focused on delivering building regulations as a performance standard, but expectations are way beyond that. The sector is geared up to deliver the lowest capital cost at a single point in time, but this value conversation rarely goes beyond the completion of the initial build. There are clear financial benefits to end-users, owners, occupiers and investors by not looking at lowest capital costs upfront, but the best lifecycle value. In commercial real estate, high-end markets, including central London, most buildings are built to much higher performance standards and as a result have a better fundamental economic return and the ROI (return on investment) can be tremendous through higher rents, lower running costs and higher residual values.  Asset value There needs to be a cultural shift away from lowest capital cost, but unless a client’s behaviour changes, professionals will always cow-tow to getting the work. The clients don’t spend the money because the market won’t put a value on it. The flipside is the market will not put a value on it because it does not trust they will get the outcome. One of the reasons they don’t trust the outcome is that it is not the norm and no one is doing it. Therefore, there is no danger to prove the benefit, this creates a vicious circle. Standards compliance, by definition, engenders and builds trust in outcomes and the confidence a certain level of performance will be achieved. Consider compliance as more than building regulations; it is compliance against a range of standards that meets the end-user’s needs. It is designing to a high performance and structured around building what we design. We need to be designing with the end-user in mind and having the discipline to check the variations and documentation before handing it over so that the future value isn’t lost. Enabling quality is, therefore about, the critical flow of information between the different parties over the lifecycle of the project and the building. It’s also where the digitalisation of that process becomes an enabler to drive quality. Information must be independently validated and needs to belong to the asset, not the individual or organisations. Competency of professionals In a fragmented and siloed construction world, there needs to be an awareness which is much broader than the technical aspects. Sadly, people either don’t have a viewpoint on the wider impacts such as climate change, future values and health implications, or if they do, they don’t feel empowered to use it in a constructive way. Similarly with the concerns raised by the Hackitt review; many professionals completely agree with the sentiment, indeed many claim to have shared such concerns for years, but have not been able to act on them.  In terms of the future, the continued professionalisation of construction management, and site supervision, as well as, some of critical trades will be essential, but so will technology with information becoming more of a driver on site. The way buildings are managed and operated, both legally and technically, will change. The greater professionalisation and automation of construction will go hand-in-hand.  Professionals are going to have to demonstrate their skillsets more overtly and more regularly, particularly if they are working on high-risk projects. We, therefore, need to adopt a better process that allows us to identify those individuals who have providence and precision, and the necessary skills to do the job.    If we can move beyond the single-minded chasing of lowest capital cost to one of best value, then we can begin to see a world where everything else will start to change.  This will create a wide range of opportunities and economic benefits, and professionals will need to respond.  The idea of competence will then have changed. Visit www.cbuilde.com.
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • With the construction industry in need of a widespread culture change and a chain of responsibility, who will have responsibility for delivering standards of performance throughout the lifecycle of a building writes Dr Gavin Dunn, Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)? By looking at both the existing regulatory framework and performance beyond regulations we can gain a clear picture of how we design and construct buildings and how quality can better be managed. There is a radical and changing set of expectations of what people, business, government and society are looking for out of the built environment. Fundamentally, the industry hasn’t changed much in fifty years. Government has massive expectations in terms of what construction should deliver around climate change, social value and cultural integration within cities; coupled with the treasury’s need for productivity and economic growth. Homeowners have their own set of expectations and want to be comfortable in their own homes while there are also health drivers to consider. Technology and the range of materials related to the improvement of building performance have also improved considerably in the last 25 years, but sadly the industry has yet to embrace what digital transformation can offer.  All these things are being layered to create massive opportunity as well as considerable missed expectations for our sector.  As an industry we are still all too often focused on delivering building regulations as a performance standard, but expectations are way beyond that. The sector is geared up to deliver the lowest capital cost at a single point in time, but this value conversation rarely goes beyond the completion of the initial build. There are clear financial benefits to end-users, owners, occupiers and investors by not looking at lowest capital costs upfront, but the best lifecycle value. In commercial real estate, high-end markets, including central London, most buildings are built to much higher performance standards and as a result have a better fundamental economic return and the ROI (return on investment) can be tremendous through higher rents, lower running costs and higher residual values.  Asset value There needs to be a cultural shift away from lowest capital cost, but unless a client’s behaviour changes, professionals will always cow-tow to getting the work. The clients don’t spend the money because the market won’t put a value on it. The flipside is the market will not put a value on it because it does not trust they will get the outcome. One of the reasons they don’t trust the outcome is that it is not the norm and no one is doing it. Therefore, there is no danger to prove the benefit, this creates a vicious circle. Standards compliance, by definition, engenders and builds trust in outcomes and the confidence a certain level of performance will be achieved. Consider compliance as more than building regulations; it is compliance against a range of standards that meets the end-user’s needs. It is designing to a high performance and structured around building what we design. We need to be designing with the end-user in mind and having the discipline to check the variations and documentation before handing it over so that the future value isn’t lost. Enabling quality is, therefore about, the critical flow of information between the different parties over the lifecycle of the project and the building. It’s also where the digitalisation of that process becomes an enabler to drive quality. Information must be independently validated and needs to belong to the asset, not the individual or organisations. Competency of professionals In a fragmented and siloed construction world, there needs to be an awareness which is much broader than the technical aspects. Sadly, people either don’t have a viewpoint on the wider impacts such as climate change, future values and health implications, or if they do, they don’t feel empowered to use it in a constructive way. Similarly with the concerns raised by the Hackitt review; many professionals completely agree with the sentiment, indeed many claim to have shared such concerns for years, but have not been able to act on them.  In terms of the future, the continued professionalisation of construction management, and site supervision, as well as, some of critical trades will be essential, but so will technology with information becoming more of a driver on site. The way buildings are managed and operated, both legally and technically, will change. The greater professionalisation and automation of construction will go hand-in-hand.  Professionals are going to have to demonstrate their skillsets more overtly and more regularly, particularly if they are working on high-risk projects. We, therefore, need to adopt a better process that allows us to identify those individuals who have providence and precision, and the necessary skills to do the job.    If we can move beyond the single-minded chasing of lowest capital cost to one of best value, then we can begin to see a world where everything else will start to change.  This will create a wide range of opportunities and economic benefits, and professionals will need to respond.  The idea of competence will then have changed. Visit www.cbuilde.com.
    May 20, 2019 0
  • 13 May 2019
    In the closing weeks of January 2019, the first two parts of a new international Building Information Modelling (BIM) standard were published. Providing the framework for managing information on collaborative projects, and forming part of ISO 19650, the frameworks cover areas including concepts, principles and asset delivery writes Stuart Bell, Sales and Marketing Director at Group BC. But although these newly international standards are set to refine the construction industry’s approach to work, what kind of obstacles are in the way of their adoption? What traction will the standards have in an industry which is already falling behind in terms of the education and adoption of supporting processes and technology? Undoubtedly, the UK’s current PAS 1192 suite has provided a solid framework for BIM Level 2 adoption in the UK. The UK is a trusted authority with over three years’ experience working to the PAS 1192 and is recognised globally as being at the forefront of Building Information Modelling. The recently released standard, BS EN ISO 19650, is an evolution of the PAS 1192 suite, except the new standard can now be adopted internationally, providing a common term of reference for approaches to design, construction and building operations. During a period of Brexit uncertainty, does this new International standard provide further opportunity for UK Construction Plc to export our skills and knowledge overseas? The international opportunity UK construction businesses that are working with or targeting overseas clients and project work should embrace the move towards the ISO. Given the maturity of UK BIM adoption to date, you could argue British companies are best placed to advise overseas clients and be the information management lead on projects. A universally accepted industry ‘language’ and ‘process approach’ (that has evolved from the level 2 standards) means less will be lost in translation and the time to value for clients on the benefits of BIM delivery approaches will be greatly increased. What are the implications? However, whilst the new ISO is set to refine building standards, some are concerned the changes will only cause further polarisation between the early adopters who fully embrace BIM and those that are still catching up, uncertain of the application and benefits of BIM to their businesses. It could be argued that large tier one consultants and contractors have stolen a march over SME’s in terms of BIM Level 2 adoption, being better placed to secure positions on public sector frameworks and having the available finances to invest in training and technology. Inevitably, as the pace of technology innovation and standard’s evolution accelerates and outstrips the pace of industry’s digital transformation, some businesses are at risk of being left behind. Evidence suggests that the worst adopted are businesses in the construction supply chain that are responsible for a significant proportion of the physical construction work. For this reason, if we want to deliver real transformational change, we must ensure all BIM (systems and technology) is accessible to all. Education is the key Understanding the business case for change, and educating companies on the benefits of process driven technology is now fundamental. To increase adoption, continual education is the key to recognising the benefits of BIM and the wider change it will deliver to clients and the supply chain alike. BIM is not a technology or a solution - it is a holistic approach to collaborative working that drives benefits to all project participants. It provides a standardised framework to monitor performance across a built asset’s entire lifecycle, from initial design, through construction to real-time operation. It ensures data is consistently captured, approved and retained to support better decision making at every stage of the capital phase as well as operational occupancy/asset use. Thus, the benefits of this approach must be articulated with this in mind. BIM shouldn’t be viewed as another tax on the industry borne out of the maintenance of standards and regulatory controls; it is a real enabler for change for a marginal industry that has historically been slow to adapt and evolve. Educating companies on the standards are equally as important as BIM itself. As a matter of course, clients want to access trusted, reliable and secure digital information regarding their physical assets. Adopting standards ensures that contractors, consultants and lead designers can offer their clients consistency in delivery approach and, with that consistency, a better designed and delivered product. At the same time, those companies embracing the standards have an opportunity to develop competitive differentiation and better position themselves to win more work. At a time where the industry is under enormous pressure to deliver projects to stringent affordability criteria, attain carbon targets and meet tight construction deadlines, solutions which drive increased efficiency and quality are a must. ISO 19650 is a more unified, transferable standard which will help companies adopt a straightforward approach to managing information on digital platforms and across international boundaries. However, whilst the new standard provides a solid framework for improved project and asset information management, there needs to be continual education to encourage industry-wide BIM adoption from large tier one contractors and consultants down to regional trade contractors. In doing so, we will see a more significant step change in approach and delivered value. Only then might the construction industry be viewed as progressive rather than polarised and primitive in terms of its technology adoption. Visit: https://www.groupbc.com/
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In the closing weeks of January 2019, the first two parts of a new international Building Information Modelling (BIM) standard were published. Providing the framework for managing information on collaborative projects, and forming part of ISO 19650, the frameworks cover areas including concepts, principles and asset delivery writes Stuart Bell, Sales and Marketing Director at Group BC. But although these newly international standards are set to refine the construction industry’s approach to work, what kind of obstacles are in the way of their adoption? What traction will the standards have in an industry which is already falling behind in terms of the education and adoption of supporting processes and technology? Undoubtedly, the UK’s current PAS 1192 suite has provided a solid framework for BIM Level 2 adoption in the UK. The UK is a trusted authority with over three years’ experience working to the PAS 1192 and is recognised globally as being at the forefront of Building Information Modelling. The recently released standard, BS EN ISO 19650, is an evolution of the PAS 1192 suite, except the new standard can now be adopted internationally, providing a common term of reference for approaches to design, construction and building operations. During a period of Brexit uncertainty, does this new International standard provide further opportunity for UK Construction Plc to export our skills and knowledge overseas? The international opportunity UK construction businesses that are working with or targeting overseas clients and project work should embrace the move towards the ISO. Given the maturity of UK BIM adoption to date, you could argue British companies are best placed to advise overseas clients and be the information management lead on projects. A universally accepted industry ‘language’ and ‘process approach’ (that has evolved from the level 2 standards) means less will be lost in translation and the time to value for clients on the benefits of BIM delivery approaches will be greatly increased. What are the implications? However, whilst the new ISO is set to refine building standards, some are concerned the changes will only cause further polarisation between the early adopters who fully embrace BIM and those that are still catching up, uncertain of the application and benefits of BIM to their businesses. It could be argued that large tier one consultants and contractors have stolen a march over SME’s in terms of BIM Level 2 adoption, being better placed to secure positions on public sector frameworks and having the available finances to invest in training and technology. Inevitably, as the pace of technology innovation and standard’s evolution accelerates and outstrips the pace of industry’s digital transformation, some businesses are at risk of being left behind. Evidence suggests that the worst adopted are businesses in the construction supply chain that are responsible for a significant proportion of the physical construction work. For this reason, if we want to deliver real transformational change, we must ensure all BIM (systems and technology) is accessible to all. Education is the key Understanding the business case for change, and educating companies on the benefits of process driven technology is now fundamental. To increase adoption, continual education is the key to recognising the benefits of BIM and the wider change it will deliver to clients and the supply chain alike. BIM is not a technology or a solution - it is a holistic approach to collaborative working that drives benefits to all project participants. It provides a standardised framework to monitor performance across a built asset’s entire lifecycle, from initial design, through construction to real-time operation. It ensures data is consistently captured, approved and retained to support better decision making at every stage of the capital phase as well as operational occupancy/asset use. Thus, the benefits of this approach must be articulated with this in mind. BIM shouldn’t be viewed as another tax on the industry borne out of the maintenance of standards and regulatory controls; it is a real enabler for change for a marginal industry that has historically been slow to adapt and evolve. Educating companies on the standards are equally as important as BIM itself. As a matter of course, clients want to access trusted, reliable and secure digital information regarding their physical assets. Adopting standards ensures that contractors, consultants and lead designers can offer their clients consistency in delivery approach and, with that consistency, a better designed and delivered product. At the same time, those companies embracing the standards have an opportunity to develop competitive differentiation and better position themselves to win more work. At a time where the industry is under enormous pressure to deliver projects to stringent affordability criteria, attain carbon targets and meet tight construction deadlines, solutions which drive increased efficiency and quality are a must. ISO 19650 is a more unified, transferable standard which will help companies adopt a straightforward approach to managing information on digital platforms and across international boundaries. However, whilst the new standard provides a solid framework for improved project and asset information management, there needs to be continual education to encourage industry-wide BIM adoption from large tier one contractors and consultants down to regional trade contractors. In doing so, we will see a more significant step change in approach and delivered value. Only then might the construction industry be viewed as progressive rather than polarised and primitive in terms of its technology adoption. Visit: https://www.groupbc.com/
    May 13, 2019 0
  • 16 Apr 2019
    Transparency is vital in order to maintain positive business relations and to ensure important payments are made without delay writes Matthew Jones. For this reason, it is crucial to have a robust but intuitive payment management system which keeps contractor and subcontractor finances above board and provides both parties with visibility of progress towards payment. Automated solutions such as Open ECX’s WebContractor takes control of key payment processes, improving subcontractors’ visibility of the status of their payment applications, for instance. This blog outlines how digital, straightforward applications for payment systems guarantee clearer visibility across business supply chains. Maintaining healthy business operation is at the top of every company’s agenda, particularly when finances are involved. In the past year, the construction industry has seen a great deal of change in terms of payment practices and the call for evidence. This change, in part, was accelerated by the collapse of Carillion in January 2018 which shocked both the construction industry and the UK at large. After investigation, the construction giant was known to have paid subcontractors up to 120 days late. Undoubtedly, such an event has had huge repercussions on the taxpayer, Caillion’s supply chain and its staff. Carillion’s collapse has even, in some cases, affected the amount of money UK banks loan to construction companies perhaps in fear of a similar occurence. What is the solution? It goes without doubt that an event such as the Carillion collapse cannot happen again. Even though its collapse is a stand-alone case, it still begs several questions on how and why payments were so late. But, moving forward, it is important to identify key solutions to prevent similar events from occuring. All contractors desire a risk-free environment in which their payment processes are rigorous, safe and reliable; such solutions allow contractors to be more organised and efficient with their payments, preventing any late payments from slipping beneath the surface. It is, therefore, crucial to implement innovative solutions which ensure payments can be traced, recorded and accessed accordingly. Open ECX’s WebContractor provides end-to-end management of applications for payment in construction, ensuring complete transparency and accessibility across the supply chain. It is a cloud-based portal for subcontractors to upload payment applications so contractors can manage payments more effectively. As the portal can be accessed anywhere, it is an efficient alternative to submitting paper-based documents or sending applications for payment by emails. Subcontractors upload and submit their applications anywhere and at any time – they aren’t restricted to their office but can complete payments onsite, at home or while travelling elsewhere. Using a system which ensures better visibility of payment applications safeguards businesses and removes risks or threats such as litigation. Timely and accurate submission of payment applications,  means faster processing of these by contractors.. In essence, a solution such as WebContractor removes all the loopholes that a company such as Carillion were able to eschew. It makes for an honest, healthier and more productive financial system beneficial to all parties involved. Visit www.openecx.co.uk  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Transparency is vital in order to maintain positive business relations and to ensure important payments are made without delay writes Matthew Jones. For this reason, it is crucial to have a robust but intuitive payment management system which keeps contractor and subcontractor finances above board and provides both parties with visibility of progress towards payment. Automated solutions such as Open ECX’s WebContractor takes control of key payment processes, improving subcontractors’ visibility of the status of their payment applications, for instance. This blog outlines how digital, straightforward applications for payment systems guarantee clearer visibility across business supply chains. Maintaining healthy business operation is at the top of every company’s agenda, particularly when finances are involved. In the past year, the construction industry has seen a great deal of change in terms of payment practices and the call for evidence. This change, in part, was accelerated by the collapse of Carillion in January 2018 which shocked both the construction industry and the UK at large. After investigation, the construction giant was known to have paid subcontractors up to 120 days late. Undoubtedly, such an event has had huge repercussions on the taxpayer, Caillion’s supply chain and its staff. Carillion’s collapse has even, in some cases, affected the amount of money UK banks loan to construction companies perhaps in fear of a similar occurence. What is the solution? It goes without doubt that an event such as the Carillion collapse cannot happen again. Even though its collapse is a stand-alone case, it still begs several questions on how and why payments were so late. But, moving forward, it is important to identify key solutions to prevent similar events from occuring. All contractors desire a risk-free environment in which their payment processes are rigorous, safe and reliable; such solutions allow contractors to be more organised and efficient with their payments, preventing any late payments from slipping beneath the surface. It is, therefore, crucial to implement innovative solutions which ensure payments can be traced, recorded and accessed accordingly. Open ECX’s WebContractor provides end-to-end management of applications for payment in construction, ensuring complete transparency and accessibility across the supply chain. It is a cloud-based portal for subcontractors to upload payment applications so contractors can manage payments more effectively. As the portal can be accessed anywhere, it is an efficient alternative to submitting paper-based documents or sending applications for payment by emails. Subcontractors upload and submit their applications anywhere and at any time – they aren’t restricted to their office but can complete payments onsite, at home or while travelling elsewhere. Using a system which ensures better visibility of payment applications safeguards businesses and removes risks or threats such as litigation. Timely and accurate submission of payment applications,  means faster processing of these by contractors.. In essence, a solution such as WebContractor removes all the loopholes that a company such as Carillion were able to eschew. It makes for an honest, healthier and more productive financial system beneficial to all parties involved. Visit www.openecx.co.uk  
    Apr 16, 2019 0
  • 18 Mar 2019
    There has been a lot of talk about HS2 and about how, once completed, it will help to shrink the north-south divide and provide a much-needed transport spine across the country writes Mark Tomlin, CEO of VJ Technology. However, if recent reports are to be believed government sources are claiming that there is talk of cancelling HS2 in its entirety, despite the fact that groundworks have started and considerable time and money have been invested in design, tendering and feasibility. So, what’s the reality – does the UK need a north-south high-speed rail link or is it just financial folly? High Speed 2 (HS2) is a high-speed railway which, once completed, will directly connect London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester. Scheduled to open in phases between 2026 and 2033, high-speed trains will travel up to 400 km/h on 330 miles of track. One of the largest civil engineering projects currently being undertaken in Europe, a recent episode of Dispatches on Channel 4 focussed on the financial viability of the project with it quoting sources within the government who warn that the cost may soon be considered so high that the entire project may be cancelled. One possible scenario of the project being terminated once the first stretch of the new line reaches Birmingham was also presented. The programme claimed industry sources have stated that the project cost could reach a staggering £100bn, substantially up from both 2011's initial estimate of £33bn and today's £56bn promise. More worrying is that in a poll by the programme two-thirds of rail users in the north stated they would rather see the money invested in regional rail. Understandably, for many commuters, local links are more important than another, faster, north-south route. However, I think we could be missing the point. Yes, the costs are high, but this is a project the country sorely needs. The UK used to be second-to-none when it came to infrastructure. Our rail, ports, roads and airports are admired the world over. However, time has taken its toll and a combination of growth in population and a lack of investment has meant that the UK has dropped down the pecking order when it comes to infrastructural excellence. All too often our trains are delayed, our motorways jammed, and our airports and shipping ports are tired and in need of modernisation. Whilst speed of travel is one thing, there is also the user experience. If you compare the UK to any one of the major international airports around the world, I’m not sure we come out on top. HS2 is therefore a critical part of the ongoing investment the government needs to make in UK infrastructure. It is as much about providing UK residents and businesses with improved transportation, as it is about ensuring we maintain our position as an international destination. It will also be a catalyst for improving transport in the North West as, at the end of January, Transport for the North agreed the submission of the business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail, the transformational east-west network. This will connect the northern cities of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Hull, etc, and will provide the local links that residents in the north so desperately need. It will also create job opportunities and attract overseas investment for organisations looking for space, skills and connectivity. However, will this project go ahead without HS2 coming to Leeds and Manchester? Very unlikely, as it simply won’t be viable.  As a key product supplier to major infrastructure projects, VJ Technology has a vested interest in seeing schemes such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail deliver. However, it is more than that. Personally, I would like to see projects such as this succeed as I believe they are important for the nation. Investment in infrastructure is not a folly, it is investment in maintaining our great nation. Yes, it comes at a cost, but if we continue to neglect our infrastructure it will have a far- reaching and significantly more damaging financial impact on our economy, our tourism and our global reputation. Visit: http://www.vjtechnology.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • There has been a lot of talk about HS2 and about how, once completed, it will help to shrink the north-south divide and provide a much-needed transport spine across the country writes Mark Tomlin, CEO of VJ Technology. However, if recent reports are to be believed government sources are claiming that there is talk of cancelling HS2 in its entirety, despite the fact that groundworks have started and considerable time and money have been invested in design, tendering and feasibility. So, what’s the reality – does the UK need a north-south high-speed rail link or is it just financial folly? High Speed 2 (HS2) is a high-speed railway which, once completed, will directly connect London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester. Scheduled to open in phases between 2026 and 2033, high-speed trains will travel up to 400 km/h on 330 miles of track. One of the largest civil engineering projects currently being undertaken in Europe, a recent episode of Dispatches on Channel 4 focussed on the financial viability of the project with it quoting sources within the government who warn that the cost may soon be considered so high that the entire project may be cancelled. One possible scenario of the project being terminated once the first stretch of the new line reaches Birmingham was also presented. The programme claimed industry sources have stated that the project cost could reach a staggering £100bn, substantially up from both 2011's initial estimate of £33bn and today's £56bn promise. More worrying is that in a poll by the programme two-thirds of rail users in the north stated they would rather see the money invested in regional rail. Understandably, for many commuters, local links are more important than another, faster, north-south route. However, I think we could be missing the point. Yes, the costs are high, but this is a project the country sorely needs. The UK used to be second-to-none when it came to infrastructure. Our rail, ports, roads and airports are admired the world over. However, time has taken its toll and a combination of growth in population and a lack of investment has meant that the UK has dropped down the pecking order when it comes to infrastructural excellence. All too often our trains are delayed, our motorways jammed, and our airports and shipping ports are tired and in need of modernisation. Whilst speed of travel is one thing, there is also the user experience. If you compare the UK to any one of the major international airports around the world, I’m not sure we come out on top. HS2 is therefore a critical part of the ongoing investment the government needs to make in UK infrastructure. It is as much about providing UK residents and businesses with improved transportation, as it is about ensuring we maintain our position as an international destination. It will also be a catalyst for improving transport in the North West as, at the end of January, Transport for the North agreed the submission of the business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail, the transformational east-west network. This will connect the northern cities of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Hull, etc, and will provide the local links that residents in the north so desperately need. It will also create job opportunities and attract overseas investment for organisations looking for space, skills and connectivity. However, will this project go ahead without HS2 coming to Leeds and Manchester? Very unlikely, as it simply won’t be viable.  As a key product supplier to major infrastructure projects, VJ Technology has a vested interest in seeing schemes such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail deliver. However, it is more than that. Personally, I would like to see projects such as this succeed as I believe they are important for the nation. Investment in infrastructure is not a folly, it is investment in maintaining our great nation. Yes, it comes at a cost, but if we continue to neglect our infrastructure it will have a far- reaching and significantly more damaging financial impact on our economy, our tourism and our global reputation. Visit: http://www.vjtechnology.com
    Mar 18, 2019 0
  • 06 Mar 2019
    Tendering for any project takes a great deal of consideration and attention. Although it is an important task which is completely instrumental to securing a project, it can be time-consuming. And, depending on the scale of a project and size of a company, the tendering process can be extremely varied. With this in mind, what are the hidden secrets to efficient and accurate job costing and estimating? How can construction estimating software ensure better visibility and traceability throughout the tendering process? Is there one solution which can truly streamline these complex processes?   Setting the scene Once a contractor has meticulously analysed whether a potential project is feasible, the tendering process can begin. Tendering processes vary from company to company but typically there are two formulas, ‘open’ or ‘restricted’ tendering. Whereas open tendering means applications can be received from a number of contractors, restricted tendering is limited to invited parties only. Even though there are two different methods such as these, there is one area which is a mainstay for all construction projects: the creation of a product library. To build a product library, the following methods can be adopted. Whereas smaller contractors might use a directory such as Laxton’s SMM and NRM price books, larger contractors might use this reference as a way to benchmark their own, or their subcontractors’ rates. For more specialist contractors, they might follow their own methods and only use a price book to help calculate the cost of work outside their usual scope. When ready to estimate for a particular project, the relevant items and resources from the product library are selected and converted into a BOQ (Bills of Quantities) – a crucial statement holding important project information such as prices and resource build up information of materials, labour, quantities and dimensions. Depending on the contractor’s preferred method, they can either create the BOQ themselves, or disseminate to subcontractors for price-approval. In all of these situations however, collating estimates for different parts of a project is a long process which takes time, attention and plenty of correspondence. Streamlining this process This initial cost estimation is vital to the overarching tendering process, but without the right resources it can be heavily time-consuming. Usually, a contractor might be juggling multiple tender applications at one time, which means there is double, even triple the amount of data recorded across various spreadsheets. Handling this level of data comes with storage and security risks, particularly as the spreadsheets cannot be easily recovered should they be mislaid. Adding to this, spreadsheets are consistently sent back-and-forth between contractor and subcontractor during the estimation process. And, as this method means information can be difficult to collate and track, accuracy might be compromised. For such a crucial process, this carries too much uncertainty and risk. Whilst these manual processes can work quite successfully for some construction companies, there are other approaches designed to streamline these tasks. What is the secret? To streamline processes, including the creation of product libraries, construction estimating software such as Eque2’s EValuate can help you to describe, measure and price tenders without duplication of effort. EValuate is also integrated with Laxton’s Priced Libraries which provides resource build up’s with annually updated rates for pricing items directly, or for comparison with your rates or subcontractor rates which is compatible with both SMM and NRM rules of measurement. A solution such as EValuate expedites the tendering process so companies can move on to secure more work. With this solution, a contractor can tend for multiple projects as they have the time and resource to do so. Conversely, for a company receiving the tender, they can accurately benchmark the costs against other sources to ensure they achieve the right price for a project. Therefore, modern estimating software such as EValuate incorporated with Laxton’s Priced Libraries is an efficient and user-friendly tool which cleanses an otherwise long and complex tendering process. For construction companies, it is a solution which enhances business productivity as opposed to disrupting it. With added benefits including data security, accuracy and performance efficiency, EValuate can be accessed by all parties involved to assure consistency across the board. For larger companies with multiple estimators working on multiple projects across different sectors, an unrivalled solution such as EValuate ensures data can be accessed and stored in one secure location. Evolving with industry changes, this innovative software is revolutionising the construction industry’s tendering process, helping to reduce risk, save time and win more work. Visit: https://www.eque2.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Tendering for any project takes a great deal of consideration and attention. Although it is an important task which is completely instrumental to securing a project, it can be time-consuming. And, depending on the scale of a project and size of a company, the tendering process can be extremely varied. With this in mind, what are the hidden secrets to efficient and accurate job costing and estimating? How can construction estimating software ensure better visibility and traceability throughout the tendering process? Is there one solution which can truly streamline these complex processes?   Setting the scene Once a contractor has meticulously analysed whether a potential project is feasible, the tendering process can begin. Tendering processes vary from company to company but typically there are two formulas, ‘open’ or ‘restricted’ tendering. Whereas open tendering means applications can be received from a number of contractors, restricted tendering is limited to invited parties only. Even though there are two different methods such as these, there is one area which is a mainstay for all construction projects: the creation of a product library. To build a product library, the following methods can be adopted. Whereas smaller contractors might use a directory such as Laxton’s SMM and NRM price books, larger contractors might use this reference as a way to benchmark their own, or their subcontractors’ rates. For more specialist contractors, they might follow their own methods and only use a price book to help calculate the cost of work outside their usual scope. When ready to estimate for a particular project, the relevant items and resources from the product library are selected and converted into a BOQ (Bills of Quantities) – a crucial statement holding important project information such as prices and resource build up information of materials, labour, quantities and dimensions. Depending on the contractor’s preferred method, they can either create the BOQ themselves, or disseminate to subcontractors for price-approval. In all of these situations however, collating estimates for different parts of a project is a long process which takes time, attention and plenty of correspondence. Streamlining this process This initial cost estimation is vital to the overarching tendering process, but without the right resources it can be heavily time-consuming. Usually, a contractor might be juggling multiple tender applications at one time, which means there is double, even triple the amount of data recorded across various spreadsheets. Handling this level of data comes with storage and security risks, particularly as the spreadsheets cannot be easily recovered should they be mislaid. Adding to this, spreadsheets are consistently sent back-and-forth between contractor and subcontractor during the estimation process. And, as this method means information can be difficult to collate and track, accuracy might be compromised. For such a crucial process, this carries too much uncertainty and risk. Whilst these manual processes can work quite successfully for some construction companies, there are other approaches designed to streamline these tasks. What is the secret? To streamline processes, including the creation of product libraries, construction estimating software such as Eque2’s EValuate can help you to describe, measure and price tenders without duplication of effort. EValuate is also integrated with Laxton’s Priced Libraries which provides resource build up’s with annually updated rates for pricing items directly, or for comparison with your rates or subcontractor rates which is compatible with both SMM and NRM rules of measurement. A solution such as EValuate expedites the tendering process so companies can move on to secure more work. With this solution, a contractor can tend for multiple projects as they have the time and resource to do so. Conversely, for a company receiving the tender, they can accurately benchmark the costs against other sources to ensure they achieve the right price for a project. Therefore, modern estimating software such as EValuate incorporated with Laxton’s Priced Libraries is an efficient and user-friendly tool which cleanses an otherwise long and complex tendering process. For construction companies, it is a solution which enhances business productivity as opposed to disrupting it. With added benefits including data security, accuracy and performance efficiency, EValuate can be accessed by all parties involved to assure consistency across the board. For larger companies with multiple estimators working on multiple projects across different sectors, an unrivalled solution such as EValuate ensures data can be accessed and stored in one secure location. Evolving with industry changes, this innovative software is revolutionising the construction industry’s tendering process, helping to reduce risk, save time and win more work. Visit: https://www.eque2.co.uk
    Mar 06, 2019 0
  • 25 Feb 2019
    According to the United Nations, in 2050 the world’s population is expected to be around 9.8 billion, which is expected to grow to an astonishing 11.2 billion people in 2100. Back in 2010, Tokyo, Japan had the biggest population of any city on the planet with a population of over 36 Million people. This was nearly 15 million more than Delhi, India, which had the second highest population. Fast forward 90 years you’d expect Tokyo to be even further ahead, right? Wrong. Tokyo is predicted to not even make it into the top 20 cities in the world. In fact, only 6 of the top 20 cities with the highest population in 2010 are predicted to still be in the top 20 by 2100. In this research led piece, Roof Stores have been tracking the top 20 cities in the world with the highest population back in 2010 and following their projected population increase or decrease over the years. If they drop out of the top 20, the city that overtakes it joins the chart and replaces it. Read on to see how it’s changed! The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2010 were: Tokyo, Japan - 36,834,000 Delhi, India - 21,935,000 Mexico City, Mexico - 20,132,000 Shanghai, China - 19,980,000 São Paulo, Brazil - 19,660,000 Osaka, Japan - 19,492,000 Mumbai, India - 19,422,000 New York, United States of America - 18,365,000 Cairo, Egypt - 16,899,000 Beijing, China - 16,190,000   The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2025 are expected to be: Tokyo, Japan - 36,400,000 Mumbai (Bombay), India - 26,385,000 Delhi, India - 22,498,000 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 22,015,000 Sao Paulo, Brazil - 21,428,000 Mexico City, Mexico - 21,009,000 New York City-Newark, USA - 20,628,000 Kolkata (Calcutta), India - 20,560,000 Shanghai, China - 19,412,000 Karachi, Pakistan - 19,095,000   The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2050 are expected to be: Mumbai (Bombay), India - 42,403,631 Delhi, India - 36,156,789 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 35,193,184 Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo - 35,000,361 Kolkata (Calcutta), India - 33,042,208 Lagos, Nigeria - 32,629,709 Tokyo, Japan - 32,621,993 Karachi, Pakistan - 31,696,042 New York City-Newark, USA - 24,768,743 Mexico City, Mexico - 24,328,738  The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2075 are expected to be: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo - 58,424,142 Mumbai, India - 57,862,345 Lagos, Nigeria - 57,195,075 Delhi, India - 49,338,148 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 46,218,971 Kolkata, India - 45,088,111 Karachi, Pakistan - 43,373,574 Dar Es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania - 37,484,980 Cairo, Egypt - 32,999,203 Manila, Philippines - 32,748,758 The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2100 are expected to be: Lagos, Nigeria - 88,344,661 Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo - 83,493,793 Dar Es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania - 73,678,022 Mumbai, India - 67,239,804 Delhi, India - 57,334,134 Khartoum, Sudan - 56,594,472 Niamey, Niger - 56,149,130 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 54,249,845 Kolkata, India - 52,395,315 Kabul, Afghanistan - 50,269,659 Visit: https://www.roof-stores.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • According to the United Nations, in 2050 the world’s population is expected to be around 9.8 billion, which is expected to grow to an astonishing 11.2 billion people in 2100. Back in 2010, Tokyo, Japan had the biggest population of any city on the planet with a population of over 36 Million people. This was nearly 15 million more than Delhi, India, which had the second highest population. Fast forward 90 years you’d expect Tokyo to be even further ahead, right? Wrong. Tokyo is predicted to not even make it into the top 20 cities in the world. In fact, only 6 of the top 20 cities with the highest population in 2010 are predicted to still be in the top 20 by 2100. In this research led piece, Roof Stores have been tracking the top 20 cities in the world with the highest population back in 2010 and following their projected population increase or decrease over the years. If they drop out of the top 20, the city that overtakes it joins the chart and replaces it. Read on to see how it’s changed! The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2010 were: Tokyo, Japan - 36,834,000 Delhi, India - 21,935,000 Mexico City, Mexico - 20,132,000 Shanghai, China - 19,980,000 São Paulo, Brazil - 19,660,000 Osaka, Japan - 19,492,000 Mumbai, India - 19,422,000 New York, United States of America - 18,365,000 Cairo, Egypt - 16,899,000 Beijing, China - 16,190,000   The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2025 are expected to be: Tokyo, Japan - 36,400,000 Mumbai (Bombay), India - 26,385,000 Delhi, India - 22,498,000 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 22,015,000 Sao Paulo, Brazil - 21,428,000 Mexico City, Mexico - 21,009,000 New York City-Newark, USA - 20,628,000 Kolkata (Calcutta), India - 20,560,000 Shanghai, China - 19,412,000 Karachi, Pakistan - 19,095,000   The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2050 are expected to be: Mumbai (Bombay), India - 42,403,631 Delhi, India - 36,156,789 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 35,193,184 Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo - 35,000,361 Kolkata (Calcutta), India - 33,042,208 Lagos, Nigeria - 32,629,709 Tokyo, Japan - 32,621,993 Karachi, Pakistan - 31,696,042 New York City-Newark, USA - 24,768,743 Mexico City, Mexico - 24,328,738  The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2075 are expected to be: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo - 58,424,142 Mumbai, India - 57,862,345 Lagos, Nigeria - 57,195,075 Delhi, India - 49,338,148 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 46,218,971 Kolkata, India - 45,088,111 Karachi, Pakistan - 43,373,574 Dar Es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania - 37,484,980 Cairo, Egypt - 32,999,203 Manila, Philippines - 32,748,758 The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2100 are expected to be: Lagos, Nigeria - 88,344,661 Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo - 83,493,793 Dar Es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania - 73,678,022 Mumbai, India - 67,239,804 Delhi, India - 57,334,134 Khartoum, Sudan - 56,594,472 Niamey, Niger - 56,149,130 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 54,249,845 Kolkata, India - 52,395,315 Kabul, Afghanistan - 50,269,659 Visit: https://www.roof-stores.co.uk
    Feb 25, 2019 0
  • 22 Feb 2019
    The construction industry is dynamic — ever changing and evolving through technology. The way contractors work today is clearly much different than 50 years ago — or 20 years — or even five years ago writes Jeff Winke. The big difference is due to advances in technology in the machines and tools that enable greater productivity, reduce time, and provide better results. There’s a great John F. Kennedy quote that captures the essence of the construction world: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”   Successful contractors and construction workers recognize that they must take control of their future or risk being left behind. This spirit of paying attention and taking control of the future plays into the notion of being prepared with the right knowledge and skills. “Technology in earthmoving and site work changes too frequently to be ignored,” states Ron Oberlander, senior director, Professional Services for Topcon Positioning Group.  “Contractors must continually seek out new information, learn from others, and take advantage of training opportunities as often as they can to remain competitive.” Successful construction contractors view training as a necessary and beneficial investment in their business and point to numerous reasons why the investment is worthwhile: Improves safety – Contractors acknowledge that the safety of their workers is critical. The right training can ensure that the equipment is operated correctly and that health and safety practices are being followed in the workplace. Improves productivity – It makes sense and is proven that well-trained employees are more confident in their abilities to perform their work. The right training gives workers the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their work to the best of their ability, thus increasing productivity and quality of the results. Keeps current with technology – The pace of technology changes and advancements in construction come fast and furious. Regular training means the business and employees don’t get left behind and they stay working at their best, both today and in the future. Attracts and retain key employees – In today’s market, contractors cannot afford to hire or carry workers who are not super competent or are firmly on a path to proficiency. Training and development programs not only attract, but they can engage current employees and keep them committed to the company. Gives company and workers the edge – Training employees can provide a genuine competitive advantage over competition. The only way to be better than competitors is by employees being better than the rest and training is a direct route to achieving this. “The key attributes of good training are that it is repeatable, consistent, and offered frequently so workers can commit to learning regularly,” Oberlander said. “Both managers and workers will never know everything about the products and systems they use; so, training helps everyone be smarter and more productive. I tell the people we train that if you feel you are pretty productive now, you’ll be even more productive after training.” To be effective, training needs to be concise and specific to a contractor’s needs. Construction contractors and professional surveyors are extremely busy and do not have the time or patience for superfluous information. One of the benefits of good training is to teach learners how to be resourceful and effective after the trainer is gone. Knowing when, how, and where to go for help can reinforce the content and skills acquired during training. “To ensure our products and systems are fully used after training, we’ve created two helpful resources—a global Professional Services team and a myTopcon support and training site,” said Oberlander. “Our markets are diverse, but they share a common necessity of highly precise measurements, increased automation and workflow solutions to improve their productivity. These resources are designed to provide solutions and workflow assistance to ensure the highest efficiency for our customers and help them to expand their businesses by applying these skills and technologies into new applications.” The Topcon Professional Services team has been created to integrate training, customer support, and sales support into a single resource intended to help its customers adopt and apply new technologies as they emerge. The Professional Services team includes more than 40 applications experts from the surveying, construction, civil engineering, networking and mapping fields. These experts are located around the world to support the company’s global market. The myTopcon site is designed to provide direct access to online training, firmware and software updates, and reference resources at a mobile-adapted site that can be accessed from the field. Again, the intent of both the Professional Services team and the myTopcon site is to extend and support the information and content as well as new skills acquired during training. Clearly, as the labor market continues to tighten, and as more and more baby boomers head into retirement, construction companies will need to sharpen their recruiting, hiring, and training capabilities. Younger millennial and Generation X workers expect more than their older counterparts ever did, but in exchange they bring an acceptance, expectation, and appreciation of the role technology is playing in construction today. By being committed to ongoing training, a construction firm can build a sense of connection, which can help create the positive environment where employees are willing to go above and beyond to help fuel organizational success.            As John F. Kennedy pointed out — change is the law of life — and clearly, the investment in training can keep a construction company fresh, up-to-date, and better prepared to adapt and succeed in the face of change. Jeff Winke is a business and construction writer based in Milwaukee, Wis. He can be reached through jeff_winke@yahoo.com  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The construction industry is dynamic — ever changing and evolving through technology. The way contractors work today is clearly much different than 50 years ago — or 20 years — or even five years ago writes Jeff Winke. The big difference is due to advances in technology in the machines and tools that enable greater productivity, reduce time, and provide better results. There’s a great John F. Kennedy quote that captures the essence of the construction world: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”   Successful contractors and construction workers recognize that they must take control of their future or risk being left behind. This spirit of paying attention and taking control of the future plays into the notion of being prepared with the right knowledge and skills. “Technology in earthmoving and site work changes too frequently to be ignored,” states Ron Oberlander, senior director, Professional Services for Topcon Positioning Group.  “Contractors must continually seek out new information, learn from others, and take advantage of training opportunities as often as they can to remain competitive.” Successful construction contractors view training as a necessary and beneficial investment in their business and point to numerous reasons why the investment is worthwhile: Improves safety – Contractors acknowledge that the safety of their workers is critical. The right training can ensure that the equipment is operated correctly and that health and safety practices are being followed in the workplace. Improves productivity – It makes sense and is proven that well-trained employees are more confident in their abilities to perform their work. The right training gives workers the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their work to the best of their ability, thus increasing productivity and quality of the results. Keeps current with technology – The pace of technology changes and advancements in construction come fast and furious. Regular training means the business and employees don’t get left behind and they stay working at their best, both today and in the future. Attracts and retain key employees – In today’s market, contractors cannot afford to hire or carry workers who are not super competent or are firmly on a path to proficiency. Training and development programs not only attract, but they can engage current employees and keep them committed to the company. Gives company and workers the edge – Training employees can provide a genuine competitive advantage over competition. The only way to be better than competitors is by employees being better than the rest and training is a direct route to achieving this. “The key attributes of good training are that it is repeatable, consistent, and offered frequently so workers can commit to learning regularly,” Oberlander said. “Both managers and workers will never know everything about the products and systems they use; so, training helps everyone be smarter and more productive. I tell the people we train that if you feel you are pretty productive now, you’ll be even more productive after training.” To be effective, training needs to be concise and specific to a contractor’s needs. Construction contractors and professional surveyors are extremely busy and do not have the time or patience for superfluous information. One of the benefits of good training is to teach learners how to be resourceful and effective after the trainer is gone. Knowing when, how, and where to go for help can reinforce the content and skills acquired during training. “To ensure our products and systems are fully used after training, we’ve created two helpful resources—a global Professional Services team and a myTopcon support and training site,” said Oberlander. “Our markets are diverse, but they share a common necessity of highly precise measurements, increased automation and workflow solutions to improve their productivity. These resources are designed to provide solutions and workflow assistance to ensure the highest efficiency for our customers and help them to expand their businesses by applying these skills and technologies into new applications.” The Topcon Professional Services team has been created to integrate training, customer support, and sales support into a single resource intended to help its customers adopt and apply new technologies as they emerge. The Professional Services team includes more than 40 applications experts from the surveying, construction, civil engineering, networking and mapping fields. These experts are located around the world to support the company’s global market. The myTopcon site is designed to provide direct access to online training, firmware and software updates, and reference resources at a mobile-adapted site that can be accessed from the field. Again, the intent of both the Professional Services team and the myTopcon site is to extend and support the information and content as well as new skills acquired during training. Clearly, as the labor market continues to tighten, and as more and more baby boomers head into retirement, construction companies will need to sharpen their recruiting, hiring, and training capabilities. Younger millennial and Generation X workers expect more than their older counterparts ever did, but in exchange they bring an acceptance, expectation, and appreciation of the role technology is playing in construction today. By being committed to ongoing training, a construction firm can build a sense of connection, which can help create the positive environment where employees are willing to go above and beyond to help fuel organizational success.            As John F. Kennedy pointed out — change is the law of life — and clearly, the investment in training can keep a construction company fresh, up-to-date, and better prepared to adapt and succeed in the face of change. Jeff Winke is a business and construction writer based in Milwaukee, Wis. He can be reached through jeff_winke@yahoo.com  
    Feb 22, 2019 0
  • 13 Feb 2019
    The construction industry reminds me, writes Gerald Kelly, of that old argument about aliens from another planet, it goes something like this – there can’t be any advanced aliens on other planets because they would have visited us by now. Ah, a reasonable hypothesis you may think. However, it can also be argued that being enlightened aliens they have listened to our radio broadcasts that have leaked out from Earth into the void of space since the 1930’s and have concluded that Earth is a planet that is troubled and should be avoided. This could also be said of the construction industry as the sector is deeply troubled with; insanely low profit margins; worsening levels of insolvencies; a deepening skills crisis; a recruitment image problem; BREXIT uncertainty, rising costs of materials and labour; quality problems; continued poor contractual practices which includes -altering standard forms of subcontract; insisting on onerous terms and conditions; collecting retentions and participating in systematic late payment practices.  Thus, the question remains, is construction a sector to visit or should it be avoided? To make the construction sector worth a visit, changing the Tier 1 contractor business model would be a good start. Instead of tendering for contracts at ridiculously low profit margins and then relying on variation orders and the systematic squeezing of the supply chain in an effort to boost profit and mitigate risk, main contractors should be selective on the projects they proceed with and should substantially increase their margins on projects with increased risk and difficulty.  Yes, the cost of construction may rise, however, in truth it already has. The increase is being borne out by main contractors who are more than likely carrying huge debts, making losses or entertaining small profit margins in comparison to the risk taken, and by the specialised supply chain who are relentlessly forced to endure bad contractual and payment practices, reduced margins and losses. Turnover vanity has to end. The sanity of profit has to prevail if the construction industry is to strengthen and move away from increasing insolvencies and losses. Government procurement can help with the transition by moving its focus away from securing the lowest cost. And there should be an insistence that a sustainable profit is made by all involved in the project. Using the old worn-out excuse that driving down costs is enabling best value for the tax payer’s money is a nonsense. It is not in the interest of anyone to have the UK construction industry scrabbling around on its knees. With more money in the system, main contractors would be able to work in a true respectful partnership with their supply chain (okay, this may be a fantasy, but it is more likely if there is money in the pot). Furthermore, increased profits for all will see money being spent on improving quality; investments in improving productivity; training; increases in pay; better health & safety measures and working practices. An industry that is making profit and has a workforce that is content through better working conditions, training and pay is an industry that has an improving image and is attractive to new recruits.  Although, as a harmonious partnership between main contractors and their supply chains won’t happen overnight, the supply chain absolutely needs to be equipped with up-to-date contractual knowledge to administer the contract properly to protect themselves from dubious contract alterations, onerous terms and conditions, and poor payment practices. According to the ARCADIS 2018 Global Construction Disputes Report, the main causes of contractual dispute are: 1st A failure to properly administer the contract 2nd Employer/Contractor/Subcontractor failing to understand and/or comply with its contractual obligations 3rd Failure to serve the appropriate notice under the contract And with 19% of subcontractors not thoroughly checking contracts before they sign them and 38% stating construction contracts are too complex to understand (Bibby financial Services Subcontracting Growth Report) it is not surprising that poor contractual and payment practices are prevalent in the industry and insolvencies are on the rise. Contractual training is essential for subcontractors so that contracts can be administered properly to stop time consuming and costly disputes. Since 1983 our confederation (CCS) has been campaigning; providing legal and contractual advice; and developing and delivering professional contractual training to empower its members and the wider construction community to optimise contractual arrangements when dealing with main contractors and clients. Gerald Kelly is General Manager of the Confederation of Construction Specialists. Visit: www.constructionspecialists.org  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The construction industry reminds me, writes Gerald Kelly, of that old argument about aliens from another planet, it goes something like this – there can’t be any advanced aliens on other planets because they would have visited us by now. Ah, a reasonable hypothesis you may think. However, it can also be argued that being enlightened aliens they have listened to our radio broadcasts that have leaked out from Earth into the void of space since the 1930’s and have concluded that Earth is a planet that is troubled and should be avoided. This could also be said of the construction industry as the sector is deeply troubled with; insanely low profit margins; worsening levels of insolvencies; a deepening skills crisis; a recruitment image problem; BREXIT uncertainty, rising costs of materials and labour; quality problems; continued poor contractual practices which includes -altering standard forms of subcontract; insisting on onerous terms and conditions; collecting retentions and participating in systematic late payment practices.  Thus, the question remains, is construction a sector to visit or should it be avoided? To make the construction sector worth a visit, changing the Tier 1 contractor business model would be a good start. Instead of tendering for contracts at ridiculously low profit margins and then relying on variation orders and the systematic squeezing of the supply chain in an effort to boost profit and mitigate risk, main contractors should be selective on the projects they proceed with and should substantially increase their margins on projects with increased risk and difficulty.  Yes, the cost of construction may rise, however, in truth it already has. The increase is being borne out by main contractors who are more than likely carrying huge debts, making losses or entertaining small profit margins in comparison to the risk taken, and by the specialised supply chain who are relentlessly forced to endure bad contractual and payment practices, reduced margins and losses. Turnover vanity has to end. The sanity of profit has to prevail if the construction industry is to strengthen and move away from increasing insolvencies and losses. Government procurement can help with the transition by moving its focus away from securing the lowest cost. And there should be an insistence that a sustainable profit is made by all involved in the project. Using the old worn-out excuse that driving down costs is enabling best value for the tax payer’s money is a nonsense. It is not in the interest of anyone to have the UK construction industry scrabbling around on its knees. With more money in the system, main contractors would be able to work in a true respectful partnership with their supply chain (okay, this may be a fantasy, but it is more likely if there is money in the pot). Furthermore, increased profits for all will see money being spent on improving quality; investments in improving productivity; training; increases in pay; better health & safety measures and working practices. An industry that is making profit and has a workforce that is content through better working conditions, training and pay is an industry that has an improving image and is attractive to new recruits.  Although, as a harmonious partnership between main contractors and their supply chains won’t happen overnight, the supply chain absolutely needs to be equipped with up-to-date contractual knowledge to administer the contract properly to protect themselves from dubious contract alterations, onerous terms and conditions, and poor payment practices. According to the ARCADIS 2018 Global Construction Disputes Report, the main causes of contractual dispute are: 1st A failure to properly administer the contract 2nd Employer/Contractor/Subcontractor failing to understand and/or comply with its contractual obligations 3rd Failure to serve the appropriate notice under the contract And with 19% of subcontractors not thoroughly checking contracts before they sign them and 38% stating construction contracts are too complex to understand (Bibby financial Services Subcontracting Growth Report) it is not surprising that poor contractual and payment practices are prevalent in the industry and insolvencies are on the rise. Contractual training is essential for subcontractors so that contracts can be administered properly to stop time consuming and costly disputes. Since 1983 our confederation (CCS) has been campaigning; providing legal and contractual advice; and developing and delivering professional contractual training to empower its members and the wider construction community to optimise contractual arrangements when dealing with main contractors and clients. Gerald Kelly is General Manager of the Confederation of Construction Specialists. Visit: www.constructionspecialists.org  
    Feb 13, 2019 0
  • 05 Feb 2019
    The construction industry has this stereo-typical image of the macho male and in spite of the huge influx of women workers that perception has changed little in recent years. And because men are more likely to bottle up feelings of anxiety and depression there is no doubt that we are seeing an increase in mental health issues on building sites writes Michael Younge. Just in case anyone is in any doubt, just look at the statistics. There were more than 13,000 suicides of construction workers in the UK between 2011 and 2015 according to the Office of National Statistics. This represented some 13% of the total workforce suicides in Britain – and to get this figure into perspective, construction workers as a whole only account for 7% of the working population. As a result, we are now seeing the industry looking at techniques such as Mindfulness and positive thinking as a way of reducing the suicide figures and enhancing the lives of construction workers. This might seem like new age hippy speak but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that mindfulness promotes wellbeing and most importantly better health and safety – a vital part of the construction industry. So what is Mindfulness? There have been many definitions but I prefer to call it – thinking in the NOW - by being aware at all times of our own feelings and surroundings, by allowing your thoughts to focus on the immediate situation.  When practiced properly, it allows the person to forget about the past and to avoid future outcomes. This is a very simple explanation and readers who want to know more should visit my website – for once you have mastered the art of Mindfulness and positive thinking you can change your life, as this practice has been proven to reduce depression, anxiety and stress. There is very little that’s new about the subject - it has been practiced by Buddhist Monks for centuries - but there is now strong anecdotal evidence that building companies are looking to introduce such techniques as a way of reducing stress and promoting harmony within the workplace. A more focussed workforce will make better decisions, be more positive about outcomes and objectives and most importantly, because they will become more aware of their feelings and surroundings – health and safety will also improve. The biggest challenge for employers is to take the workforce with them. Unless individuals are prepared to buy into the concept of Mindfulness then it is clearly not going to work and there is no magic button that can be pressed that will transform an individual overnight – it takes commitment and practice and for many, it might be a step too far. However, for those prepared to try, there can be enormous benefits. By nature our minds wander but Mindfulness promotes a feeling of success allowing individuals to be more vigilant and stay focussed on the job in hand for longer. More importantly, the majority become more positive and this will change their attitude to work and life in general. Banning those negative thoughts is the first step to better mental health and wellbeing and hopefully, in time, it will lead to a reduction in those appalling suicide figures. Michael Younge is an established blogger specialising in positivity and the benefits it offers to all of us. To read more visit: www.powerfulpositivethinking.org
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The construction industry has this stereo-typical image of the macho male and in spite of the huge influx of women workers that perception has changed little in recent years. And because men are more likely to bottle up feelings of anxiety and depression there is no doubt that we are seeing an increase in mental health issues on building sites writes Michael Younge. Just in case anyone is in any doubt, just look at the statistics. There were more than 13,000 suicides of construction workers in the UK between 2011 and 2015 according to the Office of National Statistics. This represented some 13% of the total workforce suicides in Britain – and to get this figure into perspective, construction workers as a whole only account for 7% of the working population. As a result, we are now seeing the industry looking at techniques such as Mindfulness and positive thinking as a way of reducing the suicide figures and enhancing the lives of construction workers. This might seem like new age hippy speak but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that mindfulness promotes wellbeing and most importantly better health and safety – a vital part of the construction industry. So what is Mindfulness? There have been many definitions but I prefer to call it – thinking in the NOW - by being aware at all times of our own feelings and surroundings, by allowing your thoughts to focus on the immediate situation.  When practiced properly, it allows the person to forget about the past and to avoid future outcomes. This is a very simple explanation and readers who want to know more should visit my website – for once you have mastered the art of Mindfulness and positive thinking you can change your life, as this practice has been proven to reduce depression, anxiety and stress. There is very little that’s new about the subject - it has been practiced by Buddhist Monks for centuries - but there is now strong anecdotal evidence that building companies are looking to introduce such techniques as a way of reducing stress and promoting harmony within the workplace. A more focussed workforce will make better decisions, be more positive about outcomes and objectives and most importantly, because they will become more aware of their feelings and surroundings – health and safety will also improve. The biggest challenge for employers is to take the workforce with them. Unless individuals are prepared to buy into the concept of Mindfulness then it is clearly not going to work and there is no magic button that can be pressed that will transform an individual overnight – it takes commitment and practice and for many, it might be a step too far. However, for those prepared to try, there can be enormous benefits. By nature our minds wander but Mindfulness promotes a feeling of success allowing individuals to be more vigilant and stay focussed on the job in hand for longer. More importantly, the majority become more positive and this will change their attitude to work and life in general. Banning those negative thoughts is the first step to better mental health and wellbeing and hopefully, in time, it will lead to a reduction in those appalling suicide figures. Michael Younge is an established blogger specialising in positivity and the benefits it offers to all of us. To read more visit: www.powerfulpositivethinking.org
    Feb 05, 2019 0
  • 08 Jan 2019
    With the UK construction, operation and maintenance industry accounting for 48% of the UK’s carbon emissions, the focus of many innovations in construction is now on reducing the construction sector's CO2 output. Protection Supplies have uncovered the cutting-edge yet conscious building materials of the future before revealing how these materials are changing the way that buildings are now being constructed. The UK's construction industry also needs to build 300,000 homes a year to overcome the current housing shortage. As the industry is failing to do this, materials which can shorten the time it takes to build homes and make them more affordable are crucial for revolutionising the industry. Some of the benefits of these innovative materials include: Speeding up housing production Improving the longevity of buildings Helping buildings to adapt to their surroundings, such as in the event of earthquakes Increasing natural light Reducing fuel bills Making construction more environmentally friendly by lowering CO2 production 1. Transparent Wood Invented by Swedish researchers, wood can now be treated and compressed to become a transparent material. What it does: Researcher Lars Berglund creates the transparent wood by compressing strips of wood veneer in a process similar to pulping. This removes the lignin and replaces it with the polymer, making the wood 85% transparent. Benefits: This material will create a strong and environmentally friendly alternative to plastic and glass. The material has the strength of lumber but is far lighter. It can be used in the construction of homes to bring more light in and reduce the need for artificial light which can quickly use up a lot of power. It is as environmentally friendly and biodegradable as normal wood.   2. Hydrogel Architects at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona are in the process of creating walls which are able to cool themselves down, using the substance Hydrogel. What it does: Bubbles of Hydrogel are layered between two ceramic panels. These can then be installed into already constructed walls. Benefits: Hydrogel is able to absorb water when the air around Hydrogel heats up it evaporates and cools the room down by up to 5°C. The mechanism is inspired by the way the human body cools itself down. Once installed in buildings it will act as an alternative to the overuse of air conditioning which is detrimental to the environment, producing 100 million tonnes of CO2.   3. Cigarette **** Bricks Smoking is bad for your health and bad for the environment as discarded cigarettes make up an estimated 38% of all waste. Researchers at the Australian RMIT University have found that adding discarded cigarettes to bricks lessens the amount of energy needed for baking. What it does: The bricks made with the addition of cigarette butts, require less baking time than traditional bricks. This means they are cheaper and more eco-friendly to produce. Benefits: As the cigarettes within the brick reduce the time of baking bricks, they reduce the energy required to produce them by up to 58%. Additionally, the bricks are better insulators than those without cigarette butts within them and solve an ongoing pollution problem of what to do with discarded cigarettes to prevent contamination. 4. Super-hydrophobic Cement Scientists in Mexico have discovered that changing the microstructure of cement can make it absorb and reflect light, creating super-hydrophobic cement, also known as luminescent cement. What it does: The cement is able to absorb and reflect light, offering an alternative to street lighting as the ground would be lit up using this luminescent cement. Benefits: Often cement needs to be replaced within thirty to fifty years, however, this alternative product is far more durable and will last for up to hundred years. It also offers power free lighting and therefore can reduce the energy consumed and CO2 produced by lighting the streets of the world.   5. Synthetic Spider Silk A spider's web is the strongest material in the natural world. It is a naturally tough and strong material that for years scientists have been trying to create a synthetic version. Now, with the help of 3D printing, they are closer than ever. What it does: The synthetic spider's silk is created at room temperature using water, silica and cellulose which are all easily accessible. The finished product could be used as a biodegradable alternative to nylon and other tough fabrics. Benefits: The material will offer an alternative to the textile industry which is currently one of the biggest producers of CO2 in the world. The product will be used as an alternative to an array of strong materials such as parachutes and eventually it is hoped the Synthetic Spider Silk will be used in creating building materials such as blocks as well as in mechanics, making super strong car parts. 6. Breathe Bricks Acting as a secondary layer of insulation, these pollution absorbing bricks can remove 30% of fine particles and 100% of coarse particles making air within office spaces and public buildings healthier to breathe. This is particularly useful in areas with poor air quality as a way to improve air within buildings. What it does: Composed of two key parts, concrete bricks and recycled plastic coupler, the aligned bricks create a route from the outside into the brick’s hollow centre. The surface of the bricks themselves helps to direct airflow and a cavity removes pollution. Benefits: This is a cost-effective way to reduce air pollution as it requires no further maintenance once installed. It would be particularly helpful in developing countries where air quality is poor and other solutions could be too expensive to maintain.   7. Bamboo-reinforced Concrete A natural alternative to the steel reinforcement usually used in most countries, this Singaporean method of reinforcing concrete is far more sustainable. What it does: The use of bamboo rather than steel to reinforce concrete is more environmentally friendly and creates flexibility within the concrete that can better withstand earthquakes. Benefits: Bamboo grows at a high rate, meaning it absorbs a lot of CO2 as it grows and therefore increased production of bamboo would benefit the environment. It is also a great alternative to materials which cause harm as they are produced. Bamboo also has a higher tensile strength than steel because its fibres run axially and it is flexible so is great for use in earthquake-prone areas.   8. Super Wood Although wood has been used for millennia in construction, it isn’t as strong as metals used in building today. Scientists have now discovered a way to add strength to wood by boiling it in a solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and sodium sulfite (Na2SO3) before it is compressed so that the molecules within the wood are strengthened. What it does: The compressed wood is far stronger and more durable than wood in its natural state, therefore it can be used in a greater range on construction projects. Benefits: As this product relies on the already abundant and natural material of wood, it is still affordable and can be created in an environmentally sustainable way according to its creators at University of Maryland, College Park. The wood is so strong it can stop bullets but is far lighter than comparable materials of the same strength.   The diversity of these materials showcases how much the industry is starting to consider the environment and the affordability of construction. The construction industry is revolutionising the way that we live. Even the materials that make up our homes are increasingly innovative and futuristic. Visit: https://www.protectionsupplies.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • With the UK construction, operation and maintenance industry accounting for 48% of the UK’s carbon emissions, the focus of many innovations in construction is now on reducing the construction sector's CO2 output. Protection Supplies have uncovered the cutting-edge yet conscious building materials of the future before revealing how these materials are changing the way that buildings are now being constructed. The UK's construction industry also needs to build 300,000 homes a year to overcome the current housing shortage. As the industry is failing to do this, materials which can shorten the time it takes to build homes and make them more affordable are crucial for revolutionising the industry. Some of the benefits of these innovative materials include: Speeding up housing production Improving the longevity of buildings Helping buildings to adapt to their surroundings, such as in the event of earthquakes Increasing natural light Reducing fuel bills Making construction more environmentally friendly by lowering CO2 production 1. Transparent Wood Invented by Swedish researchers, wood can now be treated and compressed to become a transparent material. What it does: Researcher Lars Berglund creates the transparent wood by compressing strips of wood veneer in a process similar to pulping. This removes the lignin and replaces it with the polymer, making the wood 85% transparent. Benefits: This material will create a strong and environmentally friendly alternative to plastic and glass. The material has the strength of lumber but is far lighter. It can be used in the construction of homes to bring more light in and reduce the need for artificial light which can quickly use up a lot of power. It is as environmentally friendly and biodegradable as normal wood.   2. Hydrogel Architects at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona are in the process of creating walls which are able to cool themselves down, using the substance Hydrogel. What it does: Bubbles of Hydrogel are layered between two ceramic panels. These can then be installed into already constructed walls. Benefits: Hydrogel is able to absorb water when the air around Hydrogel heats up it evaporates and cools the room down by up to 5°C. The mechanism is inspired by the way the human body cools itself down. Once installed in buildings it will act as an alternative to the overuse of air conditioning which is detrimental to the environment, producing 100 million tonnes of CO2.   3. Cigarette **** Bricks Smoking is bad for your health and bad for the environment as discarded cigarettes make up an estimated 38% of all waste. Researchers at the Australian RMIT University have found that adding discarded cigarettes to bricks lessens the amount of energy needed for baking. What it does: The bricks made with the addition of cigarette butts, require less baking time than traditional bricks. This means they are cheaper and more eco-friendly to produce. Benefits: As the cigarettes within the brick reduce the time of baking bricks, they reduce the energy required to produce them by up to 58%. Additionally, the bricks are better insulators than those without cigarette butts within them and solve an ongoing pollution problem of what to do with discarded cigarettes to prevent contamination. 4. Super-hydrophobic Cement Scientists in Mexico have discovered that changing the microstructure of cement can make it absorb and reflect light, creating super-hydrophobic cement, also known as luminescent cement. What it does: The cement is able to absorb and reflect light, offering an alternative to street lighting as the ground would be lit up using this luminescent cement. Benefits: Often cement needs to be replaced within thirty to fifty years, however, this alternative product is far more durable and will last for up to hundred years. It also offers power free lighting and therefore can reduce the energy consumed and CO2 produced by lighting the streets of the world.   5. Synthetic Spider Silk A spider's web is the strongest material in the natural world. It is a naturally tough and strong material that for years scientists have been trying to create a synthetic version. Now, with the help of 3D printing, they are closer than ever. What it does: The synthetic spider's silk is created at room temperature using water, silica and cellulose which are all easily accessible. The finished product could be used as a biodegradable alternative to nylon and other tough fabrics. Benefits: The material will offer an alternative to the textile industry which is currently one of the biggest producers of CO2 in the world. The product will be used as an alternative to an array of strong materials such as parachutes and eventually it is hoped the Synthetic Spider Silk will be used in creating building materials such as blocks as well as in mechanics, making super strong car parts. 6. Breathe Bricks Acting as a secondary layer of insulation, these pollution absorbing bricks can remove 30% of fine particles and 100% of coarse particles making air within office spaces and public buildings healthier to breathe. This is particularly useful in areas with poor air quality as a way to improve air within buildings. What it does: Composed of two key parts, concrete bricks and recycled plastic coupler, the aligned bricks create a route from the outside into the brick’s hollow centre. The surface of the bricks themselves helps to direct airflow and a cavity removes pollution. Benefits: This is a cost-effective way to reduce air pollution as it requires no further maintenance once installed. It would be particularly helpful in developing countries where air quality is poor and other solutions could be too expensive to maintain.   7. Bamboo-reinforced Concrete A natural alternative to the steel reinforcement usually used in most countries, this Singaporean method of reinforcing concrete is far more sustainable. What it does: The use of bamboo rather than steel to reinforce concrete is more environmentally friendly and creates flexibility within the concrete that can better withstand earthquakes. Benefits: Bamboo grows at a high rate, meaning it absorbs a lot of CO2 as it grows and therefore increased production of bamboo would benefit the environment. It is also a great alternative to materials which cause harm as they are produced. Bamboo also has a higher tensile strength than steel because its fibres run axially and it is flexible so is great for use in earthquake-prone areas.   8. Super Wood Although wood has been used for millennia in construction, it isn’t as strong as metals used in building today. Scientists have now discovered a way to add strength to wood by boiling it in a solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and sodium sulfite (Na2SO3) before it is compressed so that the molecules within the wood are strengthened. What it does: The compressed wood is far stronger and more durable than wood in its natural state, therefore it can be used in a greater range on construction projects. Benefits: As this product relies on the already abundant and natural material of wood, it is still affordable and can be created in an environmentally sustainable way according to its creators at University of Maryland, College Park. The wood is so strong it can stop bullets but is far lighter than comparable materials of the same strength.   The diversity of these materials showcases how much the industry is starting to consider the environment and the affordability of construction. The construction industry is revolutionising the way that we live. Even the materials that make up our homes are increasingly innovative and futuristic. Visit: https://www.protectionsupplies.co.uk
    Jan 08, 2019 0
  • 02 Jan 2019
    Being in a building dispute can be a pain. But if it is not immediately resolved, it can cause worse problems for you. This could be in the form of delays, unfinished work, additional costs, and it can take much of your time. How will deal with it can determine the success of the construction project? An Australian construction lawyer gives his views. Building disputes can be anything. It could be about poor workmanship, payment issues, contract breaches, or any concern that involves a constructed building. It can also be a test on how you could manage your relationships with the others involved in the building project. With a harmonious relationship, you can easily work together to finish the building properly. But, handling building disputes sounds easy but it could be hard when you are in the actual situation. This applies especially when the person you are dealing with could be difficult to work with. So, here as some tips to help you handle building disputes better: Talk and Negotiate with empathy. Do not let your emotions rule you when talking to your builder. They are people too, and they can make mistakes. You must learn to listen to their story with understanding what are the events that led to the dispute. With a clear head, you can already know what your next action to resolve this mess. But while being understanding, you should still know how to distinguish the difference between excuses from facts. It will lead you to know the truth and the way to resolve the problem. Take note and document every detail. Having a copy of everything related to the building project is a helpful practice for you when things go wrong. You can easily track where the dispute happened, and even keep your work organized. You can even have it as solid legal proof. Your contract, payment claim, invoices, pictures and other documents can help you handle the dispute as objective as possible. You can use it to plead your case properly to the parties involved and you can easily pinpoint who is at fault. And in some cases, they can hold the key to a resolution for the issue. Know your rights. Different construction laws protect you from different building disputes. There are laws for building defects, laws for late payments and laws that can protect your rights whichever role you are taking part in the building project. So, you have to do your best to enforce it. The law is on your side so if the other parties in the project are not doing their job well, you can confront them about it. It is in your hands on how you should remind them of these laws, but remember that the law is also solid proof of their incompetence.   Talk to a specialist construction lawyer. If you feel that you do not have the confidence to confront the other party yourself, you can ask the help of a construction lawyer to mediate in between. They can help you understand your rights in the building disputes and what you can do about them. They can guide you through each step of any legal process you would have to undergo due to the dispute. They can also give you expert legal advice, so you are sure that your building dispute gets resolved as cost and time- efficient as possible. So that, you get to enforce your legal rights and handle your building dispute with ease. Visit: https://www.contractsspecialist.com.au/building-dispute-lawyer-sydney  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Being in a building dispute can be a pain. But if it is not immediately resolved, it can cause worse problems for you. This could be in the form of delays, unfinished work, additional costs, and it can take much of your time. How will deal with it can determine the success of the construction project? An Australian construction lawyer gives his views. Building disputes can be anything. It could be about poor workmanship, payment issues, contract breaches, or any concern that involves a constructed building. It can also be a test on how you could manage your relationships with the others involved in the building project. With a harmonious relationship, you can easily work together to finish the building properly. But, handling building disputes sounds easy but it could be hard when you are in the actual situation. This applies especially when the person you are dealing with could be difficult to work with. So, here as some tips to help you handle building disputes better: Talk and Negotiate with empathy. Do not let your emotions rule you when talking to your builder. They are people too, and they can make mistakes. You must learn to listen to their story with understanding what are the events that led to the dispute. With a clear head, you can already know what your next action to resolve this mess. But while being understanding, you should still know how to distinguish the difference between excuses from facts. It will lead you to know the truth and the way to resolve the problem. Take note and document every detail. Having a copy of everything related to the building project is a helpful practice for you when things go wrong. You can easily track where the dispute happened, and even keep your work organized. You can even have it as solid legal proof. Your contract, payment claim, invoices, pictures and other documents can help you handle the dispute as objective as possible. You can use it to plead your case properly to the parties involved and you can easily pinpoint who is at fault. And in some cases, they can hold the key to a resolution for the issue. Know your rights. Different construction laws protect you from different building disputes. There are laws for building defects, laws for late payments and laws that can protect your rights whichever role you are taking part in the building project. So, you have to do your best to enforce it. The law is on your side so if the other parties in the project are not doing their job well, you can confront them about it. It is in your hands on how you should remind them of these laws, but remember that the law is also solid proof of their incompetence.   Talk to a specialist construction lawyer. If you feel that you do not have the confidence to confront the other party yourself, you can ask the help of a construction lawyer to mediate in between. They can help you understand your rights in the building disputes and what you can do about them. They can guide you through each step of any legal process you would have to undergo due to the dispute. They can also give you expert legal advice, so you are sure that your building dispute gets resolved as cost and time- efficient as possible. So that, you get to enforce your legal rights and handle your building dispute with ease. Visit: https://www.contractsspecialist.com.au/building-dispute-lawyer-sydney  
    Jan 02, 2019 0
  • 17 Dec 2018
    As an employer, safety is likely pretty high on your priority risk, ensuring that you and those you work with minimise the risk of accidents. Although it can be easy to incorporate various health and safety protocols in order to sufficiently protect yourself and your colleagues from immediate harm, it’s important to consider some of the hidden dangers that may be hidden within the walls. Asbestos is a flame retardant used in a variety of building works across the country until its ban in the 1990s and remains a very serious danger to those who may be working in close proximity to the material. With this in mind, it’s useful to understand asbestos and how it still poses a threat. What exactly is asbestos? The term asbestos actually covers a group of naturally occurring materials made up of microscopic fibres. These silicate materials are split into six different types and can be found all across the globe. Its use in industry is due to its flame retardant properties and its use can be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians, who weaved asbestos cloth to preserve their dead. However, it wasn’t until the industrial revolution that asbestos began to be used on a much larger scale, with over 30,000 tonnes of the lightweight fibre being mined across the globe every year by the early 1900s. Although its effects as a dangerous material were documented as early as the late 1800s, asbestos was only fully banned in the UK with the prohibition of chrysotile in 1999. Because of this, a large percentage of buildings constructed before this point may have some form of asbestos built into it, making it a very present danger for many working in the industry. What are the dangers? Asbestos is not generally considered dangerous unless the microscopic fibres are inhaled or ingested. However, there is a host of problems that can occur from asbestos infiltrating your lungs that can range from minor to severe. The four main diseases that can be contracted from asbestos are as follows: Diffuse pleural thickening/pleural plaques - these two diseases occur from the inhalation of asbestos and cause scarring or plaque build-up to occur around the pleura; the double-layered membrane surrounding your lungs. Asbestosis - the scarring of lung tissue, this can evolve into a host of more severe problems. Asbestos-related lung cancer and Mesothelioma - two types of cancers that affect the various parts of the lung. These problems may take years or even decades to surface so it’s imperative for those working in close proximity to older buildings to be adequately protected. Keeping you protected from asbestos Making sure that you’re working in an environment safe from the scourge of asbestos is essential, so if you believe you may have discovered some, it is imperative to bring in the experts. Modbay, alongside our work in roofing and guttering, we offer a comprehensive asbestos stripping service, ensuring that you’re working safely.  visit our website.  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • As an employer, safety is likely pretty high on your priority risk, ensuring that you and those you work with minimise the risk of accidents. Although it can be easy to incorporate various health and safety protocols in order to sufficiently protect yourself and your colleagues from immediate harm, it’s important to consider some of the hidden dangers that may be hidden within the walls. Asbestos is a flame retardant used in a variety of building works across the country until its ban in the 1990s and remains a very serious danger to those who may be working in close proximity to the material. With this in mind, it’s useful to understand asbestos and how it still poses a threat. What exactly is asbestos? The term asbestos actually covers a group of naturally occurring materials made up of microscopic fibres. These silicate materials are split into six different types and can be found all across the globe. Its use in industry is due to its flame retardant properties and its use can be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians, who weaved asbestos cloth to preserve their dead. However, it wasn’t until the industrial revolution that asbestos began to be used on a much larger scale, with over 30,000 tonnes of the lightweight fibre being mined across the globe every year by the early 1900s. Although its effects as a dangerous material were documented as early as the late 1800s, asbestos was only fully banned in the UK with the prohibition of chrysotile in 1999. Because of this, a large percentage of buildings constructed before this point may have some form of asbestos built into it, making it a very present danger for many working in the industry. What are the dangers? Asbestos is not generally considered dangerous unless the microscopic fibres are inhaled or ingested. However, there is a host of problems that can occur from asbestos infiltrating your lungs that can range from minor to severe. The four main diseases that can be contracted from asbestos are as follows: Diffuse pleural thickening/pleural plaques - these two diseases occur from the inhalation of asbestos and cause scarring or plaque build-up to occur around the pleura; the double-layered membrane surrounding your lungs. Asbestosis - the scarring of lung tissue, this can evolve into a host of more severe problems. Asbestos-related lung cancer and Mesothelioma - two types of cancers that affect the various parts of the lung. These problems may take years or even decades to surface so it’s imperative for those working in close proximity to older buildings to be adequately protected. Keeping you protected from asbestos Making sure that you’re working in an environment safe from the scourge of asbestos is essential, so if you believe you may have discovered some, it is imperative to bring in the experts. Modbay, alongside our work in roofing and guttering, we offer a comprehensive asbestos stripping service, ensuring that you’re working safely.  visit our website.  
    Dec 17, 2018 0
  • 03 Dec 2018
    Since the construction giant Carillion’s liquidation at the beginning of the year, the government has released regulations to target late payers in the public sector in an attempt to resolve the delayed payment crisis. In light of this government order released a few months ago by Parliamentary Secretary Oliver Dowden, private sector clients and developers have been asked to follow suit in order to assure transparency and reliability across the entire sector. But what are the solutions to stop delayed payments from occuring? Matthew Jones, CEO of Open ECX, discusses how the industry might tackle this issue collectively to put better payment processes into practice. Recent government intervention in lieu of Carillion’s collapse exemplifies how much of a grave inconvenience delayed payments can be, especially if left unresolved. In effect, government measures will make it easier for subcontractors to report poor payment methods to the authorities. In an ideal world, no business wants to add to the stress already evident during the invoice and payment process, whether large or small scale. Although delayed payments can occur for a variety of reasons, whether related to unsolicited administrative errors or employee illness, contractors should still strive to make the subcontractor payment process as easy and straightforward as possible. In order to prevent late payments, the government will offer advisory, constructive workshops to help companies with their project management and payment plans. Solutions such as these should help prevent any delayed payments, allowing contractors the time to consider the impact of their delay and providing contractors with helpful advice to better manage their current payment processes. Overall, this initiative will ensure employees and businesses will not suffer as a consequence.   Even though the Carillion collapse is a stand-alone case, nonetheless, it begs several questions on how and why payments were so late. But moving forward, it is important to identify key solutions to prevent further financial catastrophes from occuring. All contractors desire a risk-free environment in which their payment processes are rigorous, safe and reliable; such solutions allow contractors to be more organised and efficient with their payments, preventing any late payments from slipping beneath the surface. A potential solution is to digitise all payment and invoice processes so that contractors pay their subcontractors in a timely fashion whilst maintaining a healthy, risk-free environment for themselves. Designed for medium to large contractors, WebContractor is a useful tool which manages the subcontractor applications for payment process, as well as other subcontractor concerns; insurances and bonds, self-billing invoices, authenticated VAT receipts, minor works, work order instructions for example, offering a great solution for the industry as a whole. Subcontractors access an online portal for easy and timely submission of payment applications while contractors take advantage of the workflow and reminder features designed to streamline the management of approvals. For contractors, this is a great support mechanism, designed to enhance visibility, control and compliance of the subcontractor application process, lightening the associated administrative workload. Not only do digital processes alleviate any messy paperwork from mounting up, they ensure both contractor and subcontractor are kept up to date with payments and invoices.  Contractors benefit from increased efficiencies, improved clarity around cash flow, and a far more accurate understanding of their liabilities at any given time. Potential risks, such as litigation, can be potentially avoided, as a thorough, reliable system such as WebContractor has been employed. Subcontractors gain visibility of the progress of their various applications for payment – something that will help them with their business planning. Applications for payment are securely stored for subcontractors and contractors to access payment applications at any given time. Time is always of the essence especially in terms of managing cash flow, meaning digital platforms are a sensible and necessary solution to combating late payments. With the right technology, processes associated with applications for payment can become efficient, standardised, transparent and quick. Most importantly, the automation of these processes can allow for tracking and management across the whole supply chain, which reduces risk and helps to build a clear and transparent picture of the finances affecting the business. Digitised systems for management of subcontractor invoices are the solution to stop late payments from occuring. Whilst the government’s recent measures must be recognised as offering an opportunity for both the public and private sector to push for change in the industry, services such as WebContractor are a tangible, accessible method to ensure contractors keep on top of the multiple payments they have to process each month. Given subcontractors can send payment applications directly, without the need for manual submissions, it improves accuracy, hastens the process and eliminates time costs as well as lost paperwork. Enhancing methods for managing applications for payment across the sector will benefit the industry’s credibility plus the health of all businesses operating within the sector. Even though it was a dark time for the construction industry, many positive lessons for the future can be learnt from Carillion’s collapse. Seeing the implementation of government intervention signifies the level of support it is willing to give the industry. But internal measures must also be taken by the industry itself, where digital application for payment and subcontractor management platforms are a worthy solution. Not only do these systems ensure subcontractors get paid on time, they reduce risk to contractors’ businesses. Turning to more rigorous, digital payment processes will preserve contractor and subcontractor integrity and the wider construction industry as a whole. Visit:  www.openecx.co.uk  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Since the construction giant Carillion’s liquidation at the beginning of the year, the government has released regulations to target late payers in the public sector in an attempt to resolve the delayed payment crisis. In light of this government order released a few months ago by Parliamentary Secretary Oliver Dowden, private sector clients and developers have been asked to follow suit in order to assure transparency and reliability across the entire sector. But what are the solutions to stop delayed payments from occuring? Matthew Jones, CEO of Open ECX, discusses how the industry might tackle this issue collectively to put better payment processes into practice. Recent government intervention in lieu of Carillion’s collapse exemplifies how much of a grave inconvenience delayed payments can be, especially if left unresolved. In effect, government measures will make it easier for subcontractors to report poor payment methods to the authorities. In an ideal world, no business wants to add to the stress already evident during the invoice and payment process, whether large or small scale. Although delayed payments can occur for a variety of reasons, whether related to unsolicited administrative errors or employee illness, contractors should still strive to make the subcontractor payment process as easy and straightforward as possible. In order to prevent late payments, the government will offer advisory, constructive workshops to help companies with their project management and payment plans. Solutions such as these should help prevent any delayed payments, allowing contractors the time to consider the impact of their delay and providing contractors with helpful advice to better manage their current payment processes. Overall, this initiative will ensure employees and businesses will not suffer as a consequence.   Even though the Carillion collapse is a stand-alone case, nonetheless, it begs several questions on how and why payments were so late. But moving forward, it is important to identify key solutions to prevent further financial catastrophes from occuring. All contractors desire a risk-free environment in which their payment processes are rigorous, safe and reliable; such solutions allow contractors to be more organised and efficient with their payments, preventing any late payments from slipping beneath the surface. A potential solution is to digitise all payment and invoice processes so that contractors pay their subcontractors in a timely fashion whilst maintaining a healthy, risk-free environment for themselves. Designed for medium to large contractors, WebContractor is a useful tool which manages the subcontractor applications for payment process, as well as other subcontractor concerns; insurances and bonds, self-billing invoices, authenticated VAT receipts, minor works, work order instructions for example, offering a great solution for the industry as a whole. Subcontractors access an online portal for easy and timely submission of payment applications while contractors take advantage of the workflow and reminder features designed to streamline the management of approvals. For contractors, this is a great support mechanism, designed to enhance visibility, control and compliance of the subcontractor application process, lightening the associated administrative workload. Not only do digital processes alleviate any messy paperwork from mounting up, they ensure both contractor and subcontractor are kept up to date with payments and invoices.  Contractors benefit from increased efficiencies, improved clarity around cash flow, and a far more accurate understanding of their liabilities at any given time. Potential risks, such as litigation, can be potentially avoided, as a thorough, reliable system such as WebContractor has been employed. Subcontractors gain visibility of the progress of their various applications for payment – something that will help them with their business planning. Applications for payment are securely stored for subcontractors and contractors to access payment applications at any given time. Time is always of the essence especially in terms of managing cash flow, meaning digital platforms are a sensible and necessary solution to combating late payments. With the right technology, processes associated with applications for payment can become efficient, standardised, transparent and quick. Most importantly, the automation of these processes can allow for tracking and management across the whole supply chain, which reduces risk and helps to build a clear and transparent picture of the finances affecting the business. Digitised systems for management of subcontractor invoices are the solution to stop late payments from occuring. Whilst the government’s recent measures must be recognised as offering an opportunity for both the public and private sector to push for change in the industry, services such as WebContractor are a tangible, accessible method to ensure contractors keep on top of the multiple payments they have to process each month. Given subcontractors can send payment applications directly, without the need for manual submissions, it improves accuracy, hastens the process and eliminates time costs as well as lost paperwork. Enhancing methods for managing applications for payment across the sector will benefit the industry’s credibility plus the health of all businesses operating within the sector. Even though it was a dark time for the construction industry, many positive lessons for the future can be learnt from Carillion’s collapse. Seeing the implementation of government intervention signifies the level of support it is willing to give the industry. But internal measures must also be taken by the industry itself, where digital application for payment and subcontractor management platforms are a worthy solution. Not only do these systems ensure subcontractors get paid on time, they reduce risk to contractors’ businesses. Turning to more rigorous, digital payment processes will preserve contractor and subcontractor integrity and the wider construction industry as a whole. Visit:  www.openecx.co.uk  
    Dec 03, 2018 0