• 18 Jun 2018
    Generation Rent is a popular term used to describe young adults, normally between the ages of 18 – 35, who live in rented accommodation because of high house prices, writes Lara Walsh. They are generally regarded as having little chance of becoming homeowners. However, how do the UK’s Generation Rent compare to others around Europe? In November 2017, Countrywide data showed that an average of 7.6% of homes listed to let had previously been listed for sale, which in turn has led to an increase in people renting in the United Kingdom. However, in Europe, Germany leads the way when it comes to the percentage of the population living in a rented dwelling, with a huge 54.3%. We’ve recently seen dynamic changes on the residential property market across Europe, with the average square metre cost of a property varying significantly. The United Kingdom still has the highest per square metre average transaction price in Europe of €4,628, despite a decrease of 9.0% due to the pound’s depreciation. This in turn has made it hard for new buyers to get onto the property ladder. Comparing the average cost of 4,628 EUR/m2 in the UK to other nations in Europe, you can get more space for the equivalent value elsewhere. This leads to higher rental costs, once the properties find their way onto the rental market. Back in the UK, we saw the average rental cost increase by 2.55% between August 2016 and 2017, with the South East being the only region to become more affordable with a percentage decrease of -0.2% in rental costs. In the previous 10 years, the increase in house prices has outpaced the rise in average salaries. This has led to first time buyers not being able to raise a deposit to purchase a property, which has led them to rent. However, research from the Yorkshire Building Society has shown that buying a home in Britain has become more affordable across 54% of the country over the past decade (07-17). Visit: https://money-pod.co.uk
    66 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Generation Rent is a popular term used to describe young adults, normally between the ages of 18 – 35, who live in rented accommodation because of high house prices, writes Lara Walsh. They are generally regarded as having little chance of becoming homeowners. However, how do the UK’s Generation Rent compare to others around Europe? In November 2017, Countrywide data showed that an average of 7.6% of homes listed to let had previously been listed for sale, which in turn has led to an increase in people renting in the United Kingdom. However, in Europe, Germany leads the way when it comes to the percentage of the population living in a rented dwelling, with a huge 54.3%. We’ve recently seen dynamic changes on the residential property market across Europe, with the average square metre cost of a property varying significantly. The United Kingdom still has the highest per square metre average transaction price in Europe of €4,628, despite a decrease of 9.0% due to the pound’s depreciation. This in turn has made it hard for new buyers to get onto the property ladder. Comparing the average cost of 4,628 EUR/m2 in the UK to other nations in Europe, you can get more space for the equivalent value elsewhere. This leads to higher rental costs, once the properties find their way onto the rental market. Back in the UK, we saw the average rental cost increase by 2.55% between August 2016 and 2017, with the South East being the only region to become more affordable with a percentage decrease of -0.2% in rental costs. In the previous 10 years, the increase in house prices has outpaced the rise in average salaries. This has led to first time buyers not being able to raise a deposit to purchase a property, which has led them to rent. However, research from the Yorkshire Building Society has shown that buying a home in Britain has become more affordable across 54% of the country over the past decade (07-17). Visit: https://money-pod.co.uk
    Jun 18, 2018 66
  • 15 Jun 2018
    It was once referred to as the forgotten pollutant and while some may think this issue is a fact of life, noise is an annoyance that can be bad for your health, whether it’s in the home, workplace or outside environment. In the world of education, noise can not only have a direct impact on teaching and learning, but for teachers, it can result in voice strain, hearing issues and stress-related illnesses. Good acoustics in schools should be a fundamental design element, so what are the challenges when it comes to creating the optimum teaching and learning environment? There is no escaping the fact that schools are busy and bustling environments, but students taught in quiet rooms which offer good acoustics learn and behave better than those in noisy rooms with poor acoustics. It can be hard to avoid in certain teaching situations, such as in group work or in music or drama lessons for instance. Noise from stairs and circulation routes can cause disturbances to classrooms and teaching spaces. There’s also the impact of external sources of noise which can affect noise levels in schools such as traffic, aircraft, plant rooms or even the weather. The move towards more open plan environments can also have a direct impact on acoustics as background noise and sound intrusion are difficult to minimise. With ever-tightening budgets, the uncertainty of class sizes and the need for private study areas, educational environments need to be flexible and adaptable, but this should not be at the expense of good acoustics. Design guidance for acoustics in new schools is provided by Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) which is incorporated within the Building Regulations. It provides complex calculation methodology for the material dividing space to ensure each classroom or educational space meets the required acoustic performance. This could be ensuring the wall between a music practice room and a library was fit for purpose. Demountable glass partitions have become an intrinsic design element in creating flexible spaces that can be quickly transformed and reconfigured based on the requirements of an educational environment. With communication such an important factor when it comes to learning, glass partitions must offer good acoustic performance in order to aid interaction between teachers and students, as well as improving study activities. Glass partitions can achieve excellent acoustics, particularly double-glazed partitions. Credible test data should be obtained from the manufacturer that the specified system meets the required acoustic performance. When you look at the increasing pressure on the school estate and the conversion of existing buildings into educational facilities, the demand for good acoustics in education has never been higher. Teaching and learning are acoustically demanding activities, but well-designed teaching spaces - which have an attention to acoustic detail - will enhance learning and contribute to the wellbeing of both students and teachers alike.  Visit http://optimasystems.com
    82 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It was once referred to as the forgotten pollutant and while some may think this issue is a fact of life, noise is an annoyance that can be bad for your health, whether it’s in the home, workplace or outside environment. In the world of education, noise can not only have a direct impact on teaching and learning, but for teachers, it can result in voice strain, hearing issues and stress-related illnesses. Good acoustics in schools should be a fundamental design element, so what are the challenges when it comes to creating the optimum teaching and learning environment? There is no escaping the fact that schools are busy and bustling environments, but students taught in quiet rooms which offer good acoustics learn and behave better than those in noisy rooms with poor acoustics. It can be hard to avoid in certain teaching situations, such as in group work or in music or drama lessons for instance. Noise from stairs and circulation routes can cause disturbances to classrooms and teaching spaces. There’s also the impact of external sources of noise which can affect noise levels in schools such as traffic, aircraft, plant rooms or even the weather. The move towards more open plan environments can also have a direct impact on acoustics as background noise and sound intrusion are difficult to minimise. With ever-tightening budgets, the uncertainty of class sizes and the need for private study areas, educational environments need to be flexible and adaptable, but this should not be at the expense of good acoustics. Design guidance for acoustics in new schools is provided by Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) which is incorporated within the Building Regulations. It provides complex calculation methodology for the material dividing space to ensure each classroom or educational space meets the required acoustic performance. This could be ensuring the wall between a music practice room and a library was fit for purpose. Demountable glass partitions have become an intrinsic design element in creating flexible spaces that can be quickly transformed and reconfigured based on the requirements of an educational environment. With communication such an important factor when it comes to learning, glass partitions must offer good acoustic performance in order to aid interaction between teachers and students, as well as improving study activities. Glass partitions can achieve excellent acoustics, particularly double-glazed partitions. Credible test data should be obtained from the manufacturer that the specified system meets the required acoustic performance. When you look at the increasing pressure on the school estate and the conversion of existing buildings into educational facilities, the demand for good acoustics in education has never been higher. Teaching and learning are acoustically demanding activities, but well-designed teaching spaces - which have an attention to acoustic detail - will enhance learning and contribute to the wellbeing of both students and teachers alike.  Visit http://optimasystems.com
    Jun 15, 2018 82
  • 11 Jun 2018
    Modern technology has revolutionised many aspects of modern life, including the efficiency and safety of construction sites around the world writes Daisy Welch. However, it took a long time to reach our current level of health and safety. Here we take a look at some of the most deadly construction sites throughout history. The Panama Canal   Perhaps one of the best known human construction projects of all time, the Panama Canal, was started by France in 1887. The canal would connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and make maritime trade far easier. Ferdinand de Lessaps was charged with the task of planning and constructing the canal after his success with the Suez Canal. However, De Lesseps only visited the site a few times and the dense jungle and poor working conditions led to over two hundred deaths per month. Attempts to control the outbreak of disease were unsuccessful as it wasn't yet known that mosquitoes were carriers of malaria. An estimated 22,000 workers died during this initial building period. Work was transferred to a much smaller task force to try and minimise the number of deaths. The project was then taken over by the USA in 1904. The USA inherited a depleted workforce, damaged equipment and a mammoth task. The work continued and mosquito carried diseases were minimised by the end of construction thanks to the work of Dr. Carlos Finlay and Dr. Walter Reed. Improvements included mosquito nets, improved hygiene and the elimination of stagnant water. Despite these improvements, another 5,600 workers died during the American completion of the Panama Canal.  White Sea-Baltic Canal   The White Sea-Baltic Canal, or White Sea Canal as it is often known, is a ship canal in Russia constructed in the 1930s by Gulag prisoners. The Gulag's were forced labour camps created during Lenin's time in power and reaching their peak under Stalin. Until 1961 it was known as The Stalin White Sea-Baltic Canal. The canal is 141 miles long, running through several canalised rivers and Lake Vygozero. The canal was originally planned to improve trade and construction with the ability to move materials more efficiently. However, the water level is too shallow in many places to allow large boats to pass. Therefore, the canal still only carries light traffic of between ten and forty boats per day. The Soviet Union constructed the canal as part of their infamous five-year plan. The canal was completed four months ahead of time in an attempt to show the efficiency and strength of the Soviet Union. The canal was the first construction project using the Soviet Unions forced labour from Gulags. The camps and prisons supplied 100,000 convicts and this was advertised as an example of using prisoners but also helping them 'reforge' - a Soviet concept of rehabilitation. In reality though, prisoners survived in brutal conditions. Teams were forced to live in cramped, uncomfortable surroundings and competed against each other increasing working hours and the intensity of labour. 12,000 workers died during construction with numerous more injured. 12,000 workers were freed at the end of construction as a reward for their forced labour and as further propaganda for the success of the Soviet Union. The Burma-Siam Railway   Also known as The Death Railway, The Burma -Siam Railway was constructed by the Empire of Japan to support forces in Burma during World War Two. A similar route was considered by the British government as early as 1885, but the terrain which was divided by numerous rivers, was considered too difficult to undertake. In 1942, Japan seized control of the British colony of Burma and needed to supply troupes to the area. After the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, the Japanese government decided the railway was crucial to their success and therefore the risk of difficult terrain was worth taking. Thousands of British and Australian POW were used to construct the railway, with 1,000 POW housed every five to ten miles on the route. The camps included open-sided barracks built on bamboo poles with bamboo roofs. 12,000 Japanese soldiers were employed on the railway as engineers, guards and supervisors of Prisoners of War. The Japanese soldiers at the time are now remembered for their cruelty to workers and Prisoners of War. The Karakoram Highway Also known as National Highway 35, the 1300km national highway in Pakistan extends to Hasan Abdal in Punjab, where it crosses into China. The highway is a popular tourist attraction, with one of the highest paved roads in the world. The mountainous terrain of the road led to many difficulties during construction, including multiple deadly landslides which killed hundreds of workers. Construction began in 1959 but realignment and the construction of tunnels around the highway continued until 2015. The Aswan Dam   The Aswan Dam in Egypt was constructed after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 to improve on the Low Aswan Dam constructed in 1902. The Dam would better control flooding and increase water storage for irrigation while also generating hydroelectricity. The dam was part of a wider plan of industrialisation. Attempts to build dams at Aswan go back to the 11th century but the current dam was create in 1960-1970. 25,000 Egyptian engineers and workers contributed to the construction. For the completion of the dam, 100,000 people were forced to relocate. During the work, 22 archaeological monuments were put in danger. Some were preserved or removed but the Buhen Fort, a ancient Egyptian fortress dating to 1860BC was flooded by Lake Nesser after construction of the dam. Of the 30,000 workers, 500 were killed and their deaths were caused by floods, poor living and working conditions and the spread of disease.   Visit: https://www.insulationexpress.co.uk    
    64 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Modern technology has revolutionised many aspects of modern life, including the efficiency and safety of construction sites around the world writes Daisy Welch. However, it took a long time to reach our current level of health and safety. Here we take a look at some of the most deadly construction sites throughout history. The Panama Canal   Perhaps one of the best known human construction projects of all time, the Panama Canal, was started by France in 1887. The canal would connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and make maritime trade far easier. Ferdinand de Lessaps was charged with the task of planning and constructing the canal after his success with the Suez Canal. However, De Lesseps only visited the site a few times and the dense jungle and poor working conditions led to over two hundred deaths per month. Attempts to control the outbreak of disease were unsuccessful as it wasn't yet known that mosquitoes were carriers of malaria. An estimated 22,000 workers died during this initial building period. Work was transferred to a much smaller task force to try and minimise the number of deaths. The project was then taken over by the USA in 1904. The USA inherited a depleted workforce, damaged equipment and a mammoth task. The work continued and mosquito carried diseases were minimised by the end of construction thanks to the work of Dr. Carlos Finlay and Dr. Walter Reed. Improvements included mosquito nets, improved hygiene and the elimination of stagnant water. Despite these improvements, another 5,600 workers died during the American completion of the Panama Canal.  White Sea-Baltic Canal   The White Sea-Baltic Canal, or White Sea Canal as it is often known, is a ship canal in Russia constructed in the 1930s by Gulag prisoners. The Gulag's were forced labour camps created during Lenin's time in power and reaching their peak under Stalin. Until 1961 it was known as The Stalin White Sea-Baltic Canal. The canal is 141 miles long, running through several canalised rivers and Lake Vygozero. The canal was originally planned to improve trade and construction with the ability to move materials more efficiently. However, the water level is too shallow in many places to allow large boats to pass. Therefore, the canal still only carries light traffic of between ten and forty boats per day. The Soviet Union constructed the canal as part of their infamous five-year plan. The canal was completed four months ahead of time in an attempt to show the efficiency and strength of the Soviet Union. The canal was the first construction project using the Soviet Unions forced labour from Gulags. The camps and prisons supplied 100,000 convicts and this was advertised as an example of using prisoners but also helping them 'reforge' - a Soviet concept of rehabilitation. In reality though, prisoners survived in brutal conditions. Teams were forced to live in cramped, uncomfortable surroundings and competed against each other increasing working hours and the intensity of labour. 12,000 workers died during construction with numerous more injured. 12,000 workers were freed at the end of construction as a reward for their forced labour and as further propaganda for the success of the Soviet Union. The Burma-Siam Railway   Also known as The Death Railway, The Burma -Siam Railway was constructed by the Empire of Japan to support forces in Burma during World War Two. A similar route was considered by the British government as early as 1885, but the terrain which was divided by numerous rivers, was considered too difficult to undertake. In 1942, Japan seized control of the British colony of Burma and needed to supply troupes to the area. After the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, the Japanese government decided the railway was crucial to their success and therefore the risk of difficult terrain was worth taking. Thousands of British and Australian POW were used to construct the railway, with 1,000 POW housed every five to ten miles on the route. The camps included open-sided barracks built on bamboo poles with bamboo roofs. 12,000 Japanese soldiers were employed on the railway as engineers, guards and supervisors of Prisoners of War. The Japanese soldiers at the time are now remembered for their cruelty to workers and Prisoners of War. The Karakoram Highway Also known as National Highway 35, the 1300km national highway in Pakistan extends to Hasan Abdal in Punjab, where it crosses into China. The highway is a popular tourist attraction, with one of the highest paved roads in the world. The mountainous terrain of the road led to many difficulties during construction, including multiple deadly landslides which killed hundreds of workers. Construction began in 1959 but realignment and the construction of tunnels around the highway continued until 2015. The Aswan Dam   The Aswan Dam in Egypt was constructed after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 to improve on the Low Aswan Dam constructed in 1902. The Dam would better control flooding and increase water storage for irrigation while also generating hydroelectricity. The dam was part of a wider plan of industrialisation. Attempts to build dams at Aswan go back to the 11th century but the current dam was create in 1960-1970. 25,000 Egyptian engineers and workers contributed to the construction. For the completion of the dam, 100,000 people were forced to relocate. During the work, 22 archaeological monuments were put in danger. Some were preserved or removed but the Buhen Fort, a ancient Egyptian fortress dating to 1860BC was flooded by Lake Nesser after construction of the dam. Of the 30,000 workers, 500 were killed and their deaths were caused by floods, poor living and working conditions and the spread of disease.   Visit: https://www.insulationexpress.co.uk    
    Jun 11, 2018 64
  • 31 May 2018
    Product substitution is an endemic problem across the construction industry.  A recent survey by the NBS showed that 78% of construction professionals believe product substitution is an industry issue, which leads to cheaper and/or inferior products being substituted in order to drive down build costs and maximise profits.  This means that what is designed is not what is built. Important decisions are often made with a lack of understanding of the consequences that the substitution can have on the building’s performance and lifecycle costs. Substituted products may well invalidate various contract conditions and warranties, and in some cases expose people to heavy liabilities should a failure happen. These products may also reduce the performance of the building as a whole. One such example would be in the specification of insulation products where, if a PIR insulation product were to be substituted by a product of the same thickness with poorer insulation properties, it would have a significant impact over the lifetime of the building.  This could result in the building not meeting its thermal performance, as determined by building regulations, increase the lifetime energy costs for the building occupants and reduce the carbon savings,  as well as potentially impacting on the health and wellbeing of the building occupants. Therefore digitalisation of construction products will provide some traceability of products across the supply chain and is seen by many as the best way to reduce the performance gap and increase performance certainty across the built environment. Ultimately, building owners need to know all the components used in a building’s construction and accurate product specification is now a critical part of the construction process. Specifications do allow the exchange of information between the client, the designer and the contractor but not everyone can know everything about a particular product on a build.  Therefore it is very important for manufacturers to provide the most up-to-date information in order that designers and contractors can make correct decisions quickly and minimise risks on projects. Digitalisation of this information is one way of achieving this. A digitally-connected world In an era of digital technology, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has become tremendously important in the construction industry and has enabled manufacturers to share product information in more accessible forms. According to the NBS, three- quarters of manufacturers agree that BIM is the future of product information. Through the BIM Level 2 programme, building product manufacturers can provide a wealth of product information to specifiers online, in an immediate and standardised accessible digital structure. The BIM Library gives specifiers the ability to compare products on a like-for-like basis and as such, decisions can be made based on the quality of the product - such as performance, financial cost, environmental impact, durability, third-party certification and warranty - and not on the quality of the marketing spend. And where products need to be assembled to form a system, the user will be able to do this online through a user-friendly interface. This will reduce and hopefully eliminate the chances of specifying incompatible products in a system. Designers recognise the potential for BIM as it helps create new design possibilities and allows for traceability of products used on any particular construction project. Standardising product information One of the issues with supplying product information in a number of formats or templates is that it can cause confusion. There is also the question of what information needs to be shared. Led by the Construction Products Association (CPA) and developed by the UK Government’s BIM Task Group, the industry-led initiative LEXiCON has been designed to streamline data consistency and interoperability across the sector. This tool standardises product information by providing the construction industry with a plain language dictionary to share product information in a consistent way. LEXiCON utilises tools and templates that can be used across different software platforms. This will help to improve collaboration and exchange of information, rather like having a product’s DNA information attached to a product and is added to throughout its lifecycle.  It is now being considered as the basis for a new European standard. Smart CE Marking Introduced in 2013, the CE label for a construction product outlines valuable technical information. However, as it is available only in printed or PDF format, it cannot be used by software or BIM tool and is often extensive and too complex to be of any practical use for installers or end users. In a bid to create more user friendly information, the development of Smart CE Marking simplifies specification by enabling information in an xml format through a QR code or web link. It provides the link between the physical product and the Declaration of Performance (DoP). The results provide human or machine readable information which will hopefully empower designers to specify products in accordance with European standards.  Added to this, users will have certainty they are using products that match their specifications. As well as providing product information through Smart CE Marking, manufacturers can also connect directly with the users of the products in order to provide targeting information such as health and safety information, product guidance and installation videos.  Information can also flow back to manufacturers, which will allow them to trace products to their final place of use. Specifiers and manufacturers are in agreement that they want to reduce product substitution. Support from manufacturers at an early stage will help specifiers choose the right product quickly, and armed with more accurate specification through digitalisation, reduce the likelihood of substitution. Manufacturers who embrace digitalisation will be the winners, as the construction industry continues its drive towards a digital world. Companies which are slow to embrace this new way of doing things will run the risk of falling behind their rivals. Visit: http://insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    132 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Product substitution is an endemic problem across the construction industry.  A recent survey by the NBS showed that 78% of construction professionals believe product substitution is an industry issue, which leads to cheaper and/or inferior products being substituted in order to drive down build costs and maximise profits.  This means that what is designed is not what is built. Important decisions are often made with a lack of understanding of the consequences that the substitution can have on the building’s performance and lifecycle costs. Substituted products may well invalidate various contract conditions and warranties, and in some cases expose people to heavy liabilities should a failure happen. These products may also reduce the performance of the building as a whole. One such example would be in the specification of insulation products where, if a PIR insulation product were to be substituted by a product of the same thickness with poorer insulation properties, it would have a significant impact over the lifetime of the building.  This could result in the building not meeting its thermal performance, as determined by building regulations, increase the lifetime energy costs for the building occupants and reduce the carbon savings,  as well as potentially impacting on the health and wellbeing of the building occupants. Therefore digitalisation of construction products will provide some traceability of products across the supply chain and is seen by many as the best way to reduce the performance gap and increase performance certainty across the built environment. Ultimately, building owners need to know all the components used in a building’s construction and accurate product specification is now a critical part of the construction process. Specifications do allow the exchange of information between the client, the designer and the contractor but not everyone can know everything about a particular product on a build.  Therefore it is very important for manufacturers to provide the most up-to-date information in order that designers and contractors can make correct decisions quickly and minimise risks on projects. Digitalisation of this information is one way of achieving this. A digitally-connected world In an era of digital technology, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has become tremendously important in the construction industry and has enabled manufacturers to share product information in more accessible forms. According to the NBS, three- quarters of manufacturers agree that BIM is the future of product information. Through the BIM Level 2 programme, building product manufacturers can provide a wealth of product information to specifiers online, in an immediate and standardised accessible digital structure. The BIM Library gives specifiers the ability to compare products on a like-for-like basis and as such, decisions can be made based on the quality of the product - such as performance, financial cost, environmental impact, durability, third-party certification and warranty - and not on the quality of the marketing spend. And where products need to be assembled to form a system, the user will be able to do this online through a user-friendly interface. This will reduce and hopefully eliminate the chances of specifying incompatible products in a system. Designers recognise the potential for BIM as it helps create new design possibilities and allows for traceability of products used on any particular construction project. Standardising product information One of the issues with supplying product information in a number of formats or templates is that it can cause confusion. There is also the question of what information needs to be shared. Led by the Construction Products Association (CPA) and developed by the UK Government’s BIM Task Group, the industry-led initiative LEXiCON has been designed to streamline data consistency and interoperability across the sector. This tool standardises product information by providing the construction industry with a plain language dictionary to share product information in a consistent way. LEXiCON utilises tools and templates that can be used across different software platforms. This will help to improve collaboration and exchange of information, rather like having a product’s DNA information attached to a product and is added to throughout its lifecycle.  It is now being considered as the basis for a new European standard. Smart CE Marking Introduced in 2013, the CE label for a construction product outlines valuable technical information. However, as it is available only in printed or PDF format, it cannot be used by software or BIM tool and is often extensive and too complex to be of any practical use for installers or end users. In a bid to create more user friendly information, the development of Smart CE Marking simplifies specification by enabling information in an xml format through a QR code or web link. It provides the link between the physical product and the Declaration of Performance (DoP). The results provide human or machine readable information which will hopefully empower designers to specify products in accordance with European standards.  Added to this, users will have certainty they are using products that match their specifications. As well as providing product information through Smart CE Marking, manufacturers can also connect directly with the users of the products in order to provide targeting information such as health and safety information, product guidance and installation videos.  Information can also flow back to manufacturers, which will allow them to trace products to their final place of use. Specifiers and manufacturers are in agreement that they want to reduce product substitution. Support from manufacturers at an early stage will help specifiers choose the right product quickly, and armed with more accurate specification through digitalisation, reduce the likelihood of substitution. Manufacturers who embrace digitalisation will be the winners, as the construction industry continues its drive towards a digital world. Companies which are slow to embrace this new way of doing things will run the risk of falling behind their rivals. Visit: http://insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    May 31, 2018 132
  • 28 May 2018
    Successful construction project management requires effective communication and uninterrupted data flow at every stage of the project writes Maria Vidal. Traditionally, each department of a construction project has their own way of recording and managing data. Since there is no centralized database to work with, each one of these managers has to go through handful of manual work to get the information they need. This can be problematic in four ways: Duplicate Data Construction companies that do not keep a centralized database often suffer from duplication of data. This occurs particularly between the production and accounting department. One may be doing estimating in one system and another places the order somewhere else. There is incorrect transfer of data and lack of control. Not only does this complicate the process, it also triples the paperwork. Paperwork Trail The most difficult and most time consuming area to manage in a project is accounts payable. With the traditional method, a manager needs to compare and review a lot of paperwork to come up with an accurate and justifiable invoice. Inaccurate Job Costing Without a centralized system, arriving at an accurate job costing may be a challenge. There is a huge risk of inaccurate job costing with ineffective record keeping especially if you’re dealing with a handful of them. Endless Reports While spreadsheets are great, it is mainly for a single user only not company wide application.  Data inconsistency is quite common using these as main tool for record keeping. With technology, the risks are minimized keeping your business moving up rather than moving down. Digital Breakthrough in the Construction Industry Today, technology allowed builders to improve communication flow and data management particularly providing solutions to generic flaws including data inefficiency, broken communication, and budget deficits. Project management software is on the front lines of the industry’s digital evolution.  It impacts operation efficiency and creates accountability for the managers. Collaborative project management software with defined workflows, controls, and engagement protocols can deftly manage changes in the processes especially when interacting with third-party contractors. Construction management software can cover for major construction project process. Aside from basic project management tasks, features may include seamless billing, invoicing options, collaboration tools, custom reporting, and other business tools, which make operations significantly more efficient especially for large scale projects like commercial building. Design is another major area technology has increasingly helped the industry. Integration with design software allows builders to update and publish drawings easily. It becomes readily available for subcontractors as well as their clients. Building Information Modeling (BIM) fulfills the need for a digital 3D design. It speeds up the need for collaborative tools in design creation and presentation. Technology is transforming the way the industry operates. BIM, planning, designing, and project construction are feasible without the risk of overlooking significant factors like material and logistics, contract administration, cost control, and project scheduling. With the recent adaptations resulting in the streamlined workflow at all levels in a process and higher profits, the future of construction industry awaits embracing technology properly. Maria Vida writes forThrive Technologies Australia – company that creates tailored construction business software solutions by actively sourcing the best software available to help you stay on top of the game. Visit: www.thrivetech.com.au
    177 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Successful construction project management requires effective communication and uninterrupted data flow at every stage of the project writes Maria Vidal. Traditionally, each department of a construction project has their own way of recording and managing data. Since there is no centralized database to work with, each one of these managers has to go through handful of manual work to get the information they need. This can be problematic in four ways: Duplicate Data Construction companies that do not keep a centralized database often suffer from duplication of data. This occurs particularly between the production and accounting department. One may be doing estimating in one system and another places the order somewhere else. There is incorrect transfer of data and lack of control. Not only does this complicate the process, it also triples the paperwork. Paperwork Trail The most difficult and most time consuming area to manage in a project is accounts payable. With the traditional method, a manager needs to compare and review a lot of paperwork to come up with an accurate and justifiable invoice. Inaccurate Job Costing Without a centralized system, arriving at an accurate job costing may be a challenge. There is a huge risk of inaccurate job costing with ineffective record keeping especially if you’re dealing with a handful of them. Endless Reports While spreadsheets are great, it is mainly for a single user only not company wide application.  Data inconsistency is quite common using these as main tool for record keeping. With technology, the risks are minimized keeping your business moving up rather than moving down. Digital Breakthrough in the Construction Industry Today, technology allowed builders to improve communication flow and data management particularly providing solutions to generic flaws including data inefficiency, broken communication, and budget deficits. Project management software is on the front lines of the industry’s digital evolution.  It impacts operation efficiency and creates accountability for the managers. Collaborative project management software with defined workflows, controls, and engagement protocols can deftly manage changes in the processes especially when interacting with third-party contractors. Construction management software can cover for major construction project process. Aside from basic project management tasks, features may include seamless billing, invoicing options, collaboration tools, custom reporting, and other business tools, which make operations significantly more efficient especially for large scale projects like commercial building. Design is another major area technology has increasingly helped the industry. Integration with design software allows builders to update and publish drawings easily. It becomes readily available for subcontractors as well as their clients. Building Information Modeling (BIM) fulfills the need for a digital 3D design. It speeds up the need for collaborative tools in design creation and presentation. Technology is transforming the way the industry operates. BIM, planning, designing, and project construction are feasible without the risk of overlooking significant factors like material and logistics, contract administration, cost control, and project scheduling. With the recent adaptations resulting in the streamlined workflow at all levels in a process and higher profits, the future of construction industry awaits embracing technology properly. Maria Vida writes forThrive Technologies Australia – company that creates tailored construction business software solutions by actively sourcing the best software available to help you stay on top of the game. Visit: www.thrivetech.com.au
    May 28, 2018 177
  • 22 May 2018
    Mastic asphalt is a waterproofing material that has really stood the test of ages. Some say it was used by Noah to waterproof the Ark and there is considerable evidence to show that it has been used since ancient times. Most architects would say they know everything there is to know about mastic asphalt and many probably regard it as a bit old fashioned when compared to many so called alternatives. But they would be wrong because mastic asphalt still remains full of surprises and one company Bell Asphalte based in Bexley, Kent, is turning a few heads, especially with specifiers with a new kind of “Terrazzo” flooring and paving. It uses mastic asphalt as its base material mixed with stone chippings to produce a magnificent affect which is marketed as Merazzo to reflect the distinctive look of traditional Italian flooring and paving, at a highly affordable price. Slip resistant, seamless and available in a wide range of colours and finishes, Merazzo offers infinite design possibilities and applications and is already being specified and installed on a wide variety of projects. It is produced in one of five distinctive colours, black, red, grey, beige or brown and is completed by a choice of stone chippings, also available in a wide range of different colours. The Merazzo floor or paving is then installed and finished to the correct specification - either highly polished, matt, smooth or simply rough. Merazzo is a decorative floor which means it can be easily used in shopping malls, schools or hospitals offering years of trouble free service. Its high strength and durability means that Merazzo is equally suitable for outdoor roads, car parks and pavements. Without doubt it is the biggest innovation for mastic asphalt in – well – thousands of years and well worth checking out. Visit: http://www.bellasphalt.com/ See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRJP8194Lzw
    170 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Mastic asphalt is a waterproofing material that has really stood the test of ages. Some say it was used by Noah to waterproof the Ark and there is considerable evidence to show that it has been used since ancient times. Most architects would say they know everything there is to know about mastic asphalt and many probably regard it as a bit old fashioned when compared to many so called alternatives. But they would be wrong because mastic asphalt still remains full of surprises and one company Bell Asphalte based in Bexley, Kent, is turning a few heads, especially with specifiers with a new kind of “Terrazzo” flooring and paving. It uses mastic asphalt as its base material mixed with stone chippings to produce a magnificent affect which is marketed as Merazzo to reflect the distinctive look of traditional Italian flooring and paving, at a highly affordable price. Slip resistant, seamless and available in a wide range of colours and finishes, Merazzo offers infinite design possibilities and applications and is already being specified and installed on a wide variety of projects. It is produced in one of five distinctive colours, black, red, grey, beige or brown and is completed by a choice of stone chippings, also available in a wide range of different colours. The Merazzo floor or paving is then installed and finished to the correct specification - either highly polished, matt, smooth or simply rough. Merazzo is a decorative floor which means it can be easily used in shopping malls, schools or hospitals offering years of trouble free service. Its high strength and durability means that Merazzo is equally suitable for outdoor roads, car parks and pavements. Without doubt it is the biggest innovation for mastic asphalt in – well – thousands of years and well worth checking out. Visit: http://www.bellasphalt.com/ See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRJP8194Lzw
    May 22, 2018 170
  • 04 May 2018
    Choosing the right companies to work with can sometimes seem like a complicated process – CAD Design is no exception writes Krysta Jakson. The big question is - how do you know if you have picked the best company for your needs? A lot of the decisions you make will be based on personal choice, but there are a few things that you can consider that will help you narrow down that decision. 1.Location It is never a bad idea to look for a local company who can meet your requirements. Discussing what you need on the phone is one thing but it usually far easier to meet face to face and talk through your ideas and any problems. This is especially true when looking for a CAD building Design Company. You want to be able to look at the actual designs rather than just images sent to you on a computer screen. It will also make it easier for both you and the CAD designer to look at the designs and check for any issues or problems and make any amends that might be needed. 2.Experience Trusting another company to help you with your project can be a daunting process so ask to see examples of previous projects they have worked on. Ask if they have experience of working on projects like yours, this will give you a good indication of how they will be able to tackle the work you want from them and also whether they are aware of any of the problems that might occur. 3.They know and rules and regulations Where possible it is a good idea to choose a company located in the same country as your business. They will understand more about any local regulations and constraints that may need to be taken into consideration with your project. Picking a company in the same time zone means that it will be much easier for you to communicate. 4.What services do they offer? Ask what CAD services the company has to offer. Some of them will also offer BIM services. This will allow you to have several aspects of any product or project you are designing carried out under one roof, and ultimately will help with any alterations. 5.Can you talk to them? It’s always very important when finding a company to work with to find one you feel you can talk to properly or you may struggle to make changes. Finding the right CAD company for your next project shouldn’t be a snap decision. Do your research and ask questions to choose one that fits all your needs, and not just your budgetary ones. Visit: http://thecadroom.com/
    152 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Choosing the right companies to work with can sometimes seem like a complicated process – CAD Design is no exception writes Krysta Jakson. The big question is - how do you know if you have picked the best company for your needs? A lot of the decisions you make will be based on personal choice, but there are a few things that you can consider that will help you narrow down that decision. 1.Location It is never a bad idea to look for a local company who can meet your requirements. Discussing what you need on the phone is one thing but it usually far easier to meet face to face and talk through your ideas and any problems. This is especially true when looking for a CAD building Design Company. You want to be able to look at the actual designs rather than just images sent to you on a computer screen. It will also make it easier for both you and the CAD designer to look at the designs and check for any issues or problems and make any amends that might be needed. 2.Experience Trusting another company to help you with your project can be a daunting process so ask to see examples of previous projects they have worked on. Ask if they have experience of working on projects like yours, this will give you a good indication of how they will be able to tackle the work you want from them and also whether they are aware of any of the problems that might occur. 3.They know and rules and regulations Where possible it is a good idea to choose a company located in the same country as your business. They will understand more about any local regulations and constraints that may need to be taken into consideration with your project. Picking a company in the same time zone means that it will be much easier for you to communicate. 4.What services do they offer? Ask what CAD services the company has to offer. Some of them will also offer BIM services. This will allow you to have several aspects of any product or project you are designing carried out under one roof, and ultimately will help with any alterations. 5.Can you talk to them? It’s always very important when finding a company to work with to find one you feel you can talk to properly or you may struggle to make changes. Finding the right CAD company for your next project shouldn’t be a snap decision. Do your research and ask questions to choose one that fits all your needs, and not just your budgetary ones. Visit: http://thecadroom.com/
    May 04, 2018 152
  • 01 May 2018
    As a marketing agency we’re often asked to create websites for our construction and building based clients. When we sit down with them to discuss the site, one of the first questions we ask the client is “have you got your sitemap?” to which we often receive a blank expression or the response “eh, no”. All too often the sitemap is completely disregarded and very little, or no, consideration has been given to the planning or structure of the website. The sitemap is the most important part of planning a website, yet is often the most overlooked. Companies undervalue a good sitemap so the below tips will hopefully help you see the value, importance and difference a well thought out sitemap can make. What is a sitemap? Put in simple terms, a sitemap is the page structure of your website. It shows every page of your website, how these pages are linked and the various levels of content within your site. It illustrates how everything in your website is connected. Why is a sitemap so important? It makes you think about the content you place on your site and plan how users get to this content. It prompts you to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask “what do I want from this website and how do I find what I need?” It provides you with the opportunity and means to dictate the user journey. Sitemaps make visitors follow the path you want them to. It allows you to determine the number of clicks a user makes to get to a particular part of your website and then provides the opportunity to amend the content path if this proves to be a high number – remember the 3 click rule! Sitemaps influence design. We’re often asked to produce designs before a sitemap has been created and whilst we can do this, we don’t recommend it as the design often changes as a result of the sitemap. You wouldn’t design a kitchen without planning where best to place the appliances and the type of cupboards you want etc. so why design a website before you’ve planned the structure? It’s crucial for helping deliver a website within budget. Producing a sitemap makes you think about why you want a new website, the content, the user journey and more. If you can finalise this before you start the design and build, it can save you money as changes = cost. Sitemaps help search engines to index your website as accurately as possible. A clear, well-planned sitemap leads to more efficient crawling and more accurately displayed search results for your website. How do you start creating a sitemap? Sitemaps take a lot of planning and research. We suggest you ask yourself these questions: Why do you want a website? Do you want to sell products, generate leads, raise brand awareness etc.? Who are your target audiences and what do they want from your website? What are the measurable goals/calls to actions the website needs to achieve (for example, sample requests, marketing literature, bookings etc.)? What do your competitors offer in comparison to your company? How do you differ from your competitors? What information and level of information do you want to provide? How do you want to present your information (for example case studies, brochures, technical sheets etc.)? Do you want any sections/items of content to be searchable? If yes, what are the search criteria and can they be achieved via your CMS? Where do you want the user journey to end? For example, once a user has found the service they’re interested in, does their journey end here or do you direct them to relevant case studies? How do you want to group information? How many clicks does it take for the user to complete their journey? Once you have all this information you can begin plotting your sitemap. Start with your site’s top level navigation. What should these main sections be? Refer back to your objectives and what your customers want to help establish this. Remember these will be visible throughout the site so they need to be right. Try and keep things simple – with the number of sections and their titles. You want the design of the website to be clean and impactive so bear this in mind when deciding on the top level navigation. Once complete, you can look at the secondary pages – these tend to be where the more detailed information is held. Again, think about the user journey when planning these and how you want to provide information. Remember too many dropdown menus can be off-putting for users. Review and amend With your sitemap complete, you can start to visualise your website and the user journey. Ask others to review it as a fresh set of eyes can provide valuable input. It can take several attempts to get a sitemap right so don’t be afraid to make changes or to invest the time needed to get it right for your business. A final note Sitemaps really are the most important part of planning a website. They can aid with the planning and production of content, the user journey, timescale and budget, design and more. Investing time in producing a good sitemap won’t be wasted, so give it a go and reap the benefit. Visit: https://www.wearefabrick.com/home  
    202 Posted by Talk. Build
  • As a marketing agency we’re often asked to create websites for our construction and building based clients. When we sit down with them to discuss the site, one of the first questions we ask the client is “have you got your sitemap?” to which we often receive a blank expression or the response “eh, no”. All too often the sitemap is completely disregarded and very little, or no, consideration has been given to the planning or structure of the website. The sitemap is the most important part of planning a website, yet is often the most overlooked. Companies undervalue a good sitemap so the below tips will hopefully help you see the value, importance and difference a well thought out sitemap can make. What is a sitemap? Put in simple terms, a sitemap is the page structure of your website. It shows every page of your website, how these pages are linked and the various levels of content within your site. It illustrates how everything in your website is connected. Why is a sitemap so important? It makes you think about the content you place on your site and plan how users get to this content. It prompts you to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask “what do I want from this website and how do I find what I need?” It provides you with the opportunity and means to dictate the user journey. Sitemaps make visitors follow the path you want them to. It allows you to determine the number of clicks a user makes to get to a particular part of your website and then provides the opportunity to amend the content path if this proves to be a high number – remember the 3 click rule! Sitemaps influence design. We’re often asked to produce designs before a sitemap has been created and whilst we can do this, we don’t recommend it as the design often changes as a result of the sitemap. You wouldn’t design a kitchen without planning where best to place the appliances and the type of cupboards you want etc. so why design a website before you’ve planned the structure? It’s crucial for helping deliver a website within budget. Producing a sitemap makes you think about why you want a new website, the content, the user journey and more. If you can finalise this before you start the design and build, it can save you money as changes = cost. Sitemaps help search engines to index your website as accurately as possible. A clear, well-planned sitemap leads to more efficient crawling and more accurately displayed search results for your website. How do you start creating a sitemap? Sitemaps take a lot of planning and research. We suggest you ask yourself these questions: Why do you want a website? Do you want to sell products, generate leads, raise brand awareness etc.? Who are your target audiences and what do they want from your website? What are the measurable goals/calls to actions the website needs to achieve (for example, sample requests, marketing literature, bookings etc.)? What do your competitors offer in comparison to your company? How do you differ from your competitors? What information and level of information do you want to provide? How do you want to present your information (for example case studies, brochures, technical sheets etc.)? Do you want any sections/items of content to be searchable? If yes, what are the search criteria and can they be achieved via your CMS? Where do you want the user journey to end? For example, once a user has found the service they’re interested in, does their journey end here or do you direct them to relevant case studies? How do you want to group information? How many clicks does it take for the user to complete their journey? Once you have all this information you can begin plotting your sitemap. Start with your site’s top level navigation. What should these main sections be? Refer back to your objectives and what your customers want to help establish this. Remember these will be visible throughout the site so they need to be right. Try and keep things simple – with the number of sections and their titles. You want the design of the website to be clean and impactive so bear this in mind when deciding on the top level navigation. Once complete, you can look at the secondary pages – these tend to be where the more detailed information is held. Again, think about the user journey when planning these and how you want to provide information. Remember too many dropdown menus can be off-putting for users. Review and amend With your sitemap complete, you can start to visualise your website and the user journey. Ask others to review it as a fresh set of eyes can provide valuable input. It can take several attempts to get a sitemap right so don’t be afraid to make changes or to invest the time needed to get it right for your business. A final note Sitemaps really are the most important part of planning a website. They can aid with the planning and production of content, the user journey, timescale and budget, design and more. Investing time in producing a good sitemap won’t be wasted, so give it a go and reap the benefit. Visit: https://www.wearefabrick.com/home  
    May 01, 2018 202
  • 24 Apr 2018
    There’s no way one can deny the importance and benefits of using technology in modern life. From keeping in touch with friends living abroad, to managing your career, using computer applications and web technology can be beneficial for nearly everything. Software applications are used by almost every industry nowadays, including healthcare, retail and human resource management. In industries where manual calculation and labour is considered to be crucial, software and technology have seeped in gradually. One such industry is construction. Whilst construction projects require deployment of manual labour and using specialised devices, using construction software to manage and keep track of things can be advantageous. From engineers to site workers, using construction software will make things easier for everyone involved. Whilst the core work for everyone remains the same and large scale projects may still take months to complete, utilising construction business software can minimise risk factors and simplify complications. Have a look at the benefits of using construction software. Estimating For Construction Estimation is a prerequisite before any construction project commences. However, mistakes in estimation may lead to issues such as cost escalation and a delay in project completion. Using construction industry software minimises these kinds of errors. These applications come with inbuilt tools for making diverse types of calculations relevant to this sector. This proves to be beneficial for all parties involved in such a project eventually. Construction Project Schedule In construction projects, sticking to a schedule is paramount. Contractors need to wrap up various work involved construction in time. Delays can lead to legal issues and cost hikes. One major construction software benefit is built-in scheduling that helps project managers and contractors keep track of progress. This is even more helpful for large construction agencies dealing with multiple construction projects. Some of these applications even come with the option to set reminders for important tasks. Construction Document Management Using construction accounting software helps simplify document management. In the past, storing invoices and bills proved to be tedious and document management was worse in large projects. When you use software for construction, managing documents becomes easier - bills, invoices and contracts can be stored digitally. These electronic documents can be retrieved at any time and unlike paper, cannot get damaged. The complications with important documents getting lost don’t apply here. Construction Inventory Management Construction companies are required to stock frequently-used materials like cement, paint, metal sheets, rods and various accessories for ongoing and upcoming projects. Mismanagement and mishandling of stocked products is not uncommon and can lead to financial loss and disputes. However, through using accounting software for construction industry, inventory management errors can be reduced.  From purchasing to being put in storage, to being used in construction projects, keeping track of the inventory is much easier. Construction Communication With feature rich applications, communication between various departments in a construction company is improved. Current construction management software has features to enable the instant sharing of information and group editing - information is updated in real time and everyone involved gets updates instantly. This speeds up workflow and boosts productivity and communication between teams. Construction Data Protection   In construction projects, safeguarding project data is of the utmost importance. Through using suitable construction industry accounting software, data safety issues are minimised. You can password protect vital project data and some applications let you store this data in the cloud. This ensures information is stored safely, with local network or hardware failure not leading to issues. Construction Workforce Tracking In any construction project, workers and employees have to be deployed and hired. It’s important for management to keep track of the workforce to ensure things are executed properly and within the stipulated time. This becomes easier when construction business software is used. With this, you can more easily review the daily progress and judge whether employees are performing as they should.   The benefits of using construction industry software are too advantageous to overlook. However, selecting the right software for your construction company is also key. You have to consider what your construction company really needs when buying such software. We would recommend EasyBuild UK, a leading construction project management company, whose construction software addresses all of the operational needs of construction businesses. Visit: http://www.easybuilduk.com  
    226 Posted by Talk. Build
  • There’s no way one can deny the importance and benefits of using technology in modern life. From keeping in touch with friends living abroad, to managing your career, using computer applications and web technology can be beneficial for nearly everything. Software applications are used by almost every industry nowadays, including healthcare, retail and human resource management. In industries where manual calculation and labour is considered to be crucial, software and technology have seeped in gradually. One such industry is construction. Whilst construction projects require deployment of manual labour and using specialised devices, using construction software to manage and keep track of things can be advantageous. From engineers to site workers, using construction software will make things easier for everyone involved. Whilst the core work for everyone remains the same and large scale projects may still take months to complete, utilising construction business software can minimise risk factors and simplify complications. Have a look at the benefits of using construction software. Estimating For Construction Estimation is a prerequisite before any construction project commences. However, mistakes in estimation may lead to issues such as cost escalation and a delay in project completion. Using construction industry software minimises these kinds of errors. These applications come with inbuilt tools for making diverse types of calculations relevant to this sector. This proves to be beneficial for all parties involved in such a project eventually. Construction Project Schedule In construction projects, sticking to a schedule is paramount. Contractors need to wrap up various work involved construction in time. Delays can lead to legal issues and cost hikes. One major construction software benefit is built-in scheduling that helps project managers and contractors keep track of progress. This is even more helpful for large construction agencies dealing with multiple construction projects. Some of these applications even come with the option to set reminders for important tasks. Construction Document Management Using construction accounting software helps simplify document management. In the past, storing invoices and bills proved to be tedious and document management was worse in large projects. When you use software for construction, managing documents becomes easier - bills, invoices and contracts can be stored digitally. These electronic documents can be retrieved at any time and unlike paper, cannot get damaged. The complications with important documents getting lost don’t apply here. Construction Inventory Management Construction companies are required to stock frequently-used materials like cement, paint, metal sheets, rods and various accessories for ongoing and upcoming projects. Mismanagement and mishandling of stocked products is not uncommon and can lead to financial loss and disputes. However, through using accounting software for construction industry, inventory management errors can be reduced.  From purchasing to being put in storage, to being used in construction projects, keeping track of the inventory is much easier. Construction Communication With feature rich applications, communication between various departments in a construction company is improved. Current construction management software has features to enable the instant sharing of information and group editing - information is updated in real time and everyone involved gets updates instantly. This speeds up workflow and boosts productivity and communication between teams. Construction Data Protection   In construction projects, safeguarding project data is of the utmost importance. Through using suitable construction industry accounting software, data safety issues are minimised. You can password protect vital project data and some applications let you store this data in the cloud. This ensures information is stored safely, with local network or hardware failure not leading to issues. Construction Workforce Tracking In any construction project, workers and employees have to be deployed and hired. It’s important for management to keep track of the workforce to ensure things are executed properly and within the stipulated time. This becomes easier when construction business software is used. With this, you can more easily review the daily progress and judge whether employees are performing as they should.   The benefits of using construction industry software are too advantageous to overlook. However, selecting the right software for your construction company is also key. You have to consider what your construction company really needs when buying such software. We would recommend EasyBuild UK, a leading construction project management company, whose construction software addresses all of the operational needs of construction businesses. Visit: http://www.easybuilduk.com  
    Apr 24, 2018 226
  • 18 Apr 2018
    Since its founding in 1988, Baumit’s key driver has been the desire to help create beautiful, energy-efficient and healthy homes. Everybody deserves to live in beautiful, affordable and healthy surroundings.Our four walls provide protection for our families, and these are the qualities that enhance people's lives. Homeowners are becoming more and more energy conscious, and being able to cater to consumer needs is a must for success in any industry. A report from Smart Energy GB found that four in five people who had recently had a smart meter installed had taken steps to reduce their energy use, 45% of which were monitoring their consumption more closely than before. More than 75% of the energy consumption of an average household is spent on heating. Efficient thermal insulation is unavoidable if you want to save money, protect the basic structure of your building and reduce your carbon emissions. EWI, correctly installed, will minimise heating costs during cold weather and prevent excess heating during the warm season, saving energy year round. A thermal renovation can save a household more than 50% of its energy costs. A working knowledge of External Wall Insulation products will prove invaluable when communicating the value of your projects. It isn’t enough to simply create the products needed to facilitate these goals, however. Baumit is dedicated to creating change throughout the industry, informing and educating the next generation of installers and applicators. That’s why Baumit has opened a brand new training academy in Aylesford, Kent, to host a series of installer courses catering to all levels of experience. From March 2018, this purpose-built facility will be open to those within the construction industry, providing vital theoretical and practical experience in a range of EWI systems and practices. Chris Kendall, Field Engineer at Baumit, said: “Our installer courses provide a perfect opportunity for installers of all ability and members of the construction industry to gain a valuable working knowledge of External Wall Insulation. The experts at our training academy are fully-equipped to offer a wide-range of theoretical and practical advice to ensure clients come away better-informed of the processes and systems involved in all things EWI.” The training facility and courses were designed to cover aspects which are missing from other courses, supporting installers in learning the solutions to real life scenarios that a purely theoretical understanding would not prepare them for. In focusing on the details, rather than just the basics, applicators will receive an in depth understanding of the benefits of a high quality product, properly installed. Spread over 2 days, the Silver and Gold courses offer participants time to reflect on what they have been taught, allowing them adequate time to raise any questions they might have. Baumit is dedicated to building relationships with course participants, and encourages questions and communication both during and after the course is complete, ensuring that they feel comfortable and confident in their abilities and with the product. Baumit is committed to providing exemplary support to its installers, supporting their future work with upskilling, up-to-date information on legislative changes, and phone support, leading to higher quality installs. By supporting the next generation of installers and applicators, Baumit is ensuring that its commitment to beautiful, healthy and energy-efficient homes is continued – helping to deliver a better future for everyone. Visit our website: http://info.baumit.co.uk/baumit-academy-courses
    209 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Since its founding in 1988, Baumit’s key driver has been the desire to help create beautiful, energy-efficient and healthy homes. Everybody deserves to live in beautiful, affordable and healthy surroundings.Our four walls provide protection for our families, and these are the qualities that enhance people's lives. Homeowners are becoming more and more energy conscious, and being able to cater to consumer needs is a must for success in any industry. A report from Smart Energy GB found that four in five people who had recently had a smart meter installed had taken steps to reduce their energy use, 45% of which were monitoring their consumption more closely than before. More than 75% of the energy consumption of an average household is spent on heating. Efficient thermal insulation is unavoidable if you want to save money, protect the basic structure of your building and reduce your carbon emissions. EWI, correctly installed, will minimise heating costs during cold weather and prevent excess heating during the warm season, saving energy year round. A thermal renovation can save a household more than 50% of its energy costs. A working knowledge of External Wall Insulation products will prove invaluable when communicating the value of your projects. It isn’t enough to simply create the products needed to facilitate these goals, however. Baumit is dedicated to creating change throughout the industry, informing and educating the next generation of installers and applicators. That’s why Baumit has opened a brand new training academy in Aylesford, Kent, to host a series of installer courses catering to all levels of experience. From March 2018, this purpose-built facility will be open to those within the construction industry, providing vital theoretical and practical experience in a range of EWI systems and practices. Chris Kendall, Field Engineer at Baumit, said: “Our installer courses provide a perfect opportunity for installers of all ability and members of the construction industry to gain a valuable working knowledge of External Wall Insulation. The experts at our training academy are fully-equipped to offer a wide-range of theoretical and practical advice to ensure clients come away better-informed of the processes and systems involved in all things EWI.” The training facility and courses were designed to cover aspects which are missing from other courses, supporting installers in learning the solutions to real life scenarios that a purely theoretical understanding would not prepare them for. In focusing on the details, rather than just the basics, applicators will receive an in depth understanding of the benefits of a high quality product, properly installed. Spread over 2 days, the Silver and Gold courses offer participants time to reflect on what they have been taught, allowing them adequate time to raise any questions they might have. Baumit is dedicated to building relationships with course participants, and encourages questions and communication both during and after the course is complete, ensuring that they feel comfortable and confident in their abilities and with the product. Baumit is committed to providing exemplary support to its installers, supporting their future work with upskilling, up-to-date information on legislative changes, and phone support, leading to higher quality installs. By supporting the next generation of installers and applicators, Baumit is ensuring that its commitment to beautiful, healthy and energy-efficient homes is continued – helping to deliver a better future for everyone. Visit our website: http://info.baumit.co.uk/baumit-academy-courses
    Apr 18, 2018 209
  • 12 Apr 2018
    The building boom the government needs to initiate to redress the imbalance between UK housing need and availability should – in theory – create abundant work opportunities for contractors of all construction type. Getting to the front of the queue when the selection process starts for any project, be it site-based or a straightforward job application, requires having more to offer than those bidding for the same position. Staying just one small step ahead of the opposition in terms of professional skills and experience can go a long way to securing that vital contract. Keeping pace Even those with a construction career span as long as San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge should refrain from considering themselves beyond learning new tricks of the trade. After all, those who stand still commercially or personally risk being left high and dry by the tides of change. As the 21st century advances, so does the breadth and capability of building products and practices. It’s not a stretch, therefore, to say only those who keep pace with industry trends and standards will remain a competitive force in the marketplace. The UK needs new housing like never before; housing that is sustainable, conforms to unprecedented levels of energy efficiency and is built in the shortest time as possible. Opportunity has never knocked more loudly for those in the construction sector, but only those able to meet the required skill levels shall reap the rewards. Training academies, such as those being set-up by Baumit, will help candidates ‘skill-up’ and meet the construction industry’s current and future demands. At our UK headquarters in Aylesford, Kent Baumit has devised a series of External Wall Insulation courses for installers and applicators. Designed to cater for candidates of all ability, the two-day courses are tailored to suit individual or group needs, offering hands-on, practical learning experience with ‘real-life’ challenges usually encountered in the workplace. We offer three levels of course - bronze, silver and gold – each devised to enhance the professional capabilities of candidates, depending on their current skill level. Those who complete the bronze-to-gold journey will earn an industry qualification in the form of OSCAR Onsite overview and approval, as well as become a Baumit-approved partner and gain access to a host of other benefits. Support As part of our aftercare service, candidates who complete the course will have the ongoing support of Baumit’s technical team. It means whether you’re on-site or in the office, our experts are a reassuring phone call away to offer guidance and advice on all EWI-related matters. Offerings such as this can be the difference between a project being completed on time and to a high standard, or it failing due to issues such as a lack of attention to seemingly minor technical details. With its training academy, Baumit has built a platform for EWI installers to stay ahead of the opposition as the industry gears-up for future challenges and change. Visit:http://info.baumit.co.uk/baumit-academy-courses
    172 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The building boom the government needs to initiate to redress the imbalance between UK housing need and availability should – in theory – create abundant work opportunities for contractors of all construction type. Getting to the front of the queue when the selection process starts for any project, be it site-based or a straightforward job application, requires having more to offer than those bidding for the same position. Staying just one small step ahead of the opposition in terms of professional skills and experience can go a long way to securing that vital contract. Keeping pace Even those with a construction career span as long as San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge should refrain from considering themselves beyond learning new tricks of the trade. After all, those who stand still commercially or personally risk being left high and dry by the tides of change. As the 21st century advances, so does the breadth and capability of building products and practices. It’s not a stretch, therefore, to say only those who keep pace with industry trends and standards will remain a competitive force in the marketplace. The UK needs new housing like never before; housing that is sustainable, conforms to unprecedented levels of energy efficiency and is built in the shortest time as possible. Opportunity has never knocked more loudly for those in the construction sector, but only those able to meet the required skill levels shall reap the rewards. Training academies, such as those being set-up by Baumit, will help candidates ‘skill-up’ and meet the construction industry’s current and future demands. At our UK headquarters in Aylesford, Kent Baumit has devised a series of External Wall Insulation courses for installers and applicators. Designed to cater for candidates of all ability, the two-day courses are tailored to suit individual or group needs, offering hands-on, practical learning experience with ‘real-life’ challenges usually encountered in the workplace. We offer three levels of course - bronze, silver and gold – each devised to enhance the professional capabilities of candidates, depending on their current skill level. Those who complete the bronze-to-gold journey will earn an industry qualification in the form of OSCAR Onsite overview and approval, as well as become a Baumit-approved partner and gain access to a host of other benefits. Support As part of our aftercare service, candidates who complete the course will have the ongoing support of Baumit’s technical team. It means whether you’re on-site or in the office, our experts are a reassuring phone call away to offer guidance and advice on all EWI-related matters. Offerings such as this can be the difference between a project being completed on time and to a high standard, or it failing due to issues such as a lack of attention to seemingly minor technical details. With its training academy, Baumit has built a platform for EWI installers to stay ahead of the opposition as the industry gears-up for future challenges and change. Visit:http://info.baumit.co.uk/baumit-academy-courses
    Apr 12, 2018 172
  • 06 Apr 2018
    They have been around for more than 140 years and operate on a tried and tested principle - being set off by heat.  Notwithstanding that, sprinklers have been refined and improved over the decades utilising new materials and scientific design to produce droplets that most effectively extinguish the fire. Despite this, there remains a lack of understanding and some surprising misconceptions which tragically prevent them from being installed. The Business Sprinkler Alliance dispels and debunks the myths, and demonstrates why automatic fire sprinklers can stop a fire in its tracks, providing round-the-clock, cost-effective protection for buildings. Myth #1: A fire detection system provides enough protection. Fire detection systems save lives by providing a warning of fire, but can do nothing to control or extinguish a growing fire. Myth #2: Water damage from a fire sprinkler system will be more extensive than fire damage. Water damage from a fire sprinkler system will be far less severe than the damage caused by water from firefighters’ hoses. Modern sprinklers operate very quickly to release 45 – 200 litres of water per minute, compared to 700 – 4000 litres per minute discharged by fire service hoses and jets. Myth #3: When one sprinkler goes off, won’t they all go off? All sprinklers going off at once might well have been perpetuated by Hollywood for comic and dramatic effect but only the sprinkler heads in the immediate vicinity of a fire will operate because each sprinkler head is individually activated by heat. Research carried out over 20 years shows that 80% of fires are controlled or extinguished by the operation of fewer than six sprinkler heads. Myth #4: Fire sprinklers are expensive to maintain. Sprinkler systems must be inspected, tested, and maintained to ensure a high degree of reliability. However, sprinkler systems only need two maintenance visits a year by a contractor. This costs around £500 a year for larger systems. Small systems require only an annual visit and this will cost between £75 and £100. Any misconception surrounding the costs of sprinkler systems can be dispelled by looking at the true costs of a building over the lifespan of that building. The low whole-life costs of a fire sprinkler system make investment attractive. Fire sprinkler systems will last the lifetime of a building without major replacement or refurbishment. The industry claims a service life of around 40 years, but it is well known that there are many sprinkler systems from the 1930s which are still operational. Automatic fire sprinkler systems are critical to physical resilience and business continuity. When a fire starts in a building fitted with a fully functioning sprinkler system it has a high probability of being contained from the outset, controlling or extinguishing the fire in advance of fire and rescue services’ arrival. In the vast majority of cases the impacted business is fully functioning within hours. They save lives, reduce the threat to firefighters, reduce the burden on the fire service, save businesses, save jobs and protect the environment.  Visit the www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7g7ND-dnZs&feature=youtu.be    
    178 Posted by Talk. Build
  • They have been around for more than 140 years and operate on a tried and tested principle - being set off by heat.  Notwithstanding that, sprinklers have been refined and improved over the decades utilising new materials and scientific design to produce droplets that most effectively extinguish the fire. Despite this, there remains a lack of understanding and some surprising misconceptions which tragically prevent them from being installed. The Business Sprinkler Alliance dispels and debunks the myths, and demonstrates why automatic fire sprinklers can stop a fire in its tracks, providing round-the-clock, cost-effective protection for buildings. Myth #1: A fire detection system provides enough protection. Fire detection systems save lives by providing a warning of fire, but can do nothing to control or extinguish a growing fire. Myth #2: Water damage from a fire sprinkler system will be more extensive than fire damage. Water damage from a fire sprinkler system will be far less severe than the damage caused by water from firefighters’ hoses. Modern sprinklers operate very quickly to release 45 – 200 litres of water per minute, compared to 700 – 4000 litres per minute discharged by fire service hoses and jets. Myth #3: When one sprinkler goes off, won’t they all go off? All sprinklers going off at once might well have been perpetuated by Hollywood for comic and dramatic effect but only the sprinkler heads in the immediate vicinity of a fire will operate because each sprinkler head is individually activated by heat. Research carried out over 20 years shows that 80% of fires are controlled or extinguished by the operation of fewer than six sprinkler heads. Myth #4: Fire sprinklers are expensive to maintain. Sprinkler systems must be inspected, tested, and maintained to ensure a high degree of reliability. However, sprinkler systems only need two maintenance visits a year by a contractor. This costs around £500 a year for larger systems. Small systems require only an annual visit and this will cost between £75 and £100. Any misconception surrounding the costs of sprinkler systems can be dispelled by looking at the true costs of a building over the lifespan of that building. The low whole-life costs of a fire sprinkler system make investment attractive. Fire sprinkler systems will last the lifetime of a building without major replacement or refurbishment. The industry claims a service life of around 40 years, but it is well known that there are many sprinkler systems from the 1930s which are still operational. Automatic fire sprinkler systems are critical to physical resilience and business continuity. When a fire starts in a building fitted with a fully functioning sprinkler system it has a high probability of being contained from the outset, controlling or extinguishing the fire in advance of fire and rescue services’ arrival. In the vast majority of cases the impacted business is fully functioning within hours. They save lives, reduce the threat to firefighters, reduce the burden on the fire service, save businesses, save jobs and protect the environment.  Visit the www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7g7ND-dnZs&feature=youtu.be    
    Apr 06, 2018 178
  • 05 Apr 2018
    The areas in which self-compacting concrete is used have increased considerably since it was developed in earthquake zones throughout Asia where structural columns attached to tall buildings were heavily congested with steel reinforcement. Self-compacting concrete was designed to flow around this type of reinforcement and provide a fully-compacted, durable concrete to work in conjunction with steel. Since 2000, Sika has been among companies leading the development of self-compacting concrete in the UK. Its growth in this country is predominately due to its use in ground floor housing slabs. Before its introduction, conventional concrete made this type of application machine and labour intensive. For instance, concrete poured in the traditional way and is tacky and stiff in consistency, would normally require up to six installers to screed an area. This method also requires the use of mechanical vibration to rid the freshly-poured concrete of entrapped air to ensure its suitability and long-term performance. And that’s not all. Upon installation, concrete applied the ‘old-fashioned way’ needs to be power-floated to give the slab a smooth, polished finish. Concreting an area the same size using self-compacting material requires at least half the manpower to complete in half the time, with its speed and ease of placement being key to its improved management and distribution. Easy placement Laying self-compacting concrete is like laying liquid as opposed to treacle - it’s that easy. It also eliminates the need for power-floating as it naturally provides a polished, high-quality finish. The secret of this substance’s success can be found in admixtures such as Sika ViscoFlow®, which brings much-needed flexibility to the most challenging concreting application. Infused with graded aggregate, the high-performance admixture extends the concrete’s plasticity, with its two-hour retention property allowing time for site transportation and placement. Sika ViscoFlow® technology also ensures target consistency in a concrete mix in high or low temperature climates in new-build and refurbishment projects. Preparation is vital to successful self-compacting concrete placement. Admixture/aggregate ratios should be tailored to the precise needs of the project’s size and scope. A slip membrane should also be used in conjunction with all self-compacting applications. Again, this method negates the need for mechanical vibration processes, therefore increasing on-site health and safety and resulting in a time and cost-effective installation with a material that is stronger and more durable than traditional placement techniques. Fibres Another important development in self-compacting concrete is the availability of fibres which new NHBC regulations state should be incorporated within certain applications. From January 2018, the authority decreed steel, micro or macro fibres or steel mesh should be used - where appropriate - as reinforcement to concrete toppings above suspended beam and block floors. Sika is already ahead of the curve on that score by providing a range of fibres which allow concrete mix designs to meet NHBC specifications. In terms of the future, it’s my wish to see self-compacting concrete be used more architecturally in building columns and facias. Its flexibility certainly allows for a more design-led approach to its application, which could be enhanced by the availability of pigmented self-compacting solutions. Compatibility with watertight admixtures would also advance self-compacting concrete’s use whilst eliminating the risk of lack of compaction – one of the biggest threats to its long-term performance. Whatever tomorrow holds, the one thing we can be sure of today is self-compacting concrete’s status as an easy-to-apply, durable alternative to conventional concrete, with its superb flexibility being without detriment to its proven, long-term strength. By Peter Cowan, Regional Sales Manager at Sika Concrete & Waterproofing Visit: www.sika.co.uk  
    193 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The areas in which self-compacting concrete is used have increased considerably since it was developed in earthquake zones throughout Asia where structural columns attached to tall buildings were heavily congested with steel reinforcement. Self-compacting concrete was designed to flow around this type of reinforcement and provide a fully-compacted, durable concrete to work in conjunction with steel. Since 2000, Sika has been among companies leading the development of self-compacting concrete in the UK. Its growth in this country is predominately due to its use in ground floor housing slabs. Before its introduction, conventional concrete made this type of application machine and labour intensive. For instance, concrete poured in the traditional way and is tacky and stiff in consistency, would normally require up to six installers to screed an area. This method also requires the use of mechanical vibration to rid the freshly-poured concrete of entrapped air to ensure its suitability and long-term performance. And that’s not all. Upon installation, concrete applied the ‘old-fashioned way’ needs to be power-floated to give the slab a smooth, polished finish. Concreting an area the same size using self-compacting material requires at least half the manpower to complete in half the time, with its speed and ease of placement being key to its improved management and distribution. Easy placement Laying self-compacting concrete is like laying liquid as opposed to treacle - it’s that easy. It also eliminates the need for power-floating as it naturally provides a polished, high-quality finish. The secret of this substance’s success can be found in admixtures such as Sika ViscoFlow®, which brings much-needed flexibility to the most challenging concreting application. Infused with graded aggregate, the high-performance admixture extends the concrete’s plasticity, with its two-hour retention property allowing time for site transportation and placement. Sika ViscoFlow® technology also ensures target consistency in a concrete mix in high or low temperature climates in new-build and refurbishment projects. Preparation is vital to successful self-compacting concrete placement. Admixture/aggregate ratios should be tailored to the precise needs of the project’s size and scope. A slip membrane should also be used in conjunction with all self-compacting applications. Again, this method negates the need for mechanical vibration processes, therefore increasing on-site health and safety and resulting in a time and cost-effective installation with a material that is stronger and more durable than traditional placement techniques. Fibres Another important development in self-compacting concrete is the availability of fibres which new NHBC regulations state should be incorporated within certain applications. From January 2018, the authority decreed steel, micro or macro fibres or steel mesh should be used - where appropriate - as reinforcement to concrete toppings above suspended beam and block floors. Sika is already ahead of the curve on that score by providing a range of fibres which allow concrete mix designs to meet NHBC specifications. In terms of the future, it’s my wish to see self-compacting concrete be used more architecturally in building columns and facias. Its flexibility certainly allows for a more design-led approach to its application, which could be enhanced by the availability of pigmented self-compacting solutions. Compatibility with watertight admixtures would also advance self-compacting concrete’s use whilst eliminating the risk of lack of compaction – one of the biggest threats to its long-term performance. Whatever tomorrow holds, the one thing we can be sure of today is self-compacting concrete’s status as an easy-to-apply, durable alternative to conventional concrete, with its superb flexibility being without detriment to its proven, long-term strength. By Peter Cowan, Regional Sales Manager at Sika Concrete & Waterproofing Visit: www.sika.co.uk  
    Apr 05, 2018 193
  • 27 Mar 2018
    The involvement of a large number of professionals makes it really difficult to manage construction projects.  The involvement of several teams such as surveyors, architects and engineers, drafters and 3D modellers, fabricators and labourers etc., makes it really hard for construction managers (general contractors) to monitor and manage onsite activities. The only way to streamline onsite activities is to maintain swift communication between all the construction professionals. General contractors have to be accountable for managing everything from the beginning of the project until a completed building or structure is handed over to the owners. They have to be accountable for arranging raw materials, its swift delivery, and for keeping all the parties informed about the day to day developments. So, if you are a general contractor, here’s how you should manage a project and enhance the productivity of all building professionals. Planning It’s the responsibility of general contractors to plan the project in advance. So, you have to document all the jobs and allot deadlines for them to be completed. It helps in setting the stage for carrying out onsite construction activities swiftly. The accomplishment of construction projects in the right remain the result of detailed planning and sticking to it throughout the project life cycle. Ordering Quality Materials  General contractors also have to arrange the materials for construction. They have to place orders at the right time and ensure that materials are delivered as per their requirements. Using quality Ready Mix Concrete or RMC is the key to constructing durable buildings and structures. Several materials are used for executing residential, commercial and industrial projects, but ready-mix concrete is one of the most important among them and hence, as a general contractor, who is looking after the project, you have to order it from a renowned concrete supplier. Make sure that the concrete supplier is located close to your job site. Since RMC helps in speeding up construction, you should stick to it, rather than thinking about other options. Apart from ordering RMC, you also have to order materials like bricks, binding wires, and steel bars etc., and ensure that they are delivered at the right time. Hiring Skilled Labour Having skilled labour is crucial for speeding up construction. Without skilled workers, you can't construct a building or structure effectively. If in case, you hire unskilled workers they will take double time to accomplish any task when compared to skilled workers. So, you have to stay in touch with relevant industry professionals who can help you in hiring experienced construction workers. Maintaining Safety Ensuring that high safety is maintained in the job sites, is one of the biggest responsibility of general contractors. So, you have to be accountable for providing right training to construction workers and offering quality safety gears to them to eliminate the risk of injuries and accidents. All the workers must be provided with protective gloves, right shoes, safety glasses, hearing protection, and fall protection equipment.  Cost & Time Management General contractors have to keep the track of the expenses involved in construction from time to time, to ensure that the project is not exceeding the budget. Managing the cost is one of the most important responsibilities of general contractors. Therefore, you have to consider all sorts of expenses such as pre-construction expenses (which include the money involved in design development) labour cost, and cost of the materials. In addition to that, the cost involved in rework should also be taken into account. Similarly, they also have to monitor the time involved in carrying out each activity, to ensure that the project is progressing as per the plan. And if in case, you are behind the schedule, then you have to speed up onsite construction activities to finish the project within the deadlines. Visit: http://rmsconcrete.co.uk/
    300 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The involvement of a large number of professionals makes it really difficult to manage construction projects.  The involvement of several teams such as surveyors, architects and engineers, drafters and 3D modellers, fabricators and labourers etc., makes it really hard for construction managers (general contractors) to monitor and manage onsite activities. The only way to streamline onsite activities is to maintain swift communication between all the construction professionals. General contractors have to be accountable for managing everything from the beginning of the project until a completed building or structure is handed over to the owners. They have to be accountable for arranging raw materials, its swift delivery, and for keeping all the parties informed about the day to day developments. So, if you are a general contractor, here’s how you should manage a project and enhance the productivity of all building professionals. Planning It’s the responsibility of general contractors to plan the project in advance. So, you have to document all the jobs and allot deadlines for them to be completed. It helps in setting the stage for carrying out onsite construction activities swiftly. The accomplishment of construction projects in the right remain the result of detailed planning and sticking to it throughout the project life cycle. Ordering Quality Materials  General contractors also have to arrange the materials for construction. They have to place orders at the right time and ensure that materials are delivered as per their requirements. Using quality Ready Mix Concrete or RMC is the key to constructing durable buildings and structures. Several materials are used for executing residential, commercial and industrial projects, but ready-mix concrete is one of the most important among them and hence, as a general contractor, who is looking after the project, you have to order it from a renowned concrete supplier. Make sure that the concrete supplier is located close to your job site. Since RMC helps in speeding up construction, you should stick to it, rather than thinking about other options. Apart from ordering RMC, you also have to order materials like bricks, binding wires, and steel bars etc., and ensure that they are delivered at the right time. Hiring Skilled Labour Having skilled labour is crucial for speeding up construction. Without skilled workers, you can't construct a building or structure effectively. If in case, you hire unskilled workers they will take double time to accomplish any task when compared to skilled workers. So, you have to stay in touch with relevant industry professionals who can help you in hiring experienced construction workers. Maintaining Safety Ensuring that high safety is maintained in the job sites, is one of the biggest responsibility of general contractors. So, you have to be accountable for providing right training to construction workers and offering quality safety gears to them to eliminate the risk of injuries and accidents. All the workers must be provided with protective gloves, right shoes, safety glasses, hearing protection, and fall protection equipment.  Cost & Time Management General contractors have to keep the track of the expenses involved in construction from time to time, to ensure that the project is not exceeding the budget. Managing the cost is one of the most important responsibilities of general contractors. Therefore, you have to consider all sorts of expenses such as pre-construction expenses (which include the money involved in design development) labour cost, and cost of the materials. In addition to that, the cost involved in rework should also be taken into account. Similarly, they also have to monitor the time involved in carrying out each activity, to ensure that the project is progressing as per the plan. And if in case, you are behind the schedule, then you have to speed up onsite construction activities to finish the project within the deadlines. Visit: http://rmsconcrete.co.uk/
    Mar 27, 2018 300
  • 22 Feb 2018
    January saw the lowest temperatures in the UK since February 2016, and with the potential for more cold snaps on the way, it’s a good time to review the procedures for placing concrete in cold weather. If young concrete is allowed to cool to below freezing temperature, it is very likely that it will be damaged to the point of being entirely unfit for use. Should freshly-placed concrete be allowed to reach temperatures lower than 0°C, the water in the mix will freeze and expand; maintaining a temperature above zero degrees will help to ensure the intended strength of your concrete is reached- even if it is at a slower rate than was anticipated. However, if the concrete is able to reach a strength of approximately 2N/mm2 it is likely to be able to resist the expansion and damage It is important to note that even if temperatures don’t reach freezing point, low temperatures will cause the concrete’s strength to develop significantly slower than in warmer ambient temperatures. This strength is typically reached within 48 hours for most mixes, should the concrete be kept above 5°C. So how, during cold weather, should you keep concrete sufficiently warm for the first 48 hours to ensure that this strength is able to develop? Concrete should never be poured onto frozen ground, snow or ice. You can use heaters to thaw the ground prior to pouring concrete. If you plan to use heated enclosures, make certain they are both windproof and weatherproof. Your concrete should include a maximum water to cement ratio, to limit bleeding. Additionally, you should not begin your final finishing operations whenever bleed water is still present. It is important that formwork is not removed early, or else there is a risk that concrete in suspended slabs or beams could be too weak to carry its own weight due to the slower rate of strengthening the slow rate of strength development needs to be taken into account when calculating times for formwork removal. Strength gain can be increased by minimising the amount of cement replacements or using admixtures- always seek the advice of your suppliers If temperatures are low enough that frost is expected, useful protection measures include insulated or heated frost blankets and insulated formwork. Timber formwork often offers sufficient insulation by itself. Steel formwork is a poor insulator, and exposed surfaces should be covered with insulating material or temporary covers heated with space heaters. For severe frost, it is best to heat the concrete (10°C) for delivery. If heated concrete is not available, it is better to delay your concreting until the ambient temperature rises to above 2°C. When planning your concreting, you can obtain information on the likely temperatures from the Met Office, and should use this to plan your approach so you are never caught short or forced to delay your work. Armed with this information, you will be able to place your concrete perfectly, first time, whatever the weather. By Andrew Bourne, Senior Area Sales Manager - Concrete at Sika Visit: visit www.sika.co.uk
    224 Posted by Talk. Build
  • January saw the lowest temperatures in the UK since February 2016, and with the potential for more cold snaps on the way, it’s a good time to review the procedures for placing concrete in cold weather. If young concrete is allowed to cool to below freezing temperature, it is very likely that it will be damaged to the point of being entirely unfit for use. Should freshly-placed concrete be allowed to reach temperatures lower than 0°C, the water in the mix will freeze and expand; maintaining a temperature above zero degrees will help to ensure the intended strength of your concrete is reached- even if it is at a slower rate than was anticipated. However, if the concrete is able to reach a strength of approximately 2N/mm2 it is likely to be able to resist the expansion and damage It is important to note that even if temperatures don’t reach freezing point, low temperatures will cause the concrete’s strength to develop significantly slower than in warmer ambient temperatures. This strength is typically reached within 48 hours for most mixes, should the concrete be kept above 5°C. So how, during cold weather, should you keep concrete sufficiently warm for the first 48 hours to ensure that this strength is able to develop? Concrete should never be poured onto frozen ground, snow or ice. You can use heaters to thaw the ground prior to pouring concrete. If you plan to use heated enclosures, make certain they are both windproof and weatherproof. Your concrete should include a maximum water to cement ratio, to limit bleeding. Additionally, you should not begin your final finishing operations whenever bleed water is still present. It is important that formwork is not removed early, or else there is a risk that concrete in suspended slabs or beams could be too weak to carry its own weight due to the slower rate of strengthening the slow rate of strength development needs to be taken into account when calculating times for formwork removal. Strength gain can be increased by minimising the amount of cement replacements or using admixtures- always seek the advice of your suppliers If temperatures are low enough that frost is expected, useful protection measures include insulated or heated frost blankets and insulated formwork. Timber formwork often offers sufficient insulation by itself. Steel formwork is a poor insulator, and exposed surfaces should be covered with insulating material or temporary covers heated with space heaters. For severe frost, it is best to heat the concrete (10°C) for delivery. If heated concrete is not available, it is better to delay your concreting until the ambient temperature rises to above 2°C. When planning your concreting, you can obtain information on the likely temperatures from the Met Office, and should use this to plan your approach so you are never caught short or forced to delay your work. Armed with this information, you will be able to place your concrete perfectly, first time, whatever the weather. By Andrew Bourne, Senior Area Sales Manager - Concrete at Sika Visit: visit www.sika.co.uk
    Feb 22, 2018 224
  • 09 Feb 2018
    London Zoo. A furniture storage unit on Cranford Street, Smethwick. A block of flats on Joiner Street, Manchester. A multi-storey car park in Liverpool. Woburn Safari Park. Listers Land Rover, Solihull. What do these six seemingly disparate locations have in common? Each has been the victim of fire within recent weeks. Fire does not discriminate and can affect any kind of building or business. There is a tendency to only concern ourselves with the most serious outcome of a fire – loss of life – though any building at risk of fire has the potential to alter lives permanently. Thankfully no human lives were lost in the aforementioned fires, though this is not to say that no lives were affected. Seventy firefighters were needed to tackle the blaze at London Zoo alone, and many more risked their lives at the scenes of the other fires. Woburn Safari Park lost thirteen patas monkeys, a devastating loss for its drive-through enclosure, and the emotional strain on the staff cannot be understated. Drew Mullin, Woburn's managing director, said some keepers were in tears as they tried to deal with the loss. More than 1,600 vehicles and their contents were destroyed in the inferno which tore through the King’s Dock multi-storey in Liverpool. Remarkably no serious injuries were sustained, but it isn’t hard to see how thousands of lives will be impacted, particularly at a time of year when family funds are often tight and the financial loss to the vehicle owners will sting all the more. The fire in a block of apartments on Manchester’s Joiner Street will have rendered a number of residents in need of temporary shelter. A fire such as this in a residential building can quickly become far more serious, and many families will have lost their belongings and sense of security along with their homes. West Midlands Fire Service confirmed that the whole of the furniture unit in Smethwick was alight. With approximately 3,000m2 of floor space, it is hard to imagine how much stock was lost or damaged. The human cost can be measured in loss of potential earnings and jobs, not only in the furniture unit itself but also in local businesses supported by those who work there. Three cars were destroyed and a further five were damaged in a suspected arson attack at Listers Land Rover, a dealership in Solihull. No one was injured, but three emergency vehicles were sent to deal with the fire - including an ambulance, stretching burdened medical services thinner. The causes of each of these fires will be subject to in-depth investigations, and already they serve to reinforce the findings of Dame Judith Hackitt’s recent interim report on Building Regulations and Fire Safety, which has identified that regulations are in urgent need of change. We must always be thankful when a fire is contained and extinguished with no loss of life, but it is not enough. Lives are still affected regardless, and we must strive to minimise the effect that fire has in all circumstances. When we protect property and halt the spread of fire, we also protect lives. A properly controlled fire can be the difference between a building requiring renovation or demolition. Halting the spread of fire when it is first detected is the best way to limit damage and so also minimise costs and impacts, and sprinklers have been shown to contain, control or extinguish fires in 99% of cases1. The tragedy at Grenfell last year offered us a sharp reminder of the devastating effect that fire can have. These recent fires – while thankfully not on the scale of the Grenfell disaster – serve to demonstrate that fire does not discriminate; whether it is a warehouse, a school, a hospital, a car park, a hotel or a shop, fires happen on a regular basis. However, they can be contained and extinguished by systems such as sprinklers to ensure that life is not put at risk and businesses, jobs and the economy are protected. Efficiency and Effectiveness of Sprinkler Systems in the United Kingdom: An Analysis from Fire Service Data, May 2017, Optimal Economics. Visit the  www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org  
    285 Posted by Talk. Build
  • London Zoo. A furniture storage unit on Cranford Street, Smethwick. A block of flats on Joiner Street, Manchester. A multi-storey car park in Liverpool. Woburn Safari Park. Listers Land Rover, Solihull. What do these six seemingly disparate locations have in common? Each has been the victim of fire within recent weeks. Fire does not discriminate and can affect any kind of building or business. There is a tendency to only concern ourselves with the most serious outcome of a fire – loss of life – though any building at risk of fire has the potential to alter lives permanently. Thankfully no human lives were lost in the aforementioned fires, though this is not to say that no lives were affected. Seventy firefighters were needed to tackle the blaze at London Zoo alone, and many more risked their lives at the scenes of the other fires. Woburn Safari Park lost thirteen patas monkeys, a devastating loss for its drive-through enclosure, and the emotional strain on the staff cannot be understated. Drew Mullin, Woburn's managing director, said some keepers were in tears as they tried to deal with the loss. More than 1,600 vehicles and their contents were destroyed in the inferno which tore through the King’s Dock multi-storey in Liverpool. Remarkably no serious injuries were sustained, but it isn’t hard to see how thousands of lives will be impacted, particularly at a time of year when family funds are often tight and the financial loss to the vehicle owners will sting all the more. The fire in a block of apartments on Manchester’s Joiner Street will have rendered a number of residents in need of temporary shelter. A fire such as this in a residential building can quickly become far more serious, and many families will have lost their belongings and sense of security along with their homes. West Midlands Fire Service confirmed that the whole of the furniture unit in Smethwick was alight. With approximately 3,000m2 of floor space, it is hard to imagine how much stock was lost or damaged. The human cost can be measured in loss of potential earnings and jobs, not only in the furniture unit itself but also in local businesses supported by those who work there. Three cars were destroyed and a further five were damaged in a suspected arson attack at Listers Land Rover, a dealership in Solihull. No one was injured, but three emergency vehicles were sent to deal with the fire - including an ambulance, stretching burdened medical services thinner. The causes of each of these fires will be subject to in-depth investigations, and already they serve to reinforce the findings of Dame Judith Hackitt’s recent interim report on Building Regulations and Fire Safety, which has identified that regulations are in urgent need of change. We must always be thankful when a fire is contained and extinguished with no loss of life, but it is not enough. Lives are still affected regardless, and we must strive to minimise the effect that fire has in all circumstances. When we protect property and halt the spread of fire, we also protect lives. A properly controlled fire can be the difference between a building requiring renovation or demolition. Halting the spread of fire when it is first detected is the best way to limit damage and so also minimise costs and impacts, and sprinklers have been shown to contain, control or extinguish fires in 99% of cases1. The tragedy at Grenfell last year offered us a sharp reminder of the devastating effect that fire can have. These recent fires – while thankfully not on the scale of the Grenfell disaster – serve to demonstrate that fire does not discriminate; whether it is a warehouse, a school, a hospital, a car park, a hotel or a shop, fires happen on a regular basis. However, they can be contained and extinguished by systems such as sprinklers to ensure that life is not put at risk and businesses, jobs and the economy are protected. Efficiency and Effectiveness of Sprinkler Systems in the United Kingdom: An Analysis from Fire Service Data, May 2017, Optimal Economics. Visit the  www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org  
    Feb 09, 2018 285
  • 02 Feb 2018
    Every building is made up of hundreds if not thousands of different building products and materials. Each product has been tested in a laboratory and certified to confirm it will do its job. However, once on-site, materials will act differently. They come into contact with different atmospheric conditions and are reliant on the installation by a contractor. This is where on-site technical support proves its worth. On-site technical support is often under-valued, but as a business, Sika places huge emphasis on it. It’s a core part of our product offering and a fundamental part of our everyday business. As a global leader, producing products for a variety of market sectors from construction to automotive (see http://bit.ly/2o8Ca6Z) supporting our customers is something we do - everyday. For Sika, on-site support starts at the research and development stage. We don’t just test new products in a laboratory and then package and sell them. We take them to market and test them in the real world. A laboratory is a controlled environment and our products are not installed in controlled environments – they are installed in some of the most challenging and harsh conditions you can imagine. Every site is different and contractors work in very different ways. As such, it is important to put our products into practice to see how they react. This could be from how they are handled on site; what effect the weather has on them and how they react to other materials. It is also important to get feedback from contractors as they are at the sharp end installing them every day – their feedback on how the product feels, how easy it is to work with is invaluable. We also believe that we have a responsibility to ensure that once our products have been specified, they are installed correctly and the end results meet the client’s expectations. Changing specifications happens all too frequently, often as a way of reducing costs. However, sometimes a change in specification has a knock-on effect and the end result is that it isn’t fit for purpose and ends-up costing the client more money. There is also the issue of interpretation. Many commercial and industrial projects we visit are made up of different areas, from manufacture to storage. The floors in these different parts of the building need to be treated differently as their usage can differ greatly. Therefore, different grades of flooring should be specified depending on their intended use. This is easy to overlook when looking at project drawings, but with on-site support the use of the building can quickly be ascertained and a suitable specification created. On-site technical support shouldn’t stop there. We work closely with our contractor network to assist them on a job-by-job basis. This starts with training for a site operative at our Preston or Welwyn Garden City facilities and runs right through to assessing on site performance on a job. This is essential for projects where Sika is providing a guarantee. Technical support adds value at every stage – from helping develop new product to creating appropriate specifications, assisting with workmanship to ensuring a specification is maintained and the results exceed expectation. The only way to do this is by witnessing products in-use and seeing projects being delivered. There is no substitute to real life. On-site support may be a traditional value, but it’s a value that Sika believes strongly in, and it’s something that I believe makes us that little bit different. By Mark Prizeman, Sika Technical Services Manager, Flooring and Refurbishment Visit: http://gbr.sika.com/en/group/about-us/sika-everyday.html
    373 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Every building is made up of hundreds if not thousands of different building products and materials. Each product has been tested in a laboratory and certified to confirm it will do its job. However, once on-site, materials will act differently. They come into contact with different atmospheric conditions and are reliant on the installation by a contractor. This is where on-site technical support proves its worth. On-site technical support is often under-valued, but as a business, Sika places huge emphasis on it. It’s a core part of our product offering and a fundamental part of our everyday business. As a global leader, producing products for a variety of market sectors from construction to automotive (see http://bit.ly/2o8Ca6Z) supporting our customers is something we do - everyday. For Sika, on-site support starts at the research and development stage. We don’t just test new products in a laboratory and then package and sell them. We take them to market and test them in the real world. A laboratory is a controlled environment and our products are not installed in controlled environments – they are installed in some of the most challenging and harsh conditions you can imagine. Every site is different and contractors work in very different ways. As such, it is important to put our products into practice to see how they react. This could be from how they are handled on site; what effect the weather has on them and how they react to other materials. It is also important to get feedback from contractors as they are at the sharp end installing them every day – their feedback on how the product feels, how easy it is to work with is invaluable. We also believe that we have a responsibility to ensure that once our products have been specified, they are installed correctly and the end results meet the client’s expectations. Changing specifications happens all too frequently, often as a way of reducing costs. However, sometimes a change in specification has a knock-on effect and the end result is that it isn’t fit for purpose and ends-up costing the client more money. There is also the issue of interpretation. Many commercial and industrial projects we visit are made up of different areas, from manufacture to storage. The floors in these different parts of the building need to be treated differently as their usage can differ greatly. Therefore, different grades of flooring should be specified depending on their intended use. This is easy to overlook when looking at project drawings, but with on-site support the use of the building can quickly be ascertained and a suitable specification created. On-site technical support shouldn’t stop there. We work closely with our contractor network to assist them on a job-by-job basis. This starts with training for a site operative at our Preston or Welwyn Garden City facilities and runs right through to assessing on site performance on a job. This is essential for projects where Sika is providing a guarantee. Technical support adds value at every stage – from helping develop new product to creating appropriate specifications, assisting with workmanship to ensuring a specification is maintained and the results exceed expectation. The only way to do this is by witnessing products in-use and seeing projects being delivered. There is no substitute to real life. On-site support may be a traditional value, but it’s a value that Sika believes strongly in, and it’s something that I believe makes us that little bit different. By Mark Prizeman, Sika Technical Services Manager, Flooring and Refurbishment Visit: http://gbr.sika.com/en/group/about-us/sika-everyday.html
    Feb 02, 2018 373
  • 29 Jan 2018
    Construction giant Carillion’s plunge into liquidation has had an immediate impact, with the firm owing up to 30,000 businesses around £1bn in unpaid costs, as well as putting thousands of jobs at risk. What is clear from the collapse of such a seemingly untouchable giant such as Carillion is that there is a wider review needed for the way the industry is operating under its current business model. As part of that, the traditionally long and uncertain payment terms facing many construction subcontractors needs to be reviewed. The payment processes in place across many businesses within the industry are still manual and complex. Changes are needed to modernise and protect the sector against the impact of cases such as the Carillion collapse. Current reports state that Carillion owed money to between 25,000 and 30,000 businesses, some of which had bills which were equivalent to 10% of their turnover. The knock-on effect for subcontractors and the industry as a whole could be catastrophic. “Looking at previous cases where large contractors have collapsed, you typically see that around 17% or 18% of businesses who are creditors to the company don’t make it through the next five years”, states Suzannah Nichol, chief executive of trade body Build UK. It’s clear that steps are needed to improve cash flow between contractors and subcontractors – for the benefit of all. Automated payment processing systems are shifting from “nice to have” to an essential item for businesses to remain viable. For contractors, they benefit from increased efficiencies and a much more accurate understanding of their liabilities at any given time. For subcontractors, they gain visibility of the progress of their various applications for payment – something that will help them with their business planning. With the right technology, payment processes 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. Such disruptive technologies means the industry is facing a future of dramatic change. Visit www.openecx.co.uk
    333 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Construction giant Carillion’s plunge into liquidation has had an immediate impact, with the firm owing up to 30,000 businesses around £1bn in unpaid costs, as well as putting thousands of jobs at risk. What is clear from the collapse of such a seemingly untouchable giant such as Carillion is that there is a wider review needed for the way the industry is operating under its current business model. As part of that, the traditionally long and uncertain payment terms facing many construction subcontractors needs to be reviewed. The payment processes in place across many businesses within the industry are still manual and complex. Changes are needed to modernise and protect the sector against the impact of cases such as the Carillion collapse. Current reports state that Carillion owed money to between 25,000 and 30,000 businesses, some of which had bills which were equivalent to 10% of their turnover. The knock-on effect for subcontractors and the industry as a whole could be catastrophic. “Looking at previous cases where large contractors have collapsed, you typically see that around 17% or 18% of businesses who are creditors to the company don’t make it through the next five years”, states Suzannah Nichol, chief executive of trade body Build UK. It’s clear that steps are needed to improve cash flow between contractors and subcontractors – for the benefit of all. Automated payment processing systems are shifting from “nice to have” to an essential item for businesses to remain viable. For contractors, they benefit from increased efficiencies and a much more accurate understanding of their liabilities at any given time. For subcontractors, they gain visibility of the progress of their various applications for payment – something that will help them with their business planning. With the right technology, payment processes 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. Such disruptive technologies means the industry is facing a future of dramatic change. Visit www.openecx.co.uk
    Jan 29, 2018 333