• 02 Jul 2019
    The British Standards Institute (BSI) has published the BS 6229: 2018 - flat roofs with continuously supported flexible waterproof covering - code of practice – writes Martin Bidewell, Head of Technical and Product Management for Sika Roofing .   The latest guidelines, which were published in November, contain a number of changes in relation to general good practice guidance, updated terminology and definitions for flat roofs. These include an update of the previous definition for a “vapour control layer” to an “air and vapour control layer” (AVCL), as they perform two important functions. Changes now recommend avoiding the traditional cold roof construction, where the insulation is on the underside or cold side of the deck, due to the difficulty in forming an effective AVCL, cross ventilation and the subsequent increased risk of condensation. An additional “breather layer” is now shown over the insulation to provide an external air-leakage barrier and to help protect the insulation against any detrimental environmental factors. More specific reference on the minimum design and finished falls in formed gutters and a new definition for “zero falls” (roof slope between 0 and 1:80 with no back falls or ponding) is also now included. A small relaxation to minimum upstand heights at door thresholds to balconies and terraces only is adopted (following NHBC guidance) to allow designers to meet the Building Regulations for level access. For all other abutments, the waterproofing should still be terminated a minimum of 150mm from the finished roof level. Updated advice is available for the thermal design of inverted roofs, having now obtained improved practical experience of the actual performance of inverted roofs incorporating a water flow reducing layer (WFRL), designed to reduce the ‘cooling effect’ from rainwater. Interstitial condensation is covered in detail under its own standard, BS 5250, so has been removed from this standard. However, the updated code of practice does advise minimum thermal values for heated buildings (0.35W/m2K) are achieved at any point, to avoid surface condensation, all as per legislation guidance. Although it is anticipated many of the above mentioned amendments will take time to become established industry practice Martin Bidewell, Sika’s Head of Technical and Product Management, said those within the building sector should now be familiarising themselves with the code and following this updated guidance. He said: “Manufacturers, specifiers and the like should be obtaining copies of the standard. People need to understand what the detailed changes are and the affect it might have on our buildings. From here on in, companies should be doing their utmost to ensure all new designs incorporate the latest recommendations.” The code relating to flat roofs with continuously supported coverings was previously updated in 2003. Martin said the new guidelines provide more clarity for users. “The latest guidelines are more defined and help eliminate some of the grey areas that existed within the previous code,” he said. “The 2003 version really was an old standard, therefore the 2018 code brings it into line with the latest Building Regulations and other codes of practice. In my opinion, the latest guidelines are more streamlined and easier to understand, which can only be a good thing.” “The guidelines are vital to successful flat roofing,” Martin added. “The standard sets out the basics of how to properly design a flat roof. There will always be instances when the guidelines cannot be adhered to completely, particularly when the project involves the refurbishment of an existing roof. However, there should be no excuse to ignore the code in new-build scenarios. The BS 6229 code of practice is the go-to flat-roofing document, and along with relevant trade association guidance, should form the minimum standards the industry is looking to achieve for every roofing project.” For copies of BS 6229: 2018, visit: shop.bsigroup.com  
    125 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The British Standards Institute (BSI) has published the BS 6229: 2018 - flat roofs with continuously supported flexible waterproof covering - code of practice – writes Martin Bidewell, Head of Technical and Product Management for Sika Roofing .   The latest guidelines, which were published in November, contain a number of changes in relation to general good practice guidance, updated terminology and definitions for flat roofs. These include an update of the previous definition for a “vapour control layer” to an “air and vapour control layer” (AVCL), as they perform two important functions. Changes now recommend avoiding the traditional cold roof construction, where the insulation is on the underside or cold side of the deck, due to the difficulty in forming an effective AVCL, cross ventilation and the subsequent increased risk of condensation. An additional “breather layer” is now shown over the insulation to provide an external air-leakage barrier and to help protect the insulation against any detrimental environmental factors. More specific reference on the minimum design and finished falls in formed gutters and a new definition for “zero falls” (roof slope between 0 and 1:80 with no back falls or ponding) is also now included. A small relaxation to minimum upstand heights at door thresholds to balconies and terraces only is adopted (following NHBC guidance) to allow designers to meet the Building Regulations for level access. For all other abutments, the waterproofing should still be terminated a minimum of 150mm from the finished roof level. Updated advice is available for the thermal design of inverted roofs, having now obtained improved practical experience of the actual performance of inverted roofs incorporating a water flow reducing layer (WFRL), designed to reduce the ‘cooling effect’ from rainwater. Interstitial condensation is covered in detail under its own standard, BS 5250, so has been removed from this standard. However, the updated code of practice does advise minimum thermal values for heated buildings (0.35W/m2K) are achieved at any point, to avoid surface condensation, all as per legislation guidance. Although it is anticipated many of the above mentioned amendments will take time to become established industry practice Martin Bidewell, Sika’s Head of Technical and Product Management, said those within the building sector should now be familiarising themselves with the code and following this updated guidance. He said: “Manufacturers, specifiers and the like should be obtaining copies of the standard. People need to understand what the detailed changes are and the affect it might have on our buildings. From here on in, companies should be doing their utmost to ensure all new designs incorporate the latest recommendations.” The code relating to flat roofs with continuously supported coverings was previously updated in 2003. Martin said the new guidelines provide more clarity for users. “The latest guidelines are more defined and help eliminate some of the grey areas that existed within the previous code,” he said. “The 2003 version really was an old standard, therefore the 2018 code brings it into line with the latest Building Regulations and other codes of practice. In my opinion, the latest guidelines are more streamlined and easier to understand, which can only be a good thing.” “The guidelines are vital to successful flat roofing,” Martin added. “The standard sets out the basics of how to properly design a flat roof. There will always be instances when the guidelines cannot be adhered to completely, particularly when the project involves the refurbishment of an existing roof. However, there should be no excuse to ignore the code in new-build scenarios. The BS 6229 code of practice is the go-to flat-roofing document, and along with relevant trade association guidance, should form the minimum standards the industry is looking to achieve for every roofing project.” For copies of BS 6229: 2018, visit: shop.bsigroup.com  
    Jul 02, 2019 125
  • 26 Jun 2019
    When it comes to construction, especially when there is a focus in commercial and industrial projects, access doors and panels are becoming an asset if not being commonly considered for projects. For many contractors, access panels are becoming a solution and option for clients looking to enhance accessibility, create versatility and functionality. Access panels may not be the first thing a client thinks of when they are seeking a wall, floor or roof solution. It is for this reason why it can be hard for contractors and builders to sell the idea of using access doors and panels; however, as will be discussed, there is so much to gain when installing an access panel and door to any project. One thing that a contractor and builder can consult with their clients to show the benefits of an access panel and door, they can demonstrate why it is they need an access panel or door. To best understand why we share the following… Purpose When it comes to access panels and doors, some clients may not realize that the panel can offer many purposes. It is for this reason that a contractor or builder will want to discuss the needs of the client with what the access panel can offer. For example, a client may think that the only way to gain or provide access to tight and not so easily accessible spaces is via a door of sorts, when in fact access panels can not only create this access point but it can also provide security. The purpose of an access panel and what the client is hoping to accomplish will allow the contractor to provide the best option and solution. When the contractor or builder can fully understand the purpose of their requirements, then they can truly define the best building solution and option. Safety and Security When it comes to commercial and industrial buildings, safety and security are two major factors for clients often wanting to invest in the best option and solution. This means that when it comes to access panels, they may not always know what an access panel has to offer. When it comes to commercial kitchens, access panels are commonly used and recommended, especially when it comes to air vents and fireproofed access panels. The installation of an access panel is a business like a restaurant, or a factory can benefit significantly from one of the many access panels available in the market. From fire to soundproof panels and air vents, access panels allow business owners to enhance the safety and security of the building. More importantly, access panels that are correctly installed and selected will adhere to building codes and requirements. Functionality Access panels can unexpectedly fulfill a gap that a client may not have realized they had. Access panels and doors provide a level of functionality that is often limited by other building solutions. A door that is meant to create access may not prevent noise transference, a hatch may not have vents to allow for smoke to escape and airtight panels may not actually prevent the seeping of outside elements. With the investment of an access panel, the functionality becomes two-fold if not more. When a client is looking to install an access panel, they can also pick an access panel that doubles as being insulated or fireproof. The functionality of a panel will massively vary based on the material that it is made from. For example, contractors would not recommend the use of plastic for any exterior installs, if anything, they would ensure that the access panel is rust proof. Budget Friendly Looking to ensure that the budget is kept can be hard. Some factors are beyond any contractor or builders’ control. From materials to labour, any time there is a change or something that was not predicted it can lead to increases in cost; however if there is one building product that a contractor can rely on to keep costs low it is the access panel. While the price will vary on the material and size, access panels can be a cost-friendly solution to any project. Depending on the size of the project and the suppliers, contractors may be able to purchase access panels at a bulk rate and discount. Builder Better and Smarter Access panels have been around for decades and centuries. Initially, they were meant just to be a wall that could be easily installed and moved; however, over time and with the progression of technology, the access panel has evolved to be so much more. When a contractor or builder can incorporate an access panel or door to their project, they are enhancing the space, but more importantly, they are building smart. Access panels offer a unique level of versatility that is unlike any building product in the market. There are very few products that a contractor or builder can use that can meet various requirements. With access panels and doors, contractors and builders can recommend them as just a door, or they can recommend a panel with added features. From insulation to security and fireproofing – the access panel enhances any space and for a fraction of a cost that some clients may think will be the best solution. Not to mention, access panels can be easily concealed to suit the surroundings – even metal access panels can be coated with a white powder that can be painted over. Going with an access panel can be both a smart investment but a problem solver as well. They are a building product that is sometimes underrated because they are not commonly used; however, thanks to contractors who are seasoned in the field and industry – they know that an access panel can do much more than just be a flat surface. To learn more about the various access panels, both clients and contractors can visit online shops such as Best Access Doors or Access Doors and Panels to see some of their top-selling panels but also speak with their knowledgeable representatives.  
    147 Posted by Talk. Build
  • When it comes to construction, especially when there is a focus in commercial and industrial projects, access doors and panels are becoming an asset if not being commonly considered for projects. For many contractors, access panels are becoming a solution and option for clients looking to enhance accessibility, create versatility and functionality. Access panels may not be the first thing a client thinks of when they are seeking a wall, floor or roof solution. It is for this reason why it can be hard for contractors and builders to sell the idea of using access doors and panels; however, as will be discussed, there is so much to gain when installing an access panel and door to any project. One thing that a contractor and builder can consult with their clients to show the benefits of an access panel and door, they can demonstrate why it is they need an access panel or door. To best understand why we share the following… Purpose When it comes to access panels and doors, some clients may not realize that the panel can offer many purposes. It is for this reason that a contractor or builder will want to discuss the needs of the client with what the access panel can offer. For example, a client may think that the only way to gain or provide access to tight and not so easily accessible spaces is via a door of sorts, when in fact access panels can not only create this access point but it can also provide security. The purpose of an access panel and what the client is hoping to accomplish will allow the contractor to provide the best option and solution. When the contractor or builder can fully understand the purpose of their requirements, then they can truly define the best building solution and option. Safety and Security When it comes to commercial and industrial buildings, safety and security are two major factors for clients often wanting to invest in the best option and solution. This means that when it comes to access panels, they may not always know what an access panel has to offer. When it comes to commercial kitchens, access panels are commonly used and recommended, especially when it comes to air vents and fireproofed access panels. The installation of an access panel is a business like a restaurant, or a factory can benefit significantly from one of the many access panels available in the market. From fire to soundproof panels and air vents, access panels allow business owners to enhance the safety and security of the building. More importantly, access panels that are correctly installed and selected will adhere to building codes and requirements. Functionality Access panels can unexpectedly fulfill a gap that a client may not have realized they had. Access panels and doors provide a level of functionality that is often limited by other building solutions. A door that is meant to create access may not prevent noise transference, a hatch may not have vents to allow for smoke to escape and airtight panels may not actually prevent the seeping of outside elements. With the investment of an access panel, the functionality becomes two-fold if not more. When a client is looking to install an access panel, they can also pick an access panel that doubles as being insulated or fireproof. The functionality of a panel will massively vary based on the material that it is made from. For example, contractors would not recommend the use of plastic for any exterior installs, if anything, they would ensure that the access panel is rust proof. Budget Friendly Looking to ensure that the budget is kept can be hard. Some factors are beyond any contractor or builders’ control. From materials to labour, any time there is a change or something that was not predicted it can lead to increases in cost; however if there is one building product that a contractor can rely on to keep costs low it is the access panel. While the price will vary on the material and size, access panels can be a cost-friendly solution to any project. Depending on the size of the project and the suppliers, contractors may be able to purchase access panels at a bulk rate and discount. Builder Better and Smarter Access panels have been around for decades and centuries. Initially, they were meant just to be a wall that could be easily installed and moved; however, over time and with the progression of technology, the access panel has evolved to be so much more. When a contractor or builder can incorporate an access panel or door to their project, they are enhancing the space, but more importantly, they are building smart. Access panels offer a unique level of versatility that is unlike any building product in the market. There are very few products that a contractor or builder can use that can meet various requirements. With access panels and doors, contractors and builders can recommend them as just a door, or they can recommend a panel with added features. From insulation to security and fireproofing – the access panel enhances any space and for a fraction of a cost that some clients may think will be the best solution. Not to mention, access panels can be easily concealed to suit the surroundings – even metal access panels can be coated with a white powder that can be painted over. Going with an access panel can be both a smart investment but a problem solver as well. They are a building product that is sometimes underrated because they are not commonly used; however, thanks to contractors who are seasoned in the field and industry – they know that an access panel can do much more than just be a flat surface. To learn more about the various access panels, both clients and contractors can visit online shops such as Best Access Doors or Access Doors and Panels to see some of their top-selling panels but also speak with their knowledgeable representatives.  
    Jun 26, 2019 147
  • 20 Jun 2019
    The catastrophic failure of Genoa’s Morandi bridge in August in 2018 has only served to highlight how ageing bridge structures must have a maintenance regime that can ensure the safety of road users.  In the UK, rail and road bridges are subjected to many types of loadings and other influences including corrosion which has to be properly managed to maintain safety.  With nearly 100,000 road road and rail bridges across the country, what proven solutions are available to ensure this vital infrastructure is fit for the future? Three quarters of all highways bridges consist of reinforced concrete, and whilst concrete accounts for the make-up of the majority of rail bridges, these structures are also made of other materials such as cast and wrought iron. Regardless of a bridge’s properties, the long-term exposure to the elements and traffic-based wear and tear will potentially lead to a number of issues including reinforcement corrosion, excessive cracking, chloride ingress and surface erosion. The consequences of not addressing bridge repair problems will be costly and possibly even dangerous in the long-run. Therefore, evaluating the causes of the deterioration is just as important and vital to evaluating and offering the correct repair strategy. Testing is a vital part of bridge repair and protection specification. It can be carried out using various techniques including a basic visual survey, hammer testing, chloride analysis techniques, carbonation testing, concrete-to-reinforcement cover surveys and half-cell potential testing. These assessments will help play a part in Sika’s preparation of any project-specific specification offering.  Lifecycle costing and management offers bridge owners the best approach to minimising any closure times whilst increasing required periods between scheduled maintenance works. This helps incur a minimal expenditure over the structure’s full service life. Sika provides bridge owners and their maintenance managers with the right design and planning tools, followed by well-designed and proven refurbishment solutions and systems to considerably increase the time between necessary maintenance and repair cycles. As the worldwide leader in the structural-strengthening of all types of reinforced concrete structures, Sika provides a full range of fully-tested and approved strengthening systems. Rather than use steel reinforcement to strengthen columns, beams, slabs and wall, specifiers are turning to carbon fibre.Flexible and versatile with a superior strength-to-mass ratio than traditional reinforcing methods, carbon fibre allows for a significant increase in performance without adding additional significant dead load. This solution is less intrusive and quicker and easier to install compared to traditional methods. Carbon fibre strengthening comes in many different forms, plates, rods, near surface mounted plates, fabrics and shear links and are fixed using a range of high performance structural adhesives. It is increasing in popularity as a proven solution for not only reinforced concrete but also steel, cast iron, wood and masonry structures due to its strength, lightweight, easy-handling ability, durability, superb adhesion and rapid installation where downtime of a structure is in short supply. By installing Sika CarboDur® for example, it is possible to improve the load carrying capability of the bridge so it can carry additional wheel loads and be fit for modern road standards. Furthermore, ageing bridges across the UK rail industry network, many from the Victorian era, require proven solutions which minimise disruption. This widely recognised and established carbon-fibre reinforced polymer strengthening solution can be installed overnight when using the new Sika CarboHeater® to encourage earlier curing, even at lower temperatures. Fixing and futureproofing critical infrastructure such as bridges has never been more important. When it comes to the upgrade and maintenance of these vital assets, Sika has the long-term refurbishment solutions that will stand the test of time. Visit www.sika.co.uk
    149 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The catastrophic failure of Genoa’s Morandi bridge in August in 2018 has only served to highlight how ageing bridge structures must have a maintenance regime that can ensure the safety of road users.  In the UK, rail and road bridges are subjected to many types of loadings and other influences including corrosion which has to be properly managed to maintain safety.  With nearly 100,000 road road and rail bridges across the country, what proven solutions are available to ensure this vital infrastructure is fit for the future? Three quarters of all highways bridges consist of reinforced concrete, and whilst concrete accounts for the make-up of the majority of rail bridges, these structures are also made of other materials such as cast and wrought iron. Regardless of a bridge’s properties, the long-term exposure to the elements and traffic-based wear and tear will potentially lead to a number of issues including reinforcement corrosion, excessive cracking, chloride ingress and surface erosion. The consequences of not addressing bridge repair problems will be costly and possibly even dangerous in the long-run. Therefore, evaluating the causes of the deterioration is just as important and vital to evaluating and offering the correct repair strategy. Testing is a vital part of bridge repair and protection specification. It can be carried out using various techniques including a basic visual survey, hammer testing, chloride analysis techniques, carbonation testing, concrete-to-reinforcement cover surveys and half-cell potential testing. These assessments will help play a part in Sika’s preparation of any project-specific specification offering.  Lifecycle costing and management offers bridge owners the best approach to minimising any closure times whilst increasing required periods between scheduled maintenance works. This helps incur a minimal expenditure over the structure’s full service life. Sika provides bridge owners and their maintenance managers with the right design and planning tools, followed by well-designed and proven refurbishment solutions and systems to considerably increase the time between necessary maintenance and repair cycles. As the worldwide leader in the structural-strengthening of all types of reinforced concrete structures, Sika provides a full range of fully-tested and approved strengthening systems. Rather than use steel reinforcement to strengthen columns, beams, slabs and wall, specifiers are turning to carbon fibre.Flexible and versatile with a superior strength-to-mass ratio than traditional reinforcing methods, carbon fibre allows for a significant increase in performance without adding additional significant dead load. This solution is less intrusive and quicker and easier to install compared to traditional methods. Carbon fibre strengthening comes in many different forms, plates, rods, near surface mounted plates, fabrics and shear links and are fixed using a range of high performance structural adhesives. It is increasing in popularity as a proven solution for not only reinforced concrete but also steel, cast iron, wood and masonry structures due to its strength, lightweight, easy-handling ability, durability, superb adhesion and rapid installation where downtime of a structure is in short supply. By installing Sika CarboDur® for example, it is possible to improve the load carrying capability of the bridge so it can carry additional wheel loads and be fit for modern road standards. Furthermore, ageing bridges across the UK rail industry network, many from the Victorian era, require proven solutions which minimise disruption. This widely recognised and established carbon-fibre reinforced polymer strengthening solution can be installed overnight when using the new Sika CarboHeater® to encourage earlier curing, even at lower temperatures. Fixing and futureproofing critical infrastructure such as bridges has never been more important. When it comes to the upgrade and maintenance of these vital assets, Sika has the long-term refurbishment solutions that will stand the test of time. Visit www.sika.co.uk
    Jun 20, 2019 149
  • 18 Jun 2019
    Value engineering is a phrase that has divided the industry. At a time when the sector is under close scrutiny around the quality of what we build, value engineering – which not so long ago referred to a supply chain working to deliver best value – has been thrown under the bus in some quarters and blamed as a catalyst for cost-cutting, poor quality and performance. But is this right? I for one do not think so writes Mark Tomlin, Chief Executive Officer at VJ Technology. At the end of last year, Dame Judith Hackitt, author of ‘Building a Safer Future: Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety’ addressed an audience at the annual CABE (Chartered Association of Building Engineers) conference. She spoke about the need for a joined-up regulatory process that went hand-in-hand with a tougher regulatory reform regime with real penalties and sanctions for those who didn’t conform. She argued that the term ‘value engineering’ should be driven out of construction, saying that it was a phrase she would be ‘happy to never hear again’. “It is anything but value. It is cutting costs and quality,” she said. “The structure of industry has to change to make it more effective. We need to put a focus on the way in which buildings are procured. If we have a process that makes people bid at a cost they can’t afford to deliver at, we set ourselves up to fail.” Whilst I agree with her sentiment about the industry’s need to change and be more effective, I think she has misinterpreted the ‘value engineering’ phrase. Following her statement, there were many who were quick to point this out. So, what is the real definition of value engineering? Officially, value engineering is not a design/peer review or a cost-cutting exercise. It is a creative, organised effort which analyses the requirements of a project for the purpose of achieving the essential functions at the lowest total costs (capital, staffing, energy, maintenance) over a project’s lifetime. Through a group investigation, using experienced, multi-disciplinary teams, value and economy are improved through the study of alternate design concepts, materials and methods without compromising the functional and value objectives of the client. In simplistic terms, we have the price - what someone offers to sell or produce something at; then we have the cost. This covers everything that is needed to have the product or service installed and working. We then have the value – this is what the working product or service is worth to the customer and end user. Value engineering is therefore the process of optimising the cost to meet the customer’s requirements for the purposes of the product or service throughout its working life. So, genuine value engineering is about added value through a process of design and evaluation. The problem is the word ‘value’. To many this means reducing cost, and all too often when cost comes in to the equation, lowest cost wins. This leads to quality – and sometimes performance – being compromised. On virtually every project there is a need to reduce cost and a desire to improve margins. But reducing costs shouldn’t be about reducing quality, it should be about finding a way of delivering what is required at a lower cost, without compromising performance, safety and function. I can think of a number of projects where value engineering has delivered true value to the client. For example, there have been instances where VJ Technology has been able to assess a design and provide the client with a solution that uses a high- grade fixing, that due to their performance, means fewer are required. Whilst individually the high performance fixings are more expensive, when you factor in the fewer fixings required and the associated time savings, it works out much better value – a better performance at a lower cost. I stand by the true meaning of value engineering. The benefit of turning to specialist companies such as VJ Technology is so that you can utilise their skills and expertise and they in turn will provide recommendations that offer value, without compromise. And this is the thing to remember – value engineering is not about compromise, it is about adding value though engineering expertise. Visit: http://www.vjtechnology.com/
    120 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Value engineering is a phrase that has divided the industry. At a time when the sector is under close scrutiny around the quality of what we build, value engineering – which not so long ago referred to a supply chain working to deliver best value – has been thrown under the bus in some quarters and blamed as a catalyst for cost-cutting, poor quality and performance. But is this right? I for one do not think so writes Mark Tomlin, Chief Executive Officer at VJ Technology. At the end of last year, Dame Judith Hackitt, author of ‘Building a Safer Future: Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety’ addressed an audience at the annual CABE (Chartered Association of Building Engineers) conference. She spoke about the need for a joined-up regulatory process that went hand-in-hand with a tougher regulatory reform regime with real penalties and sanctions for those who didn’t conform. She argued that the term ‘value engineering’ should be driven out of construction, saying that it was a phrase she would be ‘happy to never hear again’. “It is anything but value. It is cutting costs and quality,” she said. “The structure of industry has to change to make it more effective. We need to put a focus on the way in which buildings are procured. If we have a process that makes people bid at a cost they can’t afford to deliver at, we set ourselves up to fail.” Whilst I agree with her sentiment about the industry’s need to change and be more effective, I think she has misinterpreted the ‘value engineering’ phrase. Following her statement, there were many who were quick to point this out. So, what is the real definition of value engineering? Officially, value engineering is not a design/peer review or a cost-cutting exercise. It is a creative, organised effort which analyses the requirements of a project for the purpose of achieving the essential functions at the lowest total costs (capital, staffing, energy, maintenance) over a project’s lifetime. Through a group investigation, using experienced, multi-disciplinary teams, value and economy are improved through the study of alternate design concepts, materials and methods without compromising the functional and value objectives of the client. In simplistic terms, we have the price - what someone offers to sell or produce something at; then we have the cost. This covers everything that is needed to have the product or service installed and working. We then have the value – this is what the working product or service is worth to the customer and end user. Value engineering is therefore the process of optimising the cost to meet the customer’s requirements for the purposes of the product or service throughout its working life. So, genuine value engineering is about added value through a process of design and evaluation. The problem is the word ‘value’. To many this means reducing cost, and all too often when cost comes in to the equation, lowest cost wins. This leads to quality – and sometimes performance – being compromised. On virtually every project there is a need to reduce cost and a desire to improve margins. But reducing costs shouldn’t be about reducing quality, it should be about finding a way of delivering what is required at a lower cost, without compromising performance, safety and function. I can think of a number of projects where value engineering has delivered true value to the client. For example, there have been instances where VJ Technology has been able to assess a design and provide the client with a solution that uses a high- grade fixing, that due to their performance, means fewer are required. Whilst individually the high performance fixings are more expensive, when you factor in the fewer fixings required and the associated time savings, it works out much better value – a better performance at a lower cost. I stand by the true meaning of value engineering. The benefit of turning to specialist companies such as VJ Technology is so that you can utilise their skills and expertise and they in turn will provide recommendations that offer value, without compromise. And this is the thing to remember – value engineering is not about compromise, it is about adding value though engineering expertise. Visit: http://www.vjtechnology.com/
    Jun 18, 2019 120
  • 13 Jun 2019
    A muddy site, a tool belt and hard hat, wolf whistling, dirty finger nails, Bob the Builder and middle-aged men are just some of the perceptions we have when we think of people who work in the construction industry. Lest we forget our hard-working tradesmen who are up at the crack of dawn laying bricks, but ‘construction’ has way more to it than that. There is no escaping construction. The building you’re sitting in right now keeping you warm and safe is ‘construction’ yet our nation sees it as an unappealing career option, but guess what! I’m a woman in my mid-thirties and I work in construction and I love it writes Kelly Slociak, Head of PR, Fabrick . When I was 16 I had already mapped out that I was going to be an actress and have 4 children (including one set of twins) by the age of 30. I spoke to the careers advisor and my teachers and I chose my GCSE disciplines ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ and off I went. Limited choices, limited opportunities… Did I really know at that age what I really wanted to do, or more importantly, what my best skills were in order to guide me? Probably not, but back then that was what it was. For the record, I quickly learnt I was a rubbish actress, and actually the thought of having 4 children in my twenties meant I couldn’t go out partying, so that plan, to say the least, did not work out. I am often asked how I ended up working in construction and I always answer with ‘probably the same way you did, I ‘fell’ into it’. Just like most things in my life, I fell into Art College, I fell into doing a PR and journalism degree, I fell into a career in PR and marketing and then I fell into the construction industry. And now I am a voice for my clients who want to be at the forefront of decision makers in the industry. If I could go back to school and start afresh, it would be nice to know that construction isn’t just for men and actually there are lots of exciting opportunities within the industry. If I knew what an architect’s role was or a Quantity Surveyor’s role was or what a BIM expert was, perhaps my mind-set may have been somewhat different. So how can we ensure that the children of our future know about the construction industry and actually encourage these opportunities? I was invited to an inspiring talk by Mark Farmer at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Industry Group (CIMCIG) debate last week on the ‘Image of Construction’ at the House of Lords. ‘Young people need to be inspired and motivated and we need to achieve a better gender balance’ were just a few of the points addressed to make the industry more attractive. Farmer also went on to speculate that the term ‘construction industry’ was perhaps maybe now outdated and asked if we should now be addressing it as the ‘built environment’. This is a term, that as an agency, we started to introduce a couple of years ago which sounds more appealing and represents more of a diverse range of prospects. ‘As an industry, how can we change the image of construction? The opportunity here is to be collaborative’ – which was heavily echoed in the Q&A debate from the panel of speakers which included Sadie Morgan of dRMM, Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive of Mace Group, Sam Stacey of Transforming Construction and Jade Lewis of St Gobain Group. Talking to a room full of fellow marketers, Farmer made a plea for better co-ordination, asking for more collaboration to reflect the increasingly high-tech nature of the industry and the solutions it presents to global issues such as climate change and living standards. Training has been neglected and the skills shortage continues so we need to be working together and reaching out to the schools, colleges and the next generation in general to educate them. Yes, we have a massive industry, and yes it comes with many problems, but it also comes with lots of opportunities to tackle those problems. For people of all ages, gender and backgrounds, this has to be an inspiring prospect. An opportunity to improve lives and help save our planet! So now what? They say it begins at home. So, every household with children that owns Lego bricks, I’d say that’s a good place to start… Visit: www.wearefabrick.com
    145 Posted by Talk. Build
  • A muddy site, a tool belt and hard hat, wolf whistling, dirty finger nails, Bob the Builder and middle-aged men are just some of the perceptions we have when we think of people who work in the construction industry. Lest we forget our hard-working tradesmen who are up at the crack of dawn laying bricks, but ‘construction’ has way more to it than that. There is no escaping construction. The building you’re sitting in right now keeping you warm and safe is ‘construction’ yet our nation sees it as an unappealing career option, but guess what! I’m a woman in my mid-thirties and I work in construction and I love it writes Kelly Slociak, Head of PR, Fabrick . When I was 16 I had already mapped out that I was going to be an actress and have 4 children (including one set of twins) by the age of 30. I spoke to the careers advisor and my teachers and I chose my GCSE disciplines ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ and off I went. Limited choices, limited opportunities… Did I really know at that age what I really wanted to do, or more importantly, what my best skills were in order to guide me? Probably not, but back then that was what it was. For the record, I quickly learnt I was a rubbish actress, and actually the thought of having 4 children in my twenties meant I couldn’t go out partying, so that plan, to say the least, did not work out. I am often asked how I ended up working in construction and I always answer with ‘probably the same way you did, I ‘fell’ into it’. Just like most things in my life, I fell into Art College, I fell into doing a PR and journalism degree, I fell into a career in PR and marketing and then I fell into the construction industry. And now I am a voice for my clients who want to be at the forefront of decision makers in the industry. If I could go back to school and start afresh, it would be nice to know that construction isn’t just for men and actually there are lots of exciting opportunities within the industry. If I knew what an architect’s role was or a Quantity Surveyor’s role was or what a BIM expert was, perhaps my mind-set may have been somewhat different. So how can we ensure that the children of our future know about the construction industry and actually encourage these opportunities? I was invited to an inspiring talk by Mark Farmer at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Industry Group (CIMCIG) debate last week on the ‘Image of Construction’ at the House of Lords. ‘Young people need to be inspired and motivated and we need to achieve a better gender balance’ were just a few of the points addressed to make the industry more attractive. Farmer also went on to speculate that the term ‘construction industry’ was perhaps maybe now outdated and asked if we should now be addressing it as the ‘built environment’. This is a term, that as an agency, we started to introduce a couple of years ago which sounds more appealing and represents more of a diverse range of prospects. ‘As an industry, how can we change the image of construction? The opportunity here is to be collaborative’ – which was heavily echoed in the Q&A debate from the panel of speakers which included Sadie Morgan of dRMM, Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive of Mace Group, Sam Stacey of Transforming Construction and Jade Lewis of St Gobain Group. Talking to a room full of fellow marketers, Farmer made a plea for better co-ordination, asking for more collaboration to reflect the increasingly high-tech nature of the industry and the solutions it presents to global issues such as climate change and living standards. Training has been neglected and the skills shortage continues so we need to be working together and reaching out to the schools, colleges and the next generation in general to educate them. Yes, we have a massive industry, and yes it comes with many problems, but it also comes with lots of opportunities to tackle those problems. For people of all ages, gender and backgrounds, this has to be an inspiring prospect. An opportunity to improve lives and help save our planet! So now what? They say it begins at home. So, every household with children that owns Lego bricks, I’d say that’s a good place to start… Visit: www.wearefabrick.com
    Jun 13, 2019 145
  • 07 Jun 2019
    Following a report last week by BBC’s Watchdog highlighting the hundreds of new build homes which are a fire risk, we are once again reminded of the dangerous gap between the expectation of safety, the reality of building regulations and the performance of buildings writes Tom Roche, Secretary of the Business Sprinkler Alliance. People assume that buildings are safe but if a building is built to regulations, what does that mean? What do people hear? Is it that the building complies with the statutory minimums to secure the health and safety of those in and around the building? In other words, you will escape the fire but your property is totally lost.  Or do people hear their property is protected by fire so both they and their possessions will be safe and protected from fire?  Or do people think we are safe from fire but there may be a little damage? The issue is therefore a case of clarity and an understanding of what the terms mean. It’s not unusual to hear after a fire that the building complied with building regulations. The fire may well have been devastating in terms of property damage but it was a success in terms of regulation and we could do no more. One only has to look at the devastating fire on New Year’s Eve at the Shurgard self-storage facility in Croydon as an example of the ambiguity and misunderstanding of building regulations. It was built to regulations but that did not stop the fire from destroying 1,198 rented units and the impact it had on the hundreds of people whose possessions were lost in the blaze. It was another painful reminder that fire does not discriminate; whether it is a self-storage warehouse, a university, a car park or an office, fires happen on a regular basis. The issue raised by Watchdog needs to be addressed but at the same time we need to work to help people clearly understand it is the minimum required. Building regulations will not protect their property from being lost in the event of a fire. In the case of a new build home, it means meeting the minimum required. Fire spread in building voids and the time for a fire to break out of a room will be limited and the occupants will have time to escape Regulation and guidance is about minimums but all too often the minimum is not clearly defined or communicated. The protection of property is often misunderstood. A recent YouGov survey found that 69% of the businesses polled thought that following Building Regulations’ Approved Document B (ADB) guidance meant that their business premises and contents would be adequately protected from fire events. It doesn’t, but it should. The decision to review Building Regulations Approved Document B (ADB) is welcomed by the BSA and many construction organisations across the industry.  Property protection should be a consideration of the ADB guidance to make buildings of the future resilient to fire. If you want to be resilient to fire you cannot rely on the minimum. Visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org  
    180 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Following a report last week by BBC’s Watchdog highlighting the hundreds of new build homes which are a fire risk, we are once again reminded of the dangerous gap between the expectation of safety, the reality of building regulations and the performance of buildings writes Tom Roche, Secretary of the Business Sprinkler Alliance. People assume that buildings are safe but if a building is built to regulations, what does that mean? What do people hear? Is it that the building complies with the statutory minimums to secure the health and safety of those in and around the building? In other words, you will escape the fire but your property is totally lost.  Or do people hear their property is protected by fire so both they and their possessions will be safe and protected from fire?  Or do people think we are safe from fire but there may be a little damage? The issue is therefore a case of clarity and an understanding of what the terms mean. It’s not unusual to hear after a fire that the building complied with building regulations. The fire may well have been devastating in terms of property damage but it was a success in terms of regulation and we could do no more. One only has to look at the devastating fire on New Year’s Eve at the Shurgard self-storage facility in Croydon as an example of the ambiguity and misunderstanding of building regulations. It was built to regulations but that did not stop the fire from destroying 1,198 rented units and the impact it had on the hundreds of people whose possessions were lost in the blaze. It was another painful reminder that fire does not discriminate; whether it is a self-storage warehouse, a university, a car park or an office, fires happen on a regular basis. The issue raised by Watchdog needs to be addressed but at the same time we need to work to help people clearly understand it is the minimum required. Building regulations will not protect their property from being lost in the event of a fire. In the case of a new build home, it means meeting the minimum required. Fire spread in building voids and the time for a fire to break out of a room will be limited and the occupants will have time to escape Regulation and guidance is about minimums but all too often the minimum is not clearly defined or communicated. The protection of property is often misunderstood. A recent YouGov survey found that 69% of the businesses polled thought that following Building Regulations’ Approved Document B (ADB) guidance meant that their business premises and contents would be adequately protected from fire events. It doesn’t, but it should. The decision to review Building Regulations Approved Document B (ADB) is welcomed by the BSA and many construction organisations across the industry.  Property protection should be a consideration of the ADB guidance to make buildings of the future resilient to fire. If you want to be resilient to fire you cannot rely on the minimum. Visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org  
    Jun 07, 2019 180
  • 05 Jun 2019
    Young people and their lack of interest in construction is a continual conversation within the industry, so as a 23 year old female who works in construction, I have to ask myself ‘Why has the industry lost its shine for our youth? What does the industry really need to do to make construction an industry of choice for young people, writes Paige Chapman? Construction is one of the most diverse and creative industries in the world. Spanning centuries and every country, there’s a rich history and a bright future that cannot be denied. So why is the younger generation uninterested in becoming a part of it? If they could see and experience the diversity of roles and projects that I help promote through social media, I’m sure they’d change their minds. I feel perception is a big part of the problem, as put simply young adults often think that working in construction is difficult manual labour that is poorly paid and better suited to men. Construction was once treated like a family heirloom, passed down from father to son for generations, but many young people are rejecting their parents’ expectations of them, without realising just how much the sector now has to offer. A career in the skilled trades is not seen as an exciting option in these times of YouTube and Instagram stars. Why go and physically exert yourself to get paid when you see people every day making videos and posting #Ads on Instagram… and getting paid a lot of money for it?! With such a masculine history, it’s understandable that so many young women don’t realise that it is a great career option for them. So many of the world’s top architects, engineers and surveyors are women, but there are also opportunities to be a graphic designer for a major contractor, or a copywriter, or a marketing or social media specialist talking about the exciting advancements that the world is making every day in construction. Check out the author of this blog! More and more young women are taking on trades and becoming excellent carpenters, plumbers, electricians etc. The promotion of these jobs needs to be stronger within education and from companies. A recent report by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) stated that a third of homeowners would rather hire a female builder. Young women should be encouraged to take up these roles and the success stories of these women, who are paving the way, should be shared. Together we need to break down the outdated perceptions relating to the industry as they are both wrong and damaging to its future. Young people are vital to businesses, they bring with them enthusiasm, new ideas, an instant understanding of new technologies and they are ultimately our future. Because of this, every industry - not just construction - should be trying their hardest to welcome graduates and apprentices into the fold. So what needs to be done? Education needs to be the starting point in changing people’s opinions of a career in construction. Schools need to communicate and promote, to both genders, the diversity of construction, the roles it offers and the pathways into such a great industry. Ultimately, they need to push construction as a viable career option. Construction is creative and gives people the opportunity to leave behind a legacy. Any building work they may physically build, design or be a part of will be around for centuries to come and a great sense of pride and accomplishment comes with that. There has never been a better time to join the building industry. It is ripe with new opportunities and the shifting responsibilities of current roles, as new technology comes into play. Which is why there needs to be more communication to get the message out there that this industry isn’t just for older men. Young people, boys and girls alike, will bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm into this industry and expand it even further into the future. Here at Fabrick, we see the potential in young apprentices and graduates and each of our departments has a trainee or junior just brimming with innovative approaches to our work and ideas that our other members of staff may have never thought of. Meanwhile, our older staff members share their industry knowledge and experience with them. We find that a mixture of ages in each team really enhances the ability of the group as a whole, as they all have different areas of speciality and expertise! So, to conclude, companies should be pushing to show young people that the construction industry is a great place to spread their wings in the world of work. Paige Chapman is Digital Media Trainee, at Fabrick, a construction specialist Marketing and communications company. Visit: www.wearefabrick.com
    228 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Young people and their lack of interest in construction is a continual conversation within the industry, so as a 23 year old female who works in construction, I have to ask myself ‘Why has the industry lost its shine for our youth? What does the industry really need to do to make construction an industry of choice for young people, writes Paige Chapman? Construction is one of the most diverse and creative industries in the world. Spanning centuries and every country, there’s a rich history and a bright future that cannot be denied. So why is the younger generation uninterested in becoming a part of it? If they could see and experience the diversity of roles and projects that I help promote through social media, I’m sure they’d change their minds. I feel perception is a big part of the problem, as put simply young adults often think that working in construction is difficult manual labour that is poorly paid and better suited to men. Construction was once treated like a family heirloom, passed down from father to son for generations, but many young people are rejecting their parents’ expectations of them, without realising just how much the sector now has to offer. A career in the skilled trades is not seen as an exciting option in these times of YouTube and Instagram stars. Why go and physically exert yourself to get paid when you see people every day making videos and posting #Ads on Instagram… and getting paid a lot of money for it?! With such a masculine history, it’s understandable that so many young women don’t realise that it is a great career option for them. So many of the world’s top architects, engineers and surveyors are women, but there are also opportunities to be a graphic designer for a major contractor, or a copywriter, or a marketing or social media specialist talking about the exciting advancements that the world is making every day in construction. Check out the author of this blog! More and more young women are taking on trades and becoming excellent carpenters, plumbers, electricians etc. The promotion of these jobs needs to be stronger within education and from companies. A recent report by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) stated that a third of homeowners would rather hire a female builder. Young women should be encouraged to take up these roles and the success stories of these women, who are paving the way, should be shared. Together we need to break down the outdated perceptions relating to the industry as they are both wrong and damaging to its future. Young people are vital to businesses, they bring with them enthusiasm, new ideas, an instant understanding of new technologies and they are ultimately our future. Because of this, every industry - not just construction - should be trying their hardest to welcome graduates and apprentices into the fold. So what needs to be done? Education needs to be the starting point in changing people’s opinions of a career in construction. Schools need to communicate and promote, to both genders, the diversity of construction, the roles it offers and the pathways into such a great industry. Ultimately, they need to push construction as a viable career option. Construction is creative and gives people the opportunity to leave behind a legacy. Any building work they may physically build, design or be a part of will be around for centuries to come and a great sense of pride and accomplishment comes with that. There has never been a better time to join the building industry. It is ripe with new opportunities and the shifting responsibilities of current roles, as new technology comes into play. Which is why there needs to be more communication to get the message out there that this industry isn’t just for older men. Young people, boys and girls alike, will bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm into this industry and expand it even further into the future. Here at Fabrick, we see the potential in young apprentices and graduates and each of our departments has a trainee or junior just brimming with innovative approaches to our work and ideas that our other members of staff may have never thought of. Meanwhile, our older staff members share their industry knowledge and experience with them. We find that a mixture of ages in each team really enhances the ability of the group as a whole, as they all have different areas of speciality and expertise! So, to conclude, companies should be pushing to show young people that the construction industry is a great place to spread their wings in the world of work. Paige Chapman is Digital Media Trainee, at Fabrick, a construction specialist Marketing and communications company. Visit: www.wearefabrick.com
    Jun 05, 2019 228
  • 23 May 2019
    Of the 673 new schools built and open under the government’s flagship school programme, only 105 were fitted with sprinklers.  With hundreds of schools in the UK having a fire each year, this alarming statistic once again only emphasises that money spent on dealing with the aftermath of fires should be being spent on sprinklers writes Iain Cox, Chair of the BSA.  The BSA shares the concerns of Labour MP and former teacher Stephanie Peacock who said: “The ridiculous thing is that we spend far more rebuilding and repairing schools after fires than we would have paid to install sprinklers in the first place.” School fires have a devastating impact on both a school and a community. Measures such as sprinklers drastically reduce the amount of damage done when there is a fire, and enable schools to get up-and-running quickly, reducing the cost, both economically and socially, to the public. On the 24th April, the Selsey Academy opened the doors to its rebuilt premises after a fire devastated the original, unsprinklered school in August 2016. In the interim, pupils were taught in temporary classrooms in four locations in the Selsey area and then temporary school portakabins until the new school was completed. Sadly, the trust that runs it has confirmed the new school has been rebuilt without sprinklers. Commenting on the lack of sprinklers in schools, Iain Cox, Chairman of the BSA, said: “This is another case of value engineering, where the cost of installing sprinklers has been cut out without any idea of the potential impact. Surely, it is better to protect the asset, so you won’t have disruption and the lost opportunity?”   Ensuring the safety of a building’s occupants is considered the bare minimum under current regulations, but it is clearly not the optimal outcome. A sprinkler system would serve to protect both the occupants and the building, allowing students to return to normality far more rapidly and with considerably less disruption to teachers’ already hectic schedules. Furthermore, the Association of British Insurers says the most expensive school fires typically cost around £2.8 million to address, and over the past four years an average 24 of these large-loss fires have occurred every year, totalling £67.2 million. Currently, sprinklers are mandatory in new school buildings in Scotland and Wales, but not in England and Northern Ireland.   The government advises that even a single missed day of education can have significant effects on future exam results. The installation of sprinklers could limit the damage from fire; significantly reducing the potential disruption to the students’ school life. The same misconceptions about cost and the impact of disruption can be seen across the commercial and industrial sector. The BSA is calling for better education on the substantial benefits that fire sprinklers can deliver to the business community and wider economy. Fire does not discriminate; whether it is a school, a car park a warehouse or an office, fires happen on a regular basis. However, they can be contained and extinguished by systems such as sprinklers to ensure that life is not put at risk and businesses, jobs and the economy are protected. Visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org
    162 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Of the 673 new schools built and open under the government’s flagship school programme, only 105 were fitted with sprinklers.  With hundreds of schools in the UK having a fire each year, this alarming statistic once again only emphasises that money spent on dealing with the aftermath of fires should be being spent on sprinklers writes Iain Cox, Chair of the BSA.  The BSA shares the concerns of Labour MP and former teacher Stephanie Peacock who said: “The ridiculous thing is that we spend far more rebuilding and repairing schools after fires than we would have paid to install sprinklers in the first place.” School fires have a devastating impact on both a school and a community. Measures such as sprinklers drastically reduce the amount of damage done when there is a fire, and enable schools to get up-and-running quickly, reducing the cost, both economically and socially, to the public. On the 24th April, the Selsey Academy opened the doors to its rebuilt premises after a fire devastated the original, unsprinklered school in August 2016. In the interim, pupils were taught in temporary classrooms in four locations in the Selsey area and then temporary school portakabins until the new school was completed. Sadly, the trust that runs it has confirmed the new school has been rebuilt without sprinklers. Commenting on the lack of sprinklers in schools, Iain Cox, Chairman of the BSA, said: “This is another case of value engineering, where the cost of installing sprinklers has been cut out without any idea of the potential impact. Surely, it is better to protect the asset, so you won’t have disruption and the lost opportunity?”   Ensuring the safety of a building’s occupants is considered the bare minimum under current regulations, but it is clearly not the optimal outcome. A sprinkler system would serve to protect both the occupants and the building, allowing students to return to normality far more rapidly and with considerably less disruption to teachers’ already hectic schedules. Furthermore, the Association of British Insurers says the most expensive school fires typically cost around £2.8 million to address, and over the past four years an average 24 of these large-loss fires have occurred every year, totalling £67.2 million. Currently, sprinklers are mandatory in new school buildings in Scotland and Wales, but not in England and Northern Ireland.   The government advises that even a single missed day of education can have significant effects on future exam results. The installation of sprinklers could limit the damage from fire; significantly reducing the potential disruption to the students’ school life. The same misconceptions about cost and the impact of disruption can be seen across the commercial and industrial sector. The BSA is calling for better education on the substantial benefits that fire sprinklers can deliver to the business community and wider economy. Fire does not discriminate; whether it is a school, a car park a warehouse or an office, fires happen on a regular basis. However, they can be contained and extinguished by systems such as sprinklers to ensure that life is not put at risk and businesses, jobs and the economy are protected. Visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org
    May 23, 2019 162
  • 22 May 2019
    When you become a business owner, you take great care in protecting your business as well as employees. Part of the protection needs includes fire safety. To keep your business safe, elements of fire safety are added, including smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers. Did you know that there are several types of fire extinguishers? Because fires can be caused by varying elements, it is important to have the right extinguisher type within your business. Get to know the options below to ensure you are protecting your business the right way. Most people think that every fire extinguisher is the same. They look at an extinguisher as a way to put out the flames. However, there are five different types, each belonging to a certain class. Understanding the classes and what type of extinguisher you need for your business is essential or fire safety. Class A This type of fire extinguisher is used for fires involving combustible materials. This can include fires that involve straw, paper, and textiles. When you operate a business that uses these types of materials, then you can benefit from this type of extinguisher. Class B This type involves fires where flammable liquids are at play. This would include fire with fats, tar or petrol. Only this type of extinguisher will put out fires involving flammable liquids. If you work with such materials, this type should be on hand. Class C This type of fire extinguisher will work on fires that involve flammable gasses. Natural gas, propane and methane fires can be put out with this type of unit. Certain chemicals are placed inside this fire extinguisher to counteract with the flammable gas chemicals. Class D This type of fire extinguisher reacts to fires involving flammable metals. This would include fires with potassium, metal, and aluminium. If you own a business that works with such materials, then this type of fire extinguisher must be on hand. Class F This extinguisher type involves fires from cooking. This could be in a domestic setting or from a deep fryer. The extinguisher also works with electrical fires. Any fires started from electrical components or appliances will react to this extinguisher type. Fires are separated based on classes due to how the fire needs to be managed. There is unfortunately not just one way that a fire can be treated. In certain scenarios, fighting a fire with the wrong class of extinguisher can see the flames grow. Take for example a cooking-related fire. With a Class F fire, if you use a water extinguisher, the fire will be exacerbated. Fire Extinguisher Types It is essential to choose the right fire extinguisher for your business needs. With so many types available, it can be confusing. A water type can be used for Class A fires. However, using this type of extinguisher requires care. Be sure to avoid any electrical components as the water can be a conductor for electricity. This type of unit will have the word WATER displayed on the side. Another type of extinguisher is AFFF Foam. This type will work for Class A and Class B fires. This type is known for helping to prevent fires from reigniting by creating a foam blanket on the fire to stop the oxygen supply. Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers are another type, one that will work for Class B and Class C fires. This type is basically ineffective for a Class A fire. ABC extinguishers are another type, one that will work for Class A, B and C fires. This one is beneficial to businesses that might be at risk of these types of fires. Additional fire extinguisher types include water mist, wet chemical and specialist dry powder. Each of these types will provide fire safety for a specific class of fires. Water mist and dry powder work for Class D while the wet chemical will work for Class F. When it comes to your business, it is important to have the right fire extinguisher on hand. Speak to a specialist today about your options.
    233 Posted by Talk. Build
  • When you become a business owner, you take great care in protecting your business as well as employees. Part of the protection needs includes fire safety. To keep your business safe, elements of fire safety are added, including smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers. Did you know that there are several types of fire extinguishers? Because fires can be caused by varying elements, it is important to have the right extinguisher type within your business. Get to know the options below to ensure you are protecting your business the right way. Most people think that every fire extinguisher is the same. They look at an extinguisher as a way to put out the flames. However, there are five different types, each belonging to a certain class. Understanding the classes and what type of extinguisher you need for your business is essential or fire safety. Class A This type of fire extinguisher is used for fires involving combustible materials. This can include fires that involve straw, paper, and textiles. When you operate a business that uses these types of materials, then you can benefit from this type of extinguisher. Class B This type involves fires where flammable liquids are at play. This would include fire with fats, tar or petrol. Only this type of extinguisher will put out fires involving flammable liquids. If you work with such materials, this type should be on hand. Class C This type of fire extinguisher will work on fires that involve flammable gasses. Natural gas, propane and methane fires can be put out with this type of unit. Certain chemicals are placed inside this fire extinguisher to counteract with the flammable gas chemicals. Class D This type of fire extinguisher reacts to fires involving flammable metals. This would include fires with potassium, metal, and aluminium. If you own a business that works with such materials, then this type of fire extinguisher must be on hand. Class F This extinguisher type involves fires from cooking. This could be in a domestic setting or from a deep fryer. The extinguisher also works with electrical fires. Any fires started from electrical components or appliances will react to this extinguisher type. Fires are separated based on classes due to how the fire needs to be managed. There is unfortunately not just one way that a fire can be treated. In certain scenarios, fighting a fire with the wrong class of extinguisher can see the flames grow. Take for example a cooking-related fire. With a Class F fire, if you use a water extinguisher, the fire will be exacerbated. Fire Extinguisher Types It is essential to choose the right fire extinguisher for your business needs. With so many types available, it can be confusing. A water type can be used for Class A fires. However, using this type of extinguisher requires care. Be sure to avoid any electrical components as the water can be a conductor for electricity. This type of unit will have the word WATER displayed on the side. Another type of extinguisher is AFFF Foam. This type will work for Class A and Class B fires. This type is known for helping to prevent fires from reigniting by creating a foam blanket on the fire to stop the oxygen supply. Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers are another type, one that will work for Class B and Class C fires. This type is basically ineffective for a Class A fire. ABC extinguishers are another type, one that will work for Class A, B and C fires. This one is beneficial to businesses that might be at risk of these types of fires. Additional fire extinguisher types include water mist, wet chemical and specialist dry powder. Each of these types will provide fire safety for a specific class of fires. Water mist and dry powder work for Class D while the wet chemical will work for Class F. When it comes to your business, it is important to have the right fire extinguisher on hand. Speak to a specialist today about your options.
    May 22, 2019 233
  • 21 May 2019
    Digital construction is at the forefront of the UK’s overarching Industrial Strategy. With an abundance of digital solutions available to streamline project management and workflow, which measures can be taken to assure there are sufficient skilled employees to use them and secure the construction industry’s future, writes Erica Coulehan, Content Marketing Manager at GroupBC ? Attracting younger generations At present, it is estimated that 22% of the construction industry’s current workforce is over 50 and 15% is over 60; startling figures which are indicative of the industry’s ageing workforce. Therefore, as time progresses it is becoming more crucial to identify potential avenues which will attract pools of young people to fill the emerging skills gap. According to a Redrow report, 52% of young people disregard a career in construction, either because they are simply disinterested or completely unaware of what a career in construction entails. This statistic needs explicating, as it could infer that the current construction industry skills shortage is perpetuated by the multiple misconceptions and misperceptions which have been rife in the industry for a long period of time. The industry has made significant progression over the past decade, yet the majority of young people unfortunately associate construction with muddy hi-vis vests, dust and little opportunity for development. A misrepresentation that is almost as shocking as the statistic mentioned above: what is it going to take to let young people see how enterprising, innovative and ‘digital’ the construction industry is? Technology is used throughout our everyday lives, transcending age groups. Even though the construction industry is no exception, it is still perceived as relatively low-tech. Start with secondary schools Whilst architecture university degrees are prolific in the education of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and other digital construction solutions, this trend is by no means concurrent with secondary schools. The reasons for this are not necessarily to do with a matter of choice or preference; UK schools are under pressure to offer students – at GCSE particularly – the sought-after STEM subjects which are at the foundation of an industrial, corporate world.   Even though STEM subjects open-up multiple opportunities for young people, the same sentiment applies to the construction industry. For example, digital construction is part of the UK’s wider Industrial Strategy, where the creation of software such as BIM has generated jobs requiring a high level of technical education and skills which form the base of ‘STEM careers’. An example would be the use of augmented reality across construction projects. Although the technology is in its early stages, augmented reality (AR) is radically changing the building process, described as a way to visualise, manage and coordinate data throughout a building’s lifecycle. AR creates a virtual 3D structure of a building, providing important data about each component that can be accessed pre, during and post construction. Therefore, as this working method continues to develop, complementary skillsets will have to be nurtured within client organisations to ensure the software can be operated and utilised efficiently by Operations and FM teams. Digital construction in action A few years ago the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) developed ‘Craft Your Future’, a programme for 12-14 year olds which is integrated into the computer game Minecraft. Designed to encourage young people to consider careers in city planning, construction management and more, ‘Craft Your Future’ is a virtual solution which gives young people crucial insight into the real-time operation of a construction project. Whilst ‘Craft Your Future’ may be playing a vital role in addressing the future skills gap and labour shortages, the industry in its present state has more pressing concerns. It is widely known that throughout the industry there is a reluctance to adopt digital solutions. Bodies such as the UK BIM Alliance – which GroupBC is a patron of – educate companies on the benefits of digital construction and aim to ensure a common approach amongst vendors. However, much needs to be achieved to counteract this unproductive cultural stalemate if the industry is to embrace modern methods of working, such as off-site manufacturing. Recent initiatives such as reverse mentoring programmes, offered by the likes of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering – in which the more ‘digitally-experienced’ workers are helping senior colleagues transition to digital processes – are softening the alien transition from one way of working to another. As such, these will hopefully provide them with a better understanding of the business benefits of digital technologies. The initiatives outlined above are just a small portion of the many programmes that are being developed to realise the industry’s digital future. For this reason, the industry would do well to continually develop programmes such as these, headed by inspirational industry specialists who can showcase the excellence, worth and opportunities in digital construction to people of all ages and abilities. Not only will this help close the skills gap, it will ensure construction businesses have enough highly-skilled workers to steer the construction industry into its digital chapter.
    175 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Digital construction is at the forefront of the UK’s overarching Industrial Strategy. With an abundance of digital solutions available to streamline project management and workflow, which measures can be taken to assure there are sufficient skilled employees to use them and secure the construction industry’s future, writes Erica Coulehan, Content Marketing Manager at GroupBC ? Attracting younger generations At present, it is estimated that 22% of the construction industry’s current workforce is over 50 and 15% is over 60; startling figures which are indicative of the industry’s ageing workforce. Therefore, as time progresses it is becoming more crucial to identify potential avenues which will attract pools of young people to fill the emerging skills gap. According to a Redrow report, 52% of young people disregard a career in construction, either because they are simply disinterested or completely unaware of what a career in construction entails. This statistic needs explicating, as it could infer that the current construction industry skills shortage is perpetuated by the multiple misconceptions and misperceptions which have been rife in the industry for a long period of time. The industry has made significant progression over the past decade, yet the majority of young people unfortunately associate construction with muddy hi-vis vests, dust and little opportunity for development. A misrepresentation that is almost as shocking as the statistic mentioned above: what is it going to take to let young people see how enterprising, innovative and ‘digital’ the construction industry is? Technology is used throughout our everyday lives, transcending age groups. Even though the construction industry is no exception, it is still perceived as relatively low-tech. Start with secondary schools Whilst architecture university degrees are prolific in the education of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and other digital construction solutions, this trend is by no means concurrent with secondary schools. The reasons for this are not necessarily to do with a matter of choice or preference; UK schools are under pressure to offer students – at GCSE particularly – the sought-after STEM subjects which are at the foundation of an industrial, corporate world.   Even though STEM subjects open-up multiple opportunities for young people, the same sentiment applies to the construction industry. For example, digital construction is part of the UK’s wider Industrial Strategy, where the creation of software such as BIM has generated jobs requiring a high level of technical education and skills which form the base of ‘STEM careers’. An example would be the use of augmented reality across construction projects. Although the technology is in its early stages, augmented reality (AR) is radically changing the building process, described as a way to visualise, manage and coordinate data throughout a building’s lifecycle. AR creates a virtual 3D structure of a building, providing important data about each component that can be accessed pre, during and post construction. Therefore, as this working method continues to develop, complementary skillsets will have to be nurtured within client organisations to ensure the software can be operated and utilised efficiently by Operations and FM teams. Digital construction in action A few years ago the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) developed ‘Craft Your Future’, a programme for 12-14 year olds which is integrated into the computer game Minecraft. Designed to encourage young people to consider careers in city planning, construction management and more, ‘Craft Your Future’ is a virtual solution which gives young people crucial insight into the real-time operation of a construction project. Whilst ‘Craft Your Future’ may be playing a vital role in addressing the future skills gap and labour shortages, the industry in its present state has more pressing concerns. It is widely known that throughout the industry there is a reluctance to adopt digital solutions. Bodies such as the UK BIM Alliance – which GroupBC is a patron of – educate companies on the benefits of digital construction and aim to ensure a common approach amongst vendors. However, much needs to be achieved to counteract this unproductive cultural stalemate if the industry is to embrace modern methods of working, such as off-site manufacturing. Recent initiatives such as reverse mentoring programmes, offered by the likes of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering – in which the more ‘digitally-experienced’ workers are helping senior colleagues transition to digital processes – are softening the alien transition from one way of working to another. As such, these will hopefully provide them with a better understanding of the business benefits of digital technologies. The initiatives outlined above are just a small portion of the many programmes that are being developed to realise the industry’s digital future. For this reason, the industry would do well to continually develop programmes such as these, headed by inspirational industry specialists who can showcase the excellence, worth and opportunities in digital construction to people of all ages and abilities. Not only will this help close the skills gap, it will ensure construction businesses have enough highly-skilled workers to steer the construction industry into its digital chapter.
    May 21, 2019 175
  • 20 May 2019
    With the construction industry in need of a widespread culture change and a chain of responsibility, who will have responsibility for delivering standards of performance throughout the lifecycle of a building writes Dr Gavin Dunn, Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)? By looking at both the existing regulatory framework and performance beyond regulations we can gain a clear picture of how we design and construct buildings and how quality can better be managed. There is a radical and changing set of expectations of what people, business, government and society are looking for out of the built environment. Fundamentally, the industry hasn’t changed much in fifty years. Government has massive expectations in terms of what construction should deliver around climate change, social value and cultural integration within cities; coupled with the treasury’s need for productivity and economic growth. Homeowners have their own set of expectations and want to be comfortable in their own homes while there are also health drivers to consider. Technology and the range of materials related to the improvement of building performance have also improved considerably in the last 25 years, but sadly the industry has yet to embrace what digital transformation can offer.  All these things are being layered to create massive opportunity as well as considerable missed expectations for our sector.  As an industry we are still all too often focused on delivering building regulations as a performance standard, but expectations are way beyond that. The sector is geared up to deliver the lowest capital cost at a single point in time, but this value conversation rarely goes beyond the completion of the initial build. There are clear financial benefits to end-users, owners, occupiers and investors by not looking at lowest capital costs upfront, but the best lifecycle value. In commercial real estate, high-end markets, including central London, most buildings are built to much higher performance standards and as a result have a better fundamental economic return and the ROI (return on investment) can be tremendous through higher rents, lower running costs and higher residual values.  Asset value There needs to be a cultural shift away from lowest capital cost, but unless a client’s behaviour changes, professionals will always cow-tow to getting the work. The clients don’t spend the money because the market won’t put a value on it. The flipside is the market will not put a value on it because it does not trust they will get the outcome. One of the reasons they don’t trust the outcome is that it is not the norm and no one is doing it. Therefore, there is no danger to prove the benefit, this creates a vicious circle. Standards compliance, by definition, engenders and builds trust in outcomes and the confidence a certain level of performance will be achieved. Consider compliance as more than building regulations; it is compliance against a range of standards that meets the end-user’s needs. It is designing to a high performance and structured around building what we design. We need to be designing with the end-user in mind and having the discipline to check the variations and documentation before handing it over so that the future value isn’t lost. Enabling quality is, therefore about, the critical flow of information between the different parties over the lifecycle of the project and the building. It’s also where the digitalisation of that process becomes an enabler to drive quality. Information must be independently validated and needs to belong to the asset, not the individual or organisations. Competency of professionals In a fragmented and siloed construction world, there needs to be an awareness which is much broader than the technical aspects. Sadly, people either don’t have a viewpoint on the wider impacts such as climate change, future values and health implications, or if they do, they don’t feel empowered to use it in a constructive way. Similarly with the concerns raised by the Hackitt review; many professionals completely agree with the sentiment, indeed many claim to have shared such concerns for years, but have not been able to act on them.  In terms of the future, the continued professionalisation of construction management, and site supervision, as well as, some of critical trades will be essential, but so will technology with information becoming more of a driver on site. The way buildings are managed and operated, both legally and technically, will change. The greater professionalisation and automation of construction will go hand-in-hand.  Professionals are going to have to demonstrate their skillsets more overtly and more regularly, particularly if they are working on high-risk projects. We, therefore, need to adopt a better process that allows us to identify those individuals who have providence and precision, and the necessary skills to do the job.    If we can move beyond the single-minded chasing of lowest capital cost to one of best value, then we can begin to see a world where everything else will start to change.  This will create a wide range of opportunities and economic benefits, and professionals will need to respond.  The idea of competence will then have changed. Visit www.cbuilde.com.
    137 Posted by Talk. Build
  • With the construction industry in need of a widespread culture change and a chain of responsibility, who will have responsibility for delivering standards of performance throughout the lifecycle of a building writes Dr Gavin Dunn, Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)? By looking at both the existing regulatory framework and performance beyond regulations we can gain a clear picture of how we design and construct buildings and how quality can better be managed. There is a radical and changing set of expectations of what people, business, government and society are looking for out of the built environment. Fundamentally, the industry hasn’t changed much in fifty years. Government has massive expectations in terms of what construction should deliver around climate change, social value and cultural integration within cities; coupled with the treasury’s need for productivity and economic growth. Homeowners have their own set of expectations and want to be comfortable in their own homes while there are also health drivers to consider. Technology and the range of materials related to the improvement of building performance have also improved considerably in the last 25 years, but sadly the industry has yet to embrace what digital transformation can offer.  All these things are being layered to create massive opportunity as well as considerable missed expectations for our sector.  As an industry we are still all too often focused on delivering building regulations as a performance standard, but expectations are way beyond that. The sector is geared up to deliver the lowest capital cost at a single point in time, but this value conversation rarely goes beyond the completion of the initial build. There are clear financial benefits to end-users, owners, occupiers and investors by not looking at lowest capital costs upfront, but the best lifecycle value. In commercial real estate, high-end markets, including central London, most buildings are built to much higher performance standards and as a result have a better fundamental economic return and the ROI (return on investment) can be tremendous through higher rents, lower running costs and higher residual values.  Asset value There needs to be a cultural shift away from lowest capital cost, but unless a client’s behaviour changes, professionals will always cow-tow to getting the work. The clients don’t spend the money because the market won’t put a value on it. The flipside is the market will not put a value on it because it does not trust they will get the outcome. One of the reasons they don’t trust the outcome is that it is not the norm and no one is doing it. Therefore, there is no danger to prove the benefit, this creates a vicious circle. Standards compliance, by definition, engenders and builds trust in outcomes and the confidence a certain level of performance will be achieved. Consider compliance as more than building regulations; it is compliance against a range of standards that meets the end-user’s needs. It is designing to a high performance and structured around building what we design. We need to be designing with the end-user in mind and having the discipline to check the variations and documentation before handing it over so that the future value isn’t lost. Enabling quality is, therefore about, the critical flow of information between the different parties over the lifecycle of the project and the building. It’s also where the digitalisation of that process becomes an enabler to drive quality. Information must be independently validated and needs to belong to the asset, not the individual or organisations. Competency of professionals In a fragmented and siloed construction world, there needs to be an awareness which is much broader than the technical aspects. Sadly, people either don’t have a viewpoint on the wider impacts such as climate change, future values and health implications, or if they do, they don’t feel empowered to use it in a constructive way. Similarly with the concerns raised by the Hackitt review; many professionals completely agree with the sentiment, indeed many claim to have shared such concerns for years, but have not been able to act on them.  In terms of the future, the continued professionalisation of construction management, and site supervision, as well as, some of critical trades will be essential, but so will technology with information becoming more of a driver on site. The way buildings are managed and operated, both legally and technically, will change. The greater professionalisation and automation of construction will go hand-in-hand.  Professionals are going to have to demonstrate their skillsets more overtly and more regularly, particularly if they are working on high-risk projects. We, therefore, need to adopt a better process that allows us to identify those individuals who have providence and precision, and the necessary skills to do the job.    If we can move beyond the single-minded chasing of lowest capital cost to one of best value, then we can begin to see a world where everything else will start to change.  This will create a wide range of opportunities and economic benefits, and professionals will need to respond.  The idea of competence will then have changed. Visit www.cbuilde.com.
    May 20, 2019 137
  • 13 May 2019
    In the closing weeks of January 2019, the first two parts of a new international Building Information Modelling (BIM) standard were published. Providing the framework for managing information on collaborative projects, and forming part of ISO 19650, the frameworks cover areas including concepts, principles and asset delivery writes Stuart Bell, Sales and Marketing Director at Group BC. But although these newly international standards are set to refine the construction industry’s approach to work, what kind of obstacles are in the way of their adoption? What traction will the standards have in an industry which is already falling behind in terms of the education and adoption of supporting processes and technology? Undoubtedly, the UK’s current PAS 1192 suite has provided a solid framework for BIM Level 2 adoption in the UK. The UK is a trusted authority with over three years’ experience working to the PAS 1192 and is recognised globally as being at the forefront of Building Information Modelling. The recently released standard, BS EN ISO 19650, is an evolution of the PAS 1192 suite, except the new standard can now be adopted internationally, providing a common term of reference for approaches to design, construction and building operations. During a period of Brexit uncertainty, does this new International standard provide further opportunity for UK Construction Plc to export our skills and knowledge overseas? The international opportunity UK construction businesses that are working with or targeting overseas clients and project work should embrace the move towards the ISO. Given the maturity of UK BIM adoption to date, you could argue British companies are best placed to advise overseas clients and be the information management lead on projects. A universally accepted industry ‘language’ and ‘process approach’ (that has evolved from the level 2 standards) means less will be lost in translation and the time to value for clients on the benefits of BIM delivery approaches will be greatly increased. What are the implications? However, whilst the new ISO is set to refine building standards, some are concerned the changes will only cause further polarisation between the early adopters who fully embrace BIM and those that are still catching up, uncertain of the application and benefits of BIM to their businesses. It could be argued that large tier one consultants and contractors have stolen a march over SME’s in terms of BIM Level 2 adoption, being better placed to secure positions on public sector frameworks and having the available finances to invest in training and technology. Inevitably, as the pace of technology innovation and standard’s evolution accelerates and outstrips the pace of industry’s digital transformation, some businesses are at risk of being left behind. Evidence suggests that the worst adopted are businesses in the construction supply chain that are responsible for a significant proportion of the physical construction work. For this reason, if we want to deliver real transformational change, we must ensure all BIM (systems and technology) is accessible to all. Education is the key Understanding the business case for change, and educating companies on the benefits of process driven technology is now fundamental. To increase adoption, continual education is the key to recognising the benefits of BIM and the wider change it will deliver to clients and the supply chain alike. BIM is not a technology or a solution - it is a holistic approach to collaborative working that drives benefits to all project participants. It provides a standardised framework to monitor performance across a built asset’s entire lifecycle, from initial design, through construction to real-time operation. It ensures data is consistently captured, approved and retained to support better decision making at every stage of the capital phase as well as operational occupancy/asset use. Thus, the benefits of this approach must be articulated with this in mind. BIM shouldn’t be viewed as another tax on the industry borne out of the maintenance of standards and regulatory controls; it is a real enabler for change for a marginal industry that has historically been slow to adapt and evolve. Educating companies on the standards are equally as important as BIM itself. As a matter of course, clients want to access trusted, reliable and secure digital information regarding their physical assets. Adopting standards ensures that contractors, consultants and lead designers can offer their clients consistency in delivery approach and, with that consistency, a better designed and delivered product. At the same time, those companies embracing the standards have an opportunity to develop competitive differentiation and better position themselves to win more work. At a time where the industry is under enormous pressure to deliver projects to stringent affordability criteria, attain carbon targets and meet tight construction deadlines, solutions which drive increased efficiency and quality are a must. ISO 19650 is a more unified, transferable standard which will help companies adopt a straightforward approach to managing information on digital platforms and across international boundaries. However, whilst the new standard provides a solid framework for improved project and asset information management, there needs to be continual education to encourage industry-wide BIM adoption from large tier one contractors and consultants down to regional trade contractors. In doing so, we will see a more significant step change in approach and delivered value. Only then might the construction industry be viewed as progressive rather than polarised and primitive in terms of its technology adoption. Visit: https://www.groupbc.com/
    211 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In the closing weeks of January 2019, the first two parts of a new international Building Information Modelling (BIM) standard were published. Providing the framework for managing information on collaborative projects, and forming part of ISO 19650, the frameworks cover areas including concepts, principles and asset delivery writes Stuart Bell, Sales and Marketing Director at Group BC. But although these newly international standards are set to refine the construction industry’s approach to work, what kind of obstacles are in the way of their adoption? What traction will the standards have in an industry which is already falling behind in terms of the education and adoption of supporting processes and technology? Undoubtedly, the UK’s current PAS 1192 suite has provided a solid framework for BIM Level 2 adoption in the UK. The UK is a trusted authority with over three years’ experience working to the PAS 1192 and is recognised globally as being at the forefront of Building Information Modelling. The recently released standard, BS EN ISO 19650, is an evolution of the PAS 1192 suite, except the new standard can now be adopted internationally, providing a common term of reference for approaches to design, construction and building operations. During a period of Brexit uncertainty, does this new International standard provide further opportunity for UK Construction Plc to export our skills and knowledge overseas? The international opportunity UK construction businesses that are working with or targeting overseas clients and project work should embrace the move towards the ISO. Given the maturity of UK BIM adoption to date, you could argue British companies are best placed to advise overseas clients and be the information management lead on projects. A universally accepted industry ‘language’ and ‘process approach’ (that has evolved from the level 2 standards) means less will be lost in translation and the time to value for clients on the benefits of BIM delivery approaches will be greatly increased. What are the implications? However, whilst the new ISO is set to refine building standards, some are concerned the changes will only cause further polarisation between the early adopters who fully embrace BIM and those that are still catching up, uncertain of the application and benefits of BIM to their businesses. It could be argued that large tier one consultants and contractors have stolen a march over SME’s in terms of BIM Level 2 adoption, being better placed to secure positions on public sector frameworks and having the available finances to invest in training and technology. Inevitably, as the pace of technology innovation and standard’s evolution accelerates and outstrips the pace of industry’s digital transformation, some businesses are at risk of being left behind. Evidence suggests that the worst adopted are businesses in the construction supply chain that are responsible for a significant proportion of the physical construction work. For this reason, if we want to deliver real transformational change, we must ensure all BIM (systems and technology) is accessible to all. Education is the key Understanding the business case for change, and educating companies on the benefits of process driven technology is now fundamental. To increase adoption, continual education is the key to recognising the benefits of BIM and the wider change it will deliver to clients and the supply chain alike. BIM is not a technology or a solution - it is a holistic approach to collaborative working that drives benefits to all project participants. It provides a standardised framework to monitor performance across a built asset’s entire lifecycle, from initial design, through construction to real-time operation. It ensures data is consistently captured, approved and retained to support better decision making at every stage of the capital phase as well as operational occupancy/asset use. Thus, the benefits of this approach must be articulated with this in mind. BIM shouldn’t be viewed as another tax on the industry borne out of the maintenance of standards and regulatory controls; it is a real enabler for change for a marginal industry that has historically been slow to adapt and evolve. Educating companies on the standards are equally as important as BIM itself. As a matter of course, clients want to access trusted, reliable and secure digital information regarding their physical assets. Adopting standards ensures that contractors, consultants and lead designers can offer their clients consistency in delivery approach and, with that consistency, a better designed and delivered product. At the same time, those companies embracing the standards have an opportunity to develop competitive differentiation and better position themselves to win more work. At a time where the industry is under enormous pressure to deliver projects to stringent affordability criteria, attain carbon targets and meet tight construction deadlines, solutions which drive increased efficiency and quality are a must. ISO 19650 is a more unified, transferable standard which will help companies adopt a straightforward approach to managing information on digital platforms and across international boundaries. However, whilst the new standard provides a solid framework for improved project and asset information management, there needs to be continual education to encourage industry-wide BIM adoption from large tier one contractors and consultants down to regional trade contractors. In doing so, we will see a more significant step change in approach and delivered value. Only then might the construction industry be viewed as progressive rather than polarised and primitive in terms of its technology adoption. Visit: https://www.groupbc.com/
    May 13, 2019 211
  • 10 May 2019
    Construction is a very perplexing business where many different stakeholders, tools and equipment are involved in every step along the way. In that sense, it comes as no surprise that the industry is continuously struggling with low productivity, budget overruns and costly delays. The emergence of digital technologies in the course of the last two decades has started to change things for the better but there is still a long way to go before we can claim that construction has managed to become fully-digitised. Lack of trust on contractual relations and the undisputed power of habit are two of the main factors which hinder the digital transformation of the building sector so far. It goes without saying that all the parameters described above have a strong impact on the plan of every construction project. Real-time communication is probably the number one challenge as many project agents end up to work on outdated versions of the plan due to the lack of a simple way to share and receive the latest updates from the site. The problem is that every construction project is a chain of tasks, specifications and deadlines. Even the slightest alteration on the programme (eg. a two-day delay on the delivery of on-site materials) can bring a project weeks or months behind the initial schedule resulting in considerable financial and resource losses. Keeping all that in mind, we did our research and present to you below five powerful tips that will help you stay on top of your plan in construction: 1. Invest in standardisation Adding clarity to all the systems and processes that you are using both on the field and the office is extremely important for your effort to keep your project under control. The earlier you implement such an approach the easier it will be for every member of your team to follow the agreed plan. Standardisation in a project can be achieved in a number of ways. For example, using the same type of equipment in every project of following the same process when it comes to reporting from the field can help you monitor easier if everything goes according to the plan. Especially if this process has been replicated in previous projects, you will already have some substantial benchmarks which can effortlessly show you whether there are any threats for the smooth development of your project. Given the increasing momentum of prefabrication and modularisation, it is quickly understandable that investing in standardisation can have a positive influence on the future development of your company, too. 2. Implement software early in the process Once all your processes are in place, it’s time to implement software in your project. There are many types of digital solutions where you can choose from. In any case, there is one parameter that you should always consider a must. That is the ability of your new tool to interact. It is of paramount importance that all project agents can effortlessly exchange updates, documents or photos from the site. On top of that, all members of your team should have access to real-time overview of your project’s progress. The existence of a single source of truth can make a big difference for the development of your project as it will decrease misunderstandings to a great extent. Of course, the implementation of a new digital tool can be received with skepticism in the beginning so you want to start the roll out as early as possible in order to give your workers time to work with the tool and explore the features and possibilities that it offers. 3. Learn by your data One of the most valuable services that construction software can provide to you in order to stay on top of your plan is data. These precious pieces of information can reveal a lot about the progress of your project and warn you on time if your programme isn’t going as expected. Moreover, data can be the groundwork on which you can build your future tasks and projects as it can point out the areas where you should improve. Data can also play a decisive role in resolving disputes on and off site offering an objective representation of what’s happening in the project. In other words, a data-driven plan equals to higher accountability and more precise overview of the construction process. In the long run, this can be the key for a healthy project with low rework rates, increased productivity and a good connection between the office and the construction site. 4. Hold regular meetings with your team Construction software can help a lot with bridging the gap between the boardroom and the field but this doesn’t mean that you should remain proactive and willing to meet all members of your team on a regular basis. The best way to achieve this is by holding frequent update meetings with your team. These meetings should be the time where all your co-workers can voice their concerns, discuss any problems that they might face and ask for advice. In the same sense, it’s a good opportunity for you to provide guidance and give constructive feedback. This exchange of updates and opinions can eventually result in a better coordinated project where everyone remains at the same page and feels part of the team. Such an approach will greatly increase your chances for a successful project with no delays and clear communication. 5. Replicate the process in future projects In the long term, being able to replicate the same process in your future projects is the safest way to remain on top of your plan in construction. Through repetition, the development of a project can become much faster and efficiently. Everyone will have a good grasp of what it is expected by them and how they should complete their tasks. Without a doubt, this will lead to a smoother project process with fewer miscommunications and substantially less waste. In addition, due to the high standardisation of the entire procedure it will be much faster for your team to detect mistakes or areas which could hinder the progress of your project. Final word Wrapping it all up, staying on top of your plan in construction is always a challenge. Nevertheless, with the right processes and systems in place it can be much easier to retain control over multiple projects and connect the site to the office in real time eliminating budget overruns and project delays. About the author: Anastasios Koutsogiannis is Content Marketing Manager at LetsBuild (formerly GenieBelt).    
    207 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Construction is a very perplexing business where many different stakeholders, tools and equipment are involved in every step along the way. In that sense, it comes as no surprise that the industry is continuously struggling with low productivity, budget overruns and costly delays. The emergence of digital technologies in the course of the last two decades has started to change things for the better but there is still a long way to go before we can claim that construction has managed to become fully-digitised. Lack of trust on contractual relations and the undisputed power of habit are two of the main factors which hinder the digital transformation of the building sector so far. It goes without saying that all the parameters described above have a strong impact on the plan of every construction project. Real-time communication is probably the number one challenge as many project agents end up to work on outdated versions of the plan due to the lack of a simple way to share and receive the latest updates from the site. The problem is that every construction project is a chain of tasks, specifications and deadlines. Even the slightest alteration on the programme (eg. a two-day delay on the delivery of on-site materials) can bring a project weeks or months behind the initial schedule resulting in considerable financial and resource losses. Keeping all that in mind, we did our research and present to you below five powerful tips that will help you stay on top of your plan in construction: 1. Invest in standardisation Adding clarity to all the systems and processes that you are using both on the field and the office is extremely important for your effort to keep your project under control. The earlier you implement such an approach the easier it will be for every member of your team to follow the agreed plan. Standardisation in a project can be achieved in a number of ways. For example, using the same type of equipment in every project of following the same process when it comes to reporting from the field can help you monitor easier if everything goes according to the plan. Especially if this process has been replicated in previous projects, you will already have some substantial benchmarks which can effortlessly show you whether there are any threats for the smooth development of your project. Given the increasing momentum of prefabrication and modularisation, it is quickly understandable that investing in standardisation can have a positive influence on the future development of your company, too. 2. Implement software early in the process Once all your processes are in place, it’s time to implement software in your project. There are many types of digital solutions where you can choose from. In any case, there is one parameter that you should always consider a must. That is the ability of your new tool to interact. It is of paramount importance that all project agents can effortlessly exchange updates, documents or photos from the site. On top of that, all members of your team should have access to real-time overview of your project’s progress. The existence of a single source of truth can make a big difference for the development of your project as it will decrease misunderstandings to a great extent. Of course, the implementation of a new digital tool can be received with skepticism in the beginning so you want to start the roll out as early as possible in order to give your workers time to work with the tool and explore the features and possibilities that it offers. 3. Learn by your data One of the most valuable services that construction software can provide to you in order to stay on top of your plan is data. These precious pieces of information can reveal a lot about the progress of your project and warn you on time if your programme isn’t going as expected. Moreover, data can be the groundwork on which you can build your future tasks and projects as it can point out the areas where you should improve. Data can also play a decisive role in resolving disputes on and off site offering an objective representation of what’s happening in the project. In other words, a data-driven plan equals to higher accountability and more precise overview of the construction process. In the long run, this can be the key for a healthy project with low rework rates, increased productivity and a good connection between the office and the construction site. 4. Hold regular meetings with your team Construction software can help a lot with bridging the gap between the boardroom and the field but this doesn’t mean that you should remain proactive and willing to meet all members of your team on a regular basis. The best way to achieve this is by holding frequent update meetings with your team. These meetings should be the time where all your co-workers can voice their concerns, discuss any problems that they might face and ask for advice. In the same sense, it’s a good opportunity for you to provide guidance and give constructive feedback. This exchange of updates and opinions can eventually result in a better coordinated project where everyone remains at the same page and feels part of the team. Such an approach will greatly increase your chances for a successful project with no delays and clear communication. 5. Replicate the process in future projects In the long term, being able to replicate the same process in your future projects is the safest way to remain on top of your plan in construction. Through repetition, the development of a project can become much faster and efficiently. Everyone will have a good grasp of what it is expected by them and how they should complete their tasks. Without a doubt, this will lead to a smoother project process with fewer miscommunications and substantially less waste. In addition, due to the high standardisation of the entire procedure it will be much faster for your team to detect mistakes or areas which could hinder the progress of your project. Final word Wrapping it all up, staying on top of your plan in construction is always a challenge. Nevertheless, with the right processes and systems in place it can be much easier to retain control over multiple projects and connect the site to the office in real time eliminating budget overruns and project delays. About the author: Anastasios Koutsogiannis is Content Marketing Manager at LetsBuild (formerly GenieBelt).    
    May 10, 2019 207
  • 10 May 2019
    Even though every business operates in a different way, in most cases, the commercial office has transformed into a contemporary working environment where employees no longer sit in the same seat for eight hours a day writes Genghis Akay at Planet Partitioning. Instead people are more mobile; transitioning between office locations on an hourly basis depending on the nature of the tasks at hand. In part, this change has been fuelled by the advent of agile working. With the agile workplace leading to changes in interior design, how can designers create workspaces which strike the fine chord between open, collaborative zones and more secluded areas where confidential meetings can take place? Agile working: the basics The definition of agile working is broad and wide-ranging. It exists as both an ideology and a practical approach to working, and can pertain to either flexible working or co-working zones within office areas. One element that is for certain is that agile working has been steadily on the increase over the past few years. Made fashionable by the likes of global co-working organisation, We Work, agile working not only enables employees to be flexible, it avoids long-term lease commitments and reinforces a working culture based on collaboration and community. As agile working is now a common component of the way businesses are run, it is changing the way contemporary commercial office spaces are designed and occupied. And with more and more companies requiring design schemes which enhance the employee health, satisfaction and productivity that agile working enables, there are now greater demands on design companies to satisfy these needs. Creating co-working spaces As indicated above, agile working is an umbrella topic housing a multitude of different ideas and methods. However, the strands of agile working relevant to designers creating office spaces include flexible working and co-working spaces. Flexible working is itself a large topic, but can be commonly interpreted as a style of working which allows employees to move to different locations; to either squeeze in a doctor’s appointment or to feel more motivated in a secluded area. Conversely, co-working spaces are mostly to do with improving cross-collaboration and communication between teams. It could be a collaborative bench space, a breakout space with soft seating for brainstorms or relaxing, or a touchdown space which people passing through can use as a base to log-on and recharge. Either way, each space should be designed to suit the different tasks employees undertake. Glass is the answer When designing the layout of an office, it’s imperative to get the balance right between collaborative and open agile spaces and the more enclosed quieter areas which give people their own territory. Glass office partitioning enables a design team to create a layout that provides privacy without compromising flexible working. The use of glass partitioning, and glass doors which can offer exceptional acoustic performance, gives the designer the tools to create secure areas which can be used for sensitive or confidential discussions, still offering visibility. These partition panels can also be tinted, with special films designed to ensure screen privacy without jeopardising the overall flow of the space. Excellent spatial planning is crucial in co-working spaces, where employees are filtering in and out throughout the working day. Due to this high amount of traffic, co-working spaces should be designed to be secure and acoustically sound. To maintain an open, agile aesthetic without compromising safety, high-performance glass sliding doors are great design considerations that hit the mark on visuals and practicalities. With a soft, soundless open-and-close function which maintains acoustic comfort, glass sliding doors are elegant, effortless design solutions perfect for agile working environments where user-comfort and maximising usable space is fundamental. Furthermore, full height, demountable glazed partitions can be used to create small booths or informal meeting rooms for the optimum co-working environment. What is more, demountable glass partitions can be easily removed, which in turn reduces the cost implications for future alterations. A staple of modern office design, the industrial-look has swept through commercial co-working spaces, creating spaces which employees feel motivated to work in. Considering employees move to different working environments as a way to boost productivity, it is crucial to have an attractive design motif which inspires them to work.   Agile working is here to stay; therefore it is crucial for designers to create office environments which complement this approach to work. By selecting pioneering design solutions such as glass partitioning, companies ensure they devise agile working environments which hit the right note when it comes to elegance and function.   Visit www.planetpartitioning.co.uk
    122 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Even though every business operates in a different way, in most cases, the commercial office has transformed into a contemporary working environment where employees no longer sit in the same seat for eight hours a day writes Genghis Akay at Planet Partitioning. Instead people are more mobile; transitioning between office locations on an hourly basis depending on the nature of the tasks at hand. In part, this change has been fuelled by the advent of agile working. With the agile workplace leading to changes in interior design, how can designers create workspaces which strike the fine chord between open, collaborative zones and more secluded areas where confidential meetings can take place? Agile working: the basics The definition of agile working is broad and wide-ranging. It exists as both an ideology and a practical approach to working, and can pertain to either flexible working or co-working zones within office areas. One element that is for certain is that agile working has been steadily on the increase over the past few years. Made fashionable by the likes of global co-working organisation, We Work, agile working not only enables employees to be flexible, it avoids long-term lease commitments and reinforces a working culture based on collaboration and community. As agile working is now a common component of the way businesses are run, it is changing the way contemporary commercial office spaces are designed and occupied. And with more and more companies requiring design schemes which enhance the employee health, satisfaction and productivity that agile working enables, there are now greater demands on design companies to satisfy these needs. Creating co-working spaces As indicated above, agile working is an umbrella topic housing a multitude of different ideas and methods. However, the strands of agile working relevant to designers creating office spaces include flexible working and co-working spaces. Flexible working is itself a large topic, but can be commonly interpreted as a style of working which allows employees to move to different locations; to either squeeze in a doctor’s appointment or to feel more motivated in a secluded area. Conversely, co-working spaces are mostly to do with improving cross-collaboration and communication between teams. It could be a collaborative bench space, a breakout space with soft seating for brainstorms or relaxing, or a touchdown space which people passing through can use as a base to log-on and recharge. Either way, each space should be designed to suit the different tasks employees undertake. Glass is the answer When designing the layout of an office, it’s imperative to get the balance right between collaborative and open agile spaces and the more enclosed quieter areas which give people their own territory. Glass office partitioning enables a design team to create a layout that provides privacy without compromising flexible working. The use of glass partitioning, and glass doors which can offer exceptional acoustic performance, gives the designer the tools to create secure areas which can be used for sensitive or confidential discussions, still offering visibility. These partition panels can also be tinted, with special films designed to ensure screen privacy without jeopardising the overall flow of the space. Excellent spatial planning is crucial in co-working spaces, where employees are filtering in and out throughout the working day. Due to this high amount of traffic, co-working spaces should be designed to be secure and acoustically sound. To maintain an open, agile aesthetic without compromising safety, high-performance glass sliding doors are great design considerations that hit the mark on visuals and practicalities. With a soft, soundless open-and-close function which maintains acoustic comfort, glass sliding doors are elegant, effortless design solutions perfect for agile working environments where user-comfort and maximising usable space is fundamental. Furthermore, full height, demountable glazed partitions can be used to create small booths or informal meeting rooms for the optimum co-working environment. What is more, demountable glass partitions can be easily removed, which in turn reduces the cost implications for future alterations. A staple of modern office design, the industrial-look has swept through commercial co-working spaces, creating spaces which employees feel motivated to work in. Considering employees move to different working environments as a way to boost productivity, it is crucial to have an attractive design motif which inspires them to work.   Agile working is here to stay; therefore it is crucial for designers to create office environments which complement this approach to work. By selecting pioneering design solutions such as glass partitioning, companies ensure they devise agile working environments which hit the right note when it comes to elegance and function.   Visit www.planetpartitioning.co.uk
    May 10, 2019 122
  • 03 May 2019
    There is one major factor, the elephant that is constantly in the room that dictates almost everything that happens in the construction industry – it is called the lowest possible price. It is frequently responsible for shoddy workmanship, poor building materials and more failures than anything else. It blights the construction industry, has done for decades and in spite of many good intentions, little has changed over the years and say Proteus, one of the country’s leading waterproofing companies, there are few signs that it ever will. Every part of our business is price led and this particularly applies to roofing and waterproofing – a vital component of every building, but frequently the poor relation, possibly because much of its work is mostly out of sight and not considered quite as glamorous or as cosmetic as other parts of a building such as cladding or balconies. Without the intervention of a strong architect or a contractor unwilling to compromise, cheap will nearly always win the day. Some 80% of all specifications are changed before buildings are completed with the phrase “or similar” constantly used as justification for changing products or systems. The fact is – or similar – does not quite cut it on every occasion. There is little policing or testing of substituted products prior to installation, just a strong acceptance that the chosen alternative will do the same job and will do it just as well. Most of the time, that will be the case, but there have been many examples where projects have failed because the alternative failed to match up. Nearly every construction professional will testify and give examples where cheaper alternatives have not offered the same longevity or performance, are often more difficult or less user friendly to install, which in turn, totally negates any upfront cost savings. Proteus Waterproofing, like most companies in this sector of the roofing market, offer value for money lower cost systems for buildings where a reduced performance is more than acceptable. However, their experience has shown that some customers are still prepared to accept lower cost alternatives even when the project demands that they should be trading up to take into account increased longevity and performance. A small increase in material costs can make a huge difference, but it could then be the choice of losing that project to a competitor if the building owner or specialist contractor is determined to go down the cheapest route. Yes, the building will be waterproof for 10 or more years but it could have been much longer with a better high performance product. Built up felt systems are a classic example of this. Choose a top of the range elastomeric, professionally installed and it can deliver up to 40 years or more of useful life. Start to come down the range and you begin to lose that performance Proteus Waterproofing say they will always recommend the best system for the job and like everyone else are very aware of budget constraints but often there is so little in price to consider, especially when looked at over the whole life of the building that it seems wrong to go for cheaper alternatives. You cannot really blame the manufacturers or contractors. These are the ground rules where the lowest possible price is still the system of choice. Will it ever change – sadly no – unless there is draconian new legislation and with Grenfell still fresh in everyone’s mind – that may yet happen. Visit: www.proteuswaterproofing.co.uk
    242 Posted by Talk. Build
  • There is one major factor, the elephant that is constantly in the room that dictates almost everything that happens in the construction industry – it is called the lowest possible price. It is frequently responsible for shoddy workmanship, poor building materials and more failures than anything else. It blights the construction industry, has done for decades and in spite of many good intentions, little has changed over the years and say Proteus, one of the country’s leading waterproofing companies, there are few signs that it ever will. Every part of our business is price led and this particularly applies to roofing and waterproofing – a vital component of every building, but frequently the poor relation, possibly because much of its work is mostly out of sight and not considered quite as glamorous or as cosmetic as other parts of a building such as cladding or balconies. Without the intervention of a strong architect or a contractor unwilling to compromise, cheap will nearly always win the day. Some 80% of all specifications are changed before buildings are completed with the phrase “or similar” constantly used as justification for changing products or systems. The fact is – or similar – does not quite cut it on every occasion. There is little policing or testing of substituted products prior to installation, just a strong acceptance that the chosen alternative will do the same job and will do it just as well. Most of the time, that will be the case, but there have been many examples where projects have failed because the alternative failed to match up. Nearly every construction professional will testify and give examples where cheaper alternatives have not offered the same longevity or performance, are often more difficult or less user friendly to install, which in turn, totally negates any upfront cost savings. Proteus Waterproofing, like most companies in this sector of the roofing market, offer value for money lower cost systems for buildings where a reduced performance is more than acceptable. However, their experience has shown that some customers are still prepared to accept lower cost alternatives even when the project demands that they should be trading up to take into account increased longevity and performance. A small increase in material costs can make a huge difference, but it could then be the choice of losing that project to a competitor if the building owner or specialist contractor is determined to go down the cheapest route. Yes, the building will be waterproof for 10 or more years but it could have been much longer with a better high performance product. Built up felt systems are a classic example of this. Choose a top of the range elastomeric, professionally installed and it can deliver up to 40 years or more of useful life. Start to come down the range and you begin to lose that performance Proteus Waterproofing say they will always recommend the best system for the job and like everyone else are very aware of budget constraints but often there is so little in price to consider, especially when looked at over the whole life of the building that it seems wrong to go for cheaper alternatives. You cannot really blame the manufacturers or contractors. These are the ground rules where the lowest possible price is still the system of choice. Will it ever change – sadly no – unless there is draconian new legislation and with Grenfell still fresh in everyone’s mind – that may yet happen. Visit: www.proteuswaterproofing.co.uk
    May 03, 2019 242
  • 01 May 2019
    The UK’s media well documents the housing crisis we have dealt with in recent years. However, could the problem be solved by the rise of garden villages? Arbordeck, suppliers of plastic decking, take a look at the regional implications which these villages could have and what these villages could look like for new buyers. What is a garden village? The term garden village represents a brownfield land that has been used to create housing for new communities. They are usually smaller projects and can contain from 1,500 to 10,000 homes. Often, garden villages have their own facilities — such as schools, shops and transport stations — which makes this type of living space perfect for families and first-time buyers looking to lead the picture-perfect life. New communities living here establish their own identity and rules, meaning there is no definitive way to describe garden villages. However, there are a few ways to identify them. They must be a settlement outside of an existing town or city and not closely attached. The British government is currently supporting 17 locations around the country, with £6 million expected to go towards funding 14 new garden villages and £1.4 million to support three garden towns (which are similar to garden villages, only larger). What are the regional implications? With garden towns and villages supplying Britain with over 50,000 homes, there will be a rise in the need of manual work due to large development projects. This will help to boost the economy, as it will provide people with more jobs in the area. Also, as people will be buying new homes, these regions will become more populated. There is a popular misconception that this will put a strain on the resources of current residents nearby, such as school places for their children and obtaining doctor appointments. However, this is not the case, as garden villages are built with their own facilities including schools and general practices. In turn, this will also create more jobs in the area of development. Garden villages are usually built with their own transport links for easy commuting in and out of the area, although more traffic on the roads could be a problem. What will these garden villages look like? Due to garden villages being built on brownfield areas, there will be a lot of greenery in the vicinity of the new builds and this will include garden spaces of their own.  With everything looking brand new, there will be a need for updated garden furniture and other outdoor products — but what are the current trends? One such trend is the increased popularity of hot tubs, whether you’re renting or buying. Over the past few years, it seems like more and more people are purchasing hot tubs for their gardens. In North Wales, a businessman has even had to double the size of his hot tub showroom this year to keep up with demand! These are a great addition to any garden, especially if you have a rural view of the surrounding countryside. According to Andrew Hartley, research director at market research company, AMA, garden buildings including sunhouses have “high potential growth” in the industry. Sunhouses are great for maximising your garden space and creating an extra room for your family without having to pay for an expensive house extension. Typically, these are small and easy to fit into your garden with enough room for a few chairs and a table to unwind with drinks and food. Sunhouses infuse your garden with character and are excellent refuges for reading, relaxing and socialising, so these are ideal for new garden village homes. Another big trend in gardening currently is having an artificial lawn. Slashing the time we have to spend maintaining our outdoor spaces and beautiful to look at from season to season, fake grass is a high-demand gardening commodity. If you’ve decked much of your back garden, you can add colour by creating a small space of artificial grass on the ground level, or putting a full artificial lawn at the front of your home that you don’t have to keep weeding and watering.  Likewise, lighting is another outdoor feature that’s big for people setting up new homes. From hanging Chinese lanterns between decking posts to placing LED fairy lights into vintage jam jars, how you illuminate your garden is going to be in focus. Speaking of vintage, garden furniture is set to head back in time when it comes to design and textures. We’ll see more natural, traditional materials used for tables and chairs — such as teak and rattan — to create a more rustic look, as well as a rise in woven and crochet techniques for the retro effect. Needless to say, garden village homeowners will have a lot of inspiration for their green spaces. With the rise of garden villages set to alleviate the pressures of the housing crisis in the UK, it’s potentially a huge boost for families, communities and the entire UK economy, even though there are a few points for concern. Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/02/new-garden-towns-villages-provide-200000-homes-ease-housing http://www.dailymail.co.uk/property/article-4087946/What-garden-village-welcome-one-nearby.html https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2517967/garden-villages-towns-what-where-why https://www.insidermedia.com/insider/wales/hot-tub-company-doubles-in-size-with-new-showroom https://www.chesneys.co.uk/outdoor/heat-collection/the-heat-collection-of-barbecue-heaters/heat-500
    217 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The UK’s media well documents the housing crisis we have dealt with in recent years. However, could the problem be solved by the rise of garden villages? Arbordeck, suppliers of plastic decking, take a look at the regional implications which these villages could have and what these villages could look like for new buyers. What is a garden village? The term garden village represents a brownfield land that has been used to create housing for new communities. They are usually smaller projects and can contain from 1,500 to 10,000 homes. Often, garden villages have their own facilities — such as schools, shops and transport stations — which makes this type of living space perfect for families and first-time buyers looking to lead the picture-perfect life. New communities living here establish their own identity and rules, meaning there is no definitive way to describe garden villages. However, there are a few ways to identify them. They must be a settlement outside of an existing town or city and not closely attached. The British government is currently supporting 17 locations around the country, with £6 million expected to go towards funding 14 new garden villages and £1.4 million to support three garden towns (which are similar to garden villages, only larger). What are the regional implications? With garden towns and villages supplying Britain with over 50,000 homes, there will be a rise in the need of manual work due to large development projects. This will help to boost the economy, as it will provide people with more jobs in the area. Also, as people will be buying new homes, these regions will become more populated. There is a popular misconception that this will put a strain on the resources of current residents nearby, such as school places for their children and obtaining doctor appointments. However, this is not the case, as garden villages are built with their own facilities including schools and general practices. In turn, this will also create more jobs in the area of development. Garden villages are usually built with their own transport links for easy commuting in and out of the area, although more traffic on the roads could be a problem. What will these garden villages look like? Due to garden villages being built on brownfield areas, there will be a lot of greenery in the vicinity of the new builds and this will include garden spaces of their own.  With everything looking brand new, there will be a need for updated garden furniture and other outdoor products — but what are the current trends? One such trend is the increased popularity of hot tubs, whether you’re renting or buying. Over the past few years, it seems like more and more people are purchasing hot tubs for their gardens. In North Wales, a businessman has even had to double the size of his hot tub showroom this year to keep up with demand! These are a great addition to any garden, especially if you have a rural view of the surrounding countryside. According to Andrew Hartley, research director at market research company, AMA, garden buildings including sunhouses have “high potential growth” in the industry. Sunhouses are great for maximising your garden space and creating an extra room for your family without having to pay for an expensive house extension. Typically, these are small and easy to fit into your garden with enough room for a few chairs and a table to unwind with drinks and food. Sunhouses infuse your garden with character and are excellent refuges for reading, relaxing and socialising, so these are ideal for new garden village homes. Another big trend in gardening currently is having an artificial lawn. Slashing the time we have to spend maintaining our outdoor spaces and beautiful to look at from season to season, fake grass is a high-demand gardening commodity. If you’ve decked much of your back garden, you can add colour by creating a small space of artificial grass on the ground level, or putting a full artificial lawn at the front of your home that you don’t have to keep weeding and watering.  Likewise, lighting is another outdoor feature that’s big for people setting up new homes. From hanging Chinese lanterns between decking posts to placing LED fairy lights into vintage jam jars, how you illuminate your garden is going to be in focus. Speaking of vintage, garden furniture is set to head back in time when it comes to design and textures. We’ll see more natural, traditional materials used for tables and chairs — such as teak and rattan — to create a more rustic look, as well as a rise in woven and crochet techniques for the retro effect. Needless to say, garden village homeowners will have a lot of inspiration for their green spaces. With the rise of garden villages set to alleviate the pressures of the housing crisis in the UK, it’s potentially a huge boost for families, communities and the entire UK economy, even though there are a few points for concern. Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/02/new-garden-towns-villages-provide-200000-homes-ease-housing http://www.dailymail.co.uk/property/article-4087946/What-garden-village-welcome-one-nearby.html https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2517967/garden-villages-towns-what-where-why https://www.insidermedia.com/insider/wales/hot-tub-company-doubles-in-size-with-new-showroom https://www.chesneys.co.uk/outdoor/heat-collection/the-heat-collection-of-barbecue-heaters/heat-500
    May 01, 2019 217
  • 18 Apr 2019
    Technology is evolving through all work sectors, and in particular, it is streamlining construction processes. As software offers ways to gain and store data for projects, and hardware is developed to pick up basic tasks such as bricklaying, concern has been rising over how much longer the human element will be needed in the workplace. Here with structure analysis software experts Oasys, we investigate what the future of builders holds. Worrying over technology taking over jobs It’s a common concern within the industry that technology will ‘steal’ jobs. Technology will not steal our jobs, but just replace us as we shift roles. But how will this impact the construction industry? To understand, we need to have an oversight on statistics that have been released regarding this issue. Boston Consulting Group has said that by 2025, up to a quarter of jobs will be replaced by smart software or robots. This includes a range of professions, from factory workers to doctors, and even journalists. However, a study carried out by Oxford University has said that 35% of existing jobs in Britain are at risk of automation in the next 20 years. There is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the reduction of physical workers, however. However, this can be challenged if we start preparing early and encourage current and future workers to adapt to the changes. This could include advancing their own skillset with a focus on how they can do their job better with the use of technology. How roles in construction are shifting With all the worries over technology taking jobs, there’s often little focus on the need to maintain this technology and the jobs that will create. It’s also left unmentioned that workers will need to use technology, and that leads us to the decision that in the construction industry, builders of the future will become programmers. Over the years, we have seen constant changes in the way we work, and the construction sector has been very accepting to new and innovative methods to make jobs easier. From hammers to nail guns, shovels to diggers — and now practical labour to programming. This isn’t a change that will happen rapidly though. Programming is a topic that schools around the UK should be looking to implement into their curriculums as a core subject to keep up with the demand of jobs and to keep up with the constant changes in technology. If we’re teaching young people old ways, they will be useless when it comes to doing the work and there might not even be jobs available that match their skillsets. With the constant growth in technology surrounding construction, young people need to be prepared with the skills and this shouldn’t be up for debate. Like the studies discussed earlier, more jobs are at risk of being lost due to smart software and robots. Workers need to be as good as the technology. Let’s consider this technology. When it comes to a common piece of software that is used in construction, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an element that can be beneficial, as it allows the appropriate people to access all of the information about a project in one place. It can look at key stages of a project across the lifecycle of a job and provide the information that is needed. This can save both time and money for any construction company and allows builders to have a clear oversight. BIM can help illustrate the entire building, from starting processes to its demolition, and can even show how materials can be reused. Technology is, in a way, taking over the workplace, but in order to maintain relevance in the industry, people must be willing to pick up new digital skills. Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-33327659 https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/19/robot-based-economy-san-francisco  
    285 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Technology is evolving through all work sectors, and in particular, it is streamlining construction processes. As software offers ways to gain and store data for projects, and hardware is developed to pick up basic tasks such as bricklaying, concern has been rising over how much longer the human element will be needed in the workplace. Here with structure analysis software experts Oasys, we investigate what the future of builders holds. Worrying over technology taking over jobs It’s a common concern within the industry that technology will ‘steal’ jobs. Technology will not steal our jobs, but just replace us as we shift roles. But how will this impact the construction industry? To understand, we need to have an oversight on statistics that have been released regarding this issue. Boston Consulting Group has said that by 2025, up to a quarter of jobs will be replaced by smart software or robots. This includes a range of professions, from factory workers to doctors, and even journalists. However, a study carried out by Oxford University has said that 35% of existing jobs in Britain are at risk of automation in the next 20 years. There is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the reduction of physical workers, however. However, this can be challenged if we start preparing early and encourage current and future workers to adapt to the changes. This could include advancing their own skillset with a focus on how they can do their job better with the use of technology. How roles in construction are shifting With all the worries over technology taking jobs, there’s often little focus on the need to maintain this technology and the jobs that will create. It’s also left unmentioned that workers will need to use technology, and that leads us to the decision that in the construction industry, builders of the future will become programmers. Over the years, we have seen constant changes in the way we work, and the construction sector has been very accepting to new and innovative methods to make jobs easier. From hammers to nail guns, shovels to diggers — and now practical labour to programming. This isn’t a change that will happen rapidly though. Programming is a topic that schools around the UK should be looking to implement into their curriculums as a core subject to keep up with the demand of jobs and to keep up with the constant changes in technology. If we’re teaching young people old ways, they will be useless when it comes to doing the work and there might not even be jobs available that match their skillsets. With the constant growth in technology surrounding construction, young people need to be prepared with the skills and this shouldn’t be up for debate. Like the studies discussed earlier, more jobs are at risk of being lost due to smart software and robots. Workers need to be as good as the technology. Let’s consider this technology. When it comes to a common piece of software that is used in construction, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an element that can be beneficial, as it allows the appropriate people to access all of the information about a project in one place. It can look at key stages of a project across the lifecycle of a job and provide the information that is needed. This can save both time and money for any construction company and allows builders to have a clear oversight. BIM can help illustrate the entire building, from starting processes to its demolition, and can even show how materials can be reused. Technology is, in a way, taking over the workplace, but in order to maintain relevance in the industry, people must be willing to pick up new digital skills. Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-33327659 https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/19/robot-based-economy-san-francisco  
    Apr 18, 2019 285
  • 16 Apr 2019
    Transparency is vital in order to maintain positive business relations and to ensure important payments are made without delay writes Matthew Jones. For this reason, it is crucial to have a robust but intuitive payment management system which keeps contractor and subcontractor finances above board and provides both parties with visibility of progress towards payment. Automated solutions such as Open ECX’s WebContractor takes control of key payment processes, improving subcontractors’ visibility of the status of their payment applications, for instance. This blog outlines how digital, straightforward applications for payment systems guarantee clearer visibility across business supply chains. Maintaining healthy business operation is at the top of every company’s agenda, particularly when finances are involved. In the past year, the construction industry has seen a great deal of change in terms of payment practices and the call for evidence. This change, in part, was accelerated by the collapse of Carillion in January 2018 which shocked both the construction industry and the UK at large. After investigation, the construction giant was known to have paid subcontractors up to 120 days late. Undoubtedly, such an event has had huge repercussions on the taxpayer, Caillion’s supply chain and its staff. Carillion’s collapse has even, in some cases, affected the amount of money UK banks loan to construction companies perhaps in fear of a similar occurence. What is the solution? It goes without doubt that an event such as the Carillion collapse cannot happen again. Even though its collapse is a stand-alone case, it still begs several questions on how and why payments were so late. But, moving forward, it is important to identify key solutions to prevent similar events from occuring. All contractors desire a risk-free environment in which their payment processes are rigorous, safe and reliable; such solutions allow contractors to be more organised and efficient with their payments, preventing any late payments from slipping beneath the surface. It is, therefore, crucial to implement innovative solutions which ensure payments can be traced, recorded and accessed accordingly. Open ECX’s WebContractor provides end-to-end management of applications for payment in construction, ensuring complete transparency and accessibility across the supply chain. It is a cloud-based portal for subcontractors to upload payment applications so contractors can manage payments more effectively. As the portal can be accessed anywhere, it is an efficient alternative to submitting paper-based documents or sending applications for payment by emails. Subcontractors upload and submit their applications anywhere and at any time – they aren’t restricted to their office but can complete payments onsite, at home or while travelling elsewhere. Using a system which ensures better visibility of payment applications safeguards businesses and removes risks or threats such as litigation. Timely and accurate submission of payment applications,  means faster processing of these by contractors.. In essence, a solution such as WebContractor removes all the loopholes that a company such as Carillion were able to eschew. It makes for an honest, healthier and more productive financial system beneficial to all parties involved. Visit www.openecx.co.uk  
    277 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Transparency is vital in order to maintain positive business relations and to ensure important payments are made without delay writes Matthew Jones. For this reason, it is crucial to have a robust but intuitive payment management system which keeps contractor and subcontractor finances above board and provides both parties with visibility of progress towards payment. Automated solutions such as Open ECX’s WebContractor takes control of key payment processes, improving subcontractors’ visibility of the status of their payment applications, for instance. This blog outlines how digital, straightforward applications for payment systems guarantee clearer visibility across business supply chains. Maintaining healthy business operation is at the top of every company’s agenda, particularly when finances are involved. In the past year, the construction industry has seen a great deal of change in terms of payment practices and the call for evidence. This change, in part, was accelerated by the collapse of Carillion in January 2018 which shocked both the construction industry and the UK at large. After investigation, the construction giant was known to have paid subcontractors up to 120 days late. Undoubtedly, such an event has had huge repercussions on the taxpayer, Caillion’s supply chain and its staff. Carillion’s collapse has even, in some cases, affected the amount of money UK banks loan to construction companies perhaps in fear of a similar occurence. What is the solution? It goes without doubt that an event such as the Carillion collapse cannot happen again. Even though its collapse is a stand-alone case, it still begs several questions on how and why payments were so late. But, moving forward, it is important to identify key solutions to prevent similar events from occuring. All contractors desire a risk-free environment in which their payment processes are rigorous, safe and reliable; such solutions allow contractors to be more organised and efficient with their payments, preventing any late payments from slipping beneath the surface. It is, therefore, crucial to implement innovative solutions which ensure payments can be traced, recorded and accessed accordingly. Open ECX’s WebContractor provides end-to-end management of applications for payment in construction, ensuring complete transparency and accessibility across the supply chain. It is a cloud-based portal for subcontractors to upload payment applications so contractors can manage payments more effectively. As the portal can be accessed anywhere, it is an efficient alternative to submitting paper-based documents or sending applications for payment by emails. Subcontractors upload and submit their applications anywhere and at any time – they aren’t restricted to their office but can complete payments onsite, at home or while travelling elsewhere. Using a system which ensures better visibility of payment applications safeguards businesses and removes risks or threats such as litigation. Timely and accurate submission of payment applications,  means faster processing of these by contractors.. In essence, a solution such as WebContractor removes all the loopholes that a company such as Carillion were able to eschew. It makes for an honest, healthier and more productive financial system beneficial to all parties involved. Visit www.openecx.co.uk  
    Apr 16, 2019 277