• 16 Sep 2017
    A proven all-rounder, mastic asphalt screed offers the versatility and speed of application that other more traditional cement screeds just can’t match.   With deadlines, timelines and budgetary issues taking centre stage on projects, it’s important to know there’s a screed which is always up for the challenge.  No matter what the application, a mastic asphalt screed will offer a stable and cost-effective base for all manner of waterproofing applications from green roofs to car parks. Made from selected bitumens, limestone filler and specially graded aggregates, its flexibility and fast curing time enable the applicator to achieve precise falls quickly and more efficiently, level out uneven substrates and provide a stable base for a specified roofing deck system. It’s designed for use on in-situ, pre-cast concrete bases, timber and plywood and is suitable for use below cold roofs, insulated warm roofs, inverted insulated roofs and all green roofs.  Furthermore, it is a proven solution in balcony, terrace applications as well as walkways, footbridges and car park/HGV service decks. It can receivemastic asphalt, felt systems, hot melt, liquid coatings and single-ply roofing. Busy building sites and inclement British weather may present an issue for some screeds, but in projects where a screed needs to be trafficked or overlaid quickly, mastic asphalt screed offers a rapid cooling process, a fast-track application and won’t impact on project timelines. This is because mastic asphalt has zero water content, which eliminates the time taken for moisture to evaporate in traditional screeds. Also, there is no risk of cement stained water getting into the underlying structure. With the screed thickness itself up to 80% less than traditional materials, it is also much lighter than conventional materials and ideal for both refurbishments and new builds. Available in three grades – light, medium and heavy - mastic asphalt screed can be supplied directly to site in purpose-built, hot-charge transporterscapable of holding 6 to 18 tonnes of material.  As an alternative, it is also available in block form for re-melting on site. When it comes to screeds, a contractor wants a solution that is reliable, simple to apply and is proven time and time again.  Mastic Asphalt screed does just that and is the flexible, versatile all-rounder that has the performance to match.   Visit: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/        
    460 Posted by Talk. Build
  • A proven all-rounder, mastic asphalt screed offers the versatility and speed of application that other more traditional cement screeds just can’t match.   With deadlines, timelines and budgetary issues taking centre stage on projects, it’s important to know there’s a screed which is always up for the challenge.  No matter what the application, a mastic asphalt screed will offer a stable and cost-effective base for all manner of waterproofing applications from green roofs to car parks. Made from selected bitumens, limestone filler and specially graded aggregates, its flexibility and fast curing time enable the applicator to achieve precise falls quickly and more efficiently, level out uneven substrates and provide a stable base for a specified roofing deck system. It’s designed for use on in-situ, pre-cast concrete bases, timber and plywood and is suitable for use below cold roofs, insulated warm roofs, inverted insulated roofs and all green roofs.  Furthermore, it is a proven solution in balcony, terrace applications as well as walkways, footbridges and car park/HGV service decks. It can receivemastic asphalt, felt systems, hot melt, liquid coatings and single-ply roofing. Busy building sites and inclement British weather may present an issue for some screeds, but in projects where a screed needs to be trafficked or overlaid quickly, mastic asphalt screed offers a rapid cooling process, a fast-track application and won’t impact on project timelines. This is because mastic asphalt has zero water content, which eliminates the time taken for moisture to evaporate in traditional screeds. Also, there is no risk of cement stained water getting into the underlying structure. With the screed thickness itself up to 80% less than traditional materials, it is also much lighter than conventional materials and ideal for both refurbishments and new builds. Available in three grades – light, medium and heavy - mastic asphalt screed can be supplied directly to site in purpose-built, hot-charge transporterscapable of holding 6 to 18 tonnes of material.  As an alternative, it is also available in block form for re-melting on site. When it comes to screeds, a contractor wants a solution that is reliable, simple to apply and is proven time and time again.  Mastic Asphalt screed does just that and is the flexible, versatile all-rounder that has the performance to match.   Visit: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/        
    Sep 16, 2017 460
  • 15 Sep 2017
    It’s a dilemma faced by all school-leavers and is one of the most important decisions of their lives – what to do next? They stand at the crossroads to their future, not knowing whether to take on the financial burden of three years at college or university, go straight into a job or look at a delay tactic such as a gap year. There is of course another option and one that is increasingly becoming a popular choice with over 900,000 people across the UK – an apprenticeship where they can earn while they learn. Apprenticeships come in many different shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common - a ladder of opportunity to a great career.  Apprenticeships are essentially structured training programmes which help young people gain the skills and knowledge to succeed in their chosen industry. Trainees gain an advantage as they are employed earlier and obtain a foothold in a good salary earlier in their life. In a bid to address the skills shortage in the aging construction industry, apprenticeships within the sector are on the up, as more and more young people realise there are a number of careers they can take up in the industry. For a company which is demonstrating its commitment to protecting the future of its workforce, Darren Evans Assessments has had tremendous success with apprentices employing a number of local young people and accessing funding for their role including training at college.    New school leaver Sophie Pine is an apprentice in business support at Darren Evans and is studying towards her Business Administration Apprenticeship at SGS Filton College.  She says her first job was always going to be a big change, but she didn’t find it a stressful experience, far from it.  “I definitely think getting an apprenticeship was the best decision as I prefer coming to work every morning than going to school. I also enjoy what I do every day and the advantage is that I am learning and gaining experience at the same time.” “I find the construction industry interesting because it has opened my eyes and has made me more aware of things that I wasn’t aware of before. There is also a lot of scope within this field, as people will always need the services we provide,” said Sophie. Sophie is also a prime example of how younger women can gain a foothold in the male-dominated construction sector. Fellow apprentice Oliver Janes is also reaping the benefits of an apprenticeship at the firm, whilst studying Business Administration one day a week at SGS Filton College.  “When I joined Darren Evans Assessments I didn’t really have much of an idea about the industry, however, since joining my knowledge has grown and constantly does so. I like that this is a competitive industry and that as a company we are thriving,” said Oliver. Commenting on the school-to-work transition, Oliver added, “I feel the change in my life from school to office has been really good and I enjoy the working life. I have learned so many different things since starting at Darren Evans, from administrative tasks such as invoices, to undertaking SAPs and EPCs within the technical team. “Six months ago I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do to start my career or where I was going to go to start it. However, since working at Darren Evans, they have given me the opportunity to improve myself and also help me get an understanding in what I want to do for the foreseeable future,” he said. Michelle Clark, Office/HR Manager said: “Offering Sophie and Ollie an apprenticeship has given Darren Evans Assessments a chance to play an active role in moulding our future workforce and creating the future skills that we need to help our business grow.  I am so proud to be part of watching Sophie and Ollie grow into young professionals whilst gaining a recognised qualification at college.  They have both settled into the world of work, are enthusiastic and an asset to our company already.”  The benefit to the business is clear: Darren Evan Assessments is able to place people in the company who it knows to be experienced, competent and can hit the ground running. These apprenticeships are seen as a positive choice for young people. Visit: http://www.darren-evans.co.uk/
    468 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It’s a dilemma faced by all school-leavers and is one of the most important decisions of their lives – what to do next? They stand at the crossroads to their future, not knowing whether to take on the financial burden of three years at college or university, go straight into a job or look at a delay tactic such as a gap year. There is of course another option and one that is increasingly becoming a popular choice with over 900,000 people across the UK – an apprenticeship where they can earn while they learn. Apprenticeships come in many different shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common - a ladder of opportunity to a great career.  Apprenticeships are essentially structured training programmes which help young people gain the skills and knowledge to succeed in their chosen industry. Trainees gain an advantage as they are employed earlier and obtain a foothold in a good salary earlier in their life. In a bid to address the skills shortage in the aging construction industry, apprenticeships within the sector are on the up, as more and more young people realise there are a number of careers they can take up in the industry. For a company which is demonstrating its commitment to protecting the future of its workforce, Darren Evans Assessments has had tremendous success with apprentices employing a number of local young people and accessing funding for their role including training at college.    New school leaver Sophie Pine is an apprentice in business support at Darren Evans and is studying towards her Business Administration Apprenticeship at SGS Filton College.  She says her first job was always going to be a big change, but she didn’t find it a stressful experience, far from it.  “I definitely think getting an apprenticeship was the best decision as I prefer coming to work every morning than going to school. I also enjoy what I do every day and the advantage is that I am learning and gaining experience at the same time.” “I find the construction industry interesting because it has opened my eyes and has made me more aware of things that I wasn’t aware of before. There is also a lot of scope within this field, as people will always need the services we provide,” said Sophie. Sophie is also a prime example of how younger women can gain a foothold in the male-dominated construction sector. Fellow apprentice Oliver Janes is also reaping the benefits of an apprenticeship at the firm, whilst studying Business Administration one day a week at SGS Filton College.  “When I joined Darren Evans Assessments I didn’t really have much of an idea about the industry, however, since joining my knowledge has grown and constantly does so. I like that this is a competitive industry and that as a company we are thriving,” said Oliver. Commenting on the school-to-work transition, Oliver added, “I feel the change in my life from school to office has been really good and I enjoy the working life. I have learned so many different things since starting at Darren Evans, from administrative tasks such as invoices, to undertaking SAPs and EPCs within the technical team. “Six months ago I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do to start my career or where I was going to go to start it. However, since working at Darren Evans, they have given me the opportunity to improve myself and also help me get an understanding in what I want to do for the foreseeable future,” he said. Michelle Clark, Office/HR Manager said: “Offering Sophie and Ollie an apprenticeship has given Darren Evans Assessments a chance to play an active role in moulding our future workforce and creating the future skills that we need to help our business grow.  I am so proud to be part of watching Sophie and Ollie grow into young professionals whilst gaining a recognised qualification at college.  They have both settled into the world of work, are enthusiastic and an asset to our company already.”  The benefit to the business is clear: Darren Evan Assessments is able to place people in the company who it knows to be experienced, competent and can hit the ground running. These apprenticeships are seen as a positive choice for young people. Visit: http://www.darren-evans.co.uk/
    Sep 15, 2017 468
  • 14 Sep 2017
    Bentonite, a clay substance which is often generated from the alteration of volcanic ash, is renowned for its water absorption. These properties make it a valuable material for a wide range of uses and applications, particularly as a waterproofing material in construction of belowground structures such as basements. Bentonite’s availability in the marketplace in various product forms is well-known - it’s been around for hundreds of years. However, the appearance of natural sodium bentonite in Sika BentoShield MAX LM, a fully-bonded, needle-punched membrane and integrated polyethylene flexible laminate, represents a unique offering. The polymer-modified product, which is applied to external surfaces of belowground structures exposed to ground water, is the only bentonite system that’s BBA-approved to BS EN 1928:2000 standard relating to flexible sheets for waterproofing. Superior The sealing technology of Sika BentoShield MAX LM combines the superior swelling performance of the sodium bentonite with high strength polypropylene geotextiles. The two geotextiles are interlocked by a needle-punching process forcing fibres from the non-woven layer through and beyond the woven layer. This process forms a physical link between the geotextiles and locks the bentonite granules in between, keeping them contained. The system is finished with a polyethylene membrane which is laminated to the back which gives an additional level of protection. Fully Bonded During installation, the woven geotextile layer bonds to the fresh concrete due to the non-woven layer that is pulled through and beyond from the needle punching process. When the polymer-enhanced natural sodium bentonite granules get wet they form a dense waterproof gel protecting the structure. Sika BentoShield MAX LM is designed for use in belowground construction. It differs from other BBA-accredited geosynthetic clay liners as it contains specially formulated polymers to enhance performance in contaminated land with a high salt concentration. As well as basements, it is used in cut-and-cover tunnels, backfilled walls and in a variety of more demanding applications, depending on whether water is to be kept in or out. The seams for vertical applications of many bentonite membranes are vulnerable to failure. Sika BentoShield MAX LM laps, however, are sealed with a tape to provide a watertight solution as well as protect against debris and water intrusion during backfilling the system. The seams on horizontal sections can be lapped and protected with a bed of paste created by mixing BentoShield granules with water. Alternatively, tape can be used on higher risk sites. Secure Sika BentoShield MAX LM can also be post-applied to concrete structures where pre-applying is not possible. The membrane is securely held in place with a robust fixing system. Tested and approved to the latest industry standards, Sika provides a 10-year guarantee or 15 when it is used as part of a dual system from Sika. Sika also provides, free of charge: Full specification and detailing support Sika tool box talk training Site support and inspection Easy to install, flexible and robust, Sika BentoShield MAX LM doesn’t require a primer or protection board. Its ability to mechanically bond with the concrete, which in turn virtually eliminates water tracking in the event of damage, makes it the ideal membrane for belowground structures dependent on retaining long-term watertightness. By Nick Powell, Sika Waterproofing Business Development Manager   For more information visit: http://www.sikawaterproofing.co.uk/products-systems/sika-bentoshield-max-lm/
    547 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Bentonite, a clay substance which is often generated from the alteration of volcanic ash, is renowned for its water absorption. These properties make it a valuable material for a wide range of uses and applications, particularly as a waterproofing material in construction of belowground structures such as basements. Bentonite’s availability in the marketplace in various product forms is well-known - it’s been around for hundreds of years. However, the appearance of natural sodium bentonite in Sika BentoShield MAX LM, a fully-bonded, needle-punched membrane and integrated polyethylene flexible laminate, represents a unique offering. The polymer-modified product, which is applied to external surfaces of belowground structures exposed to ground water, is the only bentonite system that’s BBA-approved to BS EN 1928:2000 standard relating to flexible sheets for waterproofing. Superior The sealing technology of Sika BentoShield MAX LM combines the superior swelling performance of the sodium bentonite with high strength polypropylene geotextiles. The two geotextiles are interlocked by a needle-punching process forcing fibres from the non-woven layer through and beyond the woven layer. This process forms a physical link between the geotextiles and locks the bentonite granules in between, keeping them contained. The system is finished with a polyethylene membrane which is laminated to the back which gives an additional level of protection. Fully Bonded During installation, the woven geotextile layer bonds to the fresh concrete due to the non-woven layer that is pulled through and beyond from the needle punching process. When the polymer-enhanced natural sodium bentonite granules get wet they form a dense waterproof gel protecting the structure. Sika BentoShield MAX LM is designed for use in belowground construction. It differs from other BBA-accredited geosynthetic clay liners as it contains specially formulated polymers to enhance performance in contaminated land with a high salt concentration. As well as basements, it is used in cut-and-cover tunnels, backfilled walls and in a variety of more demanding applications, depending on whether water is to be kept in or out. The seams for vertical applications of many bentonite membranes are vulnerable to failure. Sika BentoShield MAX LM laps, however, are sealed with a tape to provide a watertight solution as well as protect against debris and water intrusion during backfilling the system. The seams on horizontal sections can be lapped and protected with a bed of paste created by mixing BentoShield granules with water. Alternatively, tape can be used on higher risk sites. Secure Sika BentoShield MAX LM can also be post-applied to concrete structures where pre-applying is not possible. The membrane is securely held in place with a robust fixing system. Tested and approved to the latest industry standards, Sika provides a 10-year guarantee or 15 when it is used as part of a dual system from Sika. Sika also provides, free of charge: Full specification and detailing support Sika tool box talk training Site support and inspection Easy to install, flexible and robust, Sika BentoShield MAX LM doesn’t require a primer or protection board. Its ability to mechanically bond with the concrete, which in turn virtually eliminates water tracking in the event of damage, makes it the ideal membrane for belowground structures dependent on retaining long-term watertightness. By Nick Powell, Sika Waterproofing Business Development Manager   For more information visit: http://www.sikawaterproofing.co.uk/products-systems/sika-bentoshield-max-lm/
    Sep 14, 2017 547
  • 13 Sep 2017
    The energy-deficiency of the UK’s ageing housing stock was once again thrown into sharp focus with the publication of a recent report by the UK Green Building Council. The ‘Building Places That Work for Everyone’ policy paper stated 25 million homes across the country will not meet required insulation standards by 2050 – a significant year for the government, as by then it has to have met its legally-binding pledge to cut UK greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from the 1990 baseline. An enormous task, particularly as poorly-insulated homes account for 25% of emissions released in the UK. The UK Green Building Council, which produced the report in conjunction with the construction industry, has urged the government to impose a countrywide programme of home renovation to increase energy-efficiency and improve the health, wealth and wellbeing of occupants. However, sceptics have already raised doubts over the potential success of such a scheme, citing the failure of the government’s ‘Green Deal’.  Launched in 2013, the scheme offered loans to homeowners embarking on domestic energy-saving measures. It was scrapped two years later after figures revealed only 14,000 householders took-up the option. The £50 million government loan outlay fell a long way short of its £1.1 billion forecast, with high interest rates for insulation given as a reason for ‘the Deal’s’ ultimate collapse. There can be no doubt the thermal performance of UK buildings needs urgent address. Even though the 2050 ‘emissions deadline’ might be viewed by some as ‘an issue for tomorrow’, the spiritual and fiscal comfort of today’s home owner/occupiers can be vastly improved with a building that excels in terms of thermal performance and energy-efficiency. Go public  Understandably, perhaps, much attention is paid to the insulation of a building’s roof, windows and doors, as these are its biggest source of energy loss. However, if the government makes good its promise to act ‘as soon as possible’ and devise appropriate policies in response to the building council’s report, let’s hope measures include a concerted education programme that informs housebuilders and homeowners of the many simple and cost-effective ways a property’s thermal performance can be maintained. The message the government needs to get across is ‘every little helps’ when it comes to ensuring new and existing UK properties leave less of a carbon footprint. Baumit is among the world’s leading innovators in the production external wall insulation. The ground-breaking technology in its vapour-permeable renders and paints which enables buildings to breathe but remain airtight, is simply astonishing. On a similar note, Baumit’s Nanopor self-cleaning range of paints and renders uses natural elements - sunlight, humidity and wind - to leave a façade looking pristine, thus eliminating the need for constant renovation and aggressive cleansing techniques using environmentally-unsound chemicals or detergents. From the day the company was founded in 1988, Baumit’s ethos has been to help create beautiful, energy-efficient and healthy homes. It might be that the latest Green Council report has finally instilled a sense of urgency within the UK government to follow the same dream. ‘Better late than never’ might be the attitude of some towards Westminster’s current call to action. It’s never too late, however, if the policies being discussed today, lead to better-insulated homes of the future and a healthier environment for our children. Visit: http://other.baumit.com/
    490 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The energy-deficiency of the UK’s ageing housing stock was once again thrown into sharp focus with the publication of a recent report by the UK Green Building Council. The ‘Building Places That Work for Everyone’ policy paper stated 25 million homes across the country will not meet required insulation standards by 2050 – a significant year for the government, as by then it has to have met its legally-binding pledge to cut UK greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from the 1990 baseline. An enormous task, particularly as poorly-insulated homes account for 25% of emissions released in the UK. The UK Green Building Council, which produced the report in conjunction with the construction industry, has urged the government to impose a countrywide programme of home renovation to increase energy-efficiency and improve the health, wealth and wellbeing of occupants. However, sceptics have already raised doubts over the potential success of such a scheme, citing the failure of the government’s ‘Green Deal’.  Launched in 2013, the scheme offered loans to homeowners embarking on domestic energy-saving measures. It was scrapped two years later after figures revealed only 14,000 householders took-up the option. The £50 million government loan outlay fell a long way short of its £1.1 billion forecast, with high interest rates for insulation given as a reason for ‘the Deal’s’ ultimate collapse. There can be no doubt the thermal performance of UK buildings needs urgent address. Even though the 2050 ‘emissions deadline’ might be viewed by some as ‘an issue for tomorrow’, the spiritual and fiscal comfort of today’s home owner/occupiers can be vastly improved with a building that excels in terms of thermal performance and energy-efficiency. Go public  Understandably, perhaps, much attention is paid to the insulation of a building’s roof, windows and doors, as these are its biggest source of energy loss. However, if the government makes good its promise to act ‘as soon as possible’ and devise appropriate policies in response to the building council’s report, let’s hope measures include a concerted education programme that informs housebuilders and homeowners of the many simple and cost-effective ways a property’s thermal performance can be maintained. The message the government needs to get across is ‘every little helps’ when it comes to ensuring new and existing UK properties leave less of a carbon footprint. Baumit is among the world’s leading innovators in the production external wall insulation. The ground-breaking technology in its vapour-permeable renders and paints which enables buildings to breathe but remain airtight, is simply astonishing. On a similar note, Baumit’s Nanopor self-cleaning range of paints and renders uses natural elements - sunlight, humidity and wind - to leave a façade looking pristine, thus eliminating the need for constant renovation and aggressive cleansing techniques using environmentally-unsound chemicals or detergents. From the day the company was founded in 1988, Baumit’s ethos has been to help create beautiful, energy-efficient and healthy homes. It might be that the latest Green Council report has finally instilled a sense of urgency within the UK government to follow the same dream. ‘Better late than never’ might be the attitude of some towards Westminster’s current call to action. It’s never too late, however, if the policies being discussed today, lead to better-insulated homes of the future and a healthier environment for our children. Visit: http://other.baumit.com/
    Sep 13, 2017 490
  • 12 Sep 2017
    In March, leading manufacturer Ibstock reported that it was delivering more bricks to end users and merchants than at any time in the previous nine years, which is good news for an industry which has had more than its fair share of ups and downs in recent years. It also completely makes nonsense of recent rumours of a brick shortages and there is even better news with reports from America that studies have shown that brick remains an incredibly cost effective building material. According to the report from the Brick Industry Association in North America, bricks used with (CMU) concrete masonry units cost less than precast concrete, metal panel curtain wall and glass panel curtain wall systems. The report adds that a three-storey office building using manufactured stone with steel studs costs 2.7% more than brick with steel studs. Precast concrete costs 2.7% more than brick with CMU, and metal panel curtain wall costs 13.1% more than brick with CMU. So far so good with further statements that brick would save some £1.6 million when used on a four- to eight-storey hospital project in comparison to metal panel curtain walling and/or glass panel curtain walling. There are many other price comparisons which suggest that architects and building owners should really be taking a closer look at brick costs compared to other building materials. Full tables can be seen by clicking this link -  https://www.dropbox.com/s/sqhu9efchk8x9kw/RS%20Means%20Feb%202017%20BIA%20Commercial%20Buildings.pptx?dl=0 "National averages show brick costs less than perceived," said Ray Leonhard, Brick Industry Association's president and CEO. "Since it's a non-flammable and non-combustible material, clay brick also offers superior fire resistance with a minimum one-hour fire rating." Back in the UK and the recent report from Ibstock suggest that all is well here too with one of our oldest building materials:“In the six months to the end of June 2017, overall brick industry despatches were 15% ahead of the same period last year,” said Ibstock sales director Tony France, quoted in the Builders Merchant Building Index statistical report. With the Government committed to building more social housing than ever before and with private builders getting ready to meet the challenge of a rising population then we can only hope that all those recent ups and downs will be a thing of the past – at least for the next few years. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter  @JohnRidgeway99
    453 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In March, leading manufacturer Ibstock reported that it was delivering more bricks to end users and merchants than at any time in the previous nine years, which is good news for an industry which has had more than its fair share of ups and downs in recent years. It also completely makes nonsense of recent rumours of a brick shortages and there is even better news with reports from America that studies have shown that brick remains an incredibly cost effective building material. According to the report from the Brick Industry Association in North America, bricks used with (CMU) concrete masonry units cost less than precast concrete, metal panel curtain wall and glass panel curtain wall systems. The report adds that a three-storey office building using manufactured stone with steel studs costs 2.7% more than brick with steel studs. Precast concrete costs 2.7% more than brick with CMU, and metal panel curtain wall costs 13.1% more than brick with CMU. So far so good with further statements that brick would save some £1.6 million when used on a four- to eight-storey hospital project in comparison to metal panel curtain walling and/or glass panel curtain walling. There are many other price comparisons which suggest that architects and building owners should really be taking a closer look at brick costs compared to other building materials. Full tables can be seen by clicking this link -  https://www.dropbox.com/s/sqhu9efchk8x9kw/RS%20Means%20Feb%202017%20BIA%20Commercial%20Buildings.pptx?dl=0 "National averages show brick costs less than perceived," said Ray Leonhard, Brick Industry Association's president and CEO. "Since it's a non-flammable and non-combustible material, clay brick also offers superior fire resistance with a minimum one-hour fire rating." Back in the UK and the recent report from Ibstock suggest that all is well here too with one of our oldest building materials:“In the six months to the end of June 2017, overall brick industry despatches were 15% ahead of the same period last year,” said Ibstock sales director Tony France, quoted in the Builders Merchant Building Index statistical report. With the Government committed to building more social housing than ever before and with private builders getting ready to meet the challenge of a rising population then we can only hope that all those recent ups and downs will be a thing of the past – at least for the next few years. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter  @JohnRidgeway99
    Sep 12, 2017 453
  • 11 Sep 2017
    In recent years, due to an increase in flooding and public awareness of flood prevention, the permeable resin bound paving market has grown considerably. But as resin bound becomes more popular and the number of companies selling it increases, there is a growing number of people selling inferior products, cheaper and creating a bad reputation for a premium paving product that when installed correctly will last up to 25 years. As it is a relatively new product, it’s one of only a few trades within the construction industry without a governing body or Trade Association of its own; and, apart from the Paving Expert website, there isn’t anywhere to go for independent advice about resin bound paving. Nearly 20 years ago SureSet revolutionised the concept of clear resin bound paving for external use. They remain as passionate and excited about the product as they were in 1997, and to help you out have put together a list of ten reasons to choose resin bound paving… 1     It’s permeable: cold mixed on site using a process that ensures every particle of stone is completely covered in resin; forming a structurally stable 3D matrix. During the laying process, minute voids are created that allows water to drain through. 2     It’s aesthetically pleasing: not only is it decorative, resin bound paving is sustainable, practical and versatile. 3     It’s resistant to weather conditions: doesn’t soften in summer, freeze in winter or fade in sunlight. 4     Its longevity:resin bound paving is a long lasting durable surface. While guarantees vary between 10 – 18 years, when properly maintained, can last for up to 25 years. 5     It requires minimal maintenance: there are no weeds to weed or lose stone to sweep. A regular brush and occasional power wash will keep it looking as good as new. 6     It provides natural filtration: as surface or rain water seeps through the sub-base a natural filtration takes place – reducing or removing impurities and pollutants caused by oils and metals.  7     It reduces standing water (puddles): which in turn reduces surface water run-off and flash flooding. 8     It’s SuDS compliant (Sustainable urban Drainage Systems): a water management system introduced by the Environment Agency to help manage flood risk and water quality.    9     It reduces the ‘heat island’ effect: heat islands happen because hard surfaces, like asphalt and concrete, absorb and store heat. Permeable paving allows the soil underneath to breathe, which reduces surface temperatures and thereby the ‘heat island’ effect.  10  No planning permission required: Since government legislation in 2008, planning permission is not required for areas less than 5m² or if the new surface is permeable.  In comparison to traditional paving options that…       Are impermeable       Look more ‘industrial’ like       Are not weather resistant       Have a relatively short functional life       Require more maintenance       Create puddles and contributes to flash flooding Are not SuDS compliant (Sustainable urban Drainage Systems): a water management system introduced by the Environment Agency to help manage flood risk and water quality, and therefore require planning permission. Retain heat and contribute to the ‘heat island’ effect. You will find more useful information about resin bound paving on these Blogs: What resin bound paving can look like after 18 years. Why you should purchase on quality not cost. Top Tips for choosing a resin bound paving company. Author: Gail Gilkes, Head of Marketing, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: https://www.sureset.co.uk/  
    576 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In recent years, due to an increase in flooding and public awareness of flood prevention, the permeable resin bound paving market has grown considerably. But as resin bound becomes more popular and the number of companies selling it increases, there is a growing number of people selling inferior products, cheaper and creating a bad reputation for a premium paving product that when installed correctly will last up to 25 years. As it is a relatively new product, it’s one of only a few trades within the construction industry without a governing body or Trade Association of its own; and, apart from the Paving Expert website, there isn’t anywhere to go for independent advice about resin bound paving. Nearly 20 years ago SureSet revolutionised the concept of clear resin bound paving for external use. They remain as passionate and excited about the product as they were in 1997, and to help you out have put together a list of ten reasons to choose resin bound paving… 1     It’s permeable: cold mixed on site using a process that ensures every particle of stone is completely covered in resin; forming a structurally stable 3D matrix. During the laying process, minute voids are created that allows water to drain through. 2     It’s aesthetically pleasing: not only is it decorative, resin bound paving is sustainable, practical and versatile. 3     It’s resistant to weather conditions: doesn’t soften in summer, freeze in winter or fade in sunlight. 4     Its longevity:resin bound paving is a long lasting durable surface. While guarantees vary between 10 – 18 years, when properly maintained, can last for up to 25 years. 5     It requires minimal maintenance: there are no weeds to weed or lose stone to sweep. A regular brush and occasional power wash will keep it looking as good as new. 6     It provides natural filtration: as surface or rain water seeps through the sub-base a natural filtration takes place – reducing or removing impurities and pollutants caused by oils and metals.  7     It reduces standing water (puddles): which in turn reduces surface water run-off and flash flooding. 8     It’s SuDS compliant (Sustainable urban Drainage Systems): a water management system introduced by the Environment Agency to help manage flood risk and water quality.    9     It reduces the ‘heat island’ effect: heat islands happen because hard surfaces, like asphalt and concrete, absorb and store heat. Permeable paving allows the soil underneath to breathe, which reduces surface temperatures and thereby the ‘heat island’ effect.  10  No planning permission required: Since government legislation in 2008, planning permission is not required for areas less than 5m² or if the new surface is permeable.  In comparison to traditional paving options that…       Are impermeable       Look more ‘industrial’ like       Are not weather resistant       Have a relatively short functional life       Require more maintenance       Create puddles and contributes to flash flooding Are not SuDS compliant (Sustainable urban Drainage Systems): a water management system introduced by the Environment Agency to help manage flood risk and water quality, and therefore require planning permission. Retain heat and contribute to the ‘heat island’ effect. You will find more useful information about resin bound paving on these Blogs: What resin bound paving can look like after 18 years. Why you should purchase on quality not cost. Top Tips for choosing a resin bound paving company. Author: Gail Gilkes, Head of Marketing, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: https://www.sureset.co.uk/  
    Sep 11, 2017 576
  • 10 Sep 2017
    According to number of recent reports, the UK construction industry will need some 400,000 new workers every year until 2021 to meet the demand for new building projects. If the figures are correct then it is going to be a tough call, which in turn means looking at alternative methods of construction. Fortunately we have a thriving industry in the UK for building offsite and most experts reckon that this will be the answer if the building industry is to prosper in the future. Recent surveys in America, where they are facing similar skills shortages, revealed that the amount of project work using off site prefabrication almost tripled between 2010 and 2016 and it is a similar story here. In the UK, Your Housing Group has recently signed a £2.5bn joint venture with a Chinese state-owned construction company to build 25,000 modular homes over the next five years. The housing association currently manages 33,000 affordable homes across the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands, The 38,000 sq metres of office space at the new Hinckley Power Station in Somerset will be the largest modular project in the UK and will house all the management and technical personnel required during the construction stage of the project. Part of the buildings will be converted after the construction cycle to remain as high quality offices for the permanent site. UK-based design consultancy Arup and bridge specialist Mabey have recently announced that they have delivered the world’s first modular, rapid-assembly glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP) bridge. The bridge was installed at a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for Network Rail in Oxford. The bridge modules were light enough to be transported by an articulated lorry and then assembled on site and lifted from a distance. Offsite pre fabrication succeeds as you need fewer experienced crafts people to supervise the less experienced. It has the double advantage that components can be constructed at a lower cost before being shipped to site for final installation. It means that construction workers can be recruited from other industries, thus reducing the skills shortages, helping to increase productivity and reduce waste. The assembly line practices of prefabrication make offsite construction the perfect solution for contractors looking to reduce their dependence on skilled labour. So if the pundits are right then modular offsite construction is set to boom – solving our acute skills shortage at the same time - bring it on. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99
    511 Posted by Talk. Build
  • According to number of recent reports, the UK construction industry will need some 400,000 new workers every year until 2021 to meet the demand for new building projects. If the figures are correct then it is going to be a tough call, which in turn means looking at alternative methods of construction. Fortunately we have a thriving industry in the UK for building offsite and most experts reckon that this will be the answer if the building industry is to prosper in the future. Recent surveys in America, where they are facing similar skills shortages, revealed that the amount of project work using off site prefabrication almost tripled between 2010 and 2016 and it is a similar story here. In the UK, Your Housing Group has recently signed a £2.5bn joint venture with a Chinese state-owned construction company to build 25,000 modular homes over the next five years. The housing association currently manages 33,000 affordable homes across the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands, The 38,000 sq metres of office space at the new Hinckley Power Station in Somerset will be the largest modular project in the UK and will house all the management and technical personnel required during the construction stage of the project. Part of the buildings will be converted after the construction cycle to remain as high quality offices for the permanent site. UK-based design consultancy Arup and bridge specialist Mabey have recently announced that they have delivered the world’s first modular, rapid-assembly glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP) bridge. The bridge was installed at a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for Network Rail in Oxford. The bridge modules were light enough to be transported by an articulated lorry and then assembled on site and lifted from a distance. Offsite pre fabrication succeeds as you need fewer experienced crafts people to supervise the less experienced. It has the double advantage that components can be constructed at a lower cost before being shipped to site for final installation. It means that construction workers can be recruited from other industries, thus reducing the skills shortages, helping to increase productivity and reduce waste. The assembly line practices of prefabrication make offsite construction the perfect solution for contractors looking to reduce their dependence on skilled labour. So if the pundits are right then modular offsite construction is set to boom – solving our acute skills shortage at the same time - bring it on. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99
    Sep 10, 2017 511
  • 09 Sep 2017
    Building fires occur at an alarmingly high frequency and have an impact that goes way beyond that of the owners and its immediate occupiers. The fire safety guidance of the Building Regulations (provided by Approved Document B - ADB) is based on a consideration of life safety impacts. However, the true impact of a fire is much more than life safety as a fire has economic, social and environmental implications. So why is property protection not given greater consideration? In the last month or so we have seen fires at Glasgow's Blochairn Fruit Market, Weybridge Community Hospital, Smoby Toys in Bradford and Camden Market and none more devastating that Grenfell Tower. The buildings are a mix of 70’s high rise residential, industrial warehousing, modern health and a historic market. Whilst they appear to have little in common they do share a number of similarities in that none of them had sprinkler systems and all of them have implications that will affect many, many people. Grenfell Tower has rightly occupied the headlines due to tragic loss of life and its repercussions continue to make headlines. Whilst there is general consensus that regulations need to be urgently reviewed there are a number of other issues that need to be addressed. The issue of rehousing the survivors of Grenfell Tower highlighted the issue of continuity. Trying to find homes for the families has been an extremely difficult task. It is similar for the wholesalers at Blochairn Market, the retailers at Camden Market, North Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group and Smoby Toys. They all have businesses to run that have now been left with no premises. This loss of premises is not just a construction issue it is also an economic issue. To put it into perspective, Home Office figures have shown that in the last three years, there have been 22,800 fires in industrial and commercial premises. If you take into account research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), which states fires in warehouses (which account for 15% of industrial and commercial building stock) result in a direct financial loss to business of £230 million per year a bigger picture starts to emerge. These warehouse fires create a loss of £190 million per year in GDP through lost productivity and supply chain impacts. They also lose the treasury £32 million in tax receipts and are the responsible for 1,000 job losses. And remember this is just warehouse fires. Imagine what the figure is when we consider fires in industrial buildings, health, leisure and workplaces. One solution to address the issue of property protection is the incorporation of automatic sprinkler systems. Having sprinklers fitted protects businesses in the long run. They safeguard against potentially disastrous losses and also aid with life safety. By preventing large fires, sprinklers also protect the environment by avoiding CO2 emissions, reducing excess water use by the fire brigade and eliminating water supply contamination. Above all, they maintain business continuity. In the event of a fire, many businesses with sprinkler systems find they are back up and running in a matter of hours. We are still feeling the knock on effects of the recent spate of fires in the UK. Hopefully with a review of ADB and an extension of the locus to include more of a focus on property protection and due consideration towards sprinklers, we can start to reduce this and provide businesses with the protection they need and deserve. By Iain Cox, Chairman of the BSA For more information about the Business Sprinkler Alliance visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org   
    495 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Building fires occur at an alarmingly high frequency and have an impact that goes way beyond that of the owners and its immediate occupiers. The fire safety guidance of the Building Regulations (provided by Approved Document B - ADB) is based on a consideration of life safety impacts. However, the true impact of a fire is much more than life safety as a fire has economic, social and environmental implications. So why is property protection not given greater consideration? In the last month or so we have seen fires at Glasgow's Blochairn Fruit Market, Weybridge Community Hospital, Smoby Toys in Bradford and Camden Market and none more devastating that Grenfell Tower. The buildings are a mix of 70’s high rise residential, industrial warehousing, modern health and a historic market. Whilst they appear to have little in common they do share a number of similarities in that none of them had sprinkler systems and all of them have implications that will affect many, many people. Grenfell Tower has rightly occupied the headlines due to tragic loss of life and its repercussions continue to make headlines. Whilst there is general consensus that regulations need to be urgently reviewed there are a number of other issues that need to be addressed. The issue of rehousing the survivors of Grenfell Tower highlighted the issue of continuity. Trying to find homes for the families has been an extremely difficult task. It is similar for the wholesalers at Blochairn Market, the retailers at Camden Market, North Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group and Smoby Toys. They all have businesses to run that have now been left with no premises. This loss of premises is not just a construction issue it is also an economic issue. To put it into perspective, Home Office figures have shown that in the last three years, there have been 22,800 fires in industrial and commercial premises. If you take into account research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), which states fires in warehouses (which account for 15% of industrial and commercial building stock) result in a direct financial loss to business of £230 million per year a bigger picture starts to emerge. These warehouse fires create a loss of £190 million per year in GDP through lost productivity and supply chain impacts. They also lose the treasury £32 million in tax receipts and are the responsible for 1,000 job losses. And remember this is just warehouse fires. Imagine what the figure is when we consider fires in industrial buildings, health, leisure and workplaces. One solution to address the issue of property protection is the incorporation of automatic sprinkler systems. Having sprinklers fitted protects businesses in the long run. They safeguard against potentially disastrous losses and also aid with life safety. By preventing large fires, sprinklers also protect the environment by avoiding CO2 emissions, reducing excess water use by the fire brigade and eliminating water supply contamination. Above all, they maintain business continuity. In the event of a fire, many businesses with sprinkler systems find they are back up and running in a matter of hours. We are still feeling the knock on effects of the recent spate of fires in the UK. Hopefully with a review of ADB and an extension of the locus to include more of a focus on property protection and due consideration towards sprinklers, we can start to reduce this and provide businesses with the protection they need and deserve. By Iain Cox, Chairman of the BSA For more information about the Business Sprinkler Alliance visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org   
    Sep 09, 2017 495
  • 08 Sep 2017
    For specifiers and contractors looking for an efficient, cost-effective and simple-to-install way to weatherproof the exposed parts of buildings including walkways, balconies and terraces, then mastic asphalt is a proven surfacing material like no other.  Seamless, durable and with exceptional waterproofing characteristics, mastic asphalt can be installed with minimal disruption and downtime, and will protect balconies and walkways from the worst of the elements.   Winter may be a few months away, but now is the time to protect your balconies and walkways from the elements and the costly damage caused by cold weather.  To this end, walkways must be safe to use in both wet and dry conditions and avoid the surface reflection of materials which may affect foot traffic. This is where seamless surfacing materials such as mastic asphalt provide the perfect answer. Used extensively as a long-life wearing surface in urban paving situations where durability and consistency is paramount, modified bituminous materials such as mastic asphalt can bring real benefits to balcony and walkway construction. Delivering better and longer lasting surfaces, and savings in total lifecycle costings, mastic asphalt is capable of out-performing and outlasting all other comparable materials. Along with mastic asphalt’s sheer versatility, inherent waterproofing properties and wearing qualities, the added functionality of slip resistance further enhances the material’s suitability for public walkway areas – and in reducing the potential for any slips and trips. Another benefit is that mastic asphalt can be laid at speed which will result in minimal disruption, particularly when it comes to the refurbishment of walkways that provide access to flats for example. Because Mastic Asphalt is laid in molten form it is frequently confused with other types of membrane that require naked flame or torch-on application. For smaller projects such as walkways, balconies and terraces, solid blocks are preheated in boilers placed at ground level.  At no time is there any type of naked flame at the point of installation and because mastic asphalt is so highly flame resistant, there is little or no potential of fire risk. Highly cost-effective, mastic asphalt offers lower installation costs than many other types of membranes. Its versatility makes it the ideal choice for not only walkways, terraces and balconies, but also roofing and paving. It is also extensively used on bridges, car parks and other types of structural decks. Visit: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/
    456 Posted by Talk. Build
  • For specifiers and contractors looking for an efficient, cost-effective and simple-to-install way to weatherproof the exposed parts of buildings including walkways, balconies and terraces, then mastic asphalt is a proven surfacing material like no other.  Seamless, durable and with exceptional waterproofing characteristics, mastic asphalt can be installed with minimal disruption and downtime, and will protect balconies and walkways from the worst of the elements.   Winter may be a few months away, but now is the time to protect your balconies and walkways from the elements and the costly damage caused by cold weather.  To this end, walkways must be safe to use in both wet and dry conditions and avoid the surface reflection of materials which may affect foot traffic. This is where seamless surfacing materials such as mastic asphalt provide the perfect answer. Used extensively as a long-life wearing surface in urban paving situations where durability and consistency is paramount, modified bituminous materials such as mastic asphalt can bring real benefits to balcony and walkway construction. Delivering better and longer lasting surfaces, and savings in total lifecycle costings, mastic asphalt is capable of out-performing and outlasting all other comparable materials. Along with mastic asphalt’s sheer versatility, inherent waterproofing properties and wearing qualities, the added functionality of slip resistance further enhances the material’s suitability for public walkway areas – and in reducing the potential for any slips and trips. Another benefit is that mastic asphalt can be laid at speed which will result in minimal disruption, particularly when it comes to the refurbishment of walkways that provide access to flats for example. Because Mastic Asphalt is laid in molten form it is frequently confused with other types of membrane that require naked flame or torch-on application. For smaller projects such as walkways, balconies and terraces, solid blocks are preheated in boilers placed at ground level.  At no time is there any type of naked flame at the point of installation and because mastic asphalt is so highly flame resistant, there is little or no potential of fire risk. Highly cost-effective, mastic asphalt offers lower installation costs than many other types of membranes. Its versatility makes it the ideal choice for not only walkways, terraces and balconies, but also roofing and paving. It is also extensively used on bridges, car parks and other types of structural decks. Visit: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/
    Sep 08, 2017 456
  • 07 Sep 2017
    Forget about any preconceived ideas you might have about gender – the fact is – we need more women to work in the construction industry. We have massive skills shortages which are getting worse as more people leave the industry without being replaced. Fortunately women are embracing the construction challenge and making a significant difference. We have seen the fairly recent formation of Women in Roofing, “an organisation founded to collaborate with all aspects of the roofing industry to achieve diversity and longevity.” With the help of this group, the industry is listening and women are playing a more important role in every area of the supply chain. This week we have also seen the first Inspire Women in UK Construction, Property and Engineering summit, sponsored by builders merchant Travis Perkins, which took place in Manchester. To quote the publicity material - the Inspire Summit highlights women working in the UK construction, engineering and housing sectors that are bucking the trend, reshaping expectations and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps. The event attracted construction professionals to hear about the contribution that women in these sectors make on a daily basis. All this is long overdue as we set about addressing the massive talent gap within the construction industry. We in the UK are going to need some 400,000 new people every year for at least the next five years if we are to prosper as an industry. Then situation is very much the same worldwide. In America it has been estimated that some 2.5 million skilled workers were lost forever from the construction business following the financial collapse in 2008. However, in 2015 women filled nearly 6.3% of apprentice positions in the state of Massachusetts — up from 4.2% in 2012. Women also accounted for 5% of construction work hours in Boston in 2015. This seems to be typical of what is happening across all of America and we are seeing similar stories in Australia and New Zealand. Many traditionalists might not welcome the trend mainly because they still wrongly believe that women are not physically as strong or might not be suited to the rigours of a modern building site This is patent nonsense with several studies showing that women in construction provide a wider pool of opinions and experiences and problem solving. There is also clear evidence that women offer improved decision making, calmer heads and better communication and are less inclined to take dangerous risks – vital with increasing health and safety legislation on construction sites. It does seem incredible that we are still having this debate in 2017 but hopefully – not for much longer. Let’s stop the talking now and start training and recruiting before it’s too late. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter  @JohnRidgeway99
    409 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Forget about any preconceived ideas you might have about gender – the fact is – we need more women to work in the construction industry. We have massive skills shortages which are getting worse as more people leave the industry without being replaced. Fortunately women are embracing the construction challenge and making a significant difference. We have seen the fairly recent formation of Women in Roofing, “an organisation founded to collaborate with all aspects of the roofing industry to achieve diversity and longevity.” With the help of this group, the industry is listening and women are playing a more important role in every area of the supply chain. This week we have also seen the first Inspire Women in UK Construction, Property and Engineering summit, sponsored by builders merchant Travis Perkins, which took place in Manchester. To quote the publicity material - the Inspire Summit highlights women working in the UK construction, engineering and housing sectors that are bucking the trend, reshaping expectations and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps. The event attracted construction professionals to hear about the contribution that women in these sectors make on a daily basis. All this is long overdue as we set about addressing the massive talent gap within the construction industry. We in the UK are going to need some 400,000 new people every year for at least the next five years if we are to prosper as an industry. Then situation is very much the same worldwide. In America it has been estimated that some 2.5 million skilled workers were lost forever from the construction business following the financial collapse in 2008. However, in 2015 women filled nearly 6.3% of apprentice positions in the state of Massachusetts — up from 4.2% in 2012. Women also accounted for 5% of construction work hours in Boston in 2015. This seems to be typical of what is happening across all of America and we are seeing similar stories in Australia and New Zealand. Many traditionalists might not welcome the trend mainly because they still wrongly believe that women are not physically as strong or might not be suited to the rigours of a modern building site This is patent nonsense with several studies showing that women in construction provide a wider pool of opinions and experiences and problem solving. There is also clear evidence that women offer improved decision making, calmer heads and better communication and are less inclined to take dangerous risks – vital with increasing health and safety legislation on construction sites. It does seem incredible that we are still having this debate in 2017 but hopefully – not for much longer. Let’s stop the talking now and start training and recruiting before it’s too late. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter  @JohnRidgeway99
    Sep 07, 2017 409
  • 06 Sep 2017
    Solar panels have had a bit of a roller coaster ride in the UK in recent years with the Government seemingly unable to offer any other kind of sustained support for this kind of green energy but when a major player such as Tesla decides to enter the market then it’s time we all took notice. Tesla, better known for high powered electric cars, has launched a solar roof – which eliminates the need for conventional panels by offering a mixture of solar roof tiles and traditional tiles. To all intents and purposes few would see the difference, once installed, between the Tesla roof and something more conventional. The company offers four different types solar roofing in smooth and textured finishes. The tiles are made with tempered glass and according to Tesla are more than three times stronger than standard roofing tiles, yet half the weight and carry a lifetime warranty. Tesla say that the current versions of the tiles do have a two percent loss on efficiency, so 98 percent of what you’d normally get from a traditional solar panel. The roof will come at a price. It is estimated that an 800 square foot roof on a two-storey house will cost of roughly £23.20 per square foot. Add on the fact that traditional tiles would also be needed for more detailed work then that cost is more likely to be £36.30 per square foot installed. The upside of course is that once completed the roof should take care of all or most of that household’s electricity needs as the system come with powerful battery units so that homeowners can keep something in reserve at night and during winter months. Like all solar installations, efficiencies will only be as good as the weather; however, we should start to see Tesla roofs appearing the UK in 2018 and because the company is so committed to the environment and already has such a strong brand name, they are likely to make quite an impact. The added bonuses are the distinctive good looks offered by a solar roof against solar panels. UK customers can pre-order tiles using the GB-facing Tesla Energy website - https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/solarroof . While Tesla have not given details as to who will install their tiles in the UK – perhaps this is an opportunity for a British company to step in – there is no doubt that this will be the start of a new trend. Major companies do not enter new markets unless they are confident of a return and Tesla has an incredible environmental; track record of success – so it is almost a case of watch this space. We will be watching with interest and so should Tesla’s competitors – looks like solar is about to heat up. By John Ridgeway  Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    512 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Solar panels have had a bit of a roller coaster ride in the UK in recent years with the Government seemingly unable to offer any other kind of sustained support for this kind of green energy but when a major player such as Tesla decides to enter the market then it’s time we all took notice. Tesla, better known for high powered electric cars, has launched a solar roof – which eliminates the need for conventional panels by offering a mixture of solar roof tiles and traditional tiles. To all intents and purposes few would see the difference, once installed, between the Tesla roof and something more conventional. The company offers four different types solar roofing in smooth and textured finishes. The tiles are made with tempered glass and according to Tesla are more than three times stronger than standard roofing tiles, yet half the weight and carry a lifetime warranty. Tesla say that the current versions of the tiles do have a two percent loss on efficiency, so 98 percent of what you’d normally get from a traditional solar panel. The roof will come at a price. It is estimated that an 800 square foot roof on a two-storey house will cost of roughly £23.20 per square foot. Add on the fact that traditional tiles would also be needed for more detailed work then that cost is more likely to be £36.30 per square foot installed. The upside of course is that once completed the roof should take care of all or most of that household’s electricity needs as the system come with powerful battery units so that homeowners can keep something in reserve at night and during winter months. Like all solar installations, efficiencies will only be as good as the weather; however, we should start to see Tesla roofs appearing the UK in 2018 and because the company is so committed to the environment and already has such a strong brand name, they are likely to make quite an impact. The added bonuses are the distinctive good looks offered by a solar roof against solar panels. UK customers can pre-order tiles using the GB-facing Tesla Energy website - https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/solarroof . While Tesla have not given details as to who will install their tiles in the UK – perhaps this is an opportunity for a British company to step in – there is no doubt that this will be the start of a new trend. Major companies do not enter new markets unless they are confident of a return and Tesla has an incredible environmental; track record of success – so it is almost a case of watch this space. We will be watching with interest and so should Tesla’s competitors – looks like solar is about to heat up. By John Ridgeway  Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    Sep 06, 2017 512
  • 05 Sep 2017
    Industry estimates suggest that portable ladders are used around two million times every day and according to the Health and safety Executive account for some 40% of falls from height accidents every 12 months. The statistics should not come as much of a surprise – everyone knows that ladders, when used improperly can be highly dangerous with up to 48,000 people a year attending A&E after a fall. We should therefore welcome the news that a little known organisation called The Ladder Association, based in Glasgow, has worked hard to introduce new standards to make portable ladders safer. The organisation has had massive input in ensuring that all portable ladders will now be more stable, stronger and more durable and have produced a guide to explain how new regulations will affect everyone. The guide can be downloaded via their website www.ladderassociation.org.uk and goes into detail to explain how the new standards BS EN 131will change ladders for ever in the UK and the rest of Europe.  Greater stability is key to how new ladders will be manufactured in the future helping to reduce the main reason for ladder accidents attributed to users overreaching or not securing the ladder properly. Studies in America have shown that 57% of fall victims were holding objects with one or both hands while climbing or descending the ladder; 30% had wet, greasy, or oily shoes; 53% of straight ladders had not been secured or braced at the bottom, and 61% had not been secured at the top. The Ladder Association have placed particular emphasis on good training in their new guide. This supports the fact that 66% of accident victims had never been shown how to inspect ladders for defects before using them; and 73% had not been provided with written instructions on the safe use of ladders. Whatever way you look at it – ladders continue to play an important part in just about everything we do and anything that makes using them even safer has got to be a step in the right direction. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    413 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Industry estimates suggest that portable ladders are used around two million times every day and according to the Health and safety Executive account for some 40% of falls from height accidents every 12 months. The statistics should not come as much of a surprise – everyone knows that ladders, when used improperly can be highly dangerous with up to 48,000 people a year attending A&E after a fall. We should therefore welcome the news that a little known organisation called The Ladder Association, based in Glasgow, has worked hard to introduce new standards to make portable ladders safer. The organisation has had massive input in ensuring that all portable ladders will now be more stable, stronger and more durable and have produced a guide to explain how new regulations will affect everyone. The guide can be downloaded via their website www.ladderassociation.org.uk and goes into detail to explain how the new standards BS EN 131will change ladders for ever in the UK and the rest of Europe.  Greater stability is key to how new ladders will be manufactured in the future helping to reduce the main reason for ladder accidents attributed to users overreaching or not securing the ladder properly. Studies in America have shown that 57% of fall victims were holding objects with one or both hands while climbing or descending the ladder; 30% had wet, greasy, or oily shoes; 53% of straight ladders had not been secured or braced at the bottom, and 61% had not been secured at the top. The Ladder Association have placed particular emphasis on good training in their new guide. This supports the fact that 66% of accident victims had never been shown how to inspect ladders for defects before using them; and 73% had not been provided with written instructions on the safe use of ladders. Whatever way you look at it – ladders continue to play an important part in just about everything we do and anything that makes using them even safer has got to be a step in the right direction. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    Sep 05, 2017 413
  • 04 Sep 2017
    The construction industry has been experimenting with 3D printers since they were first invented in the 1980’s but in recent years as they have become less expensive, this technology is showing that it might well make a real contribution to buildings of the future. The technology can already be used to create construction components or to 'print' entire buildings and because of our detailed and stringent design processes our industry is well-suited to 3D printing as much of the information necessary to create components already exists. More recently, with the introduction of BIM modelling, we may well see this process being accelerated. A 3D digital model of a product or component can be created using CAD or a 3D scanner. The printer then reads that design and lays down successive layers of printing medium which are joined or fused to create the end component. There are many examples of successful 3D projects allied to construction. In 2014, engineers at Arup fabricated a sreel node for a lightweight structure and the University of California has developed a process of contour crafting using concrete to produce small-scale models of the external and internal wallos. According to sources from the BBC, Shanghai based WinSun Decoration Design Engineering has used large 3D printers to spray a mixture of quick drying cement and recycled raw materials which has enabled them to construct 10 small demonstration 'houses' in less than 24 hours. They are encouraged by the fact that each house costs just $5,000 dollar a time using this technology. Construction Manager Magazine reported in July 2014 that a Chinese company, Qingdao Unique Products had unveiled the World's largest 3D printer. Its first job was to print a 7m high Temple of Heaven. In Spain, the first pedestrian bridge printed in 3D in the world was inaugurated 14th of December of 2016 in the urban park of Castilla-La Mancha in Alcobendas, Madrid.  The bridge has a total length of 12 metres and a width of 1.75 metres and is printed in micro- reinforced concrete.  What all of these projects have in common is the potential for enormous cost savings with faster building times and fewer hours on site being an enormous attraction for an industry obsessed by price and it’s almost certain that 3D will carve out an enormous niche for itself in the market place. On the negative side, it will require enormous investment in specialist machinery and while we can still see a growing trend towards off site production, which is well suited to 3D this writer believes we still have a long way to go. So for the moment, traditional building materials are not under threat – or are they? By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99
    680 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The construction industry has been experimenting with 3D printers since they were first invented in the 1980’s but in recent years as they have become less expensive, this technology is showing that it might well make a real contribution to buildings of the future. The technology can already be used to create construction components or to 'print' entire buildings and because of our detailed and stringent design processes our industry is well-suited to 3D printing as much of the information necessary to create components already exists. More recently, with the introduction of BIM modelling, we may well see this process being accelerated. A 3D digital model of a product or component can be created using CAD or a 3D scanner. The printer then reads that design and lays down successive layers of printing medium which are joined or fused to create the end component. There are many examples of successful 3D projects allied to construction. In 2014, engineers at Arup fabricated a sreel node for a lightweight structure and the University of California has developed a process of contour crafting using concrete to produce small-scale models of the external and internal wallos. According to sources from the BBC, Shanghai based WinSun Decoration Design Engineering has used large 3D printers to spray a mixture of quick drying cement and recycled raw materials which has enabled them to construct 10 small demonstration 'houses' in less than 24 hours. They are encouraged by the fact that each house costs just $5,000 dollar a time using this technology. Construction Manager Magazine reported in July 2014 that a Chinese company, Qingdao Unique Products had unveiled the World's largest 3D printer. Its first job was to print a 7m high Temple of Heaven. In Spain, the first pedestrian bridge printed in 3D in the world was inaugurated 14th of December of 2016 in the urban park of Castilla-La Mancha in Alcobendas, Madrid.  The bridge has a total length of 12 metres and a width of 1.75 metres and is printed in micro- reinforced concrete.  What all of these projects have in common is the potential for enormous cost savings with faster building times and fewer hours on site being an enormous attraction for an industry obsessed by price and it’s almost certain that 3D will carve out an enormous niche for itself in the market place. On the negative side, it will require enormous investment in specialist machinery and while we can still see a growing trend towards off site production, which is well suited to 3D this writer believes we still have a long way to go. So for the moment, traditional building materials are not under threat – or are they? By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99
    Sep 04, 2017 680
  • 03 Sep 2017
    When you consider the global population is set to increase by another 2 billion by 2050 and with 70% of the world’s population living in cities, there will an unprecedented demand for energy across the planet. The opportunity for architects and stakeholders to create buildings which reduce energy use has never been more apparent.  But can energy efficiency be achieved whilst still maintaining architectural intent? One of the key challenges for architects is working in any way that is inclusive to others so that energy performance can be achieved. Once this challenge is overcome, it’s possible to look at what needs to be achieved in terms of design and energy performance, and then endeavour to make it happen.  The environmental integrity of any building, both in terms of design and operation, must be a key consideration in the design of new buildings and the renovation of existing ones. More and more architects and designers are realising that if you design to be energy efficient it improves quality of life and minimises the harmful impacts on our health.  At the same time, clients are reaping the benefits of more environmentally responsible buildings through future-proofing, reduced operating costs, and comfort and health benefits. Sustainability and environmental objectives can be made a priority in every building design and as such, the thermal performance of the building envelope can make a significant contribution to reducing the overall building energy usage.  The use of renewable energy sources such as wind, geothermal and solar along with the orientation of a building to take full advantage of seasonal changes in the sun’s position are all important steps that can be taken to design for energy efficiency. Indoor environmental quality and how occupants feel in a space is also intrinsic to how an architect strikes a balance between design and sustainability. A healthy indoor environment can be achieved through adequate ventilation, temperature control and the use of low VOC materials. So what is holding back some architects and building owners? Some remain sceptical about climate change while others are not familiar with the new tools and processes that have emerged in recent years to support energy-efficient design. Others might say it costs too much.  Yet evidence increasingly shows that higher performance need not mean higher costs.  It’s possible to integrate environmentally- conscious features and also make fundamental decisions regarding sustainability early in the design process which saves time and money in the long term. Some of the biggest successes in history have come about because of a problem and someone saying let’s work with someone else to try and resolve this problem. From the industrial revolution to the lightbulb to the moon landing, all have come about because of a problem and how we overcame it.  No one person has done it on their own; it’s been a collaboration.  When we collaborate, we achieve things that are far better than when we don’t collaborate. By Darren Evans, Managing Director, Darren Evans Assessments Visit: http://www.darren-evans.co.uk/
    485 Posted by Talk. Build
  • When you consider the global population is set to increase by another 2 billion by 2050 and with 70% of the world’s population living in cities, there will an unprecedented demand for energy across the planet. The opportunity for architects and stakeholders to create buildings which reduce energy use has never been more apparent.  But can energy efficiency be achieved whilst still maintaining architectural intent? One of the key challenges for architects is working in any way that is inclusive to others so that energy performance can be achieved. Once this challenge is overcome, it’s possible to look at what needs to be achieved in terms of design and energy performance, and then endeavour to make it happen.  The environmental integrity of any building, both in terms of design and operation, must be a key consideration in the design of new buildings and the renovation of existing ones. More and more architects and designers are realising that if you design to be energy efficient it improves quality of life and minimises the harmful impacts on our health.  At the same time, clients are reaping the benefits of more environmentally responsible buildings through future-proofing, reduced operating costs, and comfort and health benefits. Sustainability and environmental objectives can be made a priority in every building design and as such, the thermal performance of the building envelope can make a significant contribution to reducing the overall building energy usage.  The use of renewable energy sources such as wind, geothermal and solar along with the orientation of a building to take full advantage of seasonal changes in the sun’s position are all important steps that can be taken to design for energy efficiency. Indoor environmental quality and how occupants feel in a space is also intrinsic to how an architect strikes a balance between design and sustainability. A healthy indoor environment can be achieved through adequate ventilation, temperature control and the use of low VOC materials. So what is holding back some architects and building owners? Some remain sceptical about climate change while others are not familiar with the new tools and processes that have emerged in recent years to support energy-efficient design. Others might say it costs too much.  Yet evidence increasingly shows that higher performance need not mean higher costs.  It’s possible to integrate environmentally- conscious features and also make fundamental decisions regarding sustainability early in the design process which saves time and money in the long term. Some of the biggest successes in history have come about because of a problem and someone saying let’s work with someone else to try and resolve this problem. From the industrial revolution to the lightbulb to the moon landing, all have come about because of a problem and how we overcame it.  No one person has done it on their own; it’s been a collaboration.  When we collaborate, we achieve things that are far better than when we don’t collaborate. By Darren Evans, Managing Director, Darren Evans Assessments Visit: http://www.darren-evans.co.uk/
    Sep 03, 2017 485
  • 02 Sep 2017
    Most people in the construction industry are aware of the enormous skills shortage in all of the building trades. Bricklaying is no exception and there are many anecdotal reports of brick layers earning the equivalent of a “Kings Ransom” as main contractors compete for their skills. So it comes as no surprise to learn that engineers have now developed robots to replace bricklayers and word is that they can do the job six times as fast and could eventually do away with the need to employ humans. Australian company Fastbrick Robotics - https://www.fbr.com.au/ has developed a proof of concept for a commercial bricklaying machine called Hadrian X. Using computer aided design, the Hadrian X robotic bricklayer is able to handle the automatic loading, cutting, routing and placement of all bricks to build a complete structure. The company claims it can build a four bedroomed house in just two days without any human assistance. In America, a company called Construction Robotics - http://www.construction-robotics.com/ - has developed the SAM100, a bricklaying robot designed to work with a human bricklayer by assisting with the repetitive and strenuous tasks of lifting and placing each brick. It’s said that the bricklayer will continue to be responsible for the site setup and final wall quality, but will be able to improve his or her efficiency through the operation of SAM. However, robots like this can lay six times as many bricks a day as human builders and some commentators are seriously suggesting that humans will soon be few and far between on building sites. There are reports that SAM100 is already beginning to replace humans on a handful of sites in America, and Construction Robotics has said that it is hoping to introduce these robots into Britain very soon. While many may now be thinking that “Terminator” is about to become science fact it is reassuring to emphasise that SAM, for the moment, only has the ability to pick up bricks, apply mortar and lay them.  The robot needs to be heavily supervised by humans who have to set up the machines, supervise health and safety and assist with laying bricks at difficult angles, as well as clearing up. But with advances in technology the commentators could be proved right in the long term with robots replacing all human craft skills - it’s a bleak thought. By John Ridgeway   Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    608 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Most people in the construction industry are aware of the enormous skills shortage in all of the building trades. Bricklaying is no exception and there are many anecdotal reports of brick layers earning the equivalent of a “Kings Ransom” as main contractors compete for their skills. So it comes as no surprise to learn that engineers have now developed robots to replace bricklayers and word is that they can do the job six times as fast and could eventually do away with the need to employ humans. Australian company Fastbrick Robotics - https://www.fbr.com.au/ has developed a proof of concept for a commercial bricklaying machine called Hadrian X. Using computer aided design, the Hadrian X robotic bricklayer is able to handle the automatic loading, cutting, routing and placement of all bricks to build a complete structure. The company claims it can build a four bedroomed house in just two days without any human assistance. In America, a company called Construction Robotics - http://www.construction-robotics.com/ - has developed the SAM100, a bricklaying robot designed to work with a human bricklayer by assisting with the repetitive and strenuous tasks of lifting and placing each brick. It’s said that the bricklayer will continue to be responsible for the site setup and final wall quality, but will be able to improve his or her efficiency through the operation of SAM. However, robots like this can lay six times as many bricks a day as human builders and some commentators are seriously suggesting that humans will soon be few and far between on building sites. There are reports that SAM100 is already beginning to replace humans on a handful of sites in America, and Construction Robotics has said that it is hoping to introduce these robots into Britain very soon. While many may now be thinking that “Terminator” is about to become science fact it is reassuring to emphasise that SAM, for the moment, only has the ability to pick up bricks, apply mortar and lay them.  The robot needs to be heavily supervised by humans who have to set up the machines, supervise health and safety and assist with laying bricks at difficult angles, as well as clearing up. But with advances in technology the commentators could be proved right in the long term with robots replacing all human craft skills - it’s a bleak thought. By John Ridgeway   Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    Sep 02, 2017 608
  • 01 Sep 2017
    The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) should be congratulated for their latest initiative to raise the profile of the workforce and improve standards. Chief executive James Talman has set out three objectives which he believes are needed to take the industry forward in what he calls “The Roofing Sector Workforce Development Strategy.” These are to: Establish roofing as a professional, modern respected and aspirational sector with clear career paths; able to attract the best and brightest apprentices, students and new works. Formalise and standardise a higher UK-wide training, accreditation and assessment infrastructure, to upskill and multi-skill its growing work force. Proactive engagement with all roofing sector companies, suppliers and trade associations and seeking endorsement and commitment from all procurement stakeholders; enabling growth increased training and access to grants and higher standards. In all the excitement it would be easy to forget that there is one key sector within roofing that successfully went down this path many years ago – and that would be the mastic asphalt industry. Most of the major contractors within mastic asphalt, via its trade association MAC, have successfully encouraged and supported apprenticeships for many years. All operatives have to have some three years of training before they reach the required craft skills - backed by CITB-approved training schemes, to a minimum of NVQ Level 2 and, ideally, to NVQ Level 3. It has resulted in the most highly trained workforce within roofing which has enabled the industry to support some of the most comprehensive guarantee schemes and warranties – knowing that it has a proven product that can only be installed by the very best. Until now there have been few other areas within roofing that offer the same high standards and support for building owners, architects and all other construction professionals, so it can only be hoped that James Talman will succeed with his new initiative. MAC successfully gives accreditation to all its members and over the years the NFRC has also ensured that it attracts the best operatives, but it only has around 1,000 members and these already represent the cream of the industry. Proof that the scheme will work will only be seen when this initiative goes out to a wider audience. We still have many thousands of so called “ladder and bucket” roofers which are traditionally hard to reach with any new message. We have even more general builders who call themselves roofing contractors when a potential job is in the offing – so it will be intriguing to see how the strategy will work in these areas. The rest of Europe does things slightly differently and roofing is seen for the highly skilled job it really is so I hope that this initiative will succeed at every level and root out the cowboys and make it impossible for them to operate. I fear that this is still a long way off – but you have to start somewhere – so all power to the NFRC. By John Ridgeway  Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    581 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) should be congratulated for their latest initiative to raise the profile of the workforce and improve standards. Chief executive James Talman has set out three objectives which he believes are needed to take the industry forward in what he calls “The Roofing Sector Workforce Development Strategy.” These are to: Establish roofing as a professional, modern respected and aspirational sector with clear career paths; able to attract the best and brightest apprentices, students and new works. Formalise and standardise a higher UK-wide training, accreditation and assessment infrastructure, to upskill and multi-skill its growing work force. Proactive engagement with all roofing sector companies, suppliers and trade associations and seeking endorsement and commitment from all procurement stakeholders; enabling growth increased training and access to grants and higher standards. In all the excitement it would be easy to forget that there is one key sector within roofing that successfully went down this path many years ago – and that would be the mastic asphalt industry. Most of the major contractors within mastic asphalt, via its trade association MAC, have successfully encouraged and supported apprenticeships for many years. All operatives have to have some three years of training before they reach the required craft skills - backed by CITB-approved training schemes, to a minimum of NVQ Level 2 and, ideally, to NVQ Level 3. It has resulted in the most highly trained workforce within roofing which has enabled the industry to support some of the most comprehensive guarantee schemes and warranties – knowing that it has a proven product that can only be installed by the very best. Until now there have been few other areas within roofing that offer the same high standards and support for building owners, architects and all other construction professionals, so it can only be hoped that James Talman will succeed with his new initiative. MAC successfully gives accreditation to all its members and over the years the NFRC has also ensured that it attracts the best operatives, but it only has around 1,000 members and these already represent the cream of the industry. Proof that the scheme will work will only be seen when this initiative goes out to a wider audience. We still have many thousands of so called “ladder and bucket” roofers which are traditionally hard to reach with any new message. We have even more general builders who call themselves roofing contractors when a potential job is in the offing – so it will be intriguing to see how the strategy will work in these areas. The rest of Europe does things slightly differently and roofing is seen for the highly skilled job it really is so I hope that this initiative will succeed at every level and root out the cowboys and make it impossible for them to operate. I fear that this is still a long way off – but you have to start somewhere – so all power to the NFRC. By John Ridgeway  Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    Sep 01, 2017 581
  • 31 Aug 2017
    The headline says it all - and it particularly applies to the construction industry; especially when it comes to our small corner of it, the resin bound permeable paving market. We are not afraid to tell you that we sometimes lose out to competitors quoting up to 20% cheaper than us. “What?” I hear you say “Some of your competitors are 20% cheaper than you and you are admitting it?”  Yes we are and for a very, very good reason… All too often we hear from customers who, having previously bought a cheaper product, ask us to rectify problems associated with inferior resin bound paving. Knowing that the basic requirement of every company is to make a profit, we can rule out companies doing too many jobs ‘out of the kindness of their heart’ or free of charge.  So, with only a limited number of ways to make one resin bound product cheaper than another, and ruling out profit as the major difference, the only other ways are: Cheaper resins Everyone in the industry knows that the resin used (very unsurprisingly) within resin bound paving is the single most crucial factor in determining whether your product is average or great.  Although the quality, cleanliness and consistency of the stone is vitally important, what really differentiates material suppliers is the quality of the resin binder used. There are many ‘tunes’ which can be played with the resin including using different types of vastly differing qualities and altering the formulation percentages to make products stronger or weaker.   Obviously less resin equals cheaper, and I seriously doubt anyone would be surprised that cheaper equals weaker. At SureSet we only use high quality resins, in the correct formulas, ensuring that the durability of our product is top of the agenda. Poor mix design Not investing in technical expertise is another way of reducing cost. Every blend we create at SureSet is tested using a process we have developed over 18 years.  We know that each type and size of individual aggregate has different characteristics, which means that some types of aggregate require different amounts of resin than others. I have heard many companies say “just dump this 7kg resin on top of any 100kg of dry stone and away you go”, but the reality is producing high quality, long lasting products is a far more technical process than that. This completely rules out the ‘one size fits all’ theory, yet there are many well established companies who are still doing just that. Hand in hand with good design is the need to manage quality so that the product produced is consistent and meets required standards.  Customers should look for suppliers who demonstrate this by achieving and maintaining national standards, such as ISO 9001 and Investors in People. Total quantity of material used There are some companies who, to keep the cost of a job low, will install the material at less than optimal depths, regardless of its end use.  When buying resin bound paving you should make sure that each quote has the same specification; if one company is stating a 20mm depth, and the other a 16mm depth, ask both companies why.  The likelihood is that the company stating 20mm will have done so due to turning vehicles, large vehicles or heavier usage etc.  The 20mm material will last longer, and withstand its intended use.  Let’s not forget the company stating 20mm also wants to be as competitive as possible, so it does not make commercial sense to state a greater depth, and therefore increased cost, than is necessary.  If 16mm will do the job, then 16mm would have been quoted for. Poor workmanship Labour costs are also a significant factor when determining the selling point of resin bound paving, both in having the necessary skills, and having enough labour on site. Our experience allows us to precisely assess how many installers are needed to install a particular job and enables us to price accurately.  A mistake commonly made is in thinking that three installers can do the job of five… In theory they probably could, but will the quality and attention to detail be the same if your surface were laid by five skilled installers? The simple answer is no.  If we at SureSet took that approach, whilst our quote would be more competitive and our profit margin increase, the reality is that the installation would be rushed and shortcuts taken. We do everything in our power to avoid under-estimating the time needed for each installation - at the end of the day you are ‘only as good as your last job’. In short there would be no time to walk that ‘extra mile’ and deliver the high quality associated with SureSet.  To summarise Throughout the 18 years SureSet has been manufacturing, supplying and installing permeable resin bound paving, we have been called upon to rectify poor installations. Some can be repaired, while others require complete replacement. Unfortunately for the customer, the original cheap price is no longer the bargain they originally thought it was. When buying resin bound paving I urge you not to buy on price, but consider these points when making your decision: Value – don’t just consider the upfront cost, but the whole life investment into the quality of the product. Remember you can only make cheap resin bound paving by compromising the quality of the end product. Quality– a product that has been well designed, researched and invested in will look better and last longer. Reputation – read testimonials, ask to see installations near you or speak to customers before purchasing.  ‘Word of mouth’ still goes a long way. Guarantee – established companies offering long guarantees offer them for a reason. Likewise companies offering a short guarantee also do so for a reason. Although we would love to, we don’t expect to win every tender we submit - it is not feasible or conducive to a healthy market. However when we lose out to an inferior, cheaper product is frustrating because we know that at some point in the future the customer, who thought they were choosing between ‘like for like’ products will be disappointed with their decision.  Not only was this a loss to SureSet, but more worryingly it could be a loss to the resin bound paving market.  So as the title of my blog suggests: Please, please don’t purchase purely on price, purchase on value. Author: Ben Shave, Sales Director, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: https://www.sureset.co.uk/ Follow Us: https://www.facebook.com/suresetuk/ https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    1327 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The headline says it all - and it particularly applies to the construction industry; especially when it comes to our small corner of it, the resin bound permeable paving market. We are not afraid to tell you that we sometimes lose out to competitors quoting up to 20% cheaper than us. “What?” I hear you say “Some of your competitors are 20% cheaper than you and you are admitting it?”  Yes we are and for a very, very good reason… All too often we hear from customers who, having previously bought a cheaper product, ask us to rectify problems associated with inferior resin bound paving. Knowing that the basic requirement of every company is to make a profit, we can rule out companies doing too many jobs ‘out of the kindness of their heart’ or free of charge.  So, with only a limited number of ways to make one resin bound product cheaper than another, and ruling out profit as the major difference, the only other ways are: Cheaper resins Everyone in the industry knows that the resin used (very unsurprisingly) within resin bound paving is the single most crucial factor in determining whether your product is average or great.  Although the quality, cleanliness and consistency of the stone is vitally important, what really differentiates material suppliers is the quality of the resin binder used. There are many ‘tunes’ which can be played with the resin including using different types of vastly differing qualities and altering the formulation percentages to make products stronger or weaker.   Obviously less resin equals cheaper, and I seriously doubt anyone would be surprised that cheaper equals weaker. At SureSet we only use high quality resins, in the correct formulas, ensuring that the durability of our product is top of the agenda. Poor mix design Not investing in technical expertise is another way of reducing cost. Every blend we create at SureSet is tested using a process we have developed over 18 years.  We know that each type and size of individual aggregate has different characteristics, which means that some types of aggregate require different amounts of resin than others. I have heard many companies say “just dump this 7kg resin on top of any 100kg of dry stone and away you go”, but the reality is producing high quality, long lasting products is a far more technical process than that. This completely rules out the ‘one size fits all’ theory, yet there are many well established companies who are still doing just that. Hand in hand with good design is the need to manage quality so that the product produced is consistent and meets required standards.  Customers should look for suppliers who demonstrate this by achieving and maintaining national standards, such as ISO 9001 and Investors in People. Total quantity of material used There are some companies who, to keep the cost of a job low, will install the material at less than optimal depths, regardless of its end use.  When buying resin bound paving you should make sure that each quote has the same specification; if one company is stating a 20mm depth, and the other a 16mm depth, ask both companies why.  The likelihood is that the company stating 20mm will have done so due to turning vehicles, large vehicles or heavier usage etc.  The 20mm material will last longer, and withstand its intended use.  Let’s not forget the company stating 20mm also wants to be as competitive as possible, so it does not make commercial sense to state a greater depth, and therefore increased cost, than is necessary.  If 16mm will do the job, then 16mm would have been quoted for. Poor workmanship Labour costs are also a significant factor when determining the selling point of resin bound paving, both in having the necessary skills, and having enough labour on site. Our experience allows us to precisely assess how many installers are needed to install a particular job and enables us to price accurately.  A mistake commonly made is in thinking that three installers can do the job of five… In theory they probably could, but will the quality and attention to detail be the same if your surface were laid by five skilled installers? The simple answer is no.  If we at SureSet took that approach, whilst our quote would be more competitive and our profit margin increase, the reality is that the installation would be rushed and shortcuts taken. We do everything in our power to avoid under-estimating the time needed for each installation - at the end of the day you are ‘only as good as your last job’. In short there would be no time to walk that ‘extra mile’ and deliver the high quality associated with SureSet.  To summarise Throughout the 18 years SureSet has been manufacturing, supplying and installing permeable resin bound paving, we have been called upon to rectify poor installations. Some can be repaired, while others require complete replacement. Unfortunately for the customer, the original cheap price is no longer the bargain they originally thought it was. When buying resin bound paving I urge you not to buy on price, but consider these points when making your decision: Value – don’t just consider the upfront cost, but the whole life investment into the quality of the product. Remember you can only make cheap resin bound paving by compromising the quality of the end product. Quality– a product that has been well designed, researched and invested in will look better and last longer. Reputation – read testimonials, ask to see installations near you or speak to customers before purchasing.  ‘Word of mouth’ still goes a long way. Guarantee – established companies offering long guarantees offer them for a reason. Likewise companies offering a short guarantee also do so for a reason. Although we would love to, we don’t expect to win every tender we submit - it is not feasible or conducive to a healthy market. However when we lose out to an inferior, cheaper product is frustrating because we know that at some point in the future the customer, who thought they were choosing between ‘like for like’ products will be disappointed with their decision.  Not only was this a loss to SureSet, but more worryingly it could be a loss to the resin bound paving market.  So as the title of my blog suggests: Please, please don’t purchase purely on price, purchase on value. Author: Ben Shave, Sales Director, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: https://www.sureset.co.uk/ Follow Us: https://www.facebook.com/suresetuk/ https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    Aug 31, 2017 1327
  • 30 Aug 2017
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everything we hoped to achieve in life went according to plan? If every car we bought lived-up to its showroom tag of being a ‘good, reliable, runner’; if every holiday destination was as idyllic and desirable as it appeared in the brochure; if every day at the office was as productive and rewarding as we convinced ourselves it would be when we arrived at 9am. The harsh reality is, however, no matter how diligently we prepare for the best possible outcome in any given situation, events, sometimes beyond our control, cause our best-laid plans to go awry. Poured concrete installation, a vital process in the construction of new buildings, roads and other critical infrastructure, doesn’t always run smoothly. From the presence of small pin-holes due to water damage, to low cover of concrete by insufficient material quantity; there are a number of defects that can be caused by on-site application error or environmental factors. When such issues occur, the availability of quick and easy-to-use products is key to addressing failings and returning a project to its correct course. In Sika, the construction industry has a manufacturer which can be relied upon to supply the right product for the right repair.  Concrete issues Before we consider the solutions, let’s examine the problems that can arise during poured concrete installation. The aforementioned surface pin-holing or honeycombing can occur due to insufficient aggregate in the original pour, leading to a less-than smooth finish. Voids, or small chasms in concrete are another potential issue. Incorrect application of a release agent, water or air can lead to this issue, resulting in a surface that appears damaged or cracked. Shutter removal in freshly-poured concrete can be damaging, as can rainwater landing on recently cast slag, leading to an uneven and imperfect slab. There is potential for cracking in concrete when there’s excess water in the poured mix, or rapid drying takes place. In places of high traffic, damaged edges can occur, whilst incorrect placement of the formwork or damage to the original cover is a cause of low concrete cover. A lack of steel strengthening in the original build can also weaken a concrete installation over time. In all the above instances repairs need to be quick, effective and make the poured concrete look as good as new. Sika has a wide range of proven concrete repair solutions for a wide range of issues. These include: Surface pin-holing: Sika® MonoTop®-620 Honeycombing: Sika® MonoTop®-615, Sika® MonoTop®-614F Shutter damage: Sika® MonoTop®-620 Spalled -Small areas: Sika® Monotop®-612, Sika® Monotop®-615, Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar Spalled – Large areas: Sikacem® 133S Gunite, Sikacem® 133F Gunite Cracking: Sikadur®-31, Sikadur®-52  Damaged edges: Sikadur®-41, Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar Low Concrete Cover: Sika® Ferrogard®-903+, Sika® MonoTop®-610, Sika® MonoTop®-615, Sika® MonoTop®-612, Sika® MonoTop®-614F, Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar Rain Damaged Slab: Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar, Sika® MonoTop®-614F Sika® Screed Hardtop- 60 Errors of judgement are a fact of life and some are more costly than others, particularly on-site. It’s how we react to these indiscretions that count, and in the construction industry it often requires a response that is as rapid as it is effective to prevent seemingly minor issues creating obstacles to a building project’s long-term stability. Make no mistake, whatever the issue; Sika has a proven, quality concrete repair solution. By Charles Pierce, National Sales Manager – Technical Manager Refurbishment, Sika Visit:  www.sika.co.uk
    483 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everything we hoped to achieve in life went according to plan? If every car we bought lived-up to its showroom tag of being a ‘good, reliable, runner’; if every holiday destination was as idyllic and desirable as it appeared in the brochure; if every day at the office was as productive and rewarding as we convinced ourselves it would be when we arrived at 9am. The harsh reality is, however, no matter how diligently we prepare for the best possible outcome in any given situation, events, sometimes beyond our control, cause our best-laid plans to go awry. Poured concrete installation, a vital process in the construction of new buildings, roads and other critical infrastructure, doesn’t always run smoothly. From the presence of small pin-holes due to water damage, to low cover of concrete by insufficient material quantity; there are a number of defects that can be caused by on-site application error or environmental factors. When such issues occur, the availability of quick and easy-to-use products is key to addressing failings and returning a project to its correct course. In Sika, the construction industry has a manufacturer which can be relied upon to supply the right product for the right repair.  Concrete issues Before we consider the solutions, let’s examine the problems that can arise during poured concrete installation. The aforementioned surface pin-holing or honeycombing can occur due to insufficient aggregate in the original pour, leading to a less-than smooth finish. Voids, or small chasms in concrete are another potential issue. Incorrect application of a release agent, water or air can lead to this issue, resulting in a surface that appears damaged or cracked. Shutter removal in freshly-poured concrete can be damaging, as can rainwater landing on recently cast slag, leading to an uneven and imperfect slab. There is potential for cracking in concrete when there’s excess water in the poured mix, or rapid drying takes place. In places of high traffic, damaged edges can occur, whilst incorrect placement of the formwork or damage to the original cover is a cause of low concrete cover. A lack of steel strengthening in the original build can also weaken a concrete installation over time. In all the above instances repairs need to be quick, effective and make the poured concrete look as good as new. Sika has a wide range of proven concrete repair solutions for a wide range of issues. These include: Surface pin-holing: Sika® MonoTop®-620 Honeycombing: Sika® MonoTop®-615, Sika® MonoTop®-614F Shutter damage: Sika® MonoTop®-620 Spalled -Small areas: Sika® Monotop®-612, Sika® Monotop®-615, Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar Spalled – Large areas: Sikacem® 133S Gunite, Sikacem® 133F Gunite Cracking: Sikadur®-31, Sikadur®-52  Damaged edges: Sikadur®-41, Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar Low Concrete Cover: Sika® Ferrogard®-903+, Sika® MonoTop®-610, Sika® MonoTop®-615, Sika® MonoTop®-612, Sika® MonoTop®-614F, Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar Rain Damaged Slab: Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar, Sika® MonoTop®-614F Sika® Screed Hardtop- 60 Errors of judgement are a fact of life and some are more costly than others, particularly on-site. It’s how we react to these indiscretions that count, and in the construction industry it often requires a response that is as rapid as it is effective to prevent seemingly minor issues creating obstacles to a building project’s long-term stability. Make no mistake, whatever the issue; Sika has a proven, quality concrete repair solution. By Charles Pierce, National Sales Manager – Technical Manager Refurbishment, Sika Visit:  www.sika.co.uk
    Aug 30, 2017 483