• 18 Apr 2019
    Technology is evolving through all work sectors, and in particular, it is streamlining construction processes. As software offers ways to gain and store data for projects, and hardware is developed to pick up basic tasks such as bricklaying, concern has been rising over how much longer the human element will be needed in the workplace. Here with structure analysis software experts Oasys, we investigate what the future of builders holds. Worrying over technology taking over jobs It’s a common concern within the industry that technology will ‘steal’ jobs. Technology will not steal our jobs, but just replace us as we shift roles. But how will this impact the construction industry? To understand, we need to have an oversight on statistics that have been released regarding this issue. Boston Consulting Group has said that by 2025, up to a quarter of jobs will be replaced by smart software or robots. This includes a range of professions, from factory workers to doctors, and even journalists. However, a study carried out by Oxford University has said that 35% of existing jobs in Britain are at risk of automation in the next 20 years. There is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the reduction of physical workers, however. However, this can be challenged if we start preparing early and encourage current and future workers to adapt to the changes. This could include advancing their own skillset with a focus on how they can do their job better with the use of technology. How roles in construction are shifting With all the worries over technology taking jobs, there’s often little focus on the need to maintain this technology and the jobs that will create. It’s also left unmentioned that workers will need to use technology, and that leads us to the decision that in the construction industry, builders of the future will become programmers. Over the years, we have seen constant changes in the way we work, and the construction sector has been very accepting to new and innovative methods to make jobs easier. From hammers to nail guns, shovels to diggers — and now practical labour to programming. This isn’t a change that will happen rapidly though. Programming is a topic that schools around the UK should be looking to implement into their curriculums as a core subject to keep up with the demand of jobs and to keep up with the constant changes in technology. If we’re teaching young people old ways, they will be useless when it comes to doing the work and there might not even be jobs available that match their skillsets. With the constant growth in technology surrounding construction, young people need to be prepared with the skills and this shouldn’t be up for debate. Like the studies discussed earlier, more jobs are at risk of being lost due to smart software and robots. Workers need to be as good as the technology. Let’s consider this technology. When it comes to a common piece of software that is used in construction, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an element that can be beneficial, as it allows the appropriate people to access all of the information about a project in one place. It can look at key stages of a project across the lifecycle of a job and provide the information that is needed. This can save both time and money for any construction company and allows builders to have a clear oversight. BIM can help illustrate the entire building, from starting processes to its demolition, and can even show how materials can be reused. Technology is, in a way, taking over the workplace, but in order to maintain relevance in the industry, people must be willing to pick up new digital skills. Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-33327659 https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/19/robot-based-economy-san-francisco  
    399 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Technology is evolving through all work sectors, and in particular, it is streamlining construction processes. As software offers ways to gain and store data for projects, and hardware is developed to pick up basic tasks such as bricklaying, concern has been rising over how much longer the human element will be needed in the workplace. Here with structure analysis software experts Oasys, we investigate what the future of builders holds. Worrying over technology taking over jobs It’s a common concern within the industry that technology will ‘steal’ jobs. Technology will not steal our jobs, but just replace us as we shift roles. But how will this impact the construction industry? To understand, we need to have an oversight on statistics that have been released regarding this issue. Boston Consulting Group has said that by 2025, up to a quarter of jobs will be replaced by smart software or robots. This includes a range of professions, from factory workers to doctors, and even journalists. However, a study carried out by Oxford University has said that 35% of existing jobs in Britain are at risk of automation in the next 20 years. There is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the reduction of physical workers, however. However, this can be challenged if we start preparing early and encourage current and future workers to adapt to the changes. This could include advancing their own skillset with a focus on how they can do their job better with the use of technology. How roles in construction are shifting With all the worries over technology taking jobs, there’s often little focus on the need to maintain this technology and the jobs that will create. It’s also left unmentioned that workers will need to use technology, and that leads us to the decision that in the construction industry, builders of the future will become programmers. Over the years, we have seen constant changes in the way we work, and the construction sector has been very accepting to new and innovative methods to make jobs easier. From hammers to nail guns, shovels to diggers — and now practical labour to programming. This isn’t a change that will happen rapidly though. Programming is a topic that schools around the UK should be looking to implement into their curriculums as a core subject to keep up with the demand of jobs and to keep up with the constant changes in technology. If we’re teaching young people old ways, they will be useless when it comes to doing the work and there might not even be jobs available that match their skillsets. With the constant growth in technology surrounding construction, young people need to be prepared with the skills and this shouldn’t be up for debate. Like the studies discussed earlier, more jobs are at risk of being lost due to smart software and robots. Workers need to be as good as the technology. Let’s consider this technology. When it comes to a common piece of software that is used in construction, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an element that can be beneficial, as it allows the appropriate people to access all of the information about a project in one place. It can look at key stages of a project across the lifecycle of a job and provide the information that is needed. This can save both time and money for any construction company and allows builders to have a clear oversight. BIM can help illustrate the entire building, from starting processes to its demolition, and can even show how materials can be reused. Technology is, in a way, taking over the workplace, but in order to maintain relevance in the industry, people must be willing to pick up new digital skills. Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-33327659 https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/19/robot-based-economy-san-francisco  
    Apr 18, 2019 399
  • 16 Apr 2019
    Transparency is vital in order to maintain positive business relations and to ensure important payments are made without delay writes Matthew Jones. For this reason, it is crucial to have a robust but intuitive payment management system which keeps contractor and subcontractor finances above board and provides both parties with visibility of progress towards payment. Automated solutions such as Open ECX’s WebContractor takes control of key payment processes, improving subcontractors’ visibility of the status of their payment applications, for instance. This blog outlines how digital, straightforward applications for payment systems guarantee clearer visibility across business supply chains. Maintaining healthy business operation is at the top of every company’s agenda, particularly when finances are involved. In the past year, the construction industry has seen a great deal of change in terms of payment practices and the call for evidence. This change, in part, was accelerated by the collapse of Carillion in January 2018 which shocked both the construction industry and the UK at large. After investigation, the construction giant was known to have paid subcontractors up to 120 days late. Undoubtedly, such an event has had huge repercussions on the taxpayer, Caillion’s supply chain and its staff. Carillion’s collapse has even, in some cases, affected the amount of money UK banks loan to construction companies perhaps in fear of a similar occurence. What is the solution? It goes without doubt that an event such as the Carillion collapse cannot happen again. Even though its collapse is a stand-alone case, it still begs several questions on how and why payments were so late. But, moving forward, it is important to identify key solutions to prevent similar events from occuring. All contractors desire a risk-free environment in which their payment processes are rigorous, safe and reliable; such solutions allow contractors to be more organised and efficient with their payments, preventing any late payments from slipping beneath the surface. It is, therefore, crucial to implement innovative solutions which ensure payments can be traced, recorded and accessed accordingly. Open ECX’s WebContractor provides end-to-end management of applications for payment in construction, ensuring complete transparency and accessibility across the supply chain. It is a cloud-based portal for subcontractors to upload payment applications so contractors can manage payments more effectively. As the portal can be accessed anywhere, it is an efficient alternative to submitting paper-based documents or sending applications for payment by emails. Subcontractors upload and submit their applications anywhere and at any time – they aren’t restricted to their office but can complete payments onsite, at home or while travelling elsewhere. Using a system which ensures better visibility of payment applications safeguards businesses and removes risks or threats such as litigation. Timely and accurate submission of payment applications,  means faster processing of these by contractors.. In essence, a solution such as WebContractor removes all the loopholes that a company such as Carillion were able to eschew. It makes for an honest, healthier and more productive financial system beneficial to all parties involved. Visit www.openecx.co.uk  
    447 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Transparency is vital in order to maintain positive business relations and to ensure important payments are made without delay writes Matthew Jones. For this reason, it is crucial to have a robust but intuitive payment management system which keeps contractor and subcontractor finances above board and provides both parties with visibility of progress towards payment. Automated solutions such as Open ECX’s WebContractor takes control of key payment processes, improving subcontractors’ visibility of the status of their payment applications, for instance. This blog outlines how digital, straightforward applications for payment systems guarantee clearer visibility across business supply chains. Maintaining healthy business operation is at the top of every company’s agenda, particularly when finances are involved. In the past year, the construction industry has seen a great deal of change in terms of payment practices and the call for evidence. This change, in part, was accelerated by the collapse of Carillion in January 2018 which shocked both the construction industry and the UK at large. After investigation, the construction giant was known to have paid subcontractors up to 120 days late. Undoubtedly, such an event has had huge repercussions on the taxpayer, Caillion’s supply chain and its staff. Carillion’s collapse has even, in some cases, affected the amount of money UK banks loan to construction companies perhaps in fear of a similar occurence. What is the solution? It goes without doubt that an event such as the Carillion collapse cannot happen again. Even though its collapse is a stand-alone case, it still begs several questions on how and why payments were so late. But, moving forward, it is important to identify key solutions to prevent similar events from occuring. All contractors desire a risk-free environment in which their payment processes are rigorous, safe and reliable; such solutions allow contractors to be more organised and efficient with their payments, preventing any late payments from slipping beneath the surface. It is, therefore, crucial to implement innovative solutions which ensure payments can be traced, recorded and accessed accordingly. Open ECX’s WebContractor provides end-to-end management of applications for payment in construction, ensuring complete transparency and accessibility across the supply chain. It is a cloud-based portal for subcontractors to upload payment applications so contractors can manage payments more effectively. As the portal can be accessed anywhere, it is an efficient alternative to submitting paper-based documents or sending applications for payment by emails. Subcontractors upload and submit their applications anywhere and at any time – they aren’t restricted to their office but can complete payments onsite, at home or while travelling elsewhere. Using a system which ensures better visibility of payment applications safeguards businesses and removes risks or threats such as litigation. Timely and accurate submission of payment applications,  means faster processing of these by contractors.. In essence, a solution such as WebContractor removes all the loopholes that a company such as Carillion were able to eschew. It makes for an honest, healthier and more productive financial system beneficial to all parties involved. Visit www.openecx.co.uk  
    Apr 16, 2019 447
  • 18 Mar 2019
    There has been a lot of talk about HS2 and about how, once completed, it will help to shrink the north-south divide and provide a much-needed transport spine across the country writes Mark Tomlin, CEO of VJ Technology. However, if recent reports are to be believed government sources are claiming that there is talk of cancelling HS2 in its entirety, despite the fact that groundworks have started and considerable time and money have been invested in design, tendering and feasibility. So, what’s the reality – does the UK need a north-south high-speed rail link or is it just financial folly? High Speed 2 (HS2) is a high-speed railway which, once completed, will directly connect London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester. Scheduled to open in phases between 2026 and 2033, high-speed trains will travel up to 400 km/h on 330 miles of track. One of the largest civil engineering projects currently being undertaken in Europe, a recent episode of Dispatches on Channel 4 focussed on the financial viability of the project with it quoting sources within the government who warn that the cost may soon be considered so high that the entire project may be cancelled. One possible scenario of the project being terminated once the first stretch of the new line reaches Birmingham was also presented. The programme claimed industry sources have stated that the project cost could reach a staggering £100bn, substantially up from both 2011's initial estimate of £33bn and today's £56bn promise. More worrying is that in a poll by the programme two-thirds of rail users in the north stated they would rather see the money invested in regional rail. Understandably, for many commuters, local links are more important than another, faster, north-south route. However, I think we could be missing the point. Yes, the costs are high, but this is a project the country sorely needs. The UK used to be second-to-none when it came to infrastructure. Our rail, ports, roads and airports are admired the world over. However, time has taken its toll and a combination of growth in population and a lack of investment has meant that the UK has dropped down the pecking order when it comes to infrastructural excellence. All too often our trains are delayed, our motorways jammed, and our airports and shipping ports are tired and in need of modernisation. Whilst speed of travel is one thing, there is also the user experience. If you compare the UK to any one of the major international airports around the world, I’m not sure we come out on top. HS2 is therefore a critical part of the ongoing investment the government needs to make in UK infrastructure. It is as much about providing UK residents and businesses with improved transportation, as it is about ensuring we maintain our position as an international destination. It will also be a catalyst for improving transport in the North West as, at the end of January, Transport for the North agreed the submission of the business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail, the transformational east-west network. This will connect the northern cities of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Hull, etc, and will provide the local links that residents in the north so desperately need. It will also create job opportunities and attract overseas investment for organisations looking for space, skills and connectivity. However, will this project go ahead without HS2 coming to Leeds and Manchester? Very unlikely, as it simply won’t be viable.  As a key product supplier to major infrastructure projects, VJ Technology has a vested interest in seeing schemes such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail deliver. However, it is more than that. Personally, I would like to see projects such as this succeed as I believe they are important for the nation. Investment in infrastructure is not a folly, it is investment in maintaining our great nation. Yes, it comes at a cost, but if we continue to neglect our infrastructure it will have a far- reaching and significantly more damaging financial impact on our economy, our tourism and our global reputation. Visit: http://www.vjtechnology.com
    301 Posted by Talk. Build
  • There has been a lot of talk about HS2 and about how, once completed, it will help to shrink the north-south divide and provide a much-needed transport spine across the country writes Mark Tomlin, CEO of VJ Technology. However, if recent reports are to be believed government sources are claiming that there is talk of cancelling HS2 in its entirety, despite the fact that groundworks have started and considerable time and money have been invested in design, tendering and feasibility. So, what’s the reality – does the UK need a north-south high-speed rail link or is it just financial folly? High Speed 2 (HS2) is a high-speed railway which, once completed, will directly connect London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester. Scheduled to open in phases between 2026 and 2033, high-speed trains will travel up to 400 km/h on 330 miles of track. One of the largest civil engineering projects currently being undertaken in Europe, a recent episode of Dispatches on Channel 4 focussed on the financial viability of the project with it quoting sources within the government who warn that the cost may soon be considered so high that the entire project may be cancelled. One possible scenario of the project being terminated once the first stretch of the new line reaches Birmingham was also presented. The programme claimed industry sources have stated that the project cost could reach a staggering £100bn, substantially up from both 2011's initial estimate of £33bn and today's £56bn promise. More worrying is that in a poll by the programme two-thirds of rail users in the north stated they would rather see the money invested in regional rail. Understandably, for many commuters, local links are more important than another, faster, north-south route. However, I think we could be missing the point. Yes, the costs are high, but this is a project the country sorely needs. The UK used to be second-to-none when it came to infrastructure. Our rail, ports, roads and airports are admired the world over. However, time has taken its toll and a combination of growth in population and a lack of investment has meant that the UK has dropped down the pecking order when it comes to infrastructural excellence. All too often our trains are delayed, our motorways jammed, and our airports and shipping ports are tired and in need of modernisation. Whilst speed of travel is one thing, there is also the user experience. If you compare the UK to any one of the major international airports around the world, I’m not sure we come out on top. HS2 is therefore a critical part of the ongoing investment the government needs to make in UK infrastructure. It is as much about providing UK residents and businesses with improved transportation, as it is about ensuring we maintain our position as an international destination. It will also be a catalyst for improving transport in the North West as, at the end of January, Transport for the North agreed the submission of the business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail, the transformational east-west network. This will connect the northern cities of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Hull, etc, and will provide the local links that residents in the north so desperately need. It will also create job opportunities and attract overseas investment for organisations looking for space, skills and connectivity. However, will this project go ahead without HS2 coming to Leeds and Manchester? Very unlikely, as it simply won’t be viable.  As a key product supplier to major infrastructure projects, VJ Technology has a vested interest in seeing schemes such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail deliver. However, it is more than that. Personally, I would like to see projects such as this succeed as I believe they are important for the nation. Investment in infrastructure is not a folly, it is investment in maintaining our great nation. Yes, it comes at a cost, but if we continue to neglect our infrastructure it will have a far- reaching and significantly more damaging financial impact on our economy, our tourism and our global reputation. Visit: http://www.vjtechnology.com
    Mar 18, 2019 301
  • 13 Mar 2019
    From residential care homes to hospitals, schools to offices, upgrading old and inefficient heating systems is a proven way to ensure reliability and long-term savings.  Daniel Sturch, Commercial Product Engineer at Alpha Heating Innovation, lifts the lid on fan-assisted condensing boilers which offer a range of features and benefits including high energy efficiency, low emissions and a wide modulation range. A fan-assisted condensing boiler is the ideal heating solution in a commercial heating environment due to its high output, small footprint and the fact that you can cascade up to five boilers in series for multiple outputs.  They are quick to cope with changing heating demands and are a very cost effective solution compared to a single boiler installation.   Fan-assisted boilers such as Alpha’s ProTec Plus range offer greater siting flexibility with options for wall hanging or frame mounting within small boiler rooms.  They also have multiple options for flue terminal position, flue route, and offer greater overall flue length than atmospheric boilers. These boilers achieve high energy efficiency due to a combination of heat exchanger design and technology along with intelligent combustion control from the Honeywell on-board PCB. The importance of a wide modulation range It is ultimately very important to achieve a high modulation range to allow the appliance to make the most efficient cost savings for the user by using the least amount of gas whilst delivering the output required. This modulation rate is therefore a key contributing factor to reducing fuel use. The wider the modulation range, the more flexible the boiler model is, which in turn allows for easier product selection for the installer. Ultimately, it allows the appliance to offer both a high enough output to cope with peak demand, but a low enough minimum input to offer the maximum in fuel savings. High efficiency boilers such as ProTec also offer improved air quality. Reducing emissions such as carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) is due initially to good product design and extensive R&D testing, but then must be aided during the life of a boiler appliance by regular planned preventative maintenance. A ProTec boiler provides installation benefits to the installer both in terms of versatility and the capacity to have a range of outputs that can be cascaded together with three outputs starting from 50kw to 115kW. ProTec offers a simple logical layout, a wide range of accessories to aid installation and multiple flue options along with support from a dedicated commercial technical department. The typical life expectancy of a commercial boiler is 10-15 years depending upon construction material and maintenance regime.  Nursing home heating remedy When it came to bringing an inefficient heating system into the 21st century, a care home in Polmont, Falkirk, received a major efficiency boost from two new boilers supplied by Alpha Heating Innovation that combine domestic and commercial technology.  Providing heat to the Ivybank House facility, which has 42 ensuite rooms and five dining and lounge areas, the new heating system replaced an extremely inefficient, 30-year-old, floorstanding boiler sited in the main building. Having installed boilers from Alpha Heating Innovation on a number of previous occasions, installer Raymond Beveridge trusted the brand and knew it could provide the right products for the job. He said: “I like installing Alpha boilers, especially on the commercial side. I’ve fitted them in a number of care homes and I’ve had no trouble with any of them. Plus, you’re getting the three-year warranty that comes from the manufacturer, so it’s good for the client to know they’ve got that backup for the first three years.” The new boiler fitted in the main nursing home had to be wall hung rather than floorstanding, to enable more space to move around the small plant room. Alpha’s ProTec Plus 115kw system boiler was chosen and met the brief. It offers a condensing central heating output of 121.7kW, and has a seasonal efficiency of 96.4%. A stainless steel heat exchanger and fully modulating built-in circulator pump offers long-term reliability, while features include frost protection, weather compensation compatibility and a back-lit LCD interface. The ProTec Plus has a wide 1:10 modulation range to boost efficiencies further and is compatible with Alpha’s open and concentric push-fit flue systems. The separate laundry room had been using a gas-fired water heater to supply hot water to the sink, with electric heaters keeping the space warm in winter. Originally installed incorrectly, acidic corrosion had damaged the old heater, ultimately causing it to burst and leak water. As a more economical solution, the old system was replaced with Alpha’s 33kW E-Tec combi boiler to run both the heating and the hot water. The E-Tec 33 comes with a stainless steel heat exchanger, as well as a high-efficiency Grundfos pump with hydroblock assembly. A zinc-plated expansion vessel prevents corrosion, which was particularly appealing to the owners of the nursing home, following their experience with the previous system. For peace of mind, the E-Tec comes with a five-year warranty, with three years for the ProTec Plus. The tried and tested boiler condensing technology installed at Ivybank is a game-changer when it comes to reducing carbon and energy savings.  Offering the installer ease of installation and maintenance, compact and versatile fan-assisted boilers such as Alpha’s ProTec Plus can futureproof the energy demands in a wide range of commercial buildings. Visit: www.alpha-innovation.co.uk
    331 Posted by Talk. Build
  • From residential care homes to hospitals, schools to offices, upgrading old and inefficient heating systems is a proven way to ensure reliability and long-term savings.  Daniel Sturch, Commercial Product Engineer at Alpha Heating Innovation, lifts the lid on fan-assisted condensing boilers which offer a range of features and benefits including high energy efficiency, low emissions and a wide modulation range. A fan-assisted condensing boiler is the ideal heating solution in a commercial heating environment due to its high output, small footprint and the fact that you can cascade up to five boilers in series for multiple outputs.  They are quick to cope with changing heating demands and are a very cost effective solution compared to a single boiler installation.   Fan-assisted boilers such as Alpha’s ProTec Plus range offer greater siting flexibility with options for wall hanging or frame mounting within small boiler rooms.  They also have multiple options for flue terminal position, flue route, and offer greater overall flue length than atmospheric boilers. These boilers achieve high energy efficiency due to a combination of heat exchanger design and technology along with intelligent combustion control from the Honeywell on-board PCB. The importance of a wide modulation range It is ultimately very important to achieve a high modulation range to allow the appliance to make the most efficient cost savings for the user by using the least amount of gas whilst delivering the output required. This modulation rate is therefore a key contributing factor to reducing fuel use. The wider the modulation range, the more flexible the boiler model is, which in turn allows for easier product selection for the installer. Ultimately, it allows the appliance to offer both a high enough output to cope with peak demand, but a low enough minimum input to offer the maximum in fuel savings. High efficiency boilers such as ProTec also offer improved air quality. Reducing emissions such as carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) is due initially to good product design and extensive R&D testing, but then must be aided during the life of a boiler appliance by regular planned preventative maintenance. A ProTec boiler provides installation benefits to the installer both in terms of versatility and the capacity to have a range of outputs that can be cascaded together with three outputs starting from 50kw to 115kW. ProTec offers a simple logical layout, a wide range of accessories to aid installation and multiple flue options along with support from a dedicated commercial technical department. The typical life expectancy of a commercial boiler is 10-15 years depending upon construction material and maintenance regime.  Nursing home heating remedy When it came to bringing an inefficient heating system into the 21st century, a care home in Polmont, Falkirk, received a major efficiency boost from two new boilers supplied by Alpha Heating Innovation that combine domestic and commercial technology.  Providing heat to the Ivybank House facility, which has 42 ensuite rooms and five dining and lounge areas, the new heating system replaced an extremely inefficient, 30-year-old, floorstanding boiler sited in the main building. Having installed boilers from Alpha Heating Innovation on a number of previous occasions, installer Raymond Beveridge trusted the brand and knew it could provide the right products for the job. He said: “I like installing Alpha boilers, especially on the commercial side. I’ve fitted them in a number of care homes and I’ve had no trouble with any of them. Plus, you’re getting the three-year warranty that comes from the manufacturer, so it’s good for the client to know they’ve got that backup for the first three years.” The new boiler fitted in the main nursing home had to be wall hung rather than floorstanding, to enable more space to move around the small plant room. Alpha’s ProTec Plus 115kw system boiler was chosen and met the brief. It offers a condensing central heating output of 121.7kW, and has a seasonal efficiency of 96.4%. A stainless steel heat exchanger and fully modulating built-in circulator pump offers long-term reliability, while features include frost protection, weather compensation compatibility and a back-lit LCD interface. The ProTec Plus has a wide 1:10 modulation range to boost efficiencies further and is compatible with Alpha’s open and concentric push-fit flue systems. The separate laundry room had been using a gas-fired water heater to supply hot water to the sink, with electric heaters keeping the space warm in winter. Originally installed incorrectly, acidic corrosion had damaged the old heater, ultimately causing it to burst and leak water. As a more economical solution, the old system was replaced with Alpha’s 33kW E-Tec combi boiler to run both the heating and the hot water. The E-Tec 33 comes with a stainless steel heat exchanger, as well as a high-efficiency Grundfos pump with hydroblock assembly. A zinc-plated expansion vessel prevents corrosion, which was particularly appealing to the owners of the nursing home, following their experience with the previous system. For peace of mind, the E-Tec comes with a five-year warranty, with three years for the ProTec Plus. The tried and tested boiler condensing technology installed at Ivybank is a game-changer when it comes to reducing carbon and energy savings.  Offering the installer ease of installation and maintenance, compact and versatile fan-assisted boilers such as Alpha’s ProTec Plus can futureproof the energy demands in a wide range of commercial buildings. Visit: www.alpha-innovation.co.uk
    Mar 13, 2019 331
  • 06 Mar 2019
    Tendering for any project takes a great deal of consideration and attention. Although it is an important task which is completely instrumental to securing a project, it can be time-consuming. And, depending on the scale of a project and size of a company, the tendering process can be extremely varied. With this in mind, what are the hidden secrets to efficient and accurate job costing and estimating? How can construction estimating software ensure better visibility and traceability throughout the tendering process? Is there one solution which can truly streamline these complex processes?   Setting the scene Once a contractor has meticulously analysed whether a potential project is feasible, the tendering process can begin. Tendering processes vary from company to company but typically there are two formulas, ‘open’ or ‘restricted’ tendering. Whereas open tendering means applications can be received from a number of contractors, restricted tendering is limited to invited parties only. Even though there are two different methods such as these, there is one area which is a mainstay for all construction projects: the creation of a product library. To build a product library, the following methods can be adopted. Whereas smaller contractors might use a directory such as Laxton’s SMM and NRM price books, larger contractors might use this reference as a way to benchmark their own, or their subcontractors’ rates. For more specialist contractors, they might follow their own methods and only use a price book to help calculate the cost of work outside their usual scope. When ready to estimate for a particular project, the relevant items and resources from the product library are selected and converted into a BOQ (Bills of Quantities) – a crucial statement holding important project information such as prices and resource build up information of materials, labour, quantities and dimensions. Depending on the contractor’s preferred method, they can either create the BOQ themselves, or disseminate to subcontractors for price-approval. In all of these situations however, collating estimates for different parts of a project is a long process which takes time, attention and plenty of correspondence. Streamlining this process This initial cost estimation is vital to the overarching tendering process, but without the right resources it can be heavily time-consuming. Usually, a contractor might be juggling multiple tender applications at one time, which means there is double, even triple the amount of data recorded across various spreadsheets. Handling this level of data comes with storage and security risks, particularly as the spreadsheets cannot be easily recovered should they be mislaid. Adding to this, spreadsheets are consistently sent back-and-forth between contractor and subcontractor during the estimation process. And, as this method means information can be difficult to collate and track, accuracy might be compromised. For such a crucial process, this carries too much uncertainty and risk. Whilst these manual processes can work quite successfully for some construction companies, there are other approaches designed to streamline these tasks. What is the secret? To streamline processes, including the creation of product libraries, construction estimating software such as Eque2’s EValuate can help you to describe, measure and price tenders without duplication of effort. EValuate is also integrated with Laxton’s Priced Libraries which provides resource build up’s with annually updated rates for pricing items directly, or for comparison with your rates or subcontractor rates which is compatible with both SMM and NRM rules of measurement. A solution such as EValuate expedites the tendering process so companies can move on to secure more work. With this solution, a contractor can tend for multiple projects as they have the time and resource to do so. Conversely, for a company receiving the tender, they can accurately benchmark the costs against other sources to ensure they achieve the right price for a project. Therefore, modern estimating software such as EValuate incorporated with Laxton’s Priced Libraries is an efficient and user-friendly tool which cleanses an otherwise long and complex tendering process. For construction companies, it is a solution which enhances business productivity as opposed to disrupting it. With added benefits including data security, accuracy and performance efficiency, EValuate can be accessed by all parties involved to assure consistency across the board. For larger companies with multiple estimators working on multiple projects across different sectors, an unrivalled solution such as EValuate ensures data can be accessed and stored in one secure location. Evolving with industry changes, this innovative software is revolutionising the construction industry’s tendering process, helping to reduce risk, save time and win more work. Visit: https://www.eque2.co.uk
    306 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Tendering for any project takes a great deal of consideration and attention. Although it is an important task which is completely instrumental to securing a project, it can be time-consuming. And, depending on the scale of a project and size of a company, the tendering process can be extremely varied. With this in mind, what are the hidden secrets to efficient and accurate job costing and estimating? How can construction estimating software ensure better visibility and traceability throughout the tendering process? Is there one solution which can truly streamline these complex processes?   Setting the scene Once a contractor has meticulously analysed whether a potential project is feasible, the tendering process can begin. Tendering processes vary from company to company but typically there are two formulas, ‘open’ or ‘restricted’ tendering. Whereas open tendering means applications can be received from a number of contractors, restricted tendering is limited to invited parties only. Even though there are two different methods such as these, there is one area which is a mainstay for all construction projects: the creation of a product library. To build a product library, the following methods can be adopted. Whereas smaller contractors might use a directory such as Laxton’s SMM and NRM price books, larger contractors might use this reference as a way to benchmark their own, or their subcontractors’ rates. For more specialist contractors, they might follow their own methods and only use a price book to help calculate the cost of work outside their usual scope. When ready to estimate for a particular project, the relevant items and resources from the product library are selected and converted into a BOQ (Bills of Quantities) – a crucial statement holding important project information such as prices and resource build up information of materials, labour, quantities and dimensions. Depending on the contractor’s preferred method, they can either create the BOQ themselves, or disseminate to subcontractors for price-approval. In all of these situations however, collating estimates for different parts of a project is a long process which takes time, attention and plenty of correspondence. Streamlining this process This initial cost estimation is vital to the overarching tendering process, but without the right resources it can be heavily time-consuming. Usually, a contractor might be juggling multiple tender applications at one time, which means there is double, even triple the amount of data recorded across various spreadsheets. Handling this level of data comes with storage and security risks, particularly as the spreadsheets cannot be easily recovered should they be mislaid. Adding to this, spreadsheets are consistently sent back-and-forth between contractor and subcontractor during the estimation process. And, as this method means information can be difficult to collate and track, accuracy might be compromised. For such a crucial process, this carries too much uncertainty and risk. Whilst these manual processes can work quite successfully for some construction companies, there are other approaches designed to streamline these tasks. What is the secret? To streamline processes, including the creation of product libraries, construction estimating software such as Eque2’s EValuate can help you to describe, measure and price tenders without duplication of effort. EValuate is also integrated with Laxton’s Priced Libraries which provides resource build up’s with annually updated rates for pricing items directly, or for comparison with your rates or subcontractor rates which is compatible with both SMM and NRM rules of measurement. A solution such as EValuate expedites the tendering process so companies can move on to secure more work. With this solution, a contractor can tend for multiple projects as they have the time and resource to do so. Conversely, for a company receiving the tender, they can accurately benchmark the costs against other sources to ensure they achieve the right price for a project. Therefore, modern estimating software such as EValuate incorporated with Laxton’s Priced Libraries is an efficient and user-friendly tool which cleanses an otherwise long and complex tendering process. For construction companies, it is a solution which enhances business productivity as opposed to disrupting it. With added benefits including data security, accuracy and performance efficiency, EValuate can be accessed by all parties involved to assure consistency across the board. For larger companies with multiple estimators working on multiple projects across different sectors, an unrivalled solution such as EValuate ensures data can be accessed and stored in one secure location. Evolving with industry changes, this innovative software is revolutionising the construction industry’s tendering process, helping to reduce risk, save time and win more work. Visit: https://www.eque2.co.uk
    Mar 06, 2019 306
  • 26 Feb 2019
    Creating sustainable buildings which make occupants feel better as well as happier and more productive should be a given writes Sarah Peake, Sustainability Manager for Sika.  After all, we spend much of our day indoors. The global sustainability standard BREEAM embraces many different facets of sustainability from materials to energy to water use with Health and Wellbeing representing one of the biggest proportions of credits available.  Other green building standards, such as the WELL Building Standard and the Living Building Challenge put the occupant’s health and wellbeing at the centre of the entire standard.  However you don’t have to be working to a green building standard to see the benefits of some simple measures that are easy to incorporate into a new build or even in some cases a refurbishment project. It has been estimated that staff costs, including salaries and benefits, typically account for about 90% of business operating costs. Therefore, what may appear to be a modest improvement in employee health or productivity can have a huge financial implication for employers – one that is many times larger than any other financial savings associated with an efficiently designed and operated building. Lighting in the workplace is a key consideration and must satisfy a variety of needs.  As well as allowing us to see the task in front of us, lighting can also affect many aspects of wellbeing, including comfort, communication, mood, health, safety and aesthetics. Poor visibility, glare, flicker and lack of control of the visual environment can all affect task performance, whilst visual discomfort may lead to headaches and eyestrain.  It is also important to note that not all colours of light have the same affect on the human body.  Blue wavelengths, as exhibited by electronic screens and energy efficient lighting, are useful during daylight hours in that they boost attention, reaction times and moods, but appear to be problematic at night with a potential link to disturbed sleep patterns, diabetes and obesity1. A Room With A View A recent study by neuroscientists suggested that office workers with windows received 173 percent more white light exposure during work hours and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night2. Workers without windows reported poorer scores than their counterparts on quality of life measures related to physical problems and vitality, as well as poorer outcomes on measures of overall sleep quality, sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances and daytime dysfunction – all of which can be classed as circadian rhythm disorders. However, attributing these results solely to access to daylight is erroneous. Many researchers now believe that levels of exposure to white light is not the most significant factor and that in fact, views of nature and other biophilic experiences are more important.  As such, biophilic research is now increasingly focusing on physiological responses such as brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormone levels. When used appropriately, many Sika products can contribute towards a more sustainable building design potentially leading to a more positive impact upon the building occupant’s health and wellbeing.  For example, Sika sealants can be used to minimise the amount of window frame and maximise the amount of glazing, increasing the potential for natural lighting.  Also Sika’s Green Roof Systems can increase the opportunities for views of nature in heavily urbanised environments. Design in Good Air Quality Building occupants can be exposed to a range of airborne pollutants including chemicals, micro-organisms and other particles from a variety of sources such as carpets, finishes, cleaning products, office equipment and traffic.  Design strategies that ensure good air quality, both by allowing a supply of fresh air through ventilation and stopping pollutants at source by minimising emissions from materials, are essential for the development of a healthy and productive working environment.  Furthermore, the increasing availability of cost-effective wearable devices that measure CO2 levels means that design features - such as mixed-mode ventilation systems that consider thermal comfort and fresh-air requirements - will, in the future, be expected by millennials, generation Zs and top class candidates. Design out Volatile Organic Compounds While many volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as gases from certain solids and liquids, are considered harmless others can adversely affect human health.  Many Sika products have very low VOC content, meeting European standards such as EMICODE EC1 Plus and the requirements of BREEAM New Construction 2018.  All new product creation projects at Sika have to consider all aspects of sustainability at the outset, resulting in the development of products that have been specifically designed to have lower emission levels. Standards of the Future Putting the focus on the end-user and their wellbeing is something the pioneering WELLBuilding Standardhas done for many years.  The recently releasedWELL v2TM pilot has expanded on this, reportedly consideringbuildings as “health intervention tools”.  In addition, the RICS SKA rating – an environmental assessment method, benchmark and standard for non-domestic fit-outs – is also undergoing an update that is expected to return the standard to its roots by focusing on a fit-out’s impact upon the buildings occupants. The ever increasing popularity and evolution of these standards clearly confirms that the impact of building solutions on the health and wellbeing of building occupants is a topic that is not going to go away. As such in order to appeal to the staff of the future, companies can no longer ignore the needs of the workers and must do more than simply providing a space to work. The 21st century workplace must offer good design that benefits both the planet and the occupants.  As a world class construction material manufacturer, Sika has a clear understanding that all aspects of sustainability and wellbeing impact each other and so can offer sustainable solutions that have a positive impact on the health, wellbeing and productivity of building occupants. Visit: SikaEveryday
    331 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Creating sustainable buildings which make occupants feel better as well as happier and more productive should be a given writes Sarah Peake, Sustainability Manager for Sika.  After all, we spend much of our day indoors. The global sustainability standard BREEAM embraces many different facets of sustainability from materials to energy to water use with Health and Wellbeing representing one of the biggest proportions of credits available.  Other green building standards, such as the WELL Building Standard and the Living Building Challenge put the occupant’s health and wellbeing at the centre of the entire standard.  However you don’t have to be working to a green building standard to see the benefits of some simple measures that are easy to incorporate into a new build or even in some cases a refurbishment project. It has been estimated that staff costs, including salaries and benefits, typically account for about 90% of business operating costs. Therefore, what may appear to be a modest improvement in employee health or productivity can have a huge financial implication for employers – one that is many times larger than any other financial savings associated with an efficiently designed and operated building. Lighting in the workplace is a key consideration and must satisfy a variety of needs.  As well as allowing us to see the task in front of us, lighting can also affect many aspects of wellbeing, including comfort, communication, mood, health, safety and aesthetics. Poor visibility, glare, flicker and lack of control of the visual environment can all affect task performance, whilst visual discomfort may lead to headaches and eyestrain.  It is also important to note that not all colours of light have the same affect on the human body.  Blue wavelengths, as exhibited by electronic screens and energy efficient lighting, are useful during daylight hours in that they boost attention, reaction times and moods, but appear to be problematic at night with a potential link to disturbed sleep patterns, diabetes and obesity1. A Room With A View A recent study by neuroscientists suggested that office workers with windows received 173 percent more white light exposure during work hours and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night2. Workers without windows reported poorer scores than their counterparts on quality of life measures related to physical problems and vitality, as well as poorer outcomes on measures of overall sleep quality, sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances and daytime dysfunction – all of which can be classed as circadian rhythm disorders. However, attributing these results solely to access to daylight is erroneous. Many researchers now believe that levels of exposure to white light is not the most significant factor and that in fact, views of nature and other biophilic experiences are more important.  As such, biophilic research is now increasingly focusing on physiological responses such as brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormone levels. When used appropriately, many Sika products can contribute towards a more sustainable building design potentially leading to a more positive impact upon the building occupant’s health and wellbeing.  For example, Sika sealants can be used to minimise the amount of window frame and maximise the amount of glazing, increasing the potential for natural lighting.  Also Sika’s Green Roof Systems can increase the opportunities for views of nature in heavily urbanised environments. Design in Good Air Quality Building occupants can be exposed to a range of airborne pollutants including chemicals, micro-organisms and other particles from a variety of sources such as carpets, finishes, cleaning products, office equipment and traffic.  Design strategies that ensure good air quality, both by allowing a supply of fresh air through ventilation and stopping pollutants at source by minimising emissions from materials, are essential for the development of a healthy and productive working environment.  Furthermore, the increasing availability of cost-effective wearable devices that measure CO2 levels means that design features - such as mixed-mode ventilation systems that consider thermal comfort and fresh-air requirements - will, in the future, be expected by millennials, generation Zs and top class candidates. Design out Volatile Organic Compounds While many volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as gases from certain solids and liquids, are considered harmless others can adversely affect human health.  Many Sika products have very low VOC content, meeting European standards such as EMICODE EC1 Plus and the requirements of BREEAM New Construction 2018.  All new product creation projects at Sika have to consider all aspects of sustainability at the outset, resulting in the development of products that have been specifically designed to have lower emission levels. Standards of the Future Putting the focus on the end-user and their wellbeing is something the pioneering WELLBuilding Standardhas done for many years.  The recently releasedWELL v2TM pilot has expanded on this, reportedly consideringbuildings as “health intervention tools”.  In addition, the RICS SKA rating – an environmental assessment method, benchmark and standard for non-domestic fit-outs – is also undergoing an update that is expected to return the standard to its roots by focusing on a fit-out’s impact upon the buildings occupants. The ever increasing popularity and evolution of these standards clearly confirms that the impact of building solutions on the health and wellbeing of building occupants is a topic that is not going to go away. As such in order to appeal to the staff of the future, companies can no longer ignore the needs of the workers and must do more than simply providing a space to work. The 21st century workplace must offer good design that benefits both the planet and the occupants.  As a world class construction material manufacturer, Sika has a clear understanding that all aspects of sustainability and wellbeing impact each other and so can offer sustainable solutions that have a positive impact on the health, wellbeing and productivity of building occupants. Visit: SikaEveryday
    Feb 26, 2019 331
  • 25 Feb 2019
    According to the United Nations, in 2050 the world’s population is expected to be around 9.8 billion, which is expected to grow to an astonishing 11.2 billion people in 2100. Back in 2010, Tokyo, Japan had the biggest population of any city on the planet with a population of over 36 Million people. This was nearly 15 million more than Delhi, India, which had the second highest population. Fast forward 90 years you’d expect Tokyo to be even further ahead, right? Wrong. Tokyo is predicted to not even make it into the top 20 cities in the world. In fact, only 6 of the top 20 cities with the highest population in 2010 are predicted to still be in the top 20 by 2100. In this research led piece, Roof Stores have been tracking the top 20 cities in the world with the highest population back in 2010 and following their projected population increase or decrease over the years. If they drop out of the top 20, the city that overtakes it joins the chart and replaces it. Read on to see how it’s changed! The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2010 were: Tokyo, Japan - 36,834,000 Delhi, India - 21,935,000 Mexico City, Mexico - 20,132,000 Shanghai, China - 19,980,000 São Paulo, Brazil - 19,660,000 Osaka, Japan - 19,492,000 Mumbai, India - 19,422,000 New York, United States of America - 18,365,000 Cairo, Egypt - 16,899,000 Beijing, China - 16,190,000   The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2025 are expected to be: Tokyo, Japan - 36,400,000 Mumbai (Bombay), India - 26,385,000 Delhi, India - 22,498,000 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 22,015,000 Sao Paulo, Brazil - 21,428,000 Mexico City, Mexico - 21,009,000 New York City-Newark, USA - 20,628,000 Kolkata (Calcutta), India - 20,560,000 Shanghai, China - 19,412,000 Karachi, Pakistan - 19,095,000   The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2050 are expected to be: Mumbai (Bombay), India - 42,403,631 Delhi, India - 36,156,789 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 35,193,184 Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo - 35,000,361 Kolkata (Calcutta), India - 33,042,208 Lagos, Nigeria - 32,629,709 Tokyo, Japan - 32,621,993 Karachi, Pakistan - 31,696,042 New York City-Newark, USA - 24,768,743 Mexico City, Mexico - 24,328,738  The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2075 are expected to be: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo - 58,424,142 Mumbai, India - 57,862,345 Lagos, Nigeria - 57,195,075 Delhi, India - 49,338,148 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 46,218,971 Kolkata, India - 45,088,111 Karachi, Pakistan - 43,373,574 Dar Es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania - 37,484,980 Cairo, Egypt - 32,999,203 Manila, Philippines - 32,748,758 The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2100 are expected to be: Lagos, Nigeria - 88,344,661 Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo - 83,493,793 Dar Es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania - 73,678,022 Mumbai, India - 67,239,804 Delhi, India - 57,334,134 Khartoum, Sudan - 56,594,472 Niamey, Niger - 56,149,130 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 54,249,845 Kolkata, India - 52,395,315 Kabul, Afghanistan - 50,269,659 Visit: https://www.roof-stores.co.uk
    311 Posted by Talk. Build
  • According to the United Nations, in 2050 the world’s population is expected to be around 9.8 billion, which is expected to grow to an astonishing 11.2 billion people in 2100. Back in 2010, Tokyo, Japan had the biggest population of any city on the planet with a population of over 36 Million people. This was nearly 15 million more than Delhi, India, which had the second highest population. Fast forward 90 years you’d expect Tokyo to be even further ahead, right? Wrong. Tokyo is predicted to not even make it into the top 20 cities in the world. In fact, only 6 of the top 20 cities with the highest population in 2010 are predicted to still be in the top 20 by 2100. In this research led piece, Roof Stores have been tracking the top 20 cities in the world with the highest population back in 2010 and following their projected population increase or decrease over the years. If they drop out of the top 20, the city that overtakes it joins the chart and replaces it. Read on to see how it’s changed! The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2010 were: Tokyo, Japan - 36,834,000 Delhi, India - 21,935,000 Mexico City, Mexico - 20,132,000 Shanghai, China - 19,980,000 São Paulo, Brazil - 19,660,000 Osaka, Japan - 19,492,000 Mumbai, India - 19,422,000 New York, United States of America - 18,365,000 Cairo, Egypt - 16,899,000 Beijing, China - 16,190,000   The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2025 are expected to be: Tokyo, Japan - 36,400,000 Mumbai (Bombay), India - 26,385,000 Delhi, India - 22,498,000 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 22,015,000 Sao Paulo, Brazil - 21,428,000 Mexico City, Mexico - 21,009,000 New York City-Newark, USA - 20,628,000 Kolkata (Calcutta), India - 20,560,000 Shanghai, China - 19,412,000 Karachi, Pakistan - 19,095,000   The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2050 are expected to be: Mumbai (Bombay), India - 42,403,631 Delhi, India - 36,156,789 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 35,193,184 Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo - 35,000,361 Kolkata (Calcutta), India - 33,042,208 Lagos, Nigeria - 32,629,709 Tokyo, Japan - 32,621,993 Karachi, Pakistan - 31,696,042 New York City-Newark, USA - 24,768,743 Mexico City, Mexico - 24,328,738  The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2075 are expected to be: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo - 58,424,142 Mumbai, India - 57,862,345 Lagos, Nigeria - 57,195,075 Delhi, India - 49,338,148 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 46,218,971 Kolkata, India - 45,088,111 Karachi, Pakistan - 43,373,574 Dar Es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania - 37,484,980 Cairo, Egypt - 32,999,203 Manila, Philippines - 32,748,758 The Top 10 Biggest Cities by Population in 2100 are expected to be: Lagos, Nigeria - 88,344,661 Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo - 83,493,793 Dar Es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania - 73,678,022 Mumbai, India - 67,239,804 Delhi, India - 57,334,134 Khartoum, Sudan - 56,594,472 Niamey, Niger - 56,149,130 Dhaka, Bangladesh - 54,249,845 Kolkata, India - 52,395,315 Kabul, Afghanistan - 50,269,659 Visit: https://www.roof-stores.co.uk
    Feb 25, 2019 311
  • 22 Feb 2019
    The construction industry is dynamic — ever changing and evolving through technology. The way contractors work today is clearly much different than 50 years ago — or 20 years — or even five years ago writes Jeff Winke. The big difference is due to advances in technology in the machines and tools that enable greater productivity, reduce time, and provide better results. There’s a great John F. Kennedy quote that captures the essence of the construction world: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”   Successful contractors and construction workers recognize that they must take control of their future or risk being left behind. This spirit of paying attention and taking control of the future plays into the notion of being prepared with the right knowledge and skills. “Technology in earthmoving and site work changes too frequently to be ignored,” states Ron Oberlander, senior director, Professional Services for Topcon Positioning Group.  “Contractors must continually seek out new information, learn from others, and take advantage of training opportunities as often as they can to remain competitive.” Successful construction contractors view training as a necessary and beneficial investment in their business and point to numerous reasons why the investment is worthwhile: Improves safety – Contractors acknowledge that the safety of their workers is critical. The right training can ensure that the equipment is operated correctly and that health and safety practices are being followed in the workplace. Improves productivity – It makes sense and is proven that well-trained employees are more confident in their abilities to perform their work. The right training gives workers the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their work to the best of their ability, thus increasing productivity and quality of the results. Keeps current with technology – The pace of technology changes and advancements in construction come fast and furious. Regular training means the business and employees don’t get left behind and they stay working at their best, both today and in the future. Attracts and retain key employees – In today’s market, contractors cannot afford to hire or carry workers who are not super competent or are firmly on a path to proficiency. Training and development programs not only attract, but they can engage current employees and keep them committed to the company. Gives company and workers the edge – Training employees can provide a genuine competitive advantage over competition. The only way to be better than competitors is by employees being better than the rest and training is a direct route to achieving this. “The key attributes of good training are that it is repeatable, consistent, and offered frequently so workers can commit to learning regularly,” Oberlander said. “Both managers and workers will never know everything about the products and systems they use; so, training helps everyone be smarter and more productive. I tell the people we train that if you feel you are pretty productive now, you’ll be even more productive after training.” To be effective, training needs to be concise and specific to a contractor’s needs. Construction contractors and professional surveyors are extremely busy and do not have the time or patience for superfluous information. One of the benefits of good training is to teach learners how to be resourceful and effective after the trainer is gone. Knowing when, how, and where to go for help can reinforce the content and skills acquired during training. “To ensure our products and systems are fully used after training, we’ve created two helpful resources—a global Professional Services team and a myTopcon support and training site,” said Oberlander. “Our markets are diverse, but they share a common necessity of highly precise measurements, increased automation and workflow solutions to improve their productivity. These resources are designed to provide solutions and workflow assistance to ensure the highest efficiency for our customers and help them to expand their businesses by applying these skills and technologies into new applications.” The Topcon Professional Services team has been created to integrate training, customer support, and sales support into a single resource intended to help its customers adopt and apply new technologies as they emerge. The Professional Services team includes more than 40 applications experts from the surveying, construction, civil engineering, networking and mapping fields. These experts are located around the world to support the company’s global market. The myTopcon site is designed to provide direct access to online training, firmware and software updates, and reference resources at a mobile-adapted site that can be accessed from the field. Again, the intent of both the Professional Services team and the myTopcon site is to extend and support the information and content as well as new skills acquired during training. Clearly, as the labor market continues to tighten, and as more and more baby boomers head into retirement, construction companies will need to sharpen their recruiting, hiring, and training capabilities. Younger millennial and Generation X workers expect more than their older counterparts ever did, but in exchange they bring an acceptance, expectation, and appreciation of the role technology is playing in construction today. By being committed to ongoing training, a construction firm can build a sense of connection, which can help create the positive environment where employees are willing to go above and beyond to help fuel organizational success.            As John F. Kennedy pointed out — change is the law of life — and clearly, the investment in training can keep a construction company fresh, up-to-date, and better prepared to adapt and succeed in the face of change. Jeff Winke is a business and construction writer based in Milwaukee, Wis. He can be reached through jeff_winke@yahoo.com  
    344 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The construction industry is dynamic — ever changing and evolving through technology. The way contractors work today is clearly much different than 50 years ago — or 20 years — or even five years ago writes Jeff Winke. The big difference is due to advances in technology in the machines and tools that enable greater productivity, reduce time, and provide better results. There’s a great John F. Kennedy quote that captures the essence of the construction world: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”   Successful contractors and construction workers recognize that they must take control of their future or risk being left behind. This spirit of paying attention and taking control of the future plays into the notion of being prepared with the right knowledge and skills. “Technology in earthmoving and site work changes too frequently to be ignored,” states Ron Oberlander, senior director, Professional Services for Topcon Positioning Group.  “Contractors must continually seek out new information, learn from others, and take advantage of training opportunities as often as they can to remain competitive.” Successful construction contractors view training as a necessary and beneficial investment in their business and point to numerous reasons why the investment is worthwhile: Improves safety – Contractors acknowledge that the safety of their workers is critical. The right training can ensure that the equipment is operated correctly and that health and safety practices are being followed in the workplace. Improves productivity – It makes sense and is proven that well-trained employees are more confident in their abilities to perform their work. The right training gives workers the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their work to the best of their ability, thus increasing productivity and quality of the results. Keeps current with technology – The pace of technology changes and advancements in construction come fast and furious. Regular training means the business and employees don’t get left behind and they stay working at their best, both today and in the future. Attracts and retain key employees – In today’s market, contractors cannot afford to hire or carry workers who are not super competent or are firmly on a path to proficiency. Training and development programs not only attract, but they can engage current employees and keep them committed to the company. Gives company and workers the edge – Training employees can provide a genuine competitive advantage over competition. The only way to be better than competitors is by employees being better than the rest and training is a direct route to achieving this. “The key attributes of good training are that it is repeatable, consistent, and offered frequently so workers can commit to learning regularly,” Oberlander said. “Both managers and workers will never know everything about the products and systems they use; so, training helps everyone be smarter and more productive. I tell the people we train that if you feel you are pretty productive now, you’ll be even more productive after training.” To be effective, training needs to be concise and specific to a contractor’s needs. Construction contractors and professional surveyors are extremely busy and do not have the time or patience for superfluous information. One of the benefits of good training is to teach learners how to be resourceful and effective after the trainer is gone. Knowing when, how, and where to go for help can reinforce the content and skills acquired during training. “To ensure our products and systems are fully used after training, we’ve created two helpful resources—a global Professional Services team and a myTopcon support and training site,” said Oberlander. “Our markets are diverse, but they share a common necessity of highly precise measurements, increased automation and workflow solutions to improve their productivity. These resources are designed to provide solutions and workflow assistance to ensure the highest efficiency for our customers and help them to expand their businesses by applying these skills and technologies into new applications.” The Topcon Professional Services team has been created to integrate training, customer support, and sales support into a single resource intended to help its customers adopt and apply new technologies as they emerge. The Professional Services team includes more than 40 applications experts from the surveying, construction, civil engineering, networking and mapping fields. These experts are located around the world to support the company’s global market. The myTopcon site is designed to provide direct access to online training, firmware and software updates, and reference resources at a mobile-adapted site that can be accessed from the field. Again, the intent of both the Professional Services team and the myTopcon site is to extend and support the information and content as well as new skills acquired during training. Clearly, as the labor market continues to tighten, and as more and more baby boomers head into retirement, construction companies will need to sharpen their recruiting, hiring, and training capabilities. Younger millennial and Generation X workers expect more than their older counterparts ever did, but in exchange they bring an acceptance, expectation, and appreciation of the role technology is playing in construction today. By being committed to ongoing training, a construction firm can build a sense of connection, which can help create the positive environment where employees are willing to go above and beyond to help fuel organizational success.            As John F. Kennedy pointed out — change is the law of life — and clearly, the investment in training can keep a construction company fresh, up-to-date, and better prepared to adapt and succeed in the face of change. Jeff Winke is a business and construction writer based in Milwaukee, Wis. He can be reached through jeff_winke@yahoo.com  
    Feb 22, 2019 344
  • 19 Feb 2019
    It is without doubt that the relationship between contractors and subcontractors is the construction industry’s bread and butter. Maintaining healthy relations between all the parties involved in a project is completely essential to delivering a project on time and to specification, writes Richard Boston, Marketing Director at Eque2. However, in some cases difficulties between contractors and subcontractors can arise, particularly in terms of price estimation and job costing. With this in mind, how can construction management software solutions prevent these issues from occurring? Why relationships matter There are many mutual benefits when it comes to sustaining a positive working relationship between contractors and subcontractors. An equal, transparent relationship between these two parties ensures projects are completed efficiently and safely; for the benefit of not only the building’s occupants but the companies’ reputations.   In comparison, negative relationships between contractors and subcontractors can have adverse effects on a build, potentially jeopardising productivity, quality, completion times and securing future work. On a large commercial project a single contractor can be working with up to 20 subcontractors, possibly more. For the contractor, there is a huge amount of responsibility on their shoulders to manage their subcontractors efficiently. On the other hand, for the subcontractor, there is always a pressure to deliver what is required of them. A positive working relationship between the two operates in exactly the same way most healthy, mutual bonds work – through clarity, communication and respect.  Creating the best working relationship To build and maintain honest relationships throughout a project’s lifecycle, it is crucial to put these three factors into practice at each stage, particularly when it comes to dealing with more sensitive tasks that are likely to cause temporary confusion and disagreement. For example, let’s consider a delicate subject such as a project’s initial job costing stage. A common procedure across the construction industry and indeed further afield, job costing is a crucial process which creates an image of the labour and materials required and how profit can be made. The usual process is: one party, a subcontractor, estimates the cost of labour and materials and delivers this quote to the other party, the contractor. Although this description sounds relatively straightforward and unambiguous, this process can be more complicated when put into practice. In some cases, a contractor might be sceptical that the cost of materials or labour is a little higher or lower than originally anticipated. But, as this would typically be a manual process in which a subcontractor would present physical documentation to a contractor, there is little means for the contractor to accurately benchmark the costing to any other source. The lack of consistency and standardisation is an issue here and rarely bodes well for the remainder of a project. Immediately, this kind of situation creates a precarious bond between contractor and subcontractor. Although the contractor might go ahead with the job, there will always be that seed of doubt at the back of their minds which questions the reliability and accuracy of the job costing. “Is that piece of machinery really needed?”, “Could I have got it at a different price?” Consistency is crucial Clearly, there needs to be a standard process in which price estimations can be traced and compared to a faithful source. An example would be a modern construction estimating solution such as Eque2’s Evaluate, which incorporates industry-recognised and centuries-old Laxton’s pricing book. Built into Eque2’s EValuate, Laxton’s Priced Libraries features authentic, standardised rates for contractor’s to benchmark subcontractors’ tenders. Compatible with both SMM and NRM rules of measurement, Laxton’s provides annually updated rates for accurate up-to-date information. EValuate with Laxton’s Priced Libraries is fully compliant with industry standards, giving contractors and subcontractors complete peace of mind when it comes to labour and material cost estimation. And, what’s more, as Laxton’s is now fully integrated within modern estimating software, it means all estimations can be traced, recorded and accessed easily in the same place. But what does this mean for contractor and subcontractor relationships? With modern estimating software, subcontractors and contractors feel more comfortable during the estimation process. This is because Laxton’s can be used as a benchmarking tool for contractors to compare rates with an accurate, reliable source, and can work with the subcontractors collaboratively from there. Overall, it creates a mutually healthy and beneficial business relationship for all. There is no doubt that the contractor and subcontractor relationship is essential to a project’s success. With this in mind, isn’t it high time that more robust, digital measures were employed to preserve this important bond? Visit:  https://www.eque2.co.uk
    640 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It is without doubt that the relationship between contractors and subcontractors is the construction industry’s bread and butter. Maintaining healthy relations between all the parties involved in a project is completely essential to delivering a project on time and to specification, writes Richard Boston, Marketing Director at Eque2. However, in some cases difficulties between contractors and subcontractors can arise, particularly in terms of price estimation and job costing. With this in mind, how can construction management software solutions prevent these issues from occurring? Why relationships matter There are many mutual benefits when it comes to sustaining a positive working relationship between contractors and subcontractors. An equal, transparent relationship between these two parties ensures projects are completed efficiently and safely; for the benefit of not only the building’s occupants but the companies’ reputations.   In comparison, negative relationships between contractors and subcontractors can have adverse effects on a build, potentially jeopardising productivity, quality, completion times and securing future work. On a large commercial project a single contractor can be working with up to 20 subcontractors, possibly more. For the contractor, there is a huge amount of responsibility on their shoulders to manage their subcontractors efficiently. On the other hand, for the subcontractor, there is always a pressure to deliver what is required of them. A positive working relationship between the two operates in exactly the same way most healthy, mutual bonds work – through clarity, communication and respect.  Creating the best working relationship To build and maintain honest relationships throughout a project’s lifecycle, it is crucial to put these three factors into practice at each stage, particularly when it comes to dealing with more sensitive tasks that are likely to cause temporary confusion and disagreement. For example, let’s consider a delicate subject such as a project’s initial job costing stage. A common procedure across the construction industry and indeed further afield, job costing is a crucial process which creates an image of the labour and materials required and how profit can be made. The usual process is: one party, a subcontractor, estimates the cost of labour and materials and delivers this quote to the other party, the contractor. Although this description sounds relatively straightforward and unambiguous, this process can be more complicated when put into practice. In some cases, a contractor might be sceptical that the cost of materials or labour is a little higher or lower than originally anticipated. But, as this would typically be a manual process in which a subcontractor would present physical documentation to a contractor, there is little means for the contractor to accurately benchmark the costing to any other source. The lack of consistency and standardisation is an issue here and rarely bodes well for the remainder of a project. Immediately, this kind of situation creates a precarious bond between contractor and subcontractor. Although the contractor might go ahead with the job, there will always be that seed of doubt at the back of their minds which questions the reliability and accuracy of the job costing. “Is that piece of machinery really needed?”, “Could I have got it at a different price?” Consistency is crucial Clearly, there needs to be a standard process in which price estimations can be traced and compared to a faithful source. An example would be a modern construction estimating solution such as Eque2’s Evaluate, which incorporates industry-recognised and centuries-old Laxton’s pricing book. Built into Eque2’s EValuate, Laxton’s Priced Libraries features authentic, standardised rates for contractor’s to benchmark subcontractors’ tenders. Compatible with both SMM and NRM rules of measurement, Laxton’s provides annually updated rates for accurate up-to-date information. EValuate with Laxton’s Priced Libraries is fully compliant with industry standards, giving contractors and subcontractors complete peace of mind when it comes to labour and material cost estimation. And, what’s more, as Laxton’s is now fully integrated within modern estimating software, it means all estimations can be traced, recorded and accessed easily in the same place. But what does this mean for contractor and subcontractor relationships? With modern estimating software, subcontractors and contractors feel more comfortable during the estimation process. This is because Laxton’s can be used as a benchmarking tool for contractors to compare rates with an accurate, reliable source, and can work with the subcontractors collaboratively from there. Overall, it creates a mutually healthy and beneficial business relationship for all. There is no doubt that the contractor and subcontractor relationship is essential to a project’s success. With this in mind, isn’t it high time that more robust, digital measures were employed to preserve this important bond? Visit:  https://www.eque2.co.uk
    Feb 19, 2019 640
  • 13 Feb 2019
    The construction industry reminds me, writes Gerald Kelly, of that old argument about aliens from another planet, it goes something like this – there can’t be any advanced aliens on other planets because they would have visited us by now. Ah, a reasonable hypothesis you may think. However, it can also be argued that being enlightened aliens they have listened to our radio broadcasts that have leaked out from Earth into the void of space since the 1930’s and have concluded that Earth is a planet that is troubled and should be avoided. This could also be said of the construction industry as the sector is deeply troubled with; insanely low profit margins; worsening levels of insolvencies; a deepening skills crisis; a recruitment image problem; BREXIT uncertainty, rising costs of materials and labour; quality problems; continued poor contractual practices which includes -altering standard forms of subcontract; insisting on onerous terms and conditions; collecting retentions and participating in systematic late payment practices.  Thus, the question remains, is construction a sector to visit or should it be avoided? To make the construction sector worth a visit, changing the Tier 1 contractor business model would be a good start. Instead of tendering for contracts at ridiculously low profit margins and then relying on variation orders and the systematic squeezing of the supply chain in an effort to boost profit and mitigate risk, main contractors should be selective on the projects they proceed with and should substantially increase their margins on projects with increased risk and difficulty.  Yes, the cost of construction may rise, however, in truth it already has. The increase is being borne out by main contractors who are more than likely carrying huge debts, making losses or entertaining small profit margins in comparison to the risk taken, and by the specialised supply chain who are relentlessly forced to endure bad contractual and payment practices, reduced margins and losses. Turnover vanity has to end. The sanity of profit has to prevail if the construction industry is to strengthen and move away from increasing insolvencies and losses. Government procurement can help with the transition by moving its focus away from securing the lowest cost. And there should be an insistence that a sustainable profit is made by all involved in the project. Using the old worn-out excuse that driving down costs is enabling best value for the tax payer’s money is a nonsense. It is not in the interest of anyone to have the UK construction industry scrabbling around on its knees. With more money in the system, main contractors would be able to work in a true respectful partnership with their supply chain (okay, this may be a fantasy, but it is more likely if there is money in the pot). Furthermore, increased profits for all will see money being spent on improving quality; investments in improving productivity; training; increases in pay; better health & safety measures and working practices. An industry that is making profit and has a workforce that is content through better working conditions, training and pay is an industry that has an improving image and is attractive to new recruits.  Although, as a harmonious partnership between main contractors and their supply chains won’t happen overnight, the supply chain absolutely needs to be equipped with up-to-date contractual knowledge to administer the contract properly to protect themselves from dubious contract alterations, onerous terms and conditions, and poor payment practices. According to the ARCADIS 2018 Global Construction Disputes Report, the main causes of contractual dispute are: 1st A failure to properly administer the contract 2nd Employer/Contractor/Subcontractor failing to understand and/or comply with its contractual obligations 3rd Failure to serve the appropriate notice under the contract And with 19% of subcontractors not thoroughly checking contracts before they sign them and 38% stating construction contracts are too complex to understand (Bibby financial Services Subcontracting Growth Report) it is not surprising that poor contractual and payment practices are prevalent in the industry and insolvencies are on the rise. Contractual training is essential for subcontractors so that contracts can be administered properly to stop time consuming and costly disputes. Since 1983 our confederation (CCS) has been campaigning; providing legal and contractual advice; and developing and delivering professional contractual training to empower its members and the wider construction community to optimise contractual arrangements when dealing with main contractors and clients. Gerald Kelly is General Manager of the Confederation of Construction Specialists. Visit: www.constructionspecialists.org  
    518 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The construction industry reminds me, writes Gerald Kelly, of that old argument about aliens from another planet, it goes something like this – there can’t be any advanced aliens on other planets because they would have visited us by now. Ah, a reasonable hypothesis you may think. However, it can also be argued that being enlightened aliens they have listened to our radio broadcasts that have leaked out from Earth into the void of space since the 1930’s and have concluded that Earth is a planet that is troubled and should be avoided. This could also be said of the construction industry as the sector is deeply troubled with; insanely low profit margins; worsening levels of insolvencies; a deepening skills crisis; a recruitment image problem; BREXIT uncertainty, rising costs of materials and labour; quality problems; continued poor contractual practices which includes -altering standard forms of subcontract; insisting on onerous terms and conditions; collecting retentions and participating in systematic late payment practices.  Thus, the question remains, is construction a sector to visit or should it be avoided? To make the construction sector worth a visit, changing the Tier 1 contractor business model would be a good start. Instead of tendering for contracts at ridiculously low profit margins and then relying on variation orders and the systematic squeezing of the supply chain in an effort to boost profit and mitigate risk, main contractors should be selective on the projects they proceed with and should substantially increase their margins on projects with increased risk and difficulty.  Yes, the cost of construction may rise, however, in truth it already has. The increase is being borne out by main contractors who are more than likely carrying huge debts, making losses or entertaining small profit margins in comparison to the risk taken, and by the specialised supply chain who are relentlessly forced to endure bad contractual and payment practices, reduced margins and losses. Turnover vanity has to end. The sanity of profit has to prevail if the construction industry is to strengthen and move away from increasing insolvencies and losses. Government procurement can help with the transition by moving its focus away from securing the lowest cost. And there should be an insistence that a sustainable profit is made by all involved in the project. Using the old worn-out excuse that driving down costs is enabling best value for the tax payer’s money is a nonsense. It is not in the interest of anyone to have the UK construction industry scrabbling around on its knees. With more money in the system, main contractors would be able to work in a true respectful partnership with their supply chain (okay, this may be a fantasy, but it is more likely if there is money in the pot). Furthermore, increased profits for all will see money being spent on improving quality; investments in improving productivity; training; increases in pay; better health & safety measures and working practices. An industry that is making profit and has a workforce that is content through better working conditions, training and pay is an industry that has an improving image and is attractive to new recruits.  Although, as a harmonious partnership between main contractors and their supply chains won’t happen overnight, the supply chain absolutely needs to be equipped with up-to-date contractual knowledge to administer the contract properly to protect themselves from dubious contract alterations, onerous terms and conditions, and poor payment practices. According to the ARCADIS 2018 Global Construction Disputes Report, the main causes of contractual dispute are: 1st A failure to properly administer the contract 2nd Employer/Contractor/Subcontractor failing to understand and/or comply with its contractual obligations 3rd Failure to serve the appropriate notice under the contract And with 19% of subcontractors not thoroughly checking contracts before they sign them and 38% stating construction contracts are too complex to understand (Bibby financial Services Subcontracting Growth Report) it is not surprising that poor contractual and payment practices are prevalent in the industry and insolvencies are on the rise. Contractual training is essential for subcontractors so that contracts can be administered properly to stop time consuming and costly disputes. Since 1983 our confederation (CCS) has been campaigning; providing legal and contractual advice; and developing and delivering professional contractual training to empower its members and the wider construction community to optimise contractual arrangements when dealing with main contractors and clients. Gerald Kelly is General Manager of the Confederation of Construction Specialists. Visit: www.constructionspecialists.org  
    Feb 13, 2019 518
  • 05 Feb 2019
    The construction industry has this stereo-typical image of the macho male and in spite of the huge influx of women workers that perception has changed little in recent years. And because men are more likely to bottle up feelings of anxiety and depression there is no doubt that we are seeing an increase in mental health issues on building sites writes Michael Younge. Just in case anyone is in any doubt, just look at the statistics. There were more than 13,000 suicides of construction workers in the UK between 2011 and 2015 according to the Office of National Statistics. This represented some 13% of the total workforce suicides in Britain – and to get this figure into perspective, construction workers as a whole only account for 7% of the working population. As a result, we are now seeing the industry looking at techniques such as Mindfulness and positive thinking as a way of reducing the suicide figures and enhancing the lives of construction workers. This might seem like new age hippy speak but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that mindfulness promotes wellbeing and most importantly better health and safety – a vital part of the construction industry. So what is Mindfulness? There have been many definitions but I prefer to call it – thinking in the NOW - by being aware at all times of our own feelings and surroundings, by allowing your thoughts to focus on the immediate situation.  When practiced properly, it allows the person to forget about the past and to avoid future outcomes. This is a very simple explanation and readers who want to know more should visit my website – for once you have mastered the art of Mindfulness and positive thinking you can change your life, as this practice has been proven to reduce depression, anxiety and stress. There is very little that’s new about the subject - it has been practiced by Buddhist Monks for centuries - but there is now strong anecdotal evidence that building companies are looking to introduce such techniques as a way of reducing stress and promoting harmony within the workplace. A more focussed workforce will make better decisions, be more positive about outcomes and objectives and most importantly, because they will become more aware of their feelings and surroundings – health and safety will also improve. The biggest challenge for employers is to take the workforce with them. Unless individuals are prepared to buy into the concept of Mindfulness then it is clearly not going to work and there is no magic button that can be pressed that will transform an individual overnight – it takes commitment and practice and for many, it might be a step too far. However, for those prepared to try, there can be enormous benefits. By nature our minds wander but Mindfulness promotes a feeling of success allowing individuals to be more vigilant and stay focussed on the job in hand for longer. More importantly, the majority become more positive and this will change their attitude to work and life in general. Banning those negative thoughts is the first step to better mental health and wellbeing and hopefully, in time, it will lead to a reduction in those appalling suicide figures. Michael Younge is an established blogger specialising in positivity and the benefits it offers to all of us. To read more visit: www.powerfulpositivethinking.org
    636 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The construction industry has this stereo-typical image of the macho male and in spite of the huge influx of women workers that perception has changed little in recent years. And because men are more likely to bottle up feelings of anxiety and depression there is no doubt that we are seeing an increase in mental health issues on building sites writes Michael Younge. Just in case anyone is in any doubt, just look at the statistics. There were more than 13,000 suicides of construction workers in the UK between 2011 and 2015 according to the Office of National Statistics. This represented some 13% of the total workforce suicides in Britain – and to get this figure into perspective, construction workers as a whole only account for 7% of the working population. As a result, we are now seeing the industry looking at techniques such as Mindfulness and positive thinking as a way of reducing the suicide figures and enhancing the lives of construction workers. This might seem like new age hippy speak but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that mindfulness promotes wellbeing and most importantly better health and safety – a vital part of the construction industry. So what is Mindfulness? There have been many definitions but I prefer to call it – thinking in the NOW - by being aware at all times of our own feelings and surroundings, by allowing your thoughts to focus on the immediate situation.  When practiced properly, it allows the person to forget about the past and to avoid future outcomes. This is a very simple explanation and readers who want to know more should visit my website – for once you have mastered the art of Mindfulness and positive thinking you can change your life, as this practice has been proven to reduce depression, anxiety and stress. There is very little that’s new about the subject - it has been practiced by Buddhist Monks for centuries - but there is now strong anecdotal evidence that building companies are looking to introduce such techniques as a way of reducing stress and promoting harmony within the workplace. A more focussed workforce will make better decisions, be more positive about outcomes and objectives and most importantly, because they will become more aware of their feelings and surroundings – health and safety will also improve. The biggest challenge for employers is to take the workforce with them. Unless individuals are prepared to buy into the concept of Mindfulness then it is clearly not going to work and there is no magic button that can be pressed that will transform an individual overnight – it takes commitment and practice and for many, it might be a step too far. However, for those prepared to try, there can be enormous benefits. By nature our minds wander but Mindfulness promotes a feeling of success allowing individuals to be more vigilant and stay focussed on the job in hand for longer. More importantly, the majority become more positive and this will change their attitude to work and life in general. Banning those negative thoughts is the first step to better mental health and wellbeing and hopefully, in time, it will lead to a reduction in those appalling suicide figures. Michael Younge is an established blogger specialising in positivity and the benefits it offers to all of us. To read more visit: www.powerfulpositivethinking.org
    Feb 05, 2019 636
  • 31 Jan 2019
    It can be difficult to look to the future with a sense of optimism at times. Anxieties over our ever-burgeoning global population, with its increasing thirst for finite natural resources, always seem to be just a headline away. But in-between all of the doom and gloom are remarkable success stories. The sustainable prowess of the steel industry is one of them. For starters, steel is one of the few materials in the modern world that is encapsulated in a truly closed recycling loop. It can be used again and again. Whereas other highly recyclable products tend to degenerate or diminish over time, steel can actually be enhanced in quality and strength. This is known as ‘upcycling’. This fact alone may explain why steel is the most recycled material in the world. It might be more appropriate to say that steel is not ‘consumed’ like almost everything else. Rather, it is just ‘used’. Steel hegemony Steel is everywhere in our building, planning, and construction thanks to its reusability, but also because it is manufactured from one of the most abundant elements on Earth – Iron and Carbon. Iron ore is mined in around 50 countries, but Australia, Brazil, and China are the largest producers. The overwhelming majority of iron ore is extracted for steel-making (98 per cent). Steel has a high tensile strength and low cost, with a malleability and strength-to-weight ratio that goes a long way and invites creativity and ingenuity among the world’s planners and architects. Steel is thought to have been in production as early as 4,000 years ago in modern-day Spain and the Roman military are understood to have used a form of Celtic (Noric) steel for weaponry. Steel is still used for weaponry in the twenty-first century, but it is also used to support – both literally and metaphorically – modern-day economies. China’s economic growth invigorated a huge thirst for steel, and the British Geological Survey has estimated China to be the top steel producer today, churning out about one-third of the total global output. The United Kingdom is one of the world’s leaders in steel construction (although it only accounts for 0.7 per cent of world production, this puts it in the top ten), yet it has shown remarkable leadership in so-called ‘circular economy’ of steel. Current levels of recovery rates from demolition sites stands at 99 per cent for structural steel work and 96 per cent for steel based products. This is in comparison to a global recycling rate of about 60 per cent. The steel industry in the United Kingdom has an output of around £1.6 billion, approximately 0.1 per cent of the economy. It employs a similar percentage of the available workforce, with most of them being located in Wales, and Yorkshire and the Humber. Steel Adaptability The steel frames that make up building structures can be thought of as a kit of parts. This means they can easily dismantled and repurposed. Because so many connections are bolted in place, these bolts can simply be removed, in prime condition, and entire structures can almost always be used for some other purpose without much reconfiguring. In some cases buildings can be dismantled, and their steel structures repurposed in a matter of months. This relatively minimal deconstruction and construction can take place with minimal dust, dirt, and noise pollution. Because steel can span large distances, this means that most steel buildings have large open-plan spaces. That is why airplane hangers, warehouses, areas, stadiums and agricultural buildings all tend to be made entirely out of steel. These open-plan spaces can easily be reused – often as lightweight partition walls. Steel frames can always have parts added or taken away to accommodate extra floors without overloading the existing foundations. Existing steel buildings can also be modified relatively easily. Changes, such as the addition of new lift spaces or stairways, or the raising or lowering of ceilings for more column spaces, are much easier to make with the flexibility of steel. Creating shallower floor depths can also help minimize heating and cooling costs in the long run. Steel is not just adaptable, but durable. It is non-combustible and highly resistant to fire. It is also virtually invulnerable to structural damage posed by insect infestation or water. Steel can be primed or galvanized to shield it from rust and rot. It doesn’t settle, warp, swell, or twist, either. Steel structures have been built (in their respective areas) to withstand high winds, heavy snow, and even earthquakes.   The future of steel The future continues to look positive for sustainable steel. Energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions from European steelmaking have already made considerable progress over the past 50 years – achieving reductions of up to 60 per cent. But target reductions are always being implemented to further drive down these emissions. The Ultra-Low CO2 Steelmaking Partnership (ULCOS) has set goals of reducing CO2 emissions of steel production by half by the middle of the century – an ever important goal if the ‘tipping point’ of runaway climate change is to be avoided. The steel industry has already met and exceeded its carbon emissions reduction targets set out by the 1992 Kyoto Protocol by an astonishing 240 per cent. The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded it a “best industry performance” designation. At the same time steel is manufactured at strength 40 per cent greater than it was just 25 years ago, while using much less energy. Over 22 billion tonnes of steel are estimated to have been recycled worldwide since the beginning of the twentieth century. If only the other major industries of the world could encapsulate the success of the steel industry over the last 50 years. If it were possible for similar success stories to dominate most of the world’s important industries, then thinking about the future would no longer be met with troubled thoughts, but with a warm smile. Check out the below Infographic for more feel-good facts about steel. -- This article was provided by Weldwide, an organization of architectural and structural metal workers based in London.
    419 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It can be difficult to look to the future with a sense of optimism at times. Anxieties over our ever-burgeoning global population, with its increasing thirst for finite natural resources, always seem to be just a headline away. But in-between all of the doom and gloom are remarkable success stories. The sustainable prowess of the steel industry is one of them. For starters, steel is one of the few materials in the modern world that is encapsulated in a truly closed recycling loop. It can be used again and again. Whereas other highly recyclable products tend to degenerate or diminish over time, steel can actually be enhanced in quality and strength. This is known as ‘upcycling’. This fact alone may explain why steel is the most recycled material in the world. It might be more appropriate to say that steel is not ‘consumed’ like almost everything else. Rather, it is just ‘used’. Steel hegemony Steel is everywhere in our building, planning, and construction thanks to its reusability, but also because it is manufactured from one of the most abundant elements on Earth – Iron and Carbon. Iron ore is mined in around 50 countries, but Australia, Brazil, and China are the largest producers. The overwhelming majority of iron ore is extracted for steel-making (98 per cent). Steel has a high tensile strength and low cost, with a malleability and strength-to-weight ratio that goes a long way and invites creativity and ingenuity among the world’s planners and architects. Steel is thought to have been in production as early as 4,000 years ago in modern-day Spain and the Roman military are understood to have used a form of Celtic (Noric) steel for weaponry. Steel is still used for weaponry in the twenty-first century, but it is also used to support – both literally and metaphorically – modern-day economies. China’s economic growth invigorated a huge thirst for steel, and the British Geological Survey has estimated China to be the top steel producer today, churning out about one-third of the total global output. The United Kingdom is one of the world’s leaders in steel construction (although it only accounts for 0.7 per cent of world production, this puts it in the top ten), yet it has shown remarkable leadership in so-called ‘circular economy’ of steel. Current levels of recovery rates from demolition sites stands at 99 per cent for structural steel work and 96 per cent for steel based products. This is in comparison to a global recycling rate of about 60 per cent. The steel industry in the United Kingdom has an output of around £1.6 billion, approximately 0.1 per cent of the economy. It employs a similar percentage of the available workforce, with most of them being located in Wales, and Yorkshire and the Humber. Steel Adaptability The steel frames that make up building structures can be thought of as a kit of parts. This means they can easily dismantled and repurposed. Because so many connections are bolted in place, these bolts can simply be removed, in prime condition, and entire structures can almost always be used for some other purpose without much reconfiguring. In some cases buildings can be dismantled, and their steel structures repurposed in a matter of months. This relatively minimal deconstruction and construction can take place with minimal dust, dirt, and noise pollution. Because steel can span large distances, this means that most steel buildings have large open-plan spaces. That is why airplane hangers, warehouses, areas, stadiums and agricultural buildings all tend to be made entirely out of steel. These open-plan spaces can easily be reused – often as lightweight partition walls. Steel frames can always have parts added or taken away to accommodate extra floors without overloading the existing foundations. Existing steel buildings can also be modified relatively easily. Changes, such as the addition of new lift spaces or stairways, or the raising or lowering of ceilings for more column spaces, are much easier to make with the flexibility of steel. Creating shallower floor depths can also help minimize heating and cooling costs in the long run. Steel is not just adaptable, but durable. It is non-combustible and highly resistant to fire. It is also virtually invulnerable to structural damage posed by insect infestation or water. Steel can be primed or galvanized to shield it from rust and rot. It doesn’t settle, warp, swell, or twist, either. Steel structures have been built (in their respective areas) to withstand high winds, heavy snow, and even earthquakes.   The future of steel The future continues to look positive for sustainable steel. Energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions from European steelmaking have already made considerable progress over the past 50 years – achieving reductions of up to 60 per cent. But target reductions are always being implemented to further drive down these emissions. The Ultra-Low CO2 Steelmaking Partnership (ULCOS) has set goals of reducing CO2 emissions of steel production by half by the middle of the century – an ever important goal if the ‘tipping point’ of runaway climate change is to be avoided. The steel industry has already met and exceeded its carbon emissions reduction targets set out by the 1992 Kyoto Protocol by an astonishing 240 per cent. The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded it a “best industry performance” designation. At the same time steel is manufactured at strength 40 per cent greater than it was just 25 years ago, while using much less energy. Over 22 billion tonnes of steel are estimated to have been recycled worldwide since the beginning of the twentieth century. If only the other major industries of the world could encapsulate the success of the steel industry over the last 50 years. If it were possible for similar success stories to dominate most of the world’s important industries, then thinking about the future would no longer be met with troubled thoughts, but with a warm smile. Check out the below Infographic for more feel-good facts about steel. -- This article was provided by Weldwide, an organization of architectural and structural metal workers based in London.
    Jan 31, 2019 419
  • 08 Jan 2019
    With the UK construction, operation and maintenance industry accounting for 48% of the UK’s carbon emissions, the focus of many innovations in construction is now on reducing the construction sector's CO2 output. Protection Supplies have uncovered the cutting-edge yet conscious building materials of the future before revealing how these materials are changing the way that buildings are now being constructed. The UK's construction industry also needs to build 300,000 homes a year to overcome the current housing shortage. As the industry is failing to do this, materials which can shorten the time it takes to build homes and make them more affordable are crucial for revolutionising the industry. Some of the benefits of these innovative materials include: Speeding up housing production Improving the longevity of buildings Helping buildings to adapt to their surroundings, such as in the event of earthquakes Increasing natural light Reducing fuel bills Making construction more environmentally friendly by lowering CO2 production 1. Transparent Wood Invented by Swedish researchers, wood can now be treated and compressed to become a transparent material. What it does: Researcher Lars Berglund creates the transparent wood by compressing strips of wood veneer in a process similar to pulping. This removes the lignin and replaces it with the polymer, making the wood 85% transparent. Benefits: This material will create a strong and environmentally friendly alternative to plastic and glass. The material has the strength of lumber but is far lighter. It can be used in the construction of homes to bring more light in and reduce the need for artificial light which can quickly use up a lot of power. It is as environmentally friendly and biodegradable as normal wood.   2. Hydrogel Architects at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona are in the process of creating walls which are able to cool themselves down, using the substance Hydrogel. What it does: Bubbles of Hydrogel are layered between two ceramic panels. These can then be installed into already constructed walls. Benefits: Hydrogel is able to absorb water when the air around Hydrogel heats up it evaporates and cools the room down by up to 5°C. The mechanism is inspired by the way the human body cools itself down. Once installed in buildings it will act as an alternative to the overuse of air conditioning which is detrimental to the environment, producing 100 million tonnes of CO2.   3. Cigarette **** Bricks Smoking is bad for your health and bad for the environment as discarded cigarettes make up an estimated 38% of all waste. Researchers at the Australian RMIT University have found that adding discarded cigarettes to bricks lessens the amount of energy needed for baking. What it does: The bricks made with the addition of cigarette butts, require less baking time than traditional bricks. This means they are cheaper and more eco-friendly to produce. Benefits: As the cigarettes within the brick reduce the time of baking bricks, they reduce the energy required to produce them by up to 58%. Additionally, the bricks are better insulators than those without cigarette butts within them and solve an ongoing pollution problem of what to do with discarded cigarettes to prevent contamination. 4. Super-hydrophobic Cement Scientists in Mexico have discovered that changing the microstructure of cement can make it absorb and reflect light, creating super-hydrophobic cement, also known as luminescent cement. What it does: The cement is able to absorb and reflect light, offering an alternative to street lighting as the ground would be lit up using this luminescent cement. Benefits: Often cement needs to be replaced within thirty to fifty years, however, this alternative product is far more durable and will last for up to hundred years. It also offers power free lighting and therefore can reduce the energy consumed and CO2 produced by lighting the streets of the world.   5. Synthetic Spider Silk A spider's web is the strongest material in the natural world. It is a naturally tough and strong material that for years scientists have been trying to create a synthetic version. Now, with the help of 3D printing, they are closer than ever. What it does: The synthetic spider's silk is created at room temperature using water, silica and cellulose which are all easily accessible. The finished product could be used as a biodegradable alternative to nylon and other tough fabrics. Benefits: The material will offer an alternative to the textile industry which is currently one of the biggest producers of CO2 in the world. The product will be used as an alternative to an array of strong materials such as parachutes and eventually it is hoped the Synthetic Spider Silk will be used in creating building materials such as blocks as well as in mechanics, making super strong car parts. 6. Breathe Bricks Acting as a secondary layer of insulation, these pollution absorbing bricks can remove 30% of fine particles and 100% of coarse particles making air within office spaces and public buildings healthier to breathe. This is particularly useful in areas with poor air quality as a way to improve air within buildings. What it does: Composed of two key parts, concrete bricks and recycled plastic coupler, the aligned bricks create a route from the outside into the brick’s hollow centre. The surface of the bricks themselves helps to direct airflow and a cavity removes pollution. Benefits: This is a cost-effective way to reduce air pollution as it requires no further maintenance once installed. It would be particularly helpful in developing countries where air quality is poor and other solutions could be too expensive to maintain.   7. Bamboo-reinforced Concrete A natural alternative to the steel reinforcement usually used in most countries, this Singaporean method of reinforcing concrete is far more sustainable. What it does: The use of bamboo rather than steel to reinforce concrete is more environmentally friendly and creates flexibility within the concrete that can better withstand earthquakes. Benefits: Bamboo grows at a high rate, meaning it absorbs a lot of CO2 as it grows and therefore increased production of bamboo would benefit the environment. It is also a great alternative to materials which cause harm as they are produced. Bamboo also has a higher tensile strength than steel because its fibres run axially and it is flexible so is great for use in earthquake-prone areas.   8. Super Wood Although wood has been used for millennia in construction, it isn’t as strong as metals used in building today. Scientists have now discovered a way to add strength to wood by boiling it in a solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and sodium sulfite (Na2SO3) before it is compressed so that the molecules within the wood are strengthened. What it does: The compressed wood is far stronger and more durable than wood in its natural state, therefore it can be used in a greater range on construction projects. Benefits: As this product relies on the already abundant and natural material of wood, it is still affordable and can be created in an environmentally sustainable way according to its creators at University of Maryland, College Park. The wood is so strong it can stop bullets but is far lighter than comparable materials of the same strength.   The diversity of these materials showcases how much the industry is starting to consider the environment and the affordability of construction. The construction industry is revolutionising the way that we live. Even the materials that make up our homes are increasingly innovative and futuristic. Visit: https://www.protectionsupplies.co.uk
    553 Posted by Talk. Build
  • With the UK construction, operation and maintenance industry accounting for 48% of the UK’s carbon emissions, the focus of many innovations in construction is now on reducing the construction sector's CO2 output. Protection Supplies have uncovered the cutting-edge yet conscious building materials of the future before revealing how these materials are changing the way that buildings are now being constructed. The UK's construction industry also needs to build 300,000 homes a year to overcome the current housing shortage. As the industry is failing to do this, materials which can shorten the time it takes to build homes and make them more affordable are crucial for revolutionising the industry. Some of the benefits of these innovative materials include: Speeding up housing production Improving the longevity of buildings Helping buildings to adapt to their surroundings, such as in the event of earthquakes Increasing natural light Reducing fuel bills Making construction more environmentally friendly by lowering CO2 production 1. Transparent Wood Invented by Swedish researchers, wood can now be treated and compressed to become a transparent material. What it does: Researcher Lars Berglund creates the transparent wood by compressing strips of wood veneer in a process similar to pulping. This removes the lignin and replaces it with the polymer, making the wood 85% transparent. Benefits: This material will create a strong and environmentally friendly alternative to plastic and glass. The material has the strength of lumber but is far lighter. It can be used in the construction of homes to bring more light in and reduce the need for artificial light which can quickly use up a lot of power. It is as environmentally friendly and biodegradable as normal wood.   2. Hydrogel Architects at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona are in the process of creating walls which are able to cool themselves down, using the substance Hydrogel. What it does: Bubbles of Hydrogel are layered between two ceramic panels. These can then be installed into already constructed walls. Benefits: Hydrogel is able to absorb water when the air around Hydrogel heats up it evaporates and cools the room down by up to 5°C. The mechanism is inspired by the way the human body cools itself down. Once installed in buildings it will act as an alternative to the overuse of air conditioning which is detrimental to the environment, producing 100 million tonnes of CO2.   3. Cigarette **** Bricks Smoking is bad for your health and bad for the environment as discarded cigarettes make up an estimated 38% of all waste. Researchers at the Australian RMIT University have found that adding discarded cigarettes to bricks lessens the amount of energy needed for baking. What it does: The bricks made with the addition of cigarette butts, require less baking time than traditional bricks. This means they are cheaper and more eco-friendly to produce. Benefits: As the cigarettes within the brick reduce the time of baking bricks, they reduce the energy required to produce them by up to 58%. Additionally, the bricks are better insulators than those without cigarette butts within them and solve an ongoing pollution problem of what to do with discarded cigarettes to prevent contamination. 4. Super-hydrophobic Cement Scientists in Mexico have discovered that changing the microstructure of cement can make it absorb and reflect light, creating super-hydrophobic cement, also known as luminescent cement. What it does: The cement is able to absorb and reflect light, offering an alternative to street lighting as the ground would be lit up using this luminescent cement. Benefits: Often cement needs to be replaced within thirty to fifty years, however, this alternative product is far more durable and will last for up to hundred years. It also offers power free lighting and therefore can reduce the energy consumed and CO2 produced by lighting the streets of the world.   5. Synthetic Spider Silk A spider's web is the strongest material in the natural world. It is a naturally tough and strong material that for years scientists have been trying to create a synthetic version. Now, with the help of 3D printing, they are closer than ever. What it does: The synthetic spider's silk is created at room temperature using water, silica and cellulose which are all easily accessible. The finished product could be used as a biodegradable alternative to nylon and other tough fabrics. Benefits: The material will offer an alternative to the textile industry which is currently one of the biggest producers of CO2 in the world. The product will be used as an alternative to an array of strong materials such as parachutes and eventually it is hoped the Synthetic Spider Silk will be used in creating building materials such as blocks as well as in mechanics, making super strong car parts. 6. Breathe Bricks Acting as a secondary layer of insulation, these pollution absorbing bricks can remove 30% of fine particles and 100% of coarse particles making air within office spaces and public buildings healthier to breathe. This is particularly useful in areas with poor air quality as a way to improve air within buildings. What it does: Composed of two key parts, concrete bricks and recycled plastic coupler, the aligned bricks create a route from the outside into the brick’s hollow centre. The surface of the bricks themselves helps to direct airflow and a cavity removes pollution. Benefits: This is a cost-effective way to reduce air pollution as it requires no further maintenance once installed. It would be particularly helpful in developing countries where air quality is poor and other solutions could be too expensive to maintain.   7. Bamboo-reinforced Concrete A natural alternative to the steel reinforcement usually used in most countries, this Singaporean method of reinforcing concrete is far more sustainable. What it does: The use of bamboo rather than steel to reinforce concrete is more environmentally friendly and creates flexibility within the concrete that can better withstand earthquakes. Benefits: Bamboo grows at a high rate, meaning it absorbs a lot of CO2 as it grows and therefore increased production of bamboo would benefit the environment. It is also a great alternative to materials which cause harm as they are produced. Bamboo also has a higher tensile strength than steel because its fibres run axially and it is flexible so is great for use in earthquake-prone areas.   8. Super Wood Although wood has been used for millennia in construction, it isn’t as strong as metals used in building today. Scientists have now discovered a way to add strength to wood by boiling it in a solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and sodium sulfite (Na2SO3) before it is compressed so that the molecules within the wood are strengthened. What it does: The compressed wood is far stronger and more durable than wood in its natural state, therefore it can be used in a greater range on construction projects. Benefits: As this product relies on the already abundant and natural material of wood, it is still affordable and can be created in an environmentally sustainable way according to its creators at University of Maryland, College Park. The wood is so strong it can stop bullets but is far lighter than comparable materials of the same strength.   The diversity of these materials showcases how much the industry is starting to consider the environment and the affordability of construction. The construction industry is revolutionising the way that we live. Even the materials that make up our homes are increasingly innovative and futuristic. Visit: https://www.protectionsupplies.co.uk
    Jan 08, 2019 553
  • 04 Jan 2019
    The importance of science within today’s economy should not be underestimated writes Mark Gatrell, Head of Research & Development, Sika UK.  It’s essential for a country’s prosperity, environment, health, and quality of life. So when it comes to the next generation of scientists for industry, how do you inspire and find them, to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of global innovation? Graduate training programmes and internships are an ideal way to train and develop a workforce of homegrown talent. While construction product manufacturers are perhaps not household names as far as prospective interns are concerned, Sika is a globally renowned name within the industry, something that is recognised by new applicants and highly valued. Sika's UK Research & Development department offers four graduate internships, operating in either polymer synthesis; coating formulation; sealant and adhesive formulation; or cement chemistry. These posts are based at our three sites, in Preston, Leeds and Welwyn Garden City, and run for a one year, fixed term. There are significant benefits of internships for both the company and the intern. Sika has been extremely impressed with the students who have participated within the scheme since it commenced, and the skills and knowledge that they have brought to the business. It is seen as a valuable route to develop relationships with a group of highly talented people, who will soon be looking to build careers within companies such as Sika. The graduate programme brings a new influx of ideas and initiatives every year, which have contributed significantly to the development of new products, and the growth of intellectual property. The scheme offers interns a meaningful placement, with engaging work in product development and testing. Time is usually split evenly, between contributions to the ongoing development programmes, and a single dedicated project. This is selected on the basis of its value to Sika, and applicability to being the subject of the intern’s thesis. For the intern, the opportunity to spend a full year in employment within product development teams, and surrounded by some of Sika's leading experts within their field, is an engaging and highly motivating experience. There is incredible progress in their understanding of the business and its products over this time, as well as significant growth in their capability, presentation skills, and business acumen. The company invests heavily in its people, and the graduates join and benefit from our learning and development activities. Sika is a firm believer in the merits of industrial placements, and often experiences stronger performance at interview from those students who have completed industrial placements. For many of the company’s interns, an industrial placement potentially marks the beginning of a career path. Understanding of the importance of networking, effective time management, presentation skills, and organisation, are rapidly developed. Success in this environment is seen to offer greater intrinsic rewards, though the consequences of failure are far more significant and apparent. Sika believes this exposure provides an engaging challenge for candidates entering the workplace, and provides the impetus for developing new skills. Visit www.sika.co.uk.
    635 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The importance of science within today’s economy should not be underestimated writes Mark Gatrell, Head of Research & Development, Sika UK.  It’s essential for a country’s prosperity, environment, health, and quality of life. So when it comes to the next generation of scientists for industry, how do you inspire and find them, to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of global innovation? Graduate training programmes and internships are an ideal way to train and develop a workforce of homegrown talent. While construction product manufacturers are perhaps not household names as far as prospective interns are concerned, Sika is a globally renowned name within the industry, something that is recognised by new applicants and highly valued. Sika's UK Research & Development department offers four graduate internships, operating in either polymer synthesis; coating formulation; sealant and adhesive formulation; or cement chemistry. These posts are based at our three sites, in Preston, Leeds and Welwyn Garden City, and run for a one year, fixed term. There are significant benefits of internships for both the company and the intern. Sika has been extremely impressed with the students who have participated within the scheme since it commenced, and the skills and knowledge that they have brought to the business. It is seen as a valuable route to develop relationships with a group of highly talented people, who will soon be looking to build careers within companies such as Sika. The graduate programme brings a new influx of ideas and initiatives every year, which have contributed significantly to the development of new products, and the growth of intellectual property. The scheme offers interns a meaningful placement, with engaging work in product development and testing. Time is usually split evenly, between contributions to the ongoing development programmes, and a single dedicated project. This is selected on the basis of its value to Sika, and applicability to being the subject of the intern’s thesis. For the intern, the opportunity to spend a full year in employment within product development teams, and surrounded by some of Sika's leading experts within their field, is an engaging and highly motivating experience. There is incredible progress in their understanding of the business and its products over this time, as well as significant growth in their capability, presentation skills, and business acumen. The company invests heavily in its people, and the graduates join and benefit from our learning and development activities. Sika is a firm believer in the merits of industrial placements, and often experiences stronger performance at interview from those students who have completed industrial placements. For many of the company’s interns, an industrial placement potentially marks the beginning of a career path. Understanding of the importance of networking, effective time management, presentation skills, and organisation, are rapidly developed. Success in this environment is seen to offer greater intrinsic rewards, though the consequences of failure are far more significant and apparent. Sika believes this exposure provides an engaging challenge for candidates entering the workplace, and provides the impetus for developing new skills. Visit www.sika.co.uk.
    Jan 04, 2019 635
  • 03 Jan 2019
    Without tower cranes, it’s likely that many iconic buildings and structures we know and love would not be standing. Not only do these steel giants look striking, they are also integral to modern construction and development. Tower cranes are the go-to tool used to bring even the largest and grandest construction projects to life. To help you develop a better understanding of how these mammoth machines do the seemingly impossible, we’ve outlined the key mechanisms that make tower cranes work. Building a Tower Crane There are an abundance of tower cranes in cities. So much that you may be fooled into believing that they reach sky-scraping heights with ease.  In reality, erecting a tower crane takes weeks of prior preparation. To make the erection process as efficient as possible crew members typically stick to a predetermined set of sequences. Assembly procedures differ depending on the type of tower crane used. Broadly speaking, tower cranes typically fall into general categories of either Luffing Jib or Trolley Jib types.  Luffing jib tower cranes have jib arms that “luff” or pivot up/down similar to ground based mobile cranes.  Trolley jib tower cranes have a horizontal jib arm and a trolley assembly that positions the load along the length of the jib.  We’ve outlined the assembly process for a freestanding, trolley jib tower crane as these are some of the most commonly used tower cranes nationally. The Crane Base The process of erecting a crane begins with creating a secure foundation from which the structure will be built upon. The integrity of the base is crucial in supporting the crane’s structure and balance for assembly and operation. Prior to the crane’s arrival on site, the first piece of the vertical mast is secured to a concrete foundation using heavy duty anchor bolts or embedded stools. The exact quantity of concrete needed will depend on various factors including the configuration of the tower crane and the local code requirements, but the entire weight of the base usually exceeds 400,000 lbs. Crane Transportation    The next order of business is the transportation of the equipment to the worksite, this may sound simple enough, but for the crew many factors have will need to be taken into account. Transportation considerations include: Transportation Budget – To transport the parts of the tower crane heavy hauling services are required, this will incur additional costs. Transportation Routes – Particular road routes and travel times are restricted when hauling loads over a certain weight or dimension. Transportation Schedule -The transportation of equipment requires precise coordination, to ensure the tower crane components arrive on site in the order needed, along with any additional equipment needed for the assembly. Erecting a Crane The tower crane will arrive on site in multiple parts.  First, the vertical mast is erected by adding additional mast sections on top of the base using other types of lifting equipment such as mobile or crawler cranes. Once the desired mast height has been reached, the operator’s cab and a turntable, which provides rotation, will be placed and secured atop the lengthy mast, this section is usually the heaviest element of a tower crane. The apex of the crane is then attached – aptly named the tower top. A working arm or jib is connected to the turntable and extends horizontally.  Attached to the jib is a trolley mechanism, hoist & hook.  These provide the various functions needed for lifting. Behind the cab and in alignment with the working jib is the counter-jib.  This section contains counterweights, motors, and electronics. For the tower crane to become functional, ropes must be attached and connected to the working elements. Operating a Tower Crane The majority of cranes are designed to be operated from the cabin at the top of the crane. For efficiency and safety, a team of skilled individuals are employed to oversee the operation of the crane. Each member of the team resumes responsibility for various processes. For example, ‘the appointed person’ has a range of duties including assessing risk and managing the overall planning of the lift. A ‘crane coordinator’ will take on the responsibility of scheduling the lifts, managing the sequencing the lifts and ensuring clashes do not occur.  A “Signal person” is responsible for acting as the operator’s second set of eyes and communicating to the operator which direction(s) to move the load. The ‘crane operator’, obviously, is responsible for operating the crane and lifting/positioning loads as required and directed by others.  Dismantling Tower Cranes The basic steps to dismantle a tower crane are the same as assembly, just in reverse order.  However, it must be consider that when a tower crane is erected, typically the jobsite is mostly empty as the primary structure hasn’t started without the tower crane.  When it comes down, the opposite is true as the completed structure usually occupies most of the available space on the site.  Hence, with limited room to setup a mobile crane or set the tower crane components down, dismantlement is often a far more complicated task. Maxim Crane is a coast-to-coast provider of crane rental and lifting services. As specialists within our field, we offer innovative solutions to meet your project’s needs. Situated in over 50 locations, each branch is able to provide management services, including transportation, risk management, safety and insurance programs that are unparalleled in the industry. Visit: https://www.cranerental.com
    723 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Without tower cranes, it’s likely that many iconic buildings and structures we know and love would not be standing. Not only do these steel giants look striking, they are also integral to modern construction and development. Tower cranes are the go-to tool used to bring even the largest and grandest construction projects to life. To help you develop a better understanding of how these mammoth machines do the seemingly impossible, we’ve outlined the key mechanisms that make tower cranes work. Building a Tower Crane There are an abundance of tower cranes in cities. So much that you may be fooled into believing that they reach sky-scraping heights with ease.  In reality, erecting a tower crane takes weeks of prior preparation. To make the erection process as efficient as possible crew members typically stick to a predetermined set of sequences. Assembly procedures differ depending on the type of tower crane used. Broadly speaking, tower cranes typically fall into general categories of either Luffing Jib or Trolley Jib types.  Luffing jib tower cranes have jib arms that “luff” or pivot up/down similar to ground based mobile cranes.  Trolley jib tower cranes have a horizontal jib arm and a trolley assembly that positions the load along the length of the jib.  We’ve outlined the assembly process for a freestanding, trolley jib tower crane as these are some of the most commonly used tower cranes nationally. The Crane Base The process of erecting a crane begins with creating a secure foundation from which the structure will be built upon. The integrity of the base is crucial in supporting the crane’s structure and balance for assembly and operation. Prior to the crane’s arrival on site, the first piece of the vertical mast is secured to a concrete foundation using heavy duty anchor bolts or embedded stools. The exact quantity of concrete needed will depend on various factors including the configuration of the tower crane and the local code requirements, but the entire weight of the base usually exceeds 400,000 lbs. Crane Transportation    The next order of business is the transportation of the equipment to the worksite, this may sound simple enough, but for the crew many factors have will need to be taken into account. Transportation considerations include: Transportation Budget – To transport the parts of the tower crane heavy hauling services are required, this will incur additional costs. Transportation Routes – Particular road routes and travel times are restricted when hauling loads over a certain weight or dimension. Transportation Schedule -The transportation of equipment requires precise coordination, to ensure the tower crane components arrive on site in the order needed, along with any additional equipment needed for the assembly. Erecting a Crane The tower crane will arrive on site in multiple parts.  First, the vertical mast is erected by adding additional mast sections on top of the base using other types of lifting equipment such as mobile or crawler cranes. Once the desired mast height has been reached, the operator’s cab and a turntable, which provides rotation, will be placed and secured atop the lengthy mast, this section is usually the heaviest element of a tower crane. The apex of the crane is then attached – aptly named the tower top. A working arm or jib is connected to the turntable and extends horizontally.  Attached to the jib is a trolley mechanism, hoist & hook.  These provide the various functions needed for lifting. Behind the cab and in alignment with the working jib is the counter-jib.  This section contains counterweights, motors, and electronics. For the tower crane to become functional, ropes must be attached and connected to the working elements. Operating a Tower Crane The majority of cranes are designed to be operated from the cabin at the top of the crane. For efficiency and safety, a team of skilled individuals are employed to oversee the operation of the crane. Each member of the team resumes responsibility for various processes. For example, ‘the appointed person’ has a range of duties including assessing risk and managing the overall planning of the lift. A ‘crane coordinator’ will take on the responsibility of scheduling the lifts, managing the sequencing the lifts and ensuring clashes do not occur.  A “Signal person” is responsible for acting as the operator’s second set of eyes and communicating to the operator which direction(s) to move the load. The ‘crane operator’, obviously, is responsible for operating the crane and lifting/positioning loads as required and directed by others.  Dismantling Tower Cranes The basic steps to dismantle a tower crane are the same as assembly, just in reverse order.  However, it must be consider that when a tower crane is erected, typically the jobsite is mostly empty as the primary structure hasn’t started without the tower crane.  When it comes down, the opposite is true as the completed structure usually occupies most of the available space on the site.  Hence, with limited room to setup a mobile crane or set the tower crane components down, dismantlement is often a far more complicated task. Maxim Crane is a coast-to-coast provider of crane rental and lifting services. As specialists within our field, we offer innovative solutions to meet your project’s needs. Situated in over 50 locations, each branch is able to provide management services, including transportation, risk management, safety and insurance programs that are unparalleled in the industry. Visit: https://www.cranerental.com
    Jan 03, 2019 723
  • 02 Jan 2019
    Being in a building dispute can be a pain. But if it is not immediately resolved, it can cause worse problems for you. This could be in the form of delays, unfinished work, additional costs, and it can take much of your time. How will deal with it can determine the success of the construction project? An Australian construction lawyer gives his views. Building disputes can be anything. It could be about poor workmanship, payment issues, contract breaches, or any concern that involves a constructed building. It can also be a test on how you could manage your relationships with the others involved in the building project. With a harmonious relationship, you can easily work together to finish the building properly. But, handling building disputes sounds easy but it could be hard when you are in the actual situation. This applies especially when the person you are dealing with could be difficult to work with. So, here as some tips to help you handle building disputes better: Talk and Negotiate with empathy. Do not let your emotions rule you when talking to your builder. They are people too, and they can make mistakes. You must learn to listen to their story with understanding what are the events that led to the dispute. With a clear head, you can already know what your next action to resolve this mess. But while being understanding, you should still know how to distinguish the difference between excuses from facts. It will lead you to know the truth and the way to resolve the problem. Take note and document every detail. Having a copy of everything related to the building project is a helpful practice for you when things go wrong. You can easily track where the dispute happened, and even keep your work organized. You can even have it as solid legal proof. Your contract, payment claim, invoices, pictures and other documents can help you handle the dispute as objective as possible. You can use it to plead your case properly to the parties involved and you can easily pinpoint who is at fault. And in some cases, they can hold the key to a resolution for the issue. Know your rights. Different construction laws protect you from different building disputes. There are laws for building defects, laws for late payments and laws that can protect your rights whichever role you are taking part in the building project. So, you have to do your best to enforce it. The law is on your side so if the other parties in the project are not doing their job well, you can confront them about it. It is in your hands on how you should remind them of these laws, but remember that the law is also solid proof of their incompetence.   Talk to a specialist construction lawyer. If you feel that you do not have the confidence to confront the other party yourself, you can ask the help of a construction lawyer to mediate in between. They can help you understand your rights in the building disputes and what you can do about them. They can guide you through each step of any legal process you would have to undergo due to the dispute. They can also give you expert legal advice, so you are sure that your building dispute gets resolved as cost and time- efficient as possible. So that, you get to enforce your legal rights and handle your building dispute with ease. Visit: https://www.contractsspecialist.com.au/building-dispute-lawyer-sydney  
    636 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Being in a building dispute can be a pain. But if it is not immediately resolved, it can cause worse problems for you. This could be in the form of delays, unfinished work, additional costs, and it can take much of your time. How will deal with it can determine the success of the construction project? An Australian construction lawyer gives his views. Building disputes can be anything. It could be about poor workmanship, payment issues, contract breaches, or any concern that involves a constructed building. It can also be a test on how you could manage your relationships with the others involved in the building project. With a harmonious relationship, you can easily work together to finish the building properly. But, handling building disputes sounds easy but it could be hard when you are in the actual situation. This applies especially when the person you are dealing with could be difficult to work with. So, here as some tips to help you handle building disputes better: Talk and Negotiate with empathy. Do not let your emotions rule you when talking to your builder. They are people too, and they can make mistakes. You must learn to listen to their story with understanding what are the events that led to the dispute. With a clear head, you can already know what your next action to resolve this mess. But while being understanding, you should still know how to distinguish the difference between excuses from facts. It will lead you to know the truth and the way to resolve the problem. Take note and document every detail. Having a copy of everything related to the building project is a helpful practice for you when things go wrong. You can easily track where the dispute happened, and even keep your work organized. You can even have it as solid legal proof. Your contract, payment claim, invoices, pictures and other documents can help you handle the dispute as objective as possible. You can use it to plead your case properly to the parties involved and you can easily pinpoint who is at fault. And in some cases, they can hold the key to a resolution for the issue. Know your rights. Different construction laws protect you from different building disputes. There are laws for building defects, laws for late payments and laws that can protect your rights whichever role you are taking part in the building project. So, you have to do your best to enforce it. The law is on your side so if the other parties in the project are not doing their job well, you can confront them about it. It is in your hands on how you should remind them of these laws, but remember that the law is also solid proof of their incompetence.   Talk to a specialist construction lawyer. If you feel that you do not have the confidence to confront the other party yourself, you can ask the help of a construction lawyer to mediate in between. They can help you understand your rights in the building disputes and what you can do about them. They can guide you through each step of any legal process you would have to undergo due to the dispute. They can also give you expert legal advice, so you are sure that your building dispute gets resolved as cost and time- efficient as possible. So that, you get to enforce your legal rights and handle your building dispute with ease. Visit: https://www.contractsspecialist.com.au/building-dispute-lawyer-sydney  
    Jan 02, 2019 636
  • 20 Dec 2018
    When Fosters + Partners announced in 2013 it was exploring the possibilities of 3D printed buildings on the moon using lunar soil, the concept of 3D printed buildings as a viable commercial alternative to current construction techniques was one step closer to reality writes Martin Liska, Research and Development Manager, Sika. Five years later, this ‘disruptive technology’, a term defined by American scholar Clayton Christensen, may well still be in its infancy, but remains on track to being a game-changer in the construction industry with buildings and their components having the potential to quite literally raise themselves. The digitisation of the construction industry is changing every aspect of construction and the entire lifecycle of a building from design to maintenance. As part of this, 3D concrete printing is just one of the new tools for architects and contractors to change the rules of the game and allow a more efficient and sustainable design. The technology may not yet be at the point where we can build high spec homes or fifty storey buildings but in its infancy it is showing to have remarkable technical, economical as well as sustainability potential. If 3D concrete printing is to compete with traditional and economical construction methods, then structures need to be printed efficiently. As a 3D concrete printing pioneer, Sika has consolidated all the technologies and knowledge resulting in a developed complex system which ensures that concrete is printed rapidly, inexpensively and precisely.  The system includes the robotics, the Sika Pulsement process control system, the Sika MiniShot extrusion system, 3D mortar system and Sika ViscoCrete® technology.   One of the major parts of the robotics system is the print head developed by the Sika 3D research team. It is a high performance tool that ensures an efficient printing process through precise management of not only the head movement, but also with the 3D mortar system and the ViscoCrete technology, the properties of the extruded material. Consistence, colour, strength rate development, dimensional stability and durability of the 3D printed concrete are controlled through a tailored selection and dosage of raw materials and proprietary additives. The concrete extruded through the print head then creates building components layer-by-layer. The material cures within seconds and bonds with the layer placed previously. This way, conventional as well as complex shapes can be constructed rapidly with the highest efficiency of the material use. This allows for the realisation of previously inconceivable architecture, from dynamic curves to futuristic interlinked structures, all of which can be printed directly and efficiently from digital plans. 3D printing does not require formwork or any additional equipment as the concrete is directly moulded into the construction. It is therefore possible to print concrete quickly and competitively. 3D printing offers a wealth of sustainability benefits, directly fulfilling one of Sika’s core values. The process aims to significantly increase the speed of construction and eliminate waste through utilisation of virtually all material extruded from the printing head. The efficient use of materials is such that they become multifunctional; they are not only strong enough to support the structure, but act as an effective insulation in the case hollow wall segments are 3D printed - thus achieving more with less. The method will allow for building bespoke houses available for the wider market, addressing, for example, the ever-increasing need for housing at a competitive price. 3D printing will also be dependent on fewer logistical processes and a shorter supply chain, both contributing to a faster design and construction time. The construction industry has a reputation for being slow to adopt innovation and new methods, but the obvious potential and benefits of 3D concrete printing technology is astonishing and should not be underestimated.  Sika is perfectly positioned to lead the field and is prepared to play an important role in the 3D concrete printing market. Visit: www.sika.co.uk
    655 Posted by Talk. Build
  • When Fosters + Partners announced in 2013 it was exploring the possibilities of 3D printed buildings on the moon using lunar soil, the concept of 3D printed buildings as a viable commercial alternative to current construction techniques was one step closer to reality writes Martin Liska, Research and Development Manager, Sika. Five years later, this ‘disruptive technology’, a term defined by American scholar Clayton Christensen, may well still be in its infancy, but remains on track to being a game-changer in the construction industry with buildings and their components having the potential to quite literally raise themselves. The digitisation of the construction industry is changing every aspect of construction and the entire lifecycle of a building from design to maintenance. As part of this, 3D concrete printing is just one of the new tools for architects and contractors to change the rules of the game and allow a more efficient and sustainable design. The technology may not yet be at the point where we can build high spec homes or fifty storey buildings but in its infancy it is showing to have remarkable technical, economical as well as sustainability potential. If 3D concrete printing is to compete with traditional and economical construction methods, then structures need to be printed efficiently. As a 3D concrete printing pioneer, Sika has consolidated all the technologies and knowledge resulting in a developed complex system which ensures that concrete is printed rapidly, inexpensively and precisely.  The system includes the robotics, the Sika Pulsement process control system, the Sika MiniShot extrusion system, 3D mortar system and Sika ViscoCrete® technology.   One of the major parts of the robotics system is the print head developed by the Sika 3D research team. It is a high performance tool that ensures an efficient printing process through precise management of not only the head movement, but also with the 3D mortar system and the ViscoCrete technology, the properties of the extruded material. Consistence, colour, strength rate development, dimensional stability and durability of the 3D printed concrete are controlled through a tailored selection and dosage of raw materials and proprietary additives. The concrete extruded through the print head then creates building components layer-by-layer. The material cures within seconds and bonds with the layer placed previously. This way, conventional as well as complex shapes can be constructed rapidly with the highest efficiency of the material use. This allows for the realisation of previously inconceivable architecture, from dynamic curves to futuristic interlinked structures, all of which can be printed directly and efficiently from digital plans. 3D printing does not require formwork or any additional equipment as the concrete is directly moulded into the construction. It is therefore possible to print concrete quickly and competitively. 3D printing offers a wealth of sustainability benefits, directly fulfilling one of Sika’s core values. The process aims to significantly increase the speed of construction and eliminate waste through utilisation of virtually all material extruded from the printing head. The efficient use of materials is such that they become multifunctional; they are not only strong enough to support the structure, but act as an effective insulation in the case hollow wall segments are 3D printed - thus achieving more with less. The method will allow for building bespoke houses available for the wider market, addressing, for example, the ever-increasing need for housing at a competitive price. 3D printing will also be dependent on fewer logistical processes and a shorter supply chain, both contributing to a faster design and construction time. The construction industry has a reputation for being slow to adopt innovation and new methods, but the obvious potential and benefits of 3D concrete printing technology is astonishing and should not be underestimated.  Sika is perfectly positioned to lead the field and is prepared to play an important role in the 3D concrete printing market. Visit: www.sika.co.uk
    Dec 20, 2018 655
  • 19 Dec 2018
    Private homes are estimated to be responsible for about one fifth to one fourth of global carbon dioxide emissions; and for that reason, eco-friendly construction or green building is becoming more and more of a necessity. If you’re looking to move home and are wanting something more eco-friendly, Roof Stores have been investigating some alternative types of housing that will help you cut down your carbon footprint… Earthship Earthship designs are made completely from natural and upcycled materials. They are built with the intention of being “Off-The-Grid ready”. This means the require minimal reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. They are also constructed to use available natural resources in particular energy from the sun and rain water Sub-Types Packaged: Prefabricated construction packages available making it easier to construct. Most economical and versatile. Modular: Provides more sculptural and variety of rooms. Every room has thermal mass and stability. Eco-Friendly Elements Constructed using natural and upcycled materials. Thermo-solar heating and cooling. Solar and wind electricity. Self-contained sewage treatment. Water harvesting and long-term storage. Advantages Grow food inside thanks to greenhouse interaction zones. Thermal mass keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter. Ease of construction. Can be constructed using materials that are free and would otherwise be landfill. Inexpensive. Models start at $20,000. Little to no utility bills. Disadvantages While materials are free, they take time to collect. Most Earthships are constructed with the aid of concrete, which contributes 10% of the world’s greenhouse gases. If not done by yourself, it can be costly to construct. Can take 2-3 years to find its median temperature. Environment Rating 4/5 Practicality Rating 2/5 Cost To Build $225 per square foot.Or, from as little as $10,000. Earth Sheltered   Earth Sheltered Houses are typically built into the side or underneath the ground. This could be through ‘Earth Berming’ where earth is piled up against exterior walls and packed, sloping away from the house. Or, they could be classed as ‘in-Hill Construction’ where the home is set into a slope or hillside. There is usually only one wall visible, the rest are surrounded by earth. Some houses are completely underground, otherwise known as Fully Recessed Construction. This is where the ground is excavated, and the house is set in below grade. Eco-Friendly Elements Thermal mass: Generated by the earth surrounding the building, warming the house in winter and cooling it in summer. Advantages Lower Bills: Energy usage will be minimal from heating. Storm Resistant: Thanks to being mostly underground, the impact on your home from high-winds will be minimal or non-existent. Thermal Mass: Energy Usage can be slashed by up to 50%-80% Disadvantages If the earth shelter has not been properly designed, you will find the following; Water Seepage Internal Condensation Bad Acoustics Poor Indoor Air Quality Due to the threat of water seepage, non-biodegradable substances, like concrete and plastics, tend to be used, which isn’t eco-friendly Lack of natural light. Environment Rating 4/5 Practicality Rating 1/5 Cost $100-$120 per square foot Prefabricated   Pre-fabricated designs are houses that are constructed off-site. Once complete they are shipped to your chosen location and even assembled for you. Sub-Types Manufactured: Built on nonremovable steel frames, known as chasses, which are used to transport the home and for permanent support and are relatively low cost. Modular: Consist of units or modules that are constructed in factories and joined together on site. They often use costlier materials and are bigger than manufactured homes. They also tend to have more customisation options Panellised: Have separate units joined together on-site and are more structured then Modular. The panels fit together in a unique order, rather than the random method of modular. Eco-Friendly Elements Green Construction: Prefabricated houses use less energy during construction. Green Materials:Typically built with environmentally friendly and recyclable materials like wood and steel. Wastage: There’s less wastage during construction. Advantages Air-Tight: Tight seams and state-of-the-art windows keep heat in and thus reduce energy bills. Also have a reputation to withstand natural disasters. Speed Of Assembly: Thanks to being pre-made assembly is very quick, as walls and ceilings just need to be joined together. Affordability: Cheaper than standard stick-built homes. Disadvantages Increased up-front costs due to pre-construction and assembly before you can move in. Hooking up utilities can be problematic. Transportation can be difficult depending on where you want to live. Buying the land to put your home on can be very expensive. Environment Rating 3/5 Practicality Rating 5/5 Cost Can range from $50,000 - $500,000. Shipping Container Homes made out of shipping containers! They have grown in popularity over the past several years due to their inherent strength, wide availability, and relatively low expense. Eco-Friendly Elements Reusing Steel: For each recycled shipping container 7,000 pounds of steel become reused. Less Concrete & Cement: The only concrete that you will need will be for the foundations. Advantages Low Cost: Containers and much cheaper than materials such as brick and steel. Quick Construction: Due to the walls, floors and ceilings being already constructed, moving in time is radically decreased. Durable: Containers are already made to resist extreme weather conditions. Off Site Construction: Containers can be converted off-site so only assembly and interior design in needed on-site. Disadvantages Temperature Control: Temperature control can be difficult due to the metal’s absorption quality. Space & Shape: You are restricted to the length and width of the containers. Cargo Spillages: You never know what the container was storing before you owned it. Solvents: Solvents released from paint and sealants used in manufacture might be harmful. Environment Rating 2/5 Practicality Rating 3/5 Cost $2,000 per container. Tiny House Movement Tiny houses have become so popular that they have their own ‘movement’. Generally, they are under 500 square feet. Eco-Friendly Elements Less building materials required. Easier to build with recycled, repurposed and salvaged materials. Reduced life cycle cost of materials. Smaller space to heat. Can be mostly powered off solar and wind resources due to size. Composting toilet. Catch and filtration of rainwater. Advantages Many tiny houses can be built with wheels enabling it to be a mobile home. Affordability. Disadvantages Less living and storage space. Limited entertaining space. Minimalist lifestyle. Environment Rating 4/5 Practicality Rating 3/5 Cost $19,000 - $50,000 Visit: https://www.roof-stores.co.uk              
    531 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Private homes are estimated to be responsible for about one fifth to one fourth of global carbon dioxide emissions; and for that reason, eco-friendly construction or green building is becoming more and more of a necessity. If you’re looking to move home and are wanting something more eco-friendly, Roof Stores have been investigating some alternative types of housing that will help you cut down your carbon footprint… Earthship Earthship designs are made completely from natural and upcycled materials. They are built with the intention of being “Off-The-Grid ready”. This means the require minimal reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. They are also constructed to use available natural resources in particular energy from the sun and rain water Sub-Types Packaged: Prefabricated construction packages available making it easier to construct. Most economical and versatile. Modular: Provides more sculptural and variety of rooms. Every room has thermal mass and stability. Eco-Friendly Elements Constructed using natural and upcycled materials. Thermo-solar heating and cooling. Solar and wind electricity. Self-contained sewage treatment. Water harvesting and long-term storage. Advantages Grow food inside thanks to greenhouse interaction zones. Thermal mass keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter. Ease of construction. Can be constructed using materials that are free and would otherwise be landfill. Inexpensive. Models start at $20,000. Little to no utility bills. Disadvantages While materials are free, they take time to collect. Most Earthships are constructed with the aid of concrete, which contributes 10% of the world’s greenhouse gases. If not done by yourself, it can be costly to construct. Can take 2-3 years to find its median temperature. Environment Rating 4/5 Practicality Rating 2/5 Cost To Build $225 per square foot.Or, from as little as $10,000. Earth Sheltered   Earth Sheltered Houses are typically built into the side or underneath the ground. This could be through ‘Earth Berming’ where earth is piled up against exterior walls and packed, sloping away from the house. Or, they could be classed as ‘in-Hill Construction’ where the home is set into a slope or hillside. There is usually only one wall visible, the rest are surrounded by earth. Some houses are completely underground, otherwise known as Fully Recessed Construction. This is where the ground is excavated, and the house is set in below grade. Eco-Friendly Elements Thermal mass: Generated by the earth surrounding the building, warming the house in winter and cooling it in summer. Advantages Lower Bills: Energy usage will be minimal from heating. Storm Resistant: Thanks to being mostly underground, the impact on your home from high-winds will be minimal or non-existent. Thermal Mass: Energy Usage can be slashed by up to 50%-80% Disadvantages If the earth shelter has not been properly designed, you will find the following; Water Seepage Internal Condensation Bad Acoustics Poor Indoor Air Quality Due to the threat of water seepage, non-biodegradable substances, like concrete and plastics, tend to be used, which isn’t eco-friendly Lack of natural light. Environment Rating 4/5 Practicality Rating 1/5 Cost $100-$120 per square foot Prefabricated   Pre-fabricated designs are houses that are constructed off-site. Once complete they are shipped to your chosen location and even assembled for you. Sub-Types Manufactured: Built on nonremovable steel frames, known as chasses, which are used to transport the home and for permanent support and are relatively low cost. Modular: Consist of units or modules that are constructed in factories and joined together on site. They often use costlier materials and are bigger than manufactured homes. They also tend to have more customisation options Panellised: Have separate units joined together on-site and are more structured then Modular. The panels fit together in a unique order, rather than the random method of modular. Eco-Friendly Elements Green Construction: Prefabricated houses use less energy during construction. Green Materials:Typically built with environmentally friendly and recyclable materials like wood and steel. Wastage: There’s less wastage during construction. Advantages Air-Tight: Tight seams and state-of-the-art windows keep heat in and thus reduce energy bills. Also have a reputation to withstand natural disasters. Speed Of Assembly: Thanks to being pre-made assembly is very quick, as walls and ceilings just need to be joined together. Affordability: Cheaper than standard stick-built homes. Disadvantages Increased up-front costs due to pre-construction and assembly before you can move in. Hooking up utilities can be problematic. Transportation can be difficult depending on where you want to live. Buying the land to put your home on can be very expensive. Environment Rating 3/5 Practicality Rating 5/5 Cost Can range from $50,000 - $500,000. Shipping Container Homes made out of shipping containers! They have grown in popularity over the past several years due to their inherent strength, wide availability, and relatively low expense. Eco-Friendly Elements Reusing Steel: For each recycled shipping container 7,000 pounds of steel become reused. Less Concrete & Cement: The only concrete that you will need will be for the foundations. Advantages Low Cost: Containers and much cheaper than materials such as brick and steel. Quick Construction: Due to the walls, floors and ceilings being already constructed, moving in time is radically decreased. Durable: Containers are already made to resist extreme weather conditions. Off Site Construction: Containers can be converted off-site so only assembly and interior design in needed on-site. Disadvantages Temperature Control: Temperature control can be difficult due to the metal’s absorption quality. Space & Shape: You are restricted to the length and width of the containers. Cargo Spillages: You never know what the container was storing before you owned it. Solvents: Solvents released from paint and sealants used in manufacture might be harmful. Environment Rating 2/5 Practicality Rating 3/5 Cost $2,000 per container. Tiny House Movement Tiny houses have become so popular that they have their own ‘movement’. Generally, they are under 500 square feet. Eco-Friendly Elements Less building materials required. Easier to build with recycled, repurposed and salvaged materials. Reduced life cycle cost of materials. Smaller space to heat. Can be mostly powered off solar and wind resources due to size. Composting toilet. Catch and filtration of rainwater. Advantages Many tiny houses can be built with wheels enabling it to be a mobile home. Affordability. Disadvantages Less living and storage space. Limited entertaining space. Minimalist lifestyle. Environment Rating 4/5 Practicality Rating 3/5 Cost $19,000 - $50,000 Visit: https://www.roof-stores.co.uk              
    Dec 19, 2018 531