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The great divide Why we’re still trying to bridge the gulf between design and energy performance CLOSING THE PERFORMANCE GAP
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News and views 04
Thermally treated UK hardwoods take on overseas imports
Poplar, sycamore and ash can provide a sustainable alternative. Energiesprong UK secures €3.6m Grant funding enables roll-out of Dutch zero-energy homes. Women tell how CMYA win gave a boost to their careers Category winners saw greater professional recognition. CIOB launches portal to promote interaction with government Website aims to amplify industry’s voice to policy-makers. Plus Chris Blythe asks why UK infrastructure struggles to get off the runway. Feedback Letters, comments and readers’ views on whether we can close the performance gap.
30 Construction professional 24
The gap years
The new Building Performance Evaluation review highlights how low-carbon buildings built between 2008-11 are still failing to deliver on performance. Building breakthroughs From rope-free lifts to low-carbon concrete, CM highlights innovations that will transform how we work. Inner strength The complex steel frame of the University of Salford’s new arts and media building meant contractor BAM had to pull out all the stops. CPD: Health and safety communication Making sure the health and safety messages you give your workers make the right impact. Project of the month Urban Splash housing, New Islington, Manchester.
PCR 2015: one year on
What difference have the public sector procurement regulations meant to supply chain payments within the industry? Plus comment from Paul Reeve of the ECA. BIM bytes Learning from the Joint Contracts Tribunal’s practice note on BIM. Northern exposure The UKTI’s Regeneration Investment Organisation is getting the word out to overseas funders about regional investment. Block bookings? What are the pros and cons for contractors of developing directly for the private rented sector?
40-51 All the latest news and reports from CIOB members and branches
Take the test on this issue’s CPD topic on health and safety communication and additional topics at
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | MARCH 2016 | 3
Treated hardwoods take on overseas imports Thermal modification enables UK poplar, sycamore and ash to provide a sustainable alternative
The first ever range of thermally modified British hardwoods, suitable for hardwearing external applications such as cladding, decking and joinery, will launch at Ecobuild next month. The super-heated poplar, sycamore and ash varieties are sourced exclusively from English and Welsh woodlands, providing a more sustainable alternative to importing equivalent products from abroad. The treated timber will be marketed under the Brimstone brand. Tom Barnes, managing director at Vastern Timber, told CM: “Thermally modified softwoods and hardwoods are well established in the market, notably Thermowood from Scandinavia, but there has never been a product that has utilised our own material. Hardwood species make up a large proportion of UK woodlands and are relatively unloved, with very few uses for poplar, sycamore and ash. Thermal modification is an ideal way of bringing them to market.” Research published in October 2014 by not-for-profit promotion organisation Grown in Britain found that 92% of large contractors would support an industrywide commitment to use more homegrown timber, and more than 60% said they would add clauses into contracts to encourage its specification. Brimstone is the result of a collaboration between Vastern Timber, Grown In Britain, the Building Research Establishment (BRE), Timber Strategies and Tyler Hardwoods. It was established to make British forests more sustainable by identifying new ways to commercialise home-grown timber. Some funding has also come from the Forestry Commission, and others, to pay
for product tests and market research. Although all timber used in Brimstone is sourced in Britain, it must be sent to France to undergo thermal treatment, before being processed to customer requirements in Vastern’s UK sawmill. However, there are plans to build a thermal modification plant in the UK, if demand is strong enough, for which the BRE has produced a feasibility study. “The idea of the project is to build up enough demand to attract funding to build a plant in the UK, although clearly we need to develop a market before we can do that,” said Barnes. “Once we bring the thermal modification to this country we complete the environmental story, all wood will be sourced within a hundred mile radius, we will do our own modification and no chemicals are involved.” Brimstone timber is heated to temperatures of between 160 and 210 degrees C, without the presence of oxygen, improving performance to class 2 durability, equivalent to 30 years’ life – and in some cases class 1 (50 years). This makes it suitable to replace tropical
“Hardwood species are relatively unloved, with very few uses for poplar, sycamore and ash. Thermal modification is an ideal way of bringing them to market” Tom Barnes, Vastern Timber
woods, in applications such as cladding, hardwood decking and other external joinery/furniture situations. However, modification affects the strength of the wood, making it unsuitable for structural applications. It is also more economic, in some cases, said Barnes: “Put up against similar imported modified hardwoods, like American ash and French ash, the price is comparable, if not cheaper. Depending on which version of Brimstone you go for, it could be cheaper than the tropical hardwood Ipe. The poplar product is cheapest and a similar price to Canadian cedar.” Recent research indicates that support for UK-grown timber is on the increase. According to the latest statistics from the Forestry Commission, 11.4 million green tonnes of softwood were harvested in 2014, up 5% on 2013, and 0.5 million green tonnes of hardwood, up 1%. However, the total £1.7bn of wood product exports in 2014 is well below the £7.2bn imported into the UK. The latter figure is also rising, with a 7% increase on 2013.
A first from Cambridge Willmott Dixon has completed an £11m three-form-entry school in Cambridge. Designed by Marks Barfield Architects, the school is the first operational building to be completed in the £1bn North West Cambridge Development, which is being project managed by Turner & Townsend. Sponsored by the University of Cambridge, the school combines primary education with a research and teacher training facility.
4 | MARCH 2016 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Energiesprong UK secures €3.6m to roll out Dutch zero-energy homes Organisation set to upgrade 500 homes in £200m work programme
Energiesprong: A renovation by Dutch contractor Volker Wessels (above), and a zero-carbon refurbishment project in Limburg (right).
The Energiesprong UK consortium has secured €3.6m of government Horizon 2020 grant funding to roll out the innovative Dutch Energiesprong housing refurbishment approach. The organisation is now expected to go out to tender later this year for a £200m work programme, upgrading around 500 homes to net-zero energy status. The homes will belong to the consortium’s housing association partners, with the retrofits costing around £40,000 each. At the heart of Energiesprong is a net-zero energy performance guarantee, whereby the contractor signs up to contractual undertakings on the long-term energy consumption for space heating and hot water. Guaranteeing the performance of the improvements over a long-term (minimum 30-year) period provides financial security to the property owner — likely to be a housing association — while the contractor will be able to harness economies of scale. This “energy performance guarantee” is seen as one way the industry can start to bridge the performance gap (p 12-15). Suppliers will be encouraged to design and engineer new solutions with their supply chain partners. The resulting innovation drives down the cost of the solution. Although contractors Wates Living Space, Willmott Dixon and Mears have been supporters of Energiesprong UK, it’s understood the organisation will look beyond this list to find its construction partners.
“I’m looking forward to working with the Energiesprong partners to challenge the ‘business as usual’ approach” Arno Schmickler, Energiesprong UK
Commenting on the grant, programme director Arno Schmickler said: “Thanks to European funding, Energiesprong will open up a scalable net-zero energy refurbishment market for UK businesses. Creating desirable, warm and affordable homes provides a unique opportunity to transform homes and communities. “I’m looking forward to working with the Energiesprong partners to challenge the ‘business as usual’ approach and I’m excited that a number of forward-thinking housing providers and industry leaders are already committed to making net-zero energy refurbishments a reality in the UK.” Energiesprong UK says that it hopes to “mobilise the construction sector to revolutionise its existing retrofit building processes through the development of stronger supply chain integration, product-focused collaboration and industry-led innovation”. The EU grant, spread over the next three years, will be used to kick-start netzero refurbishment markets in the UK and France, using the social housing sector as a catalyst. In the Netherlands the programme has already delivered over 500 net-zero energy refurbishments as part of a 111,000-volume deal between housing associations and industry. Energiesprong UK says that its ultimate aim is to set the scene, in terms of policy, funding and regulation, for a much wider roll-out of the concept, including into the private owner-occupier sector.
BIM-themed April issue to feature CM survey The government’s BIM mandate – trailed since the publication of the Government Construction Strategy in May 2011 – finally comes into force next month. From 4 April, all projects procured by central government departments or their agencies will be expected to implement Level 2 BIM as a contractual requirement. To coincide with a potentially industry-changing event, Construction Manager and the BIM+ website has conducted an industry-wide BIM survey. Next month’s edition of Construction Manager will feature full analysis of the results, which gathered opinion from construction managers, architects, clients and specialist contractors. The survey sought to benchmark the penetration of BIM in the industry’s workload, the outcomes it is delivering and whether the BIM mandate is likely to galvanise the industry’s performance. BIM+ has also hosted a round-table discussion event, inviting thoughtleaders and practitioners to share their views of BIM deployment today. The insights span the range of the contracting industry, from Peter Trebilcock, BIM director at Balfour Beatty, Jill Guthrie, BIM manager at Willmott Dixon and PPCIOB Martin Chambers, framework director of Shaylor Group. They were joined by: Simon Rawlinson, Arcadis head of strategic insight; Jason Ruddle, managing director of Elecosoft UK; David Jellings, managing director of Solibri, Martin Howe of SES Engineering Services and Bill Wright of the Electrical Contractors Association. And the BIM special edition will also feature excerpts from a BIM + research project on how clients – from the public and private sector – will react to the BIM mandate. In-depth telephone interviews with BIM clients in over 20 organisations will shed light on how far clients will drive BIM adoption – and to what extent the industry is in the driving seat. The final outcome of the research is a white paper briefing on BIM that will be made available to all CIOB members in April.
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | MARCH 2016 | 5
Women tell how CMYA boosted their careers
Three former winners say that winning an award brought them greater professional recognition As the CIOB acknowledges, women are currently underrepresented in the CMYA awards. But for those women who have reached the final, CMYA success has brought professional recognition. Three former winners told their stories in a blog for the CIOB website, aimed at encouraging women in site and project management roles to seek nomination for the 2016 awards. In 2008, Sarah Morton of BAM became only the second woman to win a CMYA medal – the honour first went to Betissa Ryan of Bovis LendLease in 2003. Morton’s project, phase three of Lancaster University’s Environment Centre, presented a series of complex challenges, and was her first project manager appointment. She remembers the awards night for the widespread support she received both from BAM colleagues and from the packed ballroom at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. “Lots of women that I didn’t know came up to me and said they were rooting
for me, even though their husbands were up for an award,” she said. Morton quickly moved to bigger projects, then was promoted to preconstruction manager at BAM. She joined Willmott Dixon as frameworks manager four months ago. Julia Howard MCIOB, formerly of Wates, took silver in 2013 for the Royal Hill School in Greenwich, south London, the refurbishment of a Victorian school building plus a new steel frame extension. Now a project manager at Interserve, Howard believes that winning a CMYA medal was a good career move. “This is a relatively small industry. Getting CMYA recognition definitely raises your profile. It’s great to have on your CV and is valued by employers,” she said. Leanne Broderick of John Sisk & Son is the most recent winner, securing a silver medal for Phase 2 of the Rathbone Market apartments in Canning Town in 2015. This was Broderick’s first project as a construction manager, but she oversaw a
“This is a relatively small industry. CMYA recognition definitely raises your profile” Julia Howard MCIOB
From top: Julia Howard; Sarah Morton; Leanne Broderick
CIOB celebrates the industry’s female achievers by supportIng women-only awards
The CIOB is celebrating the role of women in construction by sponsoring and supporting awards programmes that focus on highlighting women achievers in the profession. The Institute is sponsoring the Mentor of the Year category at the 2016 Women in Construction Awards, where CIOB deputy chief executive Bridget Bartlett will also be judging one of the categories. Now in it’s tenth year, the event aims to showcase the most inspirational female achievers in the construction and built environment industries. This year’s event takes place in Manchester on 23 March.
Bartlett, who is chair of the Construction Industry Council’s diversity panel, will also be a judge at the European Women in Construction and Engineering awards, which takes place in London on 19 May. Speaking to Construction Manager, Bartlett said: “Both these awards recognise the diverse talent that there is in the industry. Through them we are aiming to raise the profile of the lack of diversity in the industry.” Although some women-only awards have drawn criticism, and the CIOB’s most prestigious award the Construction Manager of the Year Awards does not have a separate female category, Bartlett believes that women-only awards are currently needed to boost women’s visibility in a maledominated industry. “In an ideal world we won’t need to have separate awards and separate categories,” she said. “However, with females only
making up 11% of the industry, sadly we are in a position where they have a role to play. “At present women-only awards are a necessity. When we have parity they will no longer be needed, but we are a long way away from that at the moment, so we need to do things that are proactive,” she said. Bartlett hopes that the awards will encourage more women to put themselves forward and become thought leaders in the industry. She points out that there now no female chief executives at any of the UK largest contractors, after Anna Stewart stepped down as CEO of Laing O’Rourke at the end of last year for health reasons. Bartlett said there are no plans to amend the CMYA. “For the CMYAs we encourage everyone to enter and of course hope to see more female winners in the future. But we won’t be adding any female-only category in the future,” she said.
substantial value engineering exercise. Entering CMYA was not something she initially considered. “I’m the type of person who prefers to be working, rather than putting myself on show,” she remembers. But, persuaded by client and employer, she underwent an hour-long interview with the judges, becoming a finalist then medallist. “I had an amazing night. It was great recognition of what I had achieved in my career to date. It was brilliant to spend time with people that I’ve worked closely with and who supported me in my career.” All three are keen to see more women in similar roles, and on the CMYA stage. “There are a lot more women in the industry than when I graduated 18 years ago,” says Howard. “But it’s a numbers game. There are still a disproportionately large proportion of male project managers.” Morton anticipates new roles from BIM and collaborative working will bring more women to leadership roles. But she still recommends construction management as a springboard to other work: “My background in project delivery has helped every job I’ve done since. As a construction manager you get a handle on most aspects of the project, whether design, cost, programme or clients. All those skills will be of benefit, whatever you do next.” Broderick adds: “This is not a job for the faint-hearted, and you have to be pretty thick-skinned at times. But I really enjoy the range of people that I deal with on a day to day basis, from the client to subcontractors to my own team.” Howard agrees. “I try to communicate to everyone how exciting construction is. I’m currently working at TV studios in the south east of England and learning about broadcasting. But I’ve done sewage works and everything in between. I love the diversity of this job.” Nominations for CMYA close on 7 March.
6 | MARCH 2016 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Chris Blythe Why does all our infrastructure take so long and cost so much?
CIOB launches portal to boost interaction with government
Website promotes industry issues to researchers and policy-makers The new CIOB policy portal aims to give policy-makers access to industry knowledge
The CIOB has launched a new website to amplify the voice of the Institute and the construction industry on key political, economic and social issues. The new site aims to improve access to industry knowledge for policy-makers and researchers, providing a repository for information, data and perspectives that illustrate the role of construction professionals to UK society. It will also highlight ongoing consultations where the CIOB is preparing a response, allowing members to post comments and views. As the portal highlights, construction is a major player in the future of the UK, employing more than 2.2 million people and making up 6.4% of the economy. But the CIOB believes that despite its impact on many aspects of life in the UK, the industry’s voice is not heard often enough within government agendas. The site holds a catalogue of CIOB data and research that has been collated over the past 10 years. It includes analysis of skills shortages in construction before,
“The site is another tool in construction’s growing armoury where information can be more easily accessed” Eddie Tuttle, CIOB
during and after the 2008 recession, the impact of ageing populations on the built environment, migration in construction, crime and corruption reporting and the value of professionalism within the sector. Eddie Tuttle, principal policy and public affairs manager at the CIOB, said: “Fostering active collaboration has many mutual benefits and whilst this site won’t in itself bridge the gap between industry and government, it is another tool in construction’s growing armoury where information can be more easily accessed and exchanged. “Through the CIOB, the industry has shared its perspective on issues like migration and modern slavery that traditionally government has not looked to us for. Inﬂuencing the big debates happening in Whitehall and the regions and also the devolved administrations is helping promote the value and importance of construction as a whole. Industry participation is key.” The website is part of the CIOB’s ongoing efforts to improve engagement with MPs and members of the devolved assemblies, along with the policy-makers for the respective legislatures. At a local level, the portal details construction’s activity across the UK so that MPs wanting to engage with the industry in their own constituencies can get a better feel for its inﬂuence. The portal is at www.policy.ciob.org
CIOB-backed coalition to launch global code of ethics A new international code of ethics to help regulate the activities of construction and property professionals in global markets — and build trust for clients and consumers — is out for consultation. The draft code is backed by 63 worldwide institutions in the built environment and infrastructure sectors, including the CIOB. The group is known as the International Ethics Standard Coalition, and was instigated in 2014 by the RICS. Its first meeting of a founding group of 16 institutions was held in office space donated by the United Nations in November 2014.
The group includes representatives from Russia, China, France, the US, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia and Canada, as well as 10 institutions from the UK. IES chair Peter Bolton King told CM that the RICS saw the need for a global standard to raise core standards among all property professionals, but realised it couldn’t deliver such a code on its own. Chris Blythe, chief executive of the CIOB, said: “Ethics is central to being a professional. Consultation is a challenging environment, and that will only increase as national players and agendas mix together on the international stage.”
I caught a story in Global Construction Review about the decision to expand Chicago’s O’Hare airport. O’Hare was the busiest US airport until that crown was taken by Atlanta and its $1.3bn (£900m) revamp will include a new runway. This will be its sixth east-west parallel runway and, at 3,425 metres long and 61 metres wide, will cost $650m (£448m) or about half the total project cost. Other works will include a crossfield taxiway system to connect the two halves of O’Hare which, by the way, is only 13 miles away from Chicago Midway airport with its five runways. What is stunning, though, are the costs. Heathrow’s estimate for runway three is about £14bn ($20bn), or about 15 Chicago projects, which Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission thought underestimated it by £4bn ($5.8bn), or about four Chicago revamps. You have to ask yourself why our infrastructure costs so much and takes so long. Chicago plans to have its new runway in operation in 2020, while Heathrow will not see rubber hitting tarmac until 2030 at the earliest – and with no decision made one way or the other it will probably be much later. Quite why the cost of an additional runway at Heathrow is so much greater than at O’Hare is beyond me, except that perhaps most of it has nothing to do with a runway but £2,000-an-hour consultants spinning out specious work. More careers will be made in not getting a runway done than in building one. Time is money, as they say. The proposals for Gatwick hardly fare better, with its proposal being worth £7bn ($10bn) or seven Chicago revamps. The Davies Commission’s terms of reference were equally uninspiring, namely to have the equivalent overall capacity of one new runway operational by 2030. Checking my sums, that would give us six east/west runways around the “London” area. That compares with O’Hare’s six on the one airport by 2020. It is worth a reminder that between 1830 and 1850 we put down 7,000 miles of railway when the technology was constantly changing. This compares with the first phase of HS2, London to Birmingham, where 140 miles will be done between 2017 and 2026 – about 15 miles a year. Phase 2, Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, should finish by 2033, though for the life of me I cannot figure out why anyone would want to go from London to Leeds via Birmingham (trainspotters excepted). For a country that used to be the world’s best at infrastructure, we seem to have become among the world’s worst. Sad, really. CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | MARCH 2016 | 7
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Bridging the gap? Or we could try jumping it
has become such an accepted feature of the industry's landscape that it's hardly surprising there hasn't been much interest in mapping its contours recently. The team behind the ÂŁ8m government-backed Building Performance Evaluation review has tackled a subject that's not likely to be the subject of much tub-thumping: its outcomes are too familiar, its potential solutions too hard to grasp , its root causes too multi-faceted. Readers of Construction Manager will be familiar with the ad hoc decisions on site that compromise thermal integrity, or the lack of linkage between critical subcontractor packages, or the temptation to install complex ventilation or renewable systems that ought to deliver carbon cuts but instead deliver ongoing maintenance costs and headaches for users. So no one is surprised at the findings of the BPE research, which uncovered yawning performance gaps. But what was surprising was the degree of unanimity Construction Manager encountered over the need to address the regulatory system that guides project team behaviour. Put simply, it's not working and needs review. While there are arguments to be had over the level of aspiration enshrined in Part L, there's little doubt that even the document we have is not proving effective in terms of the as-built building and operational performance. With Part L compliance happening too early in the process, and enforcement notices over non-compliance never used in practice,
Housebuilding taking too long?
THE PERFORMANCE GAP
there is not enough carrot or stick in the system to keep project teams on track. And regulatory control stops as soon as Building Control signs off the completion certificate, which may be long before the building is occupied. While some in the industry are talking of "stretching" practical completion to allow for a greater degree of commissioning, tuning and energy monitoring within the contract period, for the moment it's only talk. Occupiers' and residents' contribution to the performance gap is of course welldocumented, and is evident in the BPE reports. But property companies, commercial occupiers, home-buyers or renters would no doubt feel that they have acquired the rights to a smoothlyfunctioning building when they signed the lease or sale agreement. To blame the occupier is to blame the customer, and what successful industry does that? So why haven't we yet evolved forms of contract that protect the end-users and occupiers, that commit the contractor and design team to the energy performance they promised, and indeed guarantee that new buildings will play their part in cutting carbon emissions? Because the structure of the industry, with its siloed responsibilities and liabilities, makes it hard to achieve. We need new thinking, a challenge to "business as usual". You could say we need a leap of faith - or, as the Dutch would have it, an Energiesprong (page 5). Let's hope it gets off the ground. Elaine Knutt, editor
More Construction Manager online and on Twitter Our twice-weekly newsletters give you breaking news, and online-only content, including more coverage of skills shortages and the carbon agenda, and fresh perspectives on the weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s news. Sign up at www.construction-manager. co.uk. For news from CM and other sources as it happens, join our 9,000+ Twitter followers @CMnewsandviews.
Russell Denness MCIOB FRICS, via website It's not clear if the Million Homes Challenge site has a planning consent, but I suspect not (BBC to tackle housing crisis with Million Homes Challenge offsite showcase, online). So I suggest that before series producer Michael Ratcliffe gets all excited about invitations to tender and building houses in three days, he trots off and gets a detailed planning consent, a signed section 106 agreement, clears the planning conditions, obtains technical approvals, gets a type warranty approval so someone will be able to get a mortgage, and then gets the initial site works complete and ready for the prefab element of construction. By my reckoning he will a) be looking at a telly programme for autumn 2017 season at best, and b) have taught himself a little more about why we don't build enough houses in this country.
BIM won't stop the bodging on Part B and fire safety M Floyd, via website It worries me that BIM is seen as some great saviour in construction and fire safety (DCLG consults on Part B update in delayed Lakanal response, online). Even if we get a new generation of better pre-design and snagging before going to Building Control, it is what happens on site that matters. Only more inspections by independent bodies might help catch practices such as lack of cavity barriers and joke fire-stopping (a bag of KFC chicken was the latest shown to me!). Maybe someone could offer 3D scanning of a site at set intervals before all the bodges are hidden away? J Sandland MRICS MCABE, via website BIM is like the "emperor's new clothes". The real world is full of hazards and checks needed by competent people, mainly in construction phase. Await lawyers' frenzy when design change audits go through the BIM process, but do not affect the build quality/safety, which needs human competency. People need to think outside the BIM box.
10 | MARCH 2016 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Vox pop Will we ever be able to close the performance gap?
Sustainability associate, BDP I’m not saying the performance gap doesn’t exist, but it’s more of a gap in communication than the result of poor design. Over the last decade, the measure of energy performance has been led by Part L and EPCs, which anyone will tell you are full of holes. Herein lies the issue: it’s the yardstick that’s the problem. More advanced tools such as CIBSE TM54 (Evaluating Operational Energy Performance) provide a tested methodology to allow us to more accurately predict actual energy usage, which enables us to provide clients with more (and better!) information. We want our buildings to work as we’ve designed them, but this is as much to do with managing expectation and training users as it is optimising design.
Sustainability team leader, Max Fordham We will only be able to close the performance gap if we radically change our approach to procuring buildings with contracts and a tender process that actively encourages collaboration between all parties involved in the construction of a building. The current tender process is driven by lowest cost, which in turn drives down quality and this needs to change. Tender evaluation needs to be based on the ability to deliver the required performance outcomes, with a proven track record. Clients need to be proactive in basing their decisions on outcomes and evidence of past performance.
Ian Orme Sustainability associate director, Mace The government, through Innovate UK and the Zero Carbon Hub, has spent significant amounts of money researching the causes and impacts of variations in performance. For example, the quality of construction can impact energy consumption, but since the introduction of whole-building air-pressure testing, airtightness has improved markedly. One area that we’ve been working on has been how we can use smart technology to improve how buildings are handed over from construction to occupation. Also, using approaches such as the government’s Soft Landings, is starting to help improve outcomes, particularly for large, complex projects.
CIOB raises bar on ethics Mike Murphy, via website A global code of ethics is a great idea (Global code of professional ethics to be launched by CIOB-backed coalition, online) but controlling it is a far greater challenge. Let's not talk about accountancy and the financial sector because it will be a while before we forget what happened there. Mukesh Kashyap, via website This is indeed a timely initiative, more
Dayle Bayliss MCIOB Owner, Dayle Bayliss Associates The performance gap will not be closed using our current ways of thinking. We need to revolutionise the way we build – we need to change the methods of construction and the systems that support it. Key to this is encouraging new innovative thinking into the industry. We need thinking from outside construction, from other industries and to bring a diverse range of people into construction. Trying to close the gap by improving traditional methods won't work: we need new thinking.
Missing links: the industry is still struggling to put the pieces together on low-carbon construction.
"Improving traditional methods won't work: we need new thinking" Dayle Bayliss, Dayle Bayliss Associates
Stephen Wielebski FCIOB Construction consultant If you start from the premise that you can't manage what you can't measure, it puts the matter into context. We are making progress in terms of collating
because it will have the backing of many professional institutions. With more than 70% infrastructural investment over next 20 years in many emerging markets, it is high time that professionals raised the bar for transparency and accountability.
Pay attention to retention Bill Ardeshir, via website The principle of retentions is sound but it is the abuse of retention sums that is the cause for concern (BIS retentions review on protecting
evidence but this is just part of the process, albeit quite a fundamental aspect. For example, how representative are stated U-values? What confidence do we have in these, and similarly the science that underpins linear thermal bridging? Yes, it is possible but at this stage not entirely. Let us not forget the need for skills, in particular technical knowledge. Sadly, these are rapidly diminishing, likewise the frequency of experienced technical people occupying key boardroom positions. This is where the necessary leadership needs to come from.
Zainab Dangana MCIOB Sustainability R&D manager, Wates Smartspace It would require a coordinated approach. The design and construction team, including the end-user, should be involved throughout, the design intent must be carried through the construction process and all stakeholders should be responsible for the performance of a building after it is completed for a period of time. The performance of materials and components should not be predicted in isolation but as systems constructed on site. End-users should be educated on the use of systems in their buildings: the occupant use of a building has a significant impact on actual energy consumption.
subcontractor funds triggered by Lords, online).
Contact us Do you have an opinion on any of this month’s articles? Email: constructionmanager@atom publishing.co.uk
I would suggest: a cap on total retention sums to 2% of the contract value and half released on practical or sectional completion; any company holding retention sums to have an insurance-backed guarantee. Firms not releasing the final sums would be subject to interest charges at base rate plus 4% and /or form part of the insurance guarantee. This could be operated in the form of a bond via the banks, which would shown in the company accounts. CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | MARCH 2016 | 11
Feature Performance gap
FACING UP TO THE REALITY GAP The new Building Performance Evaluation review reveals how low-carbon buildings are still falling dramatically short on their energy-efficiency promises. Elaine Knutt asks how the industry can address the problem ANYONE TACKLING the 110-page report of
the £8m Building Performance Evaluation review is likely to experience a worrying sense of deja vu. It’s a summary of independently assessed post-occupancy evaluations and reports on more than 100 low-carbon buildings completed in 200811, comprising 59 residential projects and 48 in the non-domestic sector. It forms a compendium of all the cumulative failures in design, construction, commissioning and hand-over that together add up to a yawning “performance gap” between design intent and operational energy. But for most readers of Construction Manager the narrative of the BPE reports will prove all too familiar. Heard the one about the rooftop ventilation systems not commissioned properly? Or the biomass boilers installed to get a better EPC or BREEAM rating, but then never switched on? Unfortunately, you probably have – from a major study by Leeds Beckett University in 2012, from an earlier series of studies by the Carbon Trust, or even 12 | MARCH 2016 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
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ILLUSTRATION: RUSSELL COBB
Feature Performance gap
from CIBSE’s Probe studies from 1995. The conclusions of the BPE study, in the words of one monitor, are “eyebrow raising”. It revealed performance gaps of two, three or five times the amount of energy foreseen at design stage, with almost all buildings failing to deliver what they were designed to. Two-thirds of the buildings included onsite renewable energy generation to reduce their energy requirements – but two-thirds of this group experienced problems that reduced their energy savings. The performance of low-carbon housing seemed particularly concerning. Measured energy use in the “low energy” homes – that is,for electricity and heating fuel alone, excluding “unregulated” energy for appliances – differed by a factor of nearly 10 between the lowest and highest. In the social housing sector, the air-tightness of 46% of the homes in the study was below the design intent, and nine of 28 of the assessed schemes in fact failed to meet Part L. So how should the industry react to the BPE catalogue of culpability? For some commentators, the scale and consistency of the findings should be a wake-up call for an industry happy to “sell” clients the promise of an energy-efficient product, then failing to deliver. “As an industry, we can’t continue to churn out substandard products that don’t do what they say they do — it’s not good enough. In 2015, we’re not learning from the past, we’re marrying 1980s procurement routes to 21st century technology,” says Rod Bunn, a principal consultant at BSRIA and an independent monitor for some of the project teams undertaking the BPE research. Then there’s the underlying driver behind creating “low-carbon” buildings in the first place — the commitment to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. “We have too many cases where either the fabric or the Building Management System isn’t functioning properly, so buildings aren’t playing their part in delivering carbon reductions,” says Chris Gorse, professor of construction and project management at Leeds Beckett University, which monitored 25% of the BPE sample. He adds: “It doesn’t look like we’re going to achieve the 2020 target [of near-zero energy buildings] — with less than five
years to go, I’m not feeling very hopeful.” But for Mat Colmer, lead technologist at Innovate UK, the report shouldn’t be a pretext for hand-wringing, but an acknowledgement of the difficulty of delivering projects with an everchanging cast. “Timescales for learning and development are very long. From inception to doing a post-occupancy evaluation is likely to be six to seven years, so it’s seven years before you really see the outcome of your work,” he says. “The key learning for the industry, is to make sure you’ve got someone with experience of doing it before.” Post-occupancy omissions Previous debate over “closing the gap” has led to calls for more post-occupancy evaluation, so that design and operation can better inform each other. It’s a call, however, that’s largely gone unnoticed. “There’s a lack of will to go back and remeasure a building and also a lack of will among clients — it’s human nature to move on to the next thing, and no one wants to be told bad news,” acknowledges architect Rab Bennetts of Bennetts Associates, apractitioner of low-carbon design. “POE can open up a whole can of worms, where there’s already a blame culture.” The BPE study (see Q&A, p14) both acknowledges this in-built reluctance to revisit projects, and attempted to address it. Recognising that POE was a cost that clients, contractors and consultants alike were reluctant to bear, the project was funded with an £8m government grant from Innovate UK: project teams nominated themselves and applied for grants of up to £200,000. The programme also aimed to spread and embed POE skills across the industry. >
Buildings with higher-than-expected emissions Project
Targeted BER kgCO2/m2/year
Actual BER kgCO2/m2/year
Gas or other fuel BREEAM kWh/m2/year rating
Brighton Aldridge 10.8 Community Academy
National Composites 23 Centre
Oakham Primary School
Very good CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | MARCH 2016 | 13
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Getting to grips with the BPE review What is its significance and what happens next?
Domestic troubles: The Innovate UK report looked at 76 home types across 52 residential projects. While Passivhaus properties performed well, and average air-tightness was good, regulated energy use varied by up to a factor of 10 between the best and worst performers.
Building Data Exchange: This web portal, launched in conjunction with the Digital Catapult project, invites the industry to collaborate on new data-driven approaches on reducing the perfromance gap. The initiative was kicked off with a hackathon event in February.
An education: The non-domestic report covered a number of High Street property clients, but also featured a strong representation form the education sector, including a number of projects from the Building Schools for the Future initiative.
What is the Building Performance Evaluation review? A comprehensive exercise to examine 49 non-domestic buildings and 52 residential projects completed in 2008-11, all with low-carbon and low-energy aspirations. The projects were put forward by their client and construction teams, and individuals from those teams carried out the energy assessments. At the same time, independent assessors for universities and consultancies were appointed to review the teams’ work, and to make sure the buildings were studied and measured in a consistent way. The study periods on the buildings ranged from nine to 30 months. The idea was that the methodologies and skills that were used in the BPE study would become embedded in a wide range of firms across the industry. In fact, there is likely to be growing demand for such skills: postoccupancy evaluation for three years after handover is due to become a critical part of the Government Soft Landings. Was the sample representative? The non-domestic sample included some well-known buildings, such as Marks & Spencer’s Cheshire Oaks retail store, the Woodland Trust headquarters building, and the iCon building in Daventry, as well as an Asda store and a Premier Inn. There were many schools in the study, including several low-carbon pin-ups and representatives of the Building Schools for the Future programme. BSRIA’s Rod Bunn, one of the independent monitors, believes that the BPE buildings are more representative of buildings handed over in 2008-2011 than previous “performance gap” studies, which tended to focus on low-energy exemplars. “Particularly on the domestic, side they are relatively run of the mill and so it’s a representative sample – and on that basis it’s more scary.” So just how scary is scary? Almost all were found to be underperforming against expectations. In the non-domestic sector, average total carbon emissions were 3.8 times higher than the average
design estimate – in fact only one of the 49 buildings had actual carbon emissions that matched the design estimate. The study also found very little correlation between Energy Performance Certificates – based on design intent – and Display Energy Certificates, which record actual energy use. In the domestic sector, average total carbon emissions were 2.6 times higher than the average design estimate. None of the “zero-carbon” design estimates were achieved in practice. And nine out of 28 projects in the social housing sector were found to be non-compliant with Part L on thermal transmission and/or air-tightness. Jesse Putzel of BAM points out that another worrying factor is how historic the study is. “We’re looking back at buildings that are quite old, so in that time buildings have been delivered with similar issues.” But is there some good news? There were several creditable performances: a number of Passivhaus schemes performed well, and a few buildings proved to be have better air-tightness in real life than had been predicted. “Good” performers included the Mayville Community Centre and Angmering Community Centre. But even some of the projects that have performed at the top end of the scale recorded carbon emissions around twice what was expected in the Part L design submission – ie the Building Emissions Rate (BER). But then maybe the methodology for calculating the BER was wrong in the ﬁrst place? That could indeed be the case. One idea to narrow the “gap” is to improve the accuracy of energy forecasts at design stage. Several practitioners mentioned the value of “TM54” , a CIBSE measurement methodology that more fully recognises the “unregulated” energy uses that can push energy meter readings far higher than the design team’s optimistic projections. “It’s a method for disaggregating
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energy that uses energy uses, such as lighting, or catering, or heat pumps – to get a more accurate estimate of what the energy loads might be. It also allows designers to predict a range, which can be revised once procurement and specification progresses,” says Bunn. “It allows you to reality check the specification as design progresses.” So what happens next? The BPE has spawned a follow-on project, called the Building Data Exchange – a web portal where anyone with an interest in the data can access it. As Innovate UK’s Mat Colmer explains: “We decided to work with the Digital Catapult to start reframing this information, so it’s usable, easily digestible information. We’ve got very dense reports – no one’s going to plough through 105 reports – so how do you scrape the information and tag it, so that we can make it work with BIM?” To kick off this new phase of the project, around 120 people representing 90 or so organisations in the built environment and digital worlds took part in a “hackathon” in early February. But what sort of projects could result? The initial hackathon generated an app that would allow building occupants to communicate issues to facilities managers, as well as one that would help home-owners calculate the impact of energy-saving interventions on their bills. And Innovate UK is keen to see more on data visualisation tools, user-friendly techniques that can give a better understanding of the technicalities behind the performance gap. But there are also hopes that the data could help practitioners, as well as building occupants. “We’d expect the future BPE tools would be embedded in professional practice, to evaluate the energy performance of the building against the original design intent,” says Federico Seguro of the National Energy Foundation. “We need tools for U-value and air-tightness testing, to make sure performance is in line with intent. For experts, these tests are not complicated, but they do need skilled personnel. If you make the tests simpler, then more people will do them,” he says.
> The BPE’s scale makes it possible to draw overarching conclusions. According to Mat Colmer, one underlying finding is that design changes – for instance, swapping a heat pump for a solar thermal system – often had knock-on effects that teams failed to grasp. “From the initial design, where it’s optimised on paper, other things come in and start to influence the design, such as a planning requirement for 10% renewables, or a renewables system installed to get points on a certification methodology and might not be thought through.” Gaps in accountability But the analysis from BSRIA’s Bunn is a little starker – in his view, the culture of design changes in design and build contracting and “shrink-wrapped” specialist packages open up gaps in the chain of accountability. “A lot of the complexity in buildings lies in packaged subcontracts, which are way down the line from the architect and often managed by the contractors. For instance, a motorised natural ventilation system might end up under the cladding subcontractor. When building performance-related technology is all installed and procured downstream of the original design intention, is it any wonder you end up with performance penalties?” Sustainability consultant Charlie Law also points to structural issues inherent in a low-margin industry: “Designers get into a groove – they haven’t got the time and money and budget to do something different, so the only way to make the jobs pay is to recycle all the old details. It’s so competitive out there, so you use the details you’ve done before and reuse it where you can.” Unfortunately, that often means carrying over mistakes from one project to the next. Another problem evident in the BPE study is buildings’ greater reliance on “smart technology”. The report features the school with the “digital adaptable lighting installation” (DALI), where the lights are on all day in the atrium and no one can work out how to turn them off. Or the community centre fitted with a “smart” window system with maintenance costs of £1,925 a year and poor air quality. Or CO2 monitors in classrooms that alert teachers to the need to open the window – but they’re not in the teacher’s line of
“The more moving parts you’ve got, the more room for things to go unnoticed” Federico Seguro, National Energy Foundation
sight and with controls too complex to operate with confidence. For BSRIA’s Bunn, it’s a worrying trend, and one that undermines the argument that greater use of technology will help close the performance gap. “Complexity comes as standard, and introduces risks we can’t handle. Smart technology isn’t fit and forget, it needs ongoing management. The kit will work if it’s installed and commissioned right – and that’s vital for the energy use – but there are no penalties for not doing so. “Buildings are becoming more complex – the more moving parts you’ve got, the more room for things to go unnoticed,” agrees Federico Seguro, who studied the social housing schemes in the BPE for the National Energy Foundation charity. So there’s agreement that the problems are deeply ingrained in the way the industry works, and disagreement over whether technology-driven solutions will help. But when it comes to tackling the issue, many commentators agree that one of the first targets should be the regulatory system. This currently consists of achieving compliance with Part L at planning stage, getting a Building Control completion certificate following an airtightness test, and an Energy >
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> Performance Certificate (for nondomestic buildings) that is itself based on the design intent. But there’s no penalty if the EPC, based on a statement from the contractor that the building has been constructed as designed, doesn’t match the Part L design intent. And the entire weight of regulation stops at practical completion: 12-month defect periods on contracts do not cover energy performance, and in the domestic sector NHBC and Zurich warranties ignore energy performance. “There needs to be a complete rethink of how the regulations deal with building compliance, and we need to start from scratch,” says Bunn. At Leeds Beckett, Gorse would first like to see better enforcement of existing regulations: serving a notice on a building owner for non-compliance with part L (at completion certification stage) is technically possible . “If that was real, if one actually saw that happening, clients and owners would start to pay far more attention to the quality of the property. But this is one area where we’ve not seen a great deal of action,” says Gorse. Barry Turner, director of technical policy at Local Authority Building Control, agrees that serving notices on noncompliance with Part L almost never happens. “For legal enforcement, it has to be in the public interest, and there has to be clear evidence that it’s in breach.” But Turner is the first to acknowledge that the completion certificate can conceal hidden defects. “When a thermal transmittance value is calculated [for the EPC], it assumes it was constructed as the detailed drawings with 400mm of insulation. But that doesn’t happen. Or prior to the air-tightness test, the man with the mastic gun is going round
Domestic energy use: the best and worst Measured energy use in the homes in the study All figures kWh/year
Electricity Heating fuel (with outlier) Heating fuel (outlier removed)
8,528 29,786 20,240
657 440 440
3,281 6,258 5,890
The table shows huge variations in the energy consumption of the ‘low carbon’ homes in the study. One home (the outlier) had very high gas use for CHP.
site, and then over two or three years the mastic dries out. I think the process leading up to completion and handover needs to be more robust,” he concludes. Incentivising energy performance For others, the BPE shows it’s time to abandon what could be called the design, build and walk-away model, and adopt contractual and commercial terms that drive better energy performance. Such options are being considered by Jesse Putzel, head of sustainability at BAM. “A few people in the industry are looking promoting ‘stretching practical completion’ as an idea, or some kind of incentivisation that drives designers, contractors and clients to really focus in on performance,” he says. “We’re talking to clients about it. It might be around targeting a DEC rating, but we’re not ready to deliver to market.” Others believe that contractors could go further to explore performancebased contracting. Pedro Guertler, head of research at the Association for the Conservation of Energy, says: “There are models for contractors to achieve certain levels of energy performance – for instance, Energiesprong (see News, p5) is piloting this with respect to a portfolio of social housing. Contracts could have flexibility clauses, based on flexible outcomes defined by Building Regulations.”
“There needs to be a complete rethink of how the regulations deal with building compliance ” Rod Bunn, BSRIA
Bunn would welcome any drive to modernise contracts along these lines. “Forms of contract are not keeping pace – does anyone at JCT or NEC know about BPE? Are they really up to speed? But contractual clauses would have to go hand in hand with a measurement mechanism on operational outcomes that allows it to be achieved.” But Innovate UK’s Colmer is sceptical that a contractually driven approach – or at least one based around fines and penalties – will be effective. “To say we’ll start withholding stuff if it doesn’t work isn’t a positive message, and is not being helpful to an industry that is really trying. But we can start to look at selling enhanced services – where you get paid more for hitting targets. Or, if I continue to work on your building, I will be able to optimise it over 10-15 years, and when new technologies come in, I can bring the energy demand down,” he says. Throughout, Colmer has sought to accentuate the positive in the BPE study: the dataset it’s built, the evaluation culture it’s promoted, the industry’s commitment to improve over time. And although that perspective might be partial, it’s certainly true that the BPE has built the most comprehensive database available to date, giving the industry a platform of data to build a new strategy on. Colmer concludes: “Obviously it’s a challenge that the buildings aren’t performing as intended, but all of the organisations in the project have been incredibly open – including Asda, M&S, Crest Nicholson, Gentoo.,” he says. “So it’s not just a group of specialists but it’s industry people who’re grappling with it. If people like Crest Nicholson and Whitbread are on board and addressing it, then people will start to listen.” CM
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Richard Howson CEO, Carillion
GETTING SMART ON SITE From self-cleaning windows to waterless toilets, new developments are changing the way we build. Stephen Cousins looks at a few of the latest ideas, and Peter Caplehorn offers an overview Rope-free elevator The first live demonstration of a rope-free elevator, which uses magnetic levitation technology and rotating drives to move cabs both sideways (pictured right), took place in Spain last November. The 1:3 scale model of the Multi lift system, developed by Germany’s ThyssenKrupp and installed at its innovation centre in Gijón, northern Spain, runs using linear motors. According to the firm, the system increases capacity by allowing several cabs to occupy a single shaft, and can increase a building’s usable area by up to 25%, as it requires smaller shafts and no counterweight. Markus Jetter, the so-called “father” of Multi and head of the firm’s product development centre near Stuttgart, says: “Now we will be focusing on constructing and implementing the first Multi system in our test tower in Rottweil, Germany (pictured left), which should be running at the end of 2016. There are plans to prove and certify that the elevator can meet the highest code standards and is as safe as a conventional elevator.” Who needs it? Developers of high-rise buildings What does it cost? Not commercially available 18 | MARCH 2016 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Safer trench construction A trench protection system designed for the rail sector could also simplify general groundworks or construction excavation projects while improving safety, according to its inventors at Mabey Hire. Also known as the Hog Back Strut, due to its distinctive shape, the “high clearance strut with aluminium trench shield” system (pictured below) is designed to reduce time spent installing, moving and removing equipment. Its low weight allows work to be carried out in remote or hard-to-reach areas, says Mabey Hire. Richard Hinckley, business development manager at Mabey Hire, says it is suitable for use in many groundwork situations: “Its all-aluminium construction makes it very compact, strong and light, perfect for installing pipework and ductwork where high clearance over large pipes or other obstacles is required.” Who needs it? Projects digging foundations or basements What does it cost? Price on request only
Solar-powered smart benches Smart city start-up company Strawberry Energy has revealed plans to roll out up to 11 of its interactive solar-powered benches (above) across London over the next six months, through deals with the Crown Estate and Land Securities. A further two are planned for projects in the south of England. Strawberry benches can be used to charge a mobile phone, provide local info via the internet or relay sensor data on local noise and air quality to a central server, and they incorporate an emergency SOS call button. In London’s weather conditions, up to 2,000 10-minute phone charges are possible per day when the bench’s LED light is switched off. Four benches were initially installed across Canary Wharf last summer, as part of a pilot run by the Cognicity Challenge, a smart city incubator project run by the Canary Wharf Group. The new installations will look the same as those at Canary Wharf, but will also incorporate a set of plug-and-play connections that allow different sensors to be fitted – such as air quality sensors, or a people-counter designed to understand local foot traffic. Milos Milisavljevic, founder of Belgradebased Strawberry Energy, tells CM: “Public benches are the most commonplace form of street furniture that have been around for over 100 years. We decided to reinvent them to make them responsive to the needs of modern generations.” Who needs it? Commuters running on low battery What does it cost? Pricing info not available
“We decided to reinvent public benches to make them responsive to the needs of modern generations” Milos Milisavljevic, Strawberry Energy
HAVS wrist monitor HAVwear, by Reactec, aims to eliminate some of the inaccuracies associated with tool-based methods of monitoring hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) by monitoring operatives’ actual exposure via a module attached to the wrist. A screen on the module displays the user’s personal exposure thresholds on a screen, and it vibrates and gives an audible alert when action must be taken. Data is transmitted in real time to the cloud to identify employees at risk and form an audit trail. HAVwear (pictured right)) is lower in cost and simpler to use than current tool-based devices, says Reactec CEO Jacqui McLaughlin, and takes the guesswork out of estimating risks. She says: “HSE standards and guidelines point companies toward figuring out how much time operators have spent on a tool and then understanding what the tool physically does In contrast, HAVWear calculates what a person actually experiences on their body, in terms of the magnitude and frequency of vibration sensed at the wrist.” Who needs it? Managers concerned about HAVS risks What does it cost? £165 from Reactec CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | MARCH 2016 | 19
Smart self-cleaning windows Researchers at University College London have developed an efficient form of selfcleaning glass that repels water using microscopic cone-shaped structures etched into the surface (pictured right), mimicking natural structures on butterﬂy wings, rose petals and moth’s eyes. The smart glass is coated with a 5 to 10 nanometre-thick film of vanadium dioxide (1 million nanometres = 1mm), a highly reﬂective thermochromic coating designed to prevent heat from escaping buildings in cold weather, or entering, as solar gain, on sunnier days. The team worked with glazing manufacturer Pilkington and nanotechnology specialist Biolin Scientific to produce prototype samples of the glass. They say that a commercial product could be on the market within three to five years. The cone-shaped nanostructures cause rain hitting the outside to form
Low-carbon concrete Anglian Water has begun trials of Cemfree, a cement-free concrete with up to 60% lower embedded carbon than traditional concrete, on a small building project in Norwich. Cemfree entirely replaces Portland cement, which is highly energy intensive to produce, generating 913kg of C02 for every tonne of finished product, with ground blast furnace slag, a by-product from blast furnaces used in the iron industry. Developed by David Ball Group, Cemfree has all of the structural characteristics of traditional concrete, says the firm, but is more durable, has a lower water demand and uses the same production techniques, design and installation principles as traditional concrete. Fionn Boyle, innovation technologist at Anglian Water, comments: “We’re starting small, but this new material has big potential. We will be vigorously testing it with involvement and technical expertise from our design and construction partners to ensure it meets our standards, and in the future we will be looking at ways we can use it to replace traditional concrete.”
Above: A precast staircase made with Cemfree cement-free concrete
into spherical droplets that pick up dirt, dust and other contaminants and carry them away. A cushion of air separates the droplets from the surface of the glass to prevent streaking. Alaric Taylor, a PhD student who is leading the research, tells CM: “Current windows with chemical treatments [that act as a photocatalyst to break down dirt and grime] are effective, up to a point, but they can degrade over time and don’t have our super hydrophobic self-cleaning effect, which removes dirt as soon as it touches the window – meaning much faster cleaning cycles.” Who needs it? Building owners with high window-cleaning costs and energy bills What does it cost? Not yet commercially available
Thermally modified British hardwood The first ever thermally modified British hardwoods – suitable for external applications such as cladding, decking and joinery – will be officially launched at this month’s EcoBuild in London. The poplar, sycamore and ash products, which are sold under the Brimstone brand by Vastern Timber, are sourced exclusively from English and Welsh woodlands. Heating timber to
temperatures of between 160 and 210 degrees improves the performance of wood that would normally rot outside – achieving class 2 durability (equivalent to 30 years) and in some cases class 1 (50 years). This provides a viable and more sustainable home-grown alternative to importing either tropical hardwoods, or using thermally modified products from suppliers in Finland or France.
“In the future we will be looking at ways we can use it to replace traditional concrete” Fionn Boyle, Anglian Water
Who needs it? Anyone building in concrete, thought to account for around 5-8% of global carbon emissions What does it cost? TBC 20 | MARCH 2016 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Power generating pavement
“Thermal modification turns a non-durable wood into something durable” Tom Barnes, Vastern Timber
Tom Barnes, managing director at Vastern Timber, says: “Hardwood species make up a large proportion of our woodlands but most are relatively unloved. Thermal modification is an ideal method of bringing them into the market by turning a non-durable wood into something durable. Our hardwoods are very uniform and attractive in appearance, with relatively few knots.” Brimstone is the result of a collaboration between Grown In Britain, the BRE, Timber Strategies, Tyler Hardwoods and Vastern Timber, which was set up to identify ways to bring UK timber to market and stimulate domestic demand. Brimstone timber is currently sent to France to undergo thermal modification, before being processed and moulded to customer requirements in Vastern’s UK sawmill, but the plan is to build up enough demand to attract funding to build a thermal modification plant in the UK. “BRE has produced a feasibility study for setting up a plant over here and is about to start specific testing of the Brimstone range for durability, stability, hardness and glue bonding etc,” says Barnes.
UK tech start-up Pavegen is ploughing the £2.1m of crowdfunding it attracted last year into upscaling the manufacture of its footfall energyharvesting tile to bring costs down, into line with regular street paving. The UK firm, run by founder and entrepreneur Laurence Kemball-Cook, makes tiles that capture energy from footsteps through a combination of electromagnetic induction and ﬂywheel energy storage technologies. The current system produces up to 7W of electricity from one person walking across a short space. Kemball-Cook says: “We are on the brink of releasing a new product, in the next couple of quarters, that will be a lot more efficient and really change the way we have even looked at the issue of energy – completely ﬂipping it on its head. This required significant investment in research and manufacturing.” He adds: “One square metre of granite ﬂoor at King's Cross station currently costs around £1,000 – we aim to have our product retailing for under £600 per sq m. Subsequently, prices will come down substantially to reach our final objective of sub-$50 (£35) per sq m.” Pavegen aims to have millions of tiles deployed in every major city in the world within the next five years. The first installation of the new product
Above and below: Pavegen tiles were trialled at West Ham station to harness the increased footfall during the 2012 Olympics
will launch at “one of the busiest retail sites in London” in June, ahead of an installation outside the White House in Washington DC, and other projects in Singapore, South Korea and Australia. Who needs it? Smart city authorities What does it cost? Under £600 per sq m
Who needs it? Anyone looking to source sustainably from the UK What does it cost? Prices are roughly on a par with ipe or balau hardwood products CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | MARCH 2016 | 21
Changing the world we live in
Waterless “super loo” Researchers at the University of Cranfield are lab-testing a waterless toilet that uses nanotechnology to treat human waste, producing clean water, electricity and agricultural fertiliser. The Nano Membrane Toilet (pictured right) provides a practical solution for use in remote locations, such as construction sites, and could improve sanitation for the 2.5 billion people worldwide who currently lack access to safe, hygienic toilets. The prototype was developed using grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and uses a rotation mechanism to pass faeces and urine from the bowl to a holding tank, where water vapour is separated through a nanomembrane filter system. The vapour is then condensed into pure, clean water, while the solid waste is drawn up using a battery-powered Archimedes screw mechanism, de-odorised, and collected for burning in a gasification plant. The ash left behind is nutrient rich and can be used in farming, while the water can be used for plants or people. Creating a commercial product for widespread use will help roll the system
out to developing countries, says Jake Larsson, a doctoral student working on the project: “The Gates Foundation are funding this for use in the developing world, but they are keen for us to make it a sustainable business that generates economies of scale through use in places like construction sites, onboard yachts, mining or military installations, which will make it cheaper for people who really need it, in Africa or elsewhere.” Who needs it? Remote construction sites, or countries without sanitation What does it cost? Under a rental model in developing countries, a few pence per day
Energy-saving additive EndoTherm can be added to the water in radiators to make them more efficient, which reduces fuel consumption. The product apparently works by breaking down hydrogen bonds in the water to change its surface tension. This improves the contact with the metal surface of the pipes or radiators, increasing the water’s thermal capabilities and allowing the heating
system to heat up quicker with less fuel. For most wet heating systems this will reduce gas consumption by around 10-15%, a figure cited in independent tests from various research programmes in universities in the UK and abroad. More details are on the company’s website. The product also has approval from all the major boiler manufacturers. Since winning the Big Innovation Pitch at Ecobuild last year, the product has apparently experienced high demand. Ben Sallon, managing director at Endo Enterprises, tells Construction Manager: “EndoTherm has become a well-respected new technology in an environment where FM companies are looking for energy savings without large capital expenditure, for their clients’ properties. Since Ecobuild we have installed EndoTherm into many thousands of buildings, with consistent energy savings of up to 15%.” Who needs it? Anyone who wants to reduce their heating bills What does it cost? £36 for 500 ml
“We have installed EndoTherm into thousands of buildings, with energy savings of up to 15% ” Ben Sallon, Endo Enterprises
In the popular imagination, innovation manifests itself in obvious, even dramatic ways. Yet often it will not be apparent to the untrained eye, writes Peter Caplehorn. In the construction products industry, there are rarely any headline-making, ground-breaking advances. But the construction products sector is not asleep on the job. Far from it. In every corner of the sector we can point to new and potentially game-changing advances in either the products themselves or the processes bringing them from R&D stages to the market. These advances often go unseen, however, because they mainly consist of small steps on the road to improved performance, greater durability, increased life or the use of less energy to make and install. But concerns have been voiced about the length of time that elapses between a manufacturer having an idea, to launching research with a university lab, testing it, scaling up production, and then the approval and certification process to gain a BBA certificate or a CE marking. Manufacturers want to be comfortable that the performance they’re advertising is delivered on site, but the process means there’s a long gap between the initial idea and the industry being comfortable enough to adopt a new innovation. So the CPA is undertaking research to see whether its members think they’re getting value for money from the certification process, or whether it could be made quicker or more efficient. Notwithstanding these long lead-in times, we can see the giant leaps that have been made over the past decade in insulation, doors and windows, paints, masonry - the list goes on. Perhaps the real story is about continuous improvement — not earthshattering, innovative jumps. Yet in the time that “brick” phones have evolved to smart phones, the expected character and performance of construction products has changed beyond all recognition. So much so, in fact, that we rely on and almost expect the next iteration to be so much better. And there is every prospect it will. Peter Caplehorn is deputy chief executive of the Construction Products Association
22 | MARCH 2016 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Is it a happy birthday for 30-day payments? A year after the Public Contract Regulations came into force, their long-term impact on payment terms in construction remains ambiguous, says Josh Gibbons 25 FEBRUARY marked a year since the Public Contract Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015) came into force. Its purpose was to implement the changes to public procurement that were passed by the European Parliament under the Public Contracts Directive 2014. The Directive’s main aim had been to simplify the procedural regime for public procurement in European member states, but the UK government went beyond the scope of the Directive by introducing a number of additional obligations to make it easier for SMEs and start-up businesses to access public procurement markets — implementing the recommendations of Lord Young, the government’s adviser on enterprise and small business. Arguably, it is the implementation of these additional obligations, and particularly those regarding payment i n public procurement contracts, that have presented the most difficulties to
those in the construction industry. Specifically, regulation 113 of the PCR 2015 requires a contracting authority to ensure that every public contract awarded provides that: l invoices are paid “no later than the end of a period of 30 days from the date on which the relevant invoice is regarded as valid and undisputed”; and l invoices are “considered and verified by the contracting authority in a timely fashion”. However, there has been some confusion regarding how these requirements interact with the payment provisions implied by the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (Construction Act 1996). Briefly, if a contract does not have adequate payment provisions, a timeline will be implied by the Scheme for Construction Contracts 1998 (the Scheme) as follows: l Invoice issued — the due date for payment; l No more than five days following the
“The issue that arises is when does an invoice become ‘valid and undisputed’?”
due date for payment — the paying party issues a payment notice; l 17 days (or such other period specified in the contract) following the due date for payment — final date for payment; l At least seven days before the final date for payment — the paying party may issue a pay-less notice. The Crown Commercial Service has issued statutory guidance on the PCR 2015 but this does not refer to the Construction Act 1996 or the Scheme. The issue that arises, therefore, is when does an invoice become “valid and undisputed”? Some have suggested that it is when the “due date for payment” falls; while others suggest it is after the time by which a “pay-less notice” can be issued as this is
Paul Reeve: What an FOI request tells us about 30-day payment
There has been a series of voluntary fair payment initiatives in the past few years, including the Prompt Payment Code, but these have failed to bring about any major change in commercial sector payment. In the public sector, however, pressure from the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) and others led to the more compelling Public Contracts Regulations 2015, which require public sector bodies to ensure prompt payment through their supply chains (see above). Towards the end of last year, the ECA issued a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to local authorities, which are required by the 2015 Regulations to ensure “under 30-day” payment throughout the supply chain, to find out whether
councils were doing enough to ensure lower tier contractors were paid in good time. The results showed that while many councils did ensure that subcontractors were paid promptly, many were simply “not sure” if they did and, perhaps more remarkably, a substantial number said they did not ensure prompt payment down their supply chain. Overall, around six in 10 local authorities were found to be not meeting their payment duties under the Public Contract Regulations 2015. The FoI request results showed: l Fewer than 1% of councils admitted to payment terms of more than 30 days, and six in 10 (59%) said that they paid within 30 days. l Around four in 10 local authorities (38% of respondents) said they “didn’t know” if they were meeting the legal requirements
to pay contractors within 30 days. l In addition, more than six in 10 councils (62%) did not monitor (or didn’t know if they did) whether their main contractors paid subcontractors promptly. l Around one in five local councils (19%) actually said they would be taking “no steps” to ensure payment along the Tier 1 supply chain occurred within 30 days. Disappointingly, these responses show high levels of knowing or unknowing noncompliance with current prompt payment law. Given that one of the most useful things that a council can do to help its local economy is to ensure public sector money flows through the supply chain, extensive non-compliance with payment law needs to be addressed urgently. We recognise that many public bodies
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BIM bytes: BIM and JCT contracts in practice
deemed acceptance of the invoice. The lack of clarification creates uncertainty. The matter is further complicated by the need to ensure this 30-day period for payment is incorporated in contracts down the entire contractual chain. Given that many public procurement projects involve multiple tiers of contractors, this could be problematic. While the government’s commitment ”that the public sector should set a strong example by paying promptly” is admirable, lower tier contractors will also
“It is frustrating that practitioners may have to wait until case law drips down through the courts”
are doing their best to follow the regulations, and we are encouraging these bodies to share how they do it, to help other authorities to comply as soon as possible, and help ensure that all contractors are paid on time. But additional, and potentially significant, payment-related legislation is coming into force in April under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, when large companies (employing over 250 staff) will have to report regularly about their payment terms and how well they follow them. It will also highlight the best and worst performers. All this should bring much greater accountability for payment activity, and provide the
need to revise their contracts to ensure that they are compliant with the PCR 2015. The Crown Commercial Service guidance suggests using a project bank account (PBA), whereby subcontractors down the chain can obtain payment direct from the PBA. However, the advantage this potentially brings should be weighed against the administrative costs of setting up and running a PBA for smaller projects. The government is keen to ensure that these payment mechanisms are adhered to and, as such, contracting authorities are required to publish statistics of how many invoices they have paid within the 30-day time period. This again adds to the administrative burden on contracting authorities in gathering and maintaining such statistics at a time when resources in the public sector are already limited. It remains to be seen how the 30-day time period is interpreted in practice and it is frustrating that practitioners may have to wait until case law drips down through the courts. It is likely to be only once one party incurs the time and expense of challenging the time period that a proper interpretation will be given. While this ambiguity remains, however, those in the industry should ensure that their contracts are as compliant as possible. Josh Gibbons is a solicitor on the construction and engineering team at IBB Solicitors.
transparency that can lead to the sort of cultural change in payment that the industry urgently needs. However, until prompt and fair payment becomes the industry standard in construction, the industry will continue to fall far short of its potential. Without financial stability, many firms will never invest, or be able to contribute to, greater UK innovation, productivity and growth. Conversely, prompt and fair payment legislation could well underpin greatly improved performance in not just the building services sector, but across the wider industry. Paul Reeve is director of business services at the Electrical Contractors’ Association.
Earlier this year, the Joint Contracts Tribunal issued its “Building Information Modelling (BIM) Collaborative and Integrated Team Working” practice note “to assist in providing an understanding of BIM to those who may be new to or unfamiliar with the concept”. With the JCT still the base position for much of the UK construction industry, this practice note is worth a read even for those for whom BIM is already a familiar concept, if only to note the subtle emphases. First to note is that, once again, the link is being made between the use of BIM and collaborative team working, something which has been discussed in previous BIM Bytes columns. The JCT is optimistic over the greater interest that the construction industry has shown in the benefits of partnering and integrated and collaborative working, saying that “progress has been made”. The practice note seems to acknowledge that progress has not been made in its mainstream forms of contract (notably the standard and design and build forms) and points instead to some lesser-used forms in the JCT suite as contractual responses to the greater need for integrated working in the industry. The note also states that “[t]he effectiveness of the BIM process relies heavily on project participants working in an integrated and collaborative manner, and
on their willingness to do so, irrespective of how this is addressed contractually.” I would not say that working in an integrated and collaborative manner is not “irrespective” of contractual obligations. If the commercial drivers and contractual processes set out in the contract do not align with a desire to work as an integrated team then, when the going gets tough, the tough will not collaborate. Also noteworthy is that the JCT rightly acknowledges the centre-stage of the CIC BIM Protocol. The JCT acknowledges that “[t]he CIC’s drafting is based on the principle the protocol is a contractual document and this is intended to take precedence over other documents for all provisions that relate to BIM”. However, for the first time, the JCT has challenged this: “JCT considers that in the event of any conflict between the contract provisions and the chosen BIM Protocol it is the contract provisions that should prevail.” That expressly opposes the CIC’s guidance on this point. This month marks the third anniversary of issue of the CIC’s protocol. When drafted, it was a laudable starting point for the industry. However, in the three years that have passed since its publication, the UK’s BIM landscape has shot forward. It may now be time for a review. Assad Maqbool is a partner at Trowers & Hamlins specialising in projects and construction. BIM best practice Read new case studies from around the country demonstrating BIM best practice from Balfour Beatty, BAM, Galliford Try, Kier, Costain and many more. Go to the awardwinning BIM+ website: www.bimplus.co.uk
CONSTRUCTION CONSTRUCTION MANAGER MANAGER | JULY/AUGUST | MARCH 2015 2016 || 25 25
Pitching the Powerhouse to the world Paul Marsh explains his role in the Northern Powerhouse, and why the Midlands Engine is next THE RECENT FEATURE on the Northern
Powerhouse (Powering Up, CM, January) rightly highlighted that infrastructure investment is key to the success of the wider region. Connecting the cities of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull and Newcastle will make the whole greater than the sum of its parts and rebalance the UK economy. But alongside the necessary investment in transport, we must capitalise on the opportunities for largescale regeneration and investment in real estate that this brings. These projects have the potential to create hundreds of thousands of jobs, attract and support new businesses and provide homes and communities for the populations of these cities and beyond. However, having a vision is not enough – delivering schemes at this sort of scale requires a huge range of skills among the various stakeholders and, of course, significant funds. In 2013, prime minister David Cameron launched the Regeneration Investment
“International investors are beginning to understand that UK cities other than London can offer genuine opportunities”
Organisation (RIO) under the auspices of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), with a mandate to help international investors identify and fund these type of regeneration opportunities. At this stage, UKTI had identified some £140bn of regeneration projects requiring funding. The RIO team undertook a detailed analysis, concluding that £40bn of schemes were ready for investment, while the rest required more work to get them to this point. Our initial focus was the Northern Powerhouse and in September 2015 we launched the “pitch book”, which identified 20 projects across the north of England that the RIO team believed to be “investor ready”. Acting as an honest broker, we’ve garnered interest in a number of these schemes, with active commercial dialogue currently taking place around seven opportunities in Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle and Leeds. This is enormous progress. All of the schemes we promote are of a value in excess of £100m so, by their sheer scale, tend to be complex and challenging. International investors really are beginning to understand that UK cities other than London can offer genuine opportunities and fulfil their macro investment criteria: steady population; good or improving infrastructure; employment opportunities and strong local leadership. If the national press is to be believed, I think more people in the Chinese investment market are familiar with the Northern Powerhouse than in the north of England. But once these projects start coming out of the ground, I’m sure that this will change. While the Northern Powerhouse has been grabbing many of the headlines, 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the Midlands have been formulating their plan. In December, the group launched its Midlands Engine prospectus, a plan to boost prosperity, attract inward investment, increase connections and build a regional tourism offer. The Midlands Engine promotion group has also asked RIO to produce a portfolio document on behalf of all 11 LEPs and
we’ll be launching this selection of showcase projects at the MIPIM event in Cannes this month. What’s notable about this is the recognition by the individual LEPs that to secure the right levels of investment they need to work together. Many cities and regions don’t individually have projects of the scale that major investors in the Far East, North America or Middle East will contemplate. However, packaging a number of £20m schemes together is a different proposition and we are working on a couple of these, including an industrial development portfolio in the Black Country and aggregated private rented sector (PRS) schemes in the North West. But what of the schemes that aren’t yet “investor ready”, which still form the majority? By assembling a team of property and investment professionals under chairman Sir Michael Bear, RIO is working with local authorities and other parties that are promoting schemes offering advice and support to help them bring their projects forward. Initially, this generally meant “shovel ready” – with land ownership and planning in place – but as the market matures we’re seeing a much greater tendency for investors to get involved at an early stage, working through the planning or land assembly process. 2016 promises to be an interesting year. From the economic slowdown in China to the US presidential elections and the prospect of Brexit, there are challenges that we’ll need to consider. However, our experience of the last few years suggests that the UK continues to be seen as a good place to invest and, with the right support and promotion, both the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine will be major beneficiaries.
Paul Marsh is head of projects and finance at UKTI’s Regeneration Investment Organisation.
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Can development open some new doors? The private rented sector could offer contractors both risk and reward, says Patrick Gloyens WHAT A FASCINATING IDEA from housing
minister Brandon Lewis (Lewis: contractors have housing solutions, CM, January) that contractors should develop directly in the private rented sector (PRS). And what a challenge to the industry. At first sight, the idea that contractors simply become developers overnight seems more than faintly risible, given the very different business models involved. Most companies that carry out both development and construction will be careful to have separate legal entities performing each function. They will usually contract with each other, formally or informally. There are three important reasons for this separation, although all relate to risk. First, the company itself will want to separate risk into different buckets. Development risk (and reward) is very different from construction risk (and reward). If one goes very badly wrong it is important that the losses do not contaminate sister entities. Only very rarely will a parent company guarantee be given by the parent of both entities, for the same reason. Second, lenders will want to understand and limit their risk. Lending for development is very different from lending for construction. Third, there is an insurance issue. Insurers will want to understand the
nature of what they are insuring and will price it accordingly. In practice, obtaining insurance under one policy for different activities is not always straightforward. There is a bigger issue as well, which is not just the development risk. Developers look to add value; contractors look to drive down cost. There is a different attitude of mind required for each discipline and while, of course, it is possible to understand and manage both, it is not a change to be undertaken lightly or ill-advisedly. It is always easy to find a reason not to do something, and one man’s problem is another’s opportunity. Assuming one can satisfy one’s inner lawyer and get both the structure right and the insurers squared, it is possible for contractors to take on a development role to deliver PRS schemes single-handedly? There are attractions. Look at the returns and compare them with current construction margins. That alone is a good reason for getting out of one’s comfort zone. But there is potentially another very interesting reason for doing this: by forward funding a scheme via the longterm owner and operator, two of the major risks associated with development – sales risk and financing – are diluted. Indeed this may work better in a PRS scenario than in many others. The end operator
“His cheerful conviction about the speed and ease of the planning process is not shared by the entire industry”
Developer Essential Living’s 249-flat PRS scheme in Greenwich is expected to appoint a contractor shortly
wants a product, the development process is simply one way to get there. Another way is to buy off-plan. Forward funding typically involves a developer (or in this case a contractordeveloper) agreeing to build only once a purchaser, usually a pension or other fund, has contracted to buy the finished product at a price agreed in advance. Often the price will be by reference to a formula depending on the lettings that the developer has been able to put in place before completion. The funder will pay the developer the construction costs as they arise during the development period on receipt of the relevant certificates, so the costs wash through. In principle, there is no reason why the same mechanism should not apply to a PRS model with the end operator acting as funder and receiving a turnkey product on practical completion. There are no lettings to be put in place as the operator will want to control this itself. The attraction of this arrangement is that it would eliminate sales risk and provide development funding. In fact a contractor or a construction company might be better placed than a typical developer in the market as, certainly until now, there has been little attraction to a developer in selling at a discount to a PRS operator rather than holding on and selling to individual purchasers at a much higher return. What seem like modest returns for a developer, however, can look quite different when compared with construction margins, even now. Of course that still leaves the need to find sites and invest time and money in obtaining planning consent – a whole new set of skills – and Lewis’s cheerful conviction about the speed and ease of the planning process is not shared by the entire industry. There is also the small matter of the supply chain, which in practice may be the biggest drag anchor of all. Nonetheless, there is the glimmer of a good idea here. It will be fascinating to see whether the challenge is taken up. Patrick Gloyens is real estate partner at law firm Michelmores.
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Technical Steel frame
TEST OF TOLERANCE While delivering the University of Salfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new arts facility, BAM acted as both bridge-builder and steel contractor. Tom Ravenscroft learns how the team rose to the challenge
The New Adelphi team overcame the problems of the complex steel frame
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FORMING A NEW GATEWAY to the University of Salford’s campus, BAM Construction’s New Adelphi Building, a £55m multifunctional arts facility, is in its final stages. Unusually, the building straddles a major route across the campus, with the blocks forming its lower segment positioned on either side of the road, while a steelframed podium layer supports the upper storeys. This spans across the lower blocks and a 28.8 metre gap that
accommodates the thoroughfare below. In effect, the gateway is a bridge, so to build it BAM became a bridge-builder. But as this bridge was part of a building, it had to be clad, which meant creating an extremely rigid structure – even slight levels of deflection could damage the glazing. This could only be achieved by using huge volumes of steel in the structural frame, formed from thick steel members that proved extremely troublesome. As the steelwork contractor struggled with the tolerances, there was an unexpectedly large volume of rework on site, including £400,000 of welding. When the steelwork contractor went into administration, BAM then had to step in and take over the package. Little wonder that Simon Atkinson, BAM’s project manager, ended up learning more about steel than he thought possible. “I know more about welding that I ever wanted to. After this project I’m hoping for a nice simple concrete-framed building,” he says. The challenging design of the New Adelphi was the result of its place in the wider strategy to densify the university by bringing the majority of its teaching facilities on to one site. This gave it bulk, as the building had to consolidate several departments in the arts and media faculty. The building was earmarked for an irregular-shaped site alongside the main thoroughfare into the campus. But architect Stride Treglown struggled to pack all the university’s requirements into a single building – it needed a multitude of specialist spaces, including a theatre, recording and television studios, with a stipulation for large open-plan flexible spaces. The thoroughfare that ran alongside the site was simply in the way. However, this walkway, which connects a new square at the heart of the campus and a block of recently completed student homes with Salford Crescent station, is an integral part of the university’s masterplan, and couldn’t be relocated. Jon Healiss, divisional director at Stride Treglown, explains that this diagonal route was what eventually determined the overall form of the building. “The building was either too tall or took up too much public space if we packed it into the triangular site,” he says. “Then came the ‘eureka’ moment and I thought: why not just float the large rectangular studio floor over the walkway?
“I thought: why not float the studio floor over the walkway? The design fell into place” Jon Healiss, Stride Trgelown
After that the design fell into place.” Clad to appear as one unified building, the lower levels consist of four concrete blocks. Three are clustered around an atrium on the building’s original planned site, while another triangular block stands alone on the other side of the walkway. Supported on these blocks is a rectangular steel-framed structure that connects the building on the upper two storeys. “Think of it as two separate buildings up to the >
Herzog & de Meuron’s Blavatnik School of Government presented huge stratrategic challenges, but Laing O’Rourke applc techniqqu on a unique tralandmark with an innovatglazed Tom Ravenscroft reports
Technical Steel frame
As the site was developed (from top down) the original separate concreteframed blocks saw a steel frame introduced to span across the route. Once glazed and clad, the complex structure presents as a single gateway unit. CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | MARCH 2016 | 31
30_34. CM.MAR16. technical.V2.indd 31
Technical Steel frame
“When you put glazing on a bridge it becomes problematic. There is a much lower level of permissible deflection” Simon Atkinson, BAM
Above: A doubleheight steel truss defines the perimeter of the building Below: Pedestrians will be able to flow along the thoroughfare, under the span of the “bridge” above
> third storey,” explains BAM’s Atkinson. “Above that we dropped a continuous floorplate across both buildings.” The concrete lower levels, along with a basement, contain all the cutting-edge facilities that the university demanded, to attract students in a competitive higher education market. Over 40 separate acoustically protected box-in-box spaces (see box, p34) contain two television studios, six industry-standard recording studios, 12 amplified performance studios, 14 instrumental tuition rooms, a 100 sq m band-room and a fully operational 350-seat flexible theatre. Atkinson says the concrete elements were “more complex than usual, but doable”, and construction went as planned. “We were bang on programme with the concrete frame,” he says. “It needed to be precise to support the steel frame, but that fitted well and we were well within our tolerances.” However, the smooth running stopped abruptly with the commencement of the on-site assembly of the steelframed upper two storeys. Spanning between the two lower buildings in effect meant building a bridge – but an extremely challenging one. “Bridges are designed to be flexible,” says Atkinson. “You can drive cars and lorries over them all day and they will flex under the weight. When you put glazing on a bridge it becomes problematic. There is a
much lower level of permissible deflection.” BAM worked with structural engineer Ramboll to develop the design for the double-height steel truss that rings the perimeter of the upper two storeys. To achieve the stiffness required at all points around the facade, steels of different thicknesses were used dependent on the loads the beams had to carry. The steels varied in thickness from 10 mm to 55 mm, with the largest pieces, unsurprisingly, situated above the bridge on the north facade of the building and the cantilever at the building’s south-west corner. On the north of the facade the two concrete blocks stand 43.2 metres apart, and it was here that the frame was subject to the greatest stress and subject to the highest levels of deflection. Originally the architect wanted to cross the entire gap with one span, but this proved unfeasible due to the stiffness requirement, so a 10 tonne column was inserted as a support. This still left a 28.8 metre maximum span that would require large amounts of steel to reach the required stiffness. Furthermore, a bespoke cladding system had to be developed that could cope with the higher levels of deflection. BAM worked with curtain wall contractor Alucraft and glazing manufacturer Schüco to develop a system that could perform under these conditions. This high-spec cladding was then used across the whole building as it worked out cheaper than two separate systems. >
Stages of construction How the building structure was developed
The walkway that runs from the station (top) to a new square (bottom) defines the site’s organisation
At ground floor level the building is divided into four distinct blocks
The four blocks are connected at the upper levels by a steel-framed box bridging over the walkway
32 | MARCH 2016 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
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Technical Steel frame
> Due to the complexity of the structure as well as its critical relationship with the cladding, Atkinson decided to refer the work to BAM’s in-house technical services team to check all the calculations. “We wanted to make sure that the acceptable deflections wouldn’t be exceeded and the solutions put forward were acceptable,” he says. “This is something we often do when there are several parties involved, to check the co-ordination. If something goes wrong, there can be a lot of fingerpointing, which can delay the project.” Although all the calculations proved correct, the thickness of the steel required to achieve the stiffness needed to support the cladding over the main span would prove to be problematic, including the complexity of working with such thick steel members. For instance, among the key elements of the build were the welded joints linking six steel elements. Here the heat needed to weld the joints caused the beams to distort, sometimes up to 10 mm. As the steelwork contractor had difficulty producing the elements to the required tolerances in the factory, a large amount of additional site work was required. To deal with misalignments as great as 25 mm, in many cases the steel beams had to be cut and replacement pieces welded in place onsite. The thickness of the steel made this an extremely daunting task, with some connections requiring 36 rounds of welding.
Right: The amount of onsite welding was considerably higher than foreseen
“It would have been a tough job for anyone. One steelwork contractor called it the impossible job” Simon Atkinson BAM
Box-in-box construction Studio spaces demand acoustic separation
As we walk the site, Atkinson points out a joint that took over a week to weld. “For every member that had to be cut, two sets of welds were needed to attach the new piece, one at each end of the replacement member,” he says. “The thickness of the steel means that we needed a huge number of rounds of welding. This took a long time as the joint needs to cool between rounds.” In total, the bill for site welding reached £400,000. For every piece of steelwork that was altered, the structural integrity of the frame and the required stiffness needed recalculating, at further cost. When the steelwork contractor went into administration, BAM took over and directly employed the onsite fabricators and welders. “In effect we became a steelwork contractor,” says Atkinson. “We directly employed some of the supply chain to maintain the warranties and paid the
welders directly. Ultimately this was good as we ended up with a great deal of control.” Almost inevitably the project is behind schedule. The original completion date was November 2015, however the issues with the steel have delayed the building. The university intends to occupy it for the start of the 2016/17 academic year. “It would have been a tough job for anyone,” Atkinson reflects. “One steelwork contractor we spoke to called it the impossible job. We probably needed an extremely specialist bridge-builder that was used to welding such thick pieces of steel.” Although the project has been a challenge, the steelwork is now complete and soon students will be entering the University of Salford campus through the “gateway”, unaware of the issues that the building caused. For Atkinson and the rest of the BAM team, this job will not be one they forget anytime soon. CM
The university’s arts and media department crams a huge number of specialist facilities into a compact 16,000 sq m building. With two television studios, six recording studios, 12 amplified performance studios, 14 instrumental tuition rooms and a 350seat flexible theatre, it was essential that all the spaces were acoustically separated from each other. To achieve this BAM built more than 40 separate acoustically protected box-in-box constructions, where the floor, walls and ceilings of the rooms are separated from the structure with an air gap, to significantly reduce vibration and avoid flanking transmission. Weighted Standardised Level Difference (DnTw) is used to measure the difference in sound between two rooms – the higher the number, the better the sound insulation. Building Bulletin 93 (BB93), which explains the minimum performance
standards for the acoustics of school buildings, specifies that sound insulation between a music classroom and any other room is recommended to be a minimum of DnTw 55-60 dB. The facilities in the New Adelphi Building will exceed this, with levels of DnTw 70 dB. To maximise the usable floor area, architect Stride Treglown developed a narrower “standard” 70 dB wall, with the acoustic design provided by Sandy Brown Associates. Each wall is 200 mm thinner than the standard construction, which created an extra 90 sq m of space within the building. The final wall build-up consisted of 140 mm concrete blockwork, a 160 mm cavity filled with 100 mm mineral fibre insulation, and three layers of 15 mm plasterboard plus two layers of plaster. On site, BAM worked with Hoare Lea Acoustics.
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Continuing Professional Development Health and safety communication • A SMART communication plan clarifies objectives • Attracting employees’ attention is essential • Messages should be tailored to different learning styles
Getting the safety message across Crucial health and safety information can be buried in the overload of information that employees are bombarded with every day. Jenn Raymond explains how to make sure word gets around CONVEYING HEALTH AND SAFETY messages
● Measurable – use tangible evidence to assess whether the goal has been completed ● Achievable – ensure there is the time, budget and skills to reach the objective ● Results-focused – measure objectives against outcomes, not activities ● Time-bound – create a practical sense of urgency It can be tempting to tackle a big issue head-on and create extensive plans. However, many small steps taken over a longer period of time will add up. It is often advisable to focus on one key issue and communicate it effectively – too much at once can confuse the audience. An excellent example of this was demonstrated by the Team GB cycling squad, which used the “doctrine of marginal gains” theory to help bring them success in the 2012 London Olympics. The principle was that if they broke down everything they could think of that goes into riding a bike and then improved it by just 1%, they would get a significant increase when all the components were put together. This also applies to safety. By setting bite-sized SMART objectives, each area can be improved by 1%, whether the rescue plan for working at height or ensuring manual handling guidelines are followed. Over time, it is a significant step forward.
Create a communication plan The best way to do this is by creating a communication plan to clearly identify the objectives. Using the SMART approach can help to prioritise and focus communication, creating a clear and direct path. The acronym stands for: ● Specific – identify who, what and why
effectively in the workplace is not an easy task, particularly as the topic is often unfairly labelled as dull. This can be even harder in construction, where the onsite workforce can change regularly and where diversity in the sector means that language may also be a barrier. Because of the sheer number of messages, both work and non-work related, that an employee can receive every day – combined with our very short attention spans – it is not surprising that a lot of information is forgotten by the time we get home in the evening. So it is imperative that health and safety information is communicated in a creative and engaging way to ensure it stands out. With health and safety information, the challenge is even greater because it is not something an audience wants to hear about – they expect it to be boring or they just do not want to think about what may happen to them. To counter this, it is essential that messages are made as relevant, interesting and simple as possible to ensure they do not fade into the background but are acted upon. Fortunately, there are a number of techniques to ensure that messages are both interesting and differentiated.
Identify the audience Most modern workplaces are diverse and there may be different ages, genders and nationalities to cater for. Depending on the diversity of the workplace, communication methods may need to be
adapted to resonate with each specific group. For example, in some circumstances it may be appropriate to translate health and safety posters and leaflets into another language. Everyone learns in different ways and this should be incorporated in the communication plan. People generally learn by seeing, hearing or doing – visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles. Preparing content which appeals to each can help to get the message across. Visual learners will digest information such as images or charts, but may find it difficult to focus on a talk or explanation. Photos and videos can reach this audience. Video footage uploaded to YouTube can create a rich resource for health and safety. Auditory learners respond well to spoken directions and talks, and can also learn via video soundtracks: copyright-free
36 | MARCH 2016 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Continuing Professional Development Health and safety communication
National campaigns can be a useful source of resources about workers’ experiences. For instance, the website of the “Breathe Freely” campaign from the British Occupational Hygiene Society features video case studies in which individuals in the construction industry talk about the impact that occupational lung disease has made on their lives. With stories that make a big enough impact, workers may start repeating them in other situations, such as in the pub after work or with their family at dinner. If they can convey the emotional impact of the incident or accident, they will be organically spreading the health and safety message in a very effective way.
material can often be found online. Kinesthetic learners prefer hands-on experiences. To create an impression with this audience, set up some practical demos for employees to get involved with. Once the key audience has been identified, individuals may be selected to help develop and test content. Involving other people in this process can help develop new ideas and will validate the communication programme. What to say Sources of information within the health and safety industry include HSE news bulletins, trade bodies and industry publications. These publish topical information to help support safety messages with relevant news stories. Online forums can be another helpful source of information – these are excellent
“If employees are always on their phones why not start a WhatsApp group to send health and safety messages?”
places to get new ideas from others. They include 3M’s Safety Network, a collaborative online community for health and safety professionals that focuses on helping you to better protect your workforce. Users have access to communal discussion boards, educational blogs, webinars and exclusive downloadable training materials. These can be taken offline and brought to life in the workplace. People respond to storytelling (“facts tell, but stories sell”) and it is a powerful tool to get health and safety messages across. This can work particularly well if a communication campaign can be created around individuals who have suffered a work accident. It may be possible to invite an individual to the construction site or office to tell their story and support this with posters and videos to remind employees of the story afterwards.
How to say it Here are a few new ideas that you may not have considered: ● If employees are always on their phones in the site office or canteen, why not make the most of it and start up a WhatsApp group to send important health and safety messages? More than a billion people use the free instant messaging service, so many employees will already be using it. The app is ideal for sending bite-size chunks of information that are easily digested, and it may encourage debate about the topic. ● Mobile phones can also help keep companies on top of poor safety practice when they are used in an appropriate way, which may include the demarcation of “safe zones”. Construction firms could improve the reporting of poor safety practice by encouraging employees to take photos on their mobile phone and > CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | MARCH 2016 | 37
Continuing Professional Development Health and safety communication
> send them to a central hub. If this is implemented in the workplace, employees may take more notice of what is going on around them and report problems. ● To freshen up health and safety posters, try the Piktochart site, which offers free-of-charge templates. If a picture tells 1,000 words, imagine what an attention-grabbing infographic can do. Make an impact The way the message is delivered is critical to its effectiveness. The right place and time will vary depending on company culture, the audience and the information to be shared. This may be in the staff canteen, the work area, a formal training environment or online. Do not feel restricted to one of these. If the message is intended to instigate a change, an individual who is respected within the workplace may also help to build support by acting as a champion. Communicators often work to the “rule of seven”, an old marketing adage that says that an individual needs to see a message seven times before they become familiar with it or act upon it. Changing locations or adding posters in new areas of the site can prove to be very effective.
“Consider tying the message in with a national awareness day – you could distribute reminders such as branded T-shirts” See if there are particular times or days when things are quieter. By picking a more convenient time, workers are less likely to be checking their watches. Consider tying the message in with a national event or site awareness day – you could promote the day with emails, posters and invitations, brand the site on the day and distribute reminders such as branded T-shirts. For instance, the British Safety Council recently supported “Time To Talk” day, urging employees to discuss stress and mental health, with a video on mental health in the workplace and free posters that could be downloaded. The good news is that many of these promotional resources are free to use, so you can experiment with them and see which are most effective. CM Jenn Raymond is senior marketing executive at science-based technology company 3M. To access the Safety Network, visit www.3M.co.uk/ safetynetwork
CPD test paper
Health and safety communication 1. Which of the following is not usually one of the SMART criteria that can be applied to a promotional campaign? ● Measurable ● Results-focused ● Area-related ● Time-bound 2. What type of content would get the message across most effectively to kinesthetic learners? ● Watching videos on the subject ● Listening to spoken directions ● Getting involved with a practical demonstration ● Looking at diagrams or charts
SafeTea Break Talking about workplace health SafeTea Break is 3M’s innovative campaign designed to engage employees in discussions about workplace health. Developed in partnership with Safety Groups UK, a registered charity which is the co-ordinating body for the network of around 70 local voluntary occupational health and safety groups, it aims to encourage health and safety managers to make the most of short periods during the day to educate staff on health topics and long latency diseases. Those who sign up to download their free SafeTea Break pack will gain access to a resource pack, complete with questions that will make employees think about key health risks at work that could
CPD online. Your new home for learning.
3. Which smartphone messaging app could be harnessed for health and safety information? ● Dropbox ● Piktochart ● WhatsApp ● Shazam
affect their breathing, hearing, touch and skin or have an impact on their muscles, bones and joints. Since the campaign launched last year, the toolbox has been downloaded 1,274 times and 537 mini content and full kits have been sent out. 3M has plans to develop the service in 2016. The packs can be downloaded at www.3M.co.uk/safetea.
4. Which theory did Team GB employ when training for the 2012 Olympics? ● The doctrine of necessity ● The doctrine of precedent ● The doctrine of marginal gains ● The doctrine of double effect 5. What is the marketing “rule” that is traditionally applied to getting a message across? ● Rule of seven ● Rule of eleven ● Rule of five ● Rule of nine
38 | MARCH 2016 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
“ I’ve got enough on my plate without having to consider whether we’ve chosen the right
Duncan Pierce, Director, Page Associates, Building Surveyors
All ECA contractors undergo a thorough examination of their financial position as well as their technical skills; and their clients are protected by an insurance-backed warranty and bond.
ONE THING LESS TO WORRY ABOUT. To find an ECA contractor that’s right for you, visit:
Connect with us | ECAlive
Contact Contact THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF BUILDING MEMBERS’ NEWSLETTER ISSUE 140 MARCH 2016
IN THIS ISSUE
41-44 ON THE RADAR
All the latest news and developments from the CIOB at HQ and in your area including the chance to nominate top Scottish sustainable builds and celebrate London branch’s 50th birthday
Gavin Williams from Wates on tackling the skills shortage
46 CIOB TRAINING
Could a new training course from the CIOB be the boost your career needs?
47ONE TO WATCH
Paul Brown from Carillion
48 IN GOOD COMPANY
A project for Swansea University proved to be a demanding challenge for Bouygues UK
50 MEMBER BENEFITS
Take advantage of exclusive member offers
51 DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Key events by region for the month ahead
ON THE RADAR Contact | Mar16
Construction’s first ethics standard launched by CIOB coalition
A coalition of more than 60 professional bodies and standard-setting organisations worldwide has launched a global consultation on ethics for those working in land, property, construction and infrastructure.
Collectively representing many hundreds of thousands of professional practitioners, 10 UK organisations are signed up to the International Ethics Standard (IES) Coalition which calls on those in the built environment to submit their feedback on the new International Ethics Standard. Property and the built environment play a huge role in our lives as well as being a major contributor to the economy worldwide. Ethics guide the behaviour of property professionals and build trust in the profession. Producing one set of international ethics standards for real estate and related professions will help to bring greater transparency and consistency to global property markets. Peter Bolton King, chair of the IES Coalition said: “The new standard has been written by a group of independent industry leaders and international ethics and compliance experts appointed by Trustees of the IES Coalition. Included in the group are prominent real estate representatives from Russia, China, France, the USA, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Canada and the UK. The IES Coalition is organising this three month consultation to ensure that the final version is high quality, understood and accepted by all participating organisations, practitioners and their clients. Relevant organisations and individuals throughout the world are invited to respond.”
The CIOB has joined a global coalition to determine worldwide ethics standard, the first of its kind
Chris Blythe, chief executive of the CIOB said: “Ethics is central to being a professional. Construction is a challenging environment and that will only increase as national players and agendas mix together on the international stage. It is crucial that professional ethics are implemented throughout the supply chain, particularly in markets that are susceptible to differing standards. By joining the IES and developing a collaborative and consistent approach to ethics we can ensure that with greater standardisation professionalism across the globe will be raised.” The IES is the first of its kind for the sector and will align the ethics principles adhered to by professionals
in land, property, construction and infrastructure. The Coalition believes that this will de-risk property and BE markets for investors, businesses and the public at large and help to reassert the role that ethics plays in the global property profession. The latest list of professional bodies, associations, NGOs and standards setting organisations that have signed up to develop and implement the International Ethics Standards can be viewded at http://iescoalition.org/members.
See more at www.ciob.org/media-centre.
CIOB 2016 TRUSTEE ELECTION: VOTING OPENS 9 MARCH The election for the Institute’s Board of Trustees commences on 9 March 2016. All Corporate Members (MCIOB/FCIOB/ RetMCIOB/RetFCIOB) are eligible to vote in the election. Please look out for your ballot paper which
will drop through your post box early in March. VOTING ONLINE IS EASY: • Access the CIOB website at www.ciob.org • C lick on the election box • Insert your membership number
• I nsert your PIN as your date of birth in the 8-digit format (ddmmyyyy) • F ollow the instructions on the ballot site The deadline for voting is 6 April 2016 at 12noon GMT.
All candidates within the election have been through a rigorous competency assessment on your behalf so reward the most able by voting for them. Make your voice heard and exercise your vote – Your Vote Our Future.
Only corporate members who have paid their 2016 subscriptions by 29 February 2016 will be eligible to vote.
ON THE RADAR
Contact | Mar 16
news in brief
Ken Livingstone to help CIOB London branch celebrate it’s golden anniversary
The CIOB London Branch proudly reached its 50th anniversary recently and has scheduled a celebratory event on 17 June 2016 to mark the occasion.
‘50 Years of Building London’ will be a black tie dinner taking place at the prestigious five star, One Whitehall Place – situated in the heart of London, close to the River Thames. The evening will include a drinks reception and three-course meal before the after-dinner speaker, former Leader of the Greater London Council (GLC) and former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, enlightens guests with his memories and views of ‘Building London’ past, present and future. The London Branch wishes to thank headline sponsor by Berkeley Homes (East Thames) Ltd for its support as well as J.Coffey Construction Ltd and Mace Business School who will also sponsor the event. For individual tickets please contact Brooke Grange on firstname.lastname@example.org or to host/sponsor a table of 10 please contact Claire Hierlehy on email@example.com For details of sponsorship packages please contact Sam Briggs on firstname.lastname@example.org
One Whitehall Place will host the CIOB London branch’s 50th anniversary celebrations
> LOCAL AUTHORITY PERSPECTIVE ON SITE NOISE PROVES WORTH A LISTEN
The London Branch welcomed Gillian Whyman of SRL Technical Services to talk about S61 Applications in early January. The event was very well received by delegates, who were impressed with Whyman’s experience on the subject of noise and vibrations at construction sites, from local authority perspective as well as from the contractor perspective. She shared her experiences from her time at London Borough of Islington and also explained the implications of S60 notice and how this can impact on PQQ of the recipient contractors/ subcontractors for future biddings, and how an S61 application in advance can benefit the contractors. Whyman went on to talk about about the S61 application process in detail.
east of england
MEET THE CIOB PRESIDENT IN THE EAST OF ENGLAND
Chris Chivers will attend the East of England AGM
Members of the CIOB in the East of England have an opportunity to meet the current CIOB President Chris Chivers FCIOB up close and personal. Chris will be attending the East of England AGM on 12 April to meet
the members and be interviewed by a member of the local branch. With more than 35 years’ experience in construction Chris Chivers has overseen a number of landmark projects in the UK including
the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and St Paul’s Cathedral. He took over the CIOB Presidency, last July during the members Forum week in Cambridge, from Professor Ghassan Aouad
and became the 112th President in the CIOB’s history. To attend the event at the British Racing School, Newmarket please email email@example.com. To put a question to the President tweet @ciobEastEng.
HAVE WE GOT YOUR CONTACT DETAILS CORRECT?
• If you have moved or changed any of your details recently, don’t forget to tell
us. You can update your details online – simply log in to “members area” of the website www.ciob.org. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our membership customer services team on +44 (0) 1344 630706 for further help. If you would rather post your details send them to: The Chartered Institute of Building, 1 Arlington Square, Downshire Way, Bracknell RG12 1WA, UK
The search is on for sustainable Scottish buildings for new book NICK LANE FCIOB FROM DECIMUS FEARON LLP, REVIEWS A Practical guide to Construction Adjudication by James Pickavance (above).
Could Scottish Water Headquarters be a contender?
As part of the year of Architecture and Design, the Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA) is publishing 100 Sustainable Scottish Buildings, a glossy hardback visual and written resource that demonstrates the diversity found in sustainable projects in Scotland, punctuated by a series of essays on the subject of sustainability.
CIOB Scotland is assisting in the search. “The aim is to communicate that sustainability does not translate into a particular aesthetic or a particular design approach. 100 Sustainable Scottish Buildings is not a list of the top one
hundred, rather it will highlight the benefits and evolving practice of sustainable design through evidence and comparison,” says SEDA man. Nominations are invited for buildings and projects of any size, type and age. A nomination can be made by anyone, for a project with which they have been intimately involved or one they have just admired from afar. Successful projects will be published in 100 Sustainable Scottish Buildings due to be realised in late 2016. For a detailed set of submission guidelines, copyright information and example pages email email@example.com.
All nominations should be submitted to the email address (below left) by 6 March 2016.
This book is a welcome addition to the bibliography on adjudication. The author has produced a clear and sensible guide to the subject; and it actually does “what it says on the tin”. The guide is thorough and well-researched. The author’s discussions are generally lucid and helpful and he has wisely avoided the temptation to go into too much academic debate. I particularly liked his use of ‘nutshell’ introductions and shaded ‘checklists’ at the end of lengthier sections. The table of cases has been carefully compiled and there are further useful appendices comparing UK adjudication rules and nominating bodies. Also helpful are the glossary and model forms although these will need to be amended to suit particular needs. Part II of the guide, which looks at adjudication in other jurisdictions where it is mandatory, is shorter and written by a team of contributors from the jurisdictions in question. There is a lack of crossreferencing to Part I, and Part II does seem more ornamental than practical. My quibbles do not detract from the overall package. I warmly recommend this book. A Practical Guide to Construction Adjudication is published by Wiley Blackwell
Last year the Chartered Membership Programme (CMP) replaced the Experienced Practitioner Assessed Programme. The success of the programme has led to the
CIOB looking for more members to join the CMP Assessment Committee. The CMP is assessed through a time limited open book exam twice a year. The Committee sets exam questions and monitors the quality of
the assessments. The Education Department is now seeking to fill the following roles: • MARKERS – preferably with experience of assessing at level 6 or above, although full
training is provided. • INTERNAL VERIFIERS – with experience of assessing or moderating at level 6 or above. • INDUSTRY ADVISOR(S) – to provide technical and specialist advice on exam questions.
These are paid roles. Training will take place in April and May. There is an annual meeting in October. To apply for any of the roles, or for more details email Mandy Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org
CHARTERED MEMBERSHIP PROGRAMME REQUIRES NEW COMMITTEE MEMBERS
ON THE RADAR
Contact | Mar 16
In the January issue of Contact Construction Partnership Ltd’s web address was incorrect. It is www.theconstructionpartnership. com and the correct spelling of the managing director’s name is Chris Horsfield. We apologise for any misunderstanding caused.
news in brief
Member discount at offsite construction event
CIOB members are entitled to 10 per cent of ticket prices at a conference on offsite construction in March. The UK’s need for more new homes is the biggest opportunity facing the construction sector at this time and offsite construction could soon become critical in forming a practical solution to this crisis. Explore Offsite in the Housing Sector hopes to answer the question: how can offsite construction help? Housebuilding in the UK is currently at an all-time low. It is predicted that a total of 250,000 homes need to be delivered each year in order to tackle spiralling house prices and the critical shortage of affordable homes. This target has constantly been missed – with figures showing that only 141,000 homes were constructed last year. Taking place on 23 and 24 March 2016 at the NEC, Birmingham, Explore Offsite in the Housing Sector will be a platform for construction clients, architects, engineers and contractors to come together and discuss the latest offsite solutions for housing. With a fantastic line-up of industry figures confirmed to speak over the two days, this is an essential event for any professional looking to delve a little deeper into the liveliest and most promising topic in UK construction.
> CIOB IRELAND CELEBRATES STUDENT SUCCESS
Housing minister, Brandon Lewis, speaking at an Offshore Construction event
SPEAKERS INCLUDE: • Andrew Orgorzalek – Partner, PCKO Architects • Jeff Endean – Housing Matters, London Borough of Lewisham • Tom Bloxham MBE – Director, Urban Splash • Jay Shaw MBE – Head of Business Development, Snoozebox • Stuart Carr – Director, Chapman Taylor • Shelagh Grant – Chief Executive, Housing Forum • James Pickard – Director, Cartwright Pickard • Rory Bergin – Partner, Sustainable Futures, HTA Design • Rob Charlton – CEO, Space Group
• Greg Cooper – Pre Construction Manager, X-LAM Alliance
• Steve Reid – Chief Technical Officer, Enviga Geothermal
• Tony Woods – Offsite Construction Specialist, LHC
• Jeff Maxted – Director of Technical Consultancy, BLP Insurance
• Jerry Harkness – Regional
Development Director, Circle Housing.
CIOB will be exhibiting alongside a number of other industry professionals over the two days. If you are interested in exhibiting at this event, contact Julie Richards at email@example.com or call 01743 290001
The CIOB in Ireland Annual Lecture and Awards evening acknowledged local students in their professional exams in 2015. Certificates were awarded to 21 candidates who successfully passed their CIOB examinations last year through QTAS and Training LMS training organisations. Justin Keane and Brenda Regan were presented with the joint Best Overall Performance Award (pictured above centre). Certificates were also awarded to those who gained top grades in GCSE Construction and Built Environment. First place was awarded to Jonathan Loughridge Ballymena Academy, second place Emmett Hamill from St. Patricks Grammar Armagh and third place Conor McAvoy, Abbey CBS, Grammar School Newry.
LONDON NOVUS DOUBLE: STUDENTS ENJOY SITE VISIT AND SCHOLARSHIP HONOUR
Students enjyoing the site visit at Berkeley Vista
London NOVUS hosted a Berkeley Vista Site Visit in January. Students from various London Universities descended on the Berkeley Vista Site for a tour guided by NOVUS Committee Member,
Damian Gray ICIOB. The students were able to see various areas of the site in different stages of development. All of the students seemed to enjoy the visit and asked lots of relevant questions about
the development. Also last month, LSBU student Adam James was named the QEII Scholarship Award Winner, and was presented with his certificate by London NOVUS Junior Vice Chair,
Peter Massie ICIOB, at the LSBU Prize Giving Ceremony on 26 January. Adam was nominated for the award by his lecturers at LSBU for his hard work and dedication.
COMMENT gavin williams
Gavin Williams from Wates Construction on how contractors and government can tackle skills shortage
here is no denying the weight of the challenge the construction industry is experiencing in the face of the impending skills shortage. There is simply going to be a serious lack of suitable employees able to fly the flag for the sector in years to come. And the upturn in the sector’s fortunes, whilst an incredibly positive outcome for a recession-bitten sector, will only serve to further compound the issue.
Developing our people processes For my part, I began working alongside the Wates Group’s Learning and Development
“Contractors can’t solve the skills wcrisis alone. The Government must continue to provide investment and support to offer sustainable training and employment opportunities”
Attracting new talent Of course, expanding the industry’s talent pool begins by inspiring the next generation with the breadth of diversity the construction sector affords. The industry poses a range of opportunities not only for graduates but for school leavers and those looking to retrain, they simply need to be informed of the choices available to them. At Wates, we carry out tours in schools, colleges and universities throughout the UK in an effort to promote construction as a rewarding career option. This, together with our training initiatives such as work placement schemes, apprenticeships and our accredited Building Futures programme which offers unemployed young people valuable construction skills training, goes a significant way towards encouraging new talent into the sector. I have personally been involved in developing our trainee assessment days to ensure we are identifying the best people and matching them with roles and responsibilities that will benefit them and their abilities. We do this through in-depth interviews, group exercises and presentations. It’s a comprehensive exercise but we are already seeing success in the level of talent across our workforce. Contractors like Wates can’t solve the skills crisis alone. The Government must
continue to provide investment and support to enable us to offer sustainable training and employment opportunities to the workforce of tomorrow. The CITB’s Grants Scheme, for instance, is an excellent example of a resource that provides funding for employers to train and qualify staff. We must look to industry champions and form concrete partnerships that will underpin sector growth. Wates’s collaboration with Business in the Community (BiTC) through its Business Class initiative sees us matched with local schools to develop long-term relationships that address pupil needs. We also work closely with Go Construct to help demonstrate the wide variety of employment and training opportunities that the industry has to offer. As an online information portal for employers, education providers, career advisors and parents, this is a key resource in helping to attract those that will future proof the long-term growth of the industry.
Bridging the gap The whole industry now needs to make a concerted effort to urgently bridge the skills gap and I am privileged to work for a business that stands at the forefront of the skills and training agenda.
Gavin Williams is project director for Wates Construction London and South and is responsible for the development of the region’s trainees.
team in 2004, offering insight and opinion on the company’s comprehensive training strategy from my perspective as a project manager – and in light of my personal route into the sector as a production trainee. I am proud to have continued this advisory role as I have journeyed up the career ladder with Wates and I am now responsible for providing mentoring and guidance to trainees across the Wates Construction business in London. Continuous improvement is key to growth
and we constantly analyse and evaluate our training processes to ensure we upskill and retain the best people across the entire spectrum of roles that this fantastic industry offers.
CIOB TRAINING >
The CIOB pledges to help members increase their expertise with new training
As the accrediting body for Chartered Construction Managers and Chartered Builders, the Chartered Institute of Building has long been recognised as a key source of competence assessment for the construction industry. But this year the CIOB has committed to do more than just assess people, it has pledged to provide active support for members and prospective members to increase their expertise in key areas. Using state of the art training technology at its new London office CIOB Training brings together specially designed learning packages for construction professionals. Collaborating with other professional bodies and training organisations the training offers CIOB Member discounts and other favourable rates to some of the most important knowledge in today’s marketplace. CIOB Training (which you can view at www.ciob.org/training) offers a wide variety of courses in key areas such as: Construction project management; health and safety for construction specialists; building sustainability, commercial awareness for construction specialists and waste management. Of particular interest has been the Building Information Modelling (BIM) training which has been heavily subsidised by CIOB in order to ensure that all Members can get the fundamentals of BIM under their belt, and can offer expertise to their employers on this critical new area of skills. This training from CIOB is offered at prices less than a fifth of that available on the broader construction market. Those who attend the training will sit an examination and those who pass the exam will receive a certificate from CIOB. BIM is now one of the most commonly sought areas of expertise – this is your chance to add it to your CV, for an exceptionally low cost. Chris Blythe, chief executive at the CIOB commented: “We have worked hard to put together a package of training
ONETOWATCH Paul Brown
BSc (Hons) MSc MCIOB Senior planning manager, Carillion Construction Vice chair, CIOB Scotland
Paul will become chair of Scotland branch in May - the youngest ever in that position.
Clockwise from top: Much of the training will take place in CIOB’s new stateof-the-art ofﬁces in London’s Kingsway (top and right). Course topics on offer are varied but include commercial and management skills, helath and safety, waste management, project management. and BIM which has been heavily subsidised for CIOB members.
able to afford. These courses are also ﬂexible and have been arranged over a number of evenings rather than during the day. Online solutions will also be coming down the track as our support builds momentum.” Staff of Chartered Building Companies or Consultancies and CIOB Training Partnerships can also access CIOB Training at discounted rates and in order to make training even more cost effective, those booking a number of training places may be able to take advantage of the CIOB Season Ticket to further reduce cost.
Demand for these courses is already proving popular so visit www.ciob.org/ training today to book a place. The CIOB is keen to hear member feedback on the training and suggestions for course topics. Get in touch at www.ciob.org/
Q Why did you choose construction as a career? What else would you have done? I always had a keen interest in construction as my father works in the industry. Growing up I wanted to be a police officer but I was
Q What has been your toughest challenge to date? I struggled to get management experience at first. Following countless emails and letters to companies, I managed to get a break. At first, it was a challenge being accepted as I was young and lacked experience but due to my good grounding, personality and willingness to learn, people at all levels accepted me. Q Any embarrassing work moments to share? I was once asked to order a bubble for a spirit level. I spent a couple of hours searching for one. All part of the banter! Q What are your career ambitions? I hope to progress to director level in the future. On my path, I hope to increase awareness of the varied and exciting careers now available in the built environment and publicise the positive things we as an industry do. This in turn, will encourage younger people to enter this tremendous industry! Q When you’re not at work how do you relax/spend your time? I love socialising and spending time with the important people in my life. I enjoy cycling, hill walking, badminton and playing the piano and drums when I am not in the pub!
which represents a great opportunity for members to increase the knowledge they need for the next few years. I am really pleased that we can offer this excellent range of training to members at prices which they and their employers will be
Q Tell us about your career to date I undertook a HNC in the Built Environment at Glasgow Metropolitan college and realised I wanted to pursue a career in construction management. I was able to get work experience as a trainee site manager with Akp contracts whilst studying at college. I joined City Building (Glasgow) LLP in 2006 where I completed a HND Construction Management, BSc (Hons) Construction Management and MSc Energy Environmental Management whilst studying part-time. I was responsible for planning and project management duties for City Building’s diverse range of building projects. I joined Carillion Construction early 2014 where I am responsible for programme preparation and management for various types of construction projects typically above £30m.
unsuccessful at gaining entry to the Police cadets.
Model behaviour BIM proved to be the key to success on a demanding, technically complex build in Wales for Bouygues
he Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) is a £9.1m BREEAM Outstanding research facility at Swansea University’s Bay Campus. It was the final project to be delivered through the 2009-2014 capital projects framework at Swansea University, and it represents the best of the processes that the multi-disciplinary teams developed with the University over that period. The building accommodates scientific testing and experimental laboratories, high quality offices, communal areas, meeting rooms, research offices, and a showcase lecture theatre. In addition to the Energy Safety Research Institute, work for the Science and Innovation Campus at the new Bay Campus has involved £60m of major new build projects comprising the £22m Engineering Central (Innovation Hub), the £21m Engineering East (Manufacturing facility), and the £6m Institute of Structural Materials building. ESRI had extremely demanding technical and programme requirements. Its funding (UK Research Partnership Investment Fund through Central Government) was contingent on achieving a BREEAM Outstanding rating (which
would make it the first education building in Wales to do so). The building is high profile. It was briefed to be the centrepiece of Swansea University’s research into renewable and alternative energy production, and would provide a focus to its work in this innovative and important field.
Clockwise from top: Swansea’s Energy Safety Research Institute is a BREEAM Outstanding building that had BIM at the heart of the build process. The project is part of a £60m development of the Bay Campus.
to finish (again, a funding constraint). The culture of collaboration and mutual support led to strong trusting relationships between the PM and contractor’s site manager and between the contractor team and the design/client team. It was a one team approach, even when things went wrong, the team rallied to investigate the cause and to propose possible solutions.
Team work and collaboration The Institute was to be supported by industry sponsors to focus on the safety issues surrounding the development and expansion of existing energy processes, as well as the safe deployment and integration of new ‘green’ energy technologies. This built on the existing long-term strengths within the College of Engineering in the area of petroleum and chemical processing, particularly in terms of computational science (rock fracture modelling) and corrosion. It was supplemented by more recent research success in marine energy, nuclear, tidal, advanced water treatment (‘fracking’ posttreatment and separation), materials, crisis management and more novel areas such as photovoltaic (PV) and nanotechnology. It was also the last of the Bay Campus projects to start and yet had to be the first
Partners, nano research and BIM One of the key partners for the University in the development of the vision and character of the Bay Campus was the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. It was active during the masterplanning stages and was retained by Swansea University to help provide consistency and continuity during the design phases of the RIBA stages. It was important to the smooth running of the project that the PFBC’s views were understood and assimilated quickly, while maintaining within the cost envelope and the design direction we had agreed with the client. We designed a number of key Bio and Nano science spaces for the new Bay Campus facilities. These spaces range from basic research labs through to level 2
“This was the first time Swansea University had used BIM and the formal model sharing and clash detection procedures reduced errors” 16/02/2016 11:29
• C onsultant team: Stride Treglown (Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Design), Arup (M&E, Acoustics, Fire); WSP (Structures & Civils); AECOM (Cost and CDM); Provelio (PM) • C ontractor: Bouygues UK • C onstruction cost: Energy Safety Research Institute £9.1m (Engineering quarter £60m) • C ontract completion:
August 2015 bioscience facilities and include for clean room facilities for Nano research. In order to best deliver these complicated laboratory spaces a comprehensive and detailed parametric building model was created to allow for detailed laboratory equipment and services to be fully coordinated. The information included in this model was equal to and in many cases exceeded that required for BIM level 2, allowing for a fully interrogable architectural model. This resulted in a dynamic RDS sign-off process which allowed end users to fully envision the final layout of their work and research spaces. This has included for servicing requirement for individual labs, location of safety equipment, benching and secondary services layout, access and most importantly operator safety to be fully coordinated. All the Bay Campus projects operated using BIM Level 2, utilising a common Revit platform and BIM execution plan that we developed in collaboration with Arup (MEP) and WSP (Structures and Civils). This was the first time Swansea University had used BIM and formal model sharing and clash detection procedures reduced errors and changes on site.
www.swansea.ac.uk/campus-development/ baycampus/informationonkeybuildings/ energysafetyresearchinstitute/
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DATESFORYOURDIARY EAST OF ENGLAND
Bright Futures Novus Finals 1 March, 12pm, United Living, London Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Essex AGM with Mapei UK Structural Strengthening 8 March, 7pm, ARU Chelmsford Contact: email@example.com Hertfordshire AGM with Networking 9 March, 7pm, Mercure Hatfield Oak Hotel Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Peterborough AGM and Timber Cladding 10 March, 6.45pm, University Centre Peterborough Contact: email@example.com Bedfordshire AGM with Mapei UK Rendering 16 March, 6.30pm, The Swan, Bedford Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org How to Make Buildings Work for You 17 March, 8.30am Somerset House, London Contact: email@example.com Chalk Workings in Norwich and AGM 17 March, 6pm Lancaster House, Norwich Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Skills shortage/future of EM Construction. 2 March, 8am, Loughborough Contact: jnewton@ciob. org.uk Building Regs 10 March, 6pm Leicestershire Contact:jnewton@ciob. org.uk CDM 17 March, 6pm, Derbyshire Contact: jnewton@ciob. org.uk The Edge Visit 22 March, 8:30am Lincolnshire Contact: jnewton@ciob. org.uk
Sixth International Construction Management Day Conference 8 March, Galway Contact: mcoleman@ciob. org.uk Eastern Centre Committee meeting 8 March, Dublin Contact: mcoleman@ciob. org.uk
How To Make Historic Buildings Work For You 17 March, 8.30am,The Conference Centre Somerset House For details and to book visit: ciob.org/marc Transparency in Supply Chain Procurement 17 March, 6pm, Union Jack Club, Sandell Street, London, SE1 8UJ Contact: chierlehy@ciob. org.uk Chartered Environmentalist Workshop 30 March, 4.30pm, Mace Business School, 155 Moorgate, London Contact: chierlehy@ciob. org.uk
Ventilation New Build or Refurbishment 1 March, Leyland Golf Club, Leyland Contact: bbrown@ciob. org.uk Joint CIOB/RICS – Smart Construction 3 March, Irish World Heritage Centre, Manchester Contact: bbrown@ciob. org.uk Liverpool Centre Annual Dinner Dance 4 March, Crowne Plaza, Liverpool Contact: kpercival@ciob. org.uk Building Regulations Update 15 March, The Cottons, Knutsford Contact: kpercival@ciob. org.uk
East of Scotland Centre AGM 19 April, 5.45pm, Edinburgh Napier University, Merchiston Campus Contact: josecava@icloud. com Dundee Centre Annual AGM Networking event 3 May, 5pm, Abertay University, Dundee Contact: wmarshall@ciob. org.uk Highlands & Islands Centre AGM 11 May, 7pm, Inverness College UHI, Longman Campus Contact: ross.cairns.ic@uhi. ac.uk Aberdeen Centre AGM 12 May, 5.30pm, Palm Court Hotel Aberdeen Contact: g.lawtie@ robertson.co.uk
West of Scotland Centre AGM 19 May, 6pm, City Building’s Premises, 350 Darnick Street, Glasgow Contact: wmarshall@ciob. org.uk CIOB Scotland Branch AGM 1 June, 5pm, Thistle Hotel, Cambridge Street, Glasgow Contact: wmarshall@ciob. org.uk
Sheffield & South Yorkshire Centre AGM Student Challenge 10 March, 6pm, Sheffield 9 March, 12pm, Hallam University, City Chessington Safari Hotel, Campus, Howard Street, Chessington Sheffield Contact: sbriggs@ciob. Contact: email@example.com org,uk Humber, York & North Using 3D technology in the Yorkshire Centre AGM and AEC sector ‘topical event’ 15 March, 6.30pm, Hilton 15 March, AGM 6.30pm, St Anne’s Manor Hotel, Presentation 7pm Wokingham Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: joparker@ciob. Leeds & West Yorkshire org.uk Centre AGM & ‘topical LinkedIn event’ 15 March, 6.30pm, 16 March, time and venue Reading, venue TBC tbc Contact: jparker@ciob. Contact: email@example.com org.uk Professional Review Prefabricated Architecture Workshop – Is This The Answer? March, time and date 15 March, 7pm, Holiday tbc, Holiday Inn Leeds/ Inn, London Road, Wrotham Wakefield Contact: jparker@ciob. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org org.uk Committed to Construction CDM: The Role of the in Humber & West Yorkshire Principal Designer (CCIHWY) Awards 17 March, 6pm, Holiday Inn, 22 April, New Dock Hall, Woodstock Rd, Oxford Leeds Contact: joparker@ciob. Contact: Nicky Senior org.uk at Little Spark ccisy@ Sussex AGM & CPD – Using littlespark.co.uk 3D technology in the AEC sector 17 March, 6.30pm, Holiday Inn, Povey Cross Road, Gatwick RH6 0BA Site visit – Wilmcote Project 21 March, 6.30pm, Somerstown Central, Tyseley Road, Southsea Contact:blawrence@ciob. org.uk
Legal and Sustainable Timber Explained 16 March, 6pm, The Factory, Poole Contact: sholborn@ciob. org.uk
North Wales Centre Joint Venture with ICE TBC 17 March, Kinmel Hotel, Abergele LL22 9AS Contact: kpercival@ciob. org.uk NEC 3 22 March, 6.30pm, The Village Hotel, Swansea, Langdon Road Speaker: Robert Shawyer LLB(Hons) Contact: vcoxon@ciob. org.uk
find out more about events in your area go to www.ciob.org.uk/regions or > To look out for your electronic news and event updates from your CIOB branch or CIOB centre. To receive information from the CIOB visit www.ciob.org.uk and log on to the members’ area to input/update your details and preferences.
Building Regulations 2016 Update 1 March, 6pm, Birmingham Contact: email@example.com. uk Procurement & BIM 10 March, 6pm, Warwick University firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Chartered Institute of Building
The Chartered Institute of Building is at the heart of a management career in construction. Our focus is on those entering and already in a management career in construction. By delivering qualifications and certifications that meet the needs of a changing industry. We work with members, employers, academia and governments across the globe to drive forward the science, practice and importance of management in construction. OUR VISION: Built environment professionals making a difference OUR MISSION: To contribute to a modern, progressive and responsible construction industry, meeting the economic, environmental and social challenges of a global society OUR VALUES: • Creating extraordinary people through professional learning and continuing professional development. • Promoting the built environment as central to quality of life for everyone, everywhere. • Achieving a sustainable future worldwide. • Being socially responsible and advocating exemplary ethical practice, behaviour, integrity and transparency. • Pursuing excellence in worldwide management practice and technological innovation rooted in evidence based research. • To be the inclusive valued Institute of choice for built environment professionals. We have over 47,000 members around the world and are considered to be the international voice of the building professional, representing an unequalled body of knowledge concerning the management of the total building process.
EGGER UNVEILS A LIGHTER, STRONGER ALTERNATIVE TO 38MM CHIPBOARD EGGER UK has launched OSB HDX a brand new 30mm heavy duty, load-bearing OSB panel suitable for use in humid environments. It replaces EGGER’s 38mm HDX chipboard and is the ideal solution for heavy duty loadbearing environments such as mezzanine flooring, racking, shelving, working platforms and decking, where P5 or P6 38mm chipboard would typically be used. S & L United Storage Systems Ltd in Essex, specialists in the supply and installation of shelving and racking systems and mezzanine flooring for warehouses, distribution centres, retail environments and self-storage facilities, have been quick to see the benefits.
“Our fitters were extremely happy with the performance of EGGER’s new OSB HDX product. They found the panels easy to handle over what they normally use, were surprised by how light in weight the product is given its superior structural properties and how well the boards fitted together. They were able to complete the installation quicker and are happy to use OSB HDX on future projects,” said Robert Wray, contracts manager at S&L United Storage Systems Ltd. The low swelling properties of EGGER OSB HDX means it is less likely than P6 to pick
up moisture which can lead to uneven floors. Another benefit for installers is it’s easy to fit. With a tongue and groove profile on the two long edges, the panels are laid the same way as 38mm chipboard. Due to it only being 30 mm thick, it’s 20% lighter, despite it being wider than a typical chipboard panel (675 mm as opposed to the standard 600 mm), the wider board means that it is easier to manoeuvre and quicker to lay. EGGER OSB HDX board dimensions are 2400 x 675 x 30 mm TG2.
To find out more, contact the EGGER building products hotline on 0845 602 4444 or e-mail email@example.com or visit www.egger.co.uk
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WELSH SLATE LAUNCHES AGGREGATES GUIDE A brochure on its aggregates portfolio has been published by Welsh Slate. A guide to the material’s use as an aggregate has been launched by Welsh Slate, the UK’s leading supplier of natural slate for a peerless range of exterior and interior design applications. The guide gives a snapshot of Welsh slate’s features and benefits as an aggregate, specifically for civil engineering, house building, the water industry, and precast and ready-mixed concrete. As a construction aggregate, Welsh slate can be used as a granular sub-base for road building, car parks, footpaths and driveways due to its excellent load bearing qualities. It can also be used as pipe bedding, washed sand for use in precast and ready-mixed concrete, slate sand (as a base for laying block paving), capping layers or crusher runs in road building, and as dug/fill, for filling large voids. The aggregates guide is available for download from http://www.welshslate.com/downloads/?area= aggregates&type=product-brochures.
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | MARCH 2016 | 53
Project of the month “hoUSe” prefabs, Manchester
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Editor Elaine Knutt Deputy editor Tom Ravenscroft Online production editor Lucien Howlett
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Art editor Heather Rugeley
Above, left: The prefabricated pods are craned in to the Manchester site Top right and above: Purchasers can choose between a variety of internal configurations
MANCHESTER-BASED developer Urban Splash has completed the first phase of its prefabricated home development in New Islington, Manchester. The developer, working with timber specialist Insulshell, has built 43 terraced homes to architect Shed KM’s design. Marketed as “ hoUSe”, the prefabricated concept housing is a joint venture between the architect and the developer. Each house is made up of single-storey “volumetric timber pods” that are constructed in a factory and then delivered to site. These pods are stacked to create either two or three-storey houses. Each house has a flexible plan and purchasers can choose between a range of internal configurations before they buy. The homes can be arranged with the living spaces on the ground or first floor, and the bedrooms located at either the base or top of the house. Purchasers can also decide how the spaces are divided to determine the number of rooms.
Right: The first phase of 43 terraced homes has been completed in New Islington
Ian Killick, director at Shed KM, said: “This concept has been a long time in the making and we believe that it is a gamechanger to tackle the current housing shortage this country is facing. They also happen to be homes that people are proud to live in.”
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Phase 2, consisting of 21 homes, of the New Islington development is already on site and a further 171 houses have been granted planning permission on a site in Salford. Urban Splash and Shed KM intend to roll the concept out on further sites across the north of England. CM
Construction Manager Published for the Chartered Institute of Building by Atom Publishing Clerkenwell House 45/47 Clerkenwell Green London EC1R 0EB Tel: +44 (0)20 7490 5595 Fax: +44 (0)20 7490 4957 firstname.lastname@example.org
Construction Manager is published monthly by Atom Publishing. The contents of this magazine are copyright. Reproduction in part or in full is forbidden without permission of the editor. The opinions expressed by writers of signed articles (even with pseudonyms) and letters appearing in the magazine are those of their respective authors, and neither the CIOB, Atom Publishing nor Construction Manager is responsible for these opinions or statements. The editor will give careful consideration to material submitted – articles, photographs, drawings and so on – but does not undertake responsibility for damage or their safe return. Printed by The Wyndeham Group. All rights in the magazine, including copyright, content and design, are owned by CIOB and/or Atom Publishing. ISSN 1360 3566
54 | MARCH 2016 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
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