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APRIL 2020


£113 million Research Hub tops out at UofG


Construction reaches major milestone




Improving health and safety on construction sites by use of innovative technology


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Contents April 2020


Leading developer encourages women to consider a career in construction


Richard Steer responds to the 2020 Budget


How to innovate when you’re fighting the status quo


Opinion Piece HS2: en route to growth


Collaborative regeneration benefits homeless community


Interview: CEO of Pimlico, Scott Mullins


Brexit - Transition Time By Viv Sutherland


Technology: Improving health and safety on construction sites


The difference between building homes and building communities


ÂŁ113 million Research Hub tops out at UofG


Embodied Carbon used in housing at Springfield Meadows


See the whole picture with launch of new VELUX STUDIO window

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Construction UK Magazine - April 2020 03

Latest News

LEADING DEVELOPER ENCOURAGES WOMEN TO CONSIDER A CAREER IN CONSTRUCTION To mark International Women’s Day this year, Lisa Chinn, Trainee Assistant Site Manager at Barratt Homes’ St Rumbold’s Fields development in Buckingham, describes how she got into the traditionally male industry. Lisa joined Barratt Homes in 2019 as part of the Armed Forces Transition Programme. Prior to this, Lisa was worked in the Royal Air Force as part of the Dental Centre team where she started as a Dental Nurse and worked her way up to becoming a Practice Manager and then a Dental Nurse Instructor. Lisa said: “In 2013 after having my second child I decided to leave the Air Force as it was difficult to juggle family and military life while both my husband and I were serving. My husband got posted to Cyprus in 2013 so we moved there with him and I worked as Practice Manager in the Mental Health department as a Civil Servant. “I began my construction journey with Barratt Homes last year as part of the Armed Forces

Transition Programme when we moved back to the UK. The programme gives ex-military personnel the opportunity to become Trainee Assistant Site Managers.

Barratt Homes provides full training via Barratt Academy and also fund an NVQ Level 4 Construction Management qualification. The academy is a one year programme and it is expected that all personnel on the programme will achieve promotion to Assistant Site Manager within 7-12 months of commencing the programme. “It’s a great opportunity, especially for women, as I think that it’s vital to change the stigma of the construction industry is a man’s world! I would advise any women looking to get into construction to be confident, believe in their own ability, back themselves and create a career plan with short and long term goals.”

described what this means to her. She said: “For me, equality is about every single person having the same opportunities in life, regardless of where they come from, if they have a disability or what sex they are.”

The theme for International Women’s Day this year is ‘Each for Equal’ and Lisa has

Simon Francis, Managing Director at Barratt Homes North Thames, said: “We want

SUPPLY CHAIN FIRM BRIDGING THE GENDER GAP IN LOGISTICS According to various sources, approximately a quarter of employees in the UK logistics sector are female: and, significantly, this figure has barely changed over recent years. Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8th March, an ambitious operations administrator for the courier division of a rapidly growing Midlands transport firm is keen to demonstrate the suitability of a career in logistics for women as well as men. Anna Cerek, 27, of Northampton, joined Northants-based supply chain

04 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020

Latest News

RICHARD STEER RESPONDS TO THE 2020 BUDGET “This was the first post-election budget from a newbie Chancellor who is following a script dictated by the Prime Minister and his advisors, who are all about optics and opportunism rather than prudence and pragmatism. The huge announcement on infrastructure spending and increased funding for housing would be a cause for celebration under normal circumstances, however when it is announced in the teeth

of a global crisis, with limited reliable financial data, you wonder how much control they have over the economy to find and invest the cash. With construction firms collapsing every day, one wonders if there was much to help them in this budget. It was big on promises but short on detail as to how it will be funded. So, in principle lots of eye-catching headlines but in practice I say…show me the money!”

Richard Steer, Chairman of Gleeds Worldwide

to quash the age old stereotype that the construction industry is a male dominated field as we have many women who work out on site as well as in office based roles. “The construction industry is continuing to grow and this is an exciting time for people with an interest in housebuilding to join a market leading company and as one of the country’s top developers we are absolutely committed to developing raw talent and support our staff with training.”

solutions firm The NX Group in April 2018, after graduating with a Masters degree in transport, shipping and logistics. Having moved to the UK from her native Poland six months earlier, Anna advanced swiftly from an administrate role within The NX Group’s Westgate warehouse to her current position within NX Courier, which sees her responsible for the day-today running of the firm’s van division. “When I start at 7am, my first priority is to organise the day’s agenda by liaising with our transport office, our customers and drivers to establish any issues and put a plan in place to resolve them,” Anna said. “After this, I load the vans, hand out paperwork to the drivers and make sure everything stays on track throughout the day. When I leave the site, I’m always on call via phone in case of any urgent requests.” Whilst acknowledging the demands of the role, Anna was keen to convey how well it suited her. “As transport solutions will always be required, the sector stood out to me as a stable and enjoyably challenging one to go into,” she explained. “My dad is

also a former driver, so the industry felt familiar. “My mum was surprised I chose to follow this career path, but she’s also very supportive of my choices – the fact that I’m a woman in this industry isn’t an issue.” Asked why she believes logistics remains a male-dominated sector in the UK and worldwide, Anna’s reply was revealing:

I don’t feel that the gender imbalance present in the wider industry quite applies at The NX Group, as our warehouse pick and packing team is mostly male and our transport office mostly female. What’s more, everyone is extremely friendly and we are all a team, across departments. Anna is similarly practical in her approach to encouraging more women to join the sector. “It’s a natural process, not only in logistics – if women enjoy their place of work,

this will encourage more female staff to join both the workplace and the wider sector over time.

My advice to girls and women considering a career in logistics is: go for it! If you’re personally interested, don’t be put off by myths about typically male roles or by male-dominated companies – just try it out. Russell Thompson, Operations Controller at NX Courier, said: “Anna is a dedicated and dependable member of staff who makes a valuable contribution to the courier division and is a real team player. “We take great pride in the diversity and the personal qualities of our workforce, and we hope to continue to recruit quality male and female staff, from drivers to managers, both to the courier division and across our expanding business.” For more information about The NX Group, visit You can also follow the company on LinkedIn and on Twitter via @thenxgroup.

Construction UK Magazine - April 2020 05

Surface, Paving & Aggregates

How to innovate when you’re fighting the status quo

Bruce Spencer-Knott, Managing Director of Minster Group

Introducing new methods, ideas and products into an industry that is notoriously stuck in its ways can certainly be a challenge. The road surfacing industry in particular has always been slow to innovate and reluctant to commit to new technologies - in fact the word ‘technology’ seems almost alien to most of us! Except for a small number of companies which, like us, are doing their utmost to modernise the industry, many people hold onto the notion that road surfacing is always done in a certain way, using certain materials. As a result, this leads to organisations reaching out to any contractor that can lay a surface- usually the cheapest onebecause they aren’t aware of the high tech, sustainable, less disruptive and less wasteful alternatives. In a changing world where technology is becoming more prominent, and more and more people are becoming conscious of their environmental impact, we have a duty to embrace these innovative solutions. Road surfacing can be just as high tech and sustainable as even the most progressive sectors of the construction industry - we just need the confidence to embrace the technology available and explore new ways of working. Recycling road surfaces With the introduction of new technologies, the environmental impact of road surfacing can easily be relieved by recycling and reusing road materials. One of these technologies is OCL Regeneration’s Foambase technology, which converts material from old road surfaces into a durable alternative to asphalt as well as binder course products, which can be used again and again.

more effective approach than traditional methods. More efficient road surfacing Technology can not only be used to reduce the environmental impact of road surfacing, but also to make it less disruptive. Usually, roads have to be closed while measurements are taken manually, using measuring tape which is stretched over the road or tripod-mounted lasers. However, technology such as TopCon’s SmoothRide means that roads can be measured in normal conditions, without the need for road closures. The technology uses 3D scanning equipment that’s fitted to vehicles in order to quickly

As well as reducing the need for more mineral aggregate and crude oil, the creation of Foambase is also much more efficient and sustainable than traditional hot asphalt, producing 32% less CO². The technology cuts waste, increases the quantity of material that can be recycled and also reduces transportation mileage of materials- a much

and accurately scan roads and create detailed maps that show the width at every point of a road, as well as every lump and bump on the surface. The scanning equipment can be used while travelling at up to 50mph and allows roads to be measured from the safety of a vehicle’s passenger seat, reducing disruption to other road users. Specialist software then usages these measurements and combines it with GPS data to create instructions for the machinery so when a road is laid, a smooth finish is guaranteed. This is a major improvement over the old fashioned method of using string andpegs to measure and mark a road, and it’s ten times as accurate as tripod mounted laser measurements taken from from the roadside. The future of road surfacing If road surfacing is to keep up with the times and encourage workers of the future to join the industry, moving away from the status quo is vital. If we don’t, the future of the industry could be in jeopardy and we’ll be deprived of the talent and enthusiasm that young workers offer. We need to prove to these workers of the future that we’re a forward-looking, high tech, innovative industry which will let them be trailblazers. Otherwise, road surfacing will continue to be seen as a dirty, pollutive and low-tech industry- not exactly an exciting proposition for the next generation of workers. But how do you get everyone to appreciate and understand that there are better ways of working? Well, make a bold move and be the first to implement these better ways of working. Across the industry, we should recognise and celebrate the innovations and achievements of our peers and we should be proactive when it comes to embracing technology. After all, there’s nothing wrong with change!

06 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020

Finance Tax rebates: what you need to know when claiming refunds By Mart “Tram” Abramov, Co-Founder and CEO of TaxScouts While 10 million taxpayers only submitted their self assessment to HMRC a few weeks ago, construction workers across the UK are already anticipating the new tax year so they can claim back tax. Following the introduction of the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), self-employed subcontractors have their earnings taxed when they are paid. It affects most construction work, from site preparation to repairs, decoration and demolition. There are some exceptions but, for most general contractors, the scheme’s compulsory. CIS rules say that contractors must take 20% from the invoices they pay. That money goes to the taxman without subcontractors ever seeing it, in the same way as if you were employed. When you submit your self assessment tax return, you’ll find that most or all of your tax has already been paid. In fact, since the money’s been taxed at 20% (a whopping 30% if you aren’t yet registered for CIS), you may well have paid too much; especially if there are work-related expenses to claim as well. If that does happen, you can claim a CIS tax refund. The average rebate that a self-employed CIS subcontractor can get back is around £2,000 from a self assesment through HMRC.

Check if you’re due a rebate Most people wait until January to get their taxes sorted. However, if you are due a rebate, you should do it as soon as possible, which can be as early as April 6th, 2020. By claiming your refund first thing in April, you should be able to get it in time for your summer holidays or use it to buy new tools and even pay off bills.

liability insurance, and even banking and accounting/bookkeeping fees.

Expenses There are quite a few work-related deductions for professionals registered under the scheme that can be used to further increase the rebate amount. Some are more obvious than others.

This list is not exhaustive, but you should know that there are several expenses you can claim that you might not have considered straight away.

Equipment, tools, safety equipment and materials - Don’t forget to include maintenance and cleaning costs for your gear. If you supply your own specialised or protective clothing you can claim these as an expense, as well as the laundry costs. Travel and transportation - If you drive your own vehicle to and from jobs, be sure to keep track of mileage, and save maintenance, toll, parking and petrol receipts. Same goes for public transport and travel to temporary workplaces - you can include your food and accommodation; so save your receipts. Administrative costs - You can also claim professional membership fees, public

Mart “Tram” Abramov: Co-Founder and CEO of TaxScouts

Office expenses - This is an often overlooked category. This can cover any legitimate work-related expenses from internet bills to stationery, mobile phone to a percentage of some of your household expenses like rent.

Watch out for scams and overcharges You can do your own self assessment tax return for your CIS rebate. It can be difficult to navigate the HMRC website, and you’d want to make sure that you have all the information needed to get back as much as you’re rightfully owed - which tends to be a record of your payslips and expense receipts.

But, for those who’d rather have professional help to get as much back as possible, and to help reduce potential errors and stress, it’s important to know what to look for. The fact that most CIS subbies expect a hefty rebate make them an easy target for ‘advisers’ who want to take advantage of the anticipated windfall. If you decide to hire someone to help you with your claim, you should keep an eye out for anything that seems suspicious. And make sure they are certified by a professional tax body in the UK. It’s also not unusual to have some legitimate firms charge very opaque fees. Some will bill a reasonable, but high £250+ for your claim, plus a percentage of what you are likely to get back, which can result in you paying hundreds of pounds more than you originally thought. Be sure to ask what exactly you’re getting for your self assessment and rebate, and how much in total you’re paying, before you engage them.

ABOUT: Mart “Tram” Abramov is the Co-Founder and CEO of TaxScouts, a company removing the stress and hassle of preparing and submitting self assessments and CIS claims by working with certified accountants to do them for you online for a single, flat fee.

08 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020

SHOULD YOU BUY YOUR OWN ENGINEERING CONSULTANCY? This month, City Accountants (London) Ltd look at the options open to young Civil engineers looking to go it alone. In recent years we have seen an uptake in the number of Civil and Structural Engineers setting up a consultancy. This is not surprising, after all the reason you studied Civil Engineering at University was to have your own Engineering consultancy one day. Setting Up From Scratch Squatting is probably the cheapest way of setting up. A small consultancy can be started from a budget as cheap as £40,000. This includes second hand CAD equipment, computers, marketing and working capital. If something a little better is sought, then £60,000 to £80,000 will buy you a state of the art Squat more akin to attracting the sought after corporate clients. The cost of the squat is broadly speaking tax deductible – a major advantage compared to buying a freehold or goodwill and a friendly boss may allow you to bridge out your existing Engineering job (spend 2 days at his practice and 2 days at your own) to ease your cash flow.

The problem with a squat is how long it will take you to start to break even. In our experience this is usually about 15 to 18 months. To set up a squat you will need some form of reputation locally, either as a specialist or a number of engineering roles under your belt. During that period you will need nerves of steel – and a clued up bank manager – as each month more money goes out than comes in! As construction accountants we have never had a squat that has failed; a very different picture for existing practices purchased. A squat has a large inherent capital profit when, at the end of the day, you sell. Don’t forget a squat is your opportunity to set up exactly how you want to, with staff chosen and trained by you. A chance to practice your own unique brand of Civil Engineering to your following of like-minded appreciative clients. OK that’s fine for some engineers, but squatting is not everyone’s cup of tea. So what are the alternatives? Buying A Small Consultancy This suits some civils as there is a client list from day one. The small size means you can to some extent, do your own thing and usually they are not too expensive. The downside is you may inherit problems with the existing clients, existing staff, existing equipment or the former owner’s reputation. Another problem is insufficient clients for your needs. It should be remembered that a practice that has only ever been part time is unlikely to support a full time engineer in the short to medium term.

Buying A Large Consultancy The attraction here is high profits – may be – in a stable environment with plenty of clients. The downside? Cost. Large consultancy’s can be quite expensive, especially the goodwill values. Are you up to all the responsibility? Particularly managing the existing engineers and associates who may well be older and more experienced than you! The associates may take a dislike to you and leave; this could be a very difficult situation to handle. Often joining as an “Associate Engineer with a view” to buying in is an ideal compromise, because you try before you buy, have continuity with the clients and you know how the consultancy runs. Sometimes you can negotiate a small reduction in price on this type of consultancy, although haggling can prove awkward in this closed environment. Going Into Partnership Tricky one! Buying a share in a partnership consultancy is a step into the unknown. You have the question of compatibility with the existing partners. You may find it difficult to implement changes in the consultancy, depending upon the attitude of the other engineers. In addition, the new partner is often labelled as the junior partner, particularly if he is younger than the other engineers, making change even more difficult. A useful question to ask here is whether the other Partners want you solely for your money? The advantages are you have an existing book to work and established consultancy systems and protocols and it is often easier to take a career break if the need arises. These are useful if you are a little unsure of things. The other advantage is they are often cheap to buy into because no-one else is interested!

City Accountants (London) Ltd are Specialist Civil Engineering and Construction Accountants based North of London. They advise on a wide range of Construction Tax issues and regularly write for the Construction Press. City Accountants have over 20 years’ experience in Construction and Civil Engineering Accounts and are recognised for their proactive approach to Taxation in construction and business problems. City Accountants (London) Ltd can be contacted on 01438 722224 or email

Construction UK Magazine - April 2020 09

Opinion Piece

HS2: EN ROUTE TO GROWTH After several years of political and economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit, SMEs throughout the country have undoubtedly faced challenging times, and the construction sector is no different. A recent IHS Markit/CIPS UK construction survey found that building activity in the construction sector fell at the secondfastest rate in over a decade. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. The turn of the decade has brought with it many opportunities for the construction industry; not only has the £106bn HS2 project been given the green light, but we have seen the Government commit to further investment in infrastructure across the country. It’s encouraging to see the Government is commiting to create better connections in northern regions while simultaneously closing the long-disputed divide between the north and south. With these promises and an increase in political certainty for the first time in recent memory, businesses, especially those in the construction sector, are feeling more confident than before to proceed with their plans for growth. The HS2 project, however, does not only mean good business for the large contractors working directly on the construction of the transport link; in fact, the entire sector will benefit. Small to medium sized firms will also have the chance to offer their services and HS2’s supplier engagement programme will help raise awareness about potential opportunities with businesses of all types. Additionally, those who are not involved directly in the project should not feel left out, as the void that is left behind from the other firms will need to be filled. Going beyond the construction sector, the development of the new north-south connection will also spawn new growth in hubs immediately surrounding the refurbished and soon to be built stations along the route - including new housing, retail and business developments.

New jobs will be formed to support this growth; with an estimated 25,000 jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships to be created directly linked to the route itself while approximately 100,000 jobs will be conceived associated with the surrounding developments. In total, half a million jobs are due to be generated during and after the project. This inevitable growth in small towns across the country will benefit the smallest of construction and development firms; further proving the approval of this project will play a vital role in the stimulation of the construction economy.

Businesses should be conscious that the volatility and risks associated with contracts in the construction industry contribute to the lack of appetite from high street banks to lend to these types of firms. As construction businesses begin to win contracts for the building of HS2, they will need to bear in mind some of the hurdles they may come across that will likely impact their business. This could include planning for increased overhead costs, having enough cash flow and headroom, negotiating sensible contracts and addressing payment issues (remedying them in a timely manner throughout the contract fulfilment rather than after projects are completed). Firms will need to look ahead and be conscious of their potential financial needs in these situations - preparing to access external funds where necessary to address potential shortcomings. Businesses should be conscious that the volatility and risks associated with contracts in the construction industry contribute to the lack of appetite from high street banks to lend to these types of

10 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020

firms. However, this is where alternative finance can come in to play, and firms should keep this option in mind when seeking external funds to support their endeavours. In order for HS2 to be completed successfully and on time, it is vital for construction firms of all sizes to have proper access to the right amount of funding when they need it. Alternative lending solutions are great options to accommodate any sort of endeavours construction businesses are looking to fulfill in this time of long awaited certainty; and thus firms are encouraged to look at all their options to ensure they are seeking the appropriate solution for them. As new tracks are laid, new station foundations are poured and each phase of HS2 begins to take its form across the country, the decision of the Government to proceed with such an important infrastructure for the entire country will soon show its benefits to the construction industry as a whole. This much needed and long-awaited boost in the sector is welcomed and its value is sure to be seen throughout the 2020s. By Ian Bath, Corporate Sales Director at Nucleus Commercial Finance.

Case Study KPS 125/110mm piping installed at Heysham Port, UK

Heysham Port Retrofits KPS Piping for Diesel Ethanol Power Plant Fill Lines

KPS piping provides a zeropermeation solution

In house and onsite training was provided by KPS

Compact moulded elbows make the join from new KPS piping to the previously installed fuel piping

KPS double wall piping, allowing monitoring of interstitial space

Contractor Eric Wright Waters approached KPS to provide an installer friendly solution for new double wall diesel fill lines for ferries at Heysham Port, a recreational and commercial (3m tonnes/yr.) seaport in Lancashire (opened in 1904).

DIBT Germany as well as a number of other country and fuel specific standards.



This site had 3 key requirements: 1. Environmental protection: preventing leakage was essential with the proximity to the water. Double wall piping was specified for protection and to allow monitoring of the interstitial space with a leak detection system. 2. A compact solution: the space for the connection between the existing 6” steel pipe and the new piping was too tight to use traditional sweeping bends. 3. Simple fast installation: minimising disruption and cost.

In house and onsite installation training was provided, as is standard with clients new to the KPS piping system.

Installation was completed smoothly, ahead of schedule. KPS piping is now specified as standard at Heysham Port.

For more case studies, visit the KPS website Complete below ground remote fill point

Solution KPS recommended and supplied 125/110 double wall fill piping, providing a zeropermeation solution that allows Heysham Port to monitor the interstitial space with a leak detection system. KPS double wall fittings are the most compact and installer friendly on the market, and the only piping system to weld both pipe walls simultaneously. In this project, a compact moulded elbow, the KP 33125/110SCC, was used for the join from the 125/110 KPS piping to the existing 6” fuel piping (see images). KPS Petrol Pipe System™ is certified to EN 14125, ATEX 137, EN 13463-1 and by

Construction UK Magazine - April 2020 11

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COLLABORATIVE REGENERATION BENEFITS HOMELESS COMMUNITY Ian Batchelor, Director of Construction and Building at ODS, explains how collaborative and modern construction is generating social mobility for the homeless population in Oxford Despite government figures pointing towards gradual improvement, homelessness is still a major problem in the UK and a significant issue in Oxford. The number of people counted sleeping rough fell from a peak of 61 in November 2017 to 25 in January – the lowest level since 2015 – and Oxford City Council helped 270 people off the streets in 2019. Despite this, Oxford’s outreach services report around 20 people new to rough sleeping every month As local councils look to address the rough sleeping crisis, it is construction companies, housebuilders and developers who are on the front line to support local authorities in finding practical solutions to support the homeless community. Here in Oxford, we’ve recently seen great success with a slightly

different approach to our most recent build contract for a central assessment centre and shelter on Floyds Row. Proving that a new way of cooperative construction and refurbishment is not only possible, but very positive for those involved, the contract involved the reimagining of a pre-existing building in Oxford. ODS (Oxford Direct Services) lead the transformation of the old city-centre jobcentre into a facility that includes both a homeless shelter and assessment hub, with capacity for up to 56 people in a combination of permanent and temporary spaces. As a collaboration between multiple agencies working together, including charities, social enterprises, the City Council and our team at ODS (a local authority trading company), the build has been able to combine sustainable, environmentally friendly construction approaches with added social value to great effect.

Oxford architects Jessop and Cook Architects delivered plans with Transition by Design, who also managed a design consultation with people experiencing homelessness. This resulted in a guiding set of principles that the site should be calm and familiar, with a homely feel, dog friendly and including a women-only and private spaces. By shaking up the traditional methods of designing, planning and constructing for a new shelter we’ve not only shortened the total build time but been able to draw on the strengths and skill sets from a variety of specialists resulting in the very best outcomes for both construction quality and social value. The proposal presented us with a number of challenges, including very tight schedules through pre-construction to delivery but we were able to accomplish this thanks to our close partnership working with Oxford City Council and our subcontractor supply chain. One of the teams we worked with was from RAW who reclaimed the timber removed from the original build site, and repurposed around 30% of that material for use back in the new build. RAW is an environmentally aware team that ODS is suited to working alongside on local projects, as our social and environmental values are so similar. Their aims in delivering a real impact on the environment, building something that will contribute real value to society, and giving employment opportunities to people from disadvantaged backgrounds, make them a great partner on a joint enterprise such as this one. Collaborative build projects like this one also add massive social value with the integration of people in the construction workforce, helping them get back into work.

14 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020

Housing Latest statistics show that 726 homeless people died while street homeless or in emergency accommodation in England and Wales in 2018 […] Regrettably, homelessness and rough sleeping has risen over the last decade. - Petra Salva, St Mungo’s Homeless Charity As the construction sector faces shortages of skilled labourers, this is an interesting case study of how the industry can combine social value with upskilling, whilst helping people and making a profit at the same time. The social benefits of our collaborative building contract are already being felt by the local community in Oxford, just weeks after the centre opened. Now the first conversations with people sleeping rough don’t take place on the streets but instead within a warm, calm and safe space co-designed by people experiencing homelessness. It is a place that provides shelter and support for people to start the planning needed to rebuild their lives, and to leave the streets behind as quickly as possible. Features within the Floyds Row centre, run

by St Mungo’s, include 56 ‘Somewhere Safe to Stay’ beds available for seven nights. These are available for people at risk of rough sleeping and new rough sleepers and allow people the time to participate in an intensive ‘right first time’ assessment designed to identify the housing and support they need to move on from rough sleeping. ODS is largely about social values; although we are the commercial arm of Oxford City Council, we’re about doing good in the community, and this forms the

focus point of all our work. We align our values with council values and through our procurement process we ensure that our supply chain will, with us, maximise the social impact and environmental benefits of all our projects. Floyd’s Row represents a fundamental change to front end homelessness services and winter accommodation in Oxford and I’m proud to say that it will be a catalyst for change across the wider system. For more information on ODS, visit

At Monster Mesh, we specialise in supplying large format print to the construction sector, from Heras fence covers, crowd barrier covers, PVC & mesh banners, scaffold wraps and PVC & ACM hoarding panels. We offer a personal service to all our customers, simply browse our products online and then call us to discuss your requirements. We are always happy to talk and advise.

Construction UK Magazine - April 2020 15


WINVIC THREE YEAR PROJECT CULMINATES IN MPS OFFICIAL OPENING AT SEGRO LOGISTICS PARK EAST MIDLANDS GATEWAY Winvic Construction Ltd, a leading main contractor that specialises in turnkey solutions for industrial, build-to-rent, student accommodation and commercial projects joined Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris on Friday, 28 February to mark the official opening of the new Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) at SEGRO Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway (SLPEMG). Representatives from SEGRO and the SRFI operator Maritime Transport, along with 350 plus guests from across the East Midlands region and the wider transport and logistics industry also attended the event. Winvic started works at the 700 acre logistics park in September 2017, first undertaking significant infrastructure and highways works which would

facilitate the 50 acre SRFI and 6 million sq ft of industrial space. Four units are complete and being operated by endusers Amazon, XPO Logistics, Kuehne & Nagel and ShopDirect. A fifth unit is under construction and is due to be handed over to Games Workshop Limited in the summer. The 17-acre open-access terminal, capable of handling up to sixteen 775 metre-long freight trains daily and providing storage capacity for over 5,000TEU, is the first to connect to the Castle Donington freight line, providing direct access to the UK’s network of rail freight interchanges and all major UK Ports. The first dedicated service between East Midlands Gateway and the Port of Felixstowe, which is operated by Maritime

Intermodal, a sub-division of Maritime Transport, has commenced. SRFI and Rail Phase Statistics: • Construction of a new rail bridge • 7km private rail link to the Castle Donington freight line • Earthworks cut up to 25m below existing level for rail freight terminal • 1km of new one-metre diameter ferro concrete pipework in the diversion of Derwent Valley Aqueduct (DVA), serving 600,000 customers in the East Midlands • Terminal comprises 190 concrete slabs providing space for the storage of circa 250 containers Infrastructure Statistics: • 126,000 m2 carriageway constructed including M1 off and on-slips • Construction of one new road skewbridge and modification of traffic over one road bridge • 5,322,000 m3 of earthwork fill executed • 6 million m3 of plateau, screening and topsoiling earthworks • 2-metre rise in the level of a newly laid section of the A453 • 105,000m3 of earth moved in any one week at peak of earthworks programme • 65 pieces of large earth working plant operating on site any one point • 126,040m2 of new surfaced pavement • 163km of new services • Over 300,000 tons of aggregates Industrial Warehouse Statistics: • Plot 1 – Amazon – 1.3 million sq ft, two storey removable mezzanines, 7,500 tonnes of steel used • Plot 2 – XPO Logistics – 638,000 sq ft, temperature controlled 35m high bay and low bays

16 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020

Project • Plot 3 – Shop Direct – 542,000 sq ft, bespoke mezzanine flooring supporting conveyor systems, 43,000 sq ft offices

enormous schemes and much is owed to our robust partnerships with SEGRO, Maritime, other end-users and scores of agencies and community members.

• Plot 4 – Kuehne & Nagel – 163,000 sq ft, 40,000 sq ft temperature controlled area for pharmaceutical products • Plot 5 – Games Workshop – 177,000 sq ft, plant deck, 101,000 sq ft yard Mark Skelton is the Winvic Project Manager who has orchestrated the vast scheme for over three years. He commented: “This project is awesome in both senses of the word and it’s been a privilege to have worked on a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

The project statistics go some way in describing what goes into delivering a 700 acre vision, but in reality it is a far-reaching team of expert and committed people who carefully craft successes like SEGRO Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway. “Winvic has elevated its status from leading shed-specialist to a creator of

“While this element of the project took three years, Winvic remain on site to continue construction of the fifth industrial unit and spur road; seeing huge trains coming in and out of the interchange is a welcome daily reminder that we really have achieved something momentous.” David Sleath, Chief Executive Officer, SEGRO, said: “The new rail freight interchange is a fantastic addition to SEGRO Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway and makes it a true multimodel ‘in-land’ port which facilitates the efficient and sustainable movement of goods around the country. “We are keen to build on the success of East Midlands Gateway by continuing to grow our footprint in the Midlands. We have planning consent to create almost 15 million square feet of industrial or logistics space in the region in the coming years which will represent around £1 billion of further investment and bring significant long-term benefits for the economy, our customers and local communities.”

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Construction UK Magazine - April 2020 17


AN INTERVIEW WITH SCOTT MULLINS Construction UK Magazines speaks with the CEO of Pimlico, Scott Mullins about the company and its expansion.

Talk us through how the company started and the inspiration? Pimlico was first established in 1979 by our Founder and my father, Charlie Mullins, who began as an apprentice plumber at the age of 15. Once he gained his qualifications and began working solo, his skill, level of customer care and smart presentation quickly gained recognition in the Pimlico area, leading him to be dubbed ‘The Pimlico Plumber’. After acquiring an office space, he set about with the ambition to change the public perception of plumbing and build a reputation around quality service.

What main services does the company provide? We are a Home Services company which now covers plumbing, heating, air conditioning, drains, carpentry, plastering, electrics, roofing, building, appliances, and bathrooms.

Talk us through the decision to change the name from Pimlico Plumbers to Pimlico, covering all trades. The name ‘Pimlico Plumbers’ was logical when we were solely a plumbing company – but as we’ve undergone such significant expansion over the years, we began to suspect that calling ourselves ‘plumbers’ could be misleading for new customers. While plumbing is our core service, we now provide all Home Services to an extremely high standard and we wanted the name of our business to reflect that.

Having been in the industry for over 40 years, what is the secret to such success? It doesn’t boil down to one thing, although much of it is common sense. Quality is absolutely essential for every job that our tradespeople complete, and we pride ourselves on our fully manned Contact Centre, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and (in this case) 366 days a year. This means that no matter what the time or situation for our customers, we can always aim for a 1-hour response rate all over London. Other than that, it’s a case of sticking to our familyrun business values and ensuring that our fully qualified tradespeople are consistently capable, polite and well-presented in Pimlico branded clothing.

Throughout the years, have you noticed any changes in ideas/demands in which you’ve had to change the company to suit modern ways? If so how? When our plumbers used to go out on jobs a few years ago, we’d often get customers asking if Pimlico provided other services like electrics, drains, carpentry and so on. We took a step back and thought, why not take our business model and apply it to more trades? That’s certainly one way in which we’ve sought to accommodate the needs of our customers, and it’s proven

18 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020

Interview remarkably successful. We’ve also invested in our own workshop so we can service and clean our fleet independently and to our own high standards. As for our employees, we’ve introduced more perks in recent years, offering them benefits such as a free 24/7 gym, subsidised canteen, rooftop garden and fortnightly massages.

Are you recruiting for more roles and expanding? Yes. We’re looking to take on a significant number of new apprentices and tradespeople, as well as expand the team in our Control Centre to reduce the wait time even more for our customers.

How important are apprenticeships for the development and future of the company? Apprenticeships are absolutely paramount to the development and future of our business. None of us would be here if our Founder Charlie hadn’t once been an apprentice himself, so to say that we’re huge advocates for apprenticeships would be something of an understatement. There are currently 70 apprentices at Pimlico, all of whom are extremely hardworking and true assets to the future of our business. Not only do we regularly seek to commend their achievements through events such as our 2019 Apprentice Awards, but we’re actually looking to double our number of apprentices going forward in 2020. In doing so, we hope we can lead by example and that other SMEs will join us in helping to tackle the growing skills crisis and proliferation of graduates in great amounts of debt yet struggling to find work.

Apprenticeships are absolutely paramount to the development and future of our business. None of us would be here if our Founder Charlie hadn’t once been an apprentice himself, so to say that we’re huge advocates for apprenticeships would be something of an understatement.

How important is it to ensure the business is eco-friendly? Are there any changes/ developments or plans in the pipeline? It is extremely important to Pimlico to be as environmentally friendly as possible, and we are willing to continue to invest accordingly to make that happen. As some of the vehicles in our trademark fleet weren’t compliant with the ultra-low emission zone, we have recently spent £3 million on greener models to replace our non-ULEZ compliant ones. Those that are no longer suitable will be recycled through VW. Additionally, we ensure that Pimlico engineers are always allocated to the nearest customer to prevent any unnecessary pollution.

What are the future plans for the company? As well as increasing our number of staff to accommodate for Pimlico’s growth, we are also looking to expand our geographic reach even further into surrounding areas of London, as well as grow our van fleet with more environmentally friendly vehicles.

Construction UK Magazine - April 2020 19


Transition Time – Why The UK’s Construction Sector Can’t Afford to Take its Eye Off The Clock By Viv Sutherland, Strategic Development Director, Morris & Spottiswood Brexit may have slipped down the news agenda for the moment, but the importance of the next few months to the future of the construction industry in the UK cannot be overemphasised. The Transition Period clock is well and truly ticking. There are now just 10 months left for Britain’s negotiators to finalise the terms of a future trading relationship with the European Union, but an often quoted phrase continues to ring true – “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”. December’s decisive election victory for the Conservatives has brought a degree of stability to the situation, evidenced by January’s IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI. The survey revealed construction output fell at its lowest pace since May 2019, and that new business volumes were close to stabilisation. Firms reported a boost in demand from clients as a result of receding political uncertainty, and optimism about future growth among construction companies reached a level not seen since April 2018. Balanced against this welcome rise in business sentiment is the fact that although we have now left the EU, the

same uncertainties surrounding the supply and cost of materials and labour that have dogged our industry since the 2016 referendum remain. Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said earlier this month that businesses need to prepare for “significant change” ahead of the implementation of “inevitable” border checks covering the importation of goods from the EU. What form such checks will take and how much red tape businesses will be expected to contend with remains unclear. What is clear, is the need to closely monitor the unfolding situation, identify key areas of risk and then manage that risk as best we can. Morris & Spottiswood’s approach has been to establish a Brexit Risk Committee. During monthly meetings we have focused on reviewing our Brexit Risk Register and addressing the impact of the ever-changing Brexit environment. We have ongoing and developing strategies to prepare for several potential Brexit negotiation outcomes – strategies that continue to be adapted and refined to ensure the business and our clients are in the best position possible. We believe there are three key areas of risk that must be monitored and managed during the Transition Period: • Delay of materials to site • Material and labour costs • Shortage of labour Currently, around two-thirds of construction materials used in the UK are imported from the EU. To manage this risk, the tracking of material lead times is being continuously monitored to predict and act on any

20 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020

material shortage. At the same time, we are communicating and collaborating with our suppliers and supply chain to ensure that where there is potential risk, alternative options are in place. How the cost of materials could be affected by the implementation of a new trade agreement is another imponderable. Anecdotally, suppliers have said they are expecting prices to increase following the end of the Transition Period due to higher administrative costs linked to border checks. For companies that have signed up to a fixed schedule of rates with a client, the potential knock-on effect this could have on profit margins constitutes another significant risk. As new details of our future relationship with the EU emerge, it will become increasingly important to maintain strong lines of communication with clients, and provide information and guidance when necessary.

The UK construction sector also faces significant challenges with regard to the availability of labour, knowledge transfer and skill development. As part of our risk mitigation strategy we will continue to invest in our apprentices and Training Academy throughout the Transition Period and beyond. Our reliance on workers who are not UK nationals remains low (<5%). However, we will continue to liaise regularly with our supply chain partners, as skilled and unskilled operatives are going to be increasingly affected across all trades. It’s anyone’s guess how negotiations between UK and EU officials will develop over the coming months, but regardless of progress and direction, the Transition Period clock will continue to count down to zero. It is vital that construction sector businesses maintain their focus in order to safeguard the future of this industry.


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Company News

BIOSITE REPRESENTS UK CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY FIRMS IN EUROPE’S FASTEST-GROWING COMPANIES RANKING Biosite Systems Ltd, a leader in biometric access control and workforce management solutions for the construction industry, has been recognised in the FT 1000: Europe’s fastest-growing companies ranking for the first time. Biosite is one of only six UK-based companies in the construction category and the only company offering technology solutions to the construction industry to make the list. The FT 1000, compiled with research company Statista, ranks European companies based on the highest compound annual revenue growth rate between 2015 and 2018. Placing at 682 in the ranking, Biosite achieved 246.6% absolute revenue growth during the period, with revenue increasing from €3.73 million to €11.01 million. Li Wang, Managing Director at Biosite Systems Ltd, explains: “Our aim is to support the digital transformation of the construction industry and our technology-enabled solutions help to improve efficiency, safety and compliance on site.

“We have enjoyed significant success in recent years, which is testament to our brilliant team and dedication to providing our customers with the best software and hardware solutions. It’s fantastic that our efforts have been recognised and that we can represent construction tech in the FT 1000.” In February 2020, Biosite was acquired by the ASSA ABLOY Group to help spearhead a new construction vertical as part of ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, offering electronic access, software and identity solutions. Samuel Asarnoj, VP New Business & Head of the Construction Vertical at ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, comments: “We recognised that Biosite had unique capabilities and the potential to help address construction’s productivity challenges through digitisation on site – both in the UK and globally. Accolades such as the FT 1000 are fantastic recognition of everything the business has achieved so far and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together during the next stage of the Biosite journey.”

ENGIE AND GENTOO PARTNERSHIP PROGRESSES WITH AWARD OF £16M IMPROVEMENT WORKS Regeneration and energy specialist, ENGIE, has been appointed to deliver a variety of regeneration programmes by Sunderland-based housing association, Gentoo Group. As part of the Group’s wider £317m investment programme across its 29,000 home portfolio, the scope of the varied £16m work will include a variety of modernisation and safety improvement work across a number of Gentoo buildings, as well as the installation of new gas- condensing, energyefficient combination boilers and associated works to 1,000 properties in Washington as part of a district heating upgrade. Lee Francis, Area Director at ENGIE, said: “Resident welfare is at the core of all these projects and it is important that all households feel safe and secure in their homes.

We have a skilled team and vast experience in regeneration, which is further enhanced by our fantastic partnership with Gentoo. We have demonstrated our extensive abilities, with a number of projects already being delivered by us on Gentoo’s behalf. We’re currently re-roofing properties and repairing gable walls across thousands of properties in Houghton le Spring and Sunderland, whilst also installing Ground Source Heat Pumps, an innovative source of renewable energy, to seven tower blocks in Sunderland. Conan McKinley, Director of Asset Strategy at Gentoo, said: “We’re really pleased to continue our partnership with ENGIE and look forward to seeing the successful delivery of some really key projects over the coming months.” All three of the newly awarded projects will be managed separately, but all work will be completed with residents in occupation and ENGIE will work openly and closely with Gentoo customers throughout the duration of the projects to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum. Several consultation meetings and coffee mornings will be scheduled for those who are affected by these programmes of works; while dedicated Resident Liaison Officers will also be on hand at all times.

22 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020

Company News

BELLWAY BUILDS FENCES WITH LOCAL SCOUT GROUP Bellway Homes Ltd (Scotland West) has come to the rescue of a local scout group in Bishopton. The scouts sent out an SOS to replace the boundary fence of their hall in the centre of the village, which was falling apart.

When Bellway, who have a development Dargavel Village in Bishopton, learned about their plight they offered to replace the wire fence with a brand new, much sturdier wooden version. Andrew Woodrow, Chair of the Group Executive for the Scout Group, said: “We had a small post and wire fence in place previously, but when work

was done on underground pipes on our grounds it got pretty badly damaged and left in a poor state. Not only did it look awful, it was a trip hazard. I was aware Bellway were building in the area and wrote to them and asked if there was anything they could do for us. I was amazed when they said they would replace the existing fence with a brand new wooden one.

It looks absolutely terrific and I can’t thank Bellway enough, the whole place looks so much tidier and is much safer. Andy Borland, Construction Director, Bellway Homes Ltd (Scotland West), said: “We were delighted to help build a new fence for the Scout Group as we know what an important role the scouts play in the local community and that they are the first people to help others out, so it was nice to do something for them. We would like to thank KMS Fencing for their support in building this fence.” Bellway at Dargavel Village will feature 177, three bedroom semi detached homes and three and four bedroom detached homes in a quiet residential area with countryside views when complete.

DYER & BUTLER JOINS THE 5% CLUB TO UNDERLINE COMMITMENT TO APPRENTICES, GRADUATES AND SPONSORED STUDENTS Dyer & Butler, a multi-disciplined engineering services specialist focused on essential infrastructure including airports, railways and highways and part of M Group Services, has joined The 5% Club, an industry-led initiative focused on driving momentum into the recruitment of apprentices, graduates and sponsored students. The 5% Club is a movement of more than 300 employers providing ‘earn and learn’ opportunities to develop the skills and talents people need to become more employable and create meaningful careers. Companies joining The 5% Club commit to raising the number of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates on formal programmes to 5% of their total workforce within five years.

“All our members share an ethos of creating a skilled workforce through ‘earn and learn’ development programmes, helping people develop meaningful career paths.” Dyer and Butler Safety, Sustainability and Training Director, Steve Broom, added: “We invest heavily in training of our staff and we are currently exceeding the pledged 5%, with over 7% of our people in ‘earn and learn’ placements, demonstrating Dyer & Butler’s commitment towards investment in our people.” To find out more information please visit

Lady Cobham, Director General of The 5% Club, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Dyer & Butler into membership. The 5% Club provides a fantastic network of HR professionals, sharing and learning from each other.

Construction UK Magazine - April 2020 23


ENGEL HIGH-VIZ WORKWEAR HELPS SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT A brand new range of High Visibility protective safety clothing with 50% of the material made from recycled plastic bottles has been introduced by leading workwear manufacturer ENGEL WORKWEAR.

to not only do our bit to help improve the environment, but also be the first to use this versatile fabric to produce a unique range of lightweight, hardwearing and comfortable high-visibility clothing which will help keep our customers safe”

Called ‘Safety Light’ each item of clothing from the comprehensive collection can be verified to consist of polyester fibres ultimately spun from a specific number of plastic bottles to make up 50% of its content; this is combined with 40% cotton and 10% standard polyester (245 g/m2) to produce a cool-to-wear, durable fabric.

The smart, mix-and-match range includes boiler suits (containing 37 plastic bottles), work-jackets (20 bottles), trousers (19 bottles) with CORDURA kneepad pockets and elasticated waistband, bib-overalls (23 bottles) and shorts (14 bottles), all with many practical pockets and comfortdesign features; there is also a specific selection especially for women called ‘Ladies Light’, all with the same benefits. The ‘Safety Light’ range forms part of the company’s new 2020 ‘Safety’ collection which will be on display on Stand SH2430 at the Safety & Health Expo, ExCel Exhibition Centre, London: 8th-10th September 2020.

The long established Danish company has worked closely with UNIFI, one of the world’s most advanced recycling centres, which transforms the recycled bottles into a polyester yarn called REPREVE©. Commenting on his company’s innovative initiative, the CEO of Engel Workwear, John Engel said: “We are delighted to be able to make a positive contribution in helping to reduce the impact of the single-use Global plastic waste crisis by putting many thousands of otherwise discarded bottles to further practical purpose. By doing so, we are able

For more information contact Gareth Bladen – email: Telephone: +44(0) 7759 520034 or visit:

KNEE AND BODY PROTECTION FROM REDBACKS CUSHIONING Redbacks Cushioning Limited, developers of the award winning, ‘Leaf-Spring’ cushioning technology offers a range of products to help protect the knees and body from damage caused by kneeling. The Redbacks Pocket Kneepad, specifically designed to fit work trousers, features a flexible leaf-spring held within a thermoplastic honeycomb matrix which unlike foam or gel ensures a high compression rate and 100% recovery to its original shape. This combination and the inherent ‘memory’ aspect gives unique controlled weight distribution; the deceleration of pressure protects both the knees and body from potentially damaging impact forces and gives long lasting, anti-fatigue support; traditional foam or gel solutions create point-pressure

xx 24 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020

which focus the force or energy to a point which is then transmitted back into the knee joint and beyond. Easy to slide in and curved to fit comfortably around the knee, the water-resistant pads which conform to CE EN14404 Type 2 Level 1 help to protect against possible injury from sharp objects, wick away sweat and provide thermal protection from warm or cold surfaces; they are machine washable at 30°c and 100% recyclable. For more information or to become a supplier visit, email: or telephone: 01327 702104

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BREAKING THE CHAIN – AN ALL-INONE SOLUTION TO PLUMBING IN HIGH RISE CONSTRUCTION Love it or hate it, high rise living is here to stay. Here Richard Bateman, Technical Training Manager at RWC looks at how new innovations such as Tenant Valve Plus can make a big difference in the build process, despite being a small element of the project. In a world where demand for accommodation is increasing and affordable land is at a premium, high rise living is becoming a permanent addition to the built environment. The demand for new homes and accommodation has reached unprecedented levels, and with land prices increasing the answer’s not to spread out – it’s to go up. Whether it’s the answer to a rapidly expanding population or expensive real estate, high rise buildings provide an affordable solution which is also helping preserve precious greenbelt areas. With the UN predicting that 68% of the world’s

population will be living in megacities by 2050, there’s no sign that things will be changing any time soon. In creating tomorrow’s buildings however, architects and specifiers are having to do far more than simply think of grand designs. Quite apart from the aesthetics, high rise buildings present architects and specifiers with other key challenges, including speed of build and the technical performance of internal features such as water supply and control. Faced with stringent legislation as well as the increasingly informed requirements of governments, investors and even end-users, they also need to consider how the smallest details impact the big questions. And two of these questions relate to the key issues of speed and space.

Solving the challenges of speed and space We live in an era of instant gratification where people want answers, and they want them fast. This applies equally in construction, where people want homes and investors want a speedy financial return. Unfortunately, high rise projects are large and time-consuming. They’re also in the middle of cities, where access and environmental considerations add to the complications. For this reason, people are turning to new technologies such as prefabrication to save time and effort. Anything which delivers a time benefit has value, and this applies to everything from the largest items to the smallest components.

The other great challenge is space within the building itself. High rise buildings need a large amount of cabling and pipework to carry energy and water to each individual dwelling. This takes up precious space and understandably, architects want to keep this to a minimum, so they can give more living real estate to the occupant. But spare a thought for the poor installer who has to assemble and fit complicated equipment in highly confined areas. Difficult installations often cause delays during build and maintenance, all of which are counter to the build’s efficiency. As a result, specifiers also need to think about the detail of the products and technology they’re introducing into the building, making sure they’re easy to install, service and repair. Plumbing and heating installations provide a good example of this in practice.

The chain as a weak link While water is carried into the building via the mains, it then has to be delivered to each individual dwelling separately. To do so effectively, a water meter is needed, along with an isolating valve, pressure reducing valve (PRV) and stop valve, among others. First, these items need to be selected and specified by the consultant, who has to be sure they’ll perform as required - individually and in combination – while offering best value. To achieve this, they quite often source components from multiple vendors, and hope against hope that they’ll all arrive on time and be fully compatible. Then it’s the installer’s turn, who has to unpack and configure these components into a ‘chain’ for each dwelling, and then fit, flush and test each one individually. Doing this once is time-consuming. Multiply this by all the units in the building, and time quickly adds up. To save time, these chains of valves are often prefabricated off-site and then delivered, but this presents other problems. These include additional costs and difficulties in installing them because of their physical size once fully assembled, which can be up to 1 meter long in some cases. This can be made even worse when there is lack of space in the riser cupboards, where all of these products are housed. Typically, these are no bigger than they need to be, and quite often smaller than they should be, giving additional headaches to installers – sometimes quite literally as hands and heads bump against pipework and walls.

26 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020

Plumbing stop valve, a pressure reducing valve, a double check valve, a dual reading pressure gauge/test point and a connection point for a water meter. Packed into a single 311mm unit cartridge, it takes up much lesser space than an equivalent chain valve of individual components while performing exactly the same function. With the chain of valves, we also often assume that there are no leaks or unforeseen events, which, in reality is never often the case with construction. Finally, if an installer is called back for repair or maintenance, they’re faced with a variety of products to diagnose and solve, which in turn can cause delays and complications. It isn’t uncommon to see, for example, to detect/repair one small leak the whole system needs to be drained, creating havoc throughout the building and for its occupants.

A welcome tenant in multi-occupancy buildings

This valve provides effective control and monitoring of the water supply for owners and occupiers, and quick and easy installation for contractors. With easy access from the front, Tenant Valve Plus is easy to service without impacting the other dwellings. As it contains everything that’s needed, specifiers need not worry about incompatibility issues, sourcing from multiple vendors, and the risks of vendors discontinuing individual components which can create problems down the line if parts need replacing.

All-in-one thinking

That’s the concept behind the unique Tenant Valve Plus from Reliance Valves.

Multi-occupancy buildings are essentially an ‘all-inone’ concept helping solve critical accommodation challenges. Therefore, by solving a number of issues – including specification, speed of installation and space availability - an ‘all-in-one’ valve can contribute to their success. It’s this kind of thinking that will help the construction industry meet the ever-increasing demand for effectiveness and efficiency.

Purpose designed for multi-occupancy buildings, the Tenant Valve Plus is a self-contained unit with an integrated ball-type isolating valve, an approved

To learn more about Tenant Valves Plus and other solutions by Reliance Valves, please visit

Here is where both specifiers and installers would benefit from having one single unit that can be installed and delivers an all-in-one solution, easily, quickly and with a minimal footprint.

Contour Revamps Sovereign Range For 2020

Introducing Sovereign: Contour’s new range of wall and floor mounted heat convectors. Combining sleek design and functional usability, these convectors have been manufactured for office and sales areas, car showrooms, hotels and other public buildings. The Sovereign range is particularly suitable in spaces occupied by members of the public. In such environments, a low surface temperature is required to ensure effective heat output whilst maintaining safety. This new range is proving to be a popular product due to its simple and effortless design; an elegant substitute for standard panel radiators. If you’d like to improve the comfort of your workspace or public building, get in touch with one of our experts today.

Construction UK Magazine - April 2020 27

Construction Law

ISSUES CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS REGULARLY FACE THAT LEAD TO CONSTRUCTION DISPUTES The UK construction and civil engineering industry has the highest level of disputes; construction projects are usually lengthy, complex processes, with numerous parties involved and it is often impossible to foresee every issue and set out a contingency at the outset. The construction contract is thus ripe for error, greed and dispute, when something goes wrong all hell breaks loose, where everyone gets blamed and excuses to keep the cash, irrespective of the truth, happens. The commercial construction contract culture and set up is like a payment food chain, with the Employer instructing the project, at the top, dealing with a Main Contractor, who subsequently deals with subcontractors, who deal with sub/ subcontractors and so on. The money must transfer from the Employer to the bottom of the payment food chain and profit margin must be made in the middle. There is often an imbalance in power, where the subcontractor at the bottom of the chain is forced to accept onerous terms to initially win the contract. Construction law goes some way to outlaw such practice, there are many clauses commonly used that are void. The industry is made up of contractors where 90% are SMEs employing less than five people and these firms in particular, often don’t have the commercial resources to deal with or avoid disputes and implement commercial protection.

Construction disputes that arise mostly come down to money and the flow of money, where payment is the principle problem. The construction industry has its own laws to assist on payment issues through the Construction Act, providing payment rights and the right to adjudication, even if there are no contract clauses.

Arbicon have conducted numerous adjudications and got the money for Clients through the adjudication process, but it amazes me how many firms still do not understand the law on payment or that it exists to protect them. There are two types of claim, one is payment in default, where if you’re ignored when requesting payment, you get what you asked for, the other is the true value of the sum due. In theory if in default, as an example, you could legally charge £1m, when the work is worth £100,000, so the payer must be aware of the rules and the law, they must respond and deal with the payment claim or suffer the consequences of paying a higher sum. What you ask for is what you get if ignored! Issues that arise are caused by people, either due to error, incompetence or greed. Invariably, there will be poor planning at the outset in relation to the Scope of Work identified against the agreed price and time, including design and clear documentation. Many contracts are let on an ‘all-risks’ or ‘design and build’ basis, without properly considering what is going to be built, this does not stop disputes and the Client does not get what was envisaged. Lack of quality people, focus on identifying the scope with professional input at the outset, often leads to arguments when ambiguity and misinterpretations arise apparently, one of the main reasons why firms like Carillion went bust!

Construction Contractors often face issues and arguments other than payment that are commonplace and lead to payment disputes, including: • Design failure • Planning • Professional negligence • Fraud • Contract interpretation/obligations • Defects/workmanship • Variations • Delays • Insolvencies • Walk outs/termination/repudiation • Practical completion • Liquidated damages • Unforeseen losses and expenses • Notices/certificates • Onerous clauses (pay when paid, employer insolvency, retentions, damage to work etc) • Contractual problems Many construction disputes are an amalgamation of various issues; errors in design can lead to delays and additional costs that become the subject of disputes, variations can cause delays, especially when there is a substantial number, or the variations impact on work that is partially completed or nearing completion. Unreliable subcontractors can increase the risk of professional negligence and liquidated damages. The dispute in construction contracts is often also used to try to negotiate down paying for the final account on work done, by introducing allegations as above, it is not unusual for there to be a fight then a settlement for a lesser sum. That is the nature of the construction industry.

In my view if the injured party can get their reasonable costs of dealing with unscrupulous people and firms, it will help reduce the pain suffered especially for the majority of SME contractors. By Jonathan Nugent, Managing Director at Arbicon ADR Ltd

28 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020

SCHÖCK FEATURES IN YORKSHIRE POST REDEVELOPMENT STORY Regeneration across the whole of Leeds is resulting in a major transformation of the city. And one of the current developments is on the site of the previous headquarters of the Yorkshire Post. Around eight years ago “Yorkshire’s National Newspaper” moved from its long-standing home to new headquarters a couple of miles across the city. The previous 4.6 acre site is now a landmark four-phase development; and the immediate first phase will see the construction of an 18-storey residential tower due for completion in early 2021. The building benefits from extensive river frontage along the River Aire and will provide high-quality one, two and three bedroom apartments, a gym and an eleventh floor sky lounge. The proposal includes shops, resident’s amenity areas and an enhanced river corridor. Around 242 apartments are anticipated in this first phase and the brick-clad concrete frame building will feature a high number of spacious balconies, also of concrete construction.

First phase of the development (Image courtesy of The Harris Partnership – Wakefield Office)

Schöck has almost limitless variants available in its main Isokorb range, offering planners complete construction dependability and enormous freedom of design. On this project it is the tried and trusted Schöck load-bearing element for concrete-toconcrete cantilever balcony detailing that is being installed. The units feature an HTE compression module made of high-density microfibre reinforced concrete, with an 80mm insulation thickness. The elements transfer both negative moments and positive shear forces.

Avoiding thermal bridging is critical Balconies are effectively large external thermal fins on buildings. If there is ineffective insulation in the detailng, there will be local heat loss, resulting in more energy being required to maintain the internal temperature of the building. This is one major consequence of thermal bridging, but there are other issues too. Low internal surface temperatures in the area of the thermal bridge can cause condensation, leading not only to structural integrity problems with absorbent materials such as insulation products, or plasterboard, it also encourages mould growth. This can result in serious health implications for residents in the form of asthma and allergies. So for any

Design freedom and construction dependability

Graphic of a ‘typical’ insitu situation

project involving balcony detailing, the prevention of thermal bridging is a critical issue. And one of the most effective solutions available, is the Isokorb structural thermal break from Schöck, As the leading international supplier of structural thermal breaks,

In addition to concrete-to-concrete, the comprehensive Schöck Isokorb range offers solutions for concrete-to-steel, steel-to-steel, a thermally insulating connection for reinforced concrete walls – and even a maintenance free alternative to wrapped parapets. All products meet full compliance with the relevant UK building regulations; have NHBC approval; offer LABC Registration and independent BBA Certification. For a free copy of the Schöck Thermal Bridging Guide; the Schöck Specifiers Guide or to view the range of downloadable software, contact Schöck on 01865 290 890 or visit the website at

The Isokorb type K for concrete-to-concrete

Construction UK Magazine - April 2020 29


MANAGING HEALTH RISKS WITHIN THE PLUMBING INDUSTRY In 2019 Health and Safety Executive reported that 1.4 million workers suffered from an illness or injury that was caused within or by their place of work. For those in the construction industries, these health risks increase substantially, due to exposure to harmful materials and highrisk work environments. Furthermore, the HSE data suggest that within the plumbing industry, 2,930 workers (per 100,000 people) experienced problems with respiratory illnesses and skin disease, with further concern over HAVS. With World Plumbers Day approaching, CE Safety, the health and safety training provider, wanted to highlight the most common health risks for those in the plumbing sector and offer advice on how you can take action to prevent these diseases and injuries. According to HSE, the most debilitating diseases occur within the respiratory system. These illnesses include COPD and Asthma, something that many in the construction industry will face throughout their careers. Although these are common risks within this sector, there are preventative measures that can be taken to avoid or decrease the risks. COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) will often manifest itself as difficulty breathing, coughing, mucus production and also wheezing. This can occur when the individual is exposed to high levels of dust or breathing in harmful substances. Gary Ellis from CE Safety advices: “One of the most effective ways to prevent COPD, is

to ensure access to the correct equipment, such as industrial face masks. The best masks to request from your employer, or invest in for your workers, are the FFP2 or FFP3. These will ensure protection against high levels of dust from substances such as silica and wood.

Another preventative measure is to try and decrease the levels of dust within the work environment. This is easily done by ensuring you are using the correct equipment for the job, using water to decrease the levels of dust created and investing in vacuum extraction where possible. Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome occurs due to overuse of high vibrational equipment such as saws and drills. It is one of the most common health risks within construction, but there are steps that can be taken to avoid risks to workers. Ellis adds: “Employers should provide a heavy rotation of workers, to ensure workers are not exposed to vibrations for long periods. This can help prevent long term damage to the hands and arms and reduce the risk of illnesses such as carpal tunnel, muscle wasting and Reynaud’s disease.

Workers can also think carefully about the types of equipment they use for certain jobs, opting for low vibration equipment and techniques. For example, bursting or crushing in place of using a pneumatic drill.

“Employers can prevent the risk of circulatory diseases within their workers, such as Reynaud’s, by making sure all workers have warm clothing and layers to keep their core temperature high and aid with circulation.” One of the biggest organs affected by plumbing and construction work, is the skin, particularly of the hands. Workers use their hands as their main tool, so keeping the skin on your hands in good condition is extremely important, to avoid a painful or complete inability to work. With the exposure to various chemicals and materials, as well as overwashing, workers can often experience skin problems like contact dermatitis, irritation, inflammation and cracking. When the skin on the hands is damaged, it can invite grime and bacteria which will create further and more serious health concerns. Gary Ellis shares a number of ways you can take better care of the skin whilst working, some of the easiest are: • Make sure to provide/request good quality hand soap • Wear gloves as often as possible when handling materials and substances, that could irritate or dry out the skin on the hands • Make sure to use a nourishing moisturiser after washing hands, keeping the hands moisturised will help to soothe dryness and inflamation • Use industrial strength anti-bacterial wipes to dispel dirt and grime Take preventative measures where possible, check the skin frequently to catch any problems in their early stages and take measures immediately to treat any soreness, redness or cracking, before it can become something more serious.

30 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020


Improving health and safety on construction sites by use of innovative technology By Nicola Harrison, Health and Safety Manager at Plastic Surgeon Health and safety is a priority across all employment industries, especially in the construction sector where heavy equipment, unstable structures and hazardous airborne materials are prevalent.

and construction is no different. Businesses can use VR to conduct safety training by exposing workers to dangerous environments, such as working from great heights.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 30 construction workers in the UK sustained fatal injuries in 2019, while a further 54,000 workers were affected by non-fatal injuries. Furthermore, 79,000 workers suffered ill-health, both mental and physical.

Augmented reality – AR allows for the use of data and imagery to be overlaid in realtime on buildings or spaces where work is due to be carried out. Creating 3D models of development plans can help pinpoint hazards throughout the project, allowing contractors to plan ahead and make the required changes to ensure health and safety is optimised.

Businesses have come on leaps and bounds in providing essential safety measures for their employees. Indeed, the new international standard ISO 45001 provides a framework to improve occupational health and safety management and there are many innovative methods progressive companies are utilising to further enhance health and safety in construction. With pioneering technological advancements at the forefront of modern society, it’s only natural companies such as those in the construction sector look towards adopting and practising new technology-driven methods to improve the health and safety of their workers. After all, technology has a unique way of making things better by creating efficient methods of accomplishing tasks. To minimise the risk of injury, companies have experimented and implemented the use of: Drones – Becoming popular in construction, drones can carry out a wide range of tasks such as site surveying to inspect and identify potential on-site hazards. Images taken from drones can also be used to measure changes as work progresses to mitigate any potential risk to working conditions. Wearables – From hard hats that are fitted with carbon monoxide sensors to work boots that can connect to Wi-Fi, send GPS coordinates, and even tell if users have fallen or are tired, smart wearables are gradually becoming more available on the market and are invaluable in detecting signs of danger, such as gas, heat, and lack of movement.

While smart technology is in its infancy in being implemented across the UK construction sector, for it to comprehensively integrate into the work environment, a culture of best working practise must be adopted.

review controls and swiftly put preventative measures in place. Ultimately, by using innovative technology to empower those working in construction with the knowledge and understanding of the hazards they face, it provides them with the tools and confidence to work safely in varying degrees of at-risk environments. Nicola Harrison is the Health and Safety Manager at Plastic Surgeon, the UK’s largest surface repair specialist. Founded in 1995, Plastic Surgeon deliver specialist repair services to the UK’s largest construction firms, house builders, insurers and homeowners nationwide.

At Plastic Surgeon, health and safety is embedded in the business’ day-to-day operations and is at the forefront of its everyday processes for staff. With an overarching health and safety scheme, the Devon-based firm has recently introduced its own bespoke training department to ensure that recruited finishers have the appropriate qualifications required to safely work in potentially hazardous environments. Training includes regular Tool Box Talks, which ensures staff are engaged with relevant and up-to-the minute health and safety issues. In addition, the company has introduced a new online COSHH Assessment App, enabling instant access to all current assessments to illustrate potential hazards and emergency procedures on ongoing projects. The company is always looking at how it can incorporate technology to further enhance its health and safety policies. It’s Workplace IT System includes the latest health and safety information and training collateral, as well as being able to record issues and accidents. These reports can then be used to forecast issues, allowing the company to

Mobile applications – Apps are a costeffective and resourceful tool for enhancing safety in hazardous work environments. Particularly beneficial to those working alone, safety apps, such as the Stay Safe App, can feature ‘panic buttons’ and trigger GPS tracking if an employee injures themselves and needs help. Virtual reality – VR is becoming commonplace in most work environments

Construction UK Magazine - April 2020 31

Housing THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BUILDING HOMES AND BUILDING COMMUNITIES Authored by Chris Coxon, Head of Marketing at Eurocell plc - the UK’s leading manufacturer, distributor and recycler of PVC-U window and door systems. The National Housing Federation has said that the UK housing shortage will only be solved with the right mix of private properties, social rent, intermediate affordable rent and shared ownership properties, so that UK residents have access to affordable homes. But is there more to it than that? It’s true that the UK currently has a shortage of 3.91 million homes, and it is estimated that to address this issue 340,000 new homes – the largest on record - must be built every year until 2031. However, it’s vitally important that homes are not simply built in volume, but that they are created with supporting infrastructure to meet the needs and demands of occupants. For example, one issue that is often associated with modern developments is a lack of community spirit. The sense of “togetherness” – or the glue that holds communities together – is increasingly lacking. This stance on the issue was backed up by our recent research which revealed that 66% of people feel that too much focus is placed on solely building homes, as opposed to rounded communities. So, what else did people have to say?

Building Over half of those polled for our Future Communities report stated that they feel that quickly building a high volume of homes negatively impacts community spirit. Clearly, this absence of a cohesive neighbourhood is an issue that impacts occupants across the board, including a third of respondents in social housing who

said that the developments of the future need to be built in a way that encourages community spirit. From this, it is clear that there needs to be just as much focus on building communities as there is on building homes.

to be developed, 32% of people believe that not enough has been done to support the development of doctors, dentists and hospitals, with a further 31% saying they want to see more done to develop schools and nurseries.


Respondents also said that more should be done to provide parks (28%), leisure facilities such as sports and craft centres (26%) and amenities such as cafes (21%), highlighting further that communities cannot simply be created by building a high volume of houses, as the surrounding area and facilities play a major role in social cohesion. As a result, there needs to be greater collaboration between planners and service providers to develop the facilities that ensure fully functioning communities.

As the UK builds the number of homes it requires in the coming years, it is crucial to ensure that the services and infrastructures that people rely on in their day-to-day lives are also developed. In our report, 69% of people said they feel that not enough consideration is given to this during the planning process for homes. This led to 31% of respondents saying that greater consideration needed to be given to the design and build of multiuse buildings during the planning of new developments. Evidently, more needs to be done to ensure that there are an adequate number of facilities, such as schools and doctors’ surgeries, available. Again, social housing is significantly impacted with 39% of people saying that building social housing developments with more facilities around them would make them more appealing. Looking at the types of services and facilities that need

Insight With such a shortage of available housing, there is a risk that the homes and developments of the future will be built too quickly and without proper consideration for the neighbourhood they will either help or hinder. The developers, construction firms and architects are ultimately responsible for this outcome, as they are the people that will be at the forefront of modern infrastructure and residential construction in the coming years. But in addition to these people, we cannot forget the key role that the government must play in ensuring current and future regulation is fit for purpose. Nor should we underestimate the value of community residents themselves, whose views must be incorporated into the design of our built environment from the outset. Only when the sector takes a fully collaborative approach to construction will the communities of the future be a success. The Future Communities report can be downloaded in full here.

32 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020


The National Construction Expo - The Arena MK, Milton Keynes - 6th May, 2020 The National Construction Expo, which is being held in the Arena MK, Milton Keynes on 6th May 2020, will show how the construction industry can meet the challenges facing a modern Britain by adopting innovative technologies and techniques in order to design and construct the sustainable buildings and infrastructure required by a growing population and to help businesses adapt to the challenges of the unfolding fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). Employing more than 2.5 million people, the construction industry contributes over £110 billion annually to the UK economy, equating to about 6% of total economic output. However, a radical improvement in the overall performance of the industry is required if the UK is to successfully complete the greatest construction programmes in its history, entailing investment of more than £600 billion over a decade, with at least £44 billion for housing. This will encompass building more homes that are affordable in the places where people want to live and delivering major infrastructure projects such as Crossrail. The Government has set ambitious targets for the industry in its Construction 2025 strategy including: • 33% reduction in both initial cost of construction and the whole life cost of assets from 2010/09 levels; • 50% reduction in the overall time from inception to completion for new build and refurbished asses (based on industry standard in 2013); • 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment compared to 1990; • 50% reduction in the trade gap between total exports and total imports for construction products and materials (from February 2013 deficit of £6 billion).

• The National Construction Expo 2020 in conjunction with its complementary, co-located events will attempt to present solutions to these challenges, by providing a forum for key stakeholders across the industry to gather to discuss pressing issues, enhance knowledge and provide a networking opportunity for those involved in the finance, design, construction and management of the UK’s buildings, infrastructure and industrial projects. The National Construction Expo will highlight some of the innovative technologies and ways of achieving a more highly skilled workforce in order to transform the industry’s productivity across all major sectors – housing, infrastructure, repairs and maintenance. Key Themes With its comprehensive Conference agenda along with a series of seminars and workshops, accompanied by an extensive array of exhibition stands, showcasing the latest products, services and technology for the construction, engineering, sustainable building, maintenance and architectural sectors, the National Construction Expo and its co-located events will cover the following: • Digital technologies to enhance the efficiency of construction techniques - eg Building Information Modelling (BIM), sensors, data analytics and smart systems technologies and the Information Management Landscape (IML); • Offsite manufacturing technologies to minimise the wastage and inefficiencies associated with onsite construction, and

• •

to speed up the construction process and reduce disruption; Manufacturing technologies and production systems necessary for developing and delivering new digital building designs; Energy generation and storage technologies to reduce the running costs of buildings; The development of digital building designs for use in procurement for infrastructure projects; How to adopt a whole life asset performance approach to change from focusing on the costs of construction to the costs of a building across its life cycle; Construction 4.0 and AI for design and build.

The National Construction Expo 2020 will also highlight other key themes of importance such as: Brexit implications; jobs, skills, training and education; infrastructural investment; public & private housing; procurement; finance; building materials & services innovation; Foreign Direct Investment (FDI); and Sustainability. Co-located Events Visitors are free to move between the specialised, complementary events being held under the umbrella of the National Construction Expo 2020. These include: • The Architecture, Design & Planning Show; • BIM Live; • Building Innovation Live; • The Construct ICT Show; • Fit-out & Interior Live; • Lean Construction Live; • Offsite & Modular Construction Live; • QEHS in Construction Summit; • The Smart and Green Building Show. For further information contact Garreth Thompson on Tel +353 1 6120880; Email or visit

Construction UK Magazine - April 2020 33


CONSTRUCTION EXPO 2020 Arena MK, Milton Keynes, 6th May 2020

Key Statistics

2,122 126 51 2

4 39% of visitors were C- Level

Visitors Speakers Exhibitors Sponsors Media Partners




of visitors said they would return next year

of visitors were decision makers

of the visitors rate the event as good - excellent

Event Pillars Construction

Modular & Offsite Construction

Fitout & Interior

Building Innovation

Health & Safety


Architecture Design & Planning

Smart & Green Building

Civil Engineering

Lean Construction


Facility Management & Maintenance

Garreth Thompson Event Manager

Email: Telephone: +44 207 183 7959

People On The Move

SALES DIRECTOR AT LEADING HOMEBUILDER SHEDS LIGHT ON BEING A WOMAN IN CONSTRUCTION Jan Ruston, Sales Director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes North Midlands, has spoken about her experience as a woman in an industry typically perceived to be male-dominated. After working as a secretary for an estate agent from the age of 16, Jan had initially viewed housebuilding as primarily consisting of men. Upon starting her career at Barratt and David Wilson Homes however, she soon realised that the company was committed to promoting equality and opportunity for all employees. Jan said: “Some people still perceive the building industry to be an oldfashioned and male-dominated business, however this is not the case. Women are respected and encouraged equally and equality is a really important element of the workplace at Barratt and David Wilson Homes.”

I think it’s really important to see women in male-dominated industries because it brings different perspectives and opinions into decision making and drives better engagement. In my experience, at Barratt and David Wilson Homes we are all viewed as individuals and opinions are valued regardless of gender.

Jan believes that women may be deterred from joining the industry due to a lack of education on the opportunities and support available to women. She believes that better representation in an industry surrounded by stereotypes can highlight the opportunities available for women, while there are many ways that developers can benefit from a significant female presence in their workforce. On these mutual benefits, Jan continued: “I think it’s really important to see women in male-dominated industries because it brings different perspectives and opinions into decision making and drives better engagement. In my experience, at Barratt and David Wilson Homes we are all viewed as individuals and opinions are valued regardless of gender.” On her own success as a woman in the housebuilding industry, Jan said: “I feel very proud to be a Director on our board and to be part of a successful division. If I had been asked at the age of 16 where my career was going, I would have been over the moon to say I would be a Director of a blue-chip company such as ours. Every day is different and I enjoy decision making and driving the business forward. I love a challenge and I am full of energy and enthusiasm every day as a result of the work I do.” Chris Southgate, Managing Director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes North Midlands, said: “Jan is an excellent role model for any woman in the homebuilding industry and we are extremely lucky to have her as part of the team here. As a leading housebuilder, ensuring that stereotypes are removed from the workplace is at the forefront of our aims so that all employees can progress and achieve in their chosen industry.” When giving her advice to any women who are considering a career in the building industry, Jan said: “I would advise any woman thinking of joining the construction industry to determine what they want to achieve and to give it their best shot. I have never looked back and there are a number of fantastic opportunities for women in all areas of the homebuilding industry.”

36 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020

BALL & BERRY STRENGTHENS BIRMINGHAM OFFICE WITH ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR APPOINTMENT Leading Approved Inspector, Ball & Berry, has appointed Steve Elliott as associate director of its Birmingham office, as the building control specialist continues to bolster its footprint and client base across the West Midlands. With more than 40 years’ experience, the ex-Head of Building Control for Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council has held several senior public and private sector roles. Steve joins Ball & Berry from Acivico, where as National Accounts Manager he was responsible for overseeing a diverse range of commercial projects of every type and size in Birmingham and across the UK. Reporting into regional director, Richard Cymler, Steve’s remit is to strengthen Ball & Berry’s presence across Birmingham, the West Midlands and further afield, ensuring it remains the go-to Approved Inspector amongst end clients, developers, contractors, architects and more. Since opening in March 2019, Ball & Berry’s Birmingham office has achieved impressive growth, with its portfolio comprising Phase Two of the 15-storey hotel and 37-storey residential block at Exchange Square following its support on the completion of Phase One; New Garden Square in Edgbaston; 395 apartments in the Jewellery Quarter with Sir Robert McAlpine; the construction of two 14-storey tower buildings in Coventry for Vita Student; and the expansion of the Resorts World Arena at the NEC. Commenting on his appointment, Steve said: “Joining a long-established Approved Inspector with an enviable national portfolio was a great attraction to me, but what sets Ball & Berry apart is their reputation for delivering building control the right way.

People On The Move

Steve’s expertise spans several landmark projects, including securing the green light to transform a derelict late 1920’s Art Deco former theatre in Bradford into a 3,800-capacity live music venue; the £28million redevelopment of the NEC Arena creating new seating, hospitality, bars, restaurants and other essential customer facilities, as well as improved backstage areas; and delivering Arena Central on a restricted city centre footprint to create the 1.2 million sq. ft mixeduse (office, hotel, leisure and highrise residential) development.

Birmingham has the highest economic growth outside of London, which combined with the city council’s ‘Big City Plan’, the upcoming Commonwealth Games and now the green light for HS2, makes for a very attractive development location. We’ve brought talent from our other UK offices to the city to support the industry’s new and established players who are targeting Birmingham for their next project, and Steve’s high-profile appointment will complement our credentials and client base, whilst driving forward our strategy to ensure that we always deliver exceptional service to every client.

Richard Cymler, regional director for Ball & Berry, added: “Steve is a real powerhouse in our field and his appointment underpins our commitment to creating the leading Approved Inspector firm.

Ball & Berry has staff across offices in Preston, Manchester and Birmingham, and specialises in building control services across a variety of industry sectors.

“Some of those operating in our industry will chase work at any cost, but Ball & Berry prioritise and protect the interests of their clients to ensure they deliver the best service. The team possess the same integrity and ethos that I share, and I’m looking forward to working with them all.”

AMEY UTILITIES APPOINTS NEW POWER BUSINESS DIRECTOR Leading public services provider, Amey, has appointed Nick Maggs to the position of business director for its utilities power business. Nick, who has worked for Amey since 2013, is an important addition to the senior leadership team and helps to further strengthen the utilities offering. Before joining Amey, Nick held a number of senior management positions for Enterprise, which was acquired by Amey in 2013, and worked as development director and managing director for its power business. Nick has a wealth of experience providing infrastructure services to the public sector and the regulated utilities sector - and is well placed to ensure Amey is delivering impeccable customer service for its existing clients, while also helping to diversify its portfolio of work.

Construction UK Magazine - April 2020 37

Project News

CONLON CONSTRUCTION BREAKS GROUND ON ALL-NEW TRAFFORD SCHOOL, THE ORCHARDS Excitement is building for students, parents and staff as Conlon Construction breaks ground on Trafford’s all-new Special Education Needs (SEN) school, The Orchards. Since its opening in 2016, the special needs school has occupied a building on the Acre Hall Primary School site in Urmston, however its brand new campus will include 14 classrooms and a nursery, in total accommodating 96 children aged three to 11. A host of facilities will also be built on-site to support the wellbeing and personalised curriculum of pupils, including a state-ofthe-art hydrotherapy pool – marking The Orchards as one of Greater Manchester’s only schools with this level of provision. Commissioned by the Education and Skills Funding Agency on behalf of The Dunham Trust, the new school will reach completion in August 2020, just in time for the start of the next school year. From its new site located in Urmston, Trafford, The Orchards will continue to

cater for pupils with complex needs and speech and communication difficulties, including those with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SCLN), Severe Learning Difficulty (SLD), Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty (PMLD) and Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC). The school will use the new facility to augment its innovative approaches, such as speech and language therapy and a bespoke need-led curriculum personalised to each and every pupil. A specialist provider in the delivery of bespoke SEN schools, Conlon Construction actively seeks out opportunities which make an impact on the local community and, in alignment with its commitments around social value initiatives, the company will be working with the school to develop a curriculum programme to include learning opportunities and visits from construction industry experts. Conlon Construction is committed to leaving a lasting legacy that lives on beyond the build and benefits the wider community. The contractor has considerable school building experience

in delivering bespoke schools for special education needs purposes; it recently handed over Cumbria Academy for Autism, a high-quality learning environment for autistic children and young people ages four to 19. Phil Ashall, EFA framework delivery manager at Conlon Construction, said: “We are proud to work with The Dunham Trust to provide a brand new special education needs school, which will truly stand out against what other schools in the region are able to offer. The Orchards will create an outstanding environment in which students will have the space and facilities they need to learn and grow.

We’re committed to developing strong connections within the local community, and expanding children’s horizons when it comes to understanding industries such as ours, and we look forward to continuing our work with the school in the months and years to come. Jayne Carmichael, interim CEO at The Dunham Trust, said: “This is a very exciting time for The Orchards. The Orchards is celebrating its ‘good’ Ofsted inspection [July 2019] and the purpose-built school will provide significantly improved facilities.” Helen O’Brien, head of school at The Orchards School, said: “The staff are very much looking forward to supporting disabled learners and their families, in a bespoke learning environment. The school is set to provide both educational and community facilities which will enable it to become a beacon of excellence within the already vibrant Special Educational Needs and Disability sector in Trafford.”

38 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020

IMPROVING SHOT BLASTER EFFICIENCY Surface preparation equipment manufacturer releases new shot blaster To increase the capabilities of its shot blaster range, surface preparation equipment manufacturer National Flooring Equipment has released its A series. This range of industry leading shot blasters was manufactured completely in-house and designed and built based on feedback from contractors to improve efficiency in residential, commercial and industrial applications. Building on the company’s 50 years’ experience as a high-quality, dependable manufacturer, National Flooring Equipment is now distributing its new Apex series of shot blasters to help contractors improve on-site productivity without compromising on quality or safety. Contractors can choose from a range of machines that vary in size and power to meet all potential applications — the series includes the A95, A96, A97, A12 and A30. The series was built with the customer in mind and the in-house engineers used their personal expertise in the industry to develop machines that are productive but are also easy, comfortable and safe to operate. For example the A95, National Flooring Equipment’s smallest machine, has a height-adjustable handle with built-in operator controls so that users can comfortably operate the equipment. It also has front swivel casters to increase manoeuvrability and control so that contractors can deliver a more consistent concrete profile. “Choosing to manufacture our new A series in-house has given us the opportunity to deliver high-quality machines that contractors actually need,” explained Connie Johnson, vice president of marketing at National Flooring Equipment. “We regularly speak

to customers at trade shows, in training sessions and in meetings with sales teams to understand the regular and new challenges that contractors face in the industry. We rely on their feedback and experiences to ensure that all of our equipment helps them to face these challenges efficiently.” “We worked with team members from areas across the company, such as accounting, customer service, engineering and sales, to make this new range deliver everything that an existing or potential new customer might need,” explained Derek Olson, president of National Flooring Equipment. “Our in-house engineers used this insight from multiple areas of the business to develop equipment with the craftsmanship and advanced engineering to solve the tough jobs that our customers approach us with as well as help them face new challenges in surface preparation.” National Flooring Equipment’s line of shot blasters are rugged but versatile and can strip, clean and profile concrete in one step. The company offers machines that vary in size to suit a range of surface removal applications, from the A95 8-inch manual to the powerful A30 ride-on shot blaster. Shot blasters can produce a wide range of concrete surface profiles, from a light brush blast to an exposed aggregate profile, depending on the power or the machine and the size of the steel shot. Because the applications for shot blasting are now much broader than the machine was originally designed for, it can be difficult for a contractor to know which machine is best for the application. Contractors should assess the job size, budget, production requirements and coatings to choose the right machine from the range.

Our in-house engineers used this insight from multiple areas of the business to develop equipment with the craftsmanship and advanced engineering to solve the tough jobs that our customers approach us with as well as help them face new challenges in surface preparation. Contractors can also rely on National Flooring Equipment to provide the support, training and equipment they need to maximise productivity on the job site. The company offers personal training sessions for customers that want to learn how to efficiently and safely set up, use and maintain their machines. Contractors can also buy accessories and safety equipment, such as magnetic shot-blast sweepers and dust collectors to keep the site clean and safe. Interested in finding out more about the A series and the rest of National Flooring Equipment’s machines? Visit and get in touch.

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Embrace life safety excellence at FIREX International 2020

8-10 September 2020, ExCeL London FIREX International is the UK’s largest event dedicated to the fire safety profession, connecting more than 130 suppliers of innovative products and solutions with thousands of engaged visitors from over 70 countries. The event is completely free of charge and its comprehensiveness have established it as an essential global hub for sharing and demonstrating fire safety excellence. With major fire incidents constantly in the headlines, FIREX International is more important than ever for creating a transparent, effective and progressive industry meeting the fire safety challenges of 2020, driven by the show’s guiding ethos of making life safety ‘a right, not a privilege.’ The show is your platform for sourcing the very latest products and solutions across passive fire protection, fire prevention and fire detection, including sprinkler and suppression systems, emergency lighting and more. It is a unique opportunity for you to meet and build connections with major, industry-leading suppliers such as Advanced, Apollo, Hochiki, Kentec and much more. You’ll meet technicians on hand to explain, discuss and demonstrate their solutions, so you can understand whether they fit your fire safety strategy and make the right purchasing decisions with confidence.

Your free pass also gives you access to an extensive programme of seminars, workshops and keynote speeches designed to help you increase your knowledge, boost your career, stay aligned with legislation and new developments. Taking place at the Expertise and Guidance Theatre, you can learn from top industry experts and thought leaders covering diverse topics such as the aftermath of Grenfell, recent legislation and best practice. And with thousands of visitors in attendance, FIREX International presents you with an unrivalled networking experience. Each year, the show attracts manufacturers, installers, end-users and consultants eager to do business, ensuring you can get a broad overview of the market, add valuable new contacts to your address book and guarantee a return-oninvestment. You can also keep up to date with key industry developments, trends and technologies by meeting key fire safety associations such as the FIA, LPCB, FPA and ASFP, and find out what they have to offer you and your business. One of the most unique aspects of FIREX International is the opportunity you have to engage with an enormous network of professionals and suppliers from related industries at eight free-to-attend colocated shows. You can grow your expertise and find new avenues to expand your business with insights from security, health and safety, facilities management, smart buildings, workplace wellbeing, forensics and emergency services with your FIREX International event badge.

FIREX International is an essential date on the fire safety calendar. Make sure you seize this valuable opportunity to learn from experts, share best practice and enhance your ability to protect people and assets and get your free all-access pass now.

40 Construction UK Magazine - April 2020

FIREX International is your chance to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and legislation within the fire and life safety industry. Join the fire safety community to source hundreds of solutions across passive fire protection, fire prevention and detection; sprinkler and suppression systems, emergency lighting and much more.

18,000+ visitors




hours of seminars

Register for your free ticket at Co-located with

By Informa Markets

Project News KIER REAPPOINTED TO ESSEX CONSTRUCTION FRAMEWORK Kier has been reappointed to the Essex Construction Framework. It is the second iteration of the framework and has a combined value of between £35m to £50m per annum across three core Lots. Kier secured a place on Lot 2 for projects valued between £1- 4.5m and Lot 3 for projects exceeding £4m. The four-year framework will commence in March 2020 and finish in March 2024. It will oversee the procurement of a range of new build and refurbishment schemes across the education sector. Mark Dady, managing director at Kier Regional Building Eastern, said: “We’re very pleased to have been successfully reappointed to the Essex Construction Framework. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Essex County Council to deliver projects procured through the framework.” On the previous Essex Construction Framework, Kier was awarded both the first project and the largest project on the framework. White Bridge Primary School in Loughton, a £2.5m project consisting of nine classroom extension and refurbishment of three existing classrooms, was completed in December 2017. Beaulieu Park School in Chelmsford, a £31m project delivering a primary and secondary school, sports facilities and associated external works, was completed in February 2019. In February 2020, Kier was appointed to the final job on the previous framework. It was selected to deliver Wickford Pupil Referral Unit, a £5m project delivering specialist services for 25 primary school children and 75 secondary school children.

£113 MILLION RESEARCH HUB TOPS OUT AT UOFG CONSTRUCTION REACHES MAJOR MILESTONE The construction of a £113 million research facility at the University of Glasgow has reached a key milestone, with the building topping out. A topping out ceremony marked the completion of the five-story concrete frame, and the half-way point in construction. When complete, the Research Hub will be a unique and world-leading facility in the heart of the West End of Glasgow. It will provide state-of-the-art facilities and inspiring spaces where worldchanging research can thrive. It will co-locate academics working across five themes to support problem-led research programmes and increase the University’s research capacity by around 600 highvalue jobs.

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The five theme areas will bring together a wide range of capabilities to tackle global challenges, including digital chemistry that will contribute to efforts to develop more effective treatments for Alzheimer’s; working with partners in the Global South to create more sustainable, equitable societies; and using quantum technology to revolutionise medical imaging. The topping out ceremony was led by Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, ViceChancellor and Principal of the University of Glasgow, Andrew Ridley-Barker, Multiplex Operations Director for Europe, Randy Kray, Senior Principal and Director for Science and Technology and Alan Addison, Project Lead and Principal from architects HOK. Sir Anton said: “The University of Glasgow has fostered world-changing research for centuries and our major new investment in the Research Hub will ensure we continue to shape the world around us for years to come. This exciting development will provide a world-class research facility at the heart of our new Western campus. It will bring together academics from many different disciplines to create a unique and inspiring community, working to address some of the biggest challenges facing society.”

Project News

Darren Pike, Multiplex Project Director, said: “Multiplex are delighted to be working in partnership with the University of Glasgow to deliver the Research Hub. We are proud to have reached this landmark milestone on programme and look forward to delivering this world class research facility within the heart of the new Western Campus.” Gary Clark, Regional Leader for Science and Technology from HOK’s London Studio said: “I am delighted that the University of Glasgow’s Research Hub has reached this important milestone of topping out. This building has already built up a global following due to its uniqueness and all eyes are on it as it’s set to be a ground-breaking, innovative facility for interdisciplinary research. I am especially proud that this is in my home city of Glasgow and hope this will be the beginning of a sustained presence for HOK in Scotland.” The Research Hub will be the second building delivered through the University of Glasgow’s £1 billion Campus Development Programme. It will be home to academics working across five themes: Creative Economies & Cultural Transformation, Digital Chemistry, International Development, Quantum and Nanotechnology, and Technologies Touching Life. The ground floor of the building will be publicly accessible, with café and exhibition spaces fostering engagement with research partners and the wider community.

WILLMOTT DIXON OPENS DOORS AT UNIVERSITY OF KENT’S NEW KENT AND MEDWAY MEDICAL SCHOOL’S CONSTRUCTION SITE TO INSPIRE THE NEXT GENERATION Willmott Dixon will be giving local residents a unique glimpse behind the scenes at the University of Kent’s new Kent and Medway Medical School’s construction site as part of the national Open Doors week between 16 - 21 March. Opening the doors to Kent and Medway Medical School and other construction sites is part of Willmott Dixon’s aim to inspire a new generation to consider a career in construction, as well as allow people in the community to see what is happening behind the hoardings and meet the construction team. Anyone wanting to register for a tour should visit https://opendoors. construction/. Reaching out to the next generation at this year’s Open Doors is even more important following the 2019 Construction Skills Network report by the CITB which predicted approximately 168,500 construction jobs will be created in the UK over the next five years, with construction employment set to reach 2.79 million by 2023. Willmott Dixon has put construction in the spotlight on a number of occasions in the past few months. In November, it was the UK’s highest placed company in the FT’s inaugural list of European

Open Doors week offers an invaluable opportunity to get people inspired about construction and enables us to show the fantastic new technology, range of roles, and rewarding careers available to the next generation. leaders for workplace diversity and inclusion, coming 3rd out of 700 organisations ranked for their approach to inclusivity, ahead of household names like Ikea, Google and Tesla. It also won a third Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in five years, securing the accolade for sustainable development for the second time, as well as being the only contractor to feature in the top ten of the Sunday Times’ Top 100 Best Companies to work for list in 2019. Group chief executive, Rick Willmott said, “Open Doors week offers an invaluable opportunity to get people inspired about construction and enables us to show the fantastic new technology, range of roles, and rewarding careers available to the next generation.”

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Project News

EMBODIED CARBON USED IN HOUSING Springfield Meadows is a new zero carbon, custom build development in Oxfordshire, with a focus on high quality design and place making, created by Ssassy Property. Springfield Meadows has been recognised by international sustainability charity Bioregional for demonstrating global leadership in One Planet LivingÂŽ. Its location provides a superb combination of rural living with easy access to village, town, and city amenities. 25 new homes have been approved for construction on the edge of this beautiful village site, just seven miles from Abingdon and eleven miles from the centre of Oxford.

5 of the 16 generously sized custom build plots are still available. There are also nine affordable homes being designed and delivered to the same exemplary standards. Beautiful shared spaces will include a wildflower meadow, orchard, and pond, designed to help to create a thriving community and to maximise biodiversity. Ssassy Property are also working in partnership with the Bucks, Berk, Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) to maximise opportunities for nature at their new development. BBOWT will provide advice, strategy and interventions to maximise the potential for wildlife at Springfield Meadows. They will then monitor the results over a 5 year period, so that we can assess the impact and success of the different elements. All 25 eco homes at Springfield Meadows will be built by our partner, Greencore, whose low carbon construction methods ensure sustainability throughout the construction process and subsequent living arrangements. Custom build options allow buyers to design their home to suit their family and lifestyle, and all homes will benefit from outdoor green spaces. Ian Pritchett, a Director of Ssassy, commented;

A typical new home emits around 50-60 tonnes of carbon during its construction, whilst the use of bio-based materials in our homes reduces this to at or close to zero. Likewise a typical new home will emit perhaps 5 tonnes of carbon per annum, whereas Ssassy homes are designed and built to be zero carbon in use. Moving immediately to these standards for all new homes would make a huge contribution to the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s zero carbon ambitions. By creating net-zero homes Ssassy Property are hitting UK government carbon targets for 2050, now.

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See the whole picture with launch of new VELUX STUDIO window Three-in-one roof window makes its way to market Leading roof window manufacturer VELUX® has launched its new STUDIO window, which is the first roof window to boast three sashes in one frame. The innovative, one-frame design features two VELUX centre-pivot roof windows on either side of a fixed unit to bring in even more daylight and offer a wider, more impressive view. By utilising a solar conversion kit, VELUX STUDIO can be remotely operated via VELUX INTEGRA® technology, offering greater flexibility to homeowners who want better control of their indoor environment. The VELUX STUDIO window offers a number of unique benefits to the trade, including: • It’s easy to order as only one product code and one flashing package are required to order • The innovative one-frame module follows a standard installation process so you can save time and get the job done in one day • Having three glazing units in one integrated solution makes installing multiple windows a whole lot easier Grant Sneddon, product manager for VELUX, said: “We are ecstatic to be launching our new VELUX STUDIO window, a revolutionary product in the roof window market.

“We are constantly looking for new ways to innovate our offering to installers, merchants and homeowners so we can continue to be market leaders in providing roof window solutions that offer the best in daylight and ventilation capabilities and create healthier home environments. VELUX STUDIO does exactly that.

In comparison to a similar triple combination VELUX roof window installation, VELUX STUDIO’s all-in-one mechanism provides a more cost effective solution and brings in 23% more daylight. VELUX STUDIO is currently available in size FK06 (1837 x 1178mm), white painted finish, double and triple glazed variants with slate or tile flashing kits that include all installation products (usually sold separately). Prices start from £1,017 excl. VAT. For more information, visit

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Profile for Lapthorn Media

Construction UK Magazine - April 2020  

The publication provides an extensive look at breaking news, analysis, features, projects, product launches, discussions and interviews from...

Construction UK Magazine - April 2020  

The publication provides an extensive look at breaking news, analysis, features, projects, product launches, discussions and interviews from...