Public Sector Building News - October 2021

Page 1 October 2021








Young artists from Valley Park School unveil their work at Mote Park Café works

Real is awarded £10m contract to redevelop Hallwood House

How can the construction industry do better to improve all kinds of wellbeing?














Editor Maria Lapthorn Editorial Assistant Francesca Amato Production/Design Laura Whitehead

On the cover

Sales Executive Lucy Robinson Accounts Richard Lapthorn Circulation Manager Leo Phillips Website Management Russel Goldsmith Phone: 01843 808 117 Lapthorn Media 5-7 Ozengell Place Eurokent Business Park Ramsgate Kent CT12 6PB

Modular Medicine: Engineering the Future by Rachel Davis, Director, Perega

Project News - Page 09

Read more on Page 20.

Features 04


News - Real is awarded £10m redevelopment contract

News - Stepnell invests in mental health initiatives for employees



Exhibition - UK Construction Week 5-7 October 2021 at the NEC

Exhibition - Kent Construction EXPO 7th October 2021



Design Feature - How can design make leisure centres more inclusive?

Latest News - Young artists unveil their work at Mote Park Café works



Feature - Modular Medicine: Engineering the Future

Exhibition - The Landscape Show 3rd & 4th November 2021



Exhibition - Grand Designs Live 6th – 10th October 2021

Feature - Mental health and safety, by Chris Monk

Find us online - Latest news, features, articles and products

Follow us on Twitter: @psbn_social


Company News


REAL IS AWARDED £10M CONTRACT TO REDEVELOP HALLWOOD HOUSE Kent based mhs homes group, has appointed Real to redevelop a former sheltered housing scheme, Hallwood House in Chatham, that was earmarked for demolition in 2019. In replacement of the existing two storey building Real will build 46 residential apartments for sheltered accommodation for affordable rent in Medway. Real, a recently established, construction and regeneration business, already has three older living facilities on site in Siddington, Winchester, Barnet and now Kent which combined will provide over 330 homes for senior living. Paul Nicholls, Chief Executive of Real, said: “This is another important contract win for us to support housing providers to create thriving, sustainable homes and communities. “legend living” was a phrase I heard and liked recently which effectively means offering suitable accommodation for all of us as we enter our later years. At Real we are seeing a lot of activity in this area of the market and in providing quality homes for everyone see this as an important pillar in our growth strategy. We are really pleased that, up against stiff competition, mhs homes group have selected Real to deliver this particular project for them and we intend to deliver an excellent product.”

mhs homes is a charitable housing association based in Medway, who provide homes for affordable rent, market rent and shared ownership in six different local authority areas. Their Assistant Director of Development and Sales, Gemma Hancock, said: “We’re extremely confident in Real’s ability to deliver this important project for us and we look forward to working with them over the coming months.”

We’re not just proud to provide affordable, quality housing across north Kent, but to provide homes for people with a variety of needs. It’s an important element of our purpose and strategy so we’re delighted to be adding another development to our sheltered living portfolio, and create homes for those in need.

Real has also recently won a place on the £250m South East Consortium framework to build affordable homes and other projects for housing associations and local authorities over the next three years.

Triton Construction has secured a £4m contract to deliver a new workshop facility for gritter manufacturer, Econ Engineering in Thirsk, North Yorkshire. The contract includes site preparation and construction of a new 31,570 sq ft state of the art building with supporting facilities. Econ Engineering is a family-owned business which makes more than 85% of the UK’s winter road maintenance vehicles. It recently purchased the 24-acre site, close to its Ripon headquarters, to facilitate expansion plans and expects to create an additional 50 new jobs. Triton is contracted to prepare the greenfield site with a large cut and fill exercise with vibro piling to the building footprint. The new steel frame cladded buildings is to include 28 roller shutter doors and incorporate an office area, workshop, spray booth, brake test unit, underseal spray area, 20-bay maintenance compound and 18 below ground inspection pits. Triton is also providing hard parking for the Econ’s winter hire fleet. Jonathan Lupton, Operations Director at Econ Engineering, said, “Econ Thirsk marks another major milestone in our 52-year history and one that demonstrates our dominance of the winter roads maintenance vehicles sector. In recent years our winter hire fleet has grown exponentially and these gritters, which are leased to councils and highways authorities across the UK, will be housed at the new site.

We are pleased to appoint Triton as another Yorkshire established business, to deliver this specialist new facility for us. The Triton team has demonstrated considerable expertise and credentials in building vehicle maintenance facilities whilst also helping us to mitigate our environmental impact with solar panels and careful landscaping.


Triton Construction is a £60 million turnover company providing design and build, civils, fit out and refurbishment services. Established for more than 14 years it employed over 80 people across offices in the North West and Yorkshire. The company has considerable expertise and credentials in the industrial sector with recent projects including a new warehouse for Tech Folien in Liverpool, a new warehouse for food manufacturer Gordon Rhodes in Bradford, and a scheme on three high specification industrial units on Whitehall Road in Leeds.

ACTIS BACKS ‘MOVE OUT OF THE DARK AGES’ AND MARK FARMER OFFSITE CONSTRUCTION CALLS Insulation specialist Actis has backed calls by two industry heavyweights to move construction ‘out of the dark ages’ if it is to address the housing crisis and tackle the skills shortage. Government MMC champion Mark Farmer issued a stern warning this week - five years after the publication of his seminal Modernise or Die review stating that the industry must radically change its processes.

modern methods of construction are to be welcomed. “The speed with which such homes can be built has two-fold benefits - accelerating the delivery of muchneeded new homes, while at the same time addressing the shortage of skilled workers to build them,” he said. “Added to that, quality is far better controlled, and they can be thermally superb, cutting carbon emissions and saving money and resources.” Mark Farmer says the current lorry driver crisis echoes the issues affecting the construction industry and should act as a wake-up call to pull out fingers which are not moving fast enough to stave off disaster.

And chief executive of construction giant Laing O’Rourke, Ray O’Rourke has called on the industry to move out of the dark ages and embrace offsite construction.

He says similarities between the HGV and construction industry crisis include an ageing workforce, a struggle to recruit new employees, a dependence on non-UK workers and an unregulated labour market.

Actis UK and Ireland sales director Mark Cooper, whose company works closely with many timber frame manufacturers, says Messrs Farmer and O’Rourke’s urgent calls for far wider adoption of

“The industry should be putting itself on a crisis footing,” he said. “It is now facing the risk of a chaotic period characterised by resource scarcity, price volatility, safety and quality

STEPNELL INVESTS IN MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVES FOR EMPLOYEES Life-changing support for employees is being provided by complete construction partner Stepnell, through a number of new initiatives and tools to help increase the awareness around mental health in construction and enhance employee health and safety. Stepnell has taken action to address the issues by significantly increasing the number of mental health first aiders and rolling out mental health awareness training for all of its employees – including stress management, guidance on how to better manage time and advice for improving personal wellbeing.

According to the suicide by occupation report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 240 suicides have been reported within the construction industry and building trades in England during 2019, significantly outnumbering all other recognised industries and indicating a mental health crisis in the industry. In addition, the Chartered Institute of Building reported in 2020 that 26 per cent of construction workers had experienced suicidal thoughts and 97 per cent had experienced stress over the previous year. Tom Wakeford, joint managing director at Stepnell, said: “As a construction partner, we recognised a direct response was needed to address these troubling statistics. We are now proud to provide a range of mental health support mechanisms to help people in a number of ways.

problems and business models that are no longer fit for purpose set against a backdrop of regulatory reform where the technical bar is rightly being raised in terms of things such as building safety and carbon. My 2016 predictions on the likely scale and speed of decline in the construction labour force were seen as fairly dramatic at the time but it now appears they will likely be proven to have been under-estimated.” He said that he is still optimistic that change can be effected - but that speed is of the essence.

“We take the wellbeing of team members very seriously and recognise our responsibility to always be there for our colleagues and look out for one another. The industry can be stereotyped as a ‘tough’ industry, with middle-aged men working on building sites where people’s feelings are often not spoken about, but in fact it is much more than that and these stereotypes aren’t doing any favours for this challenging sector. “The industry has been hit hard like many industries over the past year, but by implementing these new initiatives we hope it will help to offer support and show that we are listening to our team members. Stepnell has also increased the number of mental health first aiders in the firm and has revised a clear approach for how they can support colleagues, with line managers and all members of the senior team having undergone mental health training.”




UK Construction Week (UKCW) is the UK’s largest built environment event. UKCW will stage London and Birmingham editions in 2021 and 2022. Thousands will come to meet and work with major projects, house builders, developers and local authorities who are driving the recovery. Don’t miss out and join hundreds of other brands showcasing their latest innovation, products and services by being part of two major trade shows in our two biggest cities. The power of LIVE Why do people not like being doorstepped? It’s because they haven’t chosen to be interrupted, people want to make a decision on when


they interact rather than the element of surprise. It is why phone calls are reducing in numbers and precisely why cold-calling is proving more and more difficult. Live events bypass these factors because the audience is qualified, in every sense - they have been selected by the organiser and they have chosen to attend. UK Construction Week is the event to generate new leads, increase ROI, network with your peers and have fun! The stats are taken from FaceTime, an initiative funded by AEO.

Winner of Best UK Tradeshow (more than 8,000sqm) UK Construction Week has been awarded to the Best UK Tradeshow by the Association of Event Organisers in 2020. The judges said this was an outstanding entry which demonstrated the positive success of several new initiatives and sustainable procedures. UKCW Birmingham: 5-7 October 2021 NEC

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Project News

LEISURE MEETS LEARNING IN NEW DESIGNS FOR MORPETH COMMUNITY HUB NEW SOCIAL HOUSING FOR CHARLTON ON THE WAY A £4.5m project to build 14 new affordable rent homes on the site of former garages on the Cherry Orchard estate in Charlton is under way. Charlton Triangle Homes, part of the Peabody Group, is working with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Mayor of London on the 100% affordable Blaker Court scheme. Delayed by the pandemic, the project began this week with a ‘ground-breaking’ ceremony (see image attached) attended by the leader of the council, Cllr Danny Thorpe, Charlton’s tenant board members, representatives of the community, and the builders. The new one-, two- and threebedroom homes will be offered to people on the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s housing waiting list, which has more than 20,000 households registered. Rents will be at London Affordable Rent (LAR) which is set by the Mayor of London at around half of the average market rent. East-London-based builders Kind & Co will lead the


Inspiring designs for a new £21 million Northumberland leisure centre and library – which puts inclusivity, community pride, and connectivity at its heart – have been revealed by sports and leisure experts GT3 Architects as work gets underway on site.

construction and work with the council’s Greenwich Local Labour and Business (GLLaB) service on job and apprenticeship opportunities. A series of engagement activities with the community are planned throughout the 18-month project.

The design places the residents of Morpeth first, with the practice consulting key groups through workshops and VR sessions to reach a design solution that truly meets their needs. The key themes – connecting the high street, creating local pride for the centre, and offering a diverse range of uses – were developed and incorporated into the design to create a hub where leisure meets learning.

Nigel Pierce, Managing Director at Charlton Triangle Homes said: “After extensive consultation locally, and after a really difficult period for everyone, we are so pleased to be getting started on this vital project. These much-needed new homes will be a welcome addition to the estate and we can’t wait to welcome the new members of the community when the time comes. We’re also over the moon that our summer programme is back with things for our young people to do every single day of the week throughout August. My thanks go to the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Mayor of London for their support not only on this project but on the wider regeneration of the estate over the last 20 years which continues to make a real impact and positive difference in people’s lives.”

The state-of-the-art scheme combines leisure facilities with a comprehensive library and learning suite to suit Morpeth’s diverse community. The facility is set to include a new two-storey library, customer services and adult learning classrooms as well as a six-lane 25m swimming pool with spectator gallery, a learner pool, spa facilities, a four-court sports hall, a new 100 station fitness suite, a dedicated spinning studio, a soft play area and a café that is open to the public. The scheme is funded by Northumberland County Council. The scheme will provide 550m2 of library space, including a group room, poetry corner, and children’s library, as well as 450m2 of learning space with five flexible classrooms, offices, and tutorial spaces. The centre will be located at Gas House Lane with a new library garden addressing the river from its north bank sat amongst the existing mature trees.

NEW HOMES IN AUDENSHAW FOR PEOPLE FACING HOMELESSNESS New homes are to be made available in Audenshaw for people facing homelessness, thanks to a new partnership project. A total of 13 new, self-contained apartments will be made available later this year thanks to plans from Stepping Stone Projects (SSP) and Cornerstone Place to regenerate a large Victorian villa. Under the plans, social enterprise Cornerstone Place has purchased and will now carry out work to refurbish the building, with Greater Manchesterbased homelessness charity SSP then

these will be access to training and employment help to support residents who would otherwise be facing life on the streets.

Cornerstone Place works with charity clients such as SSP to source the properties, arrange funding and manage builds so they can be used for essential community needs.

“With homelessness expected to increase in the coming months as the furlough scheme closes and the ban on evictions comes to an end, it’s vital that housing providers, charities and other support services work together to provide much-needed solutions” said Dave Smith, chief executive of Stepping Stone Projects.

Work is expected to be completed before the end of the year. Once finished, SSP will work with Ashton Pioneer Homes, who will ensure property and service standards, and Tameside Council to provide homes and important support services. Among

Cornerstone Place co-founder David Ball explains: “Our model is unique in that it brings buildings and funding to charities, develops the buildings, then gradually shifts the ownership to the charity. We are thrilled to be working with SSP and APH on this project.”

taking over its running and using the homes to provide vital services to local people.

houses a large flexible sports hall space including indoor cricket, gym space with dedicated equipment for cyclists, studios, velo studio, cycle hub, retail units, classroom space and a large café with views onto the 3G pitches and cycle track. Externally, the site is supported by a full-size archery range and equestrian trails.

DESIGNING FOR PERFORMANCE ATHLETES AND PRE-SCHOOLERS: NEW SPORTS HUB DESIGN COMBINES ELITE SPORT AND COMMUNITY NEEDS A groundbreaking new sports facility has opened in Colchester, designed by sports and leisure specialists GT3 Architects to combine the needs of both elite sports teams and local community groups. The facilities include a new state of the art rugby pavilion with flexible function space, educational space, changing rooms and viewing gallery, across an array of new grass and 3G pitches for

Mark Gowdridge, director at GT3 Architects, said: “The opening of this exciting sports hub marks the result of a successful collaboration between all parties.

different sports and age groups. The site also contains a 1.5km closed circuit cycle racetrack, partly funded by British Cycling. The track caters for national competitions as well as local grass roots cycle clubs and community use, and includes a ‘learn to ride’ facility and pump track.

With so many stakeholders involved – Colchester Borough Council, local residents and junior sports groups, Rugby Union and League, local College and schools, British Archery, English Cricket Board, Badminton England, Equestrian groups, local cycle clubs, Sport England and British Cycling – we needed to deliver a scheme that would suit everyone’s needs.

Central to the site and connecting to the pitches and racetrack is the council’s new dry sports centre. This

The leisure centre is now open and is already being used by the 900 junior members of the Colchester Rugby Club.



BRINGING THE CONSTRUCTION SECTOR BACK TOGETHER THIS OCTOBER Now that restrictions are gradually being lifted, we can be confident that business events will return in the Autumn and look forward to welcoming you back to the Kent Event Centre on 7th October for the South East’s leading construction event. Kent Construction EXPO will bring together 2,000+ construction professionals, contractors, developers and specialist suppliers for one invaluable day of networking in a face-to-face environment once again since the COVID-19 outbreak. Brought to you by Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Kent County Council and Medway Council, this major annual gathering offers a fantastic line-up of speakers, alongside the South East’s largest exhibition of construction suppliers: providing a unique opportunity for you to get the inside track on major infrastructure projects and the latest industry developments, while making valuable new contacts and building your business.

We already have a great programme line-up confirmed, with inspirational keynotes and practical workshops that will provide you with fresh insights into current construction industry challenges and opportunities on the horizon as well as emerging technologies, practices and innovations - helping you to keep up to date and thrive in the years ahead.

• Construction Futures • BIM and Digitisation • Major Infrastructure Developments in Kent and the South East • Health & Safety Regulations • R&D Tax Credits • Sustainable Innovation • Mental Health Awareness • Construction Pathways

Back by popular demand, our roundtable stream provides a focussed platform for discussion where you will have the opportunity to share your challenges and opportunities, hear your peer’s points of view and learn from their experiences, ask questions and voice an opinion.

A key feature at the event is the exclusive opportunity to put your business in front of leading contractors, suppliers and government departments, with over 600 FREE meetthe-buyer appointments available.

A few of the hot topics and sector trends that will feature on the programme this year are:

• Over 150 market-leading exhibitors • Invaluable networking opportunities to build and maintain business relationships • Live Demo Areas showcasing the most dynamic and innovative products in the industry • Big Networking Breakfast with a focus on collaboration in the construction sector • Post-Event Gala Dinner with afterdinner comedian Angela Barnes, the perfect way to unwind, network and celebrate excellence within the industry

• Bouncing Back from Covid-19

You can also benefit from:



For the latest up-to-date floorplan and more details on pricing and sponsorship opportunities available please contact Emily Taylor 01892 820939

7th October 2021

Kent Event Centre, Detling

Bringing the construction industry back together in a face-to-face environment this October

Produced by

Kent Construction Expo delivers a multi-track conference programme, over 150 market-leading exhibitors, and a unique opportunity for the construction sector to come together for an invaluable day of networking and innovation. The packed programme also includes over 600 free Meet the Buyer appointments, a Big Networking Breakfast and Gala Dinner.

2021 Speakers: Ben Cheeseman

Fergus Harradence

Dr Paul Toyne

Lee May

Pip Lawrence

Sarah Collins

Ricky Hemmings

Julie Putman

Commercial Director, Harwood Building Control

Deputy Director, Infrastructure & Construction, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Partner, Brachers LLP

Sustainability Practice Leader, Grimshaw & London Sustainable Development Commissioner

Technical Director, RIFT R&D Tax Credits

Wellbeing Director, Wellbeing People Ltd

Oliver Heath Founder & Director of Oliver Heath Design

Managing Director, Ardula Group Limited

Opening Keynote

Regional Manager - South, CIOB

Valuing & Implementing Health and Wellbeing in the Built Environment

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Plus: FREE exhibition featuring hundreds of essential suppliers Event Partner

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For more information on exhibiting or visiting please visit

Design Feature

HOW CAN DESIGN MAKE LEISURE CENTRES MORE INCLUSIVE? we need to fully understand how our designs can be used to provide more welcoming and inclusive facilities for all, improving both the physical and mental health of our communities in the process. As architects, we can play a part in encouraging activity, especially now that leisure centres are reopening, and we need to see this opportunity as a much-needed contribution to public health.”

Sport England estimates that inactivity causes one in six deaths and costs the NHS approximately £1 billion per year. With UK sport and leisure facilities now reopening their doors, we need to consider who is using these facilities and what barriers they face. GT3 Architects, a leading architecture firm specialising in sports and leisure, has undertaken a research piece as part of its Inclusive Design series to dig deeper into the issues people face when visiting leisure centres. “As people architects, we believe that a fundamental part of our role is understanding, anticipating, and designing for the needs of our users” says Paul Reed, associate director and head of sports and leisure at GT3. “This means not only ensuring existing, active users are engaged, but also creating exciting, beautiful, and well-balanced facilities to support underrepresented groups and demographics who don’t currently feel catered for at sports and leisure facilities. At present, leisure centres only cater to 16% of the population so these issues need to be addressed if we are to get more people active. “Our Inclusive Design series forms part of a wider research and development push led by a team of architects, interior designers and engagement specialists. For our first project, we looked specifically at caregivers of young children – this was defined as any adult who had experience taking a young child to a leisure centre. “We discovered that 85% of caregivers surveyed find it incredibly difficult to deal with the challenges of a leisure centre – such as where to put a child Paul Reed, GT3 Architects


while you get changed or how to get into the pool safely if your child cannot stand by themselves – particularly when alone. “59% of people surveyed said they are usually the only adult responsible for their child or children during a visit and the word ‘stressful’ was used frequently, with caregivers feeling that the experience is more difficult than they would like. “Encouragingly, 58% of people surveyed would like to visit a leisure centre more often. We believe that if facilities were designed with caregivers in mind, they would use the facilities more, increasing both their own and their children’s exposure to water and/ or fitness activities.” According to the 2018/19 Active Lives Children and Young People Survey by Sport England, it was estimated that only 46% of the nation’s children are meeting the recommended level of activity. This has dropped even further with Covid-19 restrictions to just 19% of children being active for 60 mins per day. Paul continued: “It is critical to identify the barriers faced by users and ensure that any design meets the physical, mental, and social needs of caregivers. “By including a few simple additions such as safe parking and access to the facility, a waiting area in reception, clear wayfinding, buggy stores near the changing rooms, and considered family changing rooms – it can have a massive impact on how caregivers use the space and ultimately create an improved experience. “Design is more than just shaping the physical environment. It involves addressing standards, practices, and behaviours as well as changing the way users are engaged. By considering space, layout, technology, and visual aspects, we can create a more family friendly and safer design that will ensure modern leisure centres are used and loved. As an industry

Judith Atkinson, project architect at GT3, led on the survey. She added: “This is the first report in our Inclusive Design series, so we really wanted to dig into the issues and barriers people face when attending a leisure centre. As a parent of a toddler myself, I felt it really important to highlight the difficulties caregivers often face when using facilities – it can be difficult taking a young child out of the home environment, particularly when facilities don’t meet your - or your child’s - basic needs. “Even small things - such as making sure windows are in children’s sight line and they can hold a handrail when going into the water - make a big difference. I firmly believe that by understanding these caregivers’ experiences – such as knowing that 50% consider a waiting area within the reception important or that 96% would prefer a family-friendly cubicle - we can make leisure centres more inclusive. “Our caregivers research was such a success; we’re currently doing a similar piece of research into autism and dementia. Our hope is that we will be able to provide proven design solutions for our clients, which in turn will ensure their end-users feel supported. The result will be a far more inclusive, welcoming space for the whole community, and will hopefully encourage far more people to use exercise to support a healthy lifestyle. A win-win for everyone.” GT3 Architects is currently working on its next research pieces: designing for autism and dementia in Leisure Centres. As an award-winning architecture practice, with studios in Nottingham and Newcastle, the people focused firm champions an inclusive, sustainable, and engaging way of doing business that positions people at the heart of every project. For further information visit or join the conversation over on Twitter @_GT3Architects


Custom Fibrelite covers designed to fit manufacturer Fibex’s preformed GRP troughs

Custom Fibrelite covers installed in precast concrete manufacturer Trenwa’s troughs

Composite access cover manufacturer Fibrelite has formed strategic partnerships with a number of major manufacturers of precast and preformed troughs (also known as trenches, channels and ducts) in Europe and the USA (including Fibex and Trenwa) to create new collaborative product offerings integrating Fibrelite covers and precast and preformed troughs, combining the strength and longevity of precast and preformed troughs with the easy, safe manual removal and durability of Fibrelite’s lightweight composite covers. Health and safety issues surrounding manual handling are of paramount importance to site managers. Without the necessary provision of dedicated lifting apparatus and training for operatives,

traditional concrete and steel trough access covers can be a concern due to their sheer weight. Concrete slab covers can weigh as much as five times the weight of an equivalent size Fibrelite GRP composite trough cover. Fibrelite covers have an industry leading strengthto-weight ratio and are designed to be safely and easily removed by two people, using the Fibrelite FL7 ergonomically designed lifting handles. Driven by focusses on health and safety, weight, durability (no corrosion) and reduced installation time, GRP composite access covers have moved from being a niche product used on petrol station forecourts to being specified at the outset of new build and retrofit projects for some of the world’s most prestigious brands in technology, data centres, ports, airports, high-tech manufacturing facilities, utilities, infrastructure and many more. “In recent years, the demand for highly customisable, high-tech access covering solutions has grown exponentially, and we’re proud of the part we’ve played in their adoption over the 40 years since we invented the world’s first. Since then, we’ve continually innovated, focussing

on creating solutions to industry and customer challenges.” Commented Jo Stott, Fibrelite’s Marketing Director “Partnering with precast and preformed trough/trench manufacturers was a logical next step, and I’m proud to say that, since we created our first partnership offering with Trenwa in 2014 we now have over 50 kilometres of our covers installed in precast and preformed troughs across the globe” David Holmes, Fibrelite’s Technical Director added “We work closely with architects, contractors, and end users from tender stage right the way through to delivery and even installation where required. This collaborative process ensures that the supplied product fulfils both product quality demands and strict project completion deadlines. Fibrelite covers can be custom designed and manufactured with dimensions matched precisely to specified trough opening/ rebate dimensions (Fibrelite’s adjustable tooling allows covers to be manufactured within millimetres of a clients requirement)” Recent Installation: New Build Data Centre, Northern Europe Some clients favour a complete GRP solution for both troughs and covers. Where appropriate, this can further reduce installation costs and time due to their reduced weight for transit and installation. Earlier this year, Fibrelite engineered and manufactured 550 metres of custom trough covers for a new build data centre in Northern Europe. These GRP preformed troughs were supplied with custom fit Fibrelite bolt-down covers, for added security. Recent Installation: Cruise Ship Terminal, UK Fibrelite custom engineered and manufactured 500 metres of F900 (90-tonne) load rated GRP trough covers to fit precast concrete troughs at a UK cruise ship terminal. The stepped covers were supplied in a number of customised sizes to fit the trough configuration. The F900 load rated covers were stepped to reduce the unit weight in compliance with the customer’s specified manual handling limit.

Fibrelite trough covers are designed to be safely and easily removed by two people

For more information, click here to visit the Fibrelite website Concrete slab covers can weigh five times the weight of an equivalent Fibrelite cover

90-tonne load rated GRP Fibrelite covers in precast concrete troughs at UK port


TG Escapes modular timber frame net-zero ecobuildings to Inspire TG Escapes modular eco-buildings combine innovative design with the natural beauty of wood and glass. Using modern methods of construction with traditional materials and sophisticated technology, they create a standalone space that is net-zero in operation. The innovative bespoke architect designed system means they can provide timber frame buildings to suit most locations and uses, in a variety of finishes including timber, composite cladding or render in a range of colours, and brick slips. Offsite construction minimises disruption, cost and risk. The buildings significantly reduce environmental impact using a combination of: • MATERIALS that are, wherever possible, eco-friendly with the use of timber frame and sectional wooden insulated panels constructed offsite. • FOUNDATIONS that are designed to reduce the impact on the environment by using a minimal amount of concrete in a unique pad-based system or, when more appropriate, screw pile. • ROOFS that can be finished in sedum, which is not only aesthetically pleasing all year round, but also provides a habitat for a

rich variety of wildlife. A sedum roof significantly reduces rainwater runoff whilst lowering energy consumption. • TIMBER that comes from sustainable forests (FSC and PEFC). These forests are meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. The use of timber reduces the embodied carbon for any project and acts as a carbon store. • RENEWABLE ENERGY such as solar power can be used in the builds as a clean renewable source of energy. • INSULATION made of glass wool manufactured from a combination of silica sand and up to 80% recycled postconsumer glass that would otherwise be heading to landfill. This makes it one of the most environmentally sustainable insulation products on the market today. • SUN PIPES that capture daylight from the rooftop, through highly reflective tubing, and take it to where it’s needed. The pipes offer brilliant natural light as an alternative to artificial lighting, helping to reduce energy consumption. The buildings achieve A+ energy ratings with an air test of 5 or less via the use of:

• ULTRA-EFFICIENT LED LIGHTING calculated for each space to specific levels avoiding over lit areas using photocell detection and timeclock. • VENTILATION SYSTEMS using a mixture of natural ventilation, ultra-energy efficient ventilation systems and low carbon fans with integrated controls that monitor both temperature and CO2 for optimum thermal comfort. It operates in three modes depending on the season to maintain a healthy learning environment. • AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS AA rated supplied by Mitsubishi for both heating and hot water. • LOW CARBON USAGE EXTRACT FANS in toilets & kitchenettes. • WATER CONTROLS can be installed on all urinal cisterns and presence sensor taps keeping the overall water usage to a minimum. • With the addition of renewable energy sources, TG Escapes buildings are classified as carbon neutral in operation. The buildings are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, ergonomic and highly practical but, just as importantly, they are built to last 60 years or more with appropriate maintenance. Single or double storey buildings range in price from £80k to over £2m and larger sizes can cost as little as £1500 per m2.

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YOUNG ARTISTS UNVEIL THEIR WORK AT MOTE PARK CAFÉ WORKS Young artists from Valley Park School Maidstone unveiled their work at the new Mote Park Café works this week. Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) invited the students to create the artwork who in response designed and painted the beautiful mural entitled Seasons, which was designed and painted entirely by them. The artwork is based on the four seasons inspired by the Mote Park location and includes positive quotations the artists chose to illustrate their thoughts as Maidstone recovers from Covid. Deputy Maidstone Mayor, Cllr Derek Mortimer who joined the students to unveil the artwork said: “I am totally blown away by the amazing artwork. It has clearly been created from the hearts of the students themselves and incredibly inspirational. Every time I look at it I see something different. It looks amazing here in Mote Park and I am sure will inspire anyone who visits and sees it.” The group of 14 Valley Park students (from a range of year groups) dedicated two days working together creating designs, sketches and stencils, as well as choosing the quotations. Valley Park Assistant Headteacher Gemma Lowe who supported the students added: “We were so excited to be invited to take part in this project which brilliantly displays our school’s ethos – CREATE (Community, Respect, Excellence, Aspiration, Tenacity and Enthusiasm). This piece required respect from groups of students who initially weren’t familiar with each other as well as creating a piece


BEDFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL CALL FOR HOMES FOR THOSE FLEEING AFGHANISTAN Bedford Borough Council is asking landlords to get in touch if they have any empty properties available to let in the coming weeks. The Council, along with local authorities around the country, will be looking to support and resettle those who have fled Afghanistan through the Government’s Afghanistan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme. To do this, there is a need for local houses - particularly those with three bedrooms or more - to accommodate families that have had to flee. While Bedford Borough Council does not hold any housing stock, it is putting out this call to landlords across the Borough. These properties will need to be in good condition, ready for people to move in within the next few weeks, and landlords can expect to receive market rent. Mayor Dave Hodgson said “I am proud that we were among the first local authorities in the country

of work to be enjoyed by the local community. They worked brilliantly as a team - tirelessly across the two days. I am so proud of them, what they achieved and how they worked together. The mural looks fantastic and I hope everyone who sees it

to respond to the Government’s original request in early June, to help with the relocation of Afghan nationals who had been employed by British forces in Afghanistan.

Already 8 Afghan nationals who have helped our country and would have been in danger if they stayed in Afghanistan as forces withdraw have been resettled in Bedford Borough and we expect more in the coming weeks.

“I know our Borough will open its arms to these people who have had to flee their country and their homes. We have already had so many offers of spare rooms in people’s houses and other support. With whole families expected to arrive there is an urgent need for whole properties.”

loves it as much as we do.” Maidstone Borough Council is leading the work on the Mote Park café which is being built by BBS Construction and expected to be completed by summer 2022.

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HOUSING ASSOCIATION CEO CRITICAL OF ‘CATASTROPHIC’ UNIVERSAL CREDIT CUT FOR POOREST PAID WORKERS The chief executive of one of the country’s leading BME housing associations has said that the Government’s plan to cut Universal Credit by £20 per week will be “catastrophic” for some of the poorest paid workers and their families. Lee Bloomfield, who has led Bradfordbased Manningham Housing Association since 2018, said he feared that the fall in financial support will be “devastating for those who already have so little to lose.” It is estimated that six million of the least well-off households will see their income slashed by around £1,000 a year. In a statement, Mr Bloomfield said: “The Government announced its intention to proceed with this cut some time ago, but I had hoped that a blend of good sense and decency

would ultimately prevail. Instead, this week we have seen the Work and Pensions Secretary touring television studios with the message that she is ‘entirely happy’ for the reduction to go ahead from the end of this month. “This cut will impact on a third of working age families with children across the country, but that will be far from evenly spread. Instead, deprived communities in places like Bradford and Keighley, where Manningham Housing Association operates, will be disproportionately affected. “With furlough also coming to end this month, the cost of living significantly on the rise and National Insurance contributions due to increase in the spring, I fear there will be catastrophic consequences for some of the poorest paid workers and their families in Bradford, Keighley and elsewhere.

“The reduction in Universal Credit payments will be devastating for those who already have so little to lose. “I urge the Government to think again and, at the very least, pause this cut until its likely impact is properly assessed. And If they really want to do the right thing, they should halt it altogether.”

NORTH YORKSHIRE HOUSING ASSOCIATION DRIVES FORWARD NET ZERO AMBITIONS WITH FUNDING North Yorkshire-based Broadacres Housing Association has received an eight-figure funding package from NatWest, to progress its green growth plans.

is working to tackle fuel poverty by replacing old storage heaters with new, more energy efficient, heating systems such as air-source heat pump technology.

Other schemes across the organisation such as reducing the amount of waste it produces and switching to an electric or hybrid fleet, will ensure Broadacres reaches its net zero goal by 2050.

The £80 million funding package will help the not-for-profit housing association, fulfil a range of long-term objectives across the business including the delivery of 800 new homes for those most in need across the region, as well as support plans to become a net zero carbon business by 2050. Since being established in 1993, Broadacres has grown to become a £40 million-a-year turnover business with more than 380 employees, supporting social housing needs predominantly across North Yorkshire. Broadacres currently owns 6,500 homes within North Yorkshire split across rented, supported and shared ownership. The funding obtained from NatWest will enable the delivery of a further 800 homes over the next five years across the Region, with continued plans to expand. The multi-million funding package will also see Broadaces drive forward its green agenda. Currently, Broadacres



industry ambassadors, who have made a significant impact in the industry, to ensure that we continue to drive equality, diversity, inclusion and change across the UK’s built environment.

LONDON BUILD SHOW PREVIEW The UK’s leading construction and design show is returning to the Grand Hall at Olympia London! London Build is an award-winning show and is widely viewed as one of the best & largest construction exhibitions in the world. Winner of Best Brand Expansion at the Exhibition News Awards and finalist of Best Trade Show in the UK at the AEO Awards.

London Build features: 500+ speakers across 6 conference theatres, 220+ CPD sessions, 100’s of exhibitors and exclusive free-to-attend networking events including Meet the Buyer sessions, Women in Construction and Diversity in Construction, entertainment, the Festival of Construction, celebrity guests and much more. The UK’s largest meeting of Women in Construction takes place at London Build each year. London Build is currently working with a large team of influential

The session is free-to-attend for all and offers the chance for professional individuals to network, learn and feel inspired. Learn from a panel of established experts discussing the untapped opportunities for women working in construction, diversity and equality. London Build is excited for the Diversity in Construction Networking Event to return to the 2021 edition. London Build is currently working with a large team of champions driving change and diversity, making the UK’s built environment an inclusive industry. The session is free-to-attend for all and offers the chance for industry professionals to network and feel inspired. Learn from a panel of diversity champions discussing the key issues and major developments within the UK’s built environment. Meet and do business with buyers and procurement teams from London’s leading contractors and developers. London Build’s Meet the Buyer events are a great opportunity for suppliers to introduce themselves to new buyers and learn about new projects. For buyers they enable them to increase their supply chain and increase their brand profile to potential new clients, overall they’re a great opportunity for you to network with colleagues within the industry. VENUE Olympia London - Grand Hall Hammersmith Rd, London W14 8UX OPENING TIMES 17th November 2021: 9.30am - 5.30pm 18th November 2021: 9.30am - 4.30pm

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‘X-TREME’ 4-WAY STRETCH FLEXIBLE COMFORT FROM ENGEL WORKWEAR Recognised for its comprehensive range of well fitting, stylish and practical workwear, Danish manufacturer ENGEL builds further on its reputation in the UK with the success of their ‘X-Treme’ 4 - Way Stretch’ work trousers.

Designed to allow as much flexibility as possible whilst kneeling or bending, the slim-fit trousers feature a 4-way stretch ‘breathable’, cooling fabric which quickly absorbs and dries light perspiration.

The knee-pad pockets are reinforced with hard wearing Kevlar Teramid and have two options for pad height adjustment; in addition to the many useful pockets for keeping essential tools and accessories immediately to hand, some of which have either Velcro or zip closures, optional hanging tool pockets can be attached to the waist; the trousers also have extra deep hems so that lengths can be increased if required. Made from 73% nylon, 17% cotton and 10% elastine, the ‘Engel X-Treme 4-Way Stretch’ work trousers are available in a variety of colour combinations and in all popular sizes. For more information contact Gareth Bladen – email: Telephone: +44(0) 7759 520034 or visit:

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21/09/2021 15:14:13

Sound absorption partitioning from Style The British Council has moved into a creative new office facility in S9, an ‘outstanding’ BREEAM rated building in the International Quarter London (IQL). Prioritising the adaptability of available space, partitioning expert Style was bought in early to work with 5plus Architects and main contractor, BW Interiors. As a result, the expansive ground floor concourse benefits from 7 bespoke, 5m high Dorma Hüppe moveable wall elements. Operating on a complex tracking layout, they can be used to form an innovative display screen, to create individual exhibition boards, or to screen the café from the conference suites. One side of the panels is finished with magnetic, writable laminate, encouraging casual meetings where teams can collaborate and share ideas, whilst the other side includes an Autex board, providing essential acoustic sound absorption in this highceilinged space.

Style’s sales director for the South, Michael Porter, said, “By being brought into the development at an early stage we were really able to maximise space flexibility in multiple areas, while offering the highest possible sound reduction levels from sustainable products.

Elsewhere, Style installed a further eight Dorma Hüppe 60db semi-automatic moveable wall systems, creating various sized meeting spaces. Ensuring an excellent acoustic environment for users, all of the elements also feature Autex cube absorption panels.

“This was a multifaceted project which was further complicated by the fact that the primary structure could not take any large point loads. This had implications for the stacking locations of the various moveable wall systems and Style’s technicians and designers consulted closely with the architects and structural engineers to ensure the most appropriate solution.

An international organisation for cultural relations and education, The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries. The interior of the prestigious new offices aims to reflect and accommodate these diverse roles.

“The end result is a truly breath-taking building that offers adaptability and panache and meets every aspect of the client brief.” Website: Email:

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20/04/2021 12:59:09



MODULAR MEDICINE: ENGINEERING THE FUTURE By Rachel Davis, Director, Perega Although the last couple of years have been challenging for the healthcare sector, the pressures they have faced have also provided a good opportunity for reflection on the quality and flexibility of their existing facilities. These learnings should be seen as an opportunity by the construction industry to improve our offerings, harnessing the latest technology and design methods to deliver greater value and improved amenities for end users. We need to consider how our healthcare infrastructural capacity can be improved to handle future crises whilst still continuing to deliver high quality care in other areas. Meanwhile, our growing understanding of the impact that both embodied and operational carbon have on climate change needs to be embedded into every aspect of design and construction to ensure a sustainable future. Good news then that the government is committed to creating 40 new hospitals by 2030 and the NHS has pledged to be the world’s first net zero healthcare system.

Delivering lasting, meaningful change will require all built environment professionals to work together towards a unified vision for the nation’s lifesaving facilities. Here, I’d like to take the opportunity to consider the tools which will make this a reality. The future is flexible Buildings have a sixty-year design life, so hospitals designed in the next ten years need to consider how the needs of the users will change. This is almost impossible to predict, so new builds, and refurbishments, need to make reasonable provision to enable a degree of structural flexibility. Similar to all aspects of society, approaches to healthcare are evolving alongside technology, at an exponential rate. Many aspects of our current healthcare system will be unrecognisable in 5 years’ time. Importantly, those involved in the design phase have to agree what’s meant by ‘flexibility’. It’s a sliding scale, meaning anything from being able to strip everything out of a building and use it for something else to, more simply, having a standard suite of spaces that can be repurposed. The challenge is to be able to deliver this flexibility without impacting on the capital project costs. Delivering good value through not only time, money and quality, but also operational performance, is critical. Modern times With so much to be done over the next decade and sustainability being a key driver, modern methods of construction (MMC) offer an obvious solution to picking up the pace, reducing waste and offering the desired future flexibility, and therefore should be considered wherever possible. Being volumetric, components can be pre-assembled according to specific requirements, providing high-quality accommodation and the ability to upscale output seamlessly, increasing efficiency and reducing error margin.


The benefits of offsite technology are manifold. Using pre-designed mechanical and electrical components, or even precast foundations, can significantly compress the construction journey. Where sustainability is concerned, offsite can reduce material waste and transport emissions, helping contractors play a role in the drive towards Net Zero.

It is worth acknowledging that while MMC have a big role to play, this is only applicable where they fit the need. In the past, particularly outside of healthcare, there has been a push to use offsite construction whether or not it is the most appropriate solution which can add cost and reduce the inherent benefits. Therefore, thorough analysis of the site, budget, programme and desired project outcomes by the design team from the early stages is imperative in delivering the optimum solution. Setting the standard

As hospitals are built or refurbished, designs should aim to make physical layouts work as hard as the staff using them. Lean manufacturing highlights motion as a type of waste which should be minimised to increase efficiency. This holds true in healthcare facilities as well. In order to achieve a high level of service, the layout needs to make individual jobs less time consuming. As an example, where possible, wards should be laid out so they only need one nurse base, rather than two, strategically locating them to reduce journey times and visibility distances. It’s also wasteful to reinvent the wheel with every build or refurbishment. Along with adding costs, bespoke designs tend to adversely impact efficiency and increase risk. Fortunately, modern ward and theatre spaces often demand a standard configuration with predefined space requirements. Pre-rendered layouts save essential time and money, streamlining design input and realising the efficiencies and benefits of MMC. The ProCure22 (P22) repeatable rooms initiative offers specifiers a range of standardised products which can be used where the NHS has agreements with suppliers. Overall, the P22 framework has been moderately successful in delivering a more consistent, streamlined and less complex procurement journey. On P21+ schemes, the use of such components have led to savings of up to 30%

are putting increased pressure on developers and engineers to install new, and retrofit, drainage solutions. In recent years there’s been a push towards treatment of surface water discharge at source, rather than further downstream. As a result, the land take required for sustainable drainage systems is increasing, whether for permeable pavement solutions or swales. This can be offset slightly by the reuse of grey water, utilised for non-clinical purposes on site, such as irrigating green spaces.

Digital designs Wider application of BIM has the potential to significantly improve how healthcare facilities are built, by helping to deliver a more precise, joined-up and collaborative approach to construction. Broader awareness will help establish that all important ‘golden thread’ of information, which the construction industry continues to work towards. A common design platform allows for more effective clash detection amongst disciplines both within the building and externally in the wider site context. Team members can view, comment and mark-up easily, allowing quicker review and sign off of models. Equally, a digital first approach

will bring us a step closer to the above-mentioned, all-important standardisation, essential for building safely, and at pace. External forces Outside the built environment itself, one of the challenges facing healthcare around the world is climate change. Flooding and rising water levels

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10/02/2020 11:34:47


THE LANDSCAPE SHOW PREVIEW LANDSCAPE - the UK’s premier landscaping exhibition, is pleased to announce the 10th anniversary show will take place on the 3rd & 4th November 2021, at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Welcoming over 200 exhibitors with a vast collection of industry-leading products and services, LANDSCAPE 2021 is the trade event you will not want to miss – and the best part is, it’s all FREE! The LANDSCAPE Show is dedicated to products, services and innovation for the design, build and management of exterior and interior landscape projects. The show brings the industry together by introducing its visitors to the latest products, services and techniques necessary to design, build and maintain prestigious and awardwinning interior or exterior landscaping projects all over the world.

Between the LANDSCAPE exhibitors there are products and services for every aspect of the design and build process spanning from CAD systems and tools to plants and stone. LANDSCAPE features an endless selection of products including manufacturers and suppliers of everything from trees and turf, vases, pots and flag stones to furniture, architectural iron work and conservatories, water features and sundials. Their extensive exhibitor list ensures that when they say that there is “something for everyone”, they really do mean it! As the first in-person industry show back, The LANDSCAPE Show is perfect opportunity to reconnect with others and keep up to date with products and services. LANDSCAPE is thrilled to bring this year’s show to the NEC for the first time.


The move to a larger venue in Birmingham gives the ability to grow and create a bigger show. This exciting new chapter for LANDSCAPE has put the health and best interests of both exhibitors and visitors front and centre with many still uneasy about venturing into London. The NEC is a purpose built, Covid secure venue which is easily accessible. The NEC is located directly alongside Birmingham international airport and Railway Station and it has ample parking on site. The LANDSCAPE Show will be open from 10am-6pm on Wednesday 3rd November, and 10am-5pm on Thursday 4th November. Across both days there are 44 CPD accredited seminars taking place. Both the exhibition and all seminar sessions are free to attend. To register to attend the show for FREE, simply visit our registration page at

KEEPING CLOSE TO RESIDENTS AT STOCKPORT HOMES, EVEN IN LOCKDOWN Stockport Homes manages 11,500 properties on behalf of Stockport Council and is also committed to building new homes for rental, leasehold and shared ownership. The company aims to offer its customers the highest levels of service and recently upgraded its access control provision with innovative cloud based technology from PAC & GDX which has more than proved its worth during COVID-19 lockdown. Stockport Homes is an arm’s length management organisation (ALMO) that is owned by Stockport Council but which operates independently on the delivery of services to customers. In addition, it also owns properties and manages others on behalf of private landlords, all of which meet the requirements of the government’s Decent Homes Standard. Room for improvement In addition to carrying out repairs, rent collection, property allocation, homelessness services and estate management, Stockport Homes is responsible for ensuring the security and safety of residents across its portfolio of high rise, low rise multi-unit dwellings and sheltered accommodation. Access control plays a fundamental role in achieving this objective and, as part of its ongoing upgrade programme, the company decided to investigate how it could benefit from the latest technology. ‘Being able to respond quickly to the needs and expectations of our customers involves using the best available security solutions,’ explains James Hood, project leader at Stockport Homes. ‘Although our previous access control and door entry systems had served us well, it was obvious that innovations in this area had moved on significantly. I also wanted to explore ways to enable our staff to more effectively access

information, issue and configure key fobs, check occupancy status and carry out their duties remotely. To that end I invited the PAC & GDX national sales manager, Jason Sullivan, to look at the available options.’ On the up The previous access control system operated via a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) dial-up modem technology, which could often be slow and unreliable, as well as being relatively insecure. Stockport Homes also wanted to move away from an inflexible system that could only be used via two standalone PCs located in an on-site control room, to one that could be operated remotely. After conducting a comprehensive site audit, Jason Sullivan configured a solution for the low-rise element of the estate based around the installation of PAC 512 controller technology and PAC Residential Cloud. He says, ‘PAC 512 devices utilise the general packet radio service (GPRS) platform, which is a faster and cost effective means of connecting remote sites via a mobile network. Using this technology meant that we could create a highly innovative remote monitoring platform, which can now be accessed via a PC, tablet or smartphone. ‘We were also able to fuse our new PAC hardware with the existing GDX door entry system, allowing concierge control (via a control room) in the highrise blocks and remote access control system administration.’ Remote control The cloud is radically reshaping how access control is specified, installed and used, and PAC Residential Cloud allows organisations to remotely manage and monitor their access control systems in a secure environment. Designated users can address technical issues, test systems, deal with key fob management, examine diagnostics, view system status, set and unset a system, and gain access to an event log more easily than ever before – all from a remote location. It is also fully auditable, meaning that an action can be linked directly to a specific user. Asked about the benefits that the cloud now offers his team, James Hood responds, ‘The previous system’s limitations meant that any problems and issues had to be dealt with by on-site individuals. This was obviously restrictive, particularly in the present climate, and meant that a response often took longer than we wanted it to. PAC Residential Cloud has made a massive difference to our response times, as our dedicated technical team can now address connection issues, manage the system and troubleshoot from wherever they happen to be. Just as importantly,

our chosen maintenance provider, OpenView, can remotely access it to diagnose problems and offer us a more immediate service. In addition, there is the option to integrate it with CCTV so personnel can be notified if, for example, a door is forced or left open.’ OpenView’s Business Development Manager, Simon France, was just as complimentary about the support and added value they received from PAC - particularly from Jason Sullivan – and said, ‘I’ve worked closely with Jason on this contract and his help, dedication and attention to detail has gone above and beyond what was expected. The Pac product has proven to be a big hit with our client and the end user.’ Protect and survive The use of personal data comes with significant responsibilities and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires organisations to implement a strong data protection policy, encompassing access, secure storage and destruction. Via its virtual private network (VPN), information from Stockport Homes is stored with The Bunker, a trusted PAC partner, whose UK data centres are located in former nuclear bunkers and certified to the ISO 27001 standard for information security management. PAC Residential Cloud also restricts access to resident data, with employees only given permission to look at information that relates directly to their roles and responsibilities. There are also other less obvious benefits and Jason Sullivan comments, ‘The data collected by the access control system can be used to add an extra level of care. For instance, James and his team can see if a resident’s key fob hasn’t been used during a specific period and send someone to investigate if necessary. Furthermore, in the event that a key fob is lost, an authorisation check can be carried out, access grated and, if necessary, a missing device deactivated – all from a remote location.’ Safety first During the coronavirus pandemic the PAC access control system has allowed Stockport Homes to remotely carry out duties, while adhering to social distancing guidelines. James Hood concludes, ‘Under these difficult circumstances the use of PAC Residential Cloud has proven hugely beneficial in numerous ways. Specifically, I’m delighted with the overall improvement it has made to our responsiveness, flexibility and efficiency, and I’m confident that we have maximised tenant safety as a result of completing this project.’ For further information please E: or visit


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Understandably during the height of the pandemic, there was an enormous waiting list for general repair and restoration works, especially towards the end of 2020. In the lettings sector alone, landlords and housing associations received an unprecedented number of complaints from tenants - 43% of which were about repairs – but we have learned so much since then. When November’s lock down was announced by Boris Johnson, the government were clear to designate repair companies as essential services which has allowed operators such as ourselves to play our part in reducing the backlog in domestic properties wearing full PPE. The landscape has of course changed but with additional health and safety, PPE and social distancing considerations front of mind and fully in place, it does mean that the backlog of stalled projects and repairs is now being handled. Many postponed ‘nonessential’ repairs are back underway within housing stock, education and health care but with the road map in place to further parts of the economy opening-up imminently, we have the opportunity to do so much more. Sports facilities, museums, theatres and galleries are cautiously preparing to open their doors once more and it is time to address any outstanding wear and tear that might impact visitor confidence at such a sensitive time.

By repairing an item, Magicman typically save customers 80% of time and money, with craftsmanship second to none. Before


As a business Magicman are passionate about partnering with housing associations, healthcare, education and other areas of the public sector to move forwards together into this new landscape, building trusted relationships and community within the public sector as they go.

Magicman now see a great need and opportunity to work hard together to not only overcome this backlog but to ensure that tenants and visitors to public amenities feel safe and protected while repairs are carried out. Ahead of a general re-opening, we will be thinking about how we can work collaboratively, sustainably and safely to ensure this. After

Magicman provide sustainable insitu repairs of baths, sinks, worktops, windows, doors, tiles and floors that are unparalleled in their quality and customer service. As the originator of in-situ repairs and snagging, environmental concerns have always been a core part of their operation. Repairing damaged items on-site instead of replacing items that many do not realise are perfectly repairable reduces landfill, and the greenhouse gases produced in the manufacture and distribution of replacement items. By repairing an item, Magicman typically save customers 80% of time and money, with craftsmanship second to none. Magicman means less stress, time wasted and costs for housing associations and public buildings such as schools, healthcare facilities, museums and galleries. But most importantly less downtime, interruption and stress from start to finish. This is even more important at a time when there is still uncertainty about social contact and where there is a need to reassure employees, tenants, visitors and patients. Public confidence as well as bricks and mortar will also benefit from some careful restoration. To discuss how you can work together with Magicman, contact

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GRAND DESIGNS LIVE BRING THE BEST OF HOME DESIGN BUILD AND INNOVATION TO THE NEC THIS OCTOBER Show Dates: 6th – 10th October 2021 Grand Designs Live, proudly sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, are thrilled to bring the very best of home design, build and innovation back to The NEC this October. Taking place from the 6th to the 10th of October 2021, Grand Designs Live will be debuting an array of new features and visitor favourites throughout the 5 days. Kevin McCloud comments on the shows return; ‘I am looking forward to getting back to Grand Designs Live in October! The show is always a great time, and after the last 18 months of uncertainty that we’ve had, Grand Designs Live at the NEC in October will be a fantastic event to inspire those who have been itching to renovate and invigorate their homes, learn new skills and even build their own grand design!’ Director at Media 10; organiser of Grand Designs, Richard Morey continues; ‘The Grand Designs Live team are delighted to be working on the preparations for the October show; we can’t wait to welcome visitors back! There is nothing like a live event to source everything you need to build your own home, gain knowledge and foster excitement and inspiration across the industry.’ 2021’s show will boast a range of new exhibitors and exciting debut features, along with popular favourites and established brands. Grand Designs presenter and design expert Kevin McCloud will be hosting the event on the 6th and 9th. Whether you’re

looking to self-build, redecorate a room, install a new kitchen or simply on the lookout for inspiration, Grand Designs Live is a must-visit event. One of the brand-new features for 2021 is The Great British Box Room Competition sponsored by Crown Paints. Six interior designers will take on 6 installation spaces to design and curate the best use for one of the smallest rooms in any house; the quintessential ‘box room’, to transform it into one of most useful rooms in the house. With space at home being stretched more than ever, this brandnew imaginative and exciting feature aims to inspire visitors and encourage them to take home new ideas. Visitor favourite Kevin’s Green Heroes, sponsored by Reynaers, will return showcasing the best groundbreaking and eco-friendly products on the market, whilst the Ask An Expert, sponsored by Airflow, area will © Aaron Scott Richards

return alongside a host of inspiring and informative seminars at The Grand Theatre offering visitors the opportunity to consult and hear from specialists across a spectrum of homeimprovement and self-build areas. Inspiration for keen gardeners will be available in abundance across the Gardens area, sponsored by Hydropool, while other specific areas of interest include Build, Kitchens, Bathrooms, and Interiors. The show offers hundreds of innovative ideas for the home alongside instructive talks, educational seminars, demonstrations and informative displays from the show’s automotive sponsor, Lexus. After a busy morning of exploration and inspiration, visitors get a drink, grab a bite to eat, relax and plan their afternoon at the Siemens café. Grand Designs Live is the perfect onestop shop for anyone wanting to learn about the world of Custom and Self Build, renovations interiors and design for the home. For more information visit Grand Designs Live © Aaron Scott Richards

© Aaron Scott Richards


© Aaron Scott Richards

Mobile Coverage Solutions

CONSORT CLAUDGEN LAUNCHES NEW DOWNFLOW FAN HEATERS Consort Claudgen have launched two new downflow fan heaters. The DF2 and DF2SL Heatflows provide rapid warmth and adjustable heat output of 1kW or 2kW at installation. The DF2 Heatflow has a simple pull cord operation. Once the heater is activated, it operates on a pre-set period of 30 minutes or can be deactivated before the energy saving timer expires by pulling the cord again.

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The DF2SL Heatflow has a variable thermostat and requires a separately purchased wireless controller to operate. It is compatible with Consort’s SL run-back timers and advanced wireless controllers offering a longer heating period as well as more efficient heat control. With sleek and compact design, yet practical functionalities, these heaters make the perfect choice to suit building owners’ heating requirements for bathrooms or kitchens. For more details, visit or contact Sales at 01646 692172.

RRN321020 Consort QP.indd 1

01/04/2021 13:35:06



MENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY: HOW CAN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY DO BETTER TO IMPROVE ALL KINDS OF WELLBEING? Health and safety has never been more important than it is right now. As we emerge from lockdown where both physical and mental health were at the forefront of our minds, it is no surprise that, in an industry where stringent safety measures have always been paramount, these considerations are still a key focus. Mental health in particular is absent from risk assessments and H&S forms. Chris Monk, managing director of The Input Group, considers how the industry can continue to work towards the highest standards of health and safety, in all senses. “From the pyramids to Boris Johnson’s commitment to ‘build, build, build’, construction has always been seen as a marker of progress, socially and economically. However, despite its obvious importance, working in construction runs the highest risk of any industry in the UK. A study by GoCompare Life found that construction accounts for 17% of workplace fatalities and separate research indicated that construction workers have some of the worst mental health in the country. “From a physical safety perfective, working with heavy machinery, potentially dangerous materials, and often at great heights will obviously come with risks – which is why we need stringent safety measures and a zero-tolerance approach to accidents

and injuries. As an industry, we cannot accept anything less than watertight health and safety policies, with staff and public wellbeing woven through every decision. “While Network Rail’s LTIFR (Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate) target sits at 0.0139 per 100,000 hours worked, we strongly believe in always striving for zero injuries, a zero LTIFR, and a zero AFR (Accident Frequency Rate). At The Input Group, we’ve developed our own CONCEPTZERO policy, which underpins everything we do and ensures we do all we can to avoid injuries and accidents. We’re passionate about paving the way for CONCEPTZERO to be the industry standard. “In turn, the reduction of physical health risks will help to alleviate the stress of working in a dangerous environment. This will inevitably improve employee wellbeing as mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand to increase all round job satisfaction.

Health and safety goes beyond risk assessments, high-vis jackets, and hard hats, but instead should be intrinsic to every project and process. Quality control must apply to everyone involved, from contractors to cleaners, and be integrated into the supply chain. From clear working areas and tidy walkways to meticulous signage and wellplanned working sites, it’s crucial to reflect health and safety in everything you do to ensure zero accidents and injuries. “Through dedicated health and safety executives and the employment of management software like ProCore, a stricter approach to health and safety can and should be employed industry-wide to improve the wellbeing of everyone involved in a construction project. “Physical health and safety is, of course, only one side of the coin and mental health should always be a top priority for construction firms. The Chartered Institute of Building found that 70% of construction workers surveyed in 2019 had experienced feelings of depression and 87% had experienced anxiety. “The ideal situation would be to see dedicated mental health first aiders and comprehensive support systems as common practice in all companies. Nonetheless, positive steps towards improving mental health across the sector are already being made. “The Stop. Make a Change campaign combines a celebration of World Mental Health Day and the European Week for Safety and Health to focus on the health and wellbeing of construction professionals to build a healthier, safer industry. This year’s campaign focuses particularly on respiratory health, people / plant interface and workplace stress, as well as cancer, as key areas of concern for construction workers. “These kinds of initiatives are the type of proactive action we’re thrilled to see in the construction sector and no matter which area of the industry, we’re excited to see health and safety become an intrinsic focus.”


To find out more about The Input Group, please visit or contact

Winkhaus Composite Fire Door Solutions The one stamp of quality that leads to many approvals We’ve tested our FD30 fire door set solutions to consistently prove performances way beyond the 30 minute requirement. Tested from both the inside and outside to ensure compliance with all requirements of MHCLG 2020, BS EN 1634 for fire resistance & smoke control plus PAS 24 enhanced security. All third party certified and audited for fire and security by Q Mark to ensure consistent safe performance. If you’re looking to specify or manufacture composite fire doors but need assurance that you’re making the right decision, let us help you make an informed choice. Winkhaus has invested heavily in R&D, product testing and new products; all of which has been created by a dedicated expert in house team which has provided the platform for multiply approved solutions for you to now take advantage of. For more information please contact Winkhaus UK Ltd on 01536 316091 or

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