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BUILDING DESIGN &

CONSTRUCTION THE MAGAZINE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

OCTOBER 2013 ISSUE 190

OCTOBER 2013

BUILDING DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION

WELSH GOVERNMENT

WORKING FOR A FAIRER AND PROSPEROUS WALES

A PROUD SAFETY RECORD

PRIDE (SERP) LTD NORLAND MANAGED SERVICES EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE, EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE

GOING FOR GOLD AT THE

ROSPA AWARDS

STILES HAROLD WILLIAMS

MAKING PROPERTY WORK


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EDITOR’S COMMENT

SAFETY FIRST t is all about health and safety in this month’s Building

Operations director Daniel Costas said RoSPA awards were

Design and Construction magazine as we again highlight

crucial in giving companies the confidence that they are mak-

RoSPA’s award winners. The RoSPA Safety Awards recog-

ing the right choices in their health and safety management.

nise health and safety success and offer organisations a

“The award process helps us to think about our processes and

prime opportunity to prove their ongoing commitment to

procedures, and to think about what we are achieving and

raising health and safety standards. Sponsored by NEBOSH,

what opportunities there are to improve our health and safety

the premier health and safety examining body, the awards are

performance further.

I

open to organisations of all sizes, from the full spectrum of work activities and from all over the world.

“The company and our staff are proud to receive awards from RoSPA as they are an external adjudication of our per-

One winner, PriDE, the joint venture between Interserve

formance, and we share these with our customers, suppliers,

Defence Ltd and SSE Contracting, picked up the Gold Medal

and business partners as a way to reinforce our approach to

as a result of its consistent standards. Health and safety man-

business.”

ager Fred Cooper was delighted with the award but told me it

Undoubtedly, RoSPA plays a crucial role in promoting

was down to the hard work of the entire team. “Everyone says

health and safety best practice and, through its awards, cele-

well done to the safety professional – in this case me – but

brating those that are achieving the highest standards and set-

safety isn’t just about me; a lot of hard work has been put in

ting the example by which others can follow.

by all staff and contractors. Everyone who works for or with us recognises very quickly how seriously PriDE takes health and safety.” Comma, which is owned by Cosan Lubricants & Specialties

. DANIEL STEPHENS

(Cosan L&S), went one better with the Order of Distinction

EDITOR

highlighting fifteen consecutive Gold Awards.

MAGAZINE MANAGER: KEN BOOTH TRAINING MANAGER: JONATHAN SEALE FEATURE MANAGERS: VAUGHAN WILKS LUKE ROBINSON ADAM PATCHELL WESLEY DAVIES JOHN HENSON DANIEL BEARDSLEY MARK BRITTEN MATTHEW TERRY EDITOR: DANIEL STEPHENS ART EDITOR: STEVE WILLIAMS DESIGNER: KATE WEBBER

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CONTRIBUTORS: JEFF SENIOR ROB SAMUELS MATT WARING PRODUCTION: VICKI LINDSAY LISA POLLINGER ACCOUNTS: NICK CHARALAMBOUS ADMINISTRATION: CHARLOTTE LEWIS

BUILDING DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION IS PUBLISHED BY: CPL (HUDDERSFIELD) LTD 3 Brook Street, Huddersfield HD1 1EB TEL: +44 (0)1484 411 400 E-MAIL: info@bdcmagazine.co.uk

LTD

Building Design and Construction magazine is published by CPL Ltd. Company registered in England & Wales. All material is the copyright of CPL Ltd. All rights reserved. Building Design and Construction magazine is the property of CPL Ltd. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form whole or part without the written permission of a director of CPL Ltd. Liability: while every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information herein, or any consequence arising from it. In the case of company or product reviews or comments, these have been based upon the true and honest opinion of the Editor at the time of going to press.

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE

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CONTENTS

INSIDE... SECTIONS:

NEWS PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT LOCAL AUTHORITIES PUBLIC SECTOR PROCUREMENT EDUCATION GOVERNMENT SECTOR RETAIL ROSPA AWARDS HEALTH AND SAFETY CIVILS, TRANSPORT AND UTILITIES HERITAGE BUILDING SERVICES

4 8 34 58 66 72 86 92 132 158 174 180

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PRIDE (SERP) LTD

SUPPLEMENTS AND SPECIALS:

RoSPA AWARDS 2013 Going for gold

92

HOME RETAIL GROUP Unrivalled convenience and value

94

PRIDE (SERP) LTD Pride in their work

96

COMMA OIL & CHEMICALS LIMITED Passion for performance

108

COSTAIN OIL, GAS AND PROCESS LTD Award winners

114

CUADRILLA RESOURCES To boldly go

118

BOULTING GROUP Engineering solutions

124

HERTFORDSHIRE PARTNERSHIP UNIVERSITY NHS FOUNDATION TRUST Committed to providing first class care

130

INTERNATIONAL SAFETY AWARDS Awarding health and safety

132

NORLAND MANAGED SERVICES Exceptional services, exceptional people

136

AIR CADET ORGANISATION Flying their way to safety

156

Follow us on

@BDCMagazine 2

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE


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CONTENTS

FEATURES: NEWS This month’s top stories

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PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT THE ROYAL INSTITUTION OF CHARTERED SURVEYORS The strategic future of facilities management STILES HAROLD WILLIAMS Making property work BIFM CHANNEL ISLANDS LAUNCH BIFM branches out G4S Securing your world BA CLUBS A hidden oasis ROYAL MAIL Joining forces

8 10 18 20 22 26

LOCAL AUTHORITIES LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS This month’s top stories PETERBOROUGH CITY COUNCIL Investing in Peterborough SWANSEA COUNCIL Swansea regeneration WAKEFIELD COUNCIL Making Wakefield a better place PLYMOUTH CITY COUNCIL Britain’s ocean city STOCKTON-ON-TEES BOROUGH COUNCIL Stockton’s vision SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL The primary review

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STILES HAROLD WILLIAMS

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SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL

34 36 40 44 46 48 52

PUBLIC SECTOR PROCUREMENT WEST MIDLANDS PROPERTY ALLIANCE Improvement and efficiency VALUEWORKS Making e-commerce happen WELSH PURCHASING CONSORTIUM Delivering competitive procurement arrangements

58 60 62

EDUCATION EDUCATION NEWS This month’s top stories UNIVERSITY OF NORTHAMPTON Transforming lives, inspiring change

66 68

GOVERNMENT SECTOR WELSH GOVERNMENT Working for a fairer and prosperous Wales

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RETAIL THE BRITISH PROPERTY FEDERATION ‘Breathing life’ into high streets ASDA RETAIL DEVELOPMENT Developing Asda

72

WELSH GOVERNMENT

86 88

CIVILS, TRANSPORT & UTILITIES INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERS A titanic achievement TRANSPORT SCOTLAND Keeping Scotland moving FORESTRY COMMISSION Managing our woodlands SOUTH WEST WATER Upstream thinking, the key to sustainability

158 160 164 172

HERITAGE CHURCHCARE 16,000 buildings, one resource

174

BUILDING SERVICES LOSS PREVENTION CERTIFICATION BOARD High-rise buildings, cladding systems and the danger of fire A&F SPRINKLERS Innovators in fire protection

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE

180 182

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NEWS

NEW HOME STARTS IN ENGLAND RISE BY 6% THE NUMBER of new homes being built in England rose by 6% in the three months to June, according to the government. The figures were boosted for the first time by the Help to Buy scheme, which started at the beginning of April. On an annual basis, construction work started on 110,530 new homes, a 7% increase on the previous year. But critics warned that the number of new homes being built is still far smaller than the country needs, and lower than it was before the recession. In March 2006, a recent peak, 183,000 homes were being built in England. But the government insisted that the situation is improving. “Today’s figures clearly show government action bringing confidence back into the housing market and getting Britain building again,” said Communities Minister Brandon Lewis. Following the announcement, the employer’s organisation, the CBI, called for

improvements in the planning system, in order to get houses built more quickly. “We’ve been falling woefully short of building the homes we need for decades,” said Rhian Kelly, the CBI’s director for business environment policy. “There’s huge pent-up demand which is just not being met – from first-time buyers and from second-steppers looking to get on the next rung of the ladder,” she said. The housing charity, Shelter, called for radical action to tackle what it calls the chronic shortage of homes across the country. “While the government may trumpet these figures as a growth story, what they really show is that we are still building less than half of the 250,000 homes we need each year to meet demand,” said Kay Boycott, Shelter’s director of communications. The latest figures, from the Department for Communities and Local Government, reflect different rates of house-building in different parts of the country.

RAISING AWARENESS OF STREET CHILDREN SHEFFIELD-BASED insulation distributor Panel Systems has helped to raise awareness across the UK of the plight of the millions of children across the world that live on the street, by supplying cut Styrofoam models for two special exhibitions which were held recently in London. As one of the UK’s leading suppliers of Styrofoam insulation, Panel Systems responded to a request from Threefold Architects, based in London, to provide charity Street Child World Cup with Styrofoam

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models to enable three London schools to make models of the cities of Rio de Janeiro and London. For more information about visit www.streetchildworldcup.org

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE

Housing starts have been strong in areas that include the M5 corridor between Devon and Worcestershire, north of the London green belt, Leicestershire, south Lincolnshire and Cumbria. Starts have been “generally low” in areas that include a band running from Birmingham up to Manchester and spreading to North Yorkshire. Eastern parts of Kent and Norfolk have also seen less house-building. House construction is expected to rise further in the months ahead, following the launch of the government’s Help to Buy scheme. Earlier this week, it was announced that 10,000 people had applied for new homes under the scheme since it began in April. It enables home-buyers in England and Wales to afford a house or flat, with the help of an equity loan from the government. Buyers in Scotland have access to a similar scheme.


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NEWS

NEW RHI TARIFFS ARE WELCOMED THE NEW Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) tariffs have been applauded by heat pump and biomass manufacturer, CTC. General Manager, Cliff Arnold believes the tariff for ground source heat pumps is a particular triumph, as it has always been described as one of the most efficient heating sources available. “This announcement has been a long time coming,” said Cliff. “It’s without doubt the most positive announcement the coalition has given us regarding RHI – giving the industry a real shot in the arm. “If energy reduction, carbon-saving, and an attractive return on investment is what people are after, then high-performance ground source heat pumps have always been the way forward. “If RHI does go ahead in Spring 2014, as indicated by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), it will provide the platform for growth for an industry that has been chomping at the bit for

some four years to deliver heating systems the UK so desperately needs – energy efficient, sustainable, and able to reduce energy bills”. UK Home owners, landlords and self-builders who have installed a ground source heat pump since 15 July 2009 are eligible for RHI, as long as they meet the criteria. Applicants will need to complete a Green Deal Assessment before submitting and must ensure they have met minimum loft (250mm) and cavity wall insulation requirements, where appropriate. However, Cliff is keen to stress the importance of installer training. “RHI will only be made available if installers are Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited – working to a high level of standards. “The industry needs further clarity on how RHI will be delivered, but it also needs a high calibre of installer. In order to grab this opportunity installer businesses must upgrade their skills and develop into elite renewable heat specialists.”

‘THEY THINK IT’S ALL OVER’ BUT NOT AT ‘LIVE NORTH’

COLOURFUL PANELS SUPPLIED TO COMMUNITY BUILDING

PIC

ALUGLAZE composite panels from Panel Systems have been supplied to The Link, a flagship community building for young people, which is based under the Harrow Manor Way flyover in South Thamesmead, London. Powder coated aluminium was specified in red, orange, yellow and green to provide a vibrant exterior to The Link that complemented the colour of the curtain walling. The Aluglaze panels included Styrofoam insulation, which

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achieved a U-value of 0.35 W/m2K, therefore offering a high level of thermal performance. The panels were supplied to the contractors on behalf of Trust Thamesmead, the community development agency for Thamesmead. The Link is a £5.65m state-ofthe-art community facility, which has been funded by a myplace grant to deliver world class places for young people to go. The building will offer activities aimed at young people.

WORLD Cup winning hero Sir Geoff Hurst will be the guest speaker at this year’s Live North – the first joint NICEIC and ELECSA conference and exhibition event. Hurst, whose hat-trick in the 1966 final catapulted England to its one and only World Cup victory, will be reminiscing on his football achievements and discussing how to achieve success in whatever profession you operate in. Live North, which takes place on October 24th at Bolton Arena, brings together some of the biggest names in the electrical industry to offer up-to-date advice and technical information for contractors. In addition to Hurst there will be seminars from NICEIC’s Tony Cable and Darren Staniforth on a range of topics including: legal aspects of safe isolation and working live, technical requirements of a Quality Supervisor, earthing and bonding and downlighter safety.

There will also be talks on Green Deal and electric vehicle charging while the lively trade show will offer visitors the chance to get discounted rates on all of the latest products and services. A wide range of manufacturers and suppliers will be attending the expo, including partner sponsors WF Senate, Click Scolmore and ESP. For more information or to book your ticket online visit www.niceic-elecsalive.com or call 020 7324 2771

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NEWS

NEW REPRESENTAIVE ON BSI COMMITTEE

CRAIG SHEPHEARD has been confirmed as the new British Institute of Facilities Management’s (BIFM) representative on the British Standards Institution (BSI) FMW/1 Facilities Management Committee, working alongside another BIFM representative – Stan Mitchell, who chairs the Committee. The FMW/1 Facilities Management Committee is part of the construction section of BSI and was established to provide a UK voice into the development work that was to be carried out via CEN, the European standards body. FMW/1 is responsible for the development and maintenance of standards in facilities management (FM).

Speaking on his appointment, Shepheard said “The various quality standards that have been developed over the years have helped move British companies into the forefront of modern, quality ways of working. But there is more we can achieve.

JOINING FORCES

THE BRITISH Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) have signed a Partnership Agreement. The crux of the Agreement will see BIFM and DWP working together to support future growth in the facilities and workplace management sector. The high profile Partnership Agreement was signed on 4 July 2013 by Mark Hoban MP, Minister of State for Employment, Gareth Tancred, CEO of BIFM and Martin

Brown, Work Services Director for Wales and Employers, Department for Work and Pensions.

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE LAUNCHED THE BRITISH Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) have launched two new Good Practice Guides (GPGs) covering Benchmarking and Space Planning and Management. Building on the facilities management guidance suite offered by the Institute, the guides are part of the institute’s drive to advance standards and professionalism in facilities management. Jacqueline Gillman, Product Development Manager at BIFM, said “The GPGs have consistently been identified in the BIFM Membership survey as a key member benefit. The guides are written by facilities management (FM) experts and provide guidance on core topics and special-

ist issues within FM. These new guides are the first in a series of new and updated guides to be released in the coming months building on the existing Good Practice Guide portfolio.” Gillman continued with, “The set of good practice guidance built up and offered by BIFM is an integral part of our work to aid the facilities management professional in delivering outstanding FM. These two new guides are both strategically important to business and in demonstrating the value of FM. We plan to announce more new guides shortly.” To download the new guides go to www.bifm.org.uk/GPGs

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EUROSAFE SOLUTIONS PLAYS ITS PART IN OLYMPIC LEGACY WITH attention turning to the Olympic Park once again for last week’s Sainsburys Anniversary Games, the construction industry was reminded of the extraordinary feat achieved by the contractors involved in building the infrastructure for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Fall protection specialist Eurosafe Solutions is celebrating the part it played in the ‘exemplary health and safety record’ of the London 2012 Olympics, which has become a key part of the Olympic legacy.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) identified health and safety as its number one priority in the construction of the venues, infrastructure and Athletes’ Village for London 2012. Eurosafe Solutions played a key role in delivering on the ODA’s commitment to health and safety by providing a specialist fall protection system which allowed safe access for roofing contractors, Lakesmere Ltd., to install the iconic wave roof on the Olympic Aquatic Centre.


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NEWS

LEGAL & GENERAL PLANS TO BECOME LARGE-SCALE LANDLORD

INSURER Legal & General is looking to become a major landlord in the UK’s residential housing market. L&G head Nigel Wilson told the BBC that there is “intergenerational injustice” towards young people, who can’t get jobs, have to pay for very expensive education and can’t afford housing. Legal & General plans to invest £15bn in housing, education, energy and transport over the next ten years. The company has £433bn under management, mostly in pension funds. Mr Wilson said that while house price rises may be welcome news in some quarters, for many young people they exacerbated their problems. “Instead of applauding ourselves when house prices go up, we should try

to develop a system where house prices don’t go up for the next few years and we increase the supply – instead of 120,000 house a year, up to 250,000 a year, a sizeable portion of which should be rented.” he said. Such an increase would invariably mean building on green belt land, something Mr Wilson said should be part of the solution. He identified the current planning process as a stumbling block, but did acknowledge that some positive progress had been made to the system in recent years. “Planning in the UK is probably as difficult as it gets anywhere in the world,” he said. Legal & General made its first direct investment in the housing sector back in

March, when it bought 46.5% stake in the housebuilder Cala. At the time, Legal & General said that the deal was “part of a strategy to target socially useful projects (including housing, education, transport and energy sectors) that deliver high rates of return and fit Legal & General’s financial and strategic criteria.” However, while Cala was an investment in the build-to-sell market, Mr Wilson told the BBC that Legal & General was now looking to enter the build-to-rent sector. “How big we can be, we don’t know, It depends on the planning environment here in the UK, but certainly it’s our economic intention to have a much bigger role in the private rented accommodation market.”

RYDON WINS £50M CAMDEN REBUILD

DEMOLITION work will start this month to make way for a new £50m estate in Gospel Oak after Rydon was confirmed as main contractor. The London Borough of Camden has now rubber-stamped the deal for the first stage of a two stage tender process that will culminate in a fixed price being submitted in January 2014. The £50m redevelopment involves the full demolition of the estate, making way for 290 new homes comprising 176 for private sale, 104 for affordable rent and 10 for shared ownership.

Other improvements include a new and altered public realm, landscaping, vehicular and pedestrian links as well as three new retail units. Main construction work will start at the end of 2013 and will be staged across three phases. The project is due for completion at the end of 2017. Mark Mitchener, Managing Director of Rydon Construction said: “Our appointment to Bacton reflects Rydon’s reputation in the consultation, design and delivery of first class community regeneration.”

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PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: THE ROYAL INSTITUTION OF CHARTERED SURVEYORS

THE STRATEGIC FUTURE OF

FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

WITH AROUND 100 000 QUALIFIED MEMBERS AND OVER 50 000 TRAINEES AND STUDENTS IN SOME 140 COUNTRIES, RICS PROVIDES THE WORLD’S LEADING PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATION IN LAND, PROPERTY, CONSTRUCTION AND ASSOCIATED ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES 8

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PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: THE ROYAL INSTITUTION OF CHARTERED SURVEYORS

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enior figures in facilities management and corporate real estate have taken part in a roundtable discussion in London to contribute to RICS global research into facilities management. RICS is the world's leading professional body for setting standards in the surveying industry. It has members all around the globe delivering knowledge and serving the public interest at a local level. In their work, they draw on RICS' ever-growing range of globally applicable and regionally specific standards and guidance. It was founded in London in 1868 and today has more than 100,000 members globally, with the majority of its net membership growth coming from outside of the UK. Representatives from a range of organisations including PwC, Network Rail, Yahoo and the UK Government Property Unit discussed at the roundtable discussion in London whether facilities management could ever be seen as a strategic business unit and what steps would need to be taken to ensure this happens. The discussion was part of an ongoing research project being carried out by RICS and Occupiers Journal into the future of the facilities management profession. The first report – Raising the Bar: Enhancing the Strategic Role of Facilities Management – set out the strategic barriers to facilities management. It suggests a route that can be taken to ensure facilities are seen as an essential part of business performance, that there is a clear link with employee productivity and retaining and attracting the most talented employees. These principles are now being tested in the second phase of the research which involves a series of roundtables around the world. Events have already taken place in North America, Hong Kong, China

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and Singapore and the roundtable gave London based professionals a chance to contribute to the discussions. Some very strong views were put forward on the role of facilities management and its place within business strategy. Full details of the discussion will be available in the final report which is due to be released towards the end of 2013. Further roundtables will be taking place in Toronto, Sao Paulo and Delhi over the summer with the aim of creating a truly global view of the industry and the role RICS can play in it. The RICS research report Raising the Bar provided a valuable insight into what “being strategic” in facilities management really means; and the current “state of practice” in the sector. The second report, due to be published later this year, will build on its findings based on this and the other roundtables currently underway. www.rics.org Tel: 024 7686 8555

THE RICS RESEARCH REPORT RAISING THE BAR PROVIDED A VALUABLE INSIGHT INTO WHAT ‘BEING STRATEGIC’ IN FACILITIES MANAGEMENT REALLY MEANS; AND THE CURRENT ‘STATE OF PRACTICE’ IN THE SECTOR.

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PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: STILES HAROLD WILLIAMS

MAKING PROPERTY WORK IN A COMPETITIVE MARKET, MAKING PROPERTY WORK FOR YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS REQUIRES THE BEST ADVICE, ON TIME, EVERY TIME. STILES HAROLD WILLIAMS STRIVES TO PROVIDE THAT ADVICE.

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PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: STILES HAROLD WILLIAMS

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ith a history dating back to 1798 and a business firmly established as a multi-disciplined firm of Chartered Surveyors, Stiles Harold Williams took the strategic decision two years ago to substantially expand into residential property management. The firm’s background and its particular focus on big mixed use, mixed tenure, town centre regeneration projects, allowed it to adopt a holistic approach, according to Head of Residential Management Nicholas Faulkner: “We had a very substantial building consultancy division with building surveyors based in a variety of offices, so our property managers can count on their support. Additionally, we now use a bespoke software package that forms and runs residents’ limited companies for our clients, whilst our insurance department works very closely with a firm of insurance brokers to enable us to offer a full range of policies.” “We have even created a highly specialist legal expenses policy to support Resident Management Companies in Leasehold Valuation Tribunal disputes, which is the first in the market. As a result we have a very broad approach and, if we are dealing with commercial properties, particularly mixed use nowadays, we can offer both capabilities — letting them through our local commercial office and selling commercial investments onward if our clients wish.”

Admiralty Quarter, a property in Portsmouth that has 566 apartments, three retail units, a public car park and a private car park

RESIDENT MANAGEMENT COMPANIES The new strategy has helped the firm build up to the point where it now manages in excess of 7,500 residential units. As it can handle the full property management cycle from initial management strategy, clients are a mix of developers (including Barratt Homes, Crest Nicholson and Redrow Homes), third party building owners such as several substantial Housing Associations, and the Resident Management Companies to which blocks are transferred after completion. Nicholas says: “We work directly with developers to set up the service charge management strategies, liaise with solicitors to make sure everything is right from day one. We then progress those schemes through a number of phases, ultimately transferring the management, often to Resident Management Companies.” Typical of that process is Admiralty Quarter, a property in Portsmouth that has 566 apartments, three retail units, a public car park and a private car

park. “We acted for the developers, Crest Nicholson, and piloted the development through the change of management to the residents,” recalls Nicholas. “We called an inaugural extraordinary general meeting to elect the volunteer directors, helped with the first board meeting for those directors, explained what is involved for each of them and helped guide them through the administration of their company. “The scheme has a number of schedules, some rather complicated mechanical and electrical elements, and full time staff on site. There is a wide range of contractor involvement and everything has to work effectively for these volunteer directors. I think a lot of RMC directors are unsung heroes of

“WE WORK DIRECTLY WITH DEVELOPERS TO SET UP THE SERVICE CHARGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES, LIAISE WITH SOLICITORS TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS RIGHT FROM DAY ONE” NICHOLAS FAULKNER HEAD OF RESIDENTIAL MANAGEMENT www.bdcmagazine.co.uk

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PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: STILES HAROLD WILLIAMS the industry! It’s one thing to rely on your managing agent but, to make correct policy decisions regarding where you live, it means giving up a lot of time and making a substantial commitment.” COMMON GOALS When Stiles Harold Williams acts on behalf of Resident Management Companies, there is no fine line between the owners’ and tenants’ interests. However, when the two are separate, Nicholas believes they both have the same general goal of wanting the building maintained in good order and so doesn’t see any need for conflict. The way to avoid any problems, he insists, is through good quality communication: “At the start of every service charge year, when residents receive their demand, we issue detailed notes of explanation regarding the service charge elements so that residents know what they’re paying towards. We might need to explain, for example, that a fire risk assessment is required, due to a particular piece of legislation. We expect to have an on-going dialogue with residents and attend meetings during the annual cycle of the building. If any major work is required, we step through a consultation process and carefully advise our clients, often calling a meeting to discuss the issue, which we find works very well indeed.” Providing service charge information in advance tends to avoid unnecessary arrears, and Stiles Harold Williams further helps the situation by allowing monthly payments by direct debit or standing order at no charge to the resident. Many of their

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“OUR INSURANCE DEPARTMENT WORKS VERY CLOSELY WITH A FIRM OF INSURANCE BROKERS TO ENABLE US TO OFFER A FULL RANGE OF POLICIES” competitors, claims Nicholas, charge for this extended service. “Ultimately, our business is about collecting the service charges and then paying to make sure the building is cleaned and operates efficiently,” remarks Nicholas. “On a simple layout, this sounds fairly straight-forward although not everyone is aware that there are 87 separate sections of legislation that cover the statutory compliance of what we do.” Communication flows by a variety of methods. Increasingly, property directors are using electronic document stores and specific property portals to download documents and see relevant information such as insurance certificates, newsletters, images and other specific information. These make it quicker to share the same information and easier to inform colleagues. Of course, some notices still need to be served in paper form. APPROVED CONTRACTORS To handle the work, Stiles Harold Williams has developed an extensive database of trusted con-

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE

tractors, service suppliers, insurance brokers, accountants and others. All go through a pre-qualification process and are monitored and controlled. Nicholas advises: “We have a full time Health and Safety Director whose role includes the maintenance of the Approved Contractor list. All our suppliers are required to have an annual Health and Safety check and have to fulfil certain requirements that include conforming to industry regulations in their specific field. A good example would be being SafeGas accredited. They also have to keep up to date with their professional and public liability insurances. That requires constant monitoring because they don’t all renew their insurances at the same time. We also like to hear feedback from the directors as to supplier performance.” To operate a residential building safely means undertaking regular health and safety checks. These might include Legionella testing of communal water tanks and the identification and dissemination to contractors of asbestos incidences. Added to the regular work are one-off projects, where good

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PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: STILES HAROLD WILLIAMS

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PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: STILES HAROLD WILLIAMS

communication is essential because of the scale of work involved in larger buildings. One requirement to recarpet the communal areas of one building required over three miles of carpets! Taking care of the detail is essential so that leaseholders can understand the full extent of the job. REDUCING ENERGY USE Property directors are increasingly focused on reducing energy use and simultaneously saving money. These, as Nicholas says, sometimes have unforeseen outcomes: “For a while we have been working with a utility broker to look at energy costs. We started off by brokering the electricity supply and then in came combined heat and power plants”. “Recently we have started looking at various green initiatives and now we’re looking at light fittings, with a suggestion to move away from fluorescent and install PIR sensors. We've just concluded an exercise for the client where the potential payback is two years if we change the car park lighting to LEDs. In some of these big buildings, the electricity bill can be in the region of £100,000 a year so we are always on the lookout for valuable client cost-savings.” Nicholas has instigated a sensibility check when it takes over a new property with the aim of reducing out-going costs. A recent example was the discovery that the previous managing agent, having never brokered the electricity supply, had been paying bills with an incorrect 20% VAT rate. Spotting and correcting that resulted in a £20,000 refund and lower bills for the client from then on.

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PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: STILES HAROLD WILLIAMS

A FOCUS ON INNOVATION The oldest current SHW client has been on the books since 1908. Not content to deliver the “same old, same old”, the modern Stiles Harold Williams is focused on continued innovation where it provides client benefits. Comments Nicholas: “We are comfortable with addressing green issues. We are using electronic storage systems and websites to improve our communications between our clients and their residents. One such system allows developers to upload their electronic files to create CDM manuals; this assists greatly with the smooth transfer to Resident Management Company control at the end of the development. We are also light years ahead from the insurance perspective in some of the products that we offer. We’re simply not resting on our laurels.” Indeed, rather than resting, the firm is planning further expansion. Already extremely well-placed in the Southeast and London, it has moved into the Midlands over the last two years. That expansion is likely to extend further north and west, with new office openings meeting clients’ needs. Nicholas says: “Our clients are currently happy with where we’re based. However, our discussion with developers and Residents Management Companies are on a national basis and, as they want us to look after properties further afield, we will expand our reach to continue to offer a great service”. www.shw.co.uk Tel: 020 7389 1500

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Stiles Harold Wilson :feature 2 29/08/2013 15:25 Page 17

PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: STILES HAROLD WILLIAMS

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Project2:feature 2 21/08/2013 10:08 Page 18

PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: BIFM CHANNEL ISLANDS LAUNCH

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t’s no more than a few miles from the Channel Islands to the UK mainland but the intervening sea causes a sense of separation and a need for self-sufficiency. It was enough of a challenge for BIFM members on Jersey and Guernsey to set up their own branch. The problem, as Branch Secretary Katherine Torode recalls, was partly that the Channel Islands came under BIFM’s South West region: “It’s a long way from us with sea in between, so attending anything is a big thing and expensive. It’s not just a case of nipping down the road for a two-hour conference, it’s a full day out.” LOCAL REGULATIONS The problem of attending events was compounded by them not always reflecting the different regulations affecting the islands. So with the backing of BIFM and help from the South West region, the Channel Islands Branch was launched in April 2013. Ironically, having had little involvement with

the South West region previously, the relationship has grown due to the islands breaking away. “We have wonderful support from South West region as we’ve got involved with them and that will flourish,” remarks Katherine. “They’ve given us guidance, help and moral support to set up the branch and get it where it is now. We’d like to replicate what they do but in the islands so it’s less hassle, attractive to members and has more of an offshore focus because legislation and the way things happen here are quite different.” Having held the first event in June, with the AGM held and a committee also formed, the branch is ready to progress. Deputy Chairman Niall McClure says: “We’ve had feedback from those attending the first events and have a shopping list of topics to cover. We also have a list of potential sponsors and have planned a networking event in September followed by a formal training event, taking on a topic requested by various members.” Sponsorship is important because the BIFM is a non-profit making organisation with the branch

BIFM BRANCHES OUT BIFM LAUNCH A NEW BRANCH IN THE CHANNEL ISLANDS WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF RAISING THE PROFILE OF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT AND FACILITIES MANAGERS IN THE ISLANDS

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Project2:feature 2 21/08/2013 10:08 Page 19

PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: BIFM CHANNEL ISLANDS LAUNCH run by a volunteer committee. The first event was sponsored by G4S and there’s a need to find other backers for everything else that’s planned. However, as Branch Treasurer and Jersey Events Co-ordinator Sue Leonard emphasises, participants aren’t there to push their products: “It’s not a selling pitch for people presenting but a learning experience and looking at industry standards. Presenters should view it as general exposure and, if they get any leads, that’s a bonus.” TRAINING PROVIDER Now the branch is established, it aims to increase the availability of local training tailored to the islands’ needs and talks are ongoing with a training provider to deliver BIFM-accredited courses. Promoting various events will increase the incidence of networking and the sharing of best practice. Added to that are planned participation in careers fairs to promote facilities management as a career and the potential to increase BIFM membership significantly.

“IT’S ABOUT RAISING THE PROFILE OF FM BECAUSE PEOPLE DON’T HEAR ABOUT IT. WE WANT TO SHOUT ABOUT IT AND TELL SCHOOL LEAVERS WHAT A GOOD JOB IT IS.” SUE LEONARD BRANCH TREASURER AND EVENTS CO-ORDINATOR

Overall, benefits will flow to FM practitioners and to building occupiers and the industry in its widest sense. “It’s about raising the profile of FM because people don’t hear about it,” comments Sue. “We want to shout about it and tell school leavers what a good job it is.” Niall adds: “The opportunity to network among ourselves is valuable because people are aware of their own organisations and do what they think is best. But when they talk to someone else with similar problems, they learn to do things differently. Raising the profile of FM and advancing the profession are clearly objectives of BIFM. We want to

“WE HAVE WONDERFUL SUPPORT FROM SOUTH WEST REGION AS WE’VE GOT INVOLVED WITH THEM AND THAT WILL FLOURISH. THEY’VE GIVEN US GUIDANCE, HELP AND MORAL SUPPORT TO SET UP THE BRANCH AND GET IT WHERE IT IS NOW.” KATHERINE TORODE BRANCH SECRETARY

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be part of that and a common theme coming from individual FMs is they’re just seen as a cost when in fact they’re a strategic provider of services. They make things happen and help businesses operate by providing facilities.” LOGISTICS CHALLENGES FM companies in the Channel Islands serve a range of industries and to some degree share the same challenges that led to the setting up of the BIFM branch there. “Some challenges are logistical in terms of supply and pricing things properly,” recounts Kate. “The cost of living in the islands is quite high so we have that balance between value for money and longevity against someone who wants the cheapest. So we might have to go to a UK supplier. “Some of them are not as good as they could be in terms of follow-up service and response because of the distance. You can’t always hold all critical spares and parts because there’s a huge cost. If you do go down that route, you have to be very careful but we are quite self-sufficient.” Niall concludes: “It’s been a great effort on everybody’s part to get us established. We have a platform to move forward and raise the profile of facilities management in the Channel Islands.” www.bifm.org.uk/bifm/groups/branch/23266

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G4s:feature 2 30/08/2013 12:29 Page 20

PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: G4S

SECURING YOUR WORLD

ALTHOUGH BEST KNOWN AS A SECURITY COMPANY, G4S IS INCREASINGLY MOVING INTO FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

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lthough best known as a security company, G4S is increasingly moving into Facilities Management and its Channel Islands business is at the forefront of that. Indeed, its location offers certain unique features that can be an advantage. The UK FM operation has many significant FM contracts. It has made a conscious decision to increase its FM presence and that extends to the Channel Islands where it provides both hard and soft services, mainly to financial companies and government departments. “For the finance sector, the offshore islands are a region that covers Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man,” explains Managing Director Bob Le Bargy. “Quite often we provide a single contract across the three islands even though we’re based in Guernsey with counterparts in Jersey and the Isle of Man. The government, however, is independent within each

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island so there's no commonality between contracts and each is tailored to suit their specific service requirements.” DATA CENTRE SUPPORT The situation can cause problems in covering one contract across islands with different cost bases. That adds to the pressure of supporting a finance business that requires absolute reliability from its data centres, necessitating 24/7 cover and a high degree of skill. Providing FM support on the islands does, as Bob outlines, provide unique challenges: “We have particularly high skill levels because, if you're looking after critical equipment, you can't rely on an engineer flying over. So we've developed a highly skilled workforce because self delivery is key.” The sense of isolation makes companies and people self-sufficient, having skills and parts available rather than relying on outside help. That theme’s continued with the launch of the BIFM

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PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: G4S

Channel Islands branch, which Operations Director Paul Timms believes will be beneficial: “We’ll be able to share best practice and look at ways of improving our business and services. It gives a network for the business across the islands and will heighten the profile, be good for businesses and good for customers.” G4S’s FM business is growing a strong model for the islands and, because it works for many major banks and other businesses, that can be applied to companies in the UK. Particularly important to finance companies is the need for security and that’s helped by the screening and security of staff provided by other parts of the group. IMPROVING SYSTEMS “We are an established facilities management provider in the island and we continue to develop and invest in our systems and services to meet our clients’ expectations,” confirms Bob. “CAFM systems allow us to manage our contracts and provide vital management information on service levels and financial performance. Customers now expect enhanced levels of account management and management reporting on their contracts, with easy to access asset management information and life cycle planning. These traditionally have not been the key drivers for businesses within the islands but something G4S recognises as crucial to our future in the delivery of successful facilities management services.”

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british airways clubs:feature 2 17/08/2013 12:23 Page 22

PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: BA CLUBS

A HIDDEN T OASIS

ALISON HARTIGAN HAS BEEN BROUGHT IN TO BA CLUBS AS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER TO ARREST THE FALL IN MEMBERSHIP AND MAKE THE BUSINESS PROFITABLE AND SELF-SUFFICIENT 22

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he Concorde Club at Cranford is a hidden oasis in a residential area of Middlesex. Its award winning facilities are little known by the local community and the BA staff membership has dwindled since the relocation of BA’s head office and the move to Terminal 5 at Heathrow. Comprising of 35 acres, the club offers first class sports fields and many other sporting facilities including tennis (grass and hard courts), bowls and a rifle and pistol range as well as a significant clubhouse with a large function hall which can take up to 300 people. There are also three bars, a restaurant and conference rooms. “BA Clubs is a series of clubs in different regions but the main club is at Cranford,” explains Club Development Manager Alison Hartigan. “It’s a club for British Airways staff but with a diminishing membership we know we have to do something to keep the club alive.

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PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: BA CLUBS

Alison was brought into the job after a thirty plus year career in FM that included many years as Head of Facilities Management at British Airways and saw her voted one of the most influential women in FM. She started at a time when the industry was maledominated but believes the pendulum has swung the other way due to the emphasis being less on engineering and more on soft services. THE CHALLENGE The call came from the Chairman of BA Clubs, a previous Director at British Airways, and she was to arrest the fall in membership and make the business profitable and self-sufficient. Alison says: “The membership is falling but we still have 17,000 members although not all are active. We are looking at options to open to the public, which most other corporate staff clubs have done, so we can maintain a high level of membership. We’re going through a big drive at the moment and I think that will attract many BA staff back as well as the local community.”

“WE’RE GOING THROUGH A BIG DRIVE AT THE MOMENT AND I THINK THAT WILL ATTRACT MANY BA STAFF BACK AS WELL AS THE LOCAL COMMUNITY.” ALISON HARTIGAN DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

UPGRADING FACILITIES Crucial to the success of the membership drive is an upgrade of the facilities, although the outdoor pitches win awards regularly and are good enough for a Premiership football club to base its Academy side there. It’s the buildings, as Alison outlines, that need attention: “There are two buildings and they are not in good shape. The sports building, which houses squash courts and other facilities, is to be developed

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PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: BA CLUBS to produce a state of the art fitness centre with everything else upgraded. There have been several add-ons that were a good idea at the time but not necessarily very forward thinking. Some areas are not fit for purpose and, although still fully used, are old-fashioned so this upgrade will make a massive difference.” The overall plan has several aspects that include taking on an investment partner and operator to help market the club and better exploit what’s available. For the upgrade, tenders and plans have been received and the club is close to choosing a preferred supplier and entering into detailed negotiations. “We’ve been given a twelve week programme for the work,” comments Alison. “It’s not too long because we’re not knocking the building down, we’re just tearing it apart inside. Currently, there is a small function hall with a bar, lounge and kitchen, which are coming out to make way for the fitness facility so the entire building becomes sports only. We’re also going to add five 5-a-side all weather football pitches that will go where our six tennis courts currently are because the infrastructure’s there.” In addition the Club is applying for Charitable Status, which will enable it to open its doors to the general public and provide excellent facilities for community use. DISABLED ACCESS The plan includes improving disabled access in the hope the club can host some disabled sports. Having improved energy efficiency through the use of low energy lighting and other measures, the intention is to make further improvements as part of the upgrade. That will include sub-metering to control energy usage and involve renewables where practicable. However, much of the old plant will remain due to replacement cost being beyond the available budget. One aspect of the development Alison has found different to previous work is that, being a

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members’ club that’s run by members, all decisions have had to be approved by an executive committee. But, having taken early retirement before being persuaded to run the club, the challenge has made use of the skills she learned during her career and re-awakened interest in work. However, as she recounts, that’s likely to be limited to specific projects rather that long term day-to-day operations: “I like the idea of going in for a short while and helping people fix problems, then hand over a new and invigorated business. The bigger challenge is always convincing your client, your seniors, that what you propose is the right thing to do. That applies wherever you work and that’s the part I enjoy.” www.baclubs.com Tel: 020 8513 2000

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PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: BA CLUBS

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Royal Mail:feature 2 20/08/2013 11:44 Page 26

PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: ROYAL MAIL

JOINING FORCES

ROYAL MAIL IS THE PREFERRED DELIVERY COMPANY IN THE UK AND PROVIDES A VITAL LINK CONNECTING COMMUNITIES, BUSINESSES AND CUSTOMERS 26

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Royal Mail:feature 2 20/08/2013 11:44 Page 27

PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: ROYAL MAIL

wholly owned by Her Majesty’s Government, in November 2001. Later, Consignia changed to Consignia Holdings plc, then Royal Mail Holdings plc, the current name. Royal Mail was not privatised in the 1980s or 1990s, and currently remains a state-owned company. However the Postal Services Act 2011 enables the government to privatise up to 90 per cent of Royal Mail, with 10 per cent being held by Royal Mail employees. Romec Limited maintains Royal Mail’s extensive estate, containing over 2,500 building assets. Romec provides all-encompassing facilities management services to Royal Mail’s property portfolio, and has a contract to do so until 2021. Real estate management services are overseen by DTZ after it was appointed to look after the entire property estate in 2012. Romec, a joint venture in which Royal Mail Group and Balfour Beatty hold 51 per cent and 49

per cent ownership respectively, was established in 2002. Romec provides a wide range of technical and building services to Royal Mail, Post Office and Parcelforce Worldwide buildings, including electrical, plumbing, security and cleaning services, and generates approximately £150m of revenue annually. Under the ten-year agreement, which came into effect from April 2011, Romec provides contracted services to Royal Mail Group worth £0.9bn with further variable scope for works worth up to £0.9bn over the ten-year term. Mark Higson, Royal Mail’s Managing Director of Operations and Modernisation, said at the time of the contract being agreed: “We are very pleased to be extending our joint venture with Balfour Beatty. The provision of effective and highly efficient services in our buildings plays an important role in CONTINUED ON PAGE 304

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oyal Mail is the governmentowned postal service in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Royal Mail Group Limited operates the brands Royal Mail (letters) and Parcelforce Worldwide (parcels), while Post Office Ltd and General Logistics Systems, an international logistics company, are wholly owned subsidiaries. Historically, the General Post Office was a government department which included the Royal Mail delivery business, represented in Her Majesty's Government by the Postmaster General, a Cabinetlevel post. It became a statutory corporation known as the Post Office in 1969. Most of the duties were passed to Consignia plc, a public limited company

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PROPERTY AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: ROYAL MAIL ensuring our people provide the best possible services at competitive prices to all our customers.” Highlighting the positive impact of Romec on Royal Mail operations is the solution it developed to make new mail processing systems at the Kilmarnock Delivery Office more efficient, costeffective and flexible. Romec’s Manufacturing was involved in the decision-making processes at the fitout design stage, well before the building was handed over for full operation. Working with Royal Mail's Operational Planning Team, current and future equipment requirements were analysed, then Romec Manufacturing was able to prepare a quotation for both standard and bespoke equipment that was directly relevant to specific needs. As a result of the satisfactory completion of the project, Romec was also asked to supply Task Lighting Units and a bespoke Private Box Posting Suite. This took the total value for equipment supplied to over £150,000 and meant that Romec Manufacturing had provided not only standard equipment, such as vertical sorting frames, C5 and C4 fittings and Koffin Trolleys, but had also produced bespoke equipment mail processing tables with vertical sorting and the Private Box Posting

Suite, which incorporated more than sixty individual, secure, wall mounted boxes. For its property management, DTZ was appointed following a competitive tender process conducted over a six month period in 2012. DTZ take over from former service provider BNP Paribas Real Estate which acted in this capacity for eight years. Lorna Landells, Head of London Corporate Real Estate Management (CREM) at DTZ, commented: “We are delighted to have won this contract, which incorporates the management of more than 2,000 property interests throughout the UK, and we are excited at the prospect of working with the Royal Mail team.” Martin Gafsen, Royal Mail’s Group Property Director, said: “With falling mail volumes and tough trading conditions, it is vital that Royal Mail manages its property estate efficiently and cost-effectively. We look forward to working with DTZ over the coming years to achieve this.” JOINT LETTING AGENTS Last year, Capita Symonds and DTZ were appointed by Royal Mail as joint letting agents on its 185,000 sq ft depot at Bromley by Bow, in East London.

“WITH FALLING MAIL VOLUMES AND TOUGH TRADING CONDITIONS, IT IS VITAL THAT ROYAL MAIL MANAGES ITS PROPERTY ESTATE EFFICIENTLY AND COST-EFFECTIVELY” 30

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The instruction comprises the largest agency mandate of existing industrial stock in the south east in the last twelve months. The teams were appointed in the face of stiff competition from at least six other agency firms. Colin Galletly, Strategic Asset Manager for the Royal Mail Estates Limited commented on the appointment: “Capita Symonds and DTZ both demonstrated their enthusiasm and an innovative approach to marketing, as well as a comprehensively thought through approach that best aligned them with Royal Mail Estate team’s strategy for the property.” Andrew Smith, head of the Capita Symonds Agency team added: “This is a great opportunity for an occupier to be based in the heart of one of London’s emerging and biggest

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growth areas. The building has the ability to attract some interesting users who can play on the location and legacy that will follow the Olympics.” The Bromley by Bow depot was constructed in 2002, is held on a lease which expires in 2022, and has a passing rent in excess of £1.5 million. The building is situated within two miles of the Olympic Village and five miles of London City and has the capacity to be extended to provide up to an additional 40,000 sq ft. The property, which was vacated by Royal Mail Estates Limited in summer 2012, has become surplus to the Royal Mail portfolio as part of a wider rationalisation and modernisation initiative which Royal Mail has implemented in the Greater London area. www.royalmailgroup.com Tel: 08457 950 950

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LA news:feature 2 17/08/2013 14:09 Page 34

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: NEWS

PICKLES PRAISES SUCCESS OF HELP TO BUY The Government’s Help to Buy scheme has helped ‘kick start’ the UK housing market, local government minister Eric Pickles has said. Figures released today show 10,000 reservations for new build homes have been made through the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme since it launched in April, alongside almost 3,000 property sales. The Equity Local scheme provides new build property buyers with a 20% interest free equity loan for five years. Pickles said the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme was ‘working well’. Government data also shows around a third of a million homes have been delivered in the last two years, alongside 150,000 affordable properties under the Coalition Government. Pickles said measures were working to ‘boost’ the housing market

and deliver a ‘sustainable increase’ in residential properties. According to ministers, new housing supply is at its highest level since 2008, with 319,000 additional homes being constructed across England in the two years up to October 2012. Pickles said: ‘This government’s package of measures to boost the housing market is working, with house building and housing supply on the up. ‘With over 10,000 reservations in 4 months, it’s clear that the Help to Buy: Equity Loan is working well. By dealing with the big challenges, we are helping thousands of young people and families get on and move up the housing ladder, and Britain is building again.’ Labour’s shadow housing minister Jack Dromey said the figures remained ‘very modest’, and warned that the national housing crisis was continuing.

PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR STILL HELPS TO SOLVE HOMELESSNESS LESS use was made of landlord incentive schemes to get people at risk of homelessness into private rented accommodation last year, but it was still the most common solution, official figures released today show. Under the Homelessness Act 2002, local housing authorities must have a strategy for preventing homelessness in their area. Such action plans must cover non-priority cases as well as incidents where people make themselves homeless intentionally.

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The overwhelming majority (90%) of such actions were some 181,500 preventions by helping people find alternative accommodation or aid to stay in their own home. The most common preventative action to prevent homelessness was the use of landlord incentive schemes to secure private rented accommodation. Around 26,2000 cases, some 13% of the total were dealt with in this way, although this was a decrease of 5% compared to the 18% proportion in 2011/12.

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LA news:feature 2 17/08/2013 14:09 Page 35

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: NEWS

HOUSEBUILDING FIGURES PRAISED MINISTERS have leapt on housebuilding statistics – showing more than half of English councils, 178 out of 326, reported an increase in new starts over the past year – as proof the housing market has turned a corner. Some 29,510 new homes were started in the most recent quarter, between April and June this year, a figure 6% higher than the previous quarter, and a third higher than the same time last year figures released today reveal.

Communities Minister Brandon Lewis said the figures show Coalition efforts had restored confidence to the housing market, with new starts increasing by a third year-on-year. ‘We’ve already delivered over 330,000 new homes over the past three years, and 150,000 affordable homes,’ Mr Lewis said. ‘There is more to do, but today’s figures reinforce the momentum towards getting Britain building again

NINE COUNCILS PROPOSE A COMBINED AUTHORITY NINE councils in South Yorkshire are looking to create a new combined authority in a bid to boost economic growth. If approved, the new authority would have responsibility for transport, economic development and regeneration, and would replace the existing South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority. Local government minister, Brandon Lewis, said: ‘By encouraging joint working by local authorities across South Yorkshire and more widely, and having all local authority leaders in a room together at one time, decisions can be made quickly. This boosts economic growth and

PICKLES PLAN TO TACKLE ‘BIN BLIGHT’ NEW build homes will be forced to provide suitable space for wheelie bins away from the street, under new government guidance. Launching the proposals, local government minister Eric Pickles attacked the ‘ghastly gauntlet’ of ‘bin blighted’ pathways, drives and gardens. Government guidance – which impacts on both housing design standards and planning – will require new build residences to

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hold appropriate waste storage areas for the type of bin used in each local authority area. Pickles said current ‘barmy bin policies’ were making ‘families’ lives hell’. Measures such as covert storage units or appropriate space in back gardens will stop bins from ‘dominating’ pathways, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

drives forward business success. ‘Looking at strategic decision making in this way recognises that an area’s economy, its roads and its rail don’t stop at a local authority boundary.’ The combined authority would streamline the decision-making process and enable joint decisions to be made about economic growth. The nine councils are: Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales and North East Derbyshire. Councils in West Yorkshire and the North East are also planning to create a combined authority.

COUNCILS CRITICISED OVER USE OF BAILIFFS LOCAL authorities are far too quick to set bailiffs to work in collecting unpaid council tax, the leader of a national advice charity has warned. Gillian Guy, chief executive for Citizens Advice made the comments in light of findings, which show one in five people hounded by money collectors are working people. Citizens Advice claims the findings would ‘reignite’ concerns that this year’s introduction of localised council tax benefit support schemes has resulted in an upsurge in the

number of people on low-incomes being harassed by bailiffs. A third of bailiff visits are to do with unpaid council tax. Between Aprils 2012 and March 2013 the charity helped 38,262 people facing more than 60,000 bailiff problems – a third of which were for council tax arrears. ‘We’re concerned that all too often debts, like unpaid council tax, are passed to bailiffs too quickly without recognizing that the person may be struggling and need help like repayment plans,’ said Ms Guy.

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Peterborough City Council:feature 2 14/08/2013 10:41 Page 36

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: PETERBOROUGH CITY COUNCIL

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hen Primark opened its store in Peterborough recently, 54,000 people went through the doors on the first day. That’s more than the city’s population in 1950, illustrating its growth since then to around 200,000 today. Peterborough is rated the second fastest growing city outside London and Council Leader Marco Cereste believes further growth is inevitable: “Last year, there were almost 5,000 children born in Peterborough and 2,150 people died here; the majority of those people live in this city, which means we saw a net gain of almost 3,000. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to say the city might grow by another 30-40,000 in ten years.” The city is in the top fifty places to invest and do business, with 8,000 jobs generated in the last past years. However, it needs to maintain that pace and provide additional accommodation for its growing

INVESTING IN PETERBOROUGH PETERBOROUGH IS FAST BECOMING ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING AREAS FOR INVESTMENT IN THE UK

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Peterborough City Council:feature 2 14/08/2013 10:41 Page 37

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: PETERBOROUGH CITY COUNCIL population. The strategy to achieve that is largely based around the regeneration of the city centre. “I’m a great believer in having a city centre that is vibrant and alive because that percolates into the rest of the city,” states Marco. “If your city centre is dead, the rest of the city will die with it so we want a successful, vibrant city centre that attracts businesses and people.” The aim is to attract more people into the city centre and give them reason to remain there longer. That’s being achieved in several ways that include new public realm, providing free Wifi and increasing the amount of living accommodation in and around the centre. Businesses are converting unused office space for residential use and the council has plans to convert surplus buildings to the same purpose, which together could create accommodation for up to 1,000 families within the city centre. Marco says: “We are looking to reuse redundant buildings to create state-of-the-art city centre living and have plenty of innovative plans.” REGENERATION PROGRESS The regeneration of the city centre started around six years ago with the redevelopment of Cathedral Square and the creation of St John’s Square, and public realm works in Cowgate, all now complete. The refurbishment of the Queensgate Shopping Centre is underway, the regeneration of Bridge Street is due to finish imminently and next on the list is the refurbishment of city centre shopping street Long Causeway, which will complete the core of the city centre. After that, there’s an £9.5 million development of a community stadium incorporating a new educational facility – the Sustainable Skills Centre. The council’s also working with Sports England to create a sports village including a fifty metre Olympic pool. Housing accommodation is being further increased by the Southbank development, comprising 300 zero carbon homes that are spacious, of high quality and with estimated annual energy costs of £100 to £200. More innovatively is the possibility of houses that are suitable for building on flood

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plains. “They use bridge technology, floating up and down with the water so they aren’t damaged,” explains Marco. “They’re also a quality build, environmentally friendly and zero carbon nature. We’re trying to attract the manufacturer to build in Peterborough so it’s not just about regeneration; it’s about increasing jobs, the quality of work, the training and the skills available.” ENVIRONMENTAL CAPITAL That kind of innovation is evident in Peterborough’s environment capital agenda which is the city’s commitment to putting the environment at the heart of its decision-making to create a cleaner, greener, healthier city for now and the future. Since, 2005/6, 400 environmental companies have been attracted to the city. Marco says: “Businesses migrate to places where there are others they can do business with so we’ve created this cluster of environmental businesses and grown it organically. Those businesses are now spawning new ones and we’ve just won £3 million from the Technology Strategy Board, a fair

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Peterborough City Council:feature 2 14/08/2013 10:41 Page 38

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: PETERBOROUGH CITY COUNCIL amount of which will be used to encourage environmental innovation. We will use some of that money to help companies take projects to the market, creating new environmental businesses for Peterborough and helping it to grow.” The council has around 20 photovoltaic projects in schools and council buildings and a deal with Honeywell Building Solutions to survey council property to reduce energy use, emissions and cost. Longer term, it promotes environmental awareness from nursery right through to secondary schools, with numerous projects always running. “We put the environment at the core of everything we do and want to be able to make this city self sufficient in renewable energy within ten years,” comments Marco. That’s all tied in with £190 million investment in education that has seen every secondary school in the city rebuilt, extended or refurbished since 2007, with an extensive programme also planned for primary schools. There are in excess of 3,000 students taking degree courses in Peterborough including a centre specialising in health issues operated by Anglia Ruskin University. Peterborough also has proposals for a business school and plans are progressing to open a new teacher training college in the city centre. CHANGES ROLE In Marco’s view, the council’s role has changed since the onset of the recession, from one of simply encouraging, enabling and providing infrastructure to a more active involvement. That has included the

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“WE WANT TO CREATE A PETERBOROUGH THAT NOT ONLY WE ARE PROUD OF, BUT WHERE OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN WANT TO LIVE AND RAISE THEIR FAMILIES TOO. WE WANT PEOPLE TO ACHIEVE THEIR MAXIMUM POTENTIAL, WHETHER THAT’S ACADEMIC OR TECHNICAL” MARCO CERESTE COUNCIL LEADER council’s Local Authority Mortgage Scheme which supports first-time buyers to purchase a home with a deposit of just 5 per cent. The city council then provides a cash-backed indemnity of up to 20 per cent as additional security to meet the size of deposit that mortgage companies now require. The council then earns interest on this amount. The scheme has so far enabled 50 families buy their own homes and Marco believes it has been well worth the council’s £1 million investment. He says: “Every time a new family get onto the housing ladder, we receive council tax. “Every time a new home is built and sold and a family moves in we receive council tax. Developers can then build more houses and for every new home built we get a housing bonus from the government -that’s worth at least £2,500 per house, per year to us.”

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It’s only one of the things the council is doing, with the city centre regeneration entering its second and third phases and benefits already coming through. “The city will continue to grow and offer people really high quality heritage and culture facilities and events,” confirms Marco. “We want to create a Peterborough that not only we are proud of, but that our children and grandchildren want to live and raise their families too. We want to have really good homes and quality schools. We want people to achieve their maximum potential, whether that’s academic or technical. If you come back in two years time, you won’t believe the changes in the city and in five years time you won’t recognise it.” www.opportunitypeterborough.co.uk Tel: 01733 317417

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Peterborough City Council:feature 2 14/08/2013 10:41 Page 39


Swansea Council :feature 2 17/08/2013 12:33 Page 40

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: SWANSEA COUNCIL

SWANSEA

REGENERATION

SWANSEA COUNCIL HAS SPENT £10 MILLION ON REGENERATION IN THE LAST FEW YEARS AND EXPECTS TO SPEND ANOTHER £10 MILLION IN THE NEAR FUTURE. 40

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wansea Council has spent £10 million on regeneration in the last few years and expects to spend another £10 million in the near future. Head of Economic Regeneration and Planning, Phil Holmes, says highlights from the last year include the reconfiguration of the River Bridges. “Changing the way traffic operates there has led to a reduction in journey times on all routes across the bridges of between twenty and sixty per cent. This is hugely important because many thousands of motorists use the bridges every day either to commute back and forth to work, or to reach the city centre shops and tourist hotpots like Mumbles and Gower. The success of the project has been recognised by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).”

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A scheme named “Beyond Bricks and Mortar” has also been very successful. “It’s benefited over 100 local people in the last four years and has opened up more than 2,500 weeks of training,” says Phil. “It has changed many people’s lives and given them the skills to find sustainable work. This is something we’re proud of as a council and will both extend to future projects and promote our partners.” Recent developments in Swansea have improved both the city centre and key gateways in and out of the city. Working alongside its partners at the Welsh Government, significant investment has been made. This includes the refurbishment of the City Bus Station and the environmental upgrade of both the pedestrianised shopping area and the Lower Oxford Street trading area that’s renowned for the quality of its independent traders. A new,

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LOCAL AUTHORITIES: SWANSEA COUNCIL

THERE ARE A NUMBER OF DEVELOPMENTS ONGOING IN SWANSEA AT THE MOMENT. THEY INCLUDE THE WATERFRONT CONNECTIONS AND BOULEVARD SCHEMES THAT ARE GENERATING BETTER LINKS BETWEEN THE CITY CENTRE AND THE SEAFRONT. three-storey retail complex has opened on Princess Way in the heart of the city centre, and the council has been administering a scheme called the Building Enhancement Programme that’s helping businesses upgrade their shop fronts. Over £500,000 has been allocated under this scheme in recent years and many shops, hotels and other businesses have benefited. There are a number of developments ongoing in Swansea at the moment. They include the Waterfront Connections and Boulevard schemes that are generating better links between the city centre and the seafront. “We’re lucky in Swansea to have such a stunning waterfront within touching distance of the city centre, but Oystermouth Road and Quay Parade have traditionally acted as a barrier between them. The Boulevard Project, which will stretch from the

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Swansea Council :feature 2 23/08/2013 10:08 Page 42

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Swansea Council :feature 2 19/08/2013 16:46 Page 43

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: SWANSEA COUNCIL

River Tawe bridges to Princess Way along Quay Parade and Oystermouth Road, will improve links by introducing wide, pedestrian and cyclist friendly crossing points at key locations,” remarks Phil. “The appearance of the road will also be vastly improved with wider, shared-use pavements; a wider central reserve and the introduction of more than 80 trees along the route. These improvements, along with the introduction of public art, will help attract more investment from the private sector in future and will encourage more pedestrians and cyclists to pass between the city’s Maritime Quarter and the city centre shops.” Swansea Council is also working closely with the university to breathe new life into the historic Hafod Copperworks site in the city. This site was once at the epicentre of the industrial revolution and is of international significance in terms of its heritage. Activities for the next 12 months include protecting listed buildings, clearing vegetation, introducing walking trails, installing information panels, holding archaeological digs and staging events. The longerterm vision is to bring the site back into use as a vibrant and innovative hub for work, education, tourism and leisure. www.swansea.gov.uk Tel: 01792 636000

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wakefield:feature 2 17/08/2013 12:40 Page 44

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: WAKEFIELD COUNCIL

MAKING WAKEFIELD A BETTER PLACE

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wakefield:feature 2 23/08/2013 10:03 Page 45

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: WAKEFIELD COUNCIL

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aking Wakefield in to a better place to work, live and visit is at the heart of the urban renaissance and regeneration work currently being carried out by Wakefield Council. In 2001, Yorkshire Forward (the Regional Development Agency) launched its Urban Renaissance Programme. The aim of the programme was to improve the physical and natural environments where socio-economic activities take place. Getting Connected: Wakefield Renaissance Charter was published in November 2002. The Charter's aim is to help to define new approaches to comprehensive regeneration that are centred upon the improvement of the physical environment and the direct involvement of local people in the process. The council’s aims are to create a city and district where improvements will be seen in the quality and design of the built environment; transport patterns and access to public transport; the quality and design of the public spaces making them more attractive; and integrating the new developments into the existing city centre. Over the last four years the council has been working hard to deliver a number of major projects including Wakefield Waterfront, Merchant Gate and

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Trinity Walk shopping centre. All of which are changing the face of the city. For example, Wakefield Waterfront is a key part of the transformation of the southern gateway into the city, representing an exciting new cultural dimension. Construction work started on the 4 hectare waterfront scheme in 2006, and is being developed in phases over a ten-year period. On completion, it will provide around 500,000 sq ft (50,000m2) of luxury riverside apartments, office space and leisure facilities including restaurants, cafés, courtyards, landscaped gardens and public spaces. The master plan required significant restoration and conversion of some of the fine historical buildings, and integration of new buildings, including the Hepworth Wakefield, and high quality apartments and offices, whilst encouraging complimentary riverside leisure activities. Phase 1 of the development opened in November 2008 by Lord St Oswald of Nostell and included the restored Grade II listed Calder and Hebble Navigation Warehouse and new commercial and residential buildings. Phase 2, The Hepworth Wakefield, the iconic Chipperfield designed city art gallery, opened on 21st May 2011. It has attracted over half a million visitors in its first year and is expecting similar numbers in 2013.

The third phase of the site comprises restoration of a large number of Victorian Mill Buildings and a Grade II listed Phoenix Mill. Work commenced in June 2011 to re-roof the Caddies Wainwright building Rutland Mills which was completed in April 2012. A further programme of works is being planned for 2013 and beyond to continue the regeneration process. Elsewhere, the Trinity Walk Shopping Centre opened in 2011. The shopping centre is providing more than fifty large, modern retail units across a 500,000 sq ft acre site. Trinity Walk will include a line up of top high-street names including Sainsbury's, Debenhams, Next, H&M, River Island, Peacocks, ASDA Living, Pizza Express, Lush, Jack Jones, Bank, Carphone Warehouse and Orange. A 950-space car park serves both the shopping centre and the city centre. Around 1500 jobs are expected to be created as part of the overall scheme. The council has also delivered a substantial programme of high quality realm works on the adjacent streets to complement and integrate the new retailing into the existing city centre. In addition, the work at Merchant Gate will be one of the most important city centre development sites in the Yorkshire region. It comprises of a new 6.9 hectare development linking the station to the city centre and delivering 700,000 sq ft of mixeduse development including offices, a hotel, retail/ leisure and 350 new homes. Phase 1 of development work was opened on 10 September 2010 by Sir Michael Lyons, Chairman of the English Cities Fund. The development comprises of a public square surrounded by three new buildings (offices and apartments), a 1,500 multistorey car park and a new section of the Emerald Ring, the city's inner ring road. Work commenced in August 2010 on the new council offices, and was completed in December 2011. The building will cater for over 1,000 staff and host the new city library and museum. The building will open to the public in October 2012. Phase 3 comprises of the new Westgate Rail Station. £8.1m has been secured to build the new rail station on Mulberry Way, next to the new multistorey car park. Work is expected to be completed by November 2013. www.wakefield.gov.uk Tel: 0845 8 506 506

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Plymouth City Council:feature 2 17/08/2013 12:42 Page 46

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: PLYMOUTH CITY COUNCIL

BRITAIN’S OCEAN CITY

THE REBRANDING OF PLYMOUTH AS BRITAIN’S OCEAN CITY REFLECTS ITS HISTORY AS A NAVAL BASE AND DOCKYARD

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he rebranding of Plymouth as Britain’s Ocean City reflects its long standing relationship to the world’s oceans and being a point of departure to the rest of the world. Historically, the city was predominantly known as a Naval Base and Dockyard. Although the base remains important and is the largest in Western Europe, its employment is one quarter of peak levels, with city growth lately driven by becoming a university city and the development of high quality jobs within sectors such as manufacturing and health. “The ambition for more scale and to increase job opportunities is definitely there,” states Director of Place Anthony Payne. “The city council wants employment growth and to see the city transformed against an ethos of co-operative values, creating a fairer Plymouth where everyone does their bit.

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“The 2003 Mackay Vision sets the long-term framework and we have a Plymouth Core Strategy we’re revising to create a ‘Plymouth Plan’ to take us through to 2031. The Plymouth Plan is not just about city regeneration but about the relationships of all agendas in the city, whether adult social care, the provision of health or transport services, economic growth and how all that can be encapsulated in one overarching plan to provide benefits for health, wellbeing and cultural improvement.” DEVELOPMENT PRIORITIES The priorities are to regenerate the city centre, maximise the benefits of the waterfront and promote development of the City’s northern and eastern corridors. To the north there is the very successful Tamar Science Park, which will be further expanded over time. A sustainable extension to the east at Sherford has just received a £32 million

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LOCAL AUTHORITIES: PLYMOUTH CITY COUNCIL

HCA loan to kick-start development and will result in the construction of over 5,000 homes. A Get Plymouth Building programme, as Anthony recounts, aims to bring forward housing development: “We had many stalled sites and we’ve done some fast-tracking with developers to encourage some to come forward. As a result, this year we have another 400 housing units coming out of the ground. “We’ve released ten council-owned sites to accelerate housing delivery and private sector partners have been identified. This will bring forward over 600 homes, 250 of which will be affordable. We have worked with the HCA to fund some of those projects, with about £4 million of HCA grants having been made available.” The largest housing regeneration in the south of England is currently underway at North Prospect, a ten-year regeneration of a 1920s housing estate for Plymouth Community Homes with Barratts as the lead developer. A combination of refurbishment with demolition and replacement will result in the creation of a new community with quality homes and community facilities. Also going through is an eco housing development by CornerstoneZED of code 6 homes. All that adds up to a lot of house building activity, with the move to improve the quality and range of housing supported by a push to increase job opportunities. www.plymouth.gov.uk Tel: 01752 668000

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Stockton on Tees :feature 2 14/08/2013 10:49 Page 48

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: STOCKTON-ON-TEES BOROUGH COUNCIL

STOCKTON’S

VISION THE FUTURE VISION FOR STOCKTON TOWN CENTRE IS FOR A MODERN, SUCCESSFUL AND VIBRANT MARKET TOWN

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Stockton on Tees :feature 2 14/08/2013 10:49 Page 49

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: STOCKTON-ON-TEES BOROUGH COUNCIL

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he future vision for Stockton Town Centre is for a modern, successful and vibrant market town with high quality public spaces and a growing retail offer that serves the needs of residents of the borough. High quality “Creative and Connected Spaces” will reinforce the town as the North East’s “Capital of Street Arts” with animated public spaces that support the town’s rich heritage in street entertainment. The local authority also aims to continue to build on the asset of the River Tees and riverside area which provides a high quality setting for new businesses, recreational activities and unique opportunities for riverside living. Currently, construction of the first phase of the £300 million Northshore development is underway. The 23-hectare mixed-use regeneration scheme will transform Stockton’s Riverside by delivering over 1.8 million square feet of offices, leisure and retail accommodation. This is in addition to high quality housing, all of which are within walking distance of the town centre.

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The multi-million pound scheme is being developed by Muse Developments in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), supported by Stockton Council. The site includes a £6 million Innovation Centre for digital service and technology businesses, and has been earmarked for new facilities required to expand the Durham University Queen's Campus. Once completed the Northshore scheme could create in the region of 4,500 jobs. The development also includes Vivo. This exciting housing development has just completed the initial phase of homes, fifty two-bedroom, three-bedroom and four-bedroom houses have been built in an ideal riverside location next to the iconic Infinity Bridge. Phase two sees the development of seventy-six two, three and four-bedroom homes overlooking the iconic Infinity Bridge with many having roof terraces so residents can make the most of the stunning riverside location. Other key projects include North High Street. Opportunities exist to reintroduce short stay car parking within the High Street as part of the radical public realm initiative that will incorporate improvements to the public transport

network as part of the Tees Valley Major Bus Scheme. This introduction of short stay parking at the northern end of the high street will contribute to a total of approximately fifty new spaces on the High Street. Changes to the existing High Street layout will enhance the pedestrian experience and coupled with improvements to existing retail frontages, lighting and refurbishment of the Globe Theatre will create a vibrant gateway to the northern end of the High Street. North High Street improvements will tie into the proposals for Central Square via the new Infinity View Plaza that create improved physical linkages to the riverside with direct views of the award winning Infinity Bridge. Elsewhere, the key design aim behind Central Square is to create a piece of high quality public realm that provides a central focus for the High Street seven days a week whist improving the setting of the listed Town Hall. This central square will provide an intense hub of activity both during the day and into the evening which supports and reinforces the linkages between the two main shopping centres, Cultural Quarter and Arc.

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LOCAL AUTHORITIES: STOCKTON-ON-TEES BOROUGH COUNCIL

ONGOING £60M INVESTMENT IN BUS INFRASTRUCTURE INCLUDES IMPROVED BUS SHELTERS, REAL-TIME DISPLAY AND IMPROVED RELIABILITY Although the primary function of this space is to create an all year round focus, providing informal opportunities to sit, stay and enjoy, it is envisaged that it will form an essential part of a series of flexible spaces within the Town Centre that will support the council events programme including the Stockton International Riverside Festival. The council is going to undertake a separate study to establish the exact space required to facilitate all year round events. Further opportunities exist to reintroduce short stay car parking within the High Street. This introduction of short stay parking at the southern end of the High Street will contribute to a total of approximately fifty new spaces on the High Street. Proposals for South High Street include a dedicated market space concentrated around the Market Cross and Shambles Market Hall with a new layout, stall size and design. Ongoing £60m investment in bus infrastructure includes improved bus shelters, real-time display

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and improved reliability. A new dedicated space for taxis will be provided as part of the major public realm improvements and road reconfiguration. At The Globe a £4millon plus refurbishment in 2011 saw it re-open as a 2,500 capacity touring music and live entertainment venue in 2012. Supporting the redevelopment of The Globe, adjacent properties will be brought back into use to enhance the evening and leisure offer within the Town Centre. Building on the refurbishment of The Globe, the public realm in this area will provide an attractive but functional environment to support the future use of The Globe as an entertainment venue. As part of the proposals new surfacing, street trees and drop-off bays will be provided to complement short stay parking and wider improvements to North High Street. www.stockton.gov.uk Tel: 01642 393939

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Stockton on Tees :feature 2 19/08/2013 08:14 Page 51

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: STOCKTON-ON-TEES BOROUGH COUNCIL

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Southampton Council :feature 2 21/08/2013 11:53 Page 52

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL

THE

PRIMARY REVIEW SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL IS CURRENTLY UNDERTAKING AN EXTENSIVE PROGRAMME OF WORK TO UPDATE, EXPAND AND IMPROVE ITS EXISTING SCHOOL ESTATE

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outhampton City Council is currently undertaking an extensive programme of work to update, expand and improve its existing school estate. The first works being undertaken concern the expansion of the primary school estate. Known as the Primary Review, this work is necessitated by the significant increase in birth rates in the city, which equates to a 30 per cent rise in intake between 2010 and 2015. The Primary Review therefore focuses on the delivery of additional classroom and ancillary space at schools across the city, with a view to providing sufficient capacity to accommodate demand. The works programme associated with the Primary Review is currently around two-thirds complete. In excess of 2,400 of the 3,200 required places have already been delivered or are due to be delivered by September 2013, with the remainder scheduled for completion by September 2015. Works to date have included a broad range of projects, from the refurbishment of existing classroom space, through to the total rebuild of some schools that were undergoing significant expansion. The second major programme of work is focussed on the improvement of the existing school estate, in terms of both condition and suitability. This is a rolling programme of works, which is extremely broad in scope, ranging from the replacement of

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Southampton Council :feature 2 21/08/2013 11:53 Page 53

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL boilers, windows and roofs, through to the entire refurbishment or remodelling of school premises. This programme includes a dedicated package of work that the council put together focussed on the improvement of facilities at the city’s secondary schools. Projects of note include the provision of new sports facilities (for example, a new synthetic turf pitch at St. George Catholic College), as well as the conversion of an old chapel into a new drama centre at St. Anne’s Catholic School. Alongside this work, the council has also provided significant capital investment for sustainability schemes for the school estate. For example, in 2012, the council invested £400,000 in solar PV installations at schools across the city. The council is also investing £300,000 in replacing three inefficient gas boilers with one biomass energy centre at the Compass Pupil Referral Unit. It is also worth noting that the council has recently completed the rebuild of the two new academies in the city. These were the Oasis Academy: Mayfield and the Oasis Academy: Lord’s Hill, both of which were completed for September 2012. Furthermore, the council has also secured investment in the Cedar Community Special School and Bitterne Park School, under the national Priority School Building Programme. The former is the lead sample school for the South Batch and will complete by September 2014. Bitterne Park is slightly further back in the programme. It is anticipated that the new building will be open by the end of 2017.

“THE COUNCIL IS KEEN TO PROMOTE THE WIDER USE OF THESE NEW FACILITIES BY LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND THE NEED FOR COMMUNITY USE IS BUILT INTO ALL PLANNING PERMISSIONS GRANTED FOR SUCH DEVELOPMENTS” Oliver Gill, strategy and capital programme manager, believes the benefits of investment in Southampton’s school estate will be wide reaching. “The Primary Review is directed towards the council being able to fulfil its statutory obligation to supply sufficient pupil places within its schools to meet local demand. The works programme is currently running ahead of schedule, relative to the rise in demand, so the council is absolutely confident in its ability to fulfil its duties in this respect,” he says.

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“In addition to this, the Primary Review also includes a number of key sites at which total rebuilds have been factored into the programme. This work, along with the council’s other new build schemes (for example, the Academies Programme) and the investment in condition and suitability projects all serve to improve the educational facilities that are available to pupils attending the city’s schools. In particular, the new build schools have been designed with a view to incorporating and

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LOCAL AUTHORITIES: SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL

facilitating the delivery of new models of education, which should serve to improve educational outcomes for children and young people.” The local community is at the heart of the council’s plans looking forward. “The council is keen to promote the wider use of these new facilities by local communities and the need for community use is built into all planning permissions granted for such developments. Thus, the provision of new and enhanced sports facilities will not only benefit the pupils attending a specific school, but also all residents in the surrounding area, thereby firmly locating schools at the heart of their local communities.”

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The programme will also contribute to the council’s sustainable vision. “It is worth noting that the council’s investment in solar PV will provide the local authority with a revenue stream of £50,000 per annum (over 25 years) and will generate in excess of £7,000 worth of electricity per annum for the schools concerned. Similarly, it is projected that the biomass energy centre at the Compass PRU will generate Renewable Heat Incentive payments of £30,000 per annum.” Significantly, all major school developments in the last two years have achieved a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’. Actions taken to achieve this rating

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Southampton Council :feature 2 21/08/2013 11:53 Page 56

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL range from the installation of solar panels, through to the provision of waterless urinals. Going forward, the council has recently implemented a planning policy requiring major schemes to achieve a rating of ‘Excellent’. The first of the school schemes to achieve this rating will be the 1FE extension at the Bassett Green Primary School, which is scheduled to open in September 2013. The council has also undertaken a project in partnership with the University of Southampton to develop a low-carbon solution to the issue of overheating in schools, caused by solar gain. At one school, for example, the advisors from the university designed a free-standing brise soliel solution, which reduced the need for mechanical ventilation, thereby saving on energy costs and improving the learning environment. To remain cost efficient, the council has utilised innovative procurement methods to deliver a variety of projects. For example, the Banister, Moorlands and Wordsworth primary school projects represent a landmark in procurement of school buildings for the council, with the cost of the schemes coming in at approximately two-thirds of the total cost of equivalent schemes that the council had previously delivered. Banister is a £4.9m project to expand the school to a 420-place primary, involving the total rebuild of the school buildings on the existing car park, while Moorlands and Wordsworth are £2m and £6.2m expansion schemes respectively. The mode of procurement within these projects has also resulted in a highly-accelerated programme, with the projects being delivered in less than two years (from the initial concept, through feasibility and procurement to ultimate delivery in August 2013). The council partners with a number of different contractors across its school building programme, with different procurement routes being selected

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depending upon the particular character of individual projects or packages of work. A good example of a contractor that has worked positively with the council is Willmott Dixon. This contractor has taken a proactive approach in its work and has provided added value on a number of elements that exceed their contractual duties. Amtech, a UK market-leading manufacturer of specialist software for the building services industry, has also played a key role in the enhancement and delivery of the council’s school estate programme.

Oliver Gill, Strategy and Capital Programme Manager Southampton City Council 023 8091 7594

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Southampton Council :feature 2 21/08/2013 11:53 Page 57

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL

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WMPA:feature 2 21/08/2013 11:14 Page 58

PUBLIC SECTOR PROCUREMENT: WEST MIDLANDS PROPERTY ALLIANCE

IMPROVEMENT AND EFFICIENCY WEST MIDLANDS PROPERTY ALLIANCE IS A LOOSE ALLIANCE OF 33 COUNCILS SET UP AND FUNDED BY IMPROVEMENTS AND EFFICIENCY WEST MIDLANDS, WHICH AIMS TO TRANSFORM LOCAL GOVERNMENT PROPERTY ASSETS FOR INCREASED EFFICIENCY.

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PUBLIC SECTOR PROCUREMENT: WEST MIDLANDS PROPERTY ALLIANCE

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avings of £640 million and carbon reduction of 35,000 tonnes over ten years are challenging targets the West Midlands Property Alliance was set up to achieve. So far, it’s delivered £70 million of savings between its start in 2010 and March 2013 but is now entering a new phase for future operations. WMPA is a loose alliance of 33 councils set up and funded by Improvements and Efficiency West Midlands, which aims to transform local government property assets for increased efficiency. “It’s about the configuration of the estates, flexible working and business transformation,” explains Assistant Director of Efficiency and Delivery Keith Gordon. “It's for the councils to deliver but we’ve created a network that’s available if people need to know something.” In effect, WMPA is the delivery vehicle for the transforming property assets programme and it’s commissioned several projects to support local councils in achieving estate rationalisation and effective facilities management. In many cases, it’s used the £2 million IEWM funding to start projects that might otherwise have stalled. Successful projects have included a move by Coventry City Council staff from several ageing and inefficient offices to a new site and Birmingham reducing its central property portfolio from 55 to eight buildings. That’s being achieved by rationalising the estate and takes advantage of increased mobile working and changes to council operations. Apart from providing initial funding for projects and monitoring progress, WMPA’s role is to help councils create supplier frameworks that will deliver savings, provide a forum for participants and share knowledge through an annual conference and other means. Energy audits at thirty councils, undertaken as part of a low carbon programme, have realised annual savings of £5 million for a £120,000 investment. WMPA is now entering a new phase since the initial funding has been invested, the original job is complete and the terms of reference have been fulfilled. The question now is how it moves forward. Keith says: “We’re likely to focus more on using local

authority assets to stimulate growth, deliver efficiencies and transform business, and a flow on from that is reducing carbon emissions. “We are highly regarded by government and viewed as the organisation to consult regarding property. We've had nine out of our fourteen upper tier councils participating in the Capital Asset Pathfinder beacons so we are well represented. We’ve hosted many visits from authorities to see what our individual councils have done, so it's those councils who represent our brand. Our energy audit program is the only one in the country so there are savings to be made if other regions implemented something similar. “We have some impressive savings but, for them to be delivered, councils have to do it and we can’t make them. We've been very grateful that a lot of people have been energised to participate. Other councils are welcome to have a look at what we’ve done because we’re all in this as one family and times are tough.” www.westmidlandsiep.gov.uk/WMPA Tel: 0845 3527016

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Value:feature 2 22/08/2013 12:41 Page 60

PUBLIC SECTOR PROCUREMENT: VALUEWORKS

COMBINING AWARD WINNING CLOUD BASED E-COMMERCE TECHNOLOGY WITH INNOVATIVE AND FLEXIBLE CLIENT SERVICE SOLUTIONS, VALUEWORKS HELPS ORGANISATIONS BUY AND SELL MORE EFFECTIVELY, ACCELERATING THEIR JOURNEY TOWARDS AN IMPROVED BOTTOM LINE

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alueworks provides cloudbased spend management and e-marketplace solutions. That means helping clients build supply chains and managing them using web-based software to control costs. CEO Elizabeth Sipiere says: “We make clients more effective in managing construction budgets so they can spend more on social efficiency and social issues, new build or other missions.” The company grew from the Decent Homes programme when landlords needed to control prices and have accurate information, which it provided by developing a cloud-based marketplace. That’s since moved on into other planned maintenance programmes, reactive repairs and new build projects, with clients being social housing providers such as local authorities, RSLs and ALMOs, who may have different goals.

MAKING E-COMMERCE HAPPEN

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Value:feature 2 22/08/2013 12:42 Page 61

PUBLIC SECTOR PROCUREMENT: VALUEWORKS LOCAL SUPPLY CHAINS “Many use expenditure to improve local employment and skills rather than just save money,” comments Elizabeth. “We help them create effective local supply chains and provide better data for landlords to direct their decisions. Welfare reforms are reducing the money they have so managing things better means they can do a similar amount with less and the data helps that.” Valueworks is involved throughout so, when landlords have a project to get underway, it works with them to source a supply chain, creating a model that integrates with their procurement process and identifying works in the project. Those are loaded into the system together with net prices and rebate structures so the client can place orders, pay suppliers and receive rebates. To handle that, Valueworks has around 600 organisations on its books, around two thirds being service and material suppliers. Management of the process is through teams that handle every step of the process and deal with issues. Technology is crucial to the operation because it enables the often vast amounts of data to be recorded, presented and interpreted. Central to that are client dashboards, giving a meaningful view of data. “Using dashboards, clients see graphical charts that show their pattern of expenditure with each supplier, over time or by category,” explains Elizabeth. “They get a visual picture with dynamic views they choose and can drill through to transaction data.” FUNDING ISSUES The latest offering is an e-market dashboard that links transactions to suppliers and projects, enabling patterns to be established. Elizabeth says: “I can't stress enough the value in dashboards. Making decisions based on actual numbers is healthy for the industry as it tries to grapple with funding issues.” Having started helping housing providers in the northwest with their Decent Homes programme, Valueworks has expanded considerably, both geo-

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graphically and in terms of service, and has plans to go further. The intention is to extend coverage throughout the UK and develop the technology further, including extracting additional intelligence from data. “We want to better structure the value we bring to local communities,” remarks Elizabeth. “Further forward, we intend to create cloud-based solutions to help clients with data requirements. Our strategies are aligned with what we already do and we have enough growth in those areas to keep us busy for the next few years.” www.valueworks.co.uk Tel: 01942 826788

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Welsh Purchasing Consortium:feature 2 19/08/2013 13:45 Page 62

PUBLIC SECTOR PROCUREMENT: WELSH PURCHASING CONSORTIUM

DELIVERING COMPETITIVE PROCUREMENT ARRANGEMENTS THE WELSH PURCHASING CONSORTIUM IS INVOLVED IN ELEMENTS OF THE PROCUREMENT ACTIVITIES FOR SIXTEEN UNITARY LOCAL AUTHORITIES ACROSS SOUTH, MID AND WEST WALES

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he Welsh Purchasing Consortium (WPC) has made significant strides since it was expanded in 2008 following a successful bid to the Welsh Assembly’s Making the Connections Improvement Fund. Today, the WPC is involved in elements of the procurement activities for sixteen unitary local authorities across South, Mid and West Wales. In addition, the success of the WPC in recent years has seen six public sector organisations join the group as “associate” members. Benefiting from the WPC’s buying power and knowledge base, members enjoy competitive procurement arrangements that have brought significant cost efficiencies. As well as this, the sharing of best practice and the development and adoption of a suite of standard procurement documentation has greatly enhanced the purchasing approach of members. Since 2008, the WPC has seen financial efficiencies increase from £2.3m to £7.01m in 2012.

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PUBLIC SECTOR PROCUREMENT: WELSH PURCHASING CONSORTIUM Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Lee Williams, Head of Procurement at Blaenau Gwent Council Construction related procurement is one of the more challenging areas of procurement in which the WPC is involved. In Wales, there are a number of regionally based procurement frameworks in place .and the WPC is trying to fill in the gaps and expand the collaborative approach in related areas of construction and Building Maintenance. Interestingly the WPC itself, does not maintain any Approved Lists, its focus is always on putting formal and fully compliant procurement arrangements place . “It is quite a task coordinating WPC related procurement activities in construction across sixteen member organisations,” says Rob. “There can be differing views on the most appropriate approach to the market so increasing collaboration in non-traditional areas of WPC focus like construction is more of a challenge but is increasingly important.” Under the WPC organisational model individual Authorities take the responsibility of leading on each procurement exercise with a project team (made up of technical representatives and procurement specialists from member authorities) devising strategy and the approach to market. The WPC Officers Group made up of heads of procurement from the sixteen member authorities agrees this in the form of a “Business Case” before the lead authority then proceeds with the procurement poject and subsequently awards the framework. “Our default position for WPC procurement exercises is that we hold dedicated pre tender project specific supplier awareness events which are

generally run at a regional level and are facilitated by “Business Wales” which is an organisation within Welsh Governement providing support and assistance to Businesses. This is directly geared to understanding suppliers views and also and gives them clear information about our requirements and expectations and what their obligations will be, as well as how we go to market,” remarks Rob. The Tender related documentation provides comprehensive detail for suppliers in relation to the participating authorities and what role the WPC is playing in the procurement process. Detail is also given as to how the tenders are going to be evaluated, contract managed, and the expectations the WPC has for those suppliers admitted onto the Framework. All WPC tender opportunities are administered by the designated lead authority and advertised in OJEU via the Welsh Government sell2wales national procurement website. In order to be considered as a supplier for any specific WPC contractual arrangements, businesses should register their organisation on Sell2Wales where contractors will be notified of public sector tender opportunities when they are available. There are two clear advantages of being a member of the WPC. The basic driver for the consortium is that an Authority leads on four contracts, and has access to sixty. The other advantage is the vast bank of knowledge and expertise that has been built up within the WPC over many years. This has produced a standard tendering approach and a suite of legal guidance specifically targeted to, and relevant for, procurement in today’s marketplace.

“THE MORE JOBS WE CAN CREATE, THE MORE MONEY IS RECYCLED WITHIN THE ECONOMY, AND THAT IS A POSITIVE WAY FORWARD FOR WALES.” ROB JONES PROCUREMENT MANAGER There are currently over sixty currently in place with contracting activity being formally lead by individual member authorities on behalf of the whole membership on a reciprocal basis. Rob Jones, the WPC’s procurement manager, describes his primary role as managing relationships within the Group. This is achieved through coordinating engagement between the sixteen member authorities to ensure a consistent and equitable approach to collaborative procurement undertaken under the WPC banner. The WPC has adopted a “Category Management” approach to procurement. There are seven Groups made up of procurement professionals and product/service specialists . These Groups, in effect, determine the Consortium’s Forward Work Plan. Construction related procurement is covered by the WPC Construction Services Group and the Building Materials, Environmental Services and Highways Group. These Groups are chaired respectively by Vince Hanly, Service Director for Procurement at

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PUBLIC SECTOR PROCUREMENT: WELSH PURCHASING CONSORTIUM Principally, the WPC has set out to ensure that member organisations get the best value from their procurement activity. This involves joint, collaborative contracts and framework agreements that enable access to improved quality of goods, services and works at optimal cost, greater volume of discounts through aggregating purchase volumes across the consortium, and process savings by reducing the number of procurement exercises. CONSISTENCY AND COORDINATION Within this aim, the WPC has also set out to achieve consistency and coordination and ensure areas for collaborative procurement are identified and prioritised. In recent years, within its construction related procurement activities, it has seen a number of successes. “Traditionally the WPC had a number of individual frameworks dedicated to specific types of product, for example, cement, concrete products and heavyside building materials,” remarks Lee Williams . “As part of a rationalisation programme our Building Materials, Environmental Services & Highways Category Group reviewed the portfolio and went to the market in early 2010 with a single consolidated General Building Materials Framework. “Specific Supplier Awareness Events were held in good time to consult with potential providers and prepare the market for this new approach. An excellent response was subsequently received and in the first year cashable efficiencies amounting to £180,000 were achieved for participating authorities.” More recently, in its endeavours to identify

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potential frameworks for the long-term benefit of the consortium, an Electrical Servicing Framework was established in 2011. Vince Hanly comments “Following a focussed spend analysis across the WPC the Construction Services Category Group decided to scope the potential for a collaborative Electrical Servicing Framework. A project team consisting of technical specialists and procurement officers from member authorities was established to develop an approach that would be acceptable to individual authorities and which would be attractive to suppliers. The most beneficial outcomes, over and above the competitive rates achieved, were the development and adoption of common service specifications and a clear and timely mini-competition regime within the framework. “These, together with a sensitively thought out geographical lotting strategy, ensured consistency of process across the consortium and brought a vastly enhanced clarity which was widely welcomed by framework providers.” LEARNING Rob adds that procurement is often about having the courage to learn from practical experience and to build this learning into “next generation” arrangements. This is particularly true in terms of the first WPC Asbestos Services Framework which will shortly end. Valuable lessons have been learned over the last three years and the experiences of user Authorities are proving invaluable to the Project Team managing the procurement exercise for a

new and re modelled Framework which is being led by the City & County of Swansea “It is about having the courage and the convictions to say okay we can do this differently and better. So there have been successes but they’ve been drawn from lessons we are learning all the time,” says Rob, who explains that the consortium is increasingly focusing its attention on using in depth spend analysis data and gaining a much greater understanding of supply chains as it looks to make further improvements in future. Certainly, the success of the consortium can’t simply be measured in terms of efficiency gains. Welcoming six “associate” members into the group highlights the potential of the WPC as a strategic procurement partner for a number of public sector organisations in Wales. Within the country, this is important as the Welsh Government is placing increased emphasis on collaborative procurement. PIVOTAL ROLE The WPC’s procurement exercises have also played a pivotal role in supporting the local and regional economy. Between 2010 and 2012 it appointed 260 suppliers to formal WPC Arrangements, seventythree per cent of which were Welsh based. Rob says, “The more jobs we can create, the more money is recycled within the economy, and that is a positive way forward for Wales.” www.welshpurchasingconsortium.co.uk Tel: 02920 788 374

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education news:feature 2 19/08/2013 11:00 Page 66

EDUCATION SECTOR: NEWS

COLLABORATIVE WORKING AND BIM UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT A NEW research project about to commence at Loughborough University will put collaborative working in the construction industry under the spotlight and test the Building Information Modelling (BIM) mode of working. With BIM set to be compulsory for UK publicly funded construction projects from 2016 and virtual collaborative working becoming an ever more important employability skill in the sector, the project is set to have far-reaching impact on construction education and industry practice. Traditional building design is largely reliant upon two-dimensional drawings whereas BIM is a 3D representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility or building. By utilising BIM technology the aim is to enhance collaborative working and increase efficiency across the life cycle of a given construction activity. The research, being co-ordinated by the School of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough, has been established with funding from the Higher Education Academy. It will see final year students use BIM to develop a building scheme in the initial stages of design. It will be an international collaboration with students from Loughborough joining forces with students from Coventry

University and Ryerson University, Canada to form multidisciplinary design teams. The project will set up and support virtual collaborative design which requires co-creation of knowledge at a distance within a realtime BIM platform. There will be a project website which will provide a route for their collaboration. It will, in addition, provide the forum where they will be able to evaluate lessons learnt, share case studies and guidance documents for the benefit of other students, academics and industry professionals. A key aspect of the evaluation will be to assess the employability skills acquired by the students and their learning experience. The project leader, Dr Robby Soetanto from the School of Civil and Building Engineering comments: “As well as equipping our students with the practical skills they need, it is becoming ever more important for Universities to enhance students’ wider employability skills. This project will do just that. It will give experience of collaborative working on an international scale and of BIM working. Disseminating what we learn from this research is important and we very much hope that it will be of considerable interest to fellow educators and the construction industry alike.”

CONSTRUCTION FACING SKILLS SHORTAGE YORKSHIRE’S construction industry is facing a skills shortage “time bomb”, with significant numbers of workers approaching retirement age, training bosses have warned. Figures from the CITB, the training board for the industry, show that almost one in five (18 per cent) of construction workers in the region are over 55. Another 26 per cent are aged between 45 and 54. Nationally the CITB forecasts that 29,000 new construction workers

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will be needed each year for the next four years to meet industry demand. Steve Housden, CITB’s sector strategy manager for Yorkshire, said: “With 18 per cent of local construction workers nearing retirement, we are facing a potential skills ‘time bomb’, so we urge local young people to consider construction as one of their options as they think about taking their next step. Construction offers a huge range of opportunities for young people.”

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EDUCATION SECTOR: NEWS

FUNDING FOR COLLEGE BUILDING PROJECTS THE SECOND round of the government’s college capital investment fund (CCIF) will see £168m invested in building new facilities for 21 colleges. Public spending of £77.7m, through the Skills Funding Agency, will be matched with more than a £91.1m investment from the colleges themselves. The CCIF programme is making a total of £550m available between 2013 and 2015.

Business secretary Vince Cable said: “There is a longstanding backlog in college building and refitting. We are investing to address this. These colleges will be able to provide good teaching facilities in all parts of the country, helping us to build the skills base across the country. According to government figures, 800,000 college students in England are “currently learning in sub-standard buildings”.

BUILDING WORK BEGINS AT HOLYPORT COLLEGE CONSTRUCTION work has begun on a new £15m school which is set to open in the Holyport next year. Holyport College was granted planning permission from the Royal Borough last month. On Monday the borough officials handed over the keys of the former Holyport Manor site in Ascot road to its new tenants. Cllr Phill Bicknell, cabinet member for children’s services, welcomed this latest step forward. “This is great news for parents in the Royal Borough as it further broadens their options when looking for a school place for their child,” he said. The school, which is sponsored by Eton College, will provide up to

COLLEGE BUILDING WINS TOP CONSTRUCTION AWARD

WORK BEGINS ON HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS COLLEGE BUILDING WORK will begin next month on a new £50m college building for the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the start date for the project, which will provide facilities for more than 8500 students. It is also the first Further Education College to be funded through the Scottish Government's Non Profit Distributing (NPD) model, which caps returns to the private sector.

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500 places for 11-19 co-educational day and boarding pupils. Building work will include the refurbishment of the existing buildings and construction of new classrooms and boarding accommodation. Pupils will have access to the sports facilities at Eton College. Holyport College governor and Eton College headmaster Tony Little added: "We are delighted with the progress so far. The application for a free school went to the Department for Education on February 23 last year and less than 16 months later the builders are moving onto site." Meanwhile the search is still on for a new headteacher to take charge at the college.

The 13.3 acre site is scheduled to open in summer 2015 and will provide 300 jobs during its construction. Diane Rawlinson, principal and chief executive at Inverness College UHI, said: “The new Inverness College UHI will be a state-of-theart facility offering one of the best education environments in the country. It will play a core role in the economic growth of the Highland economy. The NPD funding model is being used to finance City of Glasgow and Kilmarnock colleges later this year.

THE NEW Nantgarw Campus at Coleg y Cymoedd been recognised as the top performing construction project in Wales by Constructing Excellence in Wales. Fighting off tough competition from other high profile projects from around the country, the state-of-theart £40million campus, which opened its doors to students in September 2013, won the coveted title of ‘Project of the Year’ at the awards ceremony. Built and entered into the awards by main contractors Laing O’Rourke,

the project was commended for its commitment to budget and time restraints, collaborative working, sustainability and innovation. In particular, Constructing Excellence in Wales highlighted the efficiencies and enhanced safety delivered through offsite manufacturing and Building Information Modelling. Judges were also impressed with the partnership formed between the Laing O'Rourke team and Coleg y Cymoedd to provide construction students with hands-on work experience opportunities on the site.

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University of Northampton :feature 2 24/08/2013 09:14 Page 68

EDUCATION SECTOR: UNIVERSITY OF NORTHAMPTON

TRANSFORMING LIVES

INSPIRING CHANGE THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTHAMPTON IS AN AWARD-WINNING UNIVERSITY COMMITTED TO PROVIDING YOU WITH A FIRST CLASS STUDENT EXPERIENCE

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any education establishments result from mergers and often have fragmented facilities as a result. That’s the case with the University of Northampton, which was formed from a technical college and teacher training college before gaining full university status in 2005. The outcome is two separate sites, the Avenue Campus originating from the 1930s and Park Campus that was established in the 1970s. They comprise 95 acres, 120,000 square metres of floor space and have student halls of residence and academic and support buildings, which are to be replaced by a new campus. “We hope to be teaching at the new Waterside Campus in September 2018,” remarks Head of Infrastructure Development Terry Cox. “That will replace the existing campuses and, when the

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EDUCATION SECTOR: UNIVERSITY OF NORTHAMPTON

As Terry confirms, the overall make-up of the new campus is known: “There will be a mix of academic buildings, some residential and social provision for students. It will be a typical university campus and getting a BREEAM standard will be part of design and development. Sustainability will be a central core that pervades through the development of the site. Because it sits in the middle of a much bigger development area, there is an opportunity for a district heating scheme.” STUDENT ACCOMMODATION The proposed student accommodation will partly replace 1,642 beds on the existing campuses, some of which may be retained, and a further 472 being built in the town centre. The latter were started due

to a study that identified a shortfall and, after looking at possible sites, a town centre location was selected. That had the support of the local regeneration agency and the borough council and proved a fortunate choice since the site is within walking distance of the new campus. With over four years to go until the new campus is ready, the university has to decide what to do in the intervening period. “We can’t just stop so have to decide on a strategy until that point,” comments Terry. “We have to review our approach to maintenance and our existing capital replacement programmes, which we’ll be doing over the summer. Clearly, the statutory work will have to still be done but we may review our maintenance regimes and have to accept there’s a risk if we don’t do certain

university moves, the old sites will be disposed of to realise value in the assets.” TOWN CENTRE REGENERATION The new campus is to be part of the regeneration programme for Northampton town centre, located in the Enterprise Zone with commercial, leisure and residential developments. It will be the first major development on the site and is seen as a catalyst for the regeneration of the area. As such, the planning application being drawn up after the university’s governing council gave the go-ahead for the scheme should be a formality due to local authority support for the development. The go-ahead came after two years of feasibility and initial design work, the outline planning application being submitted in August. After that, the detailed planning application will follow a year later, enabling a contractor to be appointed to hit the expected completion target of Christmas 2017.

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University of Northampton :feature 2 24/08/2013 09:14 Page 70

EDUCATION SECTOR: UNIVERSITY OF NORTHAMPTON things. The cost benefit is we’re not spending so much on maintenance and the saving goes into university surpluses, which help to fund the new site.” There clearly won’t be any additional new build but the existing campus environment has to be kept attractive for existing and future students. So there will inevitably be some work to ensure compliance, deal with breakdowns and maintain standards, although the latter is likely to be fairly superficial. MAINTAINING EXISTING SITES The university is fortunate that, having spent over £100 million on development and refurbishment during the last twenty years, the estate is in relatively good order with most properties rated category B or C in the latest condition survey. Nevertheless, there will be a need to replace faulty equipment and even step up the maintenance regime to extend the life of certain assets. Any changes to the maintenance process will, as Terry explains, be delivered differently: “We had the traditional estates department set-up to handle day to day maintenance using in-house staff and we contracted out specialist work. A recent professional services review across the university looked at services that supported academic core activities. “There was a split and my area of infrastructure development is retained in-house and we were looking to outsource the FM service delivery in a conventional sense. However, we’ve instead set up a social enterprise called First Degree FM, a whollyowned subsidiary that’s effectively a contractor to

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“WHEN YOU’RE PICKING UP A UNIVERSITY AND MOVING IT AS A WHOLE, THERE’S A LOT OF WORK TO ORGANISE THAT PHYSICAL MOVE AND WE WANT TO MAKE IT AS PAINLESS AS POSSIBLE FOR STAFF AND STUDENTS” TERRY COX HEAD OF INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

the university. It’s fairly embryonic at the moment having been going for the last six months as an independent company, so it’s finding its feet and establishing the ways of working.” TOP FIFTY UNIVERSITY The aspiration to which the university was committed when set up was to become a top fifty university by 2015. According to two league tables, that’s already been achieved so it’s important standards aren’t allowed to slip while the new campus is being developed. Terry says: “The new campus is key to that continuing since environment is as important as the quality of academic delivery. All those things coming together make the university experience special to students.”

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The development process is at an early stage and there’s a lot still to be done before completion. Even then, Terry is aware there are plenty other aspects to consider: “When you’re picking up a university and moving it as a whole, there’s a lot of work to organise that physical move and we want to make it as painless as possible for staff and students. The old sites will be disposed of but we’ll still be responsible for vacant sites until ownership is transferred. We have to leave safe sites and deal with utilities and services shared with third parties. You don’t just go home one night and next day turn up at a new site. There’s a whole piece of work to do around that.” www.northampton.ac.uk Tel: 01604 735500

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EDUCATION SECTOR: UNIVERSITY OF NORTHAMPTON

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GOVERNMENT SECTOR: WELSH GOVERNMENT

WORKING FOR A FAIRER AND PROSPEROUS WALES THE WELSH GOVERNMENT IS WORKING TO HELP IMPROVE THE LIVES OF PEOPLE IN WALES AND MAKE WALES A BETTER PLACE IN WHICH TO LIVE AND WORK

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fter 1999 and through the initial period of devolved government in Wales, the number of property assets within the administrative portfolio (those offices that house civil servants) increased substantially. It was a continuous and often piecemeal growth as the organization expanded and functions were inherited. The outcome was a primarily Cardiff-focused estate with other buildings in numerous locations across Wales, some 98 properties in total.

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This growth finally abated and the last decade has seen the number of Welsh Government properties decrease substantially. The scaling down was necessary to enable the Government to meet its key challenges of improved efficiency and sustainability. Head of Property Division Sioned Evans recalls: “We used to have an impractical spread of assets and services, which meant that we had an estate

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GOVERNMENT SECTOR: WELSH GOVERNMENT

that was simply not suited to the delivery of a central government function. As you merge organizations, it is important to develop and embed a central corporate envelope around both standards of accommodation and the way of working. This was very difficult to establish with such a diverse estate. It was quite unwieldy and inefficient.” Along with the large portfolio came a number of different supplier FM contracts. Sioned comments: “At one point, we had some109 different contracts in operation. It was unsustainable and we worked hard to reach our present position of one national hard FM contract plus six or seven regional soft ones. We took the decision to award the new contracts very seriously, acutely aware that to do otherwise could detrimentally affect local people and companies. There were concerns that the local involvement would be lost and so we took a lot of time to ensure that, where we could, we made the most of local opportunities.”

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ESTATE RATIONALISATION In 2003, the Location Strategy Programme was established with the aim of transforming the Welsh Government from being predominantly Cardiffbased to a situation that is better dispersed across Wales. Key to this strategy was the delivery of new buildings in Merthyr Tydfil, Aberystwyth and Llandudno Junction, which opened in 2006, 2009 and 2010. “Having successfully established those buildings, we looked at how we could rationalise the remainder of the estate and direct both staff and resources towards the new buildings,” recalls Sioned. “It was important to ensure that we developed a dispersed estate, suited to supporting the business of government, in the right location, but with fewer buildings which were substantially improved in both quality and performance.” In 2010, the Welsh Government agreed to build on the positive impact made by these new offices. The resulting Location Strategy 2 programme

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GOVERNMENT SECTOR: WELSH GOVERNMENT

(2010-2015), which is linked to five clear geographical areas, has to date delivered an estate that comprises 33 office buildings (plus eight specialist properties) amounting to some 93,000 square metres of internal space, valued at £92 million and housing about 5,300 full time equivalent staff as at July 2013. The strategic aim has always been to deliver an estate that provides the very best environment for both staff and customers in order to provide the best platform to deliver public services. The expectation is that, by 2015, the Welsh Government will operate from thirteen core bases. Work is now underway to explore further phases that may, from 2015, reduce that number further. The Location Strategy is on course to deliver impressive gross

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aggregated savings of around £18 million over its five year period and annual recurrent cost saving of £5.3 million. As Sioned points out, “This is a circa 30% reduction in our annual occupancy cost for the estate.” The Location Strategy aims to deliver increased efficiency and effectiveness for both the estate and government operations. All buildings are subject to a three-pronged approach that aims to maximise their useful lives, retain any value invested and assist in the enabling of the rationalisation plan. In the current financial climate, it is particularly important to demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach. Sioned says: “We’re investing to save so, while there is a requirement to refurbish and to upgrade,

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GOVERNMENT SECTOR: WELSH GOVERNMENT

there are significant long term savings attached, both financial and environmental. What we have done for some time is to focus on those buildings that we have identified within the location strategy as being long term holdings. We don't refurbish properties due for disposal although we ensure that they remain compliant, comfortable and safe. Our budgets are under extreme pressure and I have to constantly balance the added value of any investment decisions made.” FLEXIBLE WORKING PRACTICES Using buildings to their optimum capacity requires certain flexibility in working practices which has sometimes required the communication of difficult messages. Nevertheless, there has been a marked change in approach in the way people work, includ-

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ing the installation of mobility telephones so people can have the same number wherever they are located across the estate. In line with the accepted ‘norm’ these days, the organisation also works within the principle of eight desks for every ten members of staff. “This is a difficult concept to convey,” says Sioned, “but our ratio is actually quite generous. I was recently invited to the new offices of Monmouthshire Council and they operate a far tighter ratio within lovely, light and airy new premises. Senior staff, even the Chief Executive, sit in the open plan and it seemed to work very well.” Achieving the required flexibility is only possible through agile working and the focus on certain core offices, plus dispersed bases away from Cardiff, means that staff are atoned to closely manage diaries and the use of ICT to avoid increased

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GOVERNMENT SECTOR: WELSH GOVERNMENT travelling. As well as the normal ICT infrastructure around video conferencing, telepresence suites have also been installed at three sites to help address the challenge. The Welsh Government is amongst the first to introduce an ICT application that enables staff to use personal iPads for emails and other work while away from the office. FORWARD MAINTENANCE PLAN A five year forward maintenance plan is in place for the whole of the Welsh Government’s administrative estate and is crucial to ensure that investment in the repair, maintenance and improvement of its buildings is properly targeted. One building in particular which is benefitting from a major maintenance and upgrade programme is the Government’s principal site at Cathays Park, Cardiff. “Cathays Park is the main presence of Welsh Government, housing about half of all our staff,” says Sioned. “It has an area of about 38,000 square metres and is one the largest office building in Wales. It was completed in 1979 and so the majority of main plant and systems are over thirty years old. While these installations have been well maintained, much of the equipment had become obsolete and worn out.” This meant that it was no longer possible to obtain critical parts to replace failed components and the challenge was and continues to be huge. “The main heart and lungs of the building have now been replaced and a programme of incremental refurbishment of the workspace is on-going,” confirms Sioned. “This is making a very substantial dif-

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ference to the efficiency and performance of this key building. As well as reducing operating costs and increasing space efficiency, the upgrading of the infrastructure and transformation of workspaces is substantially reducing our carbon emissions and helping us minimise our environmental impact.” CARBON COMMITMENT Overall, the routine maintenance strategy has been designed to ensure buildings meet statutory requirements, protect users and retain their value. At the same time, it’s necessary to actively address the greenhouse gas emissions at every opportunity

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GOVERNMENT SECTOR: WELSH GOVERNMENT

“I VALUE THE RELATIONSHIPS WITH OUR SUPPLIERS VERY HIGHLY AND WE INVEST AN AWFUL LOT OF TIME INTO THOSE RELATIONSHIPS TO ENSURE OUR SUPPLIERS UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHERE WE’RE COMING FROM”

SIONED EVANS HEAD OF PROPERTY DIVISION

to ensure that the government reaches its target of a 30% reduction by 2020. In 2011-12, the administrative portfolio achieved a reduction of 15% greenhouse gas emissions and, although realistically such a large saving is unsustainable year-in year-out, it does go some way towards the 2020 target. Having been 320th in the carbon reduction commitment performance league table in 2010-11, the Welsh Government moved to 71st last year, putting it in the top 3.5% of UK government departments. SUPPLIER RELATIONSHIPS The continued flow of work resulting from the Location Strategy Programme couldn’t be under-

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taken without the close professional relationship that Property Division has with its suppliers. That, as Sioned explains, enables the Welsh Government to work collaboratively and as flexibly as possible to meet changing situations as they arise: “It's a very solution led, mature relationship where we are able to function as the intelligent client. “I value the relationships with our suppliers very highly and we invest an awful lot of time into those relationships to ensure our suppliers understand exactly where we’re coming from. The relationship is open, honest and challenging,” Sioned continues. “That it works well is due to the skilled team that pulled together the contract, but that it works very well is due to the individuals on

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GOVERNMENT SECTOR: WELSH GOVERNMENT

“WHAT I WANT TO DO IS WORK WITH AS MANY PARTNERS AS POSSIBLE TO SEE WHAT WE ARE DOING AND HOW WE CAN SHARE THAT MORE WIDELY’ both sides who are involved, who work very hard and diligently with us and who really understand what we are trying to deliver. I am really grateful for that.” In a quest for transparency and openness, The Welsh Government’s progress in terms of the administrative estate is shared with the world in its annual State of the Estate report, now in its fifth edition. The next iteration, in October 2013, will again be available on the Welsh Government website at that time. SHARING INFORMATION Transparency and the sharing of information and experiences are something that Sioned promotes through her lead of the National Assets Working Group, which aims to make the best use of public service assets in Wales. The latest development is a newly launched Assets Cymru (www.assetscymru.org.uk) website, which has been established as a portal for best practice. “We are encouraging as many people as possible to bring forward projects, engage with and share information through the site,” remarks Sioned. “Our focus is on what's out there already, what we are doing, what's successful and equally what hasn't worked so we don’t make those mistakes again. The information will benefit others who may, in the cur-

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rent climate, not have the resources to explore the issues in isolation, let alone to consider new models. “What I want to do is work with as many partners as possible to see what we are doing and how we can share that more widely. We don’t have the luxury of resources to reinvent the wheel so, if there's something good and its working out there, we have to look at how to share, adapt and adopt the positive work to meet our respective needs.” www.wales.gov.uk www.assetscymru.org.uk Tel: 0300 0603300

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BFP:feature 2 23/08/2013 09:51 Page 86

RETAIL: THE BRITISH PROPERTY FEDERATION

RETAIL-TO-RESI PLAN COULD ‘BREATHE LIFE’ INTO HIGH STREETS

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he British Property Federation (BPF) has welcomed the publication of a consultation that could see vacant high street shops converted into homes, but warned the government must learn lessons from similar office to residential proposals. The average high street vacancy rate stands at over 14 per cent as the pressure of both the financial crisis and long-term issues such as the rise of internet shopping and the increasing burden of business rates, tells.

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The BPF believes there’s little point harking back to the high streets of old and alternative uses for empty shops - particularly those outside a retail core – should be found. The Federation has repeatedly urged government to consider housing and even community uses such as doctor’s surgeries. Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: "Retail to residential conversions could be an important step in breathing life into our high streets, and we would very much encourage a flexible approach, particularly in areas with increasingly obsolescent retail stock outside the retail core

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that is unlikely to be brought back into retail use. “We’re particularly pleased that government has listened to industry concerns and confirmed it will be up to local authorities to define their core retail areas, rather than a nationally set red line approach, and that there will be exemptions for conservation areas and national parks. “However, the government must look back at the largely defunct office to residential proposals and ensure the same mistakes are not repeated. It must not be so easy for local authorities to effectively ignore these proposals at a time of such acute housing need.”

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BFP:feature 2 23/08/2013 09:51 Page 87

RETAIL: THE BRITISH PROPERTY FEDERATION

GREEN PROPERTY ALLIANCE NEW STUDY TO REVIEW ENERGY EFFICIENCY POLICIES FOR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

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major independent study is now underway into whether the Government’s energy and carbon policies are having the desired effect on the property sector. The Government-led Green Construction Board has joined forces with the Green Property Alliance, a group of the UK’s leading property industry organisations, to commission Deloitte to carry out the study. Buildings remain the single largest contributor to carbon emissions, with energy use in non-domestic buildings accounting for 17 per cent of the total. The Government is legally committed to an 80 per cent carbon reduction by 2050 and has already introduced a range

Government’s interests to ensure that laws and taxes designed to elicit energy and carbon efficient behaviours are achieving their objectives, not to mention those of the wider economy. In taking a broad view of the framework for carbon incentives and penalties, this project may also illuminate opportunities to influence energy efficient behaviour that we had not previously discerned.” POTENTIAL Co-chair of the Green Construction Board and Business Minister, Michael Fallon said: “I look forward to seeing the outcome of this work. Through the Green Construction Board and the Construction Leadership Council, we are putting a lot of focus on the potential for

BUILDINGS REMAIN THE SINGLE LARGEST CONTRIBUTOR TO CARBON EMISSIONS, WITH ENERGY USE IN NON-DOMESTIC BUILDINGS ACCOUNTING FOR 17 PER CENT OF THE TOTAL of energy and carbon focused policies and instruments to achieve this target. These include the Carbon Reduction Commitment, Energy Performance Certificates and the Green Deal, as well as many more that are planned by the UK Government and European Union. POLICIES MUST BE EFFECTIVE It is widely recognised that to achieve these challenging but important carbon reduction targets, policies must be effective. In its recently published 2013 Progress Report to Parliament, the Committee on Climate Change has urged the completion of a comprehensive assessment of non-residential lowcarbon policies to ensure they are working effectively. In a major example of cross industry and interdepartmental collaboration, this jointly supported independent research project is focusing on exactly this issue. Bill Hughes, managing director of Legal & General Property and chairman of The Green Property Alliance, said: “There is a growing interest in the management of regulatory and financial risk for property arising from climate change, with a belief that its relationship to the financial performance of real estate may emerge in the near future. It is in the industry and

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growth in low carbon and sustainable construction. “It is important that the regulatory framework works with our objectives, so that business opportunity is maximised and business burden is minimised.” Jon Lovell, director in sustainability at Deloitte Real Estate, who will lead the study, said: “The landscape of penalties and incentives pertaining to the energy and carbon performance of commercial property is complex and fluid. People and organisations tend to become exercised on the merits and limitations of individual instruments, such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme or Feed in Tariffs, when individual policy changes are mooted by Government. This project is about taking a helicopter view of the aggregate impact of the regulatory and fiscal framework, and to consider how it can be shaped to best effect, both for the industry and for the environment. “This is a genuine effort to constructively inform future policy by those who understand the risks and opportunities presented to the commercial real estate industry: climate change, energy insecurity and environmental pressures. All of which demand a coherent, proportionate and manageable framework of regulatory and fiscal instruments.”

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Asda Retail devleopment :feature 2 16/08/2013 09:07 Page 88

RETAIL: ASDA RETAIL DEVELOPMENT

DEVELOPING

ASDA

ASDA RETAIL DEVELOPMENT IS THE DIVISION OVERSEEING STORE DEVELOPMENT, NEW BUILD, EXTENSIONS AND REMODELLING

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RETAIL: ASDA RETAIL DEVELOPMENT

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sda Retail Development is the division overseeing store development, new build, extensions and remodelling. It works in partnership with a variety of stakeholders including developers, local authorities, landowners and the local community, to play a key role in maintaining the company’s presence around the country as well as its ability to meet customer needs. The department manages all the existing estate as well as every aspect of the new store investment programme, and, through its regional development teams, identifies new store opportunities. Accomplishments over recent years have seen Asda Retail Development open stores that are both cost efficient and environmentally sound. One example is the store at Bottle, opened in 2008. At the time, this was Asda’s second low-carbon store, emitting fifty per cent less carbon dioxide and operating forty per cent more efficiently than a store opened in 2005. The store was awarded BREEAM “Excellent” and Carbon Trust “Exemplar” status. The store is industry-leading in its use of a combined biomass boiler, ground source heat pump (GSHP) and CO2 refrigerant heat reclaim to produce hot water. This system also heats and cools the store. Other features include a purpose built timber frame, clad in timber and reclaimed brick from Liverpool docks; rainwater harvesting, providing grey water to flush toilets; full fridge doors on all chilled and frozen cabinets, reducing energy use; a sedum roof which attracts wildlife; and locally sourced plants and trees. However, the qualities of Asda Retail Development have been exemplified by its health and safety standards. Clive Johnson revolutionised these standards during a three-year stint with the business between 2007 and 2010. His aim was to enhance Asda’s culture of health and safety and in the three years that followed he oversaw the company win multiple awards including RoSPA gold. More recently, it won the RoSPA Gold Medal. His legacy is something that lives on within the department. “From where we were in 2007 to where we are now, as a collective approach to

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taking safety to a better place, we’ve made vast improvements. “I could list a whole host of things that we have looked at but the real improvement is in the behavioural programme we have adopted. Right away we acknowledge that eighty per cent of all our accidents could have been averted by the person suffering the incident had they had a different approach to it. “You can have as many rules and regulations as you like but if the guy doesn’t want to follow them it is very difficult. You have to get staff to choose to follow the health and safety rules as opposed to having to follow them. “A good example would be when we set up a project and we are onsite, and we go through the safety at work system with the staff. We ask – is this the right way to do it or is there a better way to do it? The fact that you have involved them in the process enables them to buy into it. So they are choosing to follow those procedures as opposed to you saying this is how it has to be done.”

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RETAIL: ASDA RETAIL DEVELOPMENT Retail Development oversees the construction of new stores, it finds and develops the land, and carries out extensions and remodelling works on existing outlets within the company’s portfolio of stores. As such it utilises the services of approved subcontractors. To become an approved subcontractor, businesses must meet the stringent health and safety standards set by Asda. When Clive joined Asda in 2007 he quickly made changes to improve the competency of subcontractors through the use of a three stage Competency Assessment programme. “We haven’t gone down the approach of accepting CHAS or Safe Contractor, or any of the other safety accredited schemes, we’ve put together our own and we call it SAFE. The threestage approach involves inviting them in for interview where they present all the relevant documentation. We give feedback on that. Then we go to their office to see what the office is like and what their attitude is towards health and safety. Thirdly, we visit them onsite to see if they are putting competent health and safety procedures into practice.” Clive explains that it is important to not only take the time to investigate the competency of subcontractors, it is also vital to see how their health and safety procedures are carried out onsite. “We go that extra mile before we appoint them – do they mean what they say or are they saying it just to get the job? Then we go to some of their sites to see if it translates on to the workforce.”

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“AS AN EMPLOYER, IT IS OUR JOB TO ENSURE RISK IS KEPT TO A MINIMUM AND OUR WORKFORCE REMAINS SAFE IN EVERY ASPECT OF THEIR JOBS” While vast improvements have seen Asda become a leader in health and safety best practice within the retail industry, Clive still targets a better overall attitude towards safety. “You can try harder on the short term but that doesn’t work in the long term, it’s about getting that culture change from top management right down to the onsite workers and continuing to get people to change their attitudes towards health and safety. “We have our behavioural schemes in place to administer that. It is less training, more orientation. It basically involves bringing staff in and getting them to buy into our beliefs. Often, I spin it around and use the idea of family values a lot. Everyone comes to work to get money to have a better life. When we bring staff in for health and safety orientation it is all about the possibility of having an accident at work affecting your ability to go on holiday or ultimately a lot worse. It is highlighting it in a way that makes sense. When

they go onsite they tend to be more safe as a consequence.” Clive has now left the role at Asda Retail Development to be replaced by Neil Sheehan. Neil has many years of experience working with Kier Group as its national Health, Safety and Environment manager. He said, “It’s all about working together for the safety of all. Within the construction sector there are always going to be instances where people could potentially be put at risk, whether this is working at height, lifting heavy equipment, or travelling for business purposes. “As an employer, it is our job to ensure this risk is kept to a minimum and our workforce remains safe in every aspect of their jobs. We are constantly updating and adapting our health and safety procedures to ensure new technologies and innovative ways of working are considered.” www.asda.com Tel: 0800 952 0101

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rospa:feature 2 14/08/2013 13:50 Page 92

ROSPA AWARDS: RoSPA AWARDS 2013

GOING FOR GOLD NOW IN ITS 57TH YEAR THE ROSPA SAFETY AWARDS RECOGNISE HEALTH AND SAFETY SUCCESS AND OFFER ORGANISATIONS A PRIME OPPORTUNITY TO PROVE THEIR ONGOING COMMITMENT TO RAISING HEALTH AND SAFETY STANDARDS

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rospa:feature 2 14/08/2013 13:50 Page 93

ROSPA AWARDS: RoSPA AWARDS 2013

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ating back 57 years, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Occupational Health and Safety Awards scheme is the largest and longest-running programme of its kind in the UK and one of the most prestigious in the world in any discipline. More than 1,500 awards were presented faceto-face this year, and 4,000 winners and their guests were entertained at RoSPA’s daytime ceremonies and evening banquets in May. The ceremonies took place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, just a short walk from the Safety and Health Expo show halls. The RoSPA Awards programme recognises commitment to accident and ill health prevention and is open to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes from across the UK and overseas. It

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not only looks at accident records, but also entrants’ overarching health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement. David Rawlins, RoSPA’s awards manager, said: “RoSPA firmly believes that organisations that demonstrate commitment to continuous improvement in accident and ill health prevention deserve recognition. Our winners have shown that they are committed to striving for such continuous improvement and we look forward to celebrating with them this week.” The majority of awards that RoSPA presents are non-competitive, marking achievement at merit, bronze, silver and gold levels. Organisations maintaining high standards can win gold medals, president’s awards and orders of distinction. Competitive awards are presented in more than 20 sectors, and competitive awards also recognise excellence in spe-

cialist areas, such as the management of occupational road risk (MORR). The headline sponsor for the RoSPA Awards 2013 is NEBOSH (the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health). Sponsors of the specialist trophies are: The RoSPA International Sector Award – airsweb; The MORR Trophy – Allianz; The Occupational Health Award (Astor Trophy) – BHSF; The International Dilmun Environmental Award – GPIC; The Best New Entry Trophy – Safety and Health Expo; The Workforce Involvement in Safety and Health Trophy – Springfields Fuels; and, The MORR Technology Trophy – Tesco Dotcom. Comedian Patrick Kielty provided the evening entertainment at this year’s RoSPA Awards banquets. www.rospa.com/awards

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Home retail group PlC:feature 2 15/08/2013 09:34 Page 94

ROSPA AWARDS: HOME RETAIL GROUP

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HOME RETAIL GROUP ARE THE UK’S LEADING HOME AND GENERAL MERCHANDISE RETAILER, BRINGING TOGETHER SOME OF THE UK’S MOST RECOGNISABLE RETAIL BRANDS

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he UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer Home Retail Group enjoyed success at RoSPA’s 2013 health and safety awards by taking home the sector prize for Commercial and Business Services. The Group, which looks after more than a thousand retail outlets across the UK and Ireland for Argos and Homebase, has made significant steps in recent years to enhance its occupational health and safety practices for both staff and customers. Health and safety manager Abby Miller was delighted with the award, saying, “The health and safety of our customers and colleagues is always top of our agenda and we are delighted to have been recognised for our high standards.” The challenge for Home Retail Group is dealing with the safety of customers who haven’t been inducted into the stringent health and safety practices of the Group. While members of staff are trained and monitored, customers, some of whom may not be able to read and write (such as children and those people whose first language isn’t English), don’t have that luxury.

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ROSPA AWARDS: HOME RETAIL GROUP

Abby says it requires a pragmatic approach. “We have to think of our retail outlets as wonderful playgrounds for children and base our health and safety measures for customers on that level. We are therefore making everything on the customer side as friendly and straight forward as possible.” “LOOK AGAIN” One way Home Retail Group has tried to improve its safety procedures for customers is through an initiative called “Look Again”. This approach is about getting staff to assess possible hazards or risks from the point of view of a child or an elderly customer. This takes into account the customers at either end of the spectrum, both of whom are the biggest risk in terms of safety. This has seen, particularly in Argos stores, more staff on the shop floor in order to offer assistance to customers and identify hazards in order to prevent them. For the staff, significant strides have been made in manual handling with a focus on changing the way staff approach the movement of heavy items, such as by using their legs to lift as well as pivot points. Health and safety is constantly assessed through the use of “Trackers”, a process that enhances induc-

tion training through monthly audits to ensure staff are utilising the correct methods. David Rawlins, RoSPA's awards manager, was impressed with Home Retail Group’s consistency as well as the improvements it has made. He said, “RoSPA firmly believes that organisations that demonstrate commitment to continuous improvement in accident and ill health prevention deserve recognition. Home Retail has shown that it is committed to striving for such continuous improvement and we are delighted to honour it through the presentation of an award.” Abby Miller says she’s very proud of the achievement. “We have put in a lot of work so it is so pleasing to have been recognised by RoSPA. Our staff are encouraged because they can measure themselves against other companies which also makes them want to improve themselves. “It’s also great for me as health and safety manager because it shows that as a company we are doing things right, making the necessary improvements and moving forward.” www.homeretailgroup.com Tel: 0845 603 6677

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priDE (SERP) Ltd:feature 2 15/08/2013 15:55 Page 96

ROSPA AWARDS: PRIDE (SERP) LTD

A PROUD SAFETY RECORD PRIDE, THE JOINT VENTURE BETWEEN INTERSERVE DEFENCE LTD AND SSE CONTRACTING, ONCE AGAIN HIGHLIGHTED ITS ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN HEALTH AND SAFETY BEST PRACTICE BY ACHIEVING THE ROSPA GOLD MEDAL IN 2013.

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ROSPA AWARDS: PRIDE (SERP) LTD

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riDE, the joint venture between Interserve Defence Ltd and SSE Contracting, once again highlighted its accomplishments in health and safety best practice by achieving the RoSPA Gold Medal in 2013. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has recognised PriDE’s dedication to safety, as well as its ability to improve, by awarding the company its highest accolade seven years running. The consistent success is now merited with the prestigious Gold Medal, recognising the highest safety standards over the long term. Health and safety manager Fred Cooper is delighted with the award and says it was down to the hard work of the entire team. “Everyone says well done to the safety professional – in this case me – but safety isn’t just about me; a lot of hard work has been put in by all staff and contractors. Everyone who works for or with us recognises very quickly how seriously PriDE takes health and safety.” Now in its 58th year the RoSPA Safety Awards recognises health and safety success and offers organisations a prime opportunity to prove their ongoing commitment to raising health and safety standards. Sponsored by NEBOSH, the premier health and

“EVERYONE WHO WORKS FOR OR WITH US RECOGNISES VERY QUICKLY HOW SERIOUSLY WE TAKE HEALTH AND SAFETY” FRED COOPER HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGER safety examining body, the awards are open to organisations of all sizes and are one of the most sought after accolades in the industry. The Gold Medal achievement from RoSPA is given to those companies exhibiting the highest health and safety standards year on year for over five consecutive years. PriDE, in its commitment to the safety of its staff and contractors, has shown not only a reduction in its safety incidents but a proactive approach to improvement. This is exampled by PriDE’s rigorous auditing processes which, as part of its data analysis, measures accident frequency rates based on a simple algorithm. The company takes the number of RIDDORS (work-related injuries and deaths, cases of disease, and near misses) divided by total man-hours, times by 100,000. Over the last four years, and 2.5 million man-hours, this has shown accident rates have dropped by over fifty per cent from 0.5 to 0.23.

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NO ROOM FOR COMPLACENCY Fred believes success is down to PriDE’s ability to steer clear of complacency. The company, which was specifically created to manage the Defence Infrastructure Organisation’s South East Regional Prime Contract, is constantly reviewing its targets and objectives to drive health and safety forward. As Prime Contractor, PriDE is responsible for estate management and construction services at almost 100 Ministry of Defence sites throughout the south-east region, encompassing nearly 6000 buildings and facilities. These facilities include some of the MOD’s largest and most prestigious sites such as RMA Sandhurst, St James’ Palace, Cavalry Barracks and RAF High Wycombe. The high profile nature of PriDE’s work, in which it delivers land and property management, help desk services, planned and reactive maintenance, low value capital works, and environmental and

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sustainability services, means it can’t afford to let standards drop. “We don’t look too far ahead,” says Fred. “We don’t, for example, look to meet targets ten years in advance and say we want a fifteen per cent drop in accident rates. What we do is the right thing for people at the right time. We will look at our accident statistics and ask ourselves how we can improve over the next twelve months. We are then constantly auditing internally to measure our performance.” One of the key ways PriDE monitors performance is through monthly Local

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Safety Groups. These take place on each of its active sites. A manager will run the meeting with representatives for staff and contractors present. The meeting will look at any accidents or near-misses, address queries and provide advice before this information is relayed to the health and safety management team. The information gathered is analysed by the health and safety manager, and overseen by the director. Areas reviewed include the type of work being undertaken and how current health and safety practices are working in this specific environment. If there are any problems these

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ROSPA AWARDS: PRIDE (SERP) LTD will be rectified in an appropriate way. This information is then made available to all company employees and contractors. PriDE also conducts point of work assessments. To aid the relevancy of pre-work risk assessment, a project’s risk is checked again during the work and following completion. This helps to improve initial safety procedures in future, and highlights the best opportunities for further training. “Of course this all takes time,” admits Fred. “But when you consider an accident can happen in seconds and a point of work risk assessment takes no more than two or three minutes, we’d rather take that time to check we are doing things safely than rush through a job and cause an incident. “It might be a pun but we do pride ourselves on ensuring our people – employees and contractors – are safe when they are working for us. We want people to go home to their families in the same shape they came into work.” Training is obviously vital and staff attend regular training sessions three times per year in addition to a variety of toolbox talks and safety update meetings. This year a lot of work is being carried out on first aid and asbestos awareness. Another key area highlighted for improvement concerns how members of staff apply themselves to safety procedures. This has seen an increased emphasis on behavioural training in 2013 which is expected to continue into next year. MEETING THE CHALLENGE Of course, working with subcontractors on such a large-scale is a challenge for PriDE. However, like its

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expectation of high standards in service, the company expects nothing less from its contractors in regards to health and safety. Communication is vital, explains Fred, as contractors are inducted into PriDE’s approach to a safe working environment for all. “Crucially no one is left unaware of our safety high standards,” he says. An example of the health and safety training for contractors is PriDE’s Stop For Safety scheme. “We bring in the contractors and explain to them the PriDE approach to safety – what we want, what we don’t want, examples of how we’ve improved over

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ROSPA AWARDS: PRIDE (SERP) LTD the years and why we want them to work in a certain way. “Principally, it is about stopping the complacency. It is too easy for someone who feels they know safety rules and practices like the back of their hand to let their guard down. Of the top fifteen contractors we use, we insist a member of their senior management and their safety professional come to our Stop For Safety seminars so that health and safety is always at the forefront of their thinking.” Crucially, if an incident does occur, PriDE doesn’t accept a simple report but demands a full investigation. “It doesn’t matter if it is the most minor incident. For example, a cut finger may not impact on someone’s ability to carry out their job or go home to their families at the end of the day but it occurred because something wasn’t done correctly. We want to know why that happened (was the member of staff using equipment improperly, not wearing protective workwear, or wearing the wrong gloves) and prevent it from happening again,” remarks Fred. “At the end of the day it is about ensuring lessons are learned and that we’re proactive in our response to them. It is one of the ways we are able to constantly improve. Our accident rates last year were very good and that is down to ensuring our subcontractors work to the high level we expect. That is

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PRIDE CARES ABOUT PEOPLE. FROM TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES LIKE FIVE-A-SIDE FOOTBALL TO FUNDRAISERS, THE COMPANY TAKES ITS SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY VERY SERIOUSLY.

partly due to investigations – why did something happen and what are you going to do to put it right.” CARING ABOUT PEOPLE Ultimately, these measures are in place because PriDE cares about its people. This is in evidence when considering PriDE’s work in the local community as well as its sustainability and environmental initiatives. From team building activities like fivea-side football to charity fundraisers, the company takes its social responsibility very seriously. Through a variety of events such as the Three Peaks Challenge, PriDE has raised around £20,000 for charities such as the Army Benevolent Fund and Great Ormond Street Hospital. Internally, staff benefit from Brainwaves, an initiative that reaches out to employees, giving them a voice within the company. Suggestions about improvement are rewarded, the best of which receive a cash prize. Training and development is also actively encouraged with PriDE maintaining a positive legacy from the education, training and qualifications it has achieved for site managers, supervisory and planning staff. PriDE has also reduced its carbon footprint and energy consumption in recent years. In 2007 it launched a campaign titled “Pride Goes Green” which introduced a number of initiatives such as energy surveys that helped customers to realise real money reductions and a contract wide sustainability incentive scheme. This was recognised in 2008 when PriDE won the British Institute of Facilities Management Award for Sustainability. Since then PriDE has helped many of its clients realise cost and environmental benefits such as RAF Northolt which saw carbon emissions reduced by fifteen per cent in 2011. This provided a cost saving of £200,000. Across the sites it works, PriDE is implementing a variety of measures such as the replacement of lights with LED and the implementation of a building management system. As health and safety manager Fred Cooper looks to the future he insists PriDE will never stand still when it comes to the safety of their workers.

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ROSPA AWARDS: PRIDE (SERP) LTD

“WHAT MAKES US PROUD IS THAT TO WIN A ROSPA AWARD IN THE FIRST PLACE SHOWS OUR STANDARDS ARE HIGH. TO HAVE WON SEVEN ROSPA GOLD AWARDS IN A ROW IS RECOGNITION THAT WHAT WE’RE DOING AT PRIDE IN HEALTH AND SAFETY IS WORKING.”

“You can get complacent and that’s when accidents can occur. When RoSPA goes through our submission one of the things they want to know is that we aren’t getting complacent. Winning multiple RoSPA awards, year on year, highlighted by the Gold Medal for continuous success, shows the one thing we are not is complacent.” The award is a real accomplishment for PriDE and that is felt throughout the company. “These achievements are great for our people because without their commitment to our procedures we wouldn’t have been able to achieve the Gold Medal. It is a total team effort from senior management to midlevel management and all the way down. “What makes us proud is that to win a RoSPA award in the first place shows our standards are high. To maintain those standards, and to improve on them, highlights our determination to achieve best practice. To have won seven RoSPA gold awards in a row is recognition that what we’re doing at Pride in health and safety is working.” www.pride-serp.co.uk

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Comma Oils & chemicals :feature 2 27/08/2013 14:14 Page 108

ROSPA AWARDS: COMMA OIL & CHEMICALS LIMITED

A WORLD-CLASS MANUFACTURER AND SUPPLIER OF AUTOMOTIVE LUBRICANTS AND CHEMICALS FOR PASSENGER AND COMMERICAL VEHICLES COMMA IS A COMPANY FOCUSED ON SERVING THE NEEDS OF ITS CUSTOMERS IN THE GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE AFTERMARKET

PASSION FOR PERFORMANCE I

n 2012, Cosan entered the European market by acquiring Comma Oil & Chemicals Limited (Comma), located in the UK, demonstrating Cosan’s intention to diversify investments. Previously a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, Comma Oil & Chemicals Limited became wholly owned by Cosan, one of Brazil's leading conglomerates which operates in sectors strategic for the country's development such as infrastructure and energy. Cosan is comprised of Cosan Lubricants & Specialties, Radar, Raízen, Rumo and Comgás.

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Cosan Lubricants & Specialties (Cosan L&S) has been producing, marketing and distributing lubricants and specialties for retail and industrial markets since 2008, when it acquired the assets of ExxonMobil's Brazilian affiliate. As the result of this strategic alliance, Cosan L&S has the right to manufacture and use the Mobil lubricants brand in Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia. The licence to use the Mobil brand – recognised worldwide for its performance and advanced technology – includes access to technology and formulations, including those that may be developed internationally. Supplementing a strong retail presence and performance with the Mobil brand, the company also imports and distributes base oils in Brazil, as authorised distributors of the ExxonMobil Basestocks and S-Oil Ultra-S Series brands to offer the Brazilian market the most complete portfolio. In the UK, at Comma’s Gravesend plant in Kent, the company produces and distributes lubricants and other automotive maintenance products, such as antifreeze, brake fluids, coolants and additives for the UK market and exports to over 40 countries in Europe and Asia. Comma’s history dates back to 1965. It has long-since held a strong reputation as a leading UKbased automotive lubricants and chemicals manu-

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ROSPA AWARDS: COMMA OIL & CHEMICALS LIMITED

“SAFETY IN ALL OPERATIONS IS ONE OF THE VISIONS AND VALUES OF THE COMPANY. NOTHING ELSE HAS A HIGHER PRIORITY THAN HEALTH AND SAFETY” facturer and marketer. Comma manufactures at a single location and employs around 230 staff and 20 contractors across all operations including: Production, Warehousing, Distribution, Laboratory, Customer Services, Sales, Marketing, Purchasing, IT, Accounting and other administrative functions, as well as the Safety, Health, and Environmental team. All of the production leaving the Comma site is packaged, from 250ml bottles up to 1,000 litre IBCs. Comma’s other primary operations include the blending, filling, packing, storage and distribution of products by road. The Comma business has grown substantially over the years, and the product portfolio has expanded to include almost every “liquid car part” needed to keep a car performing and looking its best. The opening of a new office at Kings Hill in August 2013 recently highlighted this ongoing success.

MATT THURSTON SAFETY, HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT MANAGER

HEALTH AND SAFETY Stringent health and safety standards have brought Comma consecutive RoSPA Gold Awards. In 2013, Comma was presented with one of RoSPA’s most sought-after accolades – the Order of Distinction. `Matt Thurston, Safety, Health and Environment Manager, says: “Safety in all operations is one of the visions and values of the company. Nothing else has a higher priority than health and safety. This means

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from senior management to operator working in plant and all staff working on our behalf – no exception.” Matt has worked with Comma for over twenty years and is responsible for management of all health and safety activities, as well as environmental compliance. He says a detailed management system has been one of the keys to the company’s health and safety success. “To enable us to achieve and maintain our health and safety goals and objectives, we operate a detailed Safety, Security, Health & Environment management system entitled SIGO (Sistema Integrado de Gestão das Operações) which translated from Portuguese means Integrated System for Managing Operations. “Whilst the system has many elements, a strong focus on leadership, contractor management, permit-to-work, risk assessment, occupational health and behaviour-based safety, it ensures that we are able to maintain highest standards of safety, whilst providing a feedback mechanism for continuous improvement. “One of the key factors in maintaining our excellent safety record is that we report all near-misses – however small. We recognise that these give us the

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ROSPA AWARDS: COMMA OIL & CHEMICALS LIMITED opportunity to learn the lessons and prevent incidents from happening, and we work hard with our staff to resolve issues and keeping our focus at all times.” Operations director Daniel Costas says the RoSPA award gives Comma confidence that it is doing things right. “The award process helps us to think about our processes and procedures, and to think about what we are achieving and what opportunities there are to improve our health and safety performance further. “The company and our staff are proud to receive awards from RoSPA as they are an external adjudication of our performance, and we share these with our customers, suppliers, and business partners as a way to reinforce our approach to business.” He adds that Comma’s association with RoSPA has benefited the company in a number of ways. “RoSPA helps to remind us that we can always do more and achieve better results and they continue to provide us with excellent training for staff and useful articles and ideas that can be shared within the team.” Matt admits Comma were delighted by the RoSPA achievement. “This is awarded to companies in the UK which have achieved a Gold-level standard of Occupational Safety Performance for at least fifteen consecutive years. “We celebrated at the awards event with twelve of our staff from all levels and parts of our business, who stayed overnight so that they could enjoy the event and the celebrations. The following day, we visited Warwick Castle and ended the day at a nice restaurant before returning home to Gravesend later in the evening.” Fittingly, Comma has gone over fifteen years without having a LTI (Lost Time Injury) while the Cosan plant in Rio de Janeiro has just achieved seventeen years without a loss time injury. Comma’s successful health and safety practices are the result of safety being a fundamental part of how it operates. Nothing has a higher priority.

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Crucially, the company engages staff at all levels in its safety management and encourages input and feedback from all staff on safety performance and how improvements can be made. Focus is particularly made on behaviours as this is seen as the root cause of the vast majority of incidents. This approach to safety positively affects all other aspects of the business, by reminding staff of standards, behaviours and individual and team responsibilities. Safety is a journey that is never completed and Comma is always learning more. www.uk.commaoil.com/ Tel: 01474 564 311

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Costain Energy & Process:feature 2 15/08/2013 11:44 Page 114

ROSPA AWARDS: COSTAIN OIL, GAS AND PROCESS LTD

AWARD

WINNERS COSTAIN OIL, GAS AND PROCESS LTD HAS ACHIEVED THE HIGH PROFILE ROSPA ORDER OF DISTINCTION AWARD FOR ITS SUCCESSFUL AND LONG-RUNNING HEALTH AND SAFETY PRACTICES

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ROSPA AWARDS: COSTAIN OIL, GAS AND PROCESS LTD

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ostain Oil, Gas and Process Ltd has achieved the high profile RoSPA Order of Distinction award for its successful and long-running health and safety practices. The prestigious Order of Distinction is given only to those companies that have achieved RoSPA’s highest accolade for at least fifteen years consecutively. The company, part of the Costain Group, is an international process engineering contractor delivering safe, cost effective solutions for clients’ investments in the worldwide process and energy industries. It offers services appropriate to each stage of a project's development, maintaining a permanent indepth capability to undertake consultancy and conceptual studies, all levels of engineering and design, procurement and materials management, construction, commissioning, maintenance and training. This level of achievement was, unsurprisingly, seen across the Costain Group, with 35 RoSPA awards in total being handed to the civil engineering company’s various divisions. This included sixteen Gold, ten Silver and four Bronze, which all recognised Costain’s commitment to health and safety excellence. The awards also recognised the success of initiatives like Costain Behavioural Safety where everyone in the business – from employees, customers and the supply chain – understands the importance of taking responsibility not only for their own safety but also for those around them. The company’s Energy & Process sector team also won the President’s Award. Commenting on the success, Peter Fisher, Costain’s Group Safety, Health & Environmental Director, said: “We are delighted to be recognised for these RoSPAs which

again demonstrates how important health and safety is to everyone in the Group.” Across the Group, health and safety has remained at the forefront of everything Costain does. This was exampled recently by the team working on the Evaporator D project at Sellafield achieving one million hours without a Lost Time Injury. This is the second time over the life of the project that the one million hour milestone has been passed. The latest landmark represents an injuryfree period from October 2011, which is particularly notable considering the risk profile of the work undertaken over that period. The achievement – which would be significant on any project – has been reached against a backdrop of complex working conditions at the Evap D site.

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“We have significant heavy lifting using gantry cranes, we’ve got welding, pipe-fitting, steel erection, civil engineering and electrical works, all within very close confines,” explained Project Director, Rob Phillips. “It’s a huge project but it’s happening in a building just sixty metres long by thirty metres wide at its widest point.” Combined with the limited space is the large number of personnel working on the job – around 400 people. Costain’s attention paid to health and safety was further recognised by client Sellafield Ltd, whose Management & Oversight of Contractors Department handed Costain the Most Improved Safety Performance award in May. This was in recognition of year-on-year improvements in safety

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ROSPA AWARDS: COSTAIN OIL, GAS AND PROCESS LTD performance since 2010 and the successful management of the multiple potentially high-risk activities. “This achievement has required a major effort from the team, taking into account the working environment in which they’re operating,” added Costain’s SHE Director, Peter Fisher. “It’s a testament to the skill and effort they’ve put in to cope with a notably complex worksite.” Elsewhere, Costain picked up a trio of titles at the 2013 Dwr Cymru Welsh Water Occupational Health & Safety Awards. In the glittering awards ceremony, held at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, the Costain Welsh Water team won the ‘Most Improved’ performance category. It also took the Highly Commended slot in the Excellence Award, while Works Superintendent, Tony Kopec, was commended in the Outstanding Contribution category. “The team won the Most Improved award for its work on the Coed Dolwyd Service Reservoir scheme. The award was won not through recovering from a previous dip in performance but by a series of initiatives that led to continuous improvement on already high standards,” said Public Relations Manager for the Welsh Water AMP 5 framework, Sara Brady. In its submission in the ‘Most Improved’ category the team noted that a safety, health and environment (SHE) training programme had been offered to all operatives to ensure the creation of a culture that encourages and looks closely at changing behaviours. There was a significant increase, for example, in the number of safety observations.

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“THIS ACHIEVEMENT HAS REQUIRED A MAJOR EFFORT FROM THE TEAM, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH THEY’RE OPERATING. IT’S A TESTAMENT TO THE SKILL AND EFFORT THEY’VE PUT IN TO COPE WITH A NOTABLY COMPLEX WORKSITE” Sara added: “The safety record on-site had been excellent, with more than 120,000 man-hours worked without a RIDDOR up to 12th of April. The team regularly scored above 8.5 in the monthly scored inspection (legal compliance being a score of 7.0) and numerous incentives had been developed to ensure that the team was continually improving. “All operatives were coached to be accountable and take responsibility for their own safety and that of their peers around them. The Gang Supervisors Coaching programme had been a positive initiative which had been devised to increase responsibility for Health and Safety amongst the workforce.” The Highly Commended position was won for overall performance on the Framework, while Tony Kopec’s commendation was for rolling out the various SHE measures.

The ‘Most Improved’ and Excellence awards brought with them prizes of £1,000 and £500 respectively. This money will be donated to local charities, selected from suggestions by Costain Welsh Water staff. Framework Director, John Madden, commented: “Costain secured more awards than any other company and I would like to thank and acknowledge everyone’s efforts within the team for achieving these awards.” Matt Crabtree, Costain’s Sector Director for Water, added: “We have had some positive feedback from Welsh Water recently regards our fantastic safety record and it is great to see the success of John and his team reflected at these awards.” www.costain.com Tel: 01628 842444

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ROSPA AWARDS: CUADRILLA RESOURCES

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ROSPA AWARDS: CUADRILLA RESOURCES

TO

BOLDLY CUADRILLA AIMS TO BE A “MODEL COMPANY” FOR UNCONVENTIONAL EXPLORATION IN THE UK.

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ontroversy surrounds hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, and Cuadrilla Resources is at its centre. But the company is prepared to defend it and has a The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) gold award to back up its claim of safe operation. “We’re an exploration company looking for hydrocarbons,” states Health, Safety, Security and Environment Director Leon Jennings. “We go through processes and move to production should we prove gas or oil is there and commercially viable to extract. We’re currently going through the exploration phase.” EXPLORATION LICENCES The company has six holes drilled in the Bowland Shale basin in Lancashire and has started drilling in Sussex, although the latter is for oil with no fracturing currently planned. Those sites arise from bids for licences offered by DECC after assessing geology and surface issues. As Leon explains, winning the licences is the first part of a long and complex process: “We look for the areas we want to drill, which are subject to planning permission and landowner permission. “Once we get site permissions, we submit the well design to the Health and Safety Executive for approval. We disclose fluids to the Environment Agency and have

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GO

them approved before using them. The HSE gets weekly reports on construction progress and visits the site to monitor the operation. So it’s very well regulated.” There’s a concerted effort to keep everyone fully informed to dispel myths and untruths spread over the internet. This effort comprises letter drops to residents, public engagement sessions where senior management are on hand to answer questions, information boards, a dedicated freephone line and regular meetings with councillors to provide updates. That’s essential due to the controversy surrounding Cuadrilla’s operations although Leon insists much of that is based on misinformation with little relevance to the UK. “It’s alleged it could be unfair to the environment and we shouldn’t be searching for hydrocarbons,” he says. “But people are aware of supply chain opportunities.” SEISMIC ACTIVITY One environmental concern is the fracturing process causing earthquakes. The only recorded instances of this were close to one of Cuadrilla’s Lancashire sites and scientific investigations revealed the tremors were due to happen anyway, simply occurring earlier than might otherwise have been the case. The company now has microseismic monitors around its sites so it can detect activity and release pressure before it escalates. The second major environmental concern is groundwater contamination. Despite groundwater not being used for

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drinking in the company’s operating areas, it proceeds as though it were. Leon explains: “Lancashire has a huge layer of rock called the Manchester Marls, which has held the gas there for millions of years. We put three layers of casing through the aquifer, going to two layers as the well becomes thinner and then a single layer down to the shale. “For the gas to escape, it would have to get through the casing and the cement, work its way 5,000 feet through rock to the Manchester Marls, get through that and travel half a mile to the surface before reaching the aquifer. It’s geologically and physically impossible for that to happen.” LONG TIMESCALES The attention to detail and need for approval and consultation have slowed the project. Even without that, exploration typically lasts 3-5 years and moving into full production can take 20-30 years. That’s partly due to drilling rig availability necessitating a staggered approach across multiple sites, although

the potential benefits are tremendous. These include job creation plus, as Leon recounts, a vastly improved energy supply situation: “We’ve estimated there’s 200 trillion feet of gas in the area and getting 10% out of the ground will supply 25% of Britain’s energy needs for the next forty years. “The British Geological survey says there’s more like 1,300 trillion cubic feet, so there’s a massive opportunity. Generally, getting 10-15% of gas would be pretty good but the technology’s improved so we can drill horizontally two kilometres in any direction. We can drill a 10,000 foot well and have multiple lateral wells coming off that into different layers of formation so we have a larger area to drain from a small surface footprint.” , which Leon attributes to the company’s overall approach and robust systems: “This kind of industry is new to the UK so everything is bespoke to what we’re doing. “We have good leadership, commitment, procedures and systems, and we’ve worked with external

THIS PIC: The drilling rig in place at Anna’s Road TOP LEFT: A graphic representing lateral drilling (not to scale) TOP RIGHT: A CGI representing a producing gas site

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THE CONTROVERSY OF FRACTURING HAS REQUIRED THE COMPANY TO BE CAREFUL TO DEMONSTRATE IT’S OPERATING SAFELY AND RESPONSIBLY. THAT WAS EMPHASISED BY IT WINNING A ROSPA GOLD AWARD AT THE FIRST ATTEMPT

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ROSPA AWARDS: CUADRILLA RESOURCES experts such as Cranfield University to identify and manage risk effectively. The award shows we consider the health and safety of staff and the communities around us very seriously and we want to maintain that gold standard each year. It shows an independent body has looked at our systems and awarded gold to a controversial industry.”

Huw Clarke, Cuadrilla’s senior geologist BELOW: The driller’s cabin, from which drilling is supervised

SUPPORT AND EXPANSION Support from the supply chain is crucial to the overall success of the business and there’s an emphasis on making use of everyone from industry experts to local businesses. With exploration underway in Lancashire and Sussex, Cuadrilla is looking further ahead. “We’ll be putting planning applications and environmental impact assessments in for up to six new sites across Lancashire,” comments Leon. “Once we’ve been through the sites, we’ll assess whether we’re ready to move to production or need more site surveys and exploration.” www.cuadrillaresources.com Tel: 01543 266444

REMSOL Remsol has worked closely with Cuadrilla since the start of 2012, making arrangements for the removal, transport and safe disposal of wastewater generated in the hydraulic fracturing process. The company has been operating for eleven years and works across many sectors including chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing, heavy engineering and construction. Throughout its history, Remsol has prided itself on a rigorous approach to health, safety and environmental protection and can boast an impeccable track record. It believes its zero-harm ethic is a great fit with Cuadrilla’s own culture and hopes to help Cuadrilla build-on its recent RoSPA Gold award win as it continues to explore for shale gas safely and responsibly in Lancashire. “Like all businesses, we regularly identify near-misses, but we always act quickly to learn from them and prevent a more serious recurrence,” says Lee Petts, Managing Director. “We have an excellent record, having never been responsible for a single spillage incident or lost time accident.”

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Boulting Group Ltd:feature 2 16/08/2013 12:20 Page 124

ROSPA AWARDS: BOULTING GROUP

ENGINEERING

SOLUTIONS BOULTING GROUP IS A MULTI-DISCIPLINED ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS PROVIDER, OPERATING IN A DIVERSE RANGE OF INDUSTRY SECTORS IN THE UK AND OVERSEAS

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ROSPA AWARDS: BOULTING GROUP

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look at the RoSPA website reveals a long list of award winners in various categories. Few companies are on there as consistently as the Boulting Group, which has held the Order of Distinction since 2009 as a result of winning nineteen consecutive gold awards. It also achieved a Commendation in the Construction Engineering Industry sector in 2012. The Boulting Group started in 1918as a small electrical company, was taken over by East Midlands Electricity in 1994 and was the subject of a management buy-out later that year. It’s now a multi-national mechanical, electrical and instrumentation business that employs around 1,000 people and works for many blue chip companies such as AstraZeneca, Shell, British Energy and British Nuclear Fuels. It also, as Health and Safety Manager Ken Manley recounts, works with many main contractors: “We alliance with them rather than work standalone. We pass information on to them, back them up and help them where we can so we provide a multi-disciplined unit.” That type of collaborative approach has been a major factor in the Boulting Group’s long run of success in the RoSPA awards because, although it puts in place all necessary policies and procedures, it’s recognised that would count for little without the involvement of operatives. “They do site safety audits with us,” comments Ken. “There’s a targeted workplace housekeeping strategy, behavioural safety and internally trained IOSH standard supervisors. “We provide toolbox talks to let operatives know what’s going on and, if they have problems or dislike particular things, they tell us and we try to do something about it. There are regular stop audits by Directors, Site Managers, Site Engineers and Site Supervisors where they stop individual operatives,

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have a chat with them to see how they can do the job differently, more safely and quicker without putting themselves at risk. “Communication with operatives is vital and we do that through toolbox talks and pre-job briefs on a daily basis to keep them involved. We have our internal newspaper called Grapevine, which goes out quarterly and keeps everyone informed of everything going on within the group.” MAINTAINING HIGH STANDARDS High standards are set and maintained by a fulltime team of safety advisers attending sites up and down the country. Health and safety plans are established and there are demonstrable year on year improvements in safety performance statistics underpinned by the group’s Target Zero strategy for accidents and safety-related incidents. In the

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ROSPA AWARDS: BOULTING GROUP

BUILD YOUR CLIENT LIST ADVERTISE IN BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE

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Boulting Group Ltd:feature 2 16/08/2013 12:20 Page 127

ROSPA AWARDS: BOULTING GROUP spirit of collaboration and sharing, relevant details are provided to clients and the partnership approach also applies to sub-contract labour, mainly cable pullers, who are involved in everything in the same way as the regular workforce. That applies to all new starters, who go through an internal induction including safety and quality. It then goes into site-specific induction, which applies thereafter at each new site where the group’s involved. After that, there’s training as necessary to help the group move forward. The maintenance of high standards is a continuous process that involves audits for CHAS and Safecontractor affiliation, a twice yearly audit for ISO 18001 and frequent audits and checks by most customers. And since the work is in diverse industries such as nuclear power, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, there are different risks and consequently each has varying needs.

CASE STUDY: ALDERLEY PARK ENERGY CENTRE

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he project ran from 2005 until 2009, with the Boulting Group working as a key alliance partner with AstraZeneca to provide a single energy centre for the Alderley Park site. This provides a modern, efficient, reliable and sustainable source of high pressure hot water, steam and compressed air. Boulting provided full design, supply and installation of the system that delivers 60MH of high pressure hot water at 170º Celsius and 18,000 kg per hour of steam. It involved the installation of new boilers, tanks, pumps, pipework, heat recovery equipment and compressed air systems plus full commissioning and operator training. The work was phased and Boulting’s successful completion of the first phase to provide high pressure hot water resulted in it securing the second phase for steam and compressed air.

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ENVIRONMENTAL FATE FACILITY The Boulting Group’s policy of adopting alliance methods was crucial to this contract due to tight budgetary constraints and various challenging aspects. The project was a new build, BREEAM-assessed facility comprising two floors of research laboratories, specialist CT rooms, a library and break-out areas on the third floor and an empty ground floor for development. The building replaced an outdated facility that was demolished. Boulting’s role was to deliver the concept, detailed design and installation of the complete internal fit-out, including electrical, mechanical and HVAC services. The concept and detailed design stage required regular video conferencing, telephone conferencing and site visits to ensure co-ordination of M&E services with

the internal envelope and other aspects of the work. Given the client was a major pharmaceutical company, there was a need to ensure sustainability and minimise the environmental impact of the facility. This required studies to assess the viability of CHP, voltage reduction and stabilisation, and sea water cooling. The facility also had to be user friendly and be able to keep pace with legislative changes while a desire for functionality without excess meant services were left visible. An additional complication was the need to continue with environmental testing and studies during demolition and construction, which required temporary laboratory cabins and careful planning. However, Boulting’s alliance methods of open communications and co-operation ensured the impact was minimised.

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“WE HAVE TO KEEP ABREAST OF NEW REGULATIONS AND THERE ARE DIFFERENT ONES IN EACH OF THE INDUSTRIES WE GO INTO”

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SITE SPECIFIC Ken says: “For every site, there’s an induction based on the local site risks and there are specific risk assessments involved with the industries we’re working in. For chemicals, there are COSHH assessments whereas, for the nuclear industry, it’s about where we can’t go. We have to keep abreast of new regulations and there are different ones in each of the industries we go into. Every one is totally different so we can’t rest on what we’ve done in the past; it’s an on-going process.”

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Those regular checks can lead to further awards, such as the Boulting Group winning the AZCAS Construction Award at AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield and Alderley Edge sites, both COMAH sites due to the substances used there. Additional recognition came in the form of two employees being named Man of the Year at each of the AstraZeneca sites for outstanding individual contributions to safety performance. Design, engineering, construction and term maintenance activities at AstraZeneca’s Avlon Works in Bristol also earned the group the Gold Standard Safety Certificate. Work at the AstraZeneca sites is under a term contract for planned preventative maintenance and reactive repairs, with similar contracts for Tata Steel, the Environment Agency and others. The group also undertakes full design and build contracts that have included Alderley Edge Energy Centre, clean fuel projects and waste to energy sites, so it can handle the full cycle. The Boulting Group operates from several offices around the country, the latest one being in Essex to expand its work in the southeast. That, as Ken recounts, is part of a carefully controlled growth strategy: “We have our own robust succession management plans so we have our own people we bring in and develop. We just keep updating our own people and we bring them through from the ground floor upwards.” www.boulting.co.uk Tel: 01925 446000

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ROSPA AWARDS: HERTFORDSHIRE PARTNERSHIP UNIVERSITY NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

COMMITTED TO PROVIDING FIRST CLASS CARE HERTFORDSHIRE PARTNERSHIP UNIVERSITY NHS FOUNDATION TRUST IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING EXCELLENT HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE FOR BOTH PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILL HEALTH AND THOSE WITH A LEARNING DISABILITY

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ny organisation involved in construction needs to be keenly aware of its health and safety responsibilities. For Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT), that’s more relevant than for most. “We work with people who may want to selfharm,” said Health, Safety and Security Manager Dennis Hunt. “For us, it’s about preventing accidents ever happening in the workplace, covering service users, patients, contractors, carers, community staff and wards in hospitals where we need to make sure staff and visitors are safe.” The organisation is one of the few mental health Trusts with university status and works in partnership with agencies to provide health and social care for people with mental health issues or learning disabilities. The care is delivered by teams that operate

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in the community or are based at in-patient wards or out-patient units. With an outstanding track record of service delivery, HPFT aims to be the leading provider of quality care and excellent treatment within a safe environment. Creating that environment has included providing community teams with lone worker devices. Dennis says: “They’re used to summon help for staff if they find themselves in a difficult situation, which has happened on a few occasions.” New projects involve other specialists in the Trust. This includes the Specialist Fire Prevention Adviser, Estates and Energy Manager and health and safety specialists who work closely with the organisation’s project officers to deliver required features. A new bedroom, for instance, will have safety aspects which will include anti-ligature fixtures and fittings as it is easier to engineer out the risks at the building stage of the project than to make alterations later. Input from many agencies and that atti-

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ROSPA AWARDS: HERTFORDSHIRE PARTNERSHIP UNIVERSITY NHS FOUNDATION TRUST tude of collaboration have helped HPFT advance to a RoSPA gold medal award with the prospect of the President’s Award within two years. “For health and safety, we undertake audits, inspections, risk assessments and reviews and we are a learning organisation,” comments Dennis. “We have Executive Board commitment; our Deputy CEO is also Executive Director for Quality and Safety and a very hands-on, motivated person. Health and safety is taken extremely seriously in the Trust and we have a very active Health, Safety and Security Committee that meets every six weeks with a wide agenda of items.” SUSTAINABLE PROJECTS All new build projects also have an emphasis on energy efficiency and sustainability, as Project Manager Les Hills explains: “We aim to achieve excellence in the Building Research Establishment Environmental and Sustainability Standard but this is not always possible due to a number of factors. We use P21+, a procurement framework agreement, partnering with architects and main contractors so it’s all open book. “Once we’re given our project brief, the project team identifies the most cost effective way of providing the building that is fit for purpose. We aim to design out, wherever possible, any maintenance issues to make sure the staff and service users can operate in a safe environment. Saving energy and our carbon footprint are important and, although we’re doing more work in the community, we still need in-patient facilities and we aim to make those as efficient as possible.” The next big project is an 86-bed hospital with a £40 million budget and contractors already on board. However, as Dennis emphasises, it’s a continuous process: “We‘re always trying to improve our services to enable the people who use them to have a positive recovery experience while they are with us. Our services are the best quality we can possible give and that’s what we always try to achieve.” www.hpft.nhs.uk Tel: 01727 804700

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: INTERNATIONAL SAFETY AWARDS

AWARDING

HEALTH AND SAFETY THE INTERNATIONAL SAFETY AWARDS GALA DINNER CELEBRATES THE SUCCESS OF THOSE ORGANISATIONS THAT ARE COMMITTED TO THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELL-BEING OF THEIR EMPLOYEES

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ealth and safety has always been an increasingly important topic in the construction industry. The British Safety Council’s role is to help member organisations, including nearly 2,000 in construction, achieve the highest standards. “Although health and safety sometimes attracts a lot of criticism, our members take it very seriously,” comments Policy Director Neal Stone. “They ensure it’s properly managed and people aren’t being injured or made ill by work. We have to stay in line with what’s happening, which includes considerable growth in the delivery of training and development online.” An important and very public aspect of the Council’s work is its staging of the annual

International Safety Awards. They recognise organisations’ health and safety achievements, reward those demonstrating a commitment to ensuring high standards and publicise best practice and particular initiatives. Neal says: “We use the event to help spread the word. It’s all well and good recognising and rewarding organisations but what they’re doing needs to reach a wider audience.” The awards, open to members and non-members, have completed their 55th year and generally attract 550-600 entrants. The latest round had 465 winning organisations, 38 achieving the highest distinction category, 241 awarded a merit and 186 gaining a pass. Results were announced at the time of the Council’s gala dinner in April, with distinction winning organisations receiving their awards on the night. Being successful in any category is quite an achievement since all applicants have to meet robust success criteria. That starts with the launch in autumn, applicants having four months to complete

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a detailed questionnaire and gather evidence to support their entry. Each application is scrutinised by an independent panel of judges comprising IOSH qualified chartered practitioners. Their main attributes are experience and knowledge in their field, a good eye for detail and the ability to conduct due diligence on evidence. MEETING CRITERIA “To get any award, you have to demonstrate to the judges you are ensuring good health and safety and meet the scoring criteria,” emphasises Neal. “The questions change every year and this year looked at not only safety hazards organisations had to manage but also the most prominent health hazards, which sometimes get overlooked. “We wanted to see evidence of senior management actively promoting safety and welfare on sites. We also looked at emergency arrangements the organisations had in place. And we asked them to set

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“AWARDS HAVE A VERY IMPORTANT PART TO PLAY AND GIVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE. FOR THE WINNERS, AN AWARD IS A PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION THAT THEY’VE ACHIEVED A PRESCRIBED LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE IN TERMS OF MANAGING HEALTH AND SAFETY RISK” NEAL STONE POLICY DIRECTOR

out their objectives and priorities for the coming year having regard to the improvements they were looking to achieve.” The evidence has to match the marking criteria, which is clearly defined and provided to applicants so they know what’s expected. The structure of the International Safety Awards means entry is open to small companies and individual business units or specific projects of larger ones. That results in a mixture of winners, this year in the construction sector including Bovis Homes, Laing O’Rourke for maintenance of the Severn Bridges and ISG for the reproofing of Leeds Prison. Croudace Homes is one of few companies to win a distinction in each of the three years since categories were

introduced while Clugston Construction has been a winner for 33 consecutive years. Distinction winner Aston Martin Lagonda also won the Sword of Honour which, along with the Globe of Honour, has a separate awards ceremony. Neal says: “The Sword of Honour and Globe of Honour are only open to British Safety Council members. For both, you must successfully complete a five star audit, which for the Globe of Honour covers environmental management and for the Sword covers health and safety. It’s a far smaller pool of organisations that can enter and is on a different timescale, launched in autumn with the presentation at the end of November. For the last one in 2012,

Alex Botha, British Safety Council chief executive

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there were 78 Sword winners and eight Globe Winners, eight organisations winning both.” HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITMENT All winners receive the benefit of publicity from the Council, in their local media and sector interest. “Organisations see this as an achievement and something that’s judged by experts who view them as being effective, committed to health and safety and have systems and arrangements in place to manage risks,” claims Neal. “Awards have a very important part to play and give the opportunity to share knowledge and expertise. For the winners, an award is a public demonstration that they’ve achieved a prescribed level of performance in terms of managing health and safety risk. It’s recognition of their success in doing that and it’s demonstrating that they take health and safety seriously.” New awards this year are the Health and Safety Champion and the Young Health and Safety Champion, which aim to recognise and reward individuals who don’t necessarily have health and safety as part of their role but have displayed by their behaviour and attitude that they care about it. Both categories are open to organisations that apply for the International Safety Awards, with individ-

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uals proposed being those who managers and colleagues see as being inspirational in raising awareness and helping and encouraging others to achieve the right standards. The nature of the International Safety Awards is they roll on year after year and develop as they do so. That reflects the work of the British Safety Council as it continues to deal with new challenges. “There are several reforms working their way through into health and safety law,” recounts Neal. “Fundamental changes are taking place, including the review of the Construction (Design Management) Regulations and the review of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. “There’s a lot of regulatory change going on and our members want us to represent their views to government and the HSE about the changes being proposed. Equally importantly, they want us help them understand the changes taking place and what the impact is going to be. If there are changes in regulations and approved codes of practice, they want to know what impact that is going to have on their business and what they need to do to prepare for those changes. We cannot underestimate the significance of the reforms taking place.” www.britsafe.org Tel: 020 8741 1231

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: NORLAND MANAGED SERVICES

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: NORLAND MANAGED SERVICES

EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE NORLAND IS RECOGNISED AS ONE OF THE LEADING FACILITIES, ENERGY AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERVICES IN THE UK & IRELAND

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ost companies would welcome the challenge of dealing with more than 20% annual growth, which is something Norland has achieved over the last ten years. As Group QHSE Director, it’s a challenge to which Steve Booker has had to be become accustomed. “My role is to look to the future and ensure we have the correct quality procedures and strategy in place to support this continual growth,” he says. “I’m trying to forecast what we will need to do in three years time, when the business could be quite literally twice as big as it is today, so I have to think very differently to most of our competitors who aren’t facing that kind of growth. I’ll be looking at both expansion in existing markets as well as the markets we could be moving into and what that will mean to us. We’ve recently, and successfully, entered the North American and European markets, and in preparation we had to think differently about how we do that to ensure cultural and legal differences were understood. We have to make sure we have the right policy and process, and set the right direction for the business.” While the new development is going on, the established UK business continues to operate and differentiate itself from the competition. That business employs 4,000 people, has a forecast turnover of £500 million for 2014-15 and is organised into three customer focused divisions. The

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Corporate division looks after large corporate, prestigious buildings while Critical Environment Services specialises in data centres and critical environments, and UK Services provides national maintenance across multiple locations. As a market leader in hard services led facilities management, the core work is M&E maintenance in existing buildings. However, as Steve points out, it can extend well beyond that: “We’re not a building company but we have an exceptional Projects team and through our ‘Norland Construct’ product we offer serves ranging from the install of M&E services through to full ICT support. In fact, we have recently completed a data centre from the ground up. EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE AND PEOPLE “The foundation of our business is mechanical, electrical (the hard services) and FM work. Our exceptional people are involved in looking after mechanical, electrical, heating, ventilation and energy management, as well as the delivery of security, cleaning and catering. Our specialism, which we were founded on, is our ability to deliver exceptional service through exceptional people. Our business has seen significant and successful growth through our focus on the customer. So much so that our growth is a reflection of the confidence of those customers and the service differentiator that Norland offer; we’ve successfully emerged in new markets and service streams as a result of the customers focus on quality.”

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Many other companies ‘say’ they are offering quality; however, Norland’s phenomenal and sustained rate of growth is testament to ‘real value’ delivered through exceptional service and exceptional people; the ethos on every job and the one that sets it apart from the competition. Understandably, there’s a big emphasis on recruitment at all levels and the HR and training teams ensure Norland is fully supported. This extends to its specialist energy engineers who are specifically trained to find the means and methods, using the best technology, to reduce energy consumption for customers. It’s something that’s particularly critical in data centres, where the ability to maximise efficiency

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through using less energy is very important as it brings both commercial and environmental benefits. Steve says: “We’ve been doing this for some years and our energy engineers have an increasingly important role when it comes to assisting customers understand and manage their environmental energy impact. Maintaining safety in a sustainable environment is simply part of business as usual for Norland.” Steve’s own team comprises a number of highly qualified specialists in multiple disciplines that include health, safety and environmental specialisms. That’s because the

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: NORLAND MANAGED SERVICES Norland way is not to operate heath, safety and environmental management as independent disciplines but to integrate them and ensure they are at the core of everything the company does. The QHSE team’s aims are to support the company’s growth by providing education and specialist advice as well as compliance monitoring. TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION This specialist support is essential when the company has such high levels of growth and the aim, as Steve confirms, is to enable that growth to be underpinned by solid foundations in QHSE: “With every year seeing significant growth, it is important to recognise that simply doing what we do today may not be what we need to do in a year or two year’s time. The business will be much bigger and customers will be more diverse. So we keep doing the things that we do well but also look for the next innovative approach to quality, health, safety and environmental management that will allow us to operate effectively and efficiently in an environment of exceptional growth. “Technology plays an important role in delivering innovation and our IT and business systems teams are critical in delivering our day-to-day business demands but equally in transforming ideas into real solutions that allow us to use technology to help us work smarter.” Identifying technological innovations is achieved largely through a team of specialists that looks at what’s happening in the market and participates in forums and specialist groups to benefit from networking. Everything that’s learned, whether from internal or external sources, is built into an integrated database that represents the latest Norland QHSE offering so it’s available for training, inspections, audit and reporting of hazardous situations. The purpose of that, according to Steve, is twofold. “It matches effectively what Norland does

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but, more importantly, it provides our customers with something they need to meet their expectations,” he says. “We treat each customer individually and we can have an intelligent conversation with them about their expectation of Norland from a QHSE perspective. Most people want to see how compliant they are, how well their business is performing and how well they’re doing. We build live dashboards using the technology that we have and make them available to our customers. Those dashboards use live data to tell them the state of play for their compliance, their PPM and reactive maintenance so they can see in graphical and other formats how they’re doing, which builds confidence with the customers.”

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: NORLAND MANAGED SERVICES HIGH CUSTOMER RETENTION Treating customers individually contributes to the company’s 93% customer retention rate, which is almost unprecedented for the type of business it’s in. That’s achieved also by listening to customers, understanding their expectations and being able to deliver on or even exceed them so the customer feels confident about what’s being provided and stays with the company. High retention also applies to staff, who generally like what they do and so help the company achieve its mission of ‘being a market leader through exceptional service and exceptional people’. Exceptional service extends to Norland’s safety record, which has seen it win a RoSPA gold for the sixth consecutive year, moving it into the gold medal category. The standards the company set mean it was never going to be satisfied with anything other than the top level and this year it was also commended in the Facilities Management industry sector awards and has signed up to the Scottish Higher Performers Challenge to improve Scotland’s health and safety performance. It’s also received a Merit two years running in the British Safety Council’s International Safety Awards for work with Scottish Power. “That is significant to us because it demonstrates that these external bodies are commending us for that level of attention to detail on safety and the environment,” remarks Steve. “Norland doesn’t see safety, health or environment as separate entities; we see them as one part of our day-to-day business.

“EVERY TIME WE DO A SAFETY REVIEW OR A SAFETY AUDIT, WE’RE ACTUALLY LOOKING AT THE QUALITY OF OUR SERVICE DELIVERY, THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF THAT WORK AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT THE WORK HAS”

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With that in mind, many years ago we established our management system to be an integrated management system. That means safety, environment, health and quality are all treated as equals and built into one system. MEETING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS “Every time we do a safety review or a safety audit, we’re actually looking at the quality of our service delivery, the safety aspects of that work and the environmental impact the work has. We’re also very specifically taking customer feedback on every review we carry out to see how we’re doing, what we should be doing and if we’re meeting customer expectation. That’s very different and something that underpins the fact that we approach these awards and the achievement and standards in a different way to the competition. “We are registered for the international standards of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 for quality, environment and safety but we equally have PAS 99 registration for our integrated management system. That’s for the full scope of our business, everything we do and everywhere we do it, which is a huge differentiator for Norland. The standards are at the core of our business and there are no priorities there; it’s part of the day job.” Norland runs a number of different initiatives to support health and safety, including an ongoing programme relating to collaboration with its subcontractors. It’s all about managing risk as a joint responsibility and recognising that, although Norland’s set its standards at a very high level that its customers have come to expect and receive,

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: NORLAND MANAGED SERVICES some contractors and specialists don’t always have the same standards. Moreover, they don’t necessarily have the required resources to support them in achieving those standards. JOINT RESPONSIBILITY So the company’s collaboration, workshops and seminars on managing risk in joint responsibility are aimed at bringing the subcontractor community and its own employees together. They express how it is so successful and share some of the systems and the processes that have allowed it to do that. In effect, certain of its own processes that other companies might keep secret, it’s quite happy to share with subcontractors and customers because it means that they’re all applying a uniform and consistent principle through management. By doing that, everybody understands what it is, which satisfies one of the core requirements of safety and environmental management. Steve says: “We share with our contractors how we do things and how we manage risk. We also undertake a collaboration audit with the contractors to establish where they are currently and then we try to help them understand how we can get them to a higher level. Following that, if they have some good practices, we share those with other contractors so that we’re all benefiting from each of those day-to-day methods to develop best practice.” In its dealings with its sub-contractors, Norland has to take care not to appear to be too dictatorial or negative, bearing in mind that they are specialists in what they do. Nevertheless, it has equally to make sure its customers see the benefits in the exercise and view it in a positive light, which Scottish

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Power did, leading up to the collaboration that resulted in the International Safety Award Merit. POSITIVE INITIATIVE Steve recalls: “That was very important to us because there was an environmental link there as well. We worked with Scottish Power and they thought it was such a positive initiative that they offered us their conferencing facilities and the resources to support a number of seminars free of charge in order to get this message across to diverse contractors that were anywhere from the Outer Hebrides into the centre of Glasgow and Edinburgh. CONTINUED ON PAGE 1484

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“It has been so successful that I’ve been invited to present at Scottish Power because they are running their own series of seminars for their own contractors who do work completely independent of Norland on exactly the same basis, managing risk and joint responsibility. We’ve provided them with our material; we’ve allowed them free access to modify it as they will and to them it was such an important message that they are delivering the same seminars and workshops to every one of their contractors. I think that’s a resounding, positive message about how what could have been a challenge has turned into a real significant game changer in the marketplace.” The environmental link is particularly relevant given that Steve’s remit includes environmental management and Norland’s principle of dealing with safety, its impact on the environment and qual-

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ity together. However, environmental and energy issues are treated separately because of the different implications and, where a potential energy impact is identified, it’s passed to the specialist team of energy engineers. They’re the responsibility of the Director of Sustainability, whose role is to deploy those engineers in a very specialist project capacity in order to understand how the customer may be able to benefit from various actions. These can include plant changes, energy interventions to put in variable speed drives and a number of energy initiatives that can be as simple as switching off equipment to help them to control energy usage. There’s a specialist team that is specifically trained to provide that advice and the fact that it’s separate and specialist, rather than being grouped into a general category, is deemed important.

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: NORLAND MANAGED SERVICES EDUCATING AND ADVISING The team considers questions received from customers, including those on waste management, with even some of the UK’s largest waste management companies seeking advice on topics such as completing consignment notes and segregation at source. In those situations, the specialists act as educators and advisers on topics where they have any involvement. The biggest challenge remains that of dealing with the sustained level of growth, which is increased by the very diversity of Norland’s customers and the sometimes intricate situations it has to deal with. These apply particularly to its critical environment division that deals with some of the most complex, high voltage electrical switching arrangements. That requires the employment of a team of specialist technical engineers who are typically qualified as Fellows of CIBSE. Their job involves being educators and advisers and they work in combination with Steve’s team. Part of his responsibilities is to chair a technical forum that provides a voice for the technical specialists to be able to communicate their views of some of the forthcoming challenges. Specific challenges include the fact that the company is sometimes working in remote areas, such as Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, where the weather is a significant factor, especially in winter. That requires taking note of and being able to rely on weather forecasts, so there’s a heavy reliance on the Met Office to be able to plan the work. Allied to that is the need to communicate to the customers why it might be necessary to move work around when bad weather is forecast, helping them and the engineers to make sure service is maintained. And, as Steve recalls, it’s not just the weather that can affect operations: “Some time ago, there was the fairly significant pandemic flu issue that the world was facing. We were at the forefront of issuing bulletins 24 hours a day to our customers and

SPECIFIC CHALLENGES INCLUDE THE FACT THAT THE COMPANY IS SOMETIMES WORKING IN REMOTE AREAS, SUCH AS SCOTLAND’S OUTER HEBRIDES, WHERE THE WEATHER IS A SIGNIFICANT FACTOR, ESPECIALLY IN WINTER.

our staff to keep them updated. I had a direct link to a colleague in the World Health Organisation and to colleagues in both North and South America so we were able to issue bulletins, in many cases quicker than our own health organisation. KEEPING UPDATED “Our own team and customers came to have a reliance on the fact that we were able to keep them updated with information, advice and especially on guidance on what they should be able to do to help them manage the potential risk to their staff should we be affected by a pandemic. We also provided opinion on some of the more spurious advice that was being offered by others, such as on buying various different types of PPE technical equipment that they may not need. We tried to level the playing field a little bit and it was a free service; one of those added value things that Norland does to try to make sure customers have the confidence in our ability to deliver not just the day-to-day business, but a much broader scope of service.”

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: NORLAND MANAGED SERVICES The various challenges have been overcome sufficiently for Norland to continue its rate of growth right through the recession. That growth is set to continue with a move into the North American market last year that is so far proving successful due to recommendations from UK customers about the exceptional level of service the company offers. It’s focused on data centres through its Critical Environments division and, being achieved without any acquisitions, has necessitated setting up all the required infrastructure. “We didn’t want to dilute our brand or our mission of this exceptional service so we started from nothing,” states Steve. “We made sure we respect the fact that there are different cultures in other countries but, at the same time, we wanted to make sure that we built our North American businesses on the foundation that’s allowed Norland to be successful. On the back of our first piece of work in the North American market, which was last October, we quickly won another piece of work, followed by a third we’ve just been awarded and are mobilising, both significant pieces of data centre work.” CUSTOMER RECOMMENDATIONS The origin for the American work is pretty typical, with much of the business in the UK coming from recommendations from existing customers, although it obviously has to go through a competitive tendering process. That’s been significantly more difficult for Norland to do in America because it’s new there but it took on the market on the basis that it could differentiate itself through quality, exceptional service and its exceptional people. Steve says: “We have a set of behaviours that underpins that and it’s those behaviours that allow us to deliver. So we really set our stall out to present that to our customers and it isn’t just a matter of them getting what they pay for as it may be with somebody else. With Norland, they get what

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they pay for in terms of maintaining their data centre but they also get a whole host of other benefits that give them more confidence and a surety that their data centres are going to be well looked after. Clearly, that’s worked because we won two further pieces of business as a result of the recommendation.” Although the growth rate has been consistently high, the emphasis is on managed growth and so the intention now is to consolidate the position within the North American market. At the same time, the company is looking at other market areas, having been asked by some customers to look outside of the North American market to help them in other areas which they feel are under-supported to the level of professionalism provided by Norland. It has been supporting

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: NORLAND MANAGED SERVICES

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AFFORDABLE DESIGN, PRINT AND WEB SOLUTIONS CPL Design is a multidisciplinary design consultancy offering a complete range of cost effective design and print solutions to a range of clients. We specialise in branding, design for print, promotional materials as well as on-line and digital work translating your ideas into innovative visual communications with real impact. For more information call Kate or Steve

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some Critical Environment Services customers across Europe for a number of years and so the move into other markets isn’t altogether new. LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNITIES “You never know until the work arrives and one cannot be complacent; however, we have a robust business model with a great track record of success on which to anticipate future growth,” Steve says. “Retaining existing customers is very important to us as well as gaining new customers based on exceptional service reputation. “The market sectors of health and education are areas that have come under scrutiny during the recession and Norland has successfully entered these markets whilst these customers leverage the value and quality that Norland offers. In fact, we are seeing

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customers taking a ‘flight back to quality’ as we emerge from recession and this emphasis on quality enables Norland to be extraordinary successful.” Quality, stresses Steve, is based on the principles and Norland Behaviours, which he consistently strives to promote: “For me, it’s the day job, it’s business as usual. Our Norland behaviours set us apart from our competitors and are what have underpinned and enabled our success. Our mission statement includes a focus on delivering exceptional service through exceptional people. The reason we have such high retention rates of our customers and our people is a result of us actually doing what it says on the tin.” www.norlandmanagedservices.co.uk Tel: 020 7871 9101

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raf:feature 2 16/08/2013 09:26 Page 156

HEALTH AND SAFETY: ROYAL AIR FORCE – AIR CADET ORGANISATION

FLYING THEIR WAY TO SAFETY

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he Air Cadet Organisation (ACO) has been recognised for its commitment to health and safety, after being awarded an incredible ninth consecutive British Safety Council International Safety Award (ISA). Donald Gordon, the ACO’s Chief Environment & Safety Officer was delighted at the success, saying that it highlights the hard work of staff and volunteers as well as the ongoing progress the ACO is making in safety standards. The ACO provides a wide range of adventurous activities for young people and its duty of care to cadets and the adult volunteers who support them is a top priority. Therefore, all activities are underpinned by rigorous safety protocol and appropriate assessment of risk. Befitting the long-term success of the ACO’s health and safety practices, Donald says it is important to build on the recognition and to continue to deliver the high standards such awards confirm. The British Safety Council’s audit also allows the ACO to benchmark itself against similarly sized organisations, many of which have much larger resources.

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: ROYAL AIR FORCE – AIR CADET ORGANISATION Importantly, the award builds confidence in the ACO’s volunteers, as well as the parents and guardians who entrust their children into the organisation’s care. The prominence of health and safety within the ACO has seen it continue to develop its management systems, training schemes and opportunities for young people. Over the last year it has again made great strides such as the progress of the Health and Safety Entry Level Award (known as the Cadet ELA), with more young people looking to take advantage of this safety training. Currently 1,681 cadets have achieved the award and 763 volunteers have been trained as ELA tutors. The ACO has also introduced a bespoke Risk Assessor (Competence) training course and last year trained 287 assessors. In addition, the organisation has created the Star Award rating system that is applied following the inspection of a squadron. This encourages volunteers, rewards those who have achieved the required safety standards, and highlights any squadrons that need additional support from the professional HS&E Advisers to get them up to the required standard.

“TOTAL SAFETY IS THE WAY AHEAD AND WE ARE ACTIVELY MAPPING OUR POLICIES AND PROCEDURES AGAINST THE RAF TO ENSURE WE COMPLY WITH REQUIRED REPORTING STANDARDS” Further highlighting the successes achieved by the ACO were the results of an external audit by the Royal Air Force safety staffs, which returned an outcome of “significant assurance”. Yet, the ACO isn’t about the stand still. To ensure standards are continually improved, new initiatives in future will enhance health and safety even further. For example, one scheme involves an anonymous whistle blower mechanism that will enable the organisation to investigate legitimate concerns and identify and correct any weakness. Elsewhere, the organisation is working hard on the behavioural aspects of safety, whereby volunteers and cadets are encouraged to be honest about safety incidents and “near misses”, without fear of retribution for genuine mistakes. Donald says, as he looks ahead, that a number of measures will be put in place to reflect the RAF’s Total Safety scheme. “We are working with the RAF

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to adapt our Safety and Environmental Management System to address safety as a whole entity, as opposed to treating each element individually and in isolation.” This strategy is echoed by Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty. She says, “Total Safety is the way ahead and we are actively mapping our policies and procedures against the RAF to ensure we comply with required reporting standards. This approach to Total Safety will encompass new thinking in the way we address safety across the organisation, recognising specific areas of risk such as the environment, child protection (always a concern in a youth organisation), and target shooting (a very popular cadet activity) into a single topic for periodic review. “I look forward to seeing how this work develops and am personally committed to ensuring that safety continues to underpin all that we do in delivering exciting and enjoyable cadet activities.”

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TITANIC ACHIEVEMENT

SCOTLAND’S TITAN CRANE AT CLYDEBANK GAINS EIFFEL TOWER STATUS

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ne of Scotland’s most unusual engineering landmarks, the Titan Crane at Clydebank, has been designated as an ‘International Historic Civil and Mechanical Engineering Landmark’ by the American Society of Civil Engineers – joining the likes of the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Machu Picchu in Peru. Hailed as an engineering triumph, the 106-year old crane is one of only 13 of its kind the left in the world. It is only the fourteenth landmark in the UK to have received the ASCE accolade and the first in UK to be endorsed by four leading international engineering institutions – the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

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Awarding the landmark designation, Andrew Herrmann, past President of the ASCE, said: “The Titan Crane is a beacon among cranes as it influenced the development of many similar cranes across the globe. ASCE is honoured to join for the first time with three other engineering societies to designate the Titan as an international historic engineering landmark.” The Titan becomes the fifth internationally recognised engineering landmark in Scotland taking its place alongside the Forth Railway Bridge, the Forth & Clyde Canal, the Craigellachie Bridge and the Caledonian Canal. Constructed in 1907 at a cost of £24,600, the crane was designed by “engineer extraordinaire” Adam Hunter (1869 – 1933), a Scottish engineer from Glasgow based firm Sir William Arrol & Co and member of both the ASCE and ICE. The innovative design of the crane, which included a fixed counterweight and electrically oper-

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ated hoists, mounted on a rotated beam, made it faster and more responsive than its steam powered predecessors. On completion, the Titan was tested to lift loads of up to 160 tons. Hunter’s design later became the most widely adopted in the world, influencing the erection of cranes of this type worldwide. The crane, now a unique visitor and education heritage centre on the River Clyde, made a major contribution to Glasgow’s shipbuilding industry last century, helping to fit out some of the world’s biggest battleships and liners including the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Elizabeth 2. A plaque was unveiled at a special ceremony at the Crane today (Tuesday 20th), to mark the designation. Accepting the plaque on behalf of the Titan Crane, Lyn Ryden, community board member of Clydebank Re-built and the Titan Clydebank Trust, said: “Today's designation of the Titan Clydebank as a world engineering landmark is a tremendous boost to our educational work here in promoting

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the proud heritage of shipbuilding and engineering on the Clyde. “Thanks to the Titan’s lifting power, John Browns shipyards were able to build some of the biggest ships in the world last century. The Titan is now sadly all that remains of the shipyards at Clydebank but this award puts the Titan on the world engineering map for today’s visitors and future generations of young people.” The nomination for the award to the Titan was put forward by the Institution of Civil Engineer’s Panel for Historical Engineering Works. ICE’s President, Professor Barry Clarke, said: “This award represents a significant achievement for what is a unique example of the longstanding history of civil engineering excellence in Scotland. Equally, it highlights the creativity and ingenuity of the engineers who contributed to its construction - traits which civil engineers all over the world display in their work to this day.”

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ASME President, Madiha El-Mehelmy Kotb added: “The American Society of Mechanical Engineers is honoured to be among the organisations recognising the historical significance of the Titan Crane. The Titan is a mechanical as well as civil engineering marvel, incorporating electric motors and aspects of structural design that became models for future cranes.” The structure has previously been awarded IMechE’s Engineering Heritage Award in 2012 and its restoration in 2007 was recognised by the Chicago Athenaeum Award for Architecture in 2008 and the Civic Trust Award in 2009. Since 2007, over 40,000 people, including many college and school children, have visited the Titan, taking the lift to the top and learning more about Clydebank’s shipbuilding heritage. The Titan is open to the public during the summer months on Saturdays and Sundays or at any time by arrangement for community and school groups.

“THANKS TO THE TITAN’S LIFTING POWER, JOHN BROWNS SHIPYARDS WERE ABLE TO BUILD SOME OF THE BIGGEST SHIPS IN THE WORLD LAST CENTURY”

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CIVILS, TRANSPORT AND UTILITIES: TRANSPORT SCOTLAND

KEEPING

SCOTLAND TRANSPORT SCOTLAND IS THE NATIONAL TRANSPORT AGENCY FOR SCOTLAND

MOVING T

he general perception is that all big projects come in behind schedule and over budget. That’s something David Middleton, Chief Executive of Transport Scotland would argue against because he believes his organisation tends to manage things much better. “We have a sizeable track record of serious projects that have been on time and on budget so we think we have some expertise in that,” he insists. “It’s not always the case that big projects go over budget; in fact it’s been pretty infrequently the case here.” GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITIES Transport Scotland is the government agency in Scotland that fulfils Scottish ministers’ transport responsibilities including those for the motorway and trunk road network, overseeing the rail fran-

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chise, ferries, and Highlands and Islands airports. It also covers policy responsibility, whether for sustainable transport initiatives, aviation matters except where reserved to the UK government, cycling, walking, canals and all other transport responsibilities for the government in Scotland. David says: “It’s about links across Scotland, making sure we’re well connected, both to benefit the economy, improve journey times and making them more reliable and to make a contribution to reducing emissions.” To achieve that, it works within a budget allocated by ministers and with priorities set, although the agency has input to the process. Certain elements have to be included, such as the maintenance of the trunk road and motorway network, and additional projects then include road and rail developments. Once funds are allocated, certain of the larger projects will be subject to specific legislation although many will go through a conventional process of publishing road orders, holding a public enquiry and then, if the go-ahead is given on the original or an amended basis, running the capital procurement and awarding the contracts. While there are some framework agreements for consultancy and smaller areas of work, any sizeable projects are always tendered for in a conventional EUcompliant way. REGIONAL TRANSPORT PARTNERSHIPS The progress of all projects is monitored and there’s also regular liaison with Regional Transport Partnerships although, as David points out, each one varies: “Strathclyde Partnership for Transport has quite a big service delivery because it oversees

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bus services in the city of Glasgow and beyond, and it runs the Glasgow underground. Some of the others are more about their regional interests, making representations and pursuing advocacy, and we liaise with a lot of them on many projects. We work quite closely with Nestrans in the Northeast as we’re looking at taking forward the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route project.” Transport Scotland also has relationships with other organisations that include the public transport operators. Since the buses are deregulated, the relationship is largely around running the national concessionary travel scheme at agreed remuneration levels and paying the bus service operating grant, a subsidy to the industry.

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CIVILS, TRANSPORT AND UTILITIES: TRANSPORT SCOTLAND The organisation’s responsibility to reduce emissions is through the transport element of the government’s emissions targets. Although it’s accepted Transport Scotland can’t directly influence vehicle emissions and people’s driving habits, David stresses it has significant influence in other ways: “We try to be sustainable when we carry out road improvements in terms of the use of materials. On the M74, we reused material from other parts of Glasgow where some demolitions were going on while on the Forth Replacement Crossing, everything is re-used in a sustainable way. I know some people won’t see a motorway extension as being something that leads automatically to lower emissions but, if we relieve congestion, we hope we can help to reduce emissions. “The railways are a success story in Scotland in the last few years and we hope that, by encouraging people to use them where possible, we can reduce the number of car journeys. At the same time, we recognise that the overwhelming proportion of the nation’s freight still goes by road and therefore we need quick, reliable, predictable connections by road so the economy can function and traffic is not sitting in queues for great lengths of time.” There are walking and cycling initiatives in cities to try and encourage less car use, with a target of 10% of journeys being by cycle by 2020. Added to that are schemes to promote electric vehicles and capital support to public transport operators for more hybrid buses. Much of the organisation’s attention currently is focused on five major schemes that are expect-

“THE RAILWAYS ARE A SUCCESS STORY IN SCOTLAND IN THE LAST FEW YEARS AND WE HOPE THAT, BY ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO USE THEM WHERE POSSIBLE, WE CAN REDUCE THE NUMBER OF CAR JOURNEYS.” DAVID MIDDLETON CHIEF EXECUTIVE ed to cost £3.8 billion to build. The Queensferry Crossing, previously known as the Forth Replacement Crossing, is in construction, as is the Borders Railway that will provide a new line from Edinburgh to the central Borders. A preferred bidder for enhancements to the M8 is due to be announced shortly while the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route is at an earlier stage. The Edinburgh to Glasgow improvement project is a rolling programme of contracts and improvements to the Edinburgh to Glasgow railway connections that’s proceeding at the moment, with contracts such as the Cumbernauld line electrification already happening. All were the subject of a recent report by audit body Audit Scotland, which concluded there were no worries about the progress of any of the projects and no suggestion of cost overruns. That follows the success of previous recent projects, the M74 and M80 motorway extensions that opened

in 2011, which both came in on time and within budget. Whilst Transport Scotland has plenty to contend with currently, due to the five major projects it’s working on, it’s already looking ahead to future programmes. “The government’s committed to upgrading to dual carriageway the A9 between Perth and Inverness by 2025 and the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen by 2030,” recounts David. “We’re also discussing with the Department for Transport in the south about the Secretary of State for Transport’s aspirations to see High Speed Rail in due course leading to a three hour journey between the central belt of Scotland and London. Separate to that, there’s work going on up here to look at the business case for beginning High Speed Rail in Scotland, perhaps between Glasgow and Edinburgh.” www.transportscotland.gov.uk Tele: 0141 2727100

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THE FORESTRY COMMISSION IS THE GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PROTECTION AND EXPANSION OF BRITAIN’S FORESTS AND WOODLANDS

MANAGING OUR

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et up in 1919 in response to the depletion of Britain’s woods and forests during the First World War, the Forestry Commission is a nonministerial government department responsible for the protection of woodland in England and Scotland. When the commission was first established it began to buy large amounts of former agricultural land which eventually made it the largest land owner in Britain. Over the years the goals of the Commission have broadened into such areas as research and recreation. In addition, protecting and improving biodiversity across Britain’s forests are also key concerns of the organisation. The primary role of the Forestry Commission is the protection and management of England and Scotland’s woodland. As well as this, the Commission is responsible for conservation, support, and restoration. It also provides leisure and recreation that supports its key aims through interaction with the public. As the all-seeing-eye, the Forestry Commission plants many millions of trees every year, to create new woodland and to replace the trees harvested. Some of these trees will help to regenerate blighted industrial landscapes such as former coalfield communities and to bring new woodlands closer to urban areas. Crucially, the Commission sustainably harvests almost four million tonnes of wood every year from England and Scotland's public forests. That’s more than a third of total domestic production. This reduces dependency on imported wood and provides low-carbon materials for the domestic wood-using industries, and for fuel and energy. The income from timber helps to offset the costs of managing the forests in its care. As Britain’s largest land manager the Commission is custodian of 900,000 hectares of land including some of the best loved and most spectacular landscapes. Two-thirds of the estate lies within National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The organisation also provides grants, licences and advice to private woodland owners to encourage new tree planting and to help keep private forests and

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woodland under active and sustainable management. It also works in partnership with a wide range of public bodies, NGOs, small businesses and communities to respond to national, regional and local needs. Where land is not wanted, The Forestry Commission will turn it into green space for the benefit of all. Through pioneering research and on-theground experience, the Commission has proved it can successfully, and economically, transform brownfield sites such as old collieries and factories into usable greenspace. This improves the environment, people’s health and the local economy by restoring places that people want to work, rest and play in. Indeed, more people visit a forest than they do the seaside. The Commission offers visitors many thousands of waymarked walks and trails, cycle routes and bridle paths, open every day and free of charge. In many places, the Forestry Commission provides the only local opportunity for quiet and accessible recreation. The millions of visitors contribute almost £2 billion annually to the economy, mostly into rural areas. Its network of visitor centres provides a unique opportunity to engage with the public. They are an ideal platform to talk to people about climate change, helping them to understand the issues, see

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directly how climate change is affecting our trees and woods today, what we need to do to help them adapt, and what actions individuals and families can take to make a difference. GREEN BUILDINGS The green agenda and operating in a sustainable manner is at the heart of everything the Forestry Commission does. This is exampled in the leisure and recreation arm of the organisation where it continues to develop its relationship with the public. A key part of this is the green technology utilised at its current and newly constructed visitor centres. For example, in 2007, a project to develop Dalby Forest near Pickering as a regional centre of excellence for sustainable activities saw the site undergoing redevelopment. This provided a new cycle centre and an area for business use. The new visitor centre with community facilities, restaurant, and retail and exhibition areas opened in April of that year. It also features an interactive learning centre for renewable technologies. The centre has been designed to nestle into the natural landscape, and it was constructed using the latest sustainable building methods.

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Dalby Forest is the largest forest in Yorkshire and a key attraction in the North York Moors National Park with 400,000 visitors per year. The forest was used primarily as a timber resource until 1960, when the opening up of a through-route brought more visitors to the area. Today, the forest plays a major role in the local tourism sector and offers a range of outdoor leisure activities including mountain biking, seasonal concerts and the high-rope course ‘Go-Ape’. The site of the new visitor centre was excavated using a ‘cut and fill technique’, minimising environmental impact and the amount of soil that had to be moved. The building is set on steel screw pile foundations and is fixed to the ground with 39 screws, making it easy to remove and be recycled should the building no longer be required in the future. The main structure has been constructed using premade glue-laminated frame made from certified Scandinavian hardwood. The floor, roof and walls are formed from insulated panels, creating a ‘super insulated’ external envelope. Oak was used for the internal floors, and Douglas fir for the window frames and doors. The building is clad in untreated

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larch harvested from the surrounding forests and locally milled. The naturally-weathered timbers provide a distinctive finish. The whole structure has a negligible environmental footprint and can be completely dismantled and recycled at the end of its life. Sustainable technology within the building includes the use of wood fuel. A 50 kilowatt wood fuel boiler provides heating and hot water. The boiler is fuelled using wood pellets, made from compacted sawdust, which burn very effectively. The fuel hopper holds 5 tonnes of pellets (sourced from the UK) which provides heating for 8–10 weeks. It uses a reservoir of heated water to buffer variations in demand, with auto-ignition and the ability to slumber when required, suited to the building use and insulation performance. The building has also been designed to maximise natural light and ventilation. The central atrium provides an impressive foyer and meeting place which is naturally ventilated by single-glazed windows that automatically open and close. A‘stack

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effect’ (hot air rising) pulls cool air in through the lower windows during hot sunny days. An integrated building management system controls the natural ventilation systems, monitors electricity from the solar panels, wind turbine and wood fuel boiler, and manages the temperature in various parts of the centre to ensure maximum thermal efficiency. Elsewhere, you’ll find a collection of solar panels. A photovoltaic system on the atrium roof consists of 10 solar modules that contribute to the energy load. On a bright day the array can produce 1.5 kilowatts of electricity per day. A solar thermal installation provides supplementary water heating. The centre also uses wind power. A small wind turbine was installed as part of an educational display that demonstrates how renewable energy technologies work. In addition, a variety of recycled materials have been used for the internal fixtures and fittings. The toilet doors are made from recycled plastic bottles,

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CIVILS, TRANSPORT AND UTILITIES: FORESTRY COMMISSION toothbrushes, electrical cable casing, coffee cups and yoghurt pots, and the reception desk from mobile phones and wellies. The roofing membrane is made of recycled bicycle tyres. And, rainwater is used for flushing the toilets which reduces reliance on the village water supply. Foul waste is treated on-site with a bio-filtration system so that the clean water can be safely released into the local river. The Forestry Commission has continued to utilise green technologies in the building of its visitor centres and other construction work. Last year, Hicks Lodge Visitor Centre, near Ashby de la Zouch – built by the Forestry Commission and the National Forest Company – was opened and is now celebrating its excellent rating by BREEAM. The eco-building built on an eyesore open cast mine in The National Forest in Leicestershire has been given a top seal of approval for its green credentials - and set a benchmark for others to follow. The facility, which cost over £550,000, is the gateway to the new National Forest Cycling Centre, which offers family and multi-user trails. Forester Alan Dowell said: “This is the first Forestry Commission building to achieve this world class standard and all the partners involved in making the project happen are incredibly proud. Since we opened the public response to the visitor centre and the trails network has been beyond our wildest dreams.” Built from timber, the building has a café, bike hire, repair shop, cycle wash, toilets, shower and changing facilities. Featuring solar panels, wood fuel heating – with timber supplied from local woods – rainwater harvesting and movement sensitive lighting, it was designed to showcase green technologies. Just a few years ago it was all very different. Open cast mining was carried out on the site between 1980 and 2005, but since then it has been transformed from an eyesore into a vibrant beauty spot at a total cost of £1.5m. Forest chiefs also say visitor figures are set to beat original estimates, with over 6,000 people using the Hicks Lodge cycle trails in February alone. www.forestry.gov.uk Tel: 0117 906 6000

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CIVILS, TRANSPORT AND UTILITIES: SOUTH WEST WATER

E

UPSTREAM

THINKING

xtreme weather, human intervention and pressures for intensive farming are affecting the quantity and quality of the water in rivers and reservoirs. The water industry currently relies on expensive energy and chemicals to treat raw water, but South West Water is revolutionising the industry’s approach to the situation. The company’s innovative Upstream Thinking project aims to improve the quality of the water entering its treatment works, reducing the resources – and also the cost – required to treat it. This benefits the company and its customers, as lower capital and revenue costs potentially mean bill increases could be minimised in the long term. The project also has a range of benefits for landowners and the environment, such as reducing the risk of flooding and increasing biodiversity. Upstream Thinking improves the quality of estuaries which can affect bathing water quality in a region highly dependent on coastal tourism. South West Water is undertaking scientific research, in conjunction with the University of Exeter and other universities, to assess how land management practices impact on raw water quality and storage, and working in partnership to make changes leading to a more sustainable water supply and improved resilience against climate change. Upstream Thinking was piloted in 2009 in the Upper Tamar Valley, where water sources had been damaged by fertilisers and a reservoir was silting up with

THE KEY TO SUSTAINABILITY UPSTREAM THINKING IS SOUTH WEST WATER’S FIVE-YEAR £9MILLION APPROACH TO MANAGING WATER RESOURCES FROM THE VERY BEGINNING

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CIVILS, TRANSPORT AND UTILITIES: SOUTH WEST WATER topsoil washed off farmland. South West Water commissioned Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT) to work with farmers to make changes to their working practices. Within one month, water below the farms was of better quality than the water above. This showed that natural water quality improvement was occurring as farms were not losing their soil and fertiliser to streams and rivers. It was discovered that around 900 farms across the region could affect the water quality and resources of around 900,000 of South West Water’s 1.6 million customers. The other part of the pilot was a mires project on Exmoor to restore natural water storage within the peat. On the uplands of Exmoor, drainage ditches have been dug for generations with the intention of improving the land for agricultural purposes, but loss of natural water storage has led to significant erosion, carbon dioxide release from drying peat, biodiversity loss, adverse changes in vegetation and increased downstream flood risks. The focus of the Exmoor Mires Project is to block drainage ditches using sustainable methods, local materials and contractors in order to ‘re-wet’ the bog, enabling it to retain water and carbon. During periods of heavy rainfall, re-wetted peat bogs slow down water run-off and lead to a steadier release to watercourses. This has the effect of reducing the fluctuation of river flows, making abstraction more reliable, flooding less likely and reducing soil erosion into rivers. Re-wetted mires have more bog plants, insects, frogs and more food for wildlife including birds and

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otters. The new bog pools provide longer-lasting drinking water supplies for sheep, cattle and deer and the wetter ground has a more diverse mix of species in it which can give better grazing when other moor grasses are dried out. The success of both of the pilot projects led to water industry regulator Ofwat approving £9.1 million investment between 2010 and 2015, and the Upstream Thinking project was expanded. Farmers and landowners such as Exmoor National Park are given incentives to make improvements such as fencing to control livestock around

improving two of its main reservoirs, and will spend approximately £8.5 million on Upstream Thinking schemes up to 2015, including £1 million on Devon Wildlife Trust’s Working Wetlands project. So far, the Upstream Thinking project has restored 172 hectares of wetlands and improved 126 wildlife habitats. It has improved 185.1km of watercourses – leading to an up to 500 per cent surge in the fish population at some locations – surveyed 480.5km of hedgerows, and installed 37km of fencing. The project has seen improvements in raw water quality including an 80 per cent drop in faecal indi-

SO FAR, THE UPSTREAM THINKING PROJECT HAS RESTORED 172 HECTARES OF WETLANDS AND IMPROVED 126 WILDLIFE HABITATS watercourses or allowing slow drainage schemes on their land which lessen the risk of flooding. Between 2010 and 2012, agreements between WRT and 700 key landowners were signed to farm in a more responsible way. Each holding was provided with a whole-farm plan with soil analysis to target the optimum amount of fertilisers, pinpointed key areas and suggested works to protect watercourses. Capital grants of 40 to 60 per cent were agreed for investment in slurry tanks, fencing by rivers, roofing over areas and rainwater storage. Landowners put in the remaining funding and committed to their plan for 25 years. South West Water spent £250,000 on

cator organisms, also benefiting bathing waters and shell fisheries. It has also seen a 27 per cent drop in pesticide detections in reservoirs. Many farmers have made savings in their fertiliser, pesticide and even veterinary bills. South West Water has welcomed the ongoing support of Upstream Thinking by its partners, particularly the Environment Agency and Natural England, and intends to undertake larger-scale improvements in the order of £20 million in the next regulatory period from 2015 to 2020. www.upstreamthinking.org

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HERITAGE: CHURCHCARE

16,000 BUILDINGS

ONE RESOURCE CHURCHCARE IS THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND’S NATIONAL RESOURCE, ADDING VALUE FROM THE CENTRE TO SUPPORT OVER 16,000 PARISH CHURCHES AND 42 CATHEDRALS

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HERITAGE: CHURCHCARE

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hurchCare is the Church of England’s national resource, overseeing the maintenance, renovation and restoration of over 16,000 parish churches and 42 cathedrals. ChurchCare also delivers strategic campaigns such as the Shrinking The Footprint initiative, the Church of England’s environmental campaign. Janet Gough, Director of ChurchCare, says, “People often ask how the Church of England looks after its extraordinary heritage of 42 working cathedrals and 16,000 church buildings, 12,500 of which are listed of special architectural or historic interest. “Each church building – and the artworks inside it – is maintained and cared for by the church’s local community or, for cathedrals, by the dean and chapter.

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“Church buildings receive no direct government funding, indeed every penny to maintain the cost of repairs to the fabric and historic contents estimated for parish churches at £115 million per annum is raised by local communities.” ChurchCare states that its cathedrals and church buildings were built for the glory of God, for worship and mission. They are repositories of our shared history and living buildings serving the whole community. The organisation therefore supports all those in parishes, dioceses and cathedrals caring for their buildings today and for the enjoyment of future generations. It is also the comprehensive source of information for everyone managing a church building. ChurchCare’s approach to conservation attempts to reconcile the needs of congregations, worship and mission with the requirements for the long-term preservation of historic buildings, their

contents and artworks. An important objective of conservation is to preserve as much of the original material as possible. In addition, in order to reduce the frequency and extent of necessary repairs, it is vital to minimise the rate of decay and deterioration. This can only be achieved by implementing a regular and informed maintenance and care regime. Janet Gough adds, “With 15 staff working closely with the dioceses, ChurchCare draws upon the expertise of many professionals who serve as expert volunteers on the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England and the Church Buildings Council and our conservation committees, to provide advice on hundreds of cases, applications for grants and general support for those caring for the most significant buildings and their works of art and furnishings in the Church of England’s care. “Regularly updated guidance notes can be found on our website. The most recent, Choosing

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the Right Heating System, came out of a ChurchCare conference attended by 150 at the Mercers’ Company, “Heating without the hot air”. “This year ChurchCare is working with partners to help churches to be open more – that is physically to open their doors and to provide a warm and stimulating welcome to all visitors.” Heritage professionals no longer strive to restore the original appearance of buildings and artworks but instead aim to respect the current state of objects. This obviously excludes cases of serious damage and decay, when the conservator has to intervene in order to improve stability, and cases necessitating the removal of previous repairs which are damaging to the building or object, their use and interpretation. ChurchCare considers reversibility when looking after its property portfolio. Any new additions to a building or object should be carefully considered. Some materials used today could turn out to

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be damaging at a future date or could be superseded by a preferable material. Churchcare can't predict what technical advances will be made in the future and, therefore, there has to be an opportunity for the easy removal of additions. Importantly, all work that is carried out is carefully recorded and documented. This includes a description of the object's or building's condition before any interventions, the architect's or conservator's diagnosis and decisions, details of treatments, new findings and the state of the object after conservation. Such records will be of invaluable help to future generations responsible for these buildings and objects. The conservation of artworks and historic furnishings in churches is a complex process which often involves contracting specialised professionals (often a team of professionals), commissioning detailed surveys and reports, securing the required permissions and funding.

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HERITAGE: CHURCHCARE Therefore ChurchCare ensures it employs professional conservator’s to carry out the work. Conservators usually specialise in one or more areas, such as a material like stone or in a particular cultural category such as archaeological objects. It advises those people overseeing the preservation of churches to consult an accredited conservator who has the appropriate training and experience for a specific object. An accredited conservator will advise clients on the causes of the damage and the required conservation treatment but can also give information about the history of the object, how to care for it and how to display and handle it. Accreditation, such as the PACR-scheme (Professional Accreditation of ConservatorRestorers) in the UK, is an indication that the conservator has been accepted by the accrediting body as having the required training and experience, fulfils the highest standards of the profession and works within the professional guidelines and codes of ethics of the accrediting body. One of ChurchCare’s newest initiatives is titled “Open and Sustainable”. This new initiative encourages wider, more imaginative and more strategic use of the Church of England's 16,000 buildings. This approach will help churches to select the right legal and funding model to develop their building – in addition to the primary role of worship – for the ‘3Cs’ community activities, cultural events including tourism, or commercial activities – for example, local service provision or private hire. There is now greater flexibility in the system to allow shared use of a building – ranging from sole use for mission and worship with enhanced facilities, to mainly community or other use with occasional worship. Recently, ChurchCare was given a boost when the Chancellor of the Exchequer confirmed financial aid for listed places of worship would continue until 2016. Previously the sum set aside for the

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scheme was only guaranteed until the May 2015 General Election. The Rt Revd Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London said, “This is very good news for all listed places of worship including our 12,500 listed church buildings and for all the clergy and volunteers who work so hard to keep them in good repair for the benefit of all. We are very grateful for politicians on all sides who recognise the contribution these remarkable buildings make to the heritage of our country and to the value they add to the communities they serve.” www.churchcare.co.uk Tel: 0207 898 1863

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BUILDING SERVICES: LOSS PREVENTION CERTIFICATION BOARD

HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS, CLADDING SYSTEMS AND THE DANGER OF FIRE

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n the recent fire at Al Hafeet Tower in Dubai, around 80 residents were left stranded and others lost valuable possessions as the fire completely destroyed ten floors of the 20 storey building. The fire was very similar to the one in the Tamweel Tower in Dubai last year. In both of these cases, fire quickly travelled up the building’s exterior as individual cladding panels ignited. This type of external fire is a growing global problem with many examples internationally. Civil Defence authorities in the Middle East have been working hard to develop robust fire safety codes that are specifically relevant to the region and quickly address the fire performance issues with cladding systems. Within the UK, in order to prevent such high profile fires as those at the Al Hafeet and Tamweel Towers and reduce the substantial associated losses, BRE Global has developed tests and approval schemes for systems to ensure they provide appropriate fire performance. Testing of cladding systems is carried out to BS8414 parts 1 & 2 (Fire performance of external cladding systems. Part 1 – test method for non-loadbearing external cladding systems

applied to the face of the building. Part 2 – test method for non-loadbearing external cladding systems fixed to and supported by a structural steel frame) and assesses the performance against the criteria set out in the publication BR 135 (Fire performance of external thermal insulation for walls of multi-storey buildings). The third edition of BR 135 was published recently and recognises the developments and innovations in the construction of cladding systems that have occurred in recent years. The test methods in BS 8414 were developed to demonstrate that, under a simulated fire in a compartment breaking out of an opening in the external wall, the cladding system will not permit excessive fire spread up the outside of the building. LPCB has also developed LPS 1581 (Requirements and tests for LPCB Approval of non-load bearing External Cladding Systems applied to the masonry face of a building) and LPS 1582 (Requirements and tests for LPCB Approval of non-load bearing External Cladding Systems fixed to and supported by a structural steel frame) approvalschemes to help satisfy requirements from insurers and building owners for enhanced performance specification for property protection and to enable the management of risk from cladding fires.

“THE LATEST HIGH PROFILE FIRE IN THE UAE HAS REAFFIRMED THE NEED FOR PROPERLY APPROVED, INSTALLED AND MAINTAINED CLADDING SYSTEMS IN HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS” DR DEBBIE SMITH DIRECTOR OF FIRE SCIENCES AND BUILDING PRODUCTS, BRE GLOBAL

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BUILDING SERVICES: LOSS PREVENTION CERTIFICATION BOARD

FIRE TOXICITY TESTING IN RAILWAYS VEHICLES

BRE Global is to now able to conduct fire toxicity testing using FTIR in accordance with EN 45545. This development has been part of the EU’s Transfeu project to improve the fire safety of public transport systems. The toxicity testing forms part of the full suite of testing offered under the newly published EN 45545 series of standards, which covers fire protection on railway vehicles. After a number of technical and administrative changes, the new EN 45545 series was published on 6th March 2013. Having been involved in the revision of the standards, BRE Global is well placed to assists clients in understanding the requirements and devising appropriate test programs. EN 45545 Parts 1-7 cover fire safety requirements for materials, fire barriers, rolling stock design, electrical equipment, fire control

and management systems and provisions for flammable liquids / gases. The full EN standards are an update of the previously available CEN/TS series. The European Rail Authority (ERA) with revise the technical standard for interoperability to refer to the new EN 45545. The existing UK national standard for fire safety of rolling stock, BS 6853, will continue to be available for use during a period of coexistence, likely to be 3 years. BRE Global will be participating in the further revision of the standard by CEN TC256 on specific subjects, such as reaction to fire testing of seats. Measurement of combustion product toxicity is on-going and will be incorporated into the standard as the work progresses. The testing to EN 45545 is covered by our UKAS (ISO 17025) accreditation and endorsed by the “Certifer” Rail Certification Agency.

VISUAL ALARMS FIRST FOR EN 54-23:2010 WITH LPCB COOPER MEDC is the first company to achieve compliance to EN 54-23:2010 for their white and red XB15 Visual Alarm Devices (VADs) with LPCB Raman Chagger, Principal Consultant at LPCB said: “The devices achieved multiple ratings on both types of VADs, having done so without any failures observed during testing despite the rigorous demands of the standard.” He added: “This is an achievement which demonstrates the high quality of their design and production processes as well as the major benefits of development testing”. Brian Taylor, Certification & Training Manager of Cooper MEDC said: “We are very

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proud to be the first company to obtain EN 54-23:2010 compliance with LPCB, who were a real partner in helping us achieve this in a timely fashion. We have other products for which we intend to obtain EN 54 approval and we will have no hesitation is using LPCB again.” He added: “Our range of products has been specifically designed for use within harsh and hazardous environments, both onshore and offshore. Certification is an essential step when delivering our product portfolio and helps us ensure that we are able to offer a diverse range of internationally approved products for our customers.”

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BUILDING SERVICES: A&F SPRINKLERS

INNOVATORS IN

PROTECTION A&F SPRINKLERS LTD ARE THE LEADING SPECIALISTS AT SUPPLYING FOAM AND WATER FIRE PROTECTION SOLUTIONS FOR COMPLEX ENGINEERING PROJECTS

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BUILDING SERVICES: A&F SPRINKLERS

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&F Sprinklers Ltd has been trading for over twenty-five years in the fire protection and sprinkler industry. Remaining privately owned, the company has developed a team of competent and qualified engineers with vast experience and knowledge to allow A&F Sprinklers to cover a wide spectrum of work throughout the country. The company prides itself on being able to offer expert advice, guidance and solutions for complex engineering challenges with its foam and water protection products. Working mainly for clients in the chemical, pharmaceutical and power sectors, A&F Sprinklers provides design, supply and installation services for automatic sprinkler systems to all types of buildings. This is complemented by additional services such as aftercare and maintenance, yearround call out response, and supplementary products such as fire alarms, special risk, deluge and water mist systems. A&F Sprinklers prides itself on consistent and professional commitment to the design, management, installation and support of all projects taken on board, regardless of size. The company puts a lot of emphasis on quality, detail and first class customer service and is proud of its ability to be straightforward, reliable and honest in its approach. For the customer’s peace of mind, A&F Sprinklers works to strict guidelines and its own high company standards. It is also LPCB certified to the highest level 4 LPS1048 and conforms to the QA Standard ISO 9001, which ensures that it is externally regulated.

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All management and project engineers have indepth knowledge and expertise across all aspects of fire protection, ensuring that work is designed, manufactured and installed to the highest industry standards. However, A&F Sprinklers doesn’t stop there – the company continues to grow and invest in the future – developing a programme that ensures that the next generation of A&F's engineers maintain the same high standards of work. Despite being a family based business the company has big accreditations and has worked with many blue chip clients in the UK and Europe. For example, A&F Sprinklers recently managed to turn around an amazingly fast track project on behalf of supermarket retailer Sainsbury’s. At its Dartford distribution centre A&F fitted over 3,000 ‘Hot box’ ESFR sprinklers to the new chill and produce chambers inside this warehouse. With less than a week’s notice to quote, A&F managed to secure this major project against strong competition. The client had made a last minute decision to fit out this speculative 530,000 square foot distribution centre for their Christmas rush. In order

A&F SPRINKLERS PRIDES ITSELF ON CONSISTENT AND PROFESSIONAL COMMITMENT TO THE DESIGN, MANAGEMENT, INSTALLATION AND SUPPORT OF ALL PROJECTS TAKEN ON BOARD, REGARDLESS OF SIZE

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for the business plan to work, the stock had to start rolling in mid-October come what may. A&F Sprinklers, which services and maintains Sainsbury’s distribution network and has also completed a number of successful fit outs within their estate, were asked if they could fulfill such a task. Managing director Mark Stansfield, who has project managed over eleven million square feet of distribution centre fit outs, decided it was time to show everyone what A&F Sprinklers was capable of doing. The company were extremely busy at the time and were on another site for the same client, fitting out 12,500 heads at their Hams Hall depot when the call came. “We had less than a week to visit site, obtain costs and provide our quote. The next challenge was to demonstrate that we were capable of supplying the project and thus delivering it on time.” Sainsbury’s were ultimately very happy with the outcome. Another recent project was successfully carried out for shopping giant Ocado. The company’s new Customer Fulfilment Centre based in Dordon, North Warwickshire will see the new “super shed” filled

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with technological innovation and sensible green thinking. It will also provide 2,000 new jobs and at capacity will handle 180,000 orders per week. A&F Sprinklers’ work includes approximately 200km of steel pipe feeding over 43,000 sprinklers designed to FM Global's latest standards. The solution includes, K115, 160, 200 & 360 heads, antifreeze systems, gaseous, and bespoke design solutions. These were all developed, designed and installed by A&F Sprinklers. The system draws water from two storage tanks with a combined capacity of two million litres of water. Most recently, A&F Sprinklers was pleased to acknowledge a successful activation of one of its systems at the Shotton Paper Recycling Facility. At just after 4:30pm on Saturday 13th July, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service were called to the facility on the Deeside Industrial Park, Shotton, when a quantity of paper being recycled was involved in a fire.

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The fire was in an 11,250m² single storey building of steel frame construction, with metal clad roof, the walls of which are 2m high brick base with steel cladding. This is typical construction for many industrial type buildings. It is estimated that about ten tonnes of waste material was involved in the incident which was initially controlled by one sprinkler head from the tank and pump supply. The Fire and Rescue Service then continued to fight the spread of the fire with two ground monitors and main jets. A mechanical digger was also used to separate the material so that it could be damped down before removal. The amount of fire damage is reported as being ten per cent of the loading of the building’s contents and business interruption is said to be minimal. afsprinklers.co.uk Tel: 0845 505 1550

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