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BUILDING DESIGN &

CONSTRUCTION THE MAGAZINE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY JULY 2013

JULY 2013 ISSUE 187

IN FMTODAY Interview with BIFM CEO

BUILDING DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION

GARETH TANCRED

AWARDING HEALTH AND SAFETY AT THE INTERNATIONAL SAFETY AWARDS 2013 NATIONAL TRUST

THE MIGHTY OAKLEAF

LEADING THE WAY

UNIVERSITY OF BRADFORD

SUBSEA UK

THE VOICE OF THE UK SUBSEA INDUSTRY


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EDITOR’S COMMENT

PARTY TIME IN SOUTH WALES he university sector appears to be thriving. Quite

tainably in the UK and is mixed with a lime-based binder. This

close to our offices we can see extensive develop-

produces a building material which is highly thermal efficient.

ment work being carried out on the local universi-

This is used in conjunction with a timber frame, which is also a

ty’s new sports complex. Elsewhere, higher educa-

naturally renewable material that absorbs carbon whilst curing.

T

tion institutions up and down the country are refur-

bishing, modernising and re-building.

The estates team expects the combination of heat pumps, solar thermal and solar PV panels alongside rainwater harvest-

A leading light in all this development work is the University

ing to reduce the building’s carbon emissions by at least 20%.

of Bradford. I spent some time this month with Estate Manager

As the university also wants to avoid brownouts and, in its com-

for Engineering and Building Russell Smith, who introduced me

mitment to becoming more self sufficient, facilitate building

to the estate, consisting predominantly of aging 1960s and 1970s

operation off-grid, these measures will reduce reliance on mains

buildings. The university, over the last few years, has significant-

energy and water.

ly refurbished the estate in order to both create a better learning

The university has also incorporated a building energy man-

environment for its students and support a far greener operation.

agement tool known as Edd:e. The system has been a huge suc-

Indeed, the University of Bradford is aiming to be the green-

cess, identifying 33% savings in energy. Consequently Edd:e

est higher education institution in the country. Unveiled this

now monitors over fifteen distribution boards across the estate.

month is its ambitious re:centre which could be the world’s most

It comes as little surprise to see the university winning The

sustainable building. Designed to minimise the need for

Times Higher Education Award for its “Outstanding

mechanical interventions to heat and cool the building, there-

Contribution to Sustainable Development” two years running.

fore reducing the amount of energy needed to run it, the

You can find out more about the University of Bradford’s

re:centre has already been awarded a BREEAM Outstanding

“green” estate in our feature in this month’s magazine.

score of 94.95% on its pre-assessment and is on target for a turn out a score above 95%. The re:centre uses the renewable material Hemcrete instead of traditional concrete. Hemcrete is made from hemp grown sus-

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

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DANIEL STEPHENS EDITOR

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

Building Design and Construction magazine is published by CPL (Huddersfied) Ltd. Company registered in England & Wales. All material is the copyright of CPL (Huddersfied) Ltd. All rights reserved. Building Design and Construction magazine is the property of CPL (Huddersfied) Ltd. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form whole or part without the written permission of a director of CPL (Huddersfied) 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.

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contents186:feature 2 09/06/2013 11:24 Page 2

CONTENTS

INSIDE... SECTIONS:

NEWS HERITAGE DEVELOPERS CIVILS, TRANSPORT AND UTILITIES EDUCATION SECTOR SOCIAL HOUSING LOCAL AUTHORITIES SUPPLIERS AND DISTRIBUTORS BUILDING SERVICES PAINTING AND DECORATING HEALTH AND SAFETY WORKING AT HEIGHT SUBSEA DEVELOPMENT

4 8 22 28 34 46 62 72 78 108 110 132 138

SUPPLEMENTS AND SPECIALS:

INTERNATIONAL SAFETY AWARDS Awarding health and safety

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BAE SYSTEMS UK MUNITIONS Safety, a way of life

114

KN NETWORK SERVICES Infrastructure solutions

120

MAHER Global metal solutions

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UTILITY INSTALLATION PROJECTS Health and safety of the highest standard

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FMtoday

THE MAGAZINE FOR FM PROFESSIONALS FM NEWS This month’s top stories

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GARETH TANCRED Turning things around

VI

RICS The home buying ‘time bomb’ EDDISONS Future-proof solutions

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THE CRABTREE PROPERTY GROUP Innovation is the driving force

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EVENTS Some dates for your diary

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Follow us on

@BDCMagazine 2

X

110-131

INTERNATIONAL SAFETY AWARDS

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE


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CONTENTS

FEATURES: NEWS This month’s top stories

HERITAGE

NATIONAL TRUST The mighty oakleaf

DEVELOPERS

GOODMAN UK LOGISTICS Thinking beyond the obvious MIJAN PROPERTIES LTD Design, build, live

CIVILS, TRANSPORT & UTILITIES LONDON ARRAY London array reaches full capacity FOREFRONT UTILITIES The forefront of utility solutions

EDUCATION SECTOR

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NATIONAL TRUST

NEWS This month’s top stories UNIVERSITY OF BRADFORD Leading the way WEST THAMES COLLEGE College redevelopment WALSALL COLLEGE Skilled, professional, enterprising

SOCIAL HOUSING SECTOR

BEDROOM TAX A tax too far? BRENT HOUSING PARTNERSHIP Building on excellence LONDON BOROUGH OF BARKING & DAGENHAM Social and economic regeneration

LOCAL AUTHORITIES

PLANNING All in the planning? FIFE COUNCIL Exciting times ahead LONDON BOROUGH OF NEWHAM Regenerating Newham

INTERIOR FIT-OUTS

POGGENPOHL At the heart of the home for 120 years

BUILDING SERVICES

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UNIVERSITY OF BRADFORD

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SUBSEA UK

B&ES Fresh approaches TIDYCO LTD Delivering excellence TOWNLEY HUGHES & CO LTD From heating to healthcare SAFEGUARD GROUP In safe hands MICROGENERATION CERTIFICATION SCHEME This month’s top stories BRITISH GAS SOLAR Power to the people ECO POWER INNOVATIONS 100% customer satisfaction SMS TECHNOLOGY Exceptional servicel

PAINTING AND DECORATING H&S DECORATING SPECIALISTS The professonal decorating company

WORKING AT HEIGHTS IPAF Working safely at height SPANSET UK Safety with highest quality

SUBSEA DEVELOPMENT

SUBSEA UK The voice of the UK subsea industry AKD ENGINEERING LTD A name to depend on

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8

22 26

28 30

34 36 40 44

46 48 58

62 64 68

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78 80 84 90 92 94 102 106

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132 134

138 142

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NEWS

NEW IDEAS IN COSTAIN’S DRAGONS’ DEN A DRAGONS’ Den-style event inviting businesses and entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas for construction-related innovations has revealed some exciting potential new products, says organiser Costain. Blue Innovation Futures is a three-day event being being run in Sheffield, Cardiff and London this week. Each day, a shortlisted group of around 14 innovators, entrepreneurs and businesses must stand before a panel of Costain judges and pitch their propositions for marketable technology or services for use in either the rail, water, power or highway sectors. The most promising ideas stand to win a slice of the contractor’s £6m annual operational innovation budget, or receive technical support to help grow businesses and bring them closer to reality. Some of the most interesting innovations so far have included: • A specification smart phone app, developed by a young Scottish architect, designed to make it easier to locate spe-

cific products using advanced search criteria, which also provides manufacturers with info on the types of people searching for their materials. A proposal for a new consultancy that would help small businesses recycle certain waste materials and turn them into more valuable steel products or carbon black oil. A metal tool tray that slots into scaffolding bars to prevent tools from being left on the deck and potentially falling off and injuring someone.

Tim Embley, group innovation and knowledge manager at Costain, told Construction Manager: “We had a vast number of applicants which we’ve whittled down to the firms who presented. The individuals or organisations are in various stages of progression, some have ideas based on early research who are now looking to turn them into a commercial application or service, there are small businesses that have identified a niche in the market and want help to grow and

CALLS FOR LICENSING THE NORTHERN Ireland electrical contracting industry today launched a campaign to highlight the need for a licensing scheme for all electrical workers. SparkSafe, an initiative by Electrical Training Trust, is aimed at promoting the benefits of employing qualified and licensed electrical workers. The system will help electrical contractors and clients to make an informed choice about the quality and standard of electrical workers based upon qualifications and competence. ETT estimates there are around 3000 qualified electricians in Northern

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Ireland but are concerned that without an accredited licensing scheme anyone can trade as an electrician and, in doing so, put unsuspecting clients at risk from work not meeting current electrical safety standards. Launching the SparkSafe initiative, Derek Thompson, Chief Executive, ETT, said a voluntary licensing scheme would raise standards across the industry, enhance the professional credibility of the qualified and experienced electrician and give clients greater confidence that work will be carried out to the appropriate technical installation requirements.

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE

there are larger organisations with great ideas but not much knowledge of construction who were looking to identify ways to transfer them over in partnership with Costain.” The innovations selected during the event, which concludes this Friday, will be assessed by Costain in conjunction with its supply chain to determine whether they will work in practice and add value to projects. If Costain sees a good return on its investment then it is likely to put money into developing them, but for most of the firms pitching that isn’t the main goal, says Embley: “Not everyone is asking for money, most are looking to build relationships to bring an idea forward or gain better access to market through Costain, or get visibility via our customers. We also see it as important not to restrict these ideas or put confidentiality agreements into place and keep t hem exclusively for Costain. Some of them will have the potential to transform the market in future and we want to encourage that in any way we can.”


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NEWS

TUBE STATION TO BE TRANSFORMED VAUXHALL Tube station will be transformed over the next few years, with a £36m modernisation by Transport for London (TfL) as part of wider investment designed to support the growth and regeneration of the surrounding area. The modernisation of Vauxhall Tube station is an essential first phase of this strategy, which will provide a major increase in capacity and improve accessibility by making the station step-free, while keeping it open to passengers. London Underground has now awarded the contract for the major

improvements to Bechtel Ltd. Construction work will start in early 2014 and be completed by late 2015. The number of passengers using Vauxhall Underground station is set to increase by 40 per cent over the next few years. In order to create extra space, the ticket hall will be reconfigured to allow for more ticket gates and wideaisle gates allowing disabled passengers and those with buggies or heavy luggage to travel more easily and reducing congestion within the station.

SOUTH LONDON TUBE LINE MOVES CLOSER

A BRIGHT NEW START FOR NEW STREET STATION More than three years in the making, the first half of the new concourse at Birmingham New Street station has opened to passengers, marking the completion of the first phase of the project to transform the station. A team of over a thousand staff have been on site working around the clock to create the new station, which is already one-and-a-half times larger than the old concourse, offering passengers a better envi-

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ronment and experience for their journey. This is the first major change to New Street in over 40 years, with the station being named as one of the most hated buildings in the country in more recent years. The opening marks a significant milestone in the overall redevelopment, with people using the station now having somewhere to be proud of as the gateway to the city and the West Midlands.

A NEW Tube extension for south London has moved closer with Transport for London’s application for powers to build an extension to Battersea. Transport for London(TfL) has submitted a Transport & Works Act Order application for the Northern line extension from Kennington to Battersea via Nine Elms. Extending the Northern Line would support the creation of up to 25,000 jobs, it said, and the local area would also get 16,000 new homes. If the Tube link goes ahead, travel to the West End and the City would be cut to 15 minutes from the Battersea area. Construction of the Northern line extension could begin in 2015 with the two new stations opening in

2020, if planning powers are obtained from the government and a funding package is in place. The application to the transport secretary marks the start of the statutory process during which people or organisations can make representations to Government with their views on the proposed scheme. This period will last for seven weeks. Funding for the proposed Tube link is guaranteed by the finance package confirmed by the chancellor in his 2012 Autumn Statement. Up to £1bn would be borrowed by the public sector to finance the construction of the extension. The funding to repay this borrowing would then come from the private sector in the form of business rates and private developer contributions.

RETURN TO PROFIT FOR BUILDING COMPANY BARR BARR Holdings, the builder and civil engineer with interests in manufacturing and waste management, returned to profit in 2012 – a year after offloading its precast and steel divisions. The Ayrshire-based company, whose construction division builds stadiums and supermarkets around the UK, made pre-tax profits of

£2.02 million for the year ended December 31, 2012. The firm, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northern Ireland-based Trench Holdings, returned to the black after making a loss before tax of £2.54m in the previous year. Barr said the loss reflected the costs associated with the closure of its precast and steel divisions in late 2011.

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NEWS

SLOW PROGRESS FOR ROAD MAINTENANCE THE RECOMMENDATIONS put in place two years ago to improve the condition of Scotland’s roads have not led to any significant improvements, according to a report. In 2011, the Accounts Commission urged councils to tackle the poor road conditions and improve overall value for money in maintaining them. However, the percentage of roads in acceptable condition has increased only marginally since then according to an update from the Accounts Commission. The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities said local authorities continued to invest in roads despite their declining budgets. The update report found the amount of acceptable roads has increased from 66.1 per cent in 2009-10 to 66.7 per cent in 2011-12. In 2005 levels, 69.9 per cent of local roads were classified as acceptable.

Maintenance spending had been reduced from £492 million in 200910 to about £400 million in 2010-11. On a positive note, the update by the public spending watchdog did find all councils have now put a ‘roads asset management plan’ in place, which was one of the recommendations from the initial 2011 report. There has been some evidence of action to improve value for money, such as joint tendering with other councils, reorganising roads departments and changing shift patterns. However, the Accounts Commission said more work needs to be done to improve the quality and monitoring of the management plans and that the pace of progress in improving roads condition was too slow. Potholes have been a major concern for road users and councils have been struggling to keep up with the maintenance, especially considering the adverse weather conditions.

PRESTON 4,000 HOUSING MASTERPLAN IS UNDERWAY PRESTON City Council has announced plans for a 4,000 home development in the north west of the city in partnership with Lancashire County Council and the Homes & Community Agency (HCA). A blueprint is being prepared by the council, and will outline a framework masterplan to include road improvements, public transport provision, walking and cycling routes, green space, schools and community spaces as well as housing types and densities.

The plan will aim to create the best possible development for the area, which is close to the M6 M55 interchange. URS Infrastructure and Environment Ltd have been appointed as lead consultants to assist the City Council in the production of the master plan to ensure it is created quickly. A draft of the masterplan is expected for October this year, followed by a formal consultation period and adoption of the plan by the end of 2013.

DESIGN TEAM CHOSEN FOR CROYDON RETAIL REVAMP PROPERTY giants Hammerson and Westfield have confirmed the design team for the £1bn revamp of the retail centre of Croydon. Allies & Morrison and Leonard Design Architects will draw-up plans to redevelop and combine Croydon’s current shopping centres -the Whitgift Centre and Centrale –

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to create a mixed use scheme of around 200,000 square metres. A planning hearing for the scheme is due to be heard next month with construction expected to start in 2015. Hammerson and Westfield have formed the Croydon Partnership joint venture to oversee the scheme.

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE

OLYMPIC MEDIA CENTRE TO GET £100M MAKEOVER A DEAL has been signed to transform the former Olympic Press and Broadcast Centres into a creative and digital hub for east London. New Operator iCITY has agreed a 200-year lease with the London Legacy Development Corporation and will spend £100m adapting the current buildings. Carillion built the 2012 media centre for £297m. The revamped site will feature three main buildings – a 300,000

sq ft innovation centre, 750 seat auditorium and a 670,000 sq ft building that will house educational space, broadcast studios, office space, and a state-of-the-art data centre. More than 40% has already been pre-let with tenants including BT Sport and Loughborough University. iCity expects to take possession of the site early next year when transformation works will begin.


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NEWS

BALFOUR BEATTY EXPECTS UPTURN INFRASTRUCTURE services group Balfour Beatty said it expected its struggling UK construction business to break even this year. The company warned last month of a £50 million shortfall in the division after an extremely challenging trading period in which revenues in the first five months of the year fell 23%. The firm said it UK construction operation had been impacted by a shortage in the availability of major public contracts, and fierce competition in regional markets. Despite its building divisions in the US, Hong Kong and Dubai being on track, Balfour Beatty’s construction performance in the UK dragged overall group revenues for the sector back by 11% in the period. The problems were compounded by the mainland Europe rail business, which saw revenues fall 24% in the period. The business is currently up for sale.

In an update yesterday, Balfour Beatty said it professional services division was trading flat on the year, its support services business had continued to grow in line with expectations, while its infrastructure investments arm had maintained a “very good” underlying performance. The firm said its order book stood at £16 billion at the end of March — a 5% increase since the year end. However, group average net debt increased in the first months of 2013 to £220m, and the figure is set to rise further in the next trading quarter before a partial reversal in the second half. The company said its balance sheet remained strong despite the £50m hit from UK construction. It also said it had raised $350m via a private placement to US investors during the first quarter.

In an update to the markets yesterday, the company said it expected an upturn in its fortunes to become evident later in the year. “As we progress through the year, our business is expected to benefit from the cost efficiency programmes we have in place, a recovery in operational performance in UK construction, and the ongoing implementation of strategic initiatives,” the group said. “Based on these dynamics and the firsthalf weighting of the profit shortfall in UK construction, we expect our profits to be more heavily skewed to the second half than in previous years. “We remain confident that the strategy we have set out for the medium term will transform Balfour Beatty into an increasingly diverse and international business which is better positioned to benefit from structural growth in infrastructure markets with less cyclical characteristics.”

CONSTRUCTION GAFFE SET TO BRING THE HOUSE DOWN AN £8M cinema and leisure complex being constructed in St Neots will be pulled down because it is less than one metre out of place. The new Cineworld will be torn down and rebuilt after a design error left the complex too close to existing houses. “We have taken the unprecedented step of halting the existing work and have parts to rebuilt to assuage any concerns that adjoining landowners may have,: Said Chris Goldsmith of site developer Turnstone Estates. “Although we are only talking about

a few centimetres we believe that this is the best solution for all concerned and avoid delays of these much wanted facilities.” The 32,000 sq ft (9,753 sq m) Rowley Arts Centre will include an 18,600sq ft (5,669 sq m) six-screen Cineworld cinema and four restaurants with Frankie & Benny's, Pizza Express and Prezzo already confirmed. The building was due to open in September but the mistake will now mean a delay of four months until January 2014.

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HERITAGE: NATIONAL TRUST

THE MIGHTY OAKLEAF THE NATIONAL TRUST IS A CHARITY COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT OF GOVERNMENT AND IS RESPONSIBLE FOR OVER 350 HISTORIC HOUSES, GARDENS AND ANCIENT MONUMENTS

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he National Trust is a charity, completely independent of Government, which protects, and provides access to, over 350 historic houses, gardens and ancient monuments. As one of the largest landowners in the United Kingdom, the trust owns many heritage properties, including historic houses and gardens, industrial monuments and social history sites. It also looks after many beauty spots, most of which are open to the public free of charge, and many other sites of interest. These include forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, downs, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, castles, nature reserves, and villages. Significantly, it is the largest membership organisation in the United Kingdom, and one of the largest UK charities by both income and assets. The organisation relies for income on membership fees, donations and legacies, and revenue raised

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from its commercial operations. It currently has over 3.7 million members and 61,000 volunteers. More than 17 million people visit its pay-for-entry properties, while an estimated 50 million visit its open air properties every year. As a charity, the National Trust values all the support it receives to ensure every pound counts. As part of this, the organisation endeavours to manage its affairs as efficiently as possible. It operates on a model that means that it must take decisions quickly, transparently and accountably to give people confidence in the way the charity is run. HISTORY The National Trust was first incorporated in 1884 as an Association not for profit under the Companies Acts 1862-1890. The first National Trust Act was passed by Parliament in 1907. A number of successive Acts have since been introduced to update and, where necessary, revise its constitution to ensure the National Trust

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HERITAGE: NATIONAL TRUST

AS A CHARITY, THE NATIONAL TRUST VALUES ALL THE SUPPORT IT RECEIVES TO ENSURE EVERY POUND COUNTS www.bdcmagazine.co.uk

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HERITAGE: NATIONAL TRUST continues to be well governed and remains true to its cause. Over the years the Trust has been the beneficiary of numerous donations of both property and money. From 1924 to 1931 the Trust's chairman was John Bailey, of whom The Times said in 1931, “The strong position which the National Trust now occupies is largely due to him, and it will perhaps never be known how many generous gifts of rural beauty and historic interest the nation owes, directly or indirectly, to his persuasive enthusiasm.� The focus on country houses and gardens, which now comprise the majority of its most visited properties, came about in the mid 20th century when it was realised that the private owners of many of these properties were no longer able to afford to maintain them. Many were donated to the Trust in lieu of death duties. The diarist James Lees-Milne is usually credited with playing

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HERITAGE: NATIONAL TRUST

a central role in the main phase of the Trust's country house acquisition programme, though he was in fact simply an employee of the Trust, and was carrying through policies which had already been decided by its governing body. However, one of the biggest crises in the Trust's history erupted at the 1967 annual general meeting, when the leadership of the Trust was accused of being out of touch and placing too much emphasis on conserving country houses. In response, the Council asked Sir Henry Benson to chair an advisory Committee to review the structure of the Trust. Following the publication of the Benson Report in 1968 much of the administration of the Trust was devolved to the regions. In 2005 the Trust moved to a new head office in Swindon, Wiltshire. The building was constructed on an abandoned railway yard, and is intended as a model of brownfield renewal. It is named Heelis, which is the married name of writer Beatrix Potter, who was one of the National Trust's most important benefactors. MOST VISITED SITES The Trust’s most visited sites are its historic homes and gardens. It owns two hundred historic houses that are open to the public and the majority of them are country houses, many of which are associated with famous individuals. The majority of these country houses contain collections of pictures, furniture, books, metalwork, ceramics and textiles that have remained in their historic context. Most of the houses also have important gardens attached to them.

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HERITAGE: NATIONAL TRUST

CRAGSIDE HOUSE a wonder of its age “THE NATIONAL TRUST is a conservation organisation that aims to conserve the past for the future, there for everyone forever,” explains Conservation and Interpretation Officer Andrew Sawyer. “It’s about conservation, giving access to that conservation and giving good information about a property’s place in history.” The approach is typified at Cragside House where Andrew looks after conservation in the wider sense. That extends to the house, its contents, the landscape, nature conservation and interpreting the history to make it meaningful now and into the future. The property is celebrating its 150th anniversary, having been built as a country retreat by Tyneside industrialist Lord Armstrong in 1863. What started as a twelveroom lodge with twenty acres of land expanded to 103 rooms and 1,792 acres where over seven million trees and shrubs were planted. In 1878, Cragside became the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity. POOR STATE Cragside House came to the National Trust in 1977 after being given to the Treasury in lieu of death duties and was in a poor state. Investment to re-roof the house and install some infrastructure allowed it to open to the public in 1979 although it operated at a loss until a change of dynamics created healthy profits. Those profits, as Andrew recalls, enabled a change in outlook: “A £6 million investment put in a new potable water infrastructure, water to run the lovely ornamental cascades, repairing some of the lakes and rewiring the house in 2006. That included fire and security alarm systems and a conservation heating system that controls the humidity and heat so the house is perfectly preserved. All the original lovely fittings were delicately rewired and we restored iron and girder bridges. We’ve invested in the landscape and functional elements, such as the timber flume bringing water from the moors to fill the lakes.” Cragside House is a Grade 1 listed building and so work was undertaken in conjunction with English Heritage and the local council. It’s very specialist work, with the National Trust maintaining a directory of capable contractors and a close relationship needed to ensure the successful completion of projects. The rewiring work required floors to be delicately taken apart, panels removed and everything packed safely away. But the result, according to Andrew, was worth the effort: “The biggest compliment after the work was completed was visitors saying they didn’t notice any difference. That was a

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great tribute to good conservation and it’s wonderful working with contractors that become part of the National Trust team. They are really enthused by our history and the electricians were absolutely bowled over working somewhere with such a long history of electrical engineering and electricity.” Although the house closed while re-wiring took place, the rest of the estate remained open because the aim is that people see conservation in action. That’s been interpreted with art installations, which are also being used to celebrate Cragside House’s 150th anniversary and illustrate the subject of the next big restoration project, the hydro electric installation. HYDRO-ELECTRIC PLANT The hydro-electric plant has been restored but can’t be used to generate electricity due to the different voltage now. Instead, a modern and visual system is to be used rather than the enclosed turbines Lord Armstrong installed. “We’re going to install an Archimedean screw hydro-generator,” proclaims Andrew. “We’ll use this modern system of generating hydroelectricity to take our history into the future in a modern way. By connecting it to Tumbleton Lake, we’ll generate 12-15 kilowatts of electricity, enough to light the house. We’re installing LED light bulbs throughout the house, taking the light bulb story into the future. “The Archimedes screw is going to be very prominent in the landscape and it’s a beautifully engineered thing. We’re carrying on that great Victorian tradition of function and beauty and the visitor will see water turned into electricity. Everybody will be able to understand the story and we’re so thrilled that it’s happening on our 150th anniversary.” The screw is already made, contracts are being organised and tenders are going through so the hope is to start installation in summer and complete by the end of autumn. Next on the agenda is a big landscape project to put in new paths in accordance with the 1899 Ordnance Survey map and remove nonnative trees. Paths have already been installed around Tumbleton Lake, linking with the historic hydro system, with the aim to install an additional hydro turbine. Andrew says: “We’re always joining projects up as we get funding. We cannot do everything at once but we always take the long term view and try to be as sustainable as possible. The hydro electricity is helping our sustainability, cutting our carbon footprint, which is one of the great strategies of the National Trust.” www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside Tel: 01669 620333

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HERITAGE: NATIONAL TRUST

The properties include some of the most famous stately homes in the country and some of the key gardens in the history of British gardening. The Trust acquired the majority of its country houses in the mid 20th century, when death duties were at their most punitive. James LeesMilne was secretary of the Trust's Country House Committee in the key period either side of World War II. The arrangements made with families bequeathing their homes to the Trust often allowed them to continue to live in part of the property. Since the 1980s the Trust has been reluctant to take over large houses without substantial accompanying endowment funds,

IN RECENT YEARS, THE TRUST HAS SOUGHT TO BROADEN ITS ACTIVITIES AND APPEAL BY ACQUIRING HISTORIC PROPERTIES SUCH AS FORMER MILLS (EARLY FACTORIES), WORKHOUSES AND PAUL MCCARTNEY AND JOHN LENNON’S CHILDHOOD HOMES.

ABOVE: PAUL MCCARTNEY’S CHILDHOOD HOME RIGHT: JOHN LENNON’S CHILDHOOD HOME

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HERITAGE: NATIONAL TRUST

“THROUGH OUR WORK WE SHOW THAT RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGIES CAN BE MADE TO WORK IN SOME OF THE COUNTRY’S MOST SENSITIVE LANDSCAPES AND HISTORIC ENVIRONMENTS”

and its acquisitions in this category have been less frequent. In recent years, the Trust has sought to broaden its activities and appeal by acquiring historic properties such as former mills (early factories), workhouses and Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s childhood homes. LOOKING TO THE FUTURE An ambitious plan to provide clean energy to 43 of the National Trust’s historic properties was launched recently, in conjunction with green electricity supplier Good Energy. The Trust will invest nearly £3.5 million in five pilot projects, including hydro, biomass and heat pumps, during 2013/14. If the pilot is successful, the Trust expects to spend ten times that sum in a programme that will see it generate 50 per cent of its energy from renewable sources and halve its fossil fuel consumption by 2020. This will enable it to reduce energy costs by more than £4 million per annum, releasing more money for its conservation work. Supporters can also help by signing up to support the programme. Good Energy will pay the Trust £40 per year for each new customer signing

The ‘green’ visitor facilities at Portstewart Strand, one of Northern Ireland’s key coastal sites and most popular tourism destinations.

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HERITAGE: NATIONAL TRUST up to its dual fuel tariff via the National Trust. If 5 per cent of member households adopted the tariff it would raise £3.8 million for investment in a low carbon future and see 95,000 households powered by clean, green renewably sourced electricity. Patrick Begg, Rural Enterprises Director at National Trust, said: “Through our work we show that renewable technologies can be made to work in some of the country’s most sensitive landscapes and historic environments. “Like householders everywhere we are facing rising energy bills. We spend more than £6 million each year heating and powering the places in our care. “By investing in renewable energy production we can reduce our energy bills and invest more in vital conservation work around the country. It will put renewable energy at the heart of conservation.” Juliet Davenport, CEO of Good Energy, said: “Britain is blessed with abundant sources of natural power and we hope people will be inspired when they see how National Trust properties can generate renewable power in harmony with the environment. “Together we hope to inspire people to switch to green electricity, reduce their energy

“BY INVESTING IN RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCTION WE CAN REDUCE OUR ENERGY BILLS AND INVEST MORE IN VITAL CONSERVATION WORK AROUND THE COUNTRY. IT WILL PUT RENEWABLE ENERGY AT THE HEART OF CONSERVATION.” www.bdcmagazine.co.uk

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National trust:feature 2 24/05/2013 15:27 Page 20

HERITAGE: NATIONAL TRUST

GOOD ENERGY IS HELPING THE TRUST DEVELOP ITS RENEWABLE STRATEGY, USING ITS EXPERTISE IN GENERATING POWER FROM NATURAL SOURCES AND ITS EXPERIENCE OF SUPPORTING MORE THAN 46,000 SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZED RENEWABLE ENERGY GENERATORS IN THE UK. usage and if possible generate their own renewable power at home.” Good Energy is helping the Trust develop its renewable strategy, using its expertise in generating power from natural sources and its experience of supporting more than 46,000 small and medium sized renewable energy generators in the UK. Unsurprisingly, the Trust spends nearly £6 million a year to heat and power its estate - 300 major historic houses, plus office buildings, visitor centres and 360 holiday cottages. Without action the Trust forecasts that rising oil and gas prices would take this to £7.5 million by 2020. However, the renewables investment programme is expected to reduce operational energy costs by £4.3 million from 2019 and provide an expected 10 per cent return on investment, thanks

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to lower fuel costs and schemes such as the Feed-in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive. Its five pilot projects this year will trial a multi-site approach and prove business models. Plas Newydd will utilise a 300kW marine source heat pump, providing 100 per cent of the property’s heat requirements. Croft Castle will receive a 150kW biomass boiler, supplying 74 per cent of the property’s heating needs. Ickworth is getting a 300kW biomass boiler, supplying 100 percent of the estate’s heating needs, and Craflwyn will utilise hydro-generation, which will be sold back to the grid. Stickle Ghyll will gain 30 percent of its energy needs from a 90kW hydro-electric project. If the trial phase is deemed successful, the Trust will plan 38 further schemes tailored to individual properties and selected according to strict criteria.

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Patrick Begg continued: “Projects must offer strong financial returns, build energy independence and energy security, but also respect properties’ settings and historical significance, and improve conservation, wherever possible. “A major focus of the programme will be to dramatically reduce the Trust’s reliance on oil from 20 per cent to 3 per cent. This not only protects it from volatile and rising prices, but also reduces the risk that oil spills will pollute water courses, gardens and buildings. Two of the trial properties, Plas Newydd and Ickworth, are the Trust’s largest users of fuel oil.” The Trust has been making steady progress pioneering the use of renewable technologies across the places it looks after. Over the last decade more than 150 schemes have been installed across a wide range of technologies: wood (biomass), solar electricity and hot water, small-scale wind, hydro-electric, and heat pumps. Following the development of these latest projects, there is now widespread recognition of the value and impact which well-built renewables initiatives can bring to local National Trust businesses. This investment programme is part of a move to invest beyond small impact renewables towards larger-scale initiatives, which can make a greater contribution towards meeting local and national goals, as well as generating income for the Trust. www.nationaltrust.org.uk Tel: 0844 800 1895

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National trust:feature 2 28/05/2013 13:53 Page 21

HERITAGE: NATIONAL TRUST

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Goodman:feature 2 23/05/2013 16:38 Page 22

DEVELOPERS: GOODMAN UK LOGISTICS

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n a global business, it’s important to stay in regular contact with colleagues, even if they’re in different time zones. That’s the case for Charles Crossland, who heads up Goodman UK’s Logistics operation. He says: “It’s a close company and every week we have group calls where country heads update each other. It means I have a call at 6.30 am each Monday; other than the time, it’s a good thing. It’s important to know what colleagues are doing and can only benefit the business.” Goodman is a global provider of high quality logistics developments and is currently the largest industrial developer in Australia and Germany, one of the largest in China and the UK, and a significant operator throughout Asia, Europe, North America and more recently in Brazil. It has a market capitalisation of around $8 billion and the global spread, in Charles’ opinion, gives overall benefits in

THINKING BEYOND THE OBVIOUS GOODMAN IS AN INTEGRATED PROPERTY GROUP THAT OWNS, DEVELOPS AND MANAGES INDUSTRIAL AND BUSINESS SPACE GLOBALLY

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Goodman:feature 2 23/05/2013 16:38 Page 23

DEVELOPERS: GOODMAN UK LOGISTICS the current economic situation. “It’s been difficult in the UK recently but things have been very good in China and Japan,” he says. “There are issues in parts of Europe although Germany has been very strong for the last few years. A feature of being a global business is there will be ebbs and flows at any given stage and we’re now seeing a slight increase in demand in the UK.” The UK operation has a business parks division in addition to the logistics division that currently has fourteen sites, mainly across the Midlands and Southeast plus some in the Northwest. Its focus is on building logistics warehouses, mainly for retailers and third party logistics providers, and the preference is to develop properties to meet specific customer needs with the customer taking a full repairing and insuring lease on completion. That’s not set in stone, however, because Goodman will sell plots for customers to develop and does consider freehold turnkey options. Goodman doesn’t build speculatively but, as Charles confirms, acquires and prepares land before customers are identified: “We’ll buy sites speculatively and get the planning, put the infrastructure, services and roads in. We get sites ready to develop so we can take a customer there, point to their site and develop the building from there. It can take a few years to get planning and 12-18 months to put the infrastructure into these big sites so we do that up front and we’re ready to react quickly to occupier requirements. We spent over £105 million in the last three or four years preparing sites ready for development and we can now offer 14 million square feet of accommodation around the UK.”

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Land is generally sourced in key locations, which typically for logistics providers are well located areas for the markets they serve. They need good communications, close to motorway networks and sometimes with rail links so occupiers have the option to move goods by rail. Many big sites are around the Midlands where businesses have national distribution centres and there are smaller regional centres closer to the main cities. Sourcing of land is handled by an in-house team, with a construction and development team overseeing the planning process, design, procurement of contractors and project management of the build. The extent of Goodman’s responsibility is generally to deliver the shell building, often with

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DEVELOPERS: GOODMAN UK LOGISTICS

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Goodman:feature 2 30/05/2013 15:08 Page 25

DEVELOPERS: GOODMAN UK LOGISTICS

basic services installed, and for the client to handle the final fit-out to their specification. That approach, as Charles emphasises, results in clients’ needs being met exactly: “For all new buildings, we aim to achieve a BREEAM rating of excellent where possible with a very good rating an absolute minimum. We implement the requirements of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and assess the energy performance of these buildings, aiming to achieve an APC rating of A with an absolute minimum of B. That’s an important element for us and we work with the occupier to provide them with a building they require, using the team here within Goodman to really understand what they want and how to provide that. Where we can advise, clearly we will, but we want to deliver the building they want not the building we want.” The commitment to sustainable construction extends to membership of the UK Green Building Council and Planet Positive. Recent projects include a 500,000 square foot building for Co-operative Food Supply Chain Logistics in Andover, a print works for the Daily Mail at Thurrock and being development partner to the Greater London Authority at its London Sustainable Industries Park, a forty-acre scheme in Dagenham. Like most aspects of the construction industry, logistics development is altering. “The internet is a big driver and has led to a change in some requirements,” explains Charles. “When supermarkets

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started servicing internet requirements, they did it out of their stores. Now they’re looking for specific fulfilment centres and that’s led to requirements for units of 100-150,000 square feet. Rather than just having regional distribution centres in locations around the UK, they’re adding smaller buildings to service customers with vans operating from these fulfilment centres to residential addresses for internet orders.” CONTINUOUS CYCLE The business is a continuous cycle of acquiring and preparing land, developing to meet customer needs, then moving on to the next site. And although uptake has been slow over the last few years, that’s now starting to improve with a number of deals coming through. Charles says: “Our focus in the UK is on our land bank, working through that and doing deals with occupiers. Of the 800 acres of land we own, about 500 acres is serviced and is ready to go. So there’s a real push to move that land forward, to deliver to occupiers and to start looking at the land coming through in three to five years’ time so we have a pipeline for the medium term. But the focus remains very much on trying to move that land and deals with occupiers and, as the economy starts improving, there’ll be more activity on that front.”

“OUR FOCUS IN THE UK IS ON OUR LAND BANK, WORKING THROUGH THAT AND DOING DEALS WITH OCCUPIERS. OF THE 800 ACRES OF LAND WE OWN, ABOUT 500 ACRES IS SERVICED AND IS READY TO GO” CHARLES CROSSLAND

uklogistics.goodman.com Tel: 0121 5068100

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Mijan :feature 2 30/05/2013 09:59 Page 26

DEVELOPERS: MIJAN PROPERTIES LTD

DESIGN BUILD LIVE QUALITY BUILDING CONTRACTORS KEEPING IT ALL UNDER ONE ROOF

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M

ijan Properties Ltd offers professional building construction and project management. The company can provide all aspects of residential and commercial building from design and build to full project management services. Mijan has the expertise to offer a tailor-made approach to any project. Its services are all encompassing, including a number of vital elements pertinent to any design project. The company’s Full Design Service takes customers from feasibility studies to detailed working drawings. Services include feasibility studies, sketch proposals, cad or traditional plans, measured survey drawings, topographical surveys, arboricultural reports, planning applications, planning consultants, and planning appeals. In addition Mijan can also provide services in relation to building regulations, structural engineering, contract administration, project management, construction

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management, planning supervisors and cdm regulations. The Mijan team will work with the client to provide workable drawings that will convert to a practical and effective build project and ultimately the desired ‘home’. With a fresh approach to professional, quality building and construction management, Mijan has the secure advantage of many years experience in the building industry and is perfectly positioned to manage projects of all styles and sizes. In order to ensure a smooth-running build, it can work with the customer as their quality builder or as a project manager, pulling together a team of quality contractors. As well as extensive experience working on mainstream extensions and refurbishment projects, Mijan can also work with the customer on: bespoke renovation / restoration projects, specialist arts and crafts properties, eco builds, listed building works,

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Mijan :feature 2 24/05/2013 15:39 Page 27

DEVELOPERS: MIJAN PROPERTIES LTD complex structural alterations, complete redevelopment, heritage stonework and new builds. And Mijan can provide any of the individual trades, such as: roofing, renewables, heating and plumbing, electrics, home media, bespoke joinery, and windows and doors. Mijan has extensive experience working on all types of projects large or small: listed buildings, country houses, barns, conversions, refurbishment, outbuildings, swimming pools, landscaping, residential, commercial, contemporary, new build and more! Whether it’s a 16th century Grade II listed farmhouse or a contemporary eco house, the Mijan team aim to help the customer to: ‘maximise the potential of your property’ and achieve the desired home with quality finishes. Mijan’s goal is to help clients on their journey, in the best way possible. Mijan prides itself on the following values. For the customer: relationships, trust, understanding. for their home: quality finishes, cost-control and timeefficiency. www.mijan.co.uk Tel: 01428 661062

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civils news:feature 2 21/05/2013 16:01 Page 28

CIVILS, TRANSPORT AND UTILITIES: LONDON ARRAY

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CIVILS, TRANSPORT AND UTILITIES: LONDON ARRAY

LONDON ARRAY REACHES FULL CAPACITY THE LONDON ARRAY IS NOW OFFICIALLY THE LARGEST OFFSHORE WINDFARM IN THE WORLD

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ull capacity has now been reached at the 630MW first phase of the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the London Array. The commissioning of the 175th and final turbine happened at 16.09 on Saturday, 6 April. With all turbines now exporting power to the national grid, London Array is expected to produce enough green electricity to power nearly half a million homes a year. Turbine installation was completed in December 2012; since then the project has focused on fully commissioning and putting into operation all 175 of the 3.6MW Siemens turbines by this spring. “This is the final major milestone of the construction phase and the culmination of more than two years’ offshore construction work which began in March 2011 with the installation of the first foundation,” said Project Director Richard Rigg. “It has been a complex operation but I am delighted that the commissioning of the wind farm has now been completed on schedule, despite the worst of the winter weather.” The project has started handing over to the Operations and Maintenance Team.

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This will be completed in the summer when the last shallow array cable has been buried. Benj Sykes, Country Manager for DONG Energy’s UK Wind business, said: “Building London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, is a great achievement. “As we now look to our pipeline of future projects, DONG Energy is determined to drive down the costs of our offshore wind farms to €100 per megawatt hour for projects we’ll be sanctioning in 2020. “What we have learnt at London Array, together with our continuing focus on innovation in technologies and techniques, will help us achieve that.” Tony Cocker, Chief Executive Officer of E.ON UK, commented: “London Array is a significant achievement in renewable energy. The world’s largest operational offshore wind farm will be capable of generating enough energy to power nearly half a million homes and reduce harmful CO2 emissions by over 900,000 tonnes a year. “It’s been a tough time for the team working on site. The recent bad weather and north easterly winds have whipped up the waves preventing access to the site so

this milestone is true reward for their hard work.” Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “Just over two years ago, we celebrated the first of 177 foundation installations in this massive undertaking. Today, after overcoming challenges on both land and at sea, we celebrate the commissioning of the final turbine. “As a partner in some of the world’s most sophisticated and large-scale renewable energy projects, Masdar recognises the value of robust collaborative efforts as exemplified by the London Array. Masdar is proud to be contributing to the United Kingdom’s clean energy mix and remains committed to growing offshore wind capacity in the UK and worldwide.” London Array is being built around 20km off the coasts of Kent and Essex on a 245km2 site. Phase One covers an area of 90km2 and includes 175 turbines with a combined capacity of 630MW. A possible second phase could add enough capacity to bring the total to 870MW. The project consortium partners have the following shareholdings: DONG Energy owns 50%, E.ON has 30% and Masdar has a 20% stake.

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Forefront Utilities :feature 2 21/05/2013 16:04 Page 30

CIVILS, TRANSPORT AND UTILITIES: FOREFRONT UTILITIES

THE FOREFRONT OF UTILITY SOLUTIONS FOREFRONT UTILITIES OFFER A COMPREHENSIVE UTILITIES SOLUTION INCLUDING GAS MAINS INSTALLATION, REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE, REPLACEMENT AND SPECIALIST DRILLING SERVICES.

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CIVILS, TRANSPORT AND UTILITIES: FOREFRONT UTILITIES

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he number of awards you receive is often a good measure of how well you’re doing on the health and safety front. With four RoSPA golds and two silvers in the last seven years plus a British Safety Council Merit last year after previously winning their International Safety Award, the only conclusion is that Forefront Utilities is doing extremely well. And the awards are on top of Achilles audits that consistently score in the high nineties while operating in a particularly dangerous part of the construction industry. “The industry is high risk but its accident rates are really low,” comments Health, Safety and Environment Manager Colin Wilder. “That’s because of all the safety systems that we put in place.”

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The company’s main activities are gas mains installation, repair and replacement as well as reinstatement work and specialist drilling services. That means it’s constantly working in potentially dangerous situations and so has not only a full safety management system, auditing and staff training, but also has a number of initiatives to ensure a safe operation. Although it works in the gas industry, one of the biggest dangers is hitting live electric cables when excavating and that’s countered in a number of ways. The first of these is a Permit to Dig that has to be signed by a supervisor to confirm the team has properly marked the site to identify the location of all utilities based on supplied drawings and a thorough survey with a cable locator and genny. Only then is the team allowed to start excavating. This

procedure has reduced cable strikes from seventeen annually on average to four last year. Colin says: “We really stress that Gennys are to be used at all times when scanning and excavating. We’ve really had a big push on that and we make sure they rescan every 300 millimetres and they’re continually scanning while they’re excavating. That’s the only way to get cable damage down.” Safety when excavating is also helped by the use of a vacuum excavator that reduces even further the risk of cutting through high voltage cables, water and sewerage pipes and telecommunications cables. “There’s no danger at all because you’re literally just sucking the dirt out,” explains Colin. “You use an air lance to loosen the ground by blowing air through it and the vacuum excavator then sucks it straight up.”

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Forefront Utilities :feature 2 21/05/2013 16:05 Page 32

CIVILS, TRANSPORT AND UTILITIES: FOREFRONT UTILITIES Avoiding the cables is only part of the problem because Forefront deals with live gas mains and has to do it in a way that prevents gas escapes. The answer is to work free of gas, which is achieved by the use of a bag stop where balloons are inflated inside the main, either side of where work is to be done, so that the gas in the middle section can be pumped out. Among the more conventional health and safety activities are monthly team talks where accidents, incidents and policy changes are discussed, employee forums and regular toolbox talks. The company also has its own training facilities, including a mock street works site, where employees and others can obtain a gas safety passport and where NVQ courses are soon to be run. All employees go through a full induction process and receive a health and safety handbook while every team has a full safety manual. Forefront also attends safety forums held by clients and participates in brainstorming sessions that, as Colin recounts, prove beneficial: “Most really good ideas don’t come from people sitting at the top; they come from those in the workplace doing the work on a daily basis. By not just having managers sitting around a table, but by having team leaders and labourers there as well, we’re striving for innovation and we’ve made several changes over the years as a result.” Participation with clients also includes an Injury Free Environment initiative with Skanska that aims to get employees of all levels of experience to discuss issues more openly. This has reduced near miss reporting from 30-40 a month two years ago to ten now. Colin’s responsibilities also extend to environmental issues and he’s helped by the availability of the company’s recycling plant where excavated spoil is treated and then used as backfill. An initiative last year was to fit a filter sock to pumps when dewatering excavations, which filters out the silt so it doesn’t end up in the drainage system. It’s that attention to detail that enables Forefront to not only reduce its impact on the environment but also operate safely in a dangerous business. “Safety in the gas industry is really a top priority,” confirms Colin. “But there’s no luck involved; it’s just purely through hard work that our safety record is as good as it is.” www.forefrontutilities.com Tel: 01702 507440

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CIVILS, TRANSPORT AND UTILITIES: FOREFRONT UTILITIES

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education news:feature 2 28/05/2013 13:34 Page 34

EDUCATION SECTOR: NEWS

FUNDING BOOSTS CONSTRUCTION EDUCATION THE GOVERNMENT has announced plans for 13 new University Technical Colleges including three specialising in construction, plus £147m for refurbishments to 47 Further Education colleges that will include new facilities for training the next generation in construction skills. Contractors Laing O’Rourke, Galliford Try and Denne Construction are among 140 employers and universities backing the 13 new UTCs, which are set to open from September 2014. UTCs are academies for 14-to-19-yearolds, which deliver full-time technical courses designed to train young people to meet the needs of modern business. Courses are sponsored by a local university and employers, and combine practical and academic studies led by employers who support learning through work place-

ments and access to industry facilities and equipment. The new colleges join 27 already preparing to open and five currently open, making a total of 45 colleges to be opened by 2015. Laing O’Rourke is supporting North East Greater Manchester UTC, which will specialise in sustainable engineering and construction. Galliford Try is one of three industry partners behind the planned new South Devon UTC specialising in engineering and science. And Denne Construction will support the proposed Medway UTC in Chatham, Kent, which will specialise in engineering and construction. Contractors also stand to benefit from the £214m additional funding for improvements to 47 ailing Further Education col-

UNIVERSITY REMODELLING ENTERS SECOND PHASE WORK to remodel the University of Dundee’s School of Medicine has progressed to a second phase following the appointment of interiors specialists ISG to undertake a £1.2m fit out; including the refurbishment of an existing lecture theatre, structural alterations and upgraded mechanical and electrical services. This follows commencement of an Archial designed extension, part of a wider £11m programme to upgrade the medical school’s facilities, which provides additional teaching space.

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Incorporating a new frontage decorated with a series of transparent panels, intended to represent elements of a eukaryotic cell, the work is scheduled for completion by 2014/15. The University teaching Dean of Medicine, professor Gary Mires, commented: “We look forward to ISG completing the refurbishment of LT1 along wth the other works that have already been completed and extremely well received by the medical students.”

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leges across the country, announced this week by skills minister Matthew Hancock. The capital funding, £77m of which will be provided by government, with £137m matched by the targeted colleges, will be allocated through the Skills Funding Agency and is intended to help support smallerscale new build and refurbishment projects worth in excess of £625m. Targeted colleges were deemed to be in greatest need of help or those offering practical skills training to help growth in the economy. New construction facilities due to be built include an £6.2m construction training centre at Bourneville College of Further Education, a £3.6m new construction and built environment centre at City College Norwich and a £2.6m new construction centre for Swindon College.


education news:feature 2 28/05/2013 13:35 Page 35

EDUCATION SECTOR: NEWS

YORKSHIRE’S FIRST UTC

CONSTRUCTION work has started on a new £8.5m college dedicated to specialist technical industries in Sheffield. The Sheffield University Technical College (UTC) will have a capacity to offer 600 teenagers training in the engineering and digital sectors. A ground-breaking ceremony was held to mark the start of construction work at the Matilda Street site on Friday.

The college, which is scheduled to open in September 2013, will be Yorkshire’s first UTC. Wates Construction, the main contractor for the project, said the college would be a “groundbreaking centre of innovation that puts Yorkshire once again at the very forefront of original thinking”. The UTC will work alongside employers including Tata Steel, Boeing and Newburgh Engineering.

WINNING BACKING AND SUPPORT

NEW COLLEGE CAMPUS THE NEWCASTLE College Group has revealed its plans for a new £35 million campus for Skelmersdale and Ormskirk College in West Lancashire, designed by UK based international architects RMJM. A vision for Skelmersdale was launched in 2005 by designer Wayne Hemingway and the new campus is a key part of the wider regeneration of the 1960’s new town, which is located between Liverpool and Manchester. The 12,500m2 college, which merged with Newcastle College in

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August 2007, will provide state-ofthe-art facilities for up to 4,000 students. This will include professional real-life working environments, from hairdressing salons to digital recording studios, which will also be available for community use, generating valuable revenue for the college. RMJM have completed five buildings for Newcastle College's main campus in Newcastle; two of which have been recognised for their outstanding architecture by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

A WALSALL-BASED West Midlands Construction University Technical College (UTC) has taken a major step forward by winning the backing and support of 15 local construction companies as it prepares to open its doors to students in 2014. As the only construction-led UTC to have achieved consent last May, the new college will host an event to celebrate this latest milestone this Thursday, which will include talks from college sponsors, academic and industry figures about how people can get involved. The new UTC will provide 600 14-19 year olds with a high quality, contextualised, full time, vocational and academic education – offering a curriculum focused on a construction specialism alongside key GCSEs as well as business, entrepreneurial and employability skills. The curriculum will be aligned to the needs of construction employers and professionals; offering maximum opportunities for employment within the industry. INVALUABLE ADDITION Judy Lowe, Deputy Chairman, CITBConstructionSkills and Chairman Designate of the UTC said: “University Technical Colleges have the ability to transform the country’s prospects and student’s lives. They are an invaluable addition to the education landscape, because they remind us that there is an urgent need in this country to develop skills not solely academically based.”

Nigel Donohue, West Midlands Construction UTC Programme Director, said: “Our vision is to deliver an outstanding UTC, which offers both practical and academic knowledge and experience, providing future talent for the construction industry, sowing the seed for excellence in future generations. With our partners, we are building the foundations for a future of high-value, skilled workers adept for a modern construction industry – so fundamental to the growth of the industry in the West Midlands.” PROGRESSION ROUTE Sponsored by CITBConstructionSkills, the University of Wolverhampton and Walsall College, the college will provide a progression route into construction-related higher education, higher apprenticeships, traditional and specialist apprenticeships with direct engagement from SMEs and construction companies including Balfour Beatty, Willmott Dixon, Lovell, Morgan Sindall, Hewden Steward and Barhale Construction through student mentoring, work experience and projectbased learning support. Construction of the college was given the go-ahead in 2011, following the submission of a successful bid to the Department for Education (DfE) as part of a wider government initiative to increase technical and vocational learning alongside the traditional academic routes.

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Uni Bradford:feature 2 21/05/2013 16:19 Page 36

EDUCATION SECTOR: THE UNIVERSITY OF BRADFORD

LEADING THE WAY COMMITTED TO CREATING THE GREENEST UNIVERSITY ESTATE IN THE COUNTRY, BRADFORD IS ALREADY SURPASSING ITS GOALS

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he University of Bradford is leading the way in the UK for sustainable, environmentally efficient development, refurbishment and management of large-scale estates. The University has seen a dramatic transformation over the last decade thanks to the determined vision of Director of Estates and Facilities Clive Wilson. Committed to creating the greenest university estate in the country, Bradford is already surpassing its goals. The 40th university to be opened in the UK received its Royal Charter in 1966 and is made up of two main campuses. These cater for over 10,000 undergraduate students as well as 3,000 postgraduate students. Ten years ago it was decided that the largely 1960s and 1970s estate, inherited during its early years of operation, were in need of refurbishment and updating. To this end, the University’s estate management team led by Clive Wilson and

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Estate Manager for Engineering and Building Russell Smith produced a sustainability specification that underpinned what the University wanted to achieve. The cornerstone of the development work to be undertaken demanded a reduction in energy and the increased sustainability of the entire property portfolio. Where possible BREEAM’s highest ratings would be sought for both new builds and challenging refurbishment projects. Russell Smith says the work the University has completed in the last few years is a “great accomplishment”. He adds that it has been achieved through a myriad of initiatives including engineered services, as well as getting the right building physics and monitoring performance to make tangible gains. It comes as little surprise, therefore, to see the University winning The Times Higher Education Award for its “Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development” two years running.

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EDUCATION SECTOR: THE UNIVERSITY OF BRADFORD

interventions to heat and cool the building, therefore reducing the amount of energy needed to run it, the re:centre has already been awarded a BREEAM Outstanding score of 94.95% on its preassessment and is on target for a turn out a score above 95%. Laid out over four floors, the building has a slope to incorporate a lower ground floor with the external aesthetic taking the form of a gentle curve. Natural light complements the building through a large atrium in the centre with natural ventilation providing welcome cooling during the summer months. During colder periods, ground source heat pumps will warm the building. The re:centre uses the renewable material Hemcrete instead of traditional concrete. Hemcrete is made from hemp grown sustainably in the UK and is mixed with a lime-based binder. This produces a building material which is highly thermal efficient. This is used in conjunction with a timber frame, which is also a naturally renewable material that absorbs carbon whilst curing. Additional “green” aspects of the development include solar shading on the glazed south facing side of the building in the form of brise soleil. This minimises glare and overheating in the summer,

but still enables solar heat gain in the winter. Rainwater harvesting will also be installed to cut down on water usage which will be utilised for flushing toilets. The estates team expects the combination of heat pumps, solar thermal and solar PV panels alongside rainwater harvesting to reduce the building’s carbon emissions by at least 20%. As the University also wants to avoid brownouts and, in its commitment to becoming more self sufficient, facilitate building operation off-grid, these measures will reduce reliance on mains energy and water. Recognising that developing “green” buildings is only part of the task in creating a sustainable estate, The University of Bradford has incorporated advanced energy monitoring to make further efficiency savings. Adapting to, and making use of, new technology has played an important role in its forward-thinking approach. One piece of technology that has brought with it a number of benefits is Edd:e. The estates team has used the system to target staff and student behaviour to reduce the energy used by a building. It has also measured energy use pre and post refurbishment work. Edd:e was first installed at the School of Health Studies as part of a wide ranging behavioural

Indeed, last year the University received the highest ever BREEAM rating of any building. The 95.05% rating it received for the student accommodation development consisting of 1,026 bedrooms across four-storey townhouses and six and seven storey apartments was one of only fifteen buildings in the world to achieve BREEAM’s highest classification of “Outstanding”. Known as The Green, the properties earned additional “Innovation Credits” for their provision of real-time, energy-use and water-use displays to every student flat. However, the University can and will go further in its “green” agenda says Russell. In fact, to be unveiled this month is the ambitious Sustainable Energy Centre, now know as the re:centre. “We believe this is the world’s most sustainable building,” admits Russell, who, along with his estates team, has been working on the development for seven years. Designed to minimise the need for mechanical

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change programme. The programme sought to educate the staff about moving into a new sustainable building and how they could make a positive impact on the energy use in the building. The programme was a huge success, identifying 33% savings in energy, and consequently Edd:e now monitors over fifteen distribution boards across the estate. Its initial use in the School of Health Studies was highly commended in the 2011 Energy Awards and won the behavioural change category at the 2012 Green Build Awards. These are just a few examples detailing how the University is far exceeding its energy reduction targets. The estate is now consuming far less energy than it was in 2005, last year reporting a 35% carbon reduction. Furthermore, Russell believes the

University will close out 2020’s 50% carbon reduction target ahead of schedule and has already set a new and aspirational target of 75%. Having just completed work on STEM, the university’s new Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths building, which again was designed to BREEAM “Outstanding” specifications, there is little sign of slowdown in Bradford’s sustainable endeavours. Indeed, as the multimillion-pound redevelopment of the estate continues, the educational institution is well on the way to becoming one of the greenest universities in the world. www.bradford.ac.uk www.bradford.ac.uk/estates Tel: 01274 233001

The re:centre uses the renewable material Hemcrete instead of traditional concrete. Hemcrete is made from hemp grown sustainably in the UK and is mixed with a lime-based binder.

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west thames:feature 2 24/05/2013 17:09 Page 40

EDUCATION SECTOR: WEST THAMES COLLEGE

COLLEGE REDEVELOPMENT THE ISLEWORTH CAMPUS WAS COMPLETELY REBUILT 2009-2012. ITS FACILITIES NOW RANK AMONGST THE BEST COLLEGES IN LONDON

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he progress of educational redevelopment usually depends on the availability of funding. So for West Thames College, success at one of its sites resulted in a major redevelopment while at the other it has still to contend with outdated buildings. West Thames is a general college of further and higher education offering a range of qualifications for school leavers and adults, with some specialist provision for 14-16 year-olds. At the Isleworth Campus — the larger of the two centres — a £70 million redevelopment programme replaced a number of 1960s concrete blocks with two new buildings. The Sir Joseph Banks Building opened in 2011 and provides mainly general classrooms, laboratories and art studios. The Atrium was completed three years ago and has communal areas including a theatre, common rooms, canteen, sports hall, gymnasium and library.

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EDUCATION SECTOR: WEST THAMES COLLEGE “We were aiming for an excellent on BREEAM and actually ended up with good, quite close to very good,” recalls Isleworth Centre Manager Glyn Williams. “We have quite a few features in there, such as lights that turn off when you leave rooms and rainwater harvesting.” It was a design and build project undertaken by Geoffrey Osborne and, after looking at potential cost savings, it was determined that installing solar panels would not be a cost-effective option. Nevertheless, it’s still under consideration and the whole development project went remarkably smoothly considering it involved major upheaval over a four to five-year period. Glyn says: “We had a lot of temporary classrooms and another building, which we’ve now vacated, that we used for the period of the project. As one building was completed, demolition started on the old parts of the site, so it certainly was a phased development. We just about managed to keep enough space with the temporary buildings throughout the project.” A big issue during development was health and safety, especially with students being on site throughout the project. This was handled by liaison between the college’s health and safety officer and the contractor, with no incidents arising. Only one of the original buildings remains and this was refurbished at the time of the redevelopment. This contains music editing and recording studios, a TV studio, hairdressing and beauty therapy salons, dance studios and a specialist theatre. FUNDING DIFFICULTIES West Thames’ second site is the Feltham Skills Centre and the aim was to replace the building at the same time as the others through government funding from the Learning and Skills Council. Unfortunately, as the design of the proposed build-

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ing was being finalised and difficulties with the green belt site were being negotiated, the funding came to an end and development never got off the ground. The college is now left as the main tenant of the 1950s ex-school building that’s still owned by the local authority. That’s not an ideal situation because the building has problems due to its age, but the college is understandably reluctant to invest too much money in something it doesn’t own. “We’re doing things on a fairly small scale and we’re hoping the lease we end up with will commit us to maintenance and upkeep of the building in lieu of rent for about ten years,” say Glyn. “We’ll stop paying rent and will be doing something on the structure and upkeep of the building instead. But in terms of improving it for our own use, we’ve done some things to it already. We’ve converted some rooms into engineering workshops, created a new learning resources centre and refurbished the

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EDUCATION SECTOR: WEST THAMES COLLEGE

entrance area. We’re doing bits and pieces but it’s not a whole big project. We have a programme to replace the roofs and that includes putting in additional insulation. That’s helping but it’s certainly not the most energy efficient building.” BUILDING MAINTENANCE The general upkeep of all the buildings is handled by a combination of in-house staff and external contractors. An internal estates team deals with the smaller jobs and any reactive repairs it can handle. The complexity of the new buildings in particular requires a mechanical and electrical servicing and maintenance contractor to look after the main equipment, while other contractors are used for specialist work. One-off jobs up to £50,000 go to local contractors and anything above that value

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goes through a full tendering process, while scheduled maintenance tends to be on contracts that are typically three years with an optional two-year extension. The investment to date and shortage of funding means no major projects are on the horizon. However, as Glyn points out, that doesn’t mean further developments won’t happen: “We go through a process of looking at capital expenditure each year for additional work. In further education, things change on a yearly basis, so even though we’ve got new buildings, there’ll be some change of use. There are always some projects where we’re converting a room into a workshop or something like that.” www.west-thames.ac.uk Tel: 020 8326 2000

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EDUCATION SECTOR: WEST THAMES COLLEGE

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Walsall college _kate:feature 2 23/05/2013 14:07 Page 44

EDUCATION SECTOR: WALSALL COLLEGE

SKILLED, PROFESSIONAL, ENTERPRISING WALSALL COLLEGE COMPLETES IT’S WORLD-CLASS FACILITIES BY REFURBISHING THE GREEN LANE CAMPUS IN LINE WITH WISEMORE CAMPUS

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alsall College prides itself on its mission: “Walsall College is uniquely and proudly vocational. Our greatest passion is unleashing the potential of individuals, communities and businesses; our greatest legacy is the talent of our learners: skilled, professional and enterprising.” Providing vocational courses and helping its students into work and higher level education are key aims of Walsall College. It’s been so successful at doing this it was the first college in the country to be graded outstanding in Ofsted’s new inspection framework. And that, according to Director of Operations and Resources Deb Rajania, is partly due to investment put into the college’s facilities: “Walsall College has undergone a very successful transformation that has been a catalyst to amazing changes and achieving the outstanding ranking by delivering excellent teaching and learning.”

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NEW CAMPUS Walsall College is a general further education college with around 4,000 full-time and almost 8,000 part-time students spread across two campuses. Wisemore Campus was completed four years ago and replaced a collection of outdated and temporary buildings. It’s a world-class campus with a BREEAM very good rating and where the focus is on having classroom facilities to suit vocational learning. “We have made the vocational learning more industry-led and ensured our learners gain the right skills to go into a job,” remarks Deb. “We have areas for self study and the ambience in the building is aimed at making individuals more responsible for their learning. The building is designed to give people the opportunity to study to their own learning style.” The Green Lane Campus is a construction centre and its facilities were refurbished to bring them

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EDUCATION SECTOR: WALSALL COLLEGE in line with the new campus. A two-storey, 1,065 square metre extension was developed to create modern classrooms and an IT infrastructure to support lesson delivery through modern, paperless methods. It also, as Deb explains, provides the flexibility that helps the college in its mission: “Making sure we are addressing local skills requirements means we have to sometimes change the layouts. For example, the electrical installations workshop may require fewer places but we may need to set up maintenance operatives training due to demand in the local area.” LOCAL SKILLS AGENDA The drive to address local skills requirements has led to the creation of an on-site job shop to help students into work and a regular engagement with employers and communities. The college has also used its development and maintenance programme as a training tool to some degree so that students gain an insight into roof construction, the benefits of condensing boilers and sustainability skills. There is also a move to turn the Green Lane Campus into a more eco friendly building with the installation of solar panels. With most parts of the college either new or updated, there are no plans as yet for further development. However, as Deb emphasises, that may change: “We’re looking at innovation through the curriculum and that curriculum innovation will then drive a property strategy that may result in a future building project to facilitate it. At this stage, we are reviewing college curriculum and innovation to make sure our clusters are geared to delivering the local skills required now and into the future.” www.walsallcollege.ac.uk Tel: 01922 657000

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SOCIAL HOUSING: BEDROOM TAX

A TAX TOO FAR? THE ‘BEDROOM TAX’ AIMS TO ENCOURAGE HOUSEHOLDS TO DOWNSIZE IF THEY HAVE SPARE ROOMS, BUT MANY ORGANISATIONS SAY THAT IT WILL PENALISE GROUPS SUCH AS THE DISABLED AND FOSTER PARENTS

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elfare reforms set to come into force in April targeted at what officialspeak calls “under-occupation” but what detractors have termed the bedroom tax are understandably dividing opinion. These measures under the Welfare Reform Act 2012 will cut the amount of benefit people can get if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home. The amount of money people lose will depend on their individual situation but is based on a fixed percentage that will take into consideration the make-up of a family in a home. For example, children will be expected to share a bedroom if they are the same sex and under sixteen. Children under ten years of age will be expected to share a room regardless of gender. Others that could be negatively affected by the changes include separated parents who share custody of children, carers and those living with disabled tenants, and parents whose children visit but are not part of the household. The fixed percentage penalty for spare bedrooms is set at fourteen percent for one bedroom and twenty-five percent for two bedrooms. This is expected to cut housing benefit on average between £14 and £16 per week per household.

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SOCIAL HOUSING: BEDROOM TAX

THE PRIME MINISTER IS OUT OF TOUCH Ed Miliband, Labour Leader “The only people he listens to are a small group of rich and powerful people at the top … that's why he has come up with a policy that is unworkable and unfair. He is a prime minister who is weak, incompetent and totally out of touch.”

“CHILDREN WHO COME INTO CARE NEED THEIR OWN BEDROOM, EQUALLY, SOME FOSTER CARERS NEED A SPARE BEDROOM WITH NOBODY IN IT, AS SOME CHILDREN COME INTO CARE IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS, WE NEED TO FIND HOMES FOR THEM AT THE LAST MINUTE.” HARVEY GALLAGHER, chief executive of the Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers

IT WILL EASE OVERCROWDING Conservative MP Mark Field “Each and every day, I receive enquiries from constituents living in overcrowded properties and temporary accommodation who have been waiting for years for a family-sized property. Meanwhile many properties in our borough are severely under-occupied. “To give you a better idea of the problem, in 2010 when the housing benefit changes were being drawn up, 10 per cent of the four-bedroom properties within the social housing portfolio of Westminster City Council were occupied by one person and 15 per cent of their 3-bed properties. As such, I welcomed the introduction of incentives for tenants to downsize.”

The ‘Bedroom Tax’ uncovered Single Person = 1 Bedroom (16yrs+)

2 Children aged 10yrs & under expected to share 1 bedroom (regardless of sex)

2 Children aged up to 16yrs expected to share 1 bedroom (same sex)

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Couple = 1 Bedroom

CASE STUDY Mr and Mrs Smith live in a three bedroom house with their two daughters aged 6 and 14. This household would be seen as having one ‘extra bedroom’ as a bedroom would be allowed for Mr and Mrs Smith but their daughters would be expected to share a room. They would have a deduction of 14% of their weekly rent made from their housing benefit because they would seen to have one ‘extra’ room.

“WE GENUINELY NEED SEPARATE BEDROOMS. BUT THEY SAY I'M A HUSBAND, NOT A CARER. I LOOK AFTER MY WIFE 24 HOURS A DAY, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. I THINK IT IS UNFAIR WITH ALL THE WORK THE HOUSING PEOPLE HAVE DONE TO ADAPT MY HOUSE. IF I MOVE THEY WILL HAVE TO DO IT ALL AGAIN.” TONY SHARMAN, husband and carer of his wife who is unable to walk or speak

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SOCIAL HOUSING SECTOR: BRENT HOUSING PARTNERSHIP

BUILDING ON

EXCELLENCE BRENT COUNCIL COMPLETED ITS DECENT HOMES PROGRAMME IN 2007. NOW IT’S MOVING ON TO OTHER ASPECTS THAT ARE GUIDED BY THE COUNCIL’S THIRTY-YEAR BUSINESS PLAN.

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hilst some local authorities and ALMOs are still finishing Decent Homes, Brent completed its programme in 2007. Now it’s moving on to other aspects that are guided by the council’s thirty-year business plan. Brent Housing Partnership (BHP) was set up as Brent Council’s ALMO in 2003 and looks after 13,000 properties that include 3,500 leaseholds. “Most are smaller flats rather than houses so there are a lot of high rises,” recounts Chief Executive Garry Doherty. “They’re classified as non-traditional housing and our biggest estate is 900 properties, so the stock is spread across a multitude of small estates across the borough. But Brent’s not too big geographically; it’s only seven miles from one end to the other so it’s not too bad for management.” PARTNERING AGREEMENT The Decent Homes programme ran for four years and was under a partnering agreement that was a relatively new type of arrangement at the time. The strategy was to phase the project by type of work, split into separate kitchen and bathroom work packages with an initial concentration on internal work. That led to BHP completing 7,500 kitchens and bathrooms, although some 500 remained due to tenants refusing the work. The challenge now is to keep properties up to scratch and BHP has recently embarked on a fire safety programme for its high rise properties. Gerry says: “We’re going through all the common parts, upgrading communal doors, fire escape doors, fire break doors and replacing the resident’s flat doors with a minimum thirty minute fire safety door. We undertook research on fire safety and took doors to the British Research Establishment in Watford to put them through burn tests under laboratory conditions. “For suppliers to be on the approved list and have their doors considered for the programme, we asked if they were willing for their doors to undergo a burn test. We’re spending about £7-8 million in the next financial year on the programme so we want to make sure we have the right doors in it. We’ve had two or three rounds of fire risk assessment surveys done and plenty intermediate works such as maintenance, tenant advice, warning signs, lighting and door closers but the capital programme is an upgrade to thirty minute fire doors and even sixty minutes through really good smoke seals.” LONG-TERM CONTRACTS The partnering approach that Brent championed during the Decent Homes programme is continued through the repair work where there are long-term contracts with contractors to promote stability. The old arrangement of three-year contracts didn’t give new contractors time to get properly bedded in before the next renewal was due so the principle now is to have ten-year contracts instead. There’s a separate contractor for each type of work, with one handling all reactive repairs plus separate ones for gas, lift servicing, water testing and remedial works, and a small direct labour organisation that competed for and won the voids work that includes the residual Decent Homes upgrades

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Welcome to the Next Level ThyssenKrupp Elevator is one of the world’s leading elevator companies. With sales of €5.7 billion and more than 47,000 employees at 900 locations, we have a global presence. Today, systems from ThyssenKrupp can be found in nearly every large city – around the globe. Whether you’re looking for the best possible elevator system for a new building, or a way to modernise your existing system, or a service partner who’ll provide support whenever and wherever you need it – we’re proud to offer solutions that go far beyond the industry standard. With our understanding of service, based on the successful interplay between people, processes and products, we ensure your system’s availability; efficiency and safety. Top-class service starts with the first moment of contact.

We’re proud to be Brent Housing’s partner over the last years and look forward to a successful partnership in the future. ThyssenKrupp Elevator UK 120 Leman Street, London E1 8EU Tel: 0800 6521 999 Email: Info.tkeuk@thyssenkrupp.com Web: www.thyssenkruppelevator.co.uk

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refused by tenants at the time. All contracts have break clauses in case of problems but none have been activated since the ten-year contracts were introduced. That’s partly due to the better arrangement but also results from BHP’s willingness to work with contractors and resolve difficulties. The new arrangement resulted from a review of the responsive repair service in line with lean and systems thinking techniques. That transformed the service from a traditional schedule of rates contract to a fully open book basis where BHP pays all costs plus an agreed profit level for work done. Other changes, as Gerry recounts, have also resulted: “Rather than the old fashioned way of giving out several orders on paper every morning to each operative, they get one order at a time electronically on a PDA. They go to each property and can undertake all repairs up to a value of £500 without further authorisation. If it’s above that value, they ring us for clarification about whether to proceed or if the work is put into a planned programme. It’s transformed the responsive repairs service; satisfaction levels have gone up massively and the reputation of the service has increased tremendously.” CUSTOMER SATISFACTION A similar principle applies for preventative work, with contracts based on an agreed annual fee and any at risk work up to a certain value undertaken without

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additional authorisation needed. And because every job is allocated and progressed using PDAs, there’s complete control of each one. “Before an operative gets the next job, they have to complete details of the previous one on the PDA,” remarks Gerry. “It then appears on our system as completed and we call the tenant immediately for a quick chat to establish the level of customer satisfaction. It’s almost realtime feedback and the contractor is rated on five key performance indicators that include getting the job right first time, customer satisfaction and the average time to complete repairs.” The whole arrangement is designed to simplify the service and make it more effective. That effectiveness extends to health and safety, which is largely the responsibility of the companies doing the work but is a big priority of BHP, especially given the involvement of tenants. That’s all tied in with regular gas servicing, Legionella prevention through water testing, fire safety evidenced by the current programme and overriding responsibilities arising through corporate manslaughter concerns. Risk management is therefore always high in the agenda but success in this area is shown by the organisation winning the British Safety Council’s gold award and its entry for two RoSPA awards for gas servicing and fire safety. Gerry says: “Although contractors are ultimately responsible, we have a dedicated health and safety

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SOCIAL HOUSING SECTOR: BRENT HOUSING PARTNERSHIP officer, a staff health and safety committee that meets regularly, a health and safety report that goes through our board and subcommittees on service delivery that discuss the subject. So health and safety is at the forefront of BHP, not something that’s always somebody else’s job. I’ve talked to the board repeatedly about corporate manslaughter and the risks, our responsibilities and what we have to do. All staff and board members are fully informed and aware, which is the real test of its importance to us.” RESIDENT INVOLVEMENT BHP is currently seeking Investors in Diversity accreditation, which is based on its approach to equality and diversity and how it delivers services to its customers through employment. It’s also reapplying for partner status with HCA for future development opportunities and is aiming for TPAS accreditation in resident involvement. The latter is particularly relevant to BHP because tenant involvement, as Gerry points out, is a huge priority: “ALMOs are different from other types of housing provider due to the role tenants play. They are involved in the strategy of the organisation and are the decision makers. Tenants have been involved for well over ten years, before the ALMO was formed in Brent. They’re on our procurement panels and are involved in reality testing, scrutiny of the contractors and we have tenants trained as resident inspectors. Resident involvement is integral to BHP and is one of the main reasons why Brent Council, unlike a lot of organisations, decided to retain its ALMO and give us a ten-year management agreement.” The ALMO status was considered in 2010 along with the whole future of Brent’s housing stock. The eventual positive decision was helped by the selffinancing review that means the maintenance of the housing stock will be affordable over the long term. As a consequence, Brent has embarked on a further detailed review and asset management plan to establish the standard to which the stock should be maintained, with an initial ballpark figure of £80100 million being the likely spend over the next five years. CONTINUED ON PAGE 554

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That’s in addition to some energy projects, where ECO funding is being sought. “We’re in discussions with British Gas regarding programmes of over-cladding to solid wall properties,” recounts Gerry. “We’re trying to target the harder to insulate properties and have three large tower blocks where we’re going to over-clad and install new windows and heating.” SUSTAINABLE AWARD An energy saving programme two years ago won the organisation a sustainable FM award. Around ninety non-traditional concrete homes were clad to improve insulation and re-roofed with integrated solar panels. Not only did the roof tiles reduce carbon emissions from the nearby North Circular Road but they also cut each tenant’s electricity bill by an estimated £150 annually and earned BHP £70,000 through the feed-in tariff. There remains a large catch up programme of external works, with around 30% of the housing stock still having single glazing and a backlog of internal decorations and planned maintenance.

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That’s likely to be the main concentration of capital spending over the next five years, with the five-year plan of actual works evolving from Brent Council’s thirty-year business plan for housing. In effect, the level of funding determines what can be done and also affects any finance available for new build. BHP’s own 330 properties are a mixture of tenures and it is working with the council to review existing estates and identify possible infill developments. The biggest challenge now facing BHP is the effect that the new welfare reforms will have. It is setting up a team to help tenants with budget planning and provide debt management advice to try to alleviate the impact. “Around 65% of tenants are on full or partial housing benefit,” explains Gerry. “If the rent doesn’t get paid, none of the business plans stack up. We don’t want anyone to have to suffer due to evictions and we’re helping our tenants to avoid that happening.” www.bhphousing.co.uk Tel: 020 89372363

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Barking & Dagenham Council :feature 2 16/05/2013 13:38 Page 58

SOCIAL HOUSING SECTOR: LONDON BOROUGH OF BARKING & DAGENHAM

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC

REGENERATION HOUSING IS AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT PART OF THE LONDON BOROUGH OF BARKING & DAGENHAM’S REGENERATION

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arking and Dagenham is London’s newest opportunity. The area has more untapped potential than any other part of the capital - and with the Olympics in 2012 shifting the world's attention to east London, now is the time to see what Barking and Dagenham has to offer. The borough has some of the best value land for development and the most affordable premises for businesses large and small anywhere in London. With a proud history of manufacturing, industrial and sporting excellence thanks to the talent of its people, strategic transport links and location close to major markets in the South East and onto Europe, Barking and Dagenham really is London's Newest Opportunity.

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SOCIAL HOUSING SECTOR: LONDON BOROUGH OF BARKING & DAGENHAM

have the same opportunities as the communities in neighbouring boroughs, so the local authority has updated its regeneration strategy to make sure that maximum benefit is gained from being a host borough of the 2012 Olympics. Its current regeneration strategy is based on increasing the prosperity (wealth) of residents and businesses, improving the quality of life for all people in the community, and creating a safe and attractive place that makes the community feel proud.

In the next 20 years, Barking and Dagenham will undergo its biggest transformation since the borough was first industrialised and urbanised. The Thames Gateway, which runs through the heart of London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, is the largest regeneration area in Europe. It is crucial to the governments' plans to develop sustainable communities in the south-east and to the London Mayor's ambition to ensure prosperity is more evenly shared between east and west in London.

At an event held at City Hall October 2011, local civic and business leaders combined with investors, business people and politicians to celebrate not only the launch of the 'London's Newest Opportunity' brochure, but to hail Barking and Dagenham as a location in which to do business. In 2001, the local authority published its first regeneration strategy, An Urban Renaissance in East London to improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of the borough. Since then the area has achieved a lot, including: Beacon status for secondary education, 1,500 new jobs at Dagenham Dock, the building of 938 affordable homes, and Beacon status for tackling climate change. But there is still lots of work to do. Barking and Dagenham need to make sure that local people

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Barking & Dagenham Council :feature 2 16/05/2013 13:39 Page 60

SOCIAL HOUSING SECTOR: LONDON BOROUGH OF BARKING & DAGENHAM

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Barking & Dagenham Council :feature 2 26/05/2013 11:38 Page 61

SOCIAL HOUSING SECTOR: LONDON BOROUGH OF BARKING & DAGENHAM The borough contains the United Kingdom's biggest brownfield regeneration site at Barking Riverside and the future home of London's environmental technologies at Dagenham Dock. A major sustainable community will be developed on land released by Ford in South Dagenham and Barking Town Centre will be revitalised to become the town centre of choice for the new communities. THREE KEY PRIORITIES Barking and Dagenham have set three key priorities for achieving their 2020 “vision”. The first is increasing prosperity for all by encouraging the development of a well-educated and skilled workforce, increasing access to jobs, supporting existing businesses to grow and attract new investment. The second is to work in partnership to develop genuinely sustainable communities in Barking and Dagenham. The third is to work in partnership to regenerate Barking Town Centre as the gateway for new investment and opportunity in Barking and Dagenham. Regeneration, according to Barking and Dagenham’s Director of Housing Strategy Ken Jones, isn’t just about investing in property and infrastructure: “Besides the physical regeneration of town centres and estates, it’s about social and economic regeneration. Housing is an extremely important part of the borough’s regeneration in all forms.” Barking and Dagenham chose, after consulting residents, to retain control of its housing stock. That

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comprises around 19,000 council homes and the situation is helped by the HRA self-financing scheme allowing a long-term asset management strategy comprising three main strands within housing investment — Decent Homes, estate renewal and new build. The borough didn’t complete its Decent Homes programme due to insufficient funding but the availability of self-financing and an agreement with the Greater London Authority meant it could start a programme to clear the backlog over eight years. “We considered whether it would be better to do everything inside and then outside as separate phases,” explains Manager of Capital Programmes Ola Laniyan. “For some, we’ve done everything together to see what impact it made.” Estate renewal has concentrated on estates that have been expensive to maintain and unpopular due to a variety of reasons. The solution was to decant existing tenants, demolish properties and then redevelop with a mixture of tenures and income levels as part of the area’s social and economic regeneration. The final strand is new build, with the borough contracted to deliver 762 new homes by April 2015. It’s currently on target to comfortably exceed that, partly due to Barking and Dagenham having more building land than most London boroughs. It’s also, as Ken points out, due to a special delivery vehicle it set up for the work: “We had a Local Education Partnership to deliver Building Schools for the Future but it also has housing and regen-

eration within its scope. When we were looking to develop homes, we knew the LEP worked well with its main partner Laing O’Rourke. So we started Barking and Dagenham Reside as a vehicle for developments.” ENERGY EFFICIENT All properties are constructed to a minimum Sustainable Homes code level 4. That’s part of an emphasis on energy efficiency that also applies to existing properties. “We’re finishing a block where we have funding for external wall insulation,” remarks Ola. “There’s a whole raft of work to make that block more energy efficient. We’ve saved around £12 million working with GLA and with some funding for climate change issues.” The council’s efforts won it the Environmental Sustainable Project of the Year 2012. There’s also ongoing tenant involvement that includes giving choices and consultation through residents’ forums. The aim is all residents will ultimately live in new or completely refurbished properties that are energy efficient and meet modern standards. But that, as Ken confirms, takes time: “It’s an ongoing process looking at remaining stock condition and issues. Over time, we’ll be redeveloping and putting in some higher quality new council property with different income groups in those sites.” www.lbbd.gov.uk/AboutBarkingandDagenham/ Pages/Home.aspx Tel: 020 82153000

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Local authoritive:feature 2 16/05/2013 12:54 Page 62

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: PLANNING

ALL IN THE PLANNING? Local authorities go to war over development proposals

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lanning rows are often portrayed as pitched battles between councillors and profit-seeking builders, bent on concreting every quarter of countryside. But this year has seen the appearance of another, new and powerful foe: the fast-growing local authority with good reasons to beef about its neighbour's intentions to curtail development. In what is being viewed as a precedent, a government-appointed inspector this month declared Coventry's long-term planning blueprint illegal for a significant reason. It had failed to engage “constructively” with nearby authorities, including Birmingham – Britain’s second largest city – before slashing its house building targets from 30,000 to 11,000. The Coventry decision is important because it indicates how inspectors will expect councils to construct passable plans and development goals under the coalition government’s new planning regime, the national planning policy framework (pdf). The framework came into effect one year ago with an aim to “secure a swift return to economic growth”. As previous regional targets disappear, the Coventry case indicates that inspectors are turning to the new “duty to co-operate” rules as an alternative method to force councils to look beyond their

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Local authoritive:feature 2 16/05/2013 12:54 Page 63

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: PLANNING Waheed Nazir, Birmingham’s director of planning and regeneration, indicated that Coventry should reinstate a 30,000 target set in the West Midlands spatial strategy, one of the goal-setting plans the government is ripping up. Such “flawed top-down targets” from the Labour years fuelled only resentment and threatened the green belt, communities secretary Eric Pickles thundered this month after revoking two more. But as regional strategies are incinerated, inspectors will still expect authorities to set targets that reflect market areas rather than their individual wishes. Councils such as Birmingham, with little hope of meeting its own needs, can reasonably expect neighbours in its market area to take the city’s huge population growth into account. Authorities must build their own evidence bases for their plans to be passed as sound by the inspectorate. TROUBLE IN SALFORD Compiling such evidence is no easy task for authorities with dwindling resources, as Salford discovered at considerable cost last year. The city was forced to withdraw its development plan unceremoniously after an unrelenting attack by Peel Holdings, a major landowner and developer which wants to expand its port scheme into a significant stretch of the city's green belt. Peel argued successfully that Salford had failed to allocate “sufficient levels of housing and employment development, of the right type and in the right

locations”. It claimed also the authority had used an “unreliable” means of predicting growth. The planning inspector agreed with some of Peel’s reasoning, criticising Salford’s plan for failing to provide “an adequate and realistically deliverable supply of housing land”. In the light of the Salford and Coventry, councils face two tough challenges when attempting to hold back the bulldozer: authorities must keep their neighbours’ demands in mind – a significant ask with a rapidly expanding city like Birmingham on your doorstep – and they must also contend with an aggressive development trade whose growth ambitions are likely to find favour with politicians hungry for economic growth. (TheHome Builders’ Federation pledged this month to take “decisive action” against any authority it considered to be shirking planning responsibilities, as it beefed up its own expert team.) Councillors have begun to fight back against what they see as centralised planning control returning via the planning inspectorate's door. Almost 200 have signed an e-petition calling for its powers to be reviewed. One signatory, Robert Long, a Conservative councillor and former chair of Maldon district council in Essex, is in little doubt about what the outcome of any review should be. “I would suggest that the planning inspectorate is scrapped and a new system organised by local government itself,” he wrote. Given the duty-to-co-operate rules, such an idea may well come back to bite him.

own borders when drawing up plans. Colette McCormack, a planning partner at Winckworth Sherwood, a law firm, says she has noticed a definite emphasis on the duty as the coalition's reforms bedded in. “It has become more important and definitely came to prominence in the last six months,” she says. “What the inspector is doing is ensuring that there is engagement, and what you can’t do is the old school way. It isn’t about talking to your neighbouring authority and completely ignoring them; it is key to demonstrate it.” COVENTRY V BIRMINGHAM Under this duty to co-operate, councils must properly consult with those they share “strategic housing market” areas with. These footprints are determined in part by commuter journeys, often breaching administrative boundaries. In Coventry’s case, they stretch at least 25 miles down the M6 to Birmingham. As one of the country’s economic powerhouses, Birmingham had warned that Coventry’s low development target was unjustified and would pile unacceptable pressure on its own housing market. The city expects a population explosion of 150,000 over the next 18 years, but has enough space for only 43,000 homes.

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Fife Council :feature 2 23/05/2013 14:18 Page 64

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: FIFE COUNCIL

EXCITING

TIMES AHEAD EXCITING TIMES LIE AHEAD FOR RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES OF FIFE AS THE COUNCIL SURGES AHEAD WITH GROUNDBREAKING REGENERATION PLANS

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here are exciting times ahead for residents and businesses of Fife in Scotland as the council surges ahead with groundbreaking regeneration plans. For both homes and businesses, the local authority is passionate and committed to shaping the economic future of the area. As well as driving forward development and regeneration of town centres across Fife by improving the aesthetic value of these environments and making them more appealing, the council is investing heavily in infrastructure improvements such as car parking, pavements, signage and street lighting. This will improve the region’s attractiveness to new business while making the visitor experience more memorable thus encouraging repeat business and long term relationships. Fife Council is eager to create a place to explore, shop, socialise and do business in, time and time again. Last year’s completion of the Housing Innovation Showcase was the ideal project to high-

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light Fife Council’s innovative approach. The scheme was designed to trial new alternative methods of construction and has quickly gained recognition for its green credentials. The key aims of the Housing Innovation Showcase were to test, evaluate and promote different house systems and to mainstream the different house systems across a wider affordable housing programme. Environmental conditions included evaluation of cost, energy performance and flexibility of a number of new systems as well as trialling sustainable housing products. The acclaimed project, which won a Scottish Green Apple Award for environmental best practice as well as a VIBES award for its environmental vision, has most recently been shortlisted for two prizes in the prestigious Homes For Scotland 2013 awards. Each year the HFS Awards recognise best practice and help to further raise standards across the home building industry. This year the Housing Innovation Showcase, a joint initiative by Kingdom Housing Association and Fife Council, which pro-

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Fife Council :feature 2 23/05/2013 14:19 Page 65

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: FIFE COUNCIL

Council has drawn on the skill of local labour to achieve its aims. Most recently, it announced a £4.3 million housing investment for the Dunfermline area to improve council homes. A total of 942 different jobs will be carried out in the next year to deliver a range of improvements including 146 improved heating systems, 275 new kitchens, and 262 new sets of windows and doors. This will bring the council closer to achieving its target of 100% compliance with the Government’s Scottish Housing Quality Standard by 2015. Committee Chair Mike Rumney said, “The improvements will make real differences for tenants in the Dunfermline area and allow us to offer more fit for purpose, comfortable homes.” This work is part of a Fife-wide investment of almost £62 million in council houses over the next year. Over £37 million of this budget will be used to continue to carry out maintenance work on homes to bring them up to the Scottish Housing Quality Standard.

Over £8 million will be spent on wider investment works such as improvements to high-rise housing, the conversion of bedsits to one and two bedroom properties and decommissioning of sheltered housing to provide general needs homes as well as property extensions due to overcrowding, disabilities and for children with special needs. An investment of over £13 million will be made to deliver on policy options including the new build projects to build new council homes, energy efficiency projects and estates initiatives. While council house residents benefit from these upgrades, businesses are also seeing the fruits of Fife Council’s endeavours through the Invest in Fife initiative. This programme offers two distinct services to businesses. Firstly, it provides a one-door approach for companies considering location or expansion in Fife. Secondly, it promotes the benefits of doing business in Fife that make it a "world class" business location. Invest in Fife has a proven track record of attracting the attention of potential investors and helping

duced twenty-seven high quality houses at a site in Dunlin Drive, Dunfermline has been nominated in two categories --- Best Green Initiative and Best Partnership In Affordable Housing Delivery. Last year over 2,500 construction and housing professionals visited the Fife showcase to see the new homes which were built by ten different construction partnerships which used modern methods of construction to build energy-efficient houses. The project, which was recognised in the Fife Partnership Excellence Awards, cost approximately £3.3 million and received funding of approximately £2 million from the Scottish Government and Fife Council. Working alongside a number of key partners and preferred suppliers, Fife Council is surging ahead with plans to bring about great change to the quality of living in the area and the potential for new and current businesses to grow. Working with companies such as Industrial Services, a local business which provides a range of services including fuel tank installation, servicing and maintenance, Fife

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Fife Council :feature 2 23/05/2013 14:19 Page 66

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: FIFE COUNCIL to make their projects happen. This is done by working closely with a number of organisations. The council’s Economic Development staff have excellent working relationships with Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International, Fife Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise and other key stakeholders in Fife to provide a comprehensive investment promotion service. Invest in Fife, which acts as the council’s investment agency, has a number of strategically important development areas, which are seeing a considerable level of investment and expansion activity and the emergence of future development opportunities. These areas include Rosyth Waterfront which will see extensive construction activity over the next ten years as the New Forth Crossing is built as well as aircraft hangars for HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales by Babcock. The former navel dockyard, with its waterfront area, is ideal for multimodal transport and as the site for Scotland’s gateway into Europe. On the eastern side of Dunfermline, where major businesses have set up home such as BskyB and Scottish Water, there will be further development work to encourage further companies to the

area. Elsewhere at Kirkcaldy, the John Smith’s Business Park now offers one of Fife's premium business locations. Extending to approximately 60 acres, the park offers great potential for businesses looking to expand or relocate to Fife. Already home to one of Fife's largest employers MGt, the financial and business services company, the site offers outline planning consent for up to 400,000 sq ft office developments and leisure and hotel opportunities. This is in addition to the Glenrothes Gateway and Glenrothes Central Business parks. Located on the Methil Waterfront, Energy Park Fife is a nationally important project providing high quality infrastructure that supports the offshore marine renewables sector. Already home to one of the UK's largest renewables companies, BiFab, Energy Park Fife is expanding and now provides opportunities for Research and Development, Innovation Space, and Testing and Demonstration as well as its traditional engineering and manufacturing. www.fifedirect.org.uk Tel: 08451 55 11 22

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Fife Council :feature 2 23/05/2013 14:19 Page 67

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: FIFE COUNCIL

Fuel equipment supply & installation 4Complete fuel installations from inception to completed site including civils works 4Servicing, repair & maintenance of fuel tanks and pumps 4Retail & commercial fuel site renovations including civils works 4Supply, installation and replacement of petroleum electrics, carried out by certified electrical engineers 4Degassing of fuel tanks, tank infilling and/or excavation & removal 4Decommissioning of fuel sites including removal of fuel and waste to the requirements of SEPA

INDUSTRIAL SERVICES Northbank Farm, Cameron, By St Andrews, Fife KY16 8PE Tel: 01334 827090 Fax 01334 827091

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MacLean Electrical UK Lighting Division are delighted to be working in partnership to light up Fife with the Supply of Energy Saving Street Lighting Products and Technical Support.

MacLean Electrical – UK Lighting Division 7 Drum Mains Park, Orchardton, Cumbernauld, G68 9LD Tel: 01236 458000     Fax: 01236 860555 BRANCHES IN: Aberdeen | Cumbernauld | Dingwall | Gt. Yarmouth | Newcastle & Wick 

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Newham Council :feature 2 23/05/2013 14:23 Page 68

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: LONDON BOROUGH OF NEWHAM

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Newham Council :feature 2 23/05/2013 14:23 Page 69

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: LONDON BOROUGH OF NEWHAM

REGENERATING

NEWHAM THE 2012 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC GAMES PUT NEWHAM AND EAST LONDON IN THE INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT, HELPING TO PROPEL CHANGE AND IDEALLY PLACING NEWHAM TO ACCOMMODATE MUCH OF LONDON’S EASTWARDS GROWTH IN THE 21ST CENTURY.

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aving been seen as one of the most deprived areas in London, Newham is now known as the home of the 2012 Olympics through staging the event in Stratford. Nevertheless, it still has significant deprivation issues that require to be tackled. The coming of the Olympic Games was, believes Cllr Conor McAuley, Executive Member for Regeneration and Strategic Planning, partly due to the borough’s good transport links. These include a connection to the Jubilee Line in 1999 that enabled several sites to be opened up. “Without the transport links to Stratford, the Olympics wouldn’t have come here and may not have come to the UK,” he remarks. “There’s nowhere else in London we could have that level of connectivity without disrupting the city.” The end of the Olympics has left a legacy of sporting venues, a new royal park and a platform for new housing, business and development. It’s also created name recognition that attracts developers and has numerous benefits for the area. Cllr McAuley says: “Developers are working on sites adjacent to the Olympic Park but wouldn’t have come if it hadn’t been for the recognition. The River Lea area was an industrial corridor that’s suffered dereliction and the developments will knit together this part of east London.”

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Developments are part of the Stratford Master Plan that covers sites around the Olympic Park. These include the Carpenters Estate where there’s the real prospect of bringing academic institutions into the area. There’s also, as Cllr McAuley explains, the ‘Arc of Opportunity’ that starts at Stratford and works through the Lea Valley into the Royal Docks: “There are numerous key developments and an ambition to build 11,000 homes in Canning Town. “We’re on site in three of the areas in partnership with developers. As you go further south, you come into the Royal Docks where we already have the Excel Exhibition Centre and the Sphere. We’re creating a cluster of developments around the Royal Docks, which are largely economically based but with some residential elements. Some major developments are already in the pipeline to complete the Royal Docks and we have the University Of London campus and a growing city centre airport.” PROVIDING JOB OPPORTUNITIES The airport was the borough’s largest private sector employer until the Westfield Stratford shopping centre created 10,000 jobs, 2,000 of them for local residents. That’s important since the closure of the Royal Docks led to the disappearance of much industry from the Lea Valley and Stratford. “Our

“WE’RE CREATING A CLUSTER OF DEVELOPMENTS AROUND THE ROYAL DOCKS, WHICH ARE LARGELY ECONOMICALLY BASED BUT WITH SOME RESIDENTIAL ELEMENTS”

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LOCAL AUTHORITIES: LONDON BOROUGH OF NEWHAM

aim is to bring jobs back to this part of East London,” states Cllr McAuley. “It isn’t just about homes because jobs are just as important to us. We see our role as providing the opportunities and training for residents to get work and that’s been crucial to our economic and regeneration strategy.” It is a jobs-led regeneration that has been helped by the council forming property partnerships with developers and providing them with quick decisions, clear guidance and information. There’s also Workplace, the council’s job brokerage service which provides advice and training, making it easier for residents to find work and help employers source suitable staff.

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The efforts are succeeding and have led to the borough being nominated for the Council of the Year in the LGC Awards, winning the Efficiency, Tackling Fraud and Best Front Line Team categories and being highly commended for its Our Every Child programme. But the council’s Economic Development Strategy runs to 2027 and there’s still a lot to do. Cllr McAuley says: “We want to see an impact and the real issue for us is getting people to work by creating job opportunities. If we can ensure the current developments progress and get them working economically, that would be a real progress over the next five to ten years.” www.newham.gov.uk/regen/regeneration Tel: 020 84302000

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Newham Council :feature 2 23/05/2013 14:23 Page 71

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: LONDON BOROUGH OF NEWHAM

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Poggenpohl kitchens:feature 2 09/06/2013 11:04 Page 72

INTERIOR FIT-OUTS: POGGENPOHL

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INTERIOR FIT-OUTS: POGGENPOHL

AT THE

HEART OF THE HOME FOR 120 YEARS FOUNDED IN 1892 IN THE HEART OF GERMANY, POGGENPOHL IS THE OLDEST AND BEST-KNOWN KITCHEN BRAND IN THE WORLD

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or 120 years, Poggenpohl has been at the heart of the home - and the story of the German kitchen manufacturer is ever changing. The now world-renowned kitchen brand was founded in 1892 by the eponymous Friedemir Poggenpohl, whose vision was simply to ‘improve the kitchen’. This defining philosophy has remained at the core of what Poggenpohl do ever since, says Marketing Director Robert Laurie; “We’ve always pushed boundaries in terms of design, production, and even the materials that are used. Poggenpohl has always looked at complete living and kitchen solutions - it’s not just making kitchens, it’s changing the way we

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live.” He added, “Our guiding principle, which was set up by our founder, was to ‘improve the kitchen’, and that’s what we still work to – we’re always looking to develop and change things for the better.” Over its rich 120-year history, the company has overseen numerous dramatic changes to the kitchens it designs, both in terms of the equipment and furniture within, to a broader cultural perspective – with the very nature of ‘the kitchen’ being redefined. These days, the kitchen often serves as the hub of the home, a place to socialise, eat, work, and live – but this wasn’t always the case, explains Robert. “Some of our ideals about kitchens have changed, because our lifestyles have changed. The

kitchen has gone from being a small servants-only area at the back of the home, to now being the main family room within the house.” “The kitchen is no longer just a place where the housewife does the cooking, as it was in the 50s and 60s. Today we all lead very multi-functional lives, and a modern kitchen has to accommodate that,” says Robert. “Our way of addressing kitchen design takes all of this into account, and we try to make a kitchen feel much less like a working environment. It has to feel homely and comfortable, it’s really quite important to add a feel-good factor to a kitchen now.” Throughout its history, Poggenpohl has been on the cutting edge of kitchen culture, with many of its ideas effectively reinventing life in the kitchen. The

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INTERIOR FIT-OUTS: POGGENPOHL

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INTERIOR FIT-OUTS: POGGENPOHL

German company was the first in the world to introduce numerous innovations, which have since become the norm, such as white lacquer furniture, ergonomic worktop heights, and even the kitchen island. In 1970, the company showcased its revolutionary ‘experiment 70’, developed in conjunction with renowned Italian designer Luigi Colani, which truly showcased Poggenpohl’s dedication to innovation. “The Colani kitchen was a pod designed so someone sat on a stool in the middle, and everything was built around them. The entire kitchen surrounded the stool, and every object was to hand,” Robert explained. “It was all quite exciting and futuristic, and at the time, was seen as an ideal for the kitchen of the future. Of course, what wasn’t considered was that in our modern lifestyle, the kitchen

would become more of a social hub, not just a working environment.” While the Colani kitchen never quite came to fruition, it is all a part of the varied Poggenpohl story, with the company extremely proud of the abundant heritage, which has led them to this point. In fact, reaching this incredible 120-year milestone has enabled Poggenpohl to look back at their story so far. “We’ve had a look at where we stand in the market place, and we’ve had a chance to assess some of the things that are important to us and our customers,” says Robert. “Over the last 10 years or so we have focused on the top end of design work at Poggenpohl. We have really been pushing the envelope in this regard, and creating some very futuristic and stylish kitchens, which certainly are

“OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS OR SO WE HAVE FOCUSED ON THE TOP END OF DESIGN WORK AT POGGENPOHL”

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INTERIOR FIT-OUTS: POGGENPOHL desirable - but in a way that perhaps offers a little less relevance for your average family. In that way, we have slightly lost focus.” Throughout the years of innovation and creation, Poggenpohl has always maintained a reputation for producing a high-quality product as well. “It’s important that the furniture looks good, and it has to be reliable,” says Robert. “Reliability and consistency are two of the key ideals that we have when it comes to producing kitchens, and they are two of the hardest things to achieve.” This reputation has been with the company throughout its long back-story, and is something that Poggenpohl is keen to rediscover. “We’ve got a great reputation for producing well engineered, well designed kitchens that make peoples lives better. We’ve realised that’s what we’re really all about, and the high-end bits and pieces serve as the icing on the cake,” explained Robert. “Our work is still rooted in the fundamentals of good design and engineering, and we still focus on making kitchens that address people’s lives.” “With this landmark, we’ve had a chance to sit back and take stock, and actually we don’t want people to just think of us as a super-aspirational, highdesign, ultra-luxury brand,” says Robert. “We also have a lot to offer people who want to invest in genuine service, excellent design, and a top quality product – and we have that at a very affordable level. We believe that a Poggenpohl kitchen is as good quality kitchen as you can possibly buy anywhere.” Embracing this ideology, Poggenpohl has expanded its range of finishes in the lower price groups, in

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order to make its kitchens more accessible to new customers. Furthermore, a larger range means more choice for customers in the lower price groups too, says Robert; “With the lower price range products, you still get the high-design input – all the colours, textures and so on have still been created by the same designers who do the top end work - so you still get real Poggenpohl quality.” He added, “It’s good to remind ourselves of what we can do, and what we can offer

ents had Poggenpohl kitchens, and now they’re getting one of their own! It’s very reassuring for us, and something that is really very unique to Poggenpohl – so our history is linked to their family history. There’s a lovely connection there.” “120 years is a fantastic milestone for us, and it’s given us an opportunity to look back at what we’ve got, and to try and reaffirm our relationship with customers,” said Robert. “We’ve taken the opportunity

“OUR WORK IS STILL ROOTED IN THE FUNDAMENTALS OF GOOD DESIGN AND ENGINEERING, AND WE STILL FOCUS ON MAKING KITCHENS THAT ADDRESS PEOPLE’S LIVES” people. It’s a great opportunity for us to reassess and try to see ourselves as others see us.” As well as taking stock, Poggenpohl is using the 120-year landmark as an opportunity to rebrand, and refocus on its own history - as well as the collective history it shares with its customers. “Our rebranding picks up on this idea that we’ve become a bit warmer, and we are focusing on people giving a personal message about their relationship with Poggenpohl,” says Robert. “We get quite a lot of clients whose par-

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to reassess our own image of who we are, and we’ve realised that perhaps we do take things that are really quite special for granted, and that’s what we’re looking at a bit more now. Just because we do something every day, doesn’t mean it’s not special. All of our everyday work is something to be proud of, just as much as the high-design concepts we do as well.” www.poggenpohl.com Tel: 01727 738100

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BSES:feature 2 26/05/2013 10:34 Page 78

BUILDING SERVICES: B&ES

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BUILDING SERVICES: B&ES

FRESH APPROACHES: HVCA BECOMES B&ES

THE B&ES IS THE PREMIER PROFESSIONAL BODY FOR BUILDING ENGINEERING SERVICES CONTRACTORS

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he Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association (HVCA) has rebranded and is now known as the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES). The HVCA, established in 1904 as the National Association of Master Heating and Domestic Engineers, adopted the HVCA name in 1963. Bob Shelley, President of the HVCA comments, “Back then, of course, that’s exactly how the majority of the members would have described themselves – as h&v contractors – with the result that the name of their representative body accurately reflected the services they provided to the marketplace. “These days, however, things are very different. The term ‘h&v’ barely scratches the surface of the diverse, sophisticated and highly complex nature of the work our members now undertake. “Nor does it even hint at the increasingly central role they play in the integration of engineering services in buildings – and especially in the incorporation of the renewable technologies that are clearly here to stay in our increasingly environmentally-conscious age.

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“It is also the case that, today, our membership embraces many other specialisms – ventilation hygiene, heat pumps and facilities management, to name but a few – all of which sit comfortably under the ‘building and engineering services’ identity”. Looking to the future, Mr Shelley said, “Rebranding is just one element in a re-positioning exercise that will enable this Association to provide its members with a wider range of services, enhance its influence with Government, and provide a natural home for all building engineering services specialists. I am convinced that, as B&ES, we shall be ideally placed to become just such an organisation”. The B&ES identity was formally adopted in March. The organisation’s membership comprises over 1,500 companies with 2,000 offices throughout the UK, a combined turnover of in excess of £4 billion and a workforce of 55,000. Association members are subject to regular, third-party inspection and assessment of their technical competence and commercial capability. www.b-es.org Tel: 020 7313 4900

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BUILDING SERVICES: TIDYCO LTD

DELIVERING EXCELLENCE TIDYCO IS AN ESTABLISHED SUPPLIER OF HYDRAULIC AND PNEUMATIC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES, WITH OVER 30 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN THE INDUSTRY

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roviding a diverse yet integrated range of products and services benefits customers but can also generate extra income for different parts of a business. That’s what Tidyco discovered when its Hydraulics division undertook work on a flight simulator in Berlin and found cooling and ventilation was needed. “We undertook that project as well,” recalls Climate Control Division Manager David Hithersay. “We designed something in the UK and our hydraulics engineers went over and installed an air conditioning system. It was quite a simple job and the hardest part was the planning to make sure we had everything needed to complete the project.” Tidyco comprises three divisions, with Hydraulics manufacturing and distributing hydraulic and pneumatic components, Products being a distributor for a wide range of similar components and Climate Control designing, installing and maintaining industrial and commercial heating and air conditioning systems. That provides some synergy and many customers use all the services. The Climate Control division installs mainly for end users and handles reactive repairs, including a contract for a country-wide chain of nursing homes.

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But the big concentration is on planned maintenance and that necessitates a comprehensive IT system to schedule and control the work. David says: “We use the system to control the engineers and for them to complete documentation. Our system sends text messages to alert engineers of jobs and they use laptops to log on and off jobs to complete the paperwork. “All that is documented and customers have access to this information via an online portal. It’s all done electronically from the customer giving us the initial call right through to the engineer completing the job. A job sheet is emailed to the customer along with the invoice so it’s all automated.” The system allows all jobs to be controlled remotely, including reactive repair requests logged by customers. And the need to retain control means 85% of work is handled through the company’s own workforce and regular sub-contractors are only used to cover reactive work in remote areas. Despite the emphasis on preventative planned maintenance, there is a mix of work across the country for clients that range from maintenance in Bombardier train sheds, work which came through the Hydraulics division, to individual hair salons and retail outlets. “If they have an appliance we can service, we’ll do it,” claims David.

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BUILDING SERVICES: TIDYCO LTD Some projects are particularly challenging, such as the replacement of a 700 kilowatt gas powered handling unit at Leeds Bradford Airport. “It was on top of the terminal building,” recounts David. “We installed a new heat exchanger weighing about a tonne, craning the old unit off the roof and a new unit up there. There was the challenge of it being a working airport but it was an interesting job.” Those types of project require much planning, with another one due in August for Toyota when three large heat exchangers will require a crane to handle the lifting. Increasingly, the emphasis is on health and safety, with many companies requiring CHAS and Safecontractor accreditation for all suppliers. Having the product manufacturing and distribution businesses does keep the Climate Change division informed of technology changes. The Hydraulics division is a Parker Hannifin Hydraulics Technology Centre and so is high on the distributor network. There’s also a close relationship with various manufacturers and the company acts as service agents for some of them. EXCLUSIVE ACCESS With the current emphasis on the environment and energy saving, all installed heating equipment is ECA approved where possible and on the Carbon Trust’s Energy Technology List. David says: “We are looking at some heat pump technology and have two products on trial. One is a hot water cylinder with a built in integral heat pump that generates its own hot water. We have exclusive access to the products on trial and, if successful, we’ll be promoting them.” Although Tidyco hasn’t been proof against the recession, it held its own and, as David confirms, is looking forward to better times: “We are expanding and looking to strengthen our work force with some qualified engineers and adding to our customer service team. We concentrate a lot on customer service to ensure our customers keep coming to us.” www.tidyco.co.uk Telephone: 01332 851300

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Townley & hughes Co Ltd :feature 2 26/05/2013 11:26 Page 84

BUILDING SERVICES: TOWNLEY HUGHES & CO LTD

FROM

HEATING TO

HEALTHCARE FOR OVER 30 YEARS, TOWNLEY HUGHES & CO LTD HAVE SPECIALISED IN PROVIDING A VARIETY OF STATE OF THE ART MEDICAL ROOMS TO HOSPITALS ACROSS THE UK

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BUILDING SERVICES: TOWNLEY HUGHES & CO LTD

eeing operating theatres and other healthcare facilities in use is, according to Allan Waters, Managing Director of Townley Hughes, “somehow better than seeing a boiler turn on”. He does have the choice of either because his company started 45 years ago as a traditional heating and building services business and that still comprises 30% of the work. But for the last 30 years, the emphasis has changed to healthcare-focused work and that’s grown to be the main activity. “People get a real benefit from what we do,” Allan says, which is fitting out operating theatres, clean rooms, decontamination units, laboratories and similar facilities. The work is generally undertaken for NHS Trusts or private hospitals, mainly refurbishments of existing buildings and either as principal contractor or specialist sub-contractor. Work is undertaken all around the country, which means teams travelling to wherever projects are and Allan spending half his week in the South of England. “We’ve worked in most of the private hospitals in Central London at one point or another in the last twenty or thirty years,” he says. The specialist nature of the healthcare work means it’s largely handled in-house using multi-disciplinary teams that have the necessary knowledge

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and experience. The only outsourced aspect is the use of professional design firms that underwrite and carry the design liability for each project. That requires early input from Townley Hughes because the sequence of input into a new facility can determine the viability of the building in which the company is working. CHANGING REQUIREMENTS The use of design consultants is often crucial because they, the clients and specialist suppliers provide vital information on new products and technologies. Much of the larger and more complex equipment, such as MRI scanners, is sourced by clients and, as Allan recounts, Townley Hughes needs to be aware of changing requirements: “Some of them will require more cooling or power and we have to incorporate that and be mindful of that when we’re designing our engineering solutions to match it.” It is a market that has interesting projects, such as the installation of a decontamination unit at Arrow Park Hospital with Vinci. The £2 million contract created a unit to wash and disinfect operating theatre equipment and was fast-tracked due to its specialist nature. The company also completed a bone marrow transplant unit at a Central London hospital with infection control and the use of cutting

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edge technology, plus a cancer ward for the Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology. All projects present challenges but Allan insists the technical challenges are overcome reasonably easily and it’s the logistical challenges that present the real problems. “We are just completing a two and a half megawatt chiller change out at Wellington hospital, which is in Central London next to Lord’s Cricket Ground, for an American client,” he recalls. “As part of the job, we had to put air cool condensing units nine storeys up on a roof. That’s not out of the ordinary but what made it special was that we had to close off St John’s Wood Road and liaise for three months with Transport for London because we wanted to position our crane directly over one of the Underground tunnels. “We had to engage specialist structural engineers to make sure our crane wasn’t going to drop

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through into the tube line directly beneath. The chillers were manufactured in Italy, trucked over from there and delivered piecemeal so we had to carry the components into the hospital and build them on site. Working in Central London, you get used to working that way. We had to pay the chiller manufacturer £50,000 to break the chillers down before delivery and then we built them up again.” LOGISTICAL CHALLENGES The company undertakes a lot of work in Harley Street where there are many Grade 2 listed buildings. That means working with English Heritage, Westminster Council and the planning offices to make sure that, for example, installing an air handling unit on a roof won’t cause problems. Added to that is the fact that those buildings in Harley Street are all working hospitals and clinics,

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BUILDING SERVICES: TOWNLEY HUGHES & CO LTD so they all present logistical challenges of one type or another. Whilst the main emphasis is on clinical matters, there is still an increasing focus on energy and environmental issues. “We’ve undertaken some quite large CHP schemes and we’ve built medical centres with renewables such as solar PV,” confirms Allan. “That applies especially to the smaller standalone primary medical centres where a group of doctors form a partnership and develop a centre. They know there are incentives and sometimes it’s imperative to have energy high on the list, otherwise they won’t get planning permission. We do work in that area but it’s not where this business is mainly focused although it applies more to the traditional heating and building services side.” ECONOMIC SITUATION The nature of the healthcare market means quality and compliance are more important than price. Nevertheless, the economic situation has hit margins although Townley Hughes has managed to maintain its market share and turnover levels. Allan now senses a loosening of the purse strings and believes the situation is improving. “We’re a busy company and, moving forward over the next twelve months, we’ve secured some large orders,” he says. “We’re doing an extra care nursing home in North Wales through a housing association, a large new build project, and we’re doing some operating theatres and diagnostic treatment centres, an MRI facility, a very large job in south Manchester. “We’ve found recently that the quality and quantity of the inquiries we’re receiving has risen and we feel that’s the result of the natural selection that’s taken place. Staying abreast of the ongoing developments is a goal and we’ve found we’ve had to move technologically as part of our internal set up. We’ve implemented new computer systems and we share information on a wider basis with consultants, customers and others. One of our goals is to streamline the business in the way we transmit and share information.” Tel: 0151 3571800

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safeguard:feature 2 25/05/2013 12:55 Page 90

BUILDING SERVICES: SAFEGUARD GROUP

IN SAFE HANDS THE SAFEGUARD GROUP HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED IN OLDHAM FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS AND IS A LEADING SUPPLIER OF OLIS AND PRECISION PRODUCTS FOR THE AIR CONDITIONING, COMMERCIAL REFRIGERATION AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRIES

“I

t’s one person to shout at,” proclaims Business Development Manager Kristina Atkins. That’s because the Safeguard Group provides a comprehensive service so its customers don’t have to deal separately with the various trades involved in an installation. But there isn’t much shouting because the company has good communications, a skilled workforce and a reputation as a market leader. The Safeguard Group is described as a supplier of products to the air conditioning, commercial refrigeration and hospitality industries. It’s actually much more than that because it also specialises in LED lighting, fabricates stainless steel, provides drainage and facilities management services, undertakes interior fit-outs and maintains equipment. That’s where the comprehensive service comes in and it’s largely developed to meet customers’ needs.

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Those customers include schools, care homes and domestic properties but a big focus is on hospitality and leisure, which has particular challenges for installation and maintenance. “Anything you see in a restaurant or bar, we can do,” claims Kristina. “We often work early mornings and late nights when restaurants are closed. For preventative maintenance, we go in early before they switch on the cooking equipment and have an out of hours emergency service. We attend within four hours for reactive repairs because, if it’s a weekend or they’ve just had a delivery and the refrigerator goes down, they can lose a lot of money.” One of the biggest customers is TGI Friday, where Safeguard handles all reactive repairs from the air conditioning and refrigeration units to changing light bulbs. And those bulbs tend to be LEDs because Safeguard is a green company, has developed its own LED bulbs and headquarters in the UK’s only fully LED lit building.

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BUILDING SERVICES: SAFEGUARD GROUP The company’s green agenda extends to re-using existing equipment where appropriate, otherwise reconditioning and recycling or reclaiming components. With companies using equipment longer in the current economic situation, there’s a big push to educate clients on the value of preventative maintenance. “If you’re not looking after equipment and your condenser is blocked, your refrigerator works harder and uses more energy,” explains Kristina. “The energy companies dictate how much they charge but their customers can dictate how much they use by changing to LED lighting and maintaining equipment. It’s just about education.” EDUCATION PROJECT That principle of education applied equally to a local school, as Kristina recalls: “We monitored the halogen lighting and the children reported daily costs. Then we changed to LED lighting and they produced a report on cost savings. Now the school is looking to have the whole lighting changed and it’s been awarded ambassador status as an eco school.” The company’s headquarters showcases what can be done, with low energy use throughout. The unit has developed ten-fold since opening and the hope is it will continue to grow. “We have a fantastic team with an eclectic array of skills,” says Kristina. “We’re working on that to see where else it can take us and planning to work with more local authorities, schools and other establishments.” www.safeguard.uk.com Tel: 0161 6262202

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MSC news:feature 2 26/05/2013 10:41 Page 92

BUILDING SERVICES: MICROGENERATION CERTIFICATION SCHEME

FEARS OVER CORNWALL SOLAR FARM ‘GOLD RUSH’ IN 2009 Cornwall Council portrayed the county as a ‘sweetie shop’ for renewable energy. The authority said it was ‘preparing for a solar power gold rush’ and forecast that developments in this technology could lead to up to £1bn of investment. The council has now approved nearly 50 solar farms covering more than 1,600 acres. But concerns have been raised that the ‘gold rush’ is trampling local communities. Cornwall’s first commercial solar farm was built at a disused tin mine at Wheal Jane near Truro. It was switched on in 2011 and its 5,680 solar panels produce enough electricity to power about 430 homes. But it is dwarfed by some of the more recently built solar farms and those in the pipeline. Planning permission has just been given for Cornwall’s largest solar farm so far, covering more than 130 acres at Maxworthy near Launceston. Two other schemes, including one for a solar farm at Sweetshouse near Bodmin were refused because of the impact on the areas. They were the first refusals of solar farms by the Conservative-Independent led unitary authority. Cornwall Council did not have any figures for the amount of investment in solar farms so far, but according to the Renewable Energy Association, there are nearly 450 renewable energy companies in the region, turning over ‘close to £1bn’.

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Regen SW, an independent sustainable energy centre, estimates in its 2012 report that the electricity production capacity of solar farms in the region is now at least 75 megawatts – enough to power about 15,750 South West homes. Regen said more than 2,000 people were employed in the solar energy businesses in the region out of a total of nearly 10,000 in renewable electricity. The total number of solar projects in the South West, including small-scale domestic, increased from 7,500 in 2010/2011 to almost 55,000 in 2011/2012. Overall, renewable energy now contributed about 5.5% of electricity demand in the South West, lower than than the national figure of 11%. It expects the growth in solar to continue as costs continue to fall. Chief executive Merlin Hyman said using renewable energy was ‘common sense’ in the face of rising costs, volatility in supplies and falling reserves of fossil fuels. ‘In the West Country, we have some of the best resources of renewable energy in the UK,” he said. “They are also more likely to create jobs and keep income in the local economy. “Solar has a role to play, but it is important the developments go in the right places and do not conflict with agricultural use and go through proper scrutiny.” He added: "We shall start to see more turned down because the obvious spaces are starting to be used up.

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“The technology might develop too so we could see more being incorporated into buildings such as at the top of car parks.” Good Energy said its plans were at a ‘scoping’ stage, to assess the Maxworthy site’s technical suitability. It said that it was an ‘ethical company’ and felt ‘very passionate’ about local people’s views, The firm said it wanted to create more ‘positivity’ about renewable energy and had offered people living near its Delabole wind farm in Cornwall a 20% discount if they switched electricity suppliers to Good Energy. Kronos declined to comment after the planning decision. Cornwall Council said: “The ‘sweet shop’ presentation highlights the opportunities for Cornwall to take forward the green agenda – not a promotion of Cornwall to developers. “Individual planning applications are carefully assessed to ensure that their impact on residential amenity, landscape/visual, amenity of visitors and other factors is acceptable. “Should issues arise from construction or operational noise, this would be dealt with.” Howard Roberts, chairman of Lanlivery Parish Council, which objected to the Sweetshouse scheme, said: “We can’t have these giant industrialisations of the fields. “Let’s hope the council will start refusing more of these because we can’t go on and on.”


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BUILDING SERVICES: MICROGENERATION CERTIFICATION SCHEME

NHBC MVHR CONSULTATION NHBC are developing a new Standards Chapter for Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems setting out appropriate benchmarks and guidance for design, materials and installation. NHBC, with support from a Task Group of ‘industry experts’ have

identified key areas for consideration when using MVHR systems and in our house style have developed appropriate benchmarks and guidance. The new standards should help industry to consistently achieve satisfactory performance, long term durability and ultimately homeowner satisfaction.

MID DEVON TOP HOMES SOLAR PANELS TABLE SOLAR panels have been fitted to more homes in a part of Devon than anywhere else in England, Scotland and Wales, according to official statistics. About 8% of homes in Mid Devon have panels compared with about 1.4% in England. The figures showed 362,000 homes have installed solar panels in England, Scotland and Wales since April 2010. Five of the top 10 areas for solar panels are in the South West, said the government. Renewable energy organisation Regen South West said relatively high sunshine levels in the South West explained the figures. Chief executive Merlin Hyman said: “You get a better rate of return if there is more sun. “But I’m a little surprised to see that Mid Devon leads the table because the highest rates of return are on the coast where coastal

PV INSTALLATIONS PER 10,000 HOUSEHOLDS Mid Devon: Wrexham: South Hams: North Somerset: South Cambridgeshire: South Norfolk: West Oxfordshire: Isles of Scilly: Monmouthshire: Torridge:

787 552 476 451 445 430 420 413 409 402

breezes cool the panels and make them more efficient.” Consultants WSP Energy said in a report on the figures: “Live in Cornwall or south Wales and you receive much more sunshine than northern Scotland. “The weather’s better and also the sun’s rays are stronger further south. So you’d expect these sunniest places to be the areas that have the highest number of installations.”

RHI UPDATE - DECC ANNOUNCEMENT Following on from the consultation on scheme design in September last year, the Government will confirm how a RHI for householders will work and publish the tariff levels in Summer 2013. It is expected that the scheme will be up and running for householders in Spring 2014. The Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme is being extended until the end of March 2014, ahead of the launch of the RHI for householders. This scheme, first launched in July 2011, offers

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money off the cost of renewable heating kit such as biomass boilers, solar thermal panels and heat pumps and is largely targeted at those living off the gas grid. The scheme was due to close at the end of March 2013. It should be noted that even though the RHPP scheme is being extended, householders who applied before 31 March 2013 must redeem their voucher by their stated voucher expiry date or 31 March 2013 (whichever is sooner).

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British Gas :feature 2 29/05/2013 11:46 Page 94

BUILDING SERVICES: BRITISH GAS SOLAR

POWER TO THE PEOPLE BRITISH GAS SOLAR IS THE UK’S LEADING PROVIDER OF BUILDING INTEGRATED PV (BIPV) AND RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS, ENSURING CONSISTENT DELIVERY OF FIRST-CLASS PROJECTS BY CONTINUING TO BREAK NEW GROUND IN THEIR DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES

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BUILDING SERVICES: BRITISH GAS SOLAR

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pplying rigid quality and health and safety procedures provides obvious benefits for a company’s customers because they are assured of a safe and high quality installation. But it can impose a level of cost that smaller rivals with lower standards may not have, which is why British Gas Solar doesn’t compete purely on price and focuses mainly on larger sized opportunities that offer economies of scale. Although British Gas Solar has only operated under its current name since 2010, it has been specialising in photovoltaics for almost two decades in various guises. “We were bought by British Gas in 2008 as part of its investment in companies that provide low carbon and renewable technology solutions,” recalls Head of Business Development Simon Baggaley. “We are a key player in the commercial solar market but we actually do the full range of domestic, commercial and large scale solar. We have completed a number of landmark projects, including the roof of City

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Hall in London, one of the first really large scale ground mounts of 4.1 megawatts at Toyota’s plant in Derbyshire and a number of local authority and social housing schemes.” The company has evolved over the years to focus on solar PV and solar thermal but has the support of additional resources throughout the rest of British Gas that can enable mixed technology schemes to be delivered. These, as Simon recounts, include Econergy, a sister company that specialises in renewable heat installations including heat pumps and biomass: “We do some joint project work with them and have a scheme in Walsall for a combined solar PV and heat pump installation, which I think is the first in the country for a residential tower block. The PV provides the electricity to run the heat pumps. We also have solar thermal running alongside the biomass at another site in Walsall.” There are other benefits from being part of British Gas, particularly its obligations to the government to reduce fuel poverty and improve the

“WE ARE A KEY PLAYER IN THE COMMERCIAL SOLAR MARKET BUT WE ACTUALLY DO THE FULL RANGE OF DOMESTIC, COMMERCIAL AND LARGE SCALE SOLAR” SIMON BAGGALEY HEAD OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

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BUILDING SERVICES: BRITISH GAS SOLAR energy efficiency of property. That has provided funding for some of the work British Gas Solar undertakes, particularly some of the social housing projects. The company gains some of its work through various British Gas contacts, including British Gas Business on the commercial side and the team of Energy Experts that advises domestic customers on insulation, energy efficiency, and undertakes solar surveys where appropriate. For commercial customers, an initial enquiry leads to a two stage process. “We’ll do a desktop analysis using tools like Google Earth to look at the roof, or an examination of the building drawings for new build” explains Simon. “We make sure it’s pointing in the right direction and work out its size. Based on that, we can give the customer an estimate and a feasibility study of what PV can provide

CASE STUDY: TOYOTA A turnkey project provided the UK’s first large-scale factory-connected solar PV installation at one of Toyota’s first European Model Sustainable Plant at Burnaston in Derbyshire. It comprises almost 17,000 PV modules, 240 inverters and 140 kilometres of cabling and associated high voltage works, providing up to 5% of Toyota’s site electrical consumption. The ground mount system is forecast to generate 3,745 megawatt hours and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 2,000 tonnes annually. The funded project enables Toyota to receive all the electricity generated while the funding vehicle takes the feed-in tariff revenue. Changes to the feed-in tariff for large-scale systems in early 2011 required the project to be completed in less than four months from approval to installation and commissioning, with a ten-week construction programme. British Gas Solar undertook the full site development, including environmental studies and planning support, and continues to operate and maintain the installation under a long-term maintenance contract. At the same time, British Gas Solar installed a number of building integrated PV systems at the Burnaston plant. These included a 26.46 kWp (kilowatt peak ) Brise Soleil using standard modules, a 12.36 kWp PV glass curtain wall to the building’s main staircase and a 7.5 kWp PV glass canopy that provides charging for electric vehicles. The company undertook the complete design and installation, including specification of the bespoke glass PV laminates and design of the structural elements.

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for them. If they take it further, we’ll do a site visit and have a closer look at the roof. We’ll see what the access requirements are, what the electrical installation or existing electrical infrastructure is like, if there are any issues with shading or roof type and then provide them with a firm quote based on that.” LARGE SCALE DEVELOPMENTS The company undertook installations on about 3,000 domestic properties in the last two years and continues to serve individual houses, offices, factories and schools. But it has expanded its focus on large scale

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developments, whether retrofit or new build, and include social housing schemes and a big schools programme that covered 105 schools last year with a similar number scheduled for this year. It can also deliver funded propositions for commercial customers, with the finance provided by partner companies. British Gas Solar has a number of accreditations and certifications including MCS and Renewable Energy Assurance accreditation underpinning the quality of its installations and delivery processes. It’s also a member of the Competent Person Scheme and has CHAS accreditation for health and safety

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British Gas :feature 2 09/06/2013 10:49 Page 101

BUILDING SERVICES: BRITISH GAS SOLAR purposes. The latter is particularly relevant for a company that frequently works at height and installs equipment on roofs. The health and safety culture is further underpinned by the breadth of British Gas’s large health and safety team. Keeping in touch with technology that’s constantly changing is crucial to a company that aims to provide the most efficient and innovative solutions for customers. Simon says: “We work with a number of key suppliers, some of the larger players in the industry, and only use tier-1 equipment. We are keeping abreast of innovation, including some trials of hybrid PV and thermal technology and also the potential for energy storage. We’re always on the lookout for new innovative developments that will provide a benefit for our customers.”

TO ENABLE IT TO CARRY OUT THE WORK EFFICIENTLY AND WELL, BRITISH GAS SOLAR HAS MCS AND RENEWABLE ENERGY ASSURANCE ACCREDITATION FOR DOMESTIC CUSTOMERS

LONG TERM GROWTH Changes are ongoing and British Gas Solar has plans for the next twelve months and beyond that are based on growing the business sustainably. “We’re in this for the long term, not just to make short-term gains,” claims Simon. “Whereas some companies will effectively buy business to fill a short term gap, we’re taking a much longer term view. We are looking specifically at working with larger and small scale commercial installations. We’re very interested in multi-site commercial and expanding further in domestic and social housing.” www.britishgas.co.uk/business/productsand-services/renewable-generation.html Tel: 0845 0751287

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eco power innovations :feature 2 31/05/2013 11:10 Page 102

BUILDING SERVICES: ECO POWER INNOVATIONS

100% CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

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hilst some people believe changes to the feed-in tariff have lessened its attractions, that couldn’t be further from the truth and Eco Power Innovations’ Managing Director Gordon MacDougall has undiminished faith in the arrangement. “People don’t appreciate the returns they can get,” he says. “They are still fantastic, even though the feed-in tariff has reduced, because the price of installations is considerably cheaper. We are starting to put this message across to many in the commercial sector. They are amazed when they see the savings in energy and often don’t realise they’re also paid for the electricity they generate.” He’s so convinced of the viability of solar power that his company concentrates solely on it. The focus is mainly on commercial installations, which make up 70% of the turnover, because they’re more costeffective due to the size of the installations and commercial organisations burning energy all day. Installing solar panels is still, Gordon confirms, a very attractive proposition: “You can make a 12% return and the panels we’re using now are even

ECO POWER INNOVATIONS DESIGN INSTALL AND MAINTAIN SOLAR PV SYSTEMS FOR COMMERCIAL, INDUSTRIAL AND DOMESTIC MARKETS

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BUILDING SERVICES: ECO POWER INNOVATIONS better than they were a year ago because they can operate with less light. We have even seen a snow covered system produce electricity.” So the company is fully geared up to solar PV, conducting a full site survey to ensure the roof is suitable for panels in terms of aspect and strength. That results in a proposal setting out all costs and an accurate indication of returns and benefits. Every proposal is signed off by a director and all installations are undertaken by the company’s own workforce and backed by the REAL insurance scheme. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION The approach has resulted in 100% customer satisfaction so far and a growing market. Most installations are retrofit although increasing interest from architects opens up the likelihood of new build work. The scope for this is all the greater because Eco Power Innovations has no restrictions on the size of its installations, being one only of few installers in Scotland allowed to install systems over four kilowatts. Although other forms of renewable energy have been considered and may be again, they aren’t deemed to offer the benefits of solar power. Wind power, for example, is unreliable and can suffer from turbine or blade failure while solar power has no moving parts to go wrong. “The solar panels are cheaper to install and far easier to maintain, so it’s an all round better deal,” claims Gordon. “They are self-maintaining and the ones we use are very robust and have a glass face so the rain cleans them.” The target market is largely commercial and industrial properties, although domestic installations still account for a proportion of the workload, with both benefiting from having buildings with large roofs and being heavy energy users. A recent installation has been at a fruit farm in Forfar, where the customer was delighted with the smoothness of the

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installation, the appearance of the units and particularly the resulting payback. That’s partly because the system uses the latest panels that have been proven all around Europe although installed by Eco Power Innovations for the first time. Gordon says: “The panels have had two inches of snow on them and still produced electricity. The light will get through and it’s light rather than heat that’s needed. They deliver extremely high yields because of their spectre-sensitivity and excellent low light performance. They’re not affected as much by shading so they can go in less favourable locations and, whereas heavy shading on a panel for some systems knocks out the whole array, with our panels the rest still operate and only the shaded panel is affected, so they’re far more robust.”

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The panels are supplied by Saint Gobain, parent company of Jewson and Graham, using the latest CIS technology to produce high performance without a premium price. Although they’re not the only panels used by Eco Power Innovations, they fit in with its policy of only using top quality panels and inverters manufactured mainly in Germany. The Forfar installation has generated many enquiries that are adding to the amount of work coming in. The expansion has led to the company moving into new offices and is driven by a combination of factors that include recommendations from satisfied customers, a reduction of ‘cowboy operators’ in the market and the returns that can be achieved. However, Gordon’s message is that those interested in installing panels should act quickly because the current tariff won’t last forever.

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In the meantime, the plan is to make the most of the current situation. Gordon says: “We’re specialists in solar PV and there’s plenty of room for expansion. Once we reach the maximum work in that area, we might start looking at other forms of renewables. But at present Solar PV is the most economical, reliable and provides the biggest returns. A lot of work has come through word of mouth but we’re starting a heavy advertising campaign to increase the turnover. Up to now, all our work has come from customers who know we’re better than most, know that we use good products and we give people realistic expectations of the returns they will achieve.” www.e-pi.co.uk Tel: 0141 4283157

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SMS:feature 2 15/05/2013 15:55 Page 106

BUILDING SERVICES: SMS TECHNOLOGY

EXCEPTIONAL

SERVICE SMS ARE BUILDING SERVICES ENGINEERS SPECIALISING IN THE DESIGN, BUILD AND MAINTENANCE OF ELECTRICAL, PLUMBING, HEATING, VENTILATING AND AIR CONDITIONING SERVICES.

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MS Technology is a specialist mechanical and electrical building maintenance company providing design, build and renewable technology. The company prides itself on providing exceptional, personal service that is uniquely tailored to the individual needs of the client and the project. This offer is for all customers – big or small. A key part of the service provided by SMS Technology is its planned maintenance. Planned maintenance is essential to minimise energy usage and to reduce the risk of plant and equipment failure. Regular maintenance extends plant life and ensures a safe and comfortable working environment for staff and visitors. SMS Technology offers the full range of maintenance services to all building owners and managers either as part of a contract package or on a call out basis. The company operates in all sectors including the domestic market and can provide emergency support twenty-four-seven, seven days per week. The operation is supported by a small works and contracts team, backed up by technical staff and managers. Help and technical assistance is just a phone call away. Services include boiler maintenance, gas safety checks, gas and oil appliances, industrial space heaters, ventilation, air conditioning, heat pumps, potable fire extinguishers, NICEIC inspection and testing, fire/smoke alarms, emergency lighting, and portable appliance testing.

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SMS:feature 2 15/05/2013 15:55 Page 107

BUILDING SERVICES: SMS TECHNOLOGY SMS Technology’s service and maintenance division provides HVAC, electrical and plumbing services, as well as renewable technologies for the domestic, commercial and industrial markets both in the UK and overseas. At home, at the office or in the factories, safe and efficient working of heating and electrical services is a must to: comply with legislation, reduce unwanted emissions, and minimise energy bills. The company offers a full range of services for home owners, landlords and property managers for planned maintenance programs or emergency callout for that failed boiler. Other services include electrical testing, fault finding or certification, gas testing, commissioning of heat pumps, boilers and air conditioning. SMS Technology has qualified technicians and in house engineering support. They are only a phone call away. SMS Technology has also grown its reputation within the renewables market, providing a range of green and environmentally efficient technologies such as ground-source heat pumps, wind turbines, solar panels, and air-source heat pumps. With the company’s experience as building engineers, customers can rest assured they are employing a competent, qualified, knowledgeable service provider. Indeed, SMS Technologies’ building services engineers specialise in the design, build and maintenance of all electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilating and air conditioning needs. www.smstechnology-uk.com Tel: 01698 200110

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SMS TECHNOLOGY SERVICES BUILDING SERVICES 4HVAC 4Mechanical 4Plumbing 4Electrical 4Design & Build 4Service and maintenance 4Contracts 4Jobbing 4Emergency call out

MAINTENANCE SERVICES 4Boiler maintenance 4Gas safety checks 4Gas and oil appliances 4Industrial space heaters 4Ventilation 4Air conditioning 4Heat pumps 4Potable fire extinguishers 4NIC/EIC inspection and testing 4Fire / Smoke Alarms 4Emergency lighting 4Portable appliance testing

“WE PRIDE OURSELVES ON THE PROFESSIONAL, TECHNICAL AND MANAGERIAL SUPPORT WE OFFER OUR CUSTOMERS”

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H & S :feature 2 09/06/2013 11:59 Page 108

PAINTING AND DECORATING: H&S DECORATING SPECIALISTS

THE PROFESSIONAL DECORATING COMPANY DESPITE THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN, H&S DECIDED THE TIME WAS RIGHT FOR SOME REDECORATION OF ITS OWN. AFTER 25 YEARS IN BUSINESS, IT IS LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE WITH A NEW BRAND IDENTITY AND EVEN GREATER CONFIDENCE IN ITS ABILITY TO DELIVER QUALITY ON TIME, EVERY TIME.

A

s a business evolves, its appearance to the outside world sometimes gets left behind. This proved the case at H&S — an in-depth evaluation concluded that the company branding and communication materials were underselling the company and not effectively promoting its successes. It looked oldfashioned and the company ethos, expressed through its ‘The Professional Decorating Company’ strapline, wasn’t clearly understood. It was, ironically, the economic downturn that prompted this positive action, as MD Michael Higgins confirms: “Difficult economic conditions make you think about what you’re doing and where you’re going. We’ll be in a stronger position for the challenges of the upturn.” The line ‘The Professional Decorating Company’ is much more than a few words on a brochure. According to Michael: “I’ve always known what it means but we haven’t really explained it. We singlemindedly apply the standards of a profession to a trade. There’s a huge difference between hiring a trade and delivering the end product.” The core management team has been with the company for years and everyone shares these val-

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ues, ensuring H&S always delivers what it promises. Corners are never cut, cheap materials aren’t used and attention to detail is paramount at every stage of a job. The task for H&S was to project the brand proposition through its communications. REBRANDING The solution was a rebranding of the company — initially via a new logo and website, clearly demonstrating the strengths and capabilities of the three H&S divisions. H&S Commercial tackles decorating tasks for commercial organisations and, although the demands of each may vary, they’re approached the same to achieve the required outcome — a highly satisfied client. H&S Rail &Transport has the industrial painting and organisational skills to work in this sector and ensures work is done safely and efficiently, even under the most difficult conditions. H&S Maintenance has grown from the company being asked to maintain property it decorated and now offers clients a one-stop shop

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PAINTING AND DECORATING: H&S DECORATING SPECIALISTS

for the refurbishment and maintenance of their property. Recent projects that stand out include Quintiles and Equinox Gym, which have both been shortlisted for the PDA awards, and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, a major refurbishment completed recently in a narrow time frame between shows. The company has also completed major works at Dalston Curve on the London Overground and West Kensington on London Underground, and is currently working on the new T2 building at Heathrow. The work tackled by each division is a source of real pride for Michael: “We aim to be the best at what we do but can always do better. We wouldn’t stay in business long if we didn’t do the job properly and I’m obsessive about attention to detail. Delivering quality on time, every time is crucial. H&S is a business built on repeat purchase and every job, large or small, is part of a bigger longterm relationship.” The impression is of a confident and forward looking business with a clear vision of where it’s going and how to get there. After 25 years of operation, the ambition and drive remain together with an eagerness to forge even stronger relationships with clients. hsgroup.co.uk 01753 654123

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ISA:feature 2 30/05/2013 17:31 Page 110

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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HEALTH AND SAFETY: INTERNATIONAL SAFETY AWARDS

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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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HEALTH AND SAFETY: INTERNATIONAL SAFETY AWARDS

“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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HEALTH AND SAFETY: INTERNATIONAL SAFETY AWARDS

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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BAE Systems :feature 2 22/05/2013 16:46 Page 114

HEALTH AND SAFETY: BAE SYSTEMS UK MUNITIONS

SAFETY A WAY OF LIFE HEALTH AND SAFETY IS IN THE CULTURE AT BAE SYSTEMS UK MUNITIONS WHICH IS WHY THEY’VE WON A MERIT IN THE INTERNATIONAL SAFETY AWARDS FOR ITS WASHINGTON SITE

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“S

afety is a way of life at UK Munitions,” proclaims Head of Health and Safety, Ian Smith. “That’s why we have our Start Safe, Talk Safe, Home Safe initiative. We want people to come to work safely and talk about safety all the time so it’s in the culture when they’re at work. Through working correctly, they go home safely, including their travel, so it’s the whole cycle.” It’s an approach that’s led to BAE Systems UK Munitions winning a Merit in the International Safety Awards for its new Washington production facility after three wins at its previous Birtley site. And the move to the new site, as well as others at Radway Green and Bishopton, has presented opportunities to improve both operational and health and safety procedures even further. BAE Systems UK Munitions is a worldwide operation with over 1,300 employees, producing a range of munitions on a global basis amounting to £300 million of annual sales. It operates from six sites across the UK, has the Ministry of Defence as

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BAE Systems :feature 2 22/05/2013 16:46 Page 115

HEALTH AND SAFETY: BAE SYSTEMS UK MUNITIONS its largest customer and deals with equivalent organisations in other countries. The nature of the products means the company is heavily regulated, with two sites coming under Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) regulations, and has a big emphasis on safety. Ian says: “We have an excellent safety record but we aren’t complacent and we continually focus on safety. Throughout the company as a whole, we have a global safety campaign called ‘Think Safety First, Everyone’s Responsibility’. But within UK Munitions, we also have a cultural behavioural safety programme covering the three elements of working, talking and getting home safely.” The move from Birtley to Washington is part of a five-year transformation of munitions sites. It necessitated the addition of a ‘Move Safe’ strand that ensured no lost time accidents during the process and continued a record of over two years and more than one million hours without such an CONTINUED ON PAGE 1194

“WE WANT PEOPLE TO COME TO WORK SAFELY AND TALK ABOUT SAFETY ALL THE TIME SO IT’S IN THE CULTURE WHEN THEY’RE AT WORK” IAN SMITH HEAD OF HEALTH AND SAFETY

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: BAE SYSTEMS UK MUNITIONS accident. It also led to the development of a £75 million state-of-the-art forging, machining and treatment facility to manufacture shell bodies, replacing one that’s been operational since World War One. BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS The new building, as Health and Safety Manager Lee Ferguson recalls, provided plenty of opportunity for improvement: “We have a BREEAM very good rating and we have reduced our wet paint facilities to powder paint, which eliminates waste. We have a denim water regeneration unit for recycling and we’ve reduced our water, electricity and gas usage as well as waste. We had many challenges, the biggest ones being logistics and unfamiliarity with different areas that were still under CDM. “We’re trying to educate people’s safety behaviour because some colleagues worked at Birtley for many years and transferred to a new site with different hazards, moving plant in and the logistics for lorry movements. So we’ve tried to get them involved from the start and identify hazards. We’ve introduced probably 80% of new processes to reduce the risk we had at Birtley by removing dangerous substances, reducing forklift truck movement by 90%, replacing dangerous with non-dangerous chemicals and taking 80% of manual handling out of the production line.” Whilst the overall aim was to ensure the best safety practices employed at Birtley were transferred to Washington, the new factory also presented the opportunity to start afresh with operational measures

rather than being constrained by a facility that had developed piecemeal over almost one hundred years. The process was sufficiently successful to achieve a merit level in the International Safety Awards. “It’s a very prestigious award from a respected body in the industry,” remarks Lee. “The best thing about it is we can benchmark ourselves against similar and different industries and see how they rate.” NOTIFICATION SYSTEM With the new facility now fully operational, safety remains of prime importance and is driven to a large degree by OSHENS (Occupational Safety, Health and Environmental Notification System), which focuses on near misses and aims to prevent accidents. It’s an electronic system that records and tracks incidents, investigations and actions, identifies trends and enables performance to be improved and reported. Coming out of that is Talk Safe, with 25% of the workforce being Talk Safe practitioners who engage with other workers to discuss problems issues, identified hot topics and anything raised by any participant to get the safety message across. The whole safety principle applies not only to BAE Systems own employees but also to every site visitor who receives a full safety briefing and to contractors that undergo a rigorous approval process before they’re engaged. This includes ensuring they have a proper safety management system, checking their safety record and generally making sure their health and safety standards are equal to those required on site.

OPPORTUNITY Moving to Washington gave the opportunity to audit current practices and improve them where possible. That, as Ian emphasises, is something that will continue even after the move: “It’s all about continuous improvement and not being complacent. That’s why we look at other companies because any good safety idea is worth using. It’s a two way thing and we get a lot of external visits at different sites due to our reputation for being excellent at safety so other companies want to benchmark us.” Lee adds: “Our main target for 2013 is to have zero accidents and by 2018 to have no workplace injuries. We’ve addressed the bigger issues and now we’re focusing on near misses and smaller injuries, changing people’s behaviour with regards to them. We also have a big programme focus on occupational hygiene and we’ve put a lot of emphasis on biological and work place monitoring, looking at night shift work and manual handling, which all affect our employees. On the environmental side, we’re looking to reduce our raw material usage and our emissions. “We’re an exemplar safety company and constantly improve safety, health and environmental matters. We want to be leaders in health, safety and environment and we want people to come to us as the benchmark to help set their standards similar to how we work.” www.baesystems.com Tel: 01622 689501

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KN Network Services :feature 2 30/05/2013 17:20 Page 120

HEALTH AND SAFETY: KN NETWORK SERVICES

A

THE LEADING PROVIDER OF

INFRASTRUCTURE

SOLUTIONS

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successful, dynamic company with a track record supporting Telecoms, Transport, Energy and Construction sectors in Ireland and the UK for over thirty years. “Safety is at the top of our agenda and is client critical for the sectors we are in,” states Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Manager Lucy Rice. This reflects in KN continuing its record of winning Merit and passing in the International Safety Awards this year. And that’s despite operating in the high risk environment of providing infrastructure and utilities services, mainly to BT, the London Underground and Network Rail. “We are fortunate to have a number of employees who have worked for us for years who mentor new staff and most importantly have strong relationships between us (HSEQ), which most certainly helps in driving home our message of making sure our guys get home safe every day,” Lucy says. “I believe it is very important that relationships are built between HSEQ and the site employees and they see us as people who they can speak to freely and confide in. “We work traffic hours, engineering hours or possession hours on the Underground, which is day or night. During the day, the trains are running and we might be working near the track, installing cable route management systems, structural bases and posts or clearing vegetation. In engineering hours, we go on the track, possibly in tunnels, in confined spaces or high risk areas such as shafts and pump rooms to carry out our works. We ensure a safety system of work is in place including risk assessments and operatives are competent and properly trained before being sent out.” Being properly trained includes ensuring there’s a site person in charge (SPC) who has successfully completed a

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: KN NETWORK SERVICES thorough KN internal assessment process and is mentored before being allowed on site. Each job starts with an explanation from the project manager and a review of the site file, which is formally signed off with a declaration to confirm everything is understood. That’s necessary because the person has to be fully prepared for every job and know exactly what’s involved. An example, as Lucy explains, is when working on the London Underground: “You must have access numbers (SABRE), have a Protection Master, the right certification and PPE. There are many mandatory requirements and you need certain certifications such as the basic LUCAS Card (Access card), have your safe system of work in place and all the forms and paperwork needed in your site folder.” The process is more rigorous than for regular construction sites, with stringent safety checks and risk assessments, various tool and plant registers, noise and vibration monitoring, frequent toolbox talks, client safety alerts and ensuring the working party does everything correctly. “It’s a tough job for our employees but they do it well,” confirms Lucy. SAFETY AWARDS Much time and effort is put into safety and that’s been rewarded with the ISA pass and more importantly with a current accident frequency rate of zero, which the company is keen to maintain. It’s also held first place for thirteen periods in London Underground’s SUP Safety League and received a Beacon Supplier Award for safety from client Tube

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Lines as well as being named one of its top three suppliers for outstanding site safety. “It’s all about interacting with the workforce and getting them involved, which most importantly includes commitment from our Senior Management, not just briefing or talking at them but actively get them to join in and contribute,” states Lucy. That’s all been achieved by a Zero Harm campaign and several initiatives that apply to KN’s subcontractors as well as its own workforce and aim to get everyone actively involved and the message constantly reinforced. “It takes around 21 attempts before someone changes their behaviour,” states Lucy. “That’s why we have to constantly drive the message out. Our Senior Managers including our Managing Director undertake safety tours and get site employees’ views. There’s a new initiative coming up called Mission Safety where site operatives will be given a task, such as observing or carrying out something on site. They’ll give me feedback that I’ll analyse and put in my statistics. We have the Golden Torch Award for project teams and site staff who perform well.” There’s a monthly safety forum where site managers, supervisors and sub-contractors discuss relevant topics in an informal setting. One incident thought capable of being handled more efficiently led to the introduction of an emergency on call mobile number that’s manned out of office hours by senior managers and directors. Any problems or issues on site can therefore be reported immediately, whatever the time. Safety is particularly crucial because not only are projects undertaken in potentially hazardous envi-

ronments but many of them are big and complex. They include one for BT Openreach in Scotland and Cornwall, installing broadband cabling, ducts, boxes and connecting to exchanges in remote and difficult locations, and a signage project for the new, longer S Stock trains on the Underground that require new stop markers, platform end barriers, revised signage and general realignment. KN also completed a track extension project at Hammersmith Station that involved heavy civils works, which was challenging due to the area being busy both day and night, but it was completed on time for the client. HERITAGE WORK Some of the work is on listed buildings, with stringent requirements to ensure everything matches. That means using particular blocks, tiles and other materials that are exactly the right shade and often obtainable only from certain suppliers. It’s something KN is particularly sensitive to and has won awards from English Heritage for work at Lambeth North and West Brompton stations. All projects have environmental impact and that, as Lucy explains, is addressed at an early stage and continuously thereafter: “We look at the detailed design and materials used, sourcing sustainable wood and getting things locally, monitor working practices and aim to be more energy efficient. We look at the energy impact of buildings and how we can save money for clients as well as protecting the environment.” www.knnetworkservices.com Tel: 0208 8459292

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Maher :feature 2 15/05/2013 15:44 Page 122

HEALTH AND SAFETY: MAHER

GLOBAL METAL

SOLUTIONS FOUNDED IN SHEFFIELD IN 1932, MAHER HAS FORGED A REPUTATION FOR SUPPLYING QUALITY MATERIALS THAT MEET YOUR HIGHEST DEMANDS

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: MAHER

M

aher, the Sheffield-based supplier of advanced alloys for high performance applications, was recently bestowed the coveted British Safety Council recognition for its health and safety management. In the latest publication of the International Safety Awards, Maher was listed among a select few in a variety of industries to have met the British Safety Council’s stringent health and safety criteria. Helen Gray, Technical Manager, says the company was proud to be recognised by the British Safety Council for its health and safety activities. “It means a lot to the company because it is recognition that we are carrying out health and safety to a high degree of competence. It recognises that we have made progress in the right areas and that our commitment to the safety of our employees is paramount,” remarked Helen. “In addition, it demonstrates to contractors and customers that we value our people and the work that we do which, by extension, influences the quality of the overall product we are able to deliver.” Founded in Sheffield in 1932, this privately owned business has forged an enviable reputation for supplying quality materials that meet the highest operational demands. The materials supplied by Maher, which include nickel and copper based, maraging, titanium, controlled expansion and PH grades, may be applied to conditions or specifications that demand high integrity alloys. Servicing the needs of a variety of industries such as oil and gas, aerospace, naval and marine, power generation, and desalination, Maher plays an integral part in the specialist application of these types of products. To this end it supplies bar, billet and plate and has the capability to manufacture specific components to meet customers’ precise requirements. Historically Maher based its core business on supplying nickel superalloys to the oil and gas industries. Over the years the company has diversified into supplying specialist alloys for other indus-

tries and now enjoys a truly global presence. It has an office in Singapore, a network of agents on every continent and can conduct business in five major international languages from its head office in Sheffield. Maher’s facilities allow it to provide a number of services for customers to meet their specific needs. Furthermore, it is developing its capability to manufacture precision parts through in-house engineering including CNC machining, heat treatment and non-destructive testing. The British Safety Council, in awarding Maher for its performance over the last year, was particularly impressed with its safety management. Housekeeping is one of the company’s values and the cornerstone to health and safety, creating a good environment for employees. The company employs a dedicated health and safety officer who ensures it maintains high standards and identifies

Receiving the Award (Left to Right: Helen Gray, Technical Manager; Roy Edwards HS&E Officer; Lynda Armstrong OBE, Chair of the Trustees of the British Safety Council)

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Maher :feature 2 23/05/2013 11:18 Page 125

HEALTH AND SAFETY: MAHER areas for improvements by carrying out daily checks across the entire company. If there are any problems or concerns, he is on hand to answer questions. If performance levels drop below expectations, he works with staff to ensure they understand what is expected of them. However, employees have ownership of their own areas and everyone makes a significant contribution to ensuring the workplace is safe explains Helen. “Over the last year or two we’ve made significant improvements in educating the employees and involving them in the way we manage and coordinate health and safety. This has aided us in making the necessary improvements to ensure a safe and efficient working environment. “Staff particularly appreciate the monthly toolbox talks because it gives them an opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions. Therefore they play an active part in the way we progress our policies and procedures. “These toolbox talks have brought a number of advantages, particularly in relation to operational improvements such as the provision of different types of safety gloves for employees dependant on the types of metal they are working with. Also, made-to-measure ear protectors have been introduced to provide added comfort, making wearing them less undesirable.” When new staff join the company, Maher takes them through its comprehensive health and safety induction programme. The induction covers both the employee’s specific role and the roles of others

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so they have a better understanding of safety throughout the workplace. Helen admits the British Safety Council has played an important role in helping Maher improve its health and safety polices. “They work closely with us to make adjustments that will bring improvement. They are also on hand to provide advice, particularly related to the latest legislation and any changes that may affect us, while we can also take advantage of their training schemes. Although we don’t have the 18001 Occupational Health and Safety management accreditation, our British Safety Council representative says we do meet all the criteria necessary to gain it.” Indeed, Maher has gone much further in its support of employees. Not only does it support their safety in the workplace but it encourages wellbeing through a number of initiatives. These include providing appropriate work wear, access to free drinks and fresh fruit, and a cycle-to-work scheme. Helen believes this promotes a healthier lifestyle and the development of a motivated, happy workforce. Similar to its commitment to improving its capability for customers, Maher is actively looking at ways it can take its health and safety performance to the next level. What is clear is that Maher cares about its employees and this is exampled by its health and safety performance in recent years as well as its British Safety Council award.

“OVER THE LAST YEAR OR TWO WE’VE MADE SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS IN EDUCATING THE EMPLOYEES AND INVOLVING THEM IN THE WAY WE MANAGE AND COORDINATE HEALTH AND SAFETY. THIS HAS AIDED US IN MAKING THE NECESSARY IMPROVEMENTS TO ENSURE A SAFE AND EFFICIENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT” HELEN GRAY TECHNICAL MANAGER

www.maher.com Tel: 0114 290 9200

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Utility Installations:feature 2 24/05/2013 12:07 Page 126

HEALTH AND SAFETY: UTILITY INSTALLATION PROJECTS

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orking in rural areas often conjures up images of utopian conditions. That’s rarely the case and major projects have environmental issues and the problems of remoteness, especially when health and safety is a major consideration. Utility Installation Projects overcame those problems sufficiently to win an International Safety Award this year and it’s not something achieved by chance. The company’s core business is high and low voltage cable installation although it also deals with fibre optics and has branched out into civils work with a further move into the water industry. It has a

HEALTH AND SAFETY

OF THE HIGHEST STANDARD UTILITY INSTALLATION PROJECTS LIMITED (UIP) IS A SPECIALIST PROVIDER OF OUT-SOURCED ENGINEERING SERVICES TO THE POWER, TELECOMS AND WATER INDUSTRY SECTORS 126

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: UTILITY INSTALLATION PROJECTS blue chip client base throughout the utility sector, with projects across the UK and as far afield as Dubai. “We went there to help with the cable installations on a man-made island,” recalls Chairman Cliff Clackson. “Other than that, we’ve done cable installations for offshore wind farms and we’ll do any size of job from £2,000, the largest project we’ve undertaken so far being £8 million.” That project, which has been running almost three years and often required a large proportion of the company’s resources, is a Norwich contract for UK Power Networks. Managing Director Graham Clackson says: “The project has three sections.

There’s a main route of almost nine kilometres between two substations, three kilometres of additional cabling work in Earlham station and another three at Norwich main substation, then a single circuit of about 500 metres at Norwich Trowse. We supplied and installed the cables and cable system for all substations. We completed this using our own resources for the duct and cable installation, with our cable supplier doing the jointing work.” ADVERSE WEATHER The terrain was particularly challenging, the route going through private land, University of East Anglia land and public highway, and including nineteen joint bays with cable pulling lengths of over 750 metres each. It ran along the back roads of Norfolk

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and across fields, with little straightforward due to last year’s weather conditions in particular. One of UIP’s innovations that helps the company cope with rough terrain and adverse weather conditions is its bespoke designed drum trailer that can move twenty tonne cable drums. “We installed flotation tyres to reduce the impact on land during wet weather,” explains Graham. “There’s less compaction of soil and reduced need for track-ways so we can lessen the impact on farmers and private landowners.” It’s been arduous and potentially hazardous work requiring work at height, on scaffolding, in live substations, around live buzz bars and overhead lines, and crane lifts moving 18-20 tonnes of cable. Nevertheless, a combination of planning, good

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: UTILITY INSTALLATION PROJECTS management, training and the effort of the workforce has ensured the project has run on time and with no RIDDOR incidents. That’s been a contributory factor in the company winning an International Safety Award at the first attempt, which Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Manager Stewart Bailey also attributes to organisational factors and co-operation with the workforce. He says: “We liaise very closely with workers and have a zero harm policy. The award is testament to our employees’ efforts. We do many things to maintain a safe working environment but the employees have the right attitude and understanding of risk. It’s a huge pat on the back for them, recognition for their efforts and will help our profile.” ACCIDENT PREVENTION The award is the culmination of much effort put into health and safety, including the use of smart phones that are particularly useful at remote sites to report incidents or irregularities. However, Stewart is well aware that warning signs must be acted upon to make the system effective. To that end, the whole workforce is actively involved in accident prevention and behavioural science is becoming more important to change the way people think and act. A feature of UIP’s safety programme is stand down days where everyone is involved in specific initiatives. The last one was a Sub Arctic Survival team challenge when employees were faced with unusual tasks to impress on them the importance of team working. That evolved from a British Safety

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Council exercise which, along with monthly theme packs, educational material and regular updates, contributes to the company’s safety efforts. It doesn’t currently use the BSC’s free training but is likely to do so as part of new employee induction, which as it stands is a thorough process. “I spend three hours with every new employee,” remarks Stewart. “We go through every aspect of

rather than just some recycling in the office. It’s the overall effect the company has on the environment and making sure we do our best to combat any issues we cause or might cause in the future.” Those concerns for the environment almost naturally lead UIP into connected areas of work. “We’re looking at solar farms and renewable energy in general,” says Cliff. “We have done wind farms plus

“...BUT OF PRIME IMPORTANCE IS TO REMAIN INJURY FREE WITH OUR STAFF AND THAT’S GOT TO BE THE GOAL AS WELL FOR THE NEXT TWELVE MONTHS.” GRAHAM CLACKSON MANAGING DIRECTOR the work they’re going to do, PPE and how to use it, manual handling, risk assessments and method statements.” ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS With much work undertaken in rural areas, environmental considerations are high on the agenda, as Graham confirms: “There are specific things such as dealing with stream and river crossings, protected areas and so forth. We also look at movement of vehicles, location of staff in relation to work, plant used, our recycling policy for excavations and using local companies to reduce travelling. It’s an overall package

repair work on wind farm cables. But the big thing over the next year is to expand the water side. “We’re going to start talking to distribution network operators more because many in our teams are water trained so we have the expertise in-house. Our goals over the next twelve months are to get a track record within the water industry and to grow the company with the right staff and operatives as well as going more national. But of prime importance is to remain injury free with our staff and that’s got to be the goal as well for the next twelve months.” www.uiprojects.com Tel: 01473 824480

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IPAF:feature 2 29/05/2013 12:37 Page 132

WORKING AT HEIGHTS: INTERNATIONAL POWERED ACCESS FEDERATION

WORKING SAFELY AT HEIGHT THE INTERNATIONAL POWERED ACCESS FEDERATION (IPAF) PROMOTES THE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE USE OF POWERED ACCESS EQUIPMENT

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HEALTH AND SAFETY: INTERNATIONAL POWERED ACCESS FEDERATION

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he International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide in the widest sense – through providing technical advice and information, through influencing and interpreting legislation and standards, through its safety initiatives and training programmes. Set up in 1983, IPAF is a not-for-profit members’ organisation that represents the interests of manufacturers, distributors, users, rental and training companies. It serves as a forum for all active in the world of powered access. IPAF has played a key role in promoting many of the design, safety and testing procedures that are now established in the powered access industry. Membership of IPAF provides a number of benefits including access to a wealth of valuable, practical information on legal, technical and commercial aspects of platform use, and the chance

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to influence the growing body of legislation and regulations that governs platform use. IPAF members also profit from a growing portfolio of services such as lobbying and representation, up to date industry and legislative information, legal advice, networking and technical consultation. IPAF lobbies and makes representations to the relevant authorities on issues of concern to its members. It represents its members within organisations such as the American Rental Association (ARA), the European Rental Association (ERA) and the US-based Scaffold & Access Industry Association (SAIA). IPAF also actively participates in several committees: those relating to EN 280, ISO, FEM, ANSI standards committees, the British standards committees BS 8454 and BS 8460. It cooperates with safety bodies worldwide, such as the HSE in Britain, Berufsgenossenschaften in Germany, Suva in Switzerland, OPPBTP in France, and OSHA in the United States.

In addition, members benefit from extensive training. The IPAF training programme for platform operators is certified by TÜV as conforming to ISO 18878. More than 90,000 operators are trained each year through a worldwide network of over 550 training centres. Training in the US is managed by IPAF’s North American subsidiary, AWPT Inc. Training generally lasts one to two days and is a mixture of theory and practice. Those who successfully complete IPAF training are awarded the PAL Card (Powered Access Licence), the most widely held and recognised proof of training for platform operators. The PAL Card is valid for five years and shows the machine categories that the operator has been trained in. It also features the holder’s photo and signature, and can be verified by calling IPAF. www.ipaf.org Tel: 015395 66700

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WORKING AT HEIGHTS: SPANSET UK

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panSet UK has emerged as the UK’s leader in the manufacture of height safety equipment. Its intimate knowledge of the challenges faced by operatives working at height is matched by its experience in developing innovative technology geared towards creating the safest possible environment. Working in a number of industry sectors SpanSet UK has become a preferred partner for the manufacture and supply of bespoke safety technology. SpanSet UK has the same innovative, forwardthinking ethos that underpinned SpanSet International Group’s original success when it was first established over 50 years ago. Originally growing to prominence

when it introduced safety belts into cars during the thriving motor industry in the late 1950s, SpanSet developed its product range along the same principles. Using its knowledge and expertise, the company expanded to produce a range of Lashing Systems to secure items on trailers for the road haulage industry. It has continued to pioneer new safety equipment and related aids in the years since. For example, it developed the colour coding rating system signifying weight when lifting, which has become an industry standard and is used around the world. In the UK, SpanSet designs, manufactures and supplies height safety, lifting and load control products at its custom-built Cheshire plant. Working closely with customers has allowed it to develop bespoke products

for individual requirements, while its purpose built training and testing facility allows it to innovate and educate users in the safe application of this technology. Much of its success is built upon listening rather than talking, then drawing on extensive experience and global resources to find the most efficient solutions. The product range incorporates four main areas – height safety, safe-line systems, lifting slings and load control. However, height safety is where SpanSet UK has developed its enviable reputation. Bob Murdoch, Height Safety Sales Manager, describes the service offering as being “all-encompassing.” He adds, “What makes us stand out is that we don’t simply supply third-party products, we design, innovate and manufacture our own bespoke

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WORKING AT HEIGHTS: SPANSET UK technology, complementing that with training and consultation to help users identify the best and safest ways to carry out their work with our products. We are proud of the fact we constantly innovate and have grown our reputation as a leader within the UK for height safety equipment.” Furthermore, SpanSet UK can provide customers with a service tailored to specific needs, adding value to the relationship between the company and the client. Recently, Deborah Services Ltd won the Engineering Construction Industry Association’s (ECIA) “Recognising Initiative in Safety Excellence” (RISE) award for its implementation of a bespoke Double Self Retracting Lanyard (DSL) developed by SpanSet UK. Deborah was carrying out work for petrochemical client ExxonMobil. After beginning the work it found some of its safety equipment – provided from another supplier – did not meet the regulations set out by the client. Deborah asked SpanSet UK to advise on the best possible course of action in order for it to remain compliant with ExxonMobil’s Best Practice Tier One safety regulations. This required operatives to be attached at all times if a risk of fall was prevalent. SpanSet UK analysed the needs of the client before designing, manufacturing and fieldtesting a new product, the Double Self Retracting Lanyard that would meet safety demands. The outcome was an innovative Double Self Retracting Lanyard which locks when force is applied to it, allowing operatives to work without undue impingement yet under far safer conditions. As a consequence of this new award-winning technology, ExxonMobil now recommends its use to contractors on sites across the globe. This is one of a number of examples highlighting SpanSet UK’s ability to adapt to the challenges faced by contractors who need to match efficiency

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and service with practical yet reliable safety methods. Recently, WalkAbout, a temporary decking system, was designed and manufactured to enable workers access to awkward or remote areas at height with the accessibility and safety often associated with carrying out ground-level tasks. The SpanSet “WalkAbout – Access System” is intended as a primary means of support and is combined in use with a secondary safety system. It provides two clear benefits. Firstly, suspending the walk-in system allows the area below to remain clear for other services. Secondly, because it is easier and quicker to install and dismantle, less people are exposed to risk providing both a safety improvement and a cost saving. TRAINING FACILITY SpanSet UK complements its product offering through a purpose built training facility. Here it educates customers and their staff on the operational use of safety equipment in replicated real life situations. Through its training facilities, which include replication of scenarios such as tower work and roof top facilities, rope access and mono poles, vertical

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WORKING AT HEIGHTS: SPANSET UK

ladders and exposed platforms, wind turbine and quick form building (covered structure), working on platforms and using hoop ladders, the company provides support for its extensive product range and techniques. Whether it is working on an electricity pylon or telecom tower, to indoor and outdoor environments as well as confined space, SpanSet UK has a host of working environments in which to train operatives. Indeed, SpanSet UK is the first height safety training company to be audited by the BSI to the Standard BS8454:2006 – for the Delivery of Training and Education for Working at Height and Rescue. It comes as little surprise to see SpanSet considered the leader in height safety equipment in the UK. “As a manufacturer of our own products we have an intimate knowledge of their purpose, the reasons why we designed them to operate in specific ways, as well as the best ways to use the products to get the best out of them,” explains Bob. “As an organisation that carries out testing of our own products and other suppliers, our knowledge is far greater than most re-sellers and manufacturers meaning we can provide a better overall service to our customers with the key goal of absolute safety being central to everything we do.” Being a privately owned, global family company is also a benefit. “We can be quite dynamic and move quickly to satisfy client requirements. In terms of products, we can be more innovative. We can address our customers’ needs to a more detailed level than some of the big companies because we are not bound by the restrictions of their global mass manufacturing yet at the same time we are big enough to be able to source products at the appropriate levels to out-perform and out-manufacture the smaller companies. “We provide a very bespoke product on a very big, global manufacturing level so customers get the best of all worlds. I think that makes us unique.” www.spanset.co.uk Tel: 01606 737494

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Subsea:feature 2 20/05/2013 16:55 Page 138

SUBSEA DEVELOPMENT: SUBSEA UK

THE

VOICE

OF THE UK

SUBSEA INDUSTRY

SUBSEA UK IS THE CHAMPION FOR THE UK SUBSEA INDUSTRY ACTING FOR THE ENTIRE SUPPLY CHAIN BRINGING TOGETHER OPERATORS, CONTRACTORS, SUPPLIERS AND PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY.

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Subsea:feature 2 20/05/2013 16:55 Page 139

SUBSEA DEVELOPMENT: SUBSEA UK

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ecognising the growth potential of the subsea industry, the Government worked with the sector to establish Subsea UK in 2004. The aim was to provide a champion and focal point for the industry to help it capitalise on the growth opportunities both at home and abroad. The subsea industry is one of the fastestgrowing sectors in the UK and is currently worth about ÂŁ6billion annually which equates to a third of the global market. Subsea UK is now a self-sustaining membership organisation which acts for the whole supply chain whether it is operators, contractors or suppliers and provides a national forum for collaboration, diversification, commercialisation of technology and coordinated marketing and other initiatives within the industry. The organisation represents over 260 companies, employing around 50,000 people, encompassing the whole subsea supply chain from multinationals to niche service providers. We therefore have a clear overview of the indus-

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BY NEIL GORDON CHIEF EXECUTIVE

try, the opportunities and challenges it faces and the issues for subsea companies of all sizes. We seek to represent their views to industry here and overseas, to government and to academia. We ensure that our members voices are heard by shouting from the rooftops about what a great industry this is to both work and invest in but also what it contributes to the UK economy and how it can continue to prosper in the long-term. As a not-for-profit trade body created to champion the subsea industry our objective is to promote the sector, bring companies together, act as a media hub and provide a platform for networking and business opportunities. Membership gives companies access to a huge

range of benefits designed to encourage and support their business. These benefits include directory listing on the Subsea UK website which hosts company information and is searchable by key fields and categories linking to a member’s own website. In addition, massive discounts are available for exhibitors at every event we host, including the world's largest annual subsea exhibition and conference, as well as unique networking opportunities. We are working every day towards bringing companies together, providing the platforms for members to do business with each other. We also help members forge and maintain business relationships, particularly for small-tomedium sized companies, introducing them to potential clients, sharing business market knowledge and providing access to unique business opportunities. Membership gives free access to post press releases to the front page of our website (receiving over 12,500 unique visitors every month), as well as the option to submit articles to our

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SUBSEA DEVELOPMENT: SUBSEA UK quarterly magazine which is in circulation at every major subsea event. On joining Subsea UK members are provided with login details to access not publicly available information such as our databases of subsea industry intelligence on global projects and contracts, FPSOs/ FPUs and vessels. This information has proven highly valuable to many subsea companies. Through our newsletter, our e-newsletter and our website, we act as a hub for promoting all subsea activity. We are also involved in social media sites - LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook - to try and maximise the flow of information from us to members and from members to members. Crucially, by joining Subsea UK, companies are helping to support the sector. Any profit we make goes straight back into services designed to benefit members and the industry overall.

Membership is open to individuals, organisations and companies in the subsea sector whether oil and gas, marine renewables or defence and oceanology. To join, a company can log on to our website and fill in an online application form. Membership fees are scaled according to size of workforce and therefore don’t preclude smaller firms from joining. 79% of our membership are SME’s. Crucially, Subsea UK helps members expand their capability through its unique knowledge of the overall industry. For example, exports account for more than 50% of annual subsea output and many of our members are exporting in excess of 80% of their turnover but many firms still need assistance in breaking into new markets. As North Sea oil and gas production has peaked, internationalisation becomes increasingly important to the growth and sustainability of our sector.

“MEMBERSHIP IS OPEN TO INDIVIDUALS, ORGANISATIONS AND COMPANIES IN THE SUBSEA SECTOR WHETHER OIL AND GAS, MARINE RENEWABLES OR DEFENCE AND OCEANOLOGY”

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SUBSEA DEVELOPMENT: SUBSEA UK

THE UK LEADS THE WORLD IN TERMS “THE UK LEADS THE WORLD IN TERMS OF SUBSEA AND THERE ARE MAJOR OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR TECHNOLOGY, SERVICES AND EXPERTISE AROUND THE WORLD FROM THE ARCTIC TO WEST AFRICA AND FROM BRAZIL TO AUSTRALIA” The UK leads the world in terms of subsea and there are major opportunities for our technology, services and expertise around the world from the Arctic to West Africa and from Brazil to Australia. To help UK subsea companies capitalise on the global opportunities, Subsea UK is increasingly working in partnership with UKTI and SDI to provide the right support, assistance, guidance and encouragement in their export journey. The urgent need for companies to attract and retain talent in a tight labour market is a major challenge. A recent survey of Subsea UK members revealed that the industry could require another 10,000 people in the next year. We are working on a number of collaborative, industry-wide initiatives to help fill the skills gaps. Last year, Subsea UK successfully applied for funding from Skills Development Scotland to deliver specific initiatives such as a subsea portal for encouraging experienced people into the sector from other industries including the military and providing tools to companies to help “Grow Their Own Talent”. Ensuring

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a sustainable pipeline of talent into the sector is one of our main priorities. Whilst our overall goal remains the same from year to year – promoting the British subsea sector both at home and abroad, 2013 will see us focus on three key areas; technology, skills and prolonging the life of oil and gas production in the North Sea. Whilst the North Sea is at its halfway mark in terms of life expectancy, the region continues to be a test bed for new technology both in terms of development and deployment. We will work with our members to ensure that the move into deep water territories is complemented by a strong skilled workforce and will seek to attract the very best talent into the industry. Over the next five years we expect the subsea global market to grow by 100% to £40 billion and we will be supporting our members as they seek to diversify their business offerings and capitalise on that potential. www.subseauk.com Tel: 0845 505 3535

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AKD engineering :feature 2 20/05/2013 15:12 Page 142

SUBSEA DEVELOPMENT: AKD ENGINEERING LTD

A NAME TO DEPEND ON

AKD ENGINEERING LTD OFFERS AN ENGINEERING, MANUFACTURING AND OFFSHORE SERVICE WHICH IS SECOND TO NONE FOR LONG TERM SUPPLY PARTNERSHIPS 142

S

ince its inception in 1955, AKD Engineering Ltd has gradually grown and developed into one of the leading Engineering, Manufacturing and Offshore services in the UK. Sales and Marketing Manager Denise Farr explains. “Something new for 2012 was that we opened a design office internally here at AKD, enabling AKD to offer our clients a turnaround solution in a whole package. “Also new for 2012 is AKD’s internal agency, AKD Recruitment. Within the first 6 months we’ve got significant contracts with the likes of AMEC and also Shell, and are now successfully recruiting and supplying trade guys offshore.”

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This division has seen vast growth within the first 6 months and sees no signs of slowing, being able to offer certified engineers to the industry. Indeed, AKD’s impressive recruitment policy, especially through apprenticeships, is something that Denise Farr feels makes their company stand out to their competitors. “Over 10% of our work force is apprenticeships. We’re very proud of this fact. “In regards to the company’s training, we’re not a “Hire and Fire” type of company. We could confidently say that we wouldn’t look to cut the people that we have here. AKD are a company that heavily invest in all its employees.” On top of such remarkable investment in their staff, Denise Farr believes that the excellent, on time

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SUBSEA DEVELOPMENT: AKD ENGINEERING LTD

We own the land we are based on and all of our assets including all the three new 5-axis machines.” Based in Lowestoft, AKD has a very extensive reach, working on a global level, depending on the type of project, as Denise Farr explains. “Our premises that we fabricate and construct are in the UK but a lot of our work is installed into a global project that AKD can then install with our own team. An on-going project we are running is currently being installed by an AKD lead team whilst also working

with local trades to install and complete. Everything has been air-freighted over to Africa, and the project is running on time.” However, one of the biggest projects that AKD is currently working on is the Bacton Rejuvenation Project, here in the UK. Working at the Bacton Terminal in Norfolk, it is a project that Denise Farr believes is a great achievement for AKD. “The project value at the moment sits at £5 million and it’s a job that we’ve taken on direct with Shell, and it’s

service that AKD offers puts them a cut above their rivals. “We’re a service provider, and the people and skills that we have at AKD, sells the company. Getting work out on time is a key focus to AKD and the company, resulting in no delays or penalties. AKD has a fantastic on time delivery record, an important factor of this is due to the commitment that we get back from our employees whom we invest in here.” AKD is currently one of several Engineering companies in the UK owned by the multinational Camellia PLC, but while it is working under such a large group, Denise Farr still insists that the company remains quite independent. “We’re very financially stable with having our own bank in the group.

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SUBSEA DEVELOPMENT: AKD ENGINEERING LTD

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going to be run with Shell, Jacobs and AMEC. It’s going to be a project managed and run out of AKD’s offices in Lowestoft. “It’s for skid and pipe packages to be completely built at AKD, road transported to Bacton and installed onsite. Bacton Terminal brings in a large amount of the UK’s power, so for AKD to have such an impact on that, is something we feel very proud of.” Another aspect of the company that Denise Farr feels is of a great benefit to the company is its memberships with various industry focussed groups, particularly EEEGR and Decom North Sea. “I think being members of any industry focussed group is a

definite advantage. You get your name present, get to meet key personnel within the industry and market at some fantastic networking events. Memberships and industry led focused groups are something that AKD doesn’t look to pull out of.” Despite already showing an incredible growth since its birth almost 50 years ago, AKD are still planning to expand further as a company. Denise Farr revealed that the business has many more ambitions that they hope to achieve over the coming years, in every department of the company. “Within the next three years, a key objective is to

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continually grow, and strengthen our presence globally. There are plans to expand in the UK too, with new premises on the horizon; AKD could grow to double the size that we are currently.” Internal development is also something that AKD is keen to push on with. “We are also looking to expand in the recruitment section of the industry, being able to supply key personnel at all levels of trade. And we’re also looking at a 5-year strategy. We’re looking to design a product, which is ongoing now, that we would then sell to the service. So that would turn AKD from not just a service provider but a company that has a product in the market, being sold to clients to use. That is an aspect of the company that has previously never been there before.” www.akd-engineering.co.uk Tel: 01502 527800

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