EDITORS NOTE We were honoured to get the opportunity to interview BBCâ€™s DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles this month, and he gave us some useful insights into the industry. He gave some hope during these difficult times with his confidence that the construction industry is going to be what gets us out of the recession as a country. However, there has been a lot of bad news as the industry seems to be doing worse than expected. But we spoke to companies with very positive outlooks, including Lift and Engineering Services Ltd and TT Plumbing and Drainage, who have managed to expand despite the bad economy. The Olympics has also brought some hope to the industry, with foreign businesses so impressed that they are looking to British companies for design and building solutions. So, despite the bad news, there is hope for many companies, and by following the example of the businesses we spoke to this month, success is almost guaranteed!
Sabeeha Coates Editor
Manager Andy Rushworth Features Manager Kyle Broadhead Features Manager Jodie Burns Features Manager Steve Rushworth Features Manager Darren Stevens Features Manager Richard Wainwright Editor Sabeeha Coates Design and Artwork Mark Alsop Admin Rachel Denton Publisher Mohammed Faraz
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CONTENTS CONDER ALLSLADE
DRILCORP PG 10
OXFORD SPIRES PG 12
JUNCKERS PG 14
FACTORY DIRECT FLOORING
TIMBER TRADE FEDERATION
YOUNG PLANT SALES
CONTENTS HILLCREST STRUCTURAL PG 30
LIFT & ENGINEERING SERVICES LTD
MAC ROOFING & CONTRACTING LIMITED PG 56
ALL DONE PG 44
NICK KNOWLES EXCLUSIVE PG 58
NICK KNOWLES EXCLUSIVE
SHC HIRE CENTRES
TT DRAINAGE & PLUMBING
over the last month, with forecasters at the Construction Products Association revealing worse prospects for construction in 2013 than originally thought. This means that over the next two years construction output is expected to fall by almost six per cent. All this comes amid a sharp rise in profit warnings for construction companies reported at the beginning of July. Profit warnings were down in all sectors in the second quarter of the year, but construction issued seven profit warnings, the highest number since 2008.
FORECASTS FOR CONSTRUCTION GLOOMY, DESPITE CABLE’S REASSURANCE BUSINESS secretary Vince Cable has admitted that the construction industry is the weakest link in the economy. His admission comes after the latest GDP figures revealed that construction output fell 5.2 per cent in the second quarter of the year. This is further to the 4.9 per cent drop seen in the first quarter. The industry has made news frequently
ART OF BUILDING PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST SUPPORT HAITI The Chartered Institute of Building’s annual Art of Building digital photography competition got off to a flying start with over 900 imaginative entries submitted early on. With a £2,000 cash prize up for grabs, the stakes are high and it will be down to the expert judging panel, which includes prestigious architect, writer and broadcaster, Maxwell Hutchinson and CIOB deputy chief executive Michael Brown. Now in its third year, the Art of Building contest celebrates creativity in the construction industry. With the intention of raising muchneeded funds to build hurricane and earthquake resilient schools in Haiti, organised by development and disaster relief organisation, Article 25. Last year the competition had around 2,000 entries from around the world,
Business is not expected to pick up until 2014, when there will be rapid recovery and a rise in activity for the foreseeable future. Until then though, the industry is expected to lose £10bn. However, Cable has promised to get the sector active again, and denied that the industry’s problems stemmed from the government’s spending cuts. “The government has a big role in getting housing moving, and infrastructure, which is why we’re now putting the system of guarantees in place. “And on top of that we’re doing a whole lot of other things to attract inward investment,” Cable said.
with many photographers capturing the art of building in an imaginative and thought-provoking way. The winning entry will be chosen by public vote from amongst the 12 finalists selected by the judging panel and the photographs auctioned to raise funds for the Haiti initiative. “Our aim is to encourage people from around the world to capture the built environment in a way not seen before, to inspire others and to challenge people’s perceptions,” says Art of Building Manager, Saul Townsend. Judge, Michael Brown adds, “With hundreds of excellent entries to choose from and many more still flooding in, it looks like it will be an extremely challenging task to reach a decision on the finalists.” The deadline for the competition was July 25, and entries will be split into four categories: Building Inspiration, Between People and Buildings, Creative Visions and Young Photographer of the Year.
NEWS IN BRIEF UK MISS TOP 20 UK construction firms have missed the top twenty spots on the latest league tables of the world’s largest construction companies. China has dominated the list, with other countries including japan, Australia and Austria. Chris Sleight, the report’s author said that despite this, there was still growth for many of the country’s largest contractors last year.
Travis Perkins lose £10m in wet weather Builders’ merchants Travis Perkins has revealed that the wet summer has cost them more than £10m in potential profits. The early summer months saw the worst weather on records, with flooding seen in many parts of the country.
Olympics roadworks ban A ban has been put in a place between July 23 and September 14 on any planned roadworks on Highways Agency roads that are part of the Olympic and Alternative Route Network. Essential maintenance work will only be allowed at night and will have to be completed before the morning to allow easy access for visitors and athletes making their way to Games venues.
NI industry recovery The Northern Ireland construction industry has shown signs of recovery, with the total volume of output in the first quarter of 2012 up by 1.3 per cent compared to the same time period in 2011. Improvements are expected to continue over the next 12 months, although this will not remove the sector from recession.
NEWS Wernick completes £12m deal with funding from RBS Essex-based Wernick Group (Holdings) Limited, the modular and portable building manufacturer, has expanded its business with the purchase of 3,400 cabins funded by a £12m financing package from The Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) Midlands Structured Finance Corporates Team. Wernick Group is the largest independent hirer and manufacturer of modular and portable buildings in Britain, with 30 hire depots, five divisional sales offices and two specialist event hire depots. The business has been family-owned and managed since it was founded nearly 80 years ago and now employs over 480 people. The term loan and asset finance package agreed with RBS has allowed Wernick to significantly expand its stock of over 30,000 units. The purchase has been made from Kier, the construction, services and property group, with whom Wernick have entered into a supply agreement to provide ongoing availability of the assets.
Sika-Trocal Helps Reduce ‘Carbon Pawprint’ SIKA-TROCAL, leading supplier of single ply roof membranes, has helped put roofs over the heads of hundreds of stray and abandoned dogs at the new multi-million pound Dogs Trust Rehoming Centres in Shrewsbury and Loughborough. Sika-Trocal’s single ply membranes have been used to create stunning green roofs and standing seam roofs at the award winning dog rescue centres. Specialist roofing contractor Telclad
Wernick Group has experienced strong organic and acquisition-led growth over the past 10 years supported by RBS, with whom the Group has banked since its inception. This latest acquisition follows the successful acquisition in July 2011 of Rovacabin, a national cabin hire business with a hire fleet of nearly 4,000 cabins and Eventlink, a provider of temporary stadia seating to the events industry. David Wernick, chief executive, Wernick Group Limited, said: “We are delighted to announce this acquisition and our new partnership with Kier, which has once again been delivered with the support of RBS. Relationships are key to the success of our business and RBS have constantly proved themselves to be a supportive partner.” Ben Dawson, associate director, RBS Structured Finance Corporates, said: “RBS is once again delighted to work with and support the management of Wernick Group in securing another strategically important acquisition. Despite challenging market conditions Wenick continue to successfully invest in growth, with this latest deal further enhancing their position as a leading player in their markets.”
was appointed to complete the roof installations, which included the use of Sika-Trocal’s Type SGmA and Type S single ply membranes on the barrelvaulted green roof of the rehoming building and a 190m2 roof on intake kennels. To create the green roof, whilst accommodating several sun pipe penetrations, the new rehoming building required a bespoke roofing system. Telclad developed and fitted a series of retention battens that would be strong enough to restrain the curved green roof from slippage whilst meeting SikaTrocal’s stringent installation criteria. For the low canopy roof of the 55m
NEWS IN BRIEF Plumber jailed for tax evasion An Epsom plumber based in Surrey has been jailed for 12 months for tax evasion. Melvyn Careswell was found guilty of £50, 000 tax evasion over five years. HMRC are currently targeting self employed labourers who did not step forward last year during the Plumbers Tax Safe Plan. Confiscation proceedings are underway for Careswell. A Brazilian construction worker survived after a six foot steel rod fell five floors and pierced his skull. The metal bar was removed from his skull the same way it entered. Eduardo Leite escaped losing one eye and is making a good recovery in a local hospital after his miraculous survival. Communities secretary Eric Pickles has approved a ‘twin tower scheme’ in London. The Vauxhall Cross Development will consist of two controversial 40- and 32-storey buildings that will have different uses including flats, office space, shops, restaurants, a cinema and a hotel. The scheme was rejected last year by Lambeth Borough Council, but landowner Wendover Investments appealed.
x 3.5m intake building, Telclad was required to provide a watertight roof with a standing seam effect, installing 190m2 of Type S single ply membrane in slate grey, finished with Sika-Trocal’s innovative 25mm SE Profiles. Delivered by main contractor McPhillips and designed by architects Peter Napier & Co., the facilities were built as environmentally sustainable as possible to help reduce the Dogs Trust’s carbon ‘pawprint’. The scheme incorporated materials with low environmental impact including rainwater harvesting, solar panels and a green roof, helping the building become the first of its kind to achieve the highest BREEAM Outstanding rating in the world.
NEWS PROCURE PLUS HELPS CREATE NEW GENERATION OF CONSTRUCTION SPECIALISTS North West social housing procurement consortium, Procure Plus, has partnered with Trinity Business Training, part of Salford City College, to deliver a brand new ABBE qualification - Insulation and Building Treatments Level Two. The course, which has been created to help generate a new breed of construction and insulation specialists, is being delivered for the first time in the UK. Procure Plus has taken a key role in helping to develop the new qualification, which takes the form of a 16-week course. Academically, each student will cover modules ranging from installation to health and safety and customer service, before having the chance to work on real-life energy efficiency improvement projects. To support the initiative, Procure Plus worked with Trinity Business Training to develop the format of the course and also played a critical role in ensuring the programme leads to real job opportunities for the candidates with its housing provider members. Salix Homes, for instance, was keen to offer full time training opportunities to the candidates having identified a skills shortage whilst completing insulation works on several of its properties. As such, a number of trainees have
TRADICAL® HEMCRETE® HELPS TRANSFORM DERELICT SITE INTO EXEMPLAR OF SUSTAINABLE HOUSING Lime Technology’s innovative hemp and lime walling system, Tradical® Hemcrete®, has helped to create a stunning, sustainable home in Hillingdon, London – as part of a pioneering councilrun scheme to create high quality, affordable housing on disused garage sites. Designed by Paper Project architecture and design and built by Hill Partnerships
been given work placements with the organisation’s contractors. Procure Plus also engaged its framework contractors and suppliers, including Seddons, Forrest, and Wetherby Building Systems, to provide the materials needed for the students to train and practice. What’s more, to give the students a helping hand as they start their careers, the consortium gave each trainee a top-of-the-range tool kit. Working with Salix Homes and the Broughton Trust, a charity set up to deliver employment support and community development across East Salford, Procure Plus has put forward a number of candidates from hard to reach areas. So far, 14 students have joined the course and several of these candidates have been selected through Achieve, a project that aims to create positive employment and training opportunities for ex-offenders. “This course is a great example of collaborative working between business, education and community groups, but also demonstrates how, through creative thinking, we can solve some key pressures and challenges faced by each party,” said Mark Wilson, Training Coordinator at Procure Plus. “As the Government continues to focus on tackling the carbon challenge, there’s a real need for a skilled workforce in this area, and similarly, there are many young people out there who are looking for long term careers and a break into employment. By bringing these parties together, we’ve created a ground-breaking project that will have a tangible, positive impact on both business and the wider community.”
(Western), the project forms part of a regeneration programme launched by the London Borough of Hillingdon in 2008 to convert underused spaces into affordable and sustainable housing. The four bedroom house is one of 47 homes that have already been redeveloped as part of this innovative scheme. A key element in the construction was the use of Tradical® Hemcrete® for the creation of highly insulated walls for the timber frame home – helping the building to achieve Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Developed by Lime Technology, Tradical® Hemcrete® is produced from UK grown hemp and a lime binder, absorbing CO2 in the hemp growing. It is ideal for the construction
NEWS IN BRIEF Oxfam has appealed for supply chain subcontractors to help maintain its 128 shops across Warwickshire. Constructiononline hosted a supplier engagement day to help the charity giant find electricians, plumbers and multi traders to help with ongoing maintenance work. Almost one in three building services contractors have seen workloads drop so far this year under growing financial strain. The North East of England, Yorkshire and Scotland has seen the worst downturn. The M&E sector has suffered several high-level contractor collapses in 2012, and 61 per cent of firms said they had not taken on an apprentice or trainee in the last year. Persimmon Homes has seen a surge in their profits as their margin has exceeded 12 per cent. The company delivered a 65 per cent hike in underlying pre-tax profits in the first half of the year to £99m. Their home completions were up six per cent to 4712 homes.
of thermally efficient and cost effective homes. Offering 130kg CO2/m² less than conventional brick and block in a normal wall section along with excellent thermal inertia, the building’s internal temperatures will be very stable, which helps to reduce the need for heating, and so offers a highly sustainable construction method. Built on traditional concrete foundations, the two-storey main timber frame structure was first lined with a breathable sheathing board before a shutter system was erected onto the outside frame. This allowed the 350mm thick
WORKING FOR THE FUTURE Conder Allslade was established in December 2008, when the current owner bought it out of receivership. It is now a member of a group which contains a diverse range of companies from all areas of manufacturing, giving the company support during these difficult times.
Mike Hunter was originally Operations Director with sister company Conder Structures before moving to Conder Allslade in March 2010 as Contracts Director. In June 2010, he took over as acting MD and became MD in March 2011.
The company is currently involved in a variety of projects which include schools, refurbishment, commercial and industrial buildings and car parks.
â€œTo ensure the business is viable going forward I have had to reduce overheads, negotiate competitive supply deals and develop new working procedures. To ensure this was implemented effectively has required a total restructuring of the business,â€? explains Mike.
Mike is fully responsible for the day to day running of the business including business strategy and P & L, reporting to group board.
One project of particular note is a school on the Isle of Wight, which is and Eco school design. They have been involved in this for 18 months working for the main contractor, Pihl (UK).
Currently Conder Allslade employs 62 people, the majority of whom work in Portsmouth with the accounts and Design and Build in their office in Burton on Trent.
The business recently received a Commendation at the Structural Steel Design Awards sponsored by the BCSA and TATA for a school in Deptford.
GOING GLOBAL CELEBRATING their 20 year anniversary is a major milestone for Drilcorp, a specialist drilling contractor. The business has grown from just one drilling rig to 17 in the last 20 years.
Established in 1992, the company’s early focus was particularly on providing high quality independent water supply for their clients and they have gained an excellent reputation in doing just that. Their clients range from an individual who needs a domestic supply to improve their standard of living by gaining an inexhaustible supply of good quality water at mains pressure through commercial businesses who can substantially reduce their operating costs by having an independent supply and even public supply companies who provide mains water to the masses. Drilcorp also carries out work for clients with existing boreholes which need rehabilitating or repairing and has a dedicated engineering department handling this work. Over the years the company has played a key role in the field of dewatering carrying out major groundwater lowering operations to enable civil engineering companies to construct foundations, shafts and tunnels in dry working conditions. Drilcorp works hand in hand with Project Dewatering, a specialist company dedicated to the design of pumping systems to dewater the sites. Groundsource became highly popular in recent years and this fitted perfectly with Drilcorp’s operations particularly on ‘open loop’ projects as these are waterwells. The company carried out many large contracts in London and continues with this type of work at present. A lot of their more recent work has involved more exploration, looking for minerals, coal, gas and oil. Last year the company managed a project to drill their deepest hole, which went down 1821mtr, in Newcastle upon Tyne and was searching for ‘hot rocks’ geothermal. They also achieved their largest diameter borehole which had a diameter of 36 inches and was 180m deep. This involved running sixty tonnes of steel casing into the borehole.
INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION “Our main ambition right now is to develop our overseas market. I think the future is outside the UK although our core business remains in this country,” says Dave Gowans, Chief Executive of Drilcorp, who personally has over 40 years of experience in drilling and has worked around the world.
Dave’s role includes work on developing the overseas market and looking at other types of work that will fit into the company’s framework. Drilcorp have already carried out small contracts in Spain, Bali and Malaysia, and now have gone fully international with four rigs in Nigeria. Drilcorp Nigeria was inaugurated last year and is very busy despite still being in an embryonic stage of development.
SAFETY FIRST The company currently employs 28 members of staff, who are all subject to their high health and safety standards. They have a Health and Safety and Environment Quality manager, who oversees policy, and they operate a bespoke training system which they developed themselves and is compulsory for all staff. Drilcorp are also ISO9001 certified, as well as UVDB Verify, Safe Contractor and CHAS accredited.
The economic recession has been difficult for everyone, and Drilcorp is not an exception. As a company they have coped very well during the downturn, despite having to make a number of cutbacks. Last year they had their best turnover yet, but as Dave points out, it was not their best profit. Nevertheless, they boast an annual turnover of approximately £4m, and hope to continue to get new business. One of the main concerns the company has during this time is being paid by clients. “It is very difficult these days, and we have to be very careful who we work for. Unless it is a blue chip company, we check the financial situation of any prospective clients before we agree to do any work, because it just takes one contract that isn’t paid to heavily affect us,” explains Dave. Although the company have not had any defaults with payment for large contracts, they continue to be wary and are not willing to take any risks.
TRAINING KEY TO HIGH STANDARDS ORIGINALLY Oxford Spires Scaffolding was set up as a small business, but it has seen massive growth in the last five years. Established in 1990, the company boast an excellent team.
Oxford Spires Scaffolding currently employs 75 staff who undergo extensive training to ensure they deliver only the highest standards of work. They have built up an excellent reputation and offer their clients a high quality service. This continues to help them through the difficult economic situation, giving them the advantage they require to do deliver to the highest standards.
SERVICES Oxford Spires Scaffolding specialises in all aspects of scaffolding services from small access towers through to the largest of construction sites where quality and speed of service is paramount. The company also offers a full design and engineering service with their own safety consultant. Their equipment is of the highest quality and is regularly serviced to ensure maximum standards.
PROJECTS The company is working on a number of large projects, including the development of approx 3000 homes on Great Western Park in Didcot. Additionally, they do work for a number of high profile housing firms, including Taylor Wimpey, David Wilson Homes, Persimmon Homes, Charles Church, Howarth Homes, Martin Grant Homes and Linden Homes. They are also approved contractors for Oxford City Council and Thames Water.
on training. This huge investment is well worthwhile, as they have highly qualified personnel who provide an excellent service. In July 2012 one of the apprentices working at the company has won the Apprentice of the Year award at the National College in Birmingham, and another has been nominated in the top three. This is a testament to their rigorous training and vast knowledge that they pass on to their apprentices.
FUTURE PLANS The company’s main aim for the coming years is to continue the high quality service that they have built their reputation on. “It takes a lot of hard work to run a successful company and we always welcome new and exciting projects. We recently became a Registered Member of the National Access & Scaffolding Confederation, which is now a required standard to many of our clients” says Paul Noble, Contract Manager.
TRAINING Training is a huge part of the job at Oxford Spires Scaffolding and thousands of pounds are invested on their workforce each year. Over the last 12 years, at least 30 people have undertaken part 1 and 2 courses, which costs up to £900 each for two weeks and had to do a follow up one-day assessment, which costs another £500. In addition to this, each one was paid their normal wage whilst they were away training. They have three people who have trained to drive HGVs, which cost the company a further £6000.
APPRENTICESHIPS Over and above their training program, the company currently has six apprentices, who get paid for the eight weeks of the year that they are
OLYMPIC SUPPLIERS GAIN ROYAL APPROVAL 14
AS suppliers of 3000 square metres of hardwood flooring to the London Olympic Handball Arena in Stratford, Junckers Ltd is a well established business that has fared well during the economic downturn. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of a Danish company formed in 1930, and expanded into the UK in 1961. They are the largest manufacturer of hardwood flooring in Europe. They currently employ 19 people in the UK, and boast a turnover of £11.5m. Their turnover this year is 15 per cent ahead of their previous turnover, despite the country being in recession. According to Steve Maltby, General Manager, this is a result of the company concentrating on what they do best; talking to builders and architects and providing them with the high quality service. “We pulled away from the housing and retail sector and started increasing our focus on the sports and education sectors, and this definitely helped a lot”.
PRESTIGE Junckers has completed work for a number of prestigious clients on major projects including the London Olympics 2012. In addition to supplying the flooring for the handball arena, they also supplied thousands more square metres for other Olympic areas. They have also done flooring for Heathrow Airport and a very large number of schools across the country.
“Our key ambition now is to remain as the top brand of solid hardwood flooring, and maintain that level,” shared Steve, “Internationally we are looking into expansion in India and China, but here in the UK we hope to consolidate
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY FLOORING As the biggest manufacturer of solid hardwood flooring in Europe, Junckers offer a range of flooring with different finishes. As a result, their floors can be used from something as small as someoneâ€™s living room, to something as large as the Olympic venues. Sustainability is of paramount importance to the company, and they ensure that they are always complying with environmental legislation and regulations, as well as supporting initiatives which improve environmental awareness. The timber they use is FSC and PEFC certified, and they recognise that the very idea of their company was based around sustainable utilisation of forests. Focussing on the environment has in no way ever compromised their products, and Steve comments that the high quality is something that sets the company apart.
CUSTOMER FRIENDLY SERVICE One of the major milestones of the company occurred approximately 20 years ago, when they decided to get involved in the sport and education sectors. This increased their turnover dramatically. However, the excellent service they offer has allowed their success to be maintained. They offer a before, during and after service on all their products, and offer a unique service to architects and builders, always aiming
to give them the right solution for their work. All their floors come with guarantees, and they now have licensed and approved companies who supply their floors. If purchased from them, they have a 25 year warranty. Additionally, when working with contractors they tailor an individual program and deliver all products on site, reducing storage needs.
ROYAL AWARD In July, Junckers was presented with the Danish Export Associationâ€™s Diploma and HRH Prince Henrikâ€™s Medal of Honour, an award given in recognition of an outstanding effort in promoting an marketing Danish products and services abroad.
CELEBRATING 40 YEARS THIS year marks the 40th anniversary for McKay Flooring, a family run business that has developed over the years and now uses social networking and digital marketing as their main tool of reaching new and existing clients.
Managing Director Richard McKay is the second generation running the business after his father, Archie McKay set it up in 1972. Three of his sisters also work in the business. McKay Flooring is a well-established company that is based in Scotland and aims to become the biggest flooring contractor in the UK. “Being a family run business makes the company approachable, and creates an atmosphere of loyalty and a higher degree of trust,” shares Richard. Richard has a background in Quantity Surveying, but has become heavily involved in marketing and business development. His passion is digital marketing, and the company uses social networking regularly to communicate with their current and prospect clients.
trees that have fallen naturally in Scottish parks and green spaces to create truly unique floors. In addition to this, the company also stocks FSC certified timber flooring and provide timber from sustainable sources.
EXPANSION McKay flooring is very ambitious and keen to expand across the UK. They have plans to open an office in London by the middle of next year. They also want to expand their current digital marketing, which last year alone brought them in excess of 5000 leads. “Due to the recession, we have had to tighten things up, so understanding and incorporating digital marketing has been very important in maintaining business,” says Richard.
McKay Flooring offers a wide range of products, which include hardwood, parquet and specialty floor coverings. They also offer coloured parquet and whisky barrel flooring and work on both a domestic and commercial scale. They are Junckers and Boen Approved Contractors installing over 20,000 m2 of sports flooring per year. Most recently they have been working on a Junckers installation at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Velodrome and Aquatic Centre. In addition to installation of flooring, McKay also carries out dust free sanding and resealing of existing wooden floors, and supply and fit acoustic subfloor systems.
ENVIRONMENTALLY AWARE The company focuses heavily on managing their carbon footprint, and their main product, which is wooden floors, is reusable. However, over and above this they have developed a number of ways to minimise waste and make use of so-called ‘scrap’. Their program involves the following • Clyde reclaimed – using reclaimed flooring to create unusual, quality floors for any space. •
Clyde Recycled – using the extra wood from the many jobs they undertake to produce exciting patchwork wood cobbles.
• Clyde Storm Harvest – an environmentally friendly range using
ONLINE SUCCESS ONLINE flooring company, Factory Direct Flooring is an ever-growing business that has overcome the odds of the economic recession and is continuously doing well and generating more business.
Established in 2005, Factory Direct is part of the Carpet World group, which has been in business for over 20 years. Factory Direct is run as a separate entity, and has become a major portion of the business. In fact, approximately 75 per cent of the total business is generated from Factory Direct. “The growth we have seen has been phenomenal,” says Owner, Paul Hambidge. The company currently employs 23 staff, almost double the 12 employees that they had two years ago. “We are unbelievably busy, to the point that we have had to keep growing to increase our capacity levels,” adds Paul. Despite the economic recession, the business has increased both their turnover and profit year on year over the last few years. “The level of growth has been consistently phenomenal each year and I think we’ll continue to grow by maintaining high standards and providing a quality service.”
ONLINE BUSINESS Although Factory Direct has warehouses that customers visit, the majority of their business is based online. The main benefit reported from this is managing to keep overhead costs to a minimum, a saving which is then passed on to customers. The company claim to offer a saving of between 25 and 75 per cent on high street prices.
and 19 different lines. Through their partnerships with suppliers in Europe and China, the company has managed to build this up to an impressive 1800 different lines. The floors they offer vary from laminate to vinyl, from solid wood to cork, among others. The nature of their business and the quality of their flooring means they are able to provide solutions for both commercial and domestic markets, with around 50 per cent of their business being generated through domestic customers. The company is constantly looking at new products to offer their customers and often comes up with new designs and ideas for manufacturing.
TRAINING To ensure they provide a high level of service, Factory Direct take pride in their staff, offering them an extensive training program which starts with basic NVQs and then progresses further. In addition to this, all their staff visit the factories where the floors are made in order to give them a more in depth understanding of the products, which they can then pass on to customers. “Having an in-depth knowledge of flooring and our products is essential in being able to help our customers find the best solution for them and this is why we believe we will continue to succeed as a business,” states Paul.
Other benefits include the fact that customers can browse in a more relaxed manner from the comfort of their homes, and thus are able to make a more informed and less rushed decision on their purchase. The company also offers an unrivalled level of online support and customer service, something that many online businesses struggle with. They pride themselves on their commitment to customers, and maintaining customer service at the top of their priority list. “Our aim is to take the customer service from the retail world into our online business,” shares Paul. “When customers are shopping online, they often want the care and attention that they would receive in a shop and that’s what we strive to do with every customer.”
PRODUCTS When Factory Direct initially began trading, they started with between 18
IS TRANSPARENCY THE WAY TO GO? Pimlico Plumbers has taken part in a unique business and social experiment, ‘Show Me Your Money’, which was on Channel 4 on 11 July at 10pm.
Managing Director Charlie Mullins laid out the challenge at a staff meeting, which generated an immediate collection of emotional responses from staff.
The Central London-based plumbing company’s workforces were challenged to reveal how much they earn and help establish a fairer system of pay.
Staff then set off on a period of negotiations with each other alongside a number of job swaps to understand what their colleagues’ jobs involve and assess
if they are worth more or less than what they are currently paid. The entire workforce had to then vote on whether to implement the proposed redistribution of salaries.
The programme revealed the positive result of the experiment and that the process has created a better and more productive working environment at Pimlico Plumbers. Charlie Mullins said: “Trying to create a fairer pay scheme where employees reveal their salary to each other was obviously always going to be a risky strategy and I can’t say I wasn’t a bit worried and concerned about doing this. It certainly caused me a few sleepless nights! “And I won’t pretend that during the process there weren’t a few shocks, a few rows, a few tears, a touch of bitterness, and even a spot of guilt once the contents of their pay packets were out in the open. But there was also a lot of happy people and a fair bit of positivity.” He added: “I am sure the programme will generate a fair bit of debate among business owners and employees alike. Talking about pay is one of the last taboos in society and it took our guys a lot of guts to take part. Once they did, they took it very seriously and demonstrated the pride they have in the jobs they do.”
Outspoken and often controversial, Charlie has starred in Channel 4’s ‘Secret Millionaire’ and the BBC’s ‘Young Plumber of the Year’ programmes and is a regular business commentator in the national media.
AFTER THE SHOW Charlie issued the following statement after the show aired: “Even five days after Pimlico Plumbers took part in Channel 4’s Show Me Your Money TV experiment, the conversation, debate and comments about the programme have continued. From TV reviewers and media commentators to HR experts and a great many people in the ‘Twitter-verse’, everyone’s put their two-penneth worth in about the show and its content. Of course, that was partly the intention from my point of view. As well as making a direct difference to the world of Pimlico Plumbers, and I have to say it has, the programme has also sparked a level of debate in society that can still only really be generated by national network television. Hopefully it created plenty of ‘water cooler moments’ the next morning and started to break down the taboo of discussing salaries – both among colleagues and by management with their employees. Making people’s salaries, and the differences between them, the subject of a documentary was always going to create a potentially explosive situation.
CHARLIE MULLINS Launched by Charlie Mullins in 1979 with just a bag of tools and a very old van bought at auction, Pimlico Plumbers now has more than 170 professional trades people and a support team of around 50 staff serving customers across London including some of the world’s most famous names including James Bond star Daniel Craig and actress Dame Helen Mirren. Charlie is the archetypal entrepreneur having started his business from scratch and building it into a multi-million pound enterprise. His company’s iconic blue and white vans can also been seen in Spain after Charlie launched a Marbella branch of the company last year to serve both local and ex-pat customers.
As anyone who saw the programme will have seen, there were a lot of shocks, a few tears and a touch of resentfulness, but the end result was that a majority of staff are a lot better off. I want to say a huge thank you to every single member of my workforce who took part in this pay experiment, I know it was a lot to ask of them and I’m sure the prospect of revealing their wages was quite daunting.
However, I hope that people would agree that it did Pimlico good and at the end of the day we’re all a much happier workforce. The reaction on the whole has been pretty good. In fact, I’d say that 80 percent of the feedback we’ve had has been positive and, of the negative, only two of three percent have been vindictive. Obviously, you have to expect a few of these comments when we have things like Twitter, which give these people a platform and almost direct access to others they want to vent their spleen at. There will also be people who said we did this programme just to get me and my business on Channel 4. Now anyone who knows me understands how important I see public relations and profile to my business. I have said many times that PR and marketing are essential to the business mix and have a crucial role to play in making a company a success. And I’m not going to argue that our strong profile attracted the TV company to feature us, but ultimately it was because they understood that I am willing to take a bit of a chance and a risk in business. Now that’s something I’ve always been prepared to do. It’s no different from the first time I picked up an old bag of tools and jumped in a clapped out van for the first time in the 70s. I took a chance to start up on my own and knew I had to work hard to succeed. Whether it’s in life, business or on television, sometimes you’ve got to take a chance. The FA has done it with Roy Hodgson despite the majority calling for Harry Redknapp to become England boss. And the Government is taking a chance every day that its economic policies are going to get us out of the mire. Essentially, you can’t sit on your hands. You have to go for it and sometimes put your neck on the block to do it. In this case I was prepared to put a stick on the hornets’ nest by running this experiment with my workforce. But it was a chance worth taking as a more transparent approach to salaries has done us all the world of good.” The only question remaining is, should all companies adopt this strategy to improve Britain’s working environments?
MBE FOR SCOTIA CHRIS BIELBY CHRIS BIELBY, based at Horley, has been honoured in recognition for services to gas safety. He has spent the past 25 years tirelessly lobbying and canvassing support for gas safety issues, particularly around carbon monoxide. He joined the industry in 1972, starting out as a gas engineer before moving into other operational and senior managerial roles. Chris joined Scotia Gas Networks in September 2011 to lead on new business, particularly high-profile biomethane opportunities. Since then, he has also assumed strategic leadership for stakeholder engagement and innovation, both of which have benefitted enormously from his expertise,
enthusiasm and positivity. Chief Executive Officer John Morea said: “Chris has represented SGN very successfully at government level on a number of strategically important matters and has also been asked by the Health and Safety Executive to lead the review and revision this summer of one of the principal set of gas safety regulations in the UK, which is great recognition not only for Chris but for
our proactive approach to identifying and addressing areas of legislation and regulation that we believe should and could be improved upon”. Chris said: “I’m delighted and honoured by the announcement, it hasn’t sunk in yet. It is a great reflection of all the people I’ve had around me since the start of my career. It’s the experts and professionals who have helped me get this recognition.
“It’s fantastic that gas safety has been recognised in this way. The statistics for explosions are at a low level and this is due to the robust policies and procedures throughout the industry. “I’d also like to thank my wife for her patience. She said all the time I spend away from home has proved worthwhile!” Chris is a fellow and past president of the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers, as well as chairman of the Gas Industry Safety Group, Gas Safety Trust and the Gas Task Group.
THE COMPANY Scotia Gas Networks was formed in June 2005 and is a privately owned company. Their shareholders are SSE plc, Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. SGN is the second largest gas distribution company in the UK and owns and operates two gas distribution networks; one in Scotland and another in the south and south east of England. They take gas from the national
transmission system and transport it through their network of 74,000km of gas pipeline to 5.8 million customers.
adopted by all their employees and contractors which is supported by a 24/7 rapid response helpline.
The company’s vision is to be the leading operator of gas networks in the UK employing the highest standards of safety throughout, while caring for their customers, the environment and the communities they serve.
The company further fulfils their responsibilities of health and safety by setting a clear example and creating a culture whereby they are all open to being constructively challenged on unsafe behaviours wherever they occur.
Safety is at the heart of everything the company does, whether it is the safety of their customers, the general public, the employees or contractors. They are committed to operating an injury-free and healthy workplace and protecting the safety of the public. This involves creating a culture where they constructively challenge unsafe behaviours wherever they occur, for example, by placing more emphasis on reducing injuries to members of the public from their streetworks, they have seen a significant improvement with a reduction in injuries of 86 per cent over the five years to 2010.
Their approach is to take personal responsibility for their health and safety and that of others and ensure line managers are accountable for the health and safety of their team. They aim to learn lessons quickly and find solutions that prevent colleagues or the public being injured in the future. They also actively require contractors to operate to the same high standard as they do and encourage them to share their safety vision and belief.
This improvement has followed significant investment in better equipment and logistics support, better training and a ‘don’t walk by’ approach
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TIMBER - THE FUTURE OF CONSTRUCTION? AS one of the oldest building materials on the planet, timber has been used for hundreds of years across the globe in the construction of buildings, and it is now becoming more popular within the UK due to its climate friendly qualities.
The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) is an organisation which has developed to represent and protect the interests of all stakeholders in this expanding market. The TTF has existed for over 200 years, and its membership spans the entire chain of timber supply. Approximately 80 per cent of timber traders in the UK are members of the organisation. The TTF represents and advises the trade on all technical, regulatory and market development issues. The organisation is consulted by and interacts with policy makers and regulators regularly to ensure its members’ interests are included in policy development and that members are aware of the changing laws and are putting the right systems into practice. The organisation also actively consults with the end user – mainly the construction sector – to ensure that developments within the timber sector are in line with what the customer wants. “The timber trade is very unusual, and so we provide a lot of advice. There are many different species of tree, each of which has pros and cons in construction and each one is subject to different rules and regulations,” explains David Hopkins from the Federation.
The TTF has been active in helping shape the EUTR and has developed a due diligence system for members, the Responsible Purchasing Policy (RPP). This is a free benefit and condition of membership. It allows members an offthe-shelf, easy-to-use system to ensure they are compliant with the EUTR and also provides greater assurance for the market as a whole. In fact, the TTF already has very strict rules for their members, and they have had to expel members at the beginning of the year for not completing the RPP. “We protect the interests of the industry as a whole and cannot afford to let people off the hook. It would damage the reputation of the whole sector. By being so strict, buyers can now look at suppliers to see if they are a member of the TTF, and if so, it gives them a sense of security because they know we enforce due diligence. In the future we are looking at naming and shaming people who do not comply with this policy,” says David.
EUROPEAN LEGISLATION The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) has been designed to eradicate illegal timber from entering the market, and the TTF views it as a positive step forward for the trade. The legislation is expected to be in effect from 2013, and obliges anyone who brings or produces timber in the EU to have conducted due diligence and have the paperwork to prove so. This procedure will assure the customer that the timber they are buying is safe and legal. For timber traders, it is a welcome rule, as it will assist them in keeping their businesses running. They usually want to prove the legality and safety of their products, and this will ensure that they can.
The organisation’s due diligence policy is above and beyond the needs of the EUTR, as like with most policies they want to be ahead so that the market can adapt ahead of regulation. Any traders who do not complete due diligence are seen as a threat, as it is the responsibility of the TTF to ensure they are doing their bit to enforce and maintain the rules.
Europe’s stock of wood products stores around 220 million tonnes of carbon. “We are keen to promote timber as a high performance, low carbon construction material which can be substituted for steel and concrete”, shares David. “With modern engineered products such as cross-laminated timber, SIPs and glu-lam you can build pretty much anything from high-rise blocks to schools, hospitals and housing entirely from wood. The TTF has now formed the Engineered Timber Forum to engage with the construction industry and help boost market development in this area. These are the products which will be actively driving the industry forward and the TTF is at the forefront of this.” The TTF is also a driving force in the cross industry sustainability & promotion program, Wood for Good. The group launched a new campaign in May this year called “Wood First” which calls on local authorities to introduce rules in planning to consider timber as a first choice primary construction material to help meet sustainability targets. There has already been some interest in the introductory rule and David hopes to announce good results by the end of the year. “This is a rule which has already been introduced in far more stringent format in a number of countries and regions. It is also something called for in numerous studies from the Stern Review to the Independent Panel on Forestry. It’s simple, if you increase the demand for timber, you increase the supply of forest cover thus absorbing and storing more carbon. We should think of each new timber development as planting a second forest, or certainly extending its life.”
SUSTAINABILITY Sustainability is one of the main focuses of the TTF, and they are at an advantage because timber is a very low-carbon, renewable sustainable material. It is also a benefit to the carbon cycle, unlike steel and concrete, as trees absorb carbon as they grow and store it in wood products for the duration of their productive life. Around 50 per cent of the dry weight of timber is carbon. For every cubic metre of timber used in construction, one tonne of carbon dioxide is stored. In fact,
CUSTOMER SERVICE KEY TO BEATING THE RECESSION 28
FOUNDED in 1995 as a Sole Trader by Richard Littleboy and his late wife Jackie, Diss Scaffolding is a family-run business with an approximate turnover of £700,000 a year. The company currently employs 15 people, including Richard’s daughter and son–in-law who work as administrator and secretary respectively. The rest of the team comprises of highly skilled and qualified scaffolders, who have a combined experience of more than 100 years.
GOING BACK When the company was originally set up in October 1995, Richard had just one lorry and one employee, along with his extensive experience. He had been working in scaffolding since 1979, and also had experience working on oil and gas platforms on the North Sea and a nuclear power station at Sizewell in Suffolk.
the business, and this ensures that they pull together as a team and get more accomplished. Despite being such a close-knit team, the company prides itself on its ability to maintain high levels of professionalism, and Richard believes it is this along with their reliability, honesty and excellent customer service that sets them apart from others in the industry.
Sadly, his wife Jackie, who helped set up the company, died six years later at the age of 40 after a battle with cancer, and never got to see their five grandchildren – and in November it will be six. “She played a big role in starting up the company, so it is sad that she is not here today to see what we have become,” shares Richard. Over the 17 years of being in operation, Diss has gone from strength to strength, last year becoming incorporated as a limited company. Today it is one of few companies in the industry who are continuing to fare well during the difficult economic times, and Richard puts this down to the good relationship the company has developed with its clients. “A lot of our customers have been with us for a long time,” says Richard.
FAMILY RUN Diss Scaffolding describe themselves as a family-run business, and as such find many benefits of being so. Many of their employees are people who are known by
SERVICES Based in the south of the country, the company services Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. They provide free advice and estimates to customers, and have very high health and safety standards, and are a member of CHAS.
themselves on offering a safe and efficient service. Looking forward, Richard says that he hopes to do more work with councils, and is working on breaking into the public sector.
They specialise in domestic, industrial and commercial scaffolding, and pride
HILLCREST STRUCTURAL STEELWORK SPECIALISTS 30
Hillcrest Structural Limited are a specialist company in Structural Steelwork solutions. The company was formed in 1981 by Christopher Westbrook and Christopher Hilling and successfully run until retirement in April 2009, at which time a successful Internal Management Buyout was made by the former Health and Safety Manager, Mr. Jamie Green.
Jamie, with the assistance of the fantastic team of 50 staff (including fellow Directors, engineers, draughtsman, workshop (in the West Midlands), siteworks & estimating departments) has continued to grow the company, achieving a ÂŁ7.3m turnover for the year 2011/12 (against the Business Plan forecast of ÂŁ4m).
SERVICES AND PROJECTS
schools, colleges and universities. Additionally they have completed work at Southampton Police Headquarters, Gatwick, Heathrow and Stanstead Airports, EDF Energy and Ferrari, BMW and Rolls Royce showrooms.
business due to their high standards of customer service and quality of work. Health and Safety is of particular importance to the company and they are CHAS Accredited. Amongst their other achievements, is the Southampton Business Success Award 2012 from the Chamber of Commerce
Hillcrest prides them self on being a proactive company and achieve repeat
As specialists in their field, Hillcrest offer the design, supply, fabrication and erection of a wide variety of steel structures from portal frame/beam and column type buildings to complex structures. In addition to their core business of structural steelwork, Hillcrest can also provide within the scope of works the design, manufacture and installation of a number of products, which include, but are not limited to, staircases, balconies, walkways and expansive metalwork packages. Hillcrest has completed work in a number of sectors, including water sector projects (with Thames Water),
JS SERVICES PROACTIVE PROBLEM SOLVING INDUSTRIAL roofing specialists, JS Services Ltd was set up originally to provide expert labour for roofing and cladding.
Company founder, Jamie Simm, established the business as a limited company approximately five years ago but the company really took off after winning the first subcontractor project for York University. “The project really put us on the map as a subcontractor instead of a labour supplier,” says Ian Moorhouse, Commercial Director at JS Services. The company has now gained a reputation of being a reliable subcontractor, which has been built by designing, supplying and installing cost effective roofing and building cladding solutions to the high standards expected by their customers.
They have been involved in a large number of projects as subcontractors, and this has included (most recently) three schools in Blackpool, a shopping centre in Manchester, a swimming pool in Accrington and an industrial development in Wigan, among many others. JS Services offer a wide array of roofing and cladding services that include built up roofing, standing seam roofing, external and internal cladding, roof and wall maintenance and building refurbishment. They are specialist installers of all major roofing, and offer in-house training to their workforce.
As Commercial Director, Ian has worked alongside Jamie on developing the company’s full range of subcontractor services, and they have managed the company with a small team of hard working individuals, which has ensured maximum profits, especially within the difficult economy.
“We have internal road show where major suppliers come in and educate our workers about their products, so they are knowledgeable on what they are selling or installing. We stick to what we are good at, and don’t go outside of that box. This has ensured our success in overcoming the recession,” explains Ian.
PROJECTS & SERVICES
The company currently employs between 30 and 40 staff and boast an annual turnover of approximately £4m.
“We are a very proactive contractor, we do not look at problems, just a set of solutions,” declares Ian. The company’s
approach of proactive problem solving is refreshing, and they work with main contractors to find economic solutions to the problems they are faced with. From a very early stage, Jamie took advantage of the RBS mentoring scheme, which has helped them to set up all their safety and quality systems. This ensured that before they had won their first contract, they had put into place all their legislative responsibilities. Despite the economic downturn, the company has been able to meet their financial targets, and aim to continue doing what they are as they prepare for a better economy. “We want to become recognised as competitive suppliers of high quality building solutions,” concludes Ian.
QUALITY SERVICE is at the top of the agenda for Scotland based company Young Plant Sales.
Formed in 1978 by the late Tom Young, who had previously had 27 years experience in the plant industry, Young Plant Sales spent their first year in premises in Airdrie. In 1979 YPS moved to their current offices near Doune, Stirling. Over the years they have bought premises on either side of their own to allow for expansion and development. The business is now run by Tom’s son Brian, whose mother was also a director of the company, only retiring at the age of 85 in 2010. It is very much a family run business, and Brian’s wife and son (who is still at school) also work in the business on a part time basis.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Young Plant is one of a few businesses who concentrate solely on selling plant as opposed to hiring it. They are Main dealers and stockists for a number of industry leading brands, with one of their largest being Kubota Construction Equipment. In fact, they were one of the first two companies to become main Dealers for Kubota mini excavators when they were first introduced in the UK, the other no longer survives making them the longest serving dealers for any make of mini excavator in Britain. Furthermore, they pride themselves on being one of the largest mini excavator distributors in the world.
They are also Main Dealers for Bomag Compaction Equipment, and were delighted when they were awarded as dealer of the year for Bomag UK. In addition to Kubota and Bomag, Young Plant Sales are also Scotland’s Main Dealer for Hyundai Heavy Equipment, including Loaders and Excavators, who are developing their business very quickly and aim to be among the top 3 manufacturers of Construction Plant in the world. As a result, the company has received some significant orders from leading Scottish Hirers and Civil Engineering Businesses. Other leading brands for which YPS are Main Dealers include Hydrema Dump Trucks, Merlo Telescopic Handlers, Probst safe lifting and laying equipment, NC Site Dumpers, CompAir Compressors, Socomec boom mounted breakers and attachments as well as theft prevention and recovery aids. As well as supplying new equipment, the company also sells second hand equipment at home and abroad. They offer warranty on all used equipment retailed by the business after servicing and reconditioning.
Not only do they stock spare parts, but Young Plant Sales are also stockists of accessories, attachments, and specialised replacement parts via their busy Parts Department. In terms of repairs, all engineers employed by the company are factory trained and certified to the highest industry standards and carry out repairs on site and in the company’s own workshop. Their tools are calibrated and guaranteed by external examiners annually, and any equipment that does not measure up is replaced with new.
SERVICE STANDARDS Young Plant Sales have an admirable customer service track record, and this has helped them get through the difficult economic times. “The business has had a tough time during the recession as the industry curtailed buying new equipment, so most of our business came from maintenance of clients’ equipment and parts sales. This ensured our survival, and we are now on the road to recovery. We aim to return to our turnover of 2007 by the autumn of 2013, and are aiming for £10million turnover this year.” says Managing Director, Brian. For Young Plant, good customer service is not only limited to giving the customer what they want. Often a client requires equipment by a certain date, and if the company know that they will not receive it by that time, they operate a policy of complete honesty.
As a result, customers know they can trust the company, and if they are told they will receive their purchase within six weeks, they will most likely receive it within six weeks. The company’s main aim over the coming months is to achieve zero complaints and 100 per cent customer satisfaction. This, as Brian put it, will lead to a good working environment and a “healthy bottom line”.
staff and suppliers. “Everyone knows Bob, mine and Stuart’s ( YPS Service Manager) mobiles are on 24/7 and my door is always open. If anyone has an issue they can come directly to us at any time to flag it up and get it quickly resolved” says Brian.
THE TEAM AS MD of the company, Brian oversees all operations and holds regular managers meetings to review and discuss all the issues within the business. Financial meetings are held monthly with the company’s accountant . However Brian also enjoys getting involved in the Sales side of the business and this is the area where he is most active along with Sales Director Bob Lyttle who joined the business in 2001. Bob’s sales results as well as his humour and industry knowledge and contacts have helped the business grow and prosper over the years and bode well for the future. As a family run business, Young Plant encourages loyalty from their customers,
Brian’s key aims are to ensure continued growth and survival, so that he has a good business to pass on to the next generation. He also wants to continuously develop the after sales system whereby customers are given the best support in the industry.
Being a family business also provides a good working atmosphere and has lead to good staff retention, with one member of the team Olive Kerr Company Secretary being at Young Plant Sales for over 30 years and Helen in admin being with us over 20 years both directly from school. The staff are all highly motivated, well trained and loyal, and this according to Brian this is the foundation of a good business.
In addition to the Bomag award, the company has received a number of other awards from their suppliers including Gold level Service Award from Kubota. Kubota also recently held a competition on their top salesman in the UK and Ireland to attract new customers to the brand. Young Plant were awarded three out of the top ten positions, and were invited on a trip to Paris as a result. Both compare and Wacker Neuson have also awarded the business with Best Dealer awards in recent years.
TUBES SCAFFOLDING Tubes Scaffolding Limited is owned and run by Mr David Farman. Established in 1992, we are one of the largest scaffolding contractors in East Anglia employing 75 people, erecting independent and system scaffold. All employees hold a CISRS card.
Health & Safety
Scaffolding is erected to SG4 & TG20 standard with an audited scaffold tagging system in place. Specific Risk Assessments are in place for all works carried out with design drawings produced where required.
Members of the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation since July 2007.
Our plans for the future are to continue working with current clients, whilst looking to diversify into other fields. Currently speaking to potential clients in both the offshore and aviation industries.
TRAINING We have an extensive ongoing training programme for all employees and have supported a number of apprentices over time. We currently have six apprentices on Construction Skills programmes with four more due to start training later this year.
INDUSTRY AWARDS In 2008 were proud to win the British Sugar Safety Award Best Contractor 2007/2008 Gold. This achievement was followed by the Construction Health & Safety Best Practice Award in 2009. While in 2011 we attained Highly Commended in the NASC Health and Safety Awards programme.
Chas accredited in August 2010 smas* Worksafe Contractor accredited in August 2010
CLIENTS AND CUSTOMERS We work in the Commercial, Industrial, Construction and Energy Sectors.
Supporting the Community Since 2010 the company has organised a Charity Fun Day to support local charities such as the East Anglian Air Ambulance and Waveney Valley Community First Responders.
Our Customers include: Anglian Water Birds Eye Birse Civils British Sugar EPR Limited Hopkins Homes Kier Eastern Mansell Morgan Sindall May Gurney Skanska Vinci Construction
TARMAC AS the UKâ€™s largest quarrying company and supplier of construction materials, Tarmac is a market leader in aggregates, ready mixed concrete and asphalt. The company has been involved in some of the countryâ€™s largest construction projects, including Wembley Stadium, Emirates stadium, the M1 widening, M25 resurfacing and most recently the London Olympics 2012.
Tarmac provide products and services around the materials that they quarry, including sand, hard rock and gravel. These are used to produce ready mixed concrete, asphalt, cement and lime. Their products are used to help meet the need for infrastructure, like roads, schools, hospitals, homes and offices. They endeavour to ensure their materials are quarried in an efficient and sustainable way, protecting both the environment and the communities they work in. The business also includes Tarmac National Contracting and Tarmac Buxton Lime and Cement.
TARMAC NATIONAL CONTRACTING
is the UKâ€™s leading supplier of highway contracting service, installing in excess of 3.5 million tonnes of asphalt each year. Their Highway Services is a specialist division offering a range of complementary services to maintain the highway infrastructure of the country. They also have a National Road Planing operation, making them the UKâ€™s only nationwide planning contractor.
FLEET The company boast an extensive fleet that is regularly upgraded to ensure they are able to deliver only the highest standards of service. Recently they have acquired the new Volvo Hiab Cranes (pictured), ensuring that they have only the most up-to-date equipment and fleet.
Tarmac National Contracting undertakes more than 5000 contracts every year and
CARGOTEC Hiabâ€™s latest lorry-mounted crane is machine of choice for handling building blocks and bagged products
Cargotec Hiab has won the contract to supply Tarmac Building Products Ltd’s fleet of Volvo FM trucks with its market-leading Hiab XS144 HiDuo lorrymounted cranes, all fitted with Hiab’s latest VSL (Variable Stability Limit) safety system and XS Drive radio-controlled remote control. The cranes have a reach of 8.1 metres and a capacity of 1,850 Kg @ 7.8 m. A strict timetable for delivery of the vehicles was specified by Tarmac Building Products as John Abbott, Cargotec’s Southern Regional Manager explained: “There was no slack in the delivery schedule but superb cooperation between the suppliers meant we were able to deliver the contract on time and to budget.” Operating nationwide, the primary role of the XS144s is to handle Tarmac’s range of block products but the cranes also have the capability to handle its range of bagged products.
VSL ADVANCED SAFETY SYSTEM The Hiab VSL (variable stability limit) is the most advanced crane safety system currently available. It ensures vehicle
stability by monitoring how far the stabilisers are extended and indicating the crane’s maximum capacity at any given point. This effectively enables the crane to safely handle higher capacities at any given leg position.
XSDRIVE RADIO-CONTROLLED REMOTE OPERATION XSDrive has been ergonomically developed to relieve the operator of stress and strain in hands, arms and back. The load indicators allow safe, speedy and accurate control of crane movement; and a spin-off benefit is that by operating the crane while standing next to the load, a loading assistant is not required, allowing the work to be completed faster and at a lower cost.
VSL and XSDrive enhance the userfriendly qualities of the HX144 range and set it apart from the rest. These features have been extremely well received in the market place and are proving to be extremely reliable “This project is more than a mere order, it’s a partnership between Tarmac, Volvo, Cargotec, Charlton and Truckmate,” John Abbott said. “And the Cargotec comprehensive national service network is on hand to keep the equipment in top condition throughout its working life.”
THE COMPLETE ALL DONE SOLUTION ONE-STOP shop All Done offers design, building and maintenance solutions under one roof. Established ten years ago, the company began as a small building business, but has seen rapid growth over the years which led to an expansion of their services. The company employ 35 people, which includes both office staff and workers. Although they do not have any specific plans to expand, All Done offers excellent customer service and a complete solution for any job, and as a result it is growing on its own year on year. 44
SERVICES The All Done Group offers a wide range of services. All Done Design provide architectural design-based services ranging from site feasibility studies to planning applications and project management, and further right through to interior design. All designs are individually tailored to the requirements of the client, with the environmental implications always considered.
“Our reputation for consistently delivering high quality construction services in a timely and cost-efficient manner has earned us many new and repeat clients,” says Emeline Rebillard, marketing manager at All Done. The final company within the group is All Done Maintenance, which is split into four main sections; plumbing, gas, electricity and drainage. These services are offered to both existing and new clients of the group. “By providing the maintenance service, our clients know that we are with them right from the very beginning for an ongoing basis, and as we designed and built their property, we know it better than anyone,” shares Emeline.
CUSTOMER RELATIONS The company pride themselves on excellent customer relations, and according to Director Oner Avara, many clients are referred to them by happy customers. As a RIBA Chartered Practice, the company abide by strict codes of conduct and practice, and are committed to providing the highest standard of architectural services for their clients. Together with their sister company All Done Build, they are able to provide a comprehensive design and build package. All Done Build are one of the fastest growing general contracting companies in London. Through the design and build package, they have completed a very wide variety of jobs from loft conversions and refurbishments to large commercial outlets.
“We have had very good feedback from all our clients, and many people have heard about us through word of mouth. We have our own dedicated team, and an office that people can walk into and speak to the people at the top if they wish”. Clients are well taken care off throughout the entire process, with weekly site meetings between the customer and the contract manager. This transparency ensures that clients are able to trust that their work is getting done, and dealing with just one contract manager from the beginning to the end further ensures full transparency and satisfaction.
ADENSTAR DEVELOPMENTS ADENSTAR Developments is the major company in the Adenstar Construction Group, and was formed in 1982. The company carries out either traditional, or design and build, building and civil engineering contracts in Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Hampshire up to ÂŁ25 million.
TRAINING AND ACCREDITATIONS
Builders and the National House Building Council.
Major clients include Sainsburyâ€™s, Barratt, Sunley Estates, Body Shop International, British Airways, Hospital Trusts and Schools, and more than 50 per cent of contracts are negotiated or part of a partnering arrangement.
85 per cent of employees have NVQ Construction Operations and this and the emphasis on safety, health and welfare enabled the company to achieve the Investors in People award and to become accredited to ISO 9001 for its quality management system.
The Board, led by Chairman Derek Chapman, believes in hands on control of contracts and completing each and every contract to time and within agreed financial restraints regardless of its size.
Adenstar Developments Limited is a Member of the National Federation of
Other companies in the group are Adenstar (Reinforced Concrete) Limited and Kerblay (UK) Limited.
AVONSIDE Avonside Group Services, known at the time as Lee Roofing, was formed in 1987 as a private company. The company’s core business at that time was roofing to new house building, a sector which offered rapid growth and expansion working for blue chip developers across the country. The company was acquired in the early 1990s by a PLC and as a result expanded steadily throughout the ensuing 5 years. The business continued to develop and expand into other industry market areas, including construction and social housing refurbishments. In September 2003 Avonside Roofing was the subject of a management buy out led by Tony Burke, Group Managing Director. The business has since undergone a major strategic programme of restructuring, training and investment and as a result has re-positioned itself as market leader in this sector. One of the significant outcomes from this programme of continuous improvement is the securing of the various industry lead accreditations.
This has allowed Avonside Group Services to apply its expertise to key market sectors of the roofing industry, including local authority work, new build, refurbishment, construction and repairs and maintenance. Recent developments of expansion and acquisitions have seen the addition of seven more branches being added to the Group around the UK, adding to the extensive company portfolio. These include specialist flat roofing branches, a repairs and maintenance division, cladding and sheeting, the groundbreaking Roofspace Solutions brand, as well as the newly launched Avonside Renewables. Today, Avonside Group Services is one of Britain’s largest roofing contractors,
offering true national coverage via its 18 strong branch network. It is committed to being a preferred supplier/partner to house builders, construction companies, local authorities and housing associations. Avonside Group Services remains underpinned by its determination, with the help of key suppliers, to develop and deploy new solutions to the challenges of the industry in the future. “We very proud of our progress to date but will continue to strive for improvement,” says Paul Johnson, Group Health and Safety Manager. The message the company portrays is ‘keep watching this space’ for new milestones in Avonside Group Services growth and development.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
navigating the server due to the large volume of information on the site.
Health and safety is one of the company’s major priorities, and they work hard to ensure a safe working environment for their staff and the general public. As the Avonside Group Health and Safety manager for all branches across the UK, Paul advises branches on all aspects of health and safety, chairing the group health and safety meetings and reporting to the board every quarter on the company’s current status with regards to accident stats, as well as any improvements or initiatives. At the moment Paul is carrying out health and safety seminars across the group looking at the subject of behavioral health and safety when working at height.
Paul meets with clients to discuss health and safety on all current projects at the initial stages before work begins, and discusses current projects with branch staff when applying or tending for any new contracts. He promotes health and safety across the group and encourages others to act safely at all times. He writes a company health and safety newsletter that is used for further promotion.
Paul carries out health and safety audits of all branches on a regular basis and reports the findings to the health and safety committee, the board and the quarterly management meeting. He also runs the health and safety server for Avonside and have just introduced a hyper link system to assist staff when
The company’s present plans are to continue promoting behavioral safety around the group and encourage others to think about health and safety before they act. “I want to set up a national supplier for all Avonside PPE, encourage branches to promote safety champions in their local branch offices, and improve our current CSCS card from general green cards to blue cards,” shares Paul Future plans are to train all Directors in NEBOSH construction health and safety and to improve and promote branches to increase their H&S training.
The company also wants to introduce health and safety incentives like a reward scheme for anyone who comes up with a safer alternative for carrying out their work. There are further plans to increase health and safety awareness by promoting effective policies and procedures that encourage safer behavior from contractors and staff.
PROJECTS Currently Avonside boast a workforce of over 600, made up of over 400 contractors and 200 employees. Projects on the go at the moment include Coca Cola at Leeds where they are re-roofing the largest bottling plant in Europe. They are working with BAM at Stafford college building a new section to the existing structure. They are also in the process of working with KFC branches across the UK. The company have created a couple of new initiatives with the introduction of Avonside direct in Burton -on-Trent and a new flat roofing section to work in the North West of the UK.
HOLDCROFT AT FOREFRONT OF CENTRAL HEATING SERVICES
Holdcroft Heating and Gas Fitting offers a comprehensive service covering all aspects of plumbing and heating including gas safety checks, central heating systems and boiler installations. Their engineers are fully qualified and are Gas Safe and CORGI registered. All their work is guaranteed so customers can rest assured they will receive only the very best service.
SERVICES With over 20 years experience in the central heating, boiler installation and servicing business, Holdcroft Heating and Gas Fitting provides a friendly and professional service within the domestic sector throughout Staffordshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire and the North West. They also provide a maintenance service for letting agents and private landlords that includes landlord gas safety checks and emergency repairs.
AWARDS, ACCREDITATION AND CERTIFICATES Holdcroft boast the following awards and certifications: • Finalist “Installer Live Awards 2011” Apprentice of the Year • Finalist HVAC Apprentice of the Year Award • PM Training Apprentice of the Year Award
Providing services to Cheshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and the North West, Holdcraft Heating & Gas Fitting has over 20 years of experience heating homes for a community that associate the company name with trust and reliability. With integrity customers can count on, Holdcraft Heating & Gas Fitting has value because it gives value, both to employees and customers and continues to grow in both.
• Gas Safe/Corgi
Holdcroft Heating & Gas Fitting are proud to be fully accredited installers for Worcester Bosch as well as specialists for Vaillant and Baxi Boilers.
With central heating being their main area of focus, the company offer a number of services under the category, including gas servicing and emergency boiler breakdown services. Under this service, they offer guaranteed annual boiler servicing and advice on improving energy efficiency.
• Chas • REAL Assurance • CREDO With a passion for customer satisfaction, Holdcraft Heating & Gas Fitting pride themselves on the trust and support they offer their customers while striving to improve upon their service.
12TH INTERNATIONAL SAFETY AWARD LIFT and Engineering Services Ltd was founded in 1982 in the Black Country, the globally recognised industrial heart of Britain.
£3,000,000 and upwards.
GROWTH Encouraged by their loyal Clients, the company has driven growth in the business combined with a policy of continuous improvement which has expanded their range of services and their national reach, and they now have four operating bases – in London, the West and East Midlands.
INVESTMENT IN LOCAL PEOPLE Lift and Engineering is a privately owned family led business employing local people at each operating base and with active apprentice and work experience schemes which have remained unaffected by global economic difficulties. Key to their growth and success is their confidence in the market’s reaction to investment that delivers continuous improvement in all that they do.
INDEPENDENCE The company remains one of a handful of independent UK lift companies able to design and manufacture their own product. They build new lifts at their West Midlands HQ in their 25,000ft squared manufacturing plant where more than 70 per cent of the structure of all lifts they produce are built. Parts that they do not make ourselves, such as control panels, drive units and door operating systems, are sourced from carefully chosen open protocol units from UK manufacturers and suppliers which conform to their stringent in-house design office specifications.
To minimise the possibility of Client business interruption the company also maintain a constant high value and wide ranging stock of industry standard replacement parts, including a comprehensive range of OEM components. Bespoke replacement and repair items can also be designed and manufactured within hours in their manufacturing plant if required. They have specialist knowledge of working in Grade I and II listed buildings as well as petro-chemical plants where their bespoke manufacturing abilities have proven vital. A key component of the company’s operations is their comprehensive maintenance, repair and emergency response service provided for any make of lift, escalator or hoisting equipment. They have a specialist team of engineers who deal with mobility access equipment. This service, controlled via their dedicated in house service centres, is delivered on a 24-7-365 basis to a wide portfolio of installations and Clients. They service over 10,000 units and are as comfortable delivering a £15,000 contract as their contracts of
STAFF The company gives credit to their loyal, long service, highly trained and multiskilled workforce who deliver their traditional but nevertheless cost effective craftsmanship. Lift and Engineering Services prides itself on its lean approach made possible by a combined resource of strong capable management integrated with dedicated operatives who are technically competent and devoted craftsmen. They are proud to boast their employee long service awards and very low staff turnover. Their HQ training facilities are used for in house development as well as using external providers for qualifications, best practice awards, skills
and competence development. Their full time Health & Safety Manager is the company’s Training Officer, who has been part of their senior management team whilst they have grown to their current team of just under 100 employees. They have been ISO management system adopters for over a decade and are certificated to ISO 9001, Lift Regulations Schedule 12, ISO 14001 and BS OHSAS18001 as well as being a British Safety Council member accredited to deliver their training. “2012 marks our twelfth successive win of an International Safety Award British Safety Council” Tony Blakemore, Health & Safety Manager
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MAC ROOFING AND CONTRACTING LTD. FOUNDED in 1972, MAC Roofing & Contracting Ltd., now located in Bromborough, Wiiral, is a private family owned business that has grown to be one of the largest, respectable roofing organizations within the North West. Their high quality services expand nationwide to both public and private sector organizations.
MAC Roofing & Contracting Ltd. has gained a reputation established and built upon through years of high standards, quality service, and formally qualified and trained professionals. In their new location of Bromborough, MAC Roofing & Contracting Ltd. is better able to accommodate their recent long-term partnerships and thus supply an even higher standard of service to their clientele as well as increase the sustainability of the business for both the present and future prospects of the company.
SYSTEMS MAC Roofing & Contracting Ltd has a variety of roofing systems to accommodate client specifications. These include felt, or reinforced bituminous membrane, which is a roofing system that is suitable for all surface types - flat, pitched, curved while not prone to wind sheer and peel. They also supply hot melt monolithic structural waterproofing, which provides a durable and self-healing system, and roof tiling including clay and concrete
tiles. Other products/services include single ply membranes andflat-to-pitch roof conversions. Three Cladding options are available: Standing seam, Composite panels, or Built up twin skin. MAC Roofing & Contracting Ltd also offer Solar photovoltaic panels.
Construction Industry Training Board Construction Skills (CITB) North West Independent Roof Training Group (NWRTG) Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS) British Standards Institution BS EN ISO 9001: 2008 Investors In People 2005, 2008
IMA Roofing Contractor of the Year Award Winner x2
Achilles (UDVB) Registered
FRA National BUR Award Winners 2002, 2003, 2004 (including Best in Show), 2007, 2008, 2009
FRA National BUR Award Runner-Up 2008, 2009 NFRC Gold Safety Award 2008.
Exor British Safety Council Constructionline Registered SAFE Contractor
ACCREDITATION Flat Roofing Alliance (FRA) National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) Intelligent Membrane Association (IMA) Single Ply Roofing Association (SPRA)
NICK KNOWLES EXCLUSIVE We had the opportunity to speak to DIY SOS Presenter Nick Knowles, who shared his passion for sport, his career on television and his insights into the construction industry.
CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT ABOUT Can you tell me a little YOUR EARLY LIFE, INCLUDING about what goes on behind INFLUENCES AND EXPERIENCES? the scenes? I left school not really knowing what I wanted to do except play rugby. I had a lot of family members that worked in the construction industry, so when I went to Australia to play rugby, I worked on building sites to earn some money. Sport is a really big thing for me, and I kept up to date with the Olympics. I think it has been really great to have it in our country, because not only has it shown off our sporting talent, but it has also shown the world that we have some really talented people working in the construction industry who worked together to build our Olympic Park.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO TELEVISION? Initially I worked as a journalist, in Australia, the UK and the USA. I didn’t have the traditional entry into television, and when I first started in Australia nobody I knew was watching. That has helped to give me a very unique approach. I am just myself. A lot of people who work into television are a certain way because of the pressure of family and friends that are watching them, whereas I am just myself.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO PRESENTING DIY SOS? 13 years ago I got offered the job to present DIY SOS. At first I thought it was a bad idea, and said as much. I never could have imagined how successful it would be. Today the show brings the construction industry to six million people across the country. Most shows that feature the construction industry have a very negative point of view, so it is great to be probably the only show that highlights the positives of the industry to such a large audience.
It is just as crazy, if not crazier than what appears on screen! The hours are very long, but having such a great team makes it easier. We have friendly banter and all of us just get on so well. The one thing I really like about the show is that we use real tradesman, who get to show off their abilities through the show. What is even more wonderful is that these tradesmen give up their time for free to help someone in their locality.
How does it feel helping people who are so deserving? I don’t do the actual helping, which is down to the dedicated team I work with, and believe it or not, the people who come to help out from the local community all walk on to set and feel comfortable and talk to us like old friends, because they are so used to seeing us on television. They feel they already know us, which in a sense they do! But being a part of the process is wonderful. It often surprises me how in these rough economic times, so many people are willing to give up their time to help others in their community. Often I find that is the people that can least afford to help that give the most help.
How do you feel about being nominated for a BAFTA? DIY SOS was nominated and shortlisted, but unfortunately we didn’t get it. It was great to be nominated but disappointing not to get it because we help so many people.
What do you think of the building industry today, especially with the recession? Although it has been the hardest hit industry, I am confident it will come out of recession soon. If you look at any recession it is usually the construction industry that take a country out of recession. I do think we have so many young people, which is a great resource, and we are not doing enough to use this resource within the industry. We need to look at ways for young people to come into and work within the construction industry.
What was your favourite show to work on? I have worked on a lot of shows since I started working in television, but I do think DIY SOS is my favourite. It is unique in that we are helping deserving people and the team is absolutely great.
INTERNATIONAL SUPPLIERS OF SPECIALISED CONCRETE CONCRETE specialists, Rockbond SCP Ltd is a small business based near Colchester, Essex. Rockbond SCP supply concrete products throughout the UK and export worldwide.
Established in March 1994, the company was set up by Gilbert Cox, Technical Director and MD. The company is run by him and four other members, including his daughter Louisa who is Office Manager and Sales Director. Despite being so specialist, Rockbond can supply clients with a wide range of concrete solutions, specially formulated to work optimally in specified environments.
GILBERT Technical Director, Gilbert Cox has a wealth of experience and knowledge on the chemicals involved in making the products Rockbond supply. He graduated from Bath University with a BSc in Applied Chemistry, and has worked at a number of places, including the Proton Group between 1987 and 1991. It was during his time here that he designed and supplied more than 4000 tonnes of underwater mortar that was used in the Channel tunnel, making it leak proof. He was also involved in the design and development of the Proton Range of Portland Cementitious Systems at the proton group.
CLIENTELE Rockbond supply products to large companies that include Tesco Supermarkets, London Underground and Royal Mail, among many others. They also manufacture products for wellestablished companies like Tarmac under their name. The concrete they have produced has been used at Heathrow Airport and a number of motorways across Britain, including M6 and the M42. Rockbond products have been used internationally, including in Dubai, Kenya, Benin and Russia. They have recently received queries from a very large tiling company in Spain for underwater products that are suitable in the repair of swimming pools without having to drain the water.
What do you think of the building industry today, especially with the recession? Although it has been the hardest hit industry, I am confident it will come out of recession soon. If you look at any recession it is usually the construction industry that take a country out of recession. I do think we have so many young people, which is a great resource, and we are not doing enough to use this resource within the industry. We need to look at ways for young people to come into and work within the construction industry.
Despite this, Gilbert says that Rockbond are “not high volume but high tech producers”. He further explains that the company are still learning, as theirs is a highly specialised field, and the company has a policy of continuous design and development.
After leaving Proton, Gilbert started Rockbond with the intention to supply a full range of special concrete products. He is heavily involved in the formulation of the Rockbond range of Special Concrete Products.
PRODUCTS “We can basically do anything to concrete,” says Gilbert, talking about Rockbond’s range of products. The company supplies products for the repair and protection of concrete, flooring systems, quick strength materials, underwater materials, admixtures for cement and concrete, refectory materials, resin products and sand and aggregates, among others. The admixtures are specialised chemicals that are added to concrete to change its behaviour. For example, there are accelerators to make it dry quicker, and on the flip side, chemicals that can be added to it to make it dry slower, something that is sought after particularly in places with a warmer climate, and clients are based as far afield as Kenya and Dubai.
LEADERS IN PLANT AND TOOL HIRE SHC Hire Centres was established in 1981 in Skipton North Yorkshire, although the family has been involved in the hire industry since the 1950’s. They opened a depot in Ilkley in 1988 and ten years later another in Ripon. 2009 sees the launch of the Northallerton depot which gives the company a good coverage of North and West Yorkshire and the Lancaster border. 62
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QUALITY OF SERVICE
THE SAFE-HIRE SCHEME
The success of SHC has been built on the belief that service and quality of equipment coupled with a competitive hire rate are the key factors that customers look for in a Plant & Tool Hire supplier.
In the industry safety is paramount. The company’s trade body, the Hire Association Europe [HAE] introduced this scheme in 2001 as a way of monitoring a company’s safety performance and to ensure that they adhered to safe working practices and at the same time incorporating quality systems similar to ISO9000. SHC is fully accredited to this scheme.
Their attention to safety and service was recognised when they became one of the first companies to be awarded the HAE’s prestigious ‘Safe Hire’ accreditation back in 2001. Amongst the other awards and accreditations they have received over the years are ‘Hire Company of the Year’, and the HAE’s much sort after ‘Excellence in Customer Care Award’, and they gained Investors in People accreditation at the end of 2002. The company is active members of their trade associations; the Hire Association Europe (HAE) is the leading trade association for hire and rental companies in the UK and Ireland and the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) promotes the safe and effective use of powered access worldwide. In 2007 their Managing Director, Claire Gains became the Chair of the HAE.
Gargrave Agricultural & Horticultural Society – Sponsorship
COMMUNITY SHC place high importance on their involvement with the community, and as part of that they sponsor organisations and sports group, including the following: Craven Young Citizen Day and Crucial Crew 2011 Gargrave Cricket Club - Match Ball Sponsor Kilnsey Show – Trade Stand Skipton Rugby Club – Kit Sponsorship Lothersdale Young Farmers – Sponsor Race Night Macmillan Cancer Relief – Donation
HEALTH, SAFETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT 2011 ROSPA GOLD award winners, Farrans (Construction) Ltd is an established building and civil engineering contractor with headquarters in Northern Ireland and with operational interests throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe. Established during WWII, the business began as a small civil engineering company, and has now grown into one of the largest building and civil engineering contractors in Northern Ireland. After the war, Farrans played a significant role in
the rebuilding efforts, and as a result was able to acquire subsidiary companies that specialised in very specific areas of the reconstruction plan. Farrans is an operating division within Northstone (NI) Limited, who activities also include aggregate production, manufacture and supply of quality building materials and utility access chambers. Northstone is a wholly owned subsidiary of CRH plc. Headquartered in Ireland and with a turnover of over 18billion Euros, CRH operates in 35
countries, employs approximately 75,000 people and is focused on three closely related core businesses: Primary materials, Value-added building products and Specialist building materials distribution. Farrans has a number of divisions, which consist of Civil Engineering, Utilities, Commercial Building, Farrans Homes and Farrans Healthcare, and employs approximately 500 people.
Richard Guy, the company’s Health and Safety advisor said, “The origins of Farrans during the war underscore the commitment of the company to provide quality service, throughout our history and continuing into today”.
HEALTH AND SAFETY The company has a model for health and safety, which is a key part of Richard’s job along with carrying out site audits, internal health and safety training, attending employee consultation meetings and engaging with subcontractors and staff with regard to safety procedures. Farrans takes the issues surrounding health and safety very seriously, and are accredited to a number of health and safety initiatives including BS OHSAS 18001 and Safe T Cert, and according to Richard these are essential tools for the company to meet their commitment to safety standards. Farrans boast Investors in People status, and part of achieving this has been their attitude towards health and safety training. As well as tool box talks, staff are given formal training from approved bodies. All staff and subcontractors are required to complete a specified amount of training every year, and this forms a huge part of maintaining competence levels. “We consider ourselves innovators in health and safety”, declares Richard, referring to Farrans ‘Safety Sam’ programme, which has been part of their initiative to educate and protect local communities within which they work. The ‘Safety Sam’ programme is delivered to children in schools local to the projects they are working on, and warns children about the dangers of entering construction sites. ‘Safety
Sam’s’ motto is ‘Play Safe, Stay Safe’, and is an innovative method to raise safety awareness amongst children. As winners of the RoSPA Gold award for 2012, the company aims to continue keeping their health and safety standards high and provide training to their employees, subcontractors and the local communities they work in. In the coming months and years Farrans hopes to improve their health and safety standards providing health surveillance to all their employees and subcontractors. Furthermore, the company is aiming to achieve a minimum of 12 hours of health and safety training per year? amongst their employees and subcontractor. Additionally, they are working on rolling out a behavioural safety program, which will be in practice in the very near future.
CARBON FOOTPRINT The environment factor is high on Farrans’ list of policies, and the company has worked very hard trying to reduce their carbon footprint in recent years. “We comply with pertinent environmental regulations while delivering quality work that has minimum disruption to the environment,” shares Richard. In 2011, the company reduced their waste at their head office and they aim to half waste they send to landfill sites by the end of this year.
in which they ask for the best idea to improve the energy efficiency within the company. This has ensured that all staff are actively involved in the initiative. They have also communicated their policies to all employees, providing them with the relevant training in order to ensure they practice upon the policy.
PROJECTS Farrans are working on a number of large projects at the moment, including a partnership with Scottish Water which has seen the company working on water and sewage treatment plants as well as infrastructure. Additionally they continue to work with ScottishPower to develop windfarms, keeping in line with their energy efficiency goals. Farrans are now focussing on maintaining current business and expanding in Scotland, England and further afield.
Currently they are reducing their carbon footprint at a rate of approximately 10 per cent year on year, and they will continue doing so beyond the time that they reach their target reduction. They also use power from renewable sources, and regional offices are encouraged to ensure they are energy efficient. Every year the company runs a competition
UNIQUE SCAFFOLDING As a company formed in 1969, with over 40 years experience in the construction and conservation industry, Unique Scaffolding have worked on all types of projects and are able to deliver the expertise and quality of work required by their clients in todayâ€™s environment.
The company offer a supply and erect service to cover all aspects of access work, including new build developments, cyclical maintenance programmes, refurbishments and restoration and special projects including conservation of historic buildings and monuments. From their base in south east London, they can cover London and the south east of England.
SERVICES Unique Scaffolding can supply and erect scaffolding for all purposes from small house fronts to major refurbishment projects using traditional tube and fittings, Van Thiel tubelock together with Leyher modular staircases and UBIX aluminium temporary roofing systems. Their particular specialty is conservation and restoration works to historic buildings and monuments. They are happy to provide free estimates and consultation and can provide a full design service if necessary.
Their personnel are trained to the highest standard and are CISRS and CITB accredited. The company are active members of the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC), the only recognised, regulated and audited trade organisation for the scaffolding industry. Their staff sit on Standing Committees and have given active input on contractual and health and safety issues. More and more Clients and Contractors are specifying only NASC member scaffolding companies for their sites.
PROJECTS Some of the companyâ€™s recent projects include access scaffolds to high profile historic buildings and they have worked closely with specialist contractors, English Heritage and The National Trust to achieve successful conservation projects to some of the countryâ€™s best loved and unique historic buildings.
CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY - KEY TO SUCCESS FOUNDED in 1992 by Chris Howells, Managing Director of the Quarr Group, Mountjoy Building and Maintenance is the leading service provider of building and maintenance support across southern Engand. The company has an excellent reputation for delivering flexible, tailored services, including new builds, major and minor refurbishments, alterations, extensions and rolling programmes of works across all building types. Clients include Portsmouth City Council, Southern Housing Group, University of Southampton and Isle of Wight Council.
SERVICES Incorporated in 2006 as a limited company, Mountjoy offer a variety of
different services within both the private and public sector. The companyâ€™s range of core services includes responsive maintenance, building and refurbishment, planned maintenance and facilities management. Currently, the company provide maintenance services doer 11,000 homes and university halls of residence.
CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY Corporate responsibility and sustainability factors high on Mountjoyâ€™s list of priorities. The company pride themselves on their caring nature towards their staff, supply chain partners and customers.
The company maintains high standards of professionalism, integrity, honesty and diligence, which is driven by their comprehensive human resources strategy
and Code of Conduct. Employees are given ongoing training in customer care to ensure they are able to deliver to the highest standards. They have also recently introduced an apprenticeship scheme in order to demonstrate their commitment to help and support their staff in developing their knowledge and skillsets.
As well as commitment to people, the business is committed to the environment. They work closely with their suppliers and clients to mitigate any negative impact their work may have on the environment. They use environmentally friendly materials, undertake waste segregation, recycling and maximising energy efficiency. They also pay close attention to reducing their carbon footprint.
ROSPA GOLD MEDAL WINNER : NOMENCA LIMITED FOR six consecutive years Nomenca Limited has won the RoSPA Gold award for their approach to the prevention of accidents and ill health.
Established 1998 as the Mechanical, Electrical, Instrumentation, Control and Automation (MEICA) Contracting arm of the North Midland Construction Group Plc, Nomenca’s scope includes design and project management of MEICA and turnkey works in the Water, Power, Rail, Defence and Industrial sectors. In addition to the contracting services, the company offers a range of high quality waste water and water treatment products and systems. These consist of both standard modular designs as well as client specific and are continuously proven to be effective.
INVESTMENT Nomenca has made substantial investment in experienced, qualified personnel and equipment in order to ensure that they maintain the high level of technical and project management skills that their clients demand. Through this continual investment the company is capable of offering their clients comprehensive, professional contract management and design services from project inception through design, construction, installation and to
final commissioning and testing. This also includes laser surveying and 3D modelling services.
CUSTOMER RELATIONS Nomenca is proud of its record of excellent client relationships and repeat business, which have been built on close co-operative working practices and sound, innovative, cost effective ‘Value Engineering’ solutions. These strengths have contributed greatly to the company’s solid development within all industries.
It is a requirement that all activities, products and service are carried out by the company in accordance with the requirements of, ‘The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974’. The company ensure compliance of all applicable legislation for the benefit of employees and company performance.
With their sister company North Midland Construction Civils, Nomenca can also offer the convenience and commercial benefits of a ‘One-Stop Shop’ for combined Civil and MEICA turnkey projects.
ROSPA GOLD As a result of their six consecutive Gold Awards, the company was awarded the RoSPA Gold Medal this year. Nomenca is committed to continuously improving their Health and Safety performance.
EXPANSION IS ON THE AGENDA FOR GREEN BOILER INSTALLERS TT DRAINAGE AND PLUMBING LTD 74
TT Drainage and Plumbing Services Ltd has seen significant expansion over the last few years in spite of the recession. The North Wales based business has been in trade for 26 years and have been a limited company since 2003. They carry out a wide variety of work, both domestic and commercial, with some of their bigger clients being local authorities, schools, hospitals, police and the Fire Authority .
SERVICES TT Drainage and Plumbing are specialists in their field, and offer an emergency service with a response of time of 24 hours, although most of their calls are dealt with within three hours. They work through Christmas and New Year, and have a strong team who deliver an exemplary service. They are highly respected in North Wales for their drainage & plumbing services, and boast high standards of customer service. Drainage services that they provide include drain blockages, colour CCTV drain surveys, No dig re-lining, drain excavation repairs, burst water main repairs and replacements and graffiti removal and cleaning. With regards to plumbing services, the company offers kitchen and bathroom suite installations, a complete tiling and plastering service, taps, sinks, showers and toilets, washing machine and dishwasher installations, hot water problems, radiators and water tanks, burst and leaking pipes, overflows and Saniflow installations and repairs. Although a lot of the work they carry out is reactive, the company have recently completed work on a local hospital expansion and have a contract with industrial units throughout the North West.
EXPANSION While most companies have been struggling to keep afloat during the recession, TT Drainage and Plumbing have fought off the odds and underwent a vast expansion programme last year. Their premises are now four times the
size of what it used to be, and they have invested in new and upgraded equipment and vehicles and are currently undergoing an update of the brand and marketing. Over the years they have also grown from a team of just 4 to 25 employees. They are WRAS, CHAS, Safe contractor and Constructionline accredited as well as ISO9001 & 14001 approved, and this has helped their ongoing expansion plans. The company are closely working with Worcester Bosch to acquire Gold Accreditation and aim to expand their boiler installations and become one of few approved Green installers in the North West.
ENVIRONMENT The company take the environment very seriously, and in recent years have heavily reduced their carbon footprint, way ahead of targets. All company property has had renewable technologies installed and as such can boast that all company property is Energy Rated as an average of B Rating. Having already acquired the MCS Accreditation, they are looking to acquire the up and coming Green Deal Installer Accreditation to further expand the company. Gareth Gathern, General Manager at TT Drainage and Plumbing emphasised the companyâ€™s commitment to the environment, and expressed their ambition to be involved in larger projects. He is currently involved in tenders and other projects.
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