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Construction industry blows hot and cold on George’s big day Off-site construction could help solve the housing crisis, says report London Build 2015 lays strong foundations for future events Report shows highest level of optimism in construction for over a decade Technology comes to the aid of site security How to protect your van – on and off site Marshalls brings street furniture brands together Creating land...on water! Crossrail unveils designs for new station in Ealing Highways supply chain awards launched Silver award – but second to none on quality!

TRAINING & EDUCATION 14 Skills gap continues to dog the industry 14 Wales’s young engineers swing into action 16 Preparing students for an increasingly global industry 17 New MSc embraces the emerging field of BIM 18 School offers cutting edge research in a dynamic environment


HEALTH & SAFETY 19 CDM – a proportionate approach 21 Training courses address H and S at every level 21 Construction industry fatalities fall – despite small rise across all industries WORKING AT HEIGHT 23 Safety & Health Expo a success 23 Safety Report 2015 25 SpanSet’s award-winning lanyards improve safety 26 Smart licence card wins safety award 26 Revised MEWP toolkit updates guidance 27 CISRS close training course loophole 27 Success in Middle East for overseas scheme 28 Making your rental fleet work for you 29 Simian Skill OSTS centre accredited for third time 29 Company fined after worker falls from scaffolding 30 Online agreement promotes regulated contractors 30 Total reliability of supply 31 Layher covers up impressively at Winchester Cathedral


ROOFING 32 Roofing Awards turn ten, with record numbers in attendance 32 Anniversary competition win brings in more orders 33 Roofers’ generosity helps local hospital 33 Grant puts railway re-roofing project back on track 33 Lightweight roof on activity centre contributes to Excellence Award nomination 34 Roof truss fall triggered domino effect and injured workers 34 Yesterday’s tradition, today’s choice, tomorrow’s heritage… 35 SnapIT, Rainclear Systems’ boltless aluminium range – the secret is out

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For all other enquiries: Tel: 0161 710 3880 Fax: 0161 710 3879 Email: Suite 2, 61 Lower Hillgate, Stockport SK1 3AW Editor: Chris Stokes Copyright Construction National. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced or transmitted in any form without prior permission of Construction National. Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. Printed in the UK by The Magazine Printing Company Plc



CONTENTS Award winning scaffolding This issue’s front cover shows a Plettac pyramid system scaffold in place at South Crofty Tin Mine in Cornwall erected by NASC members Chris Sedgeman Scaffolding. It won the Project of the Year for contracts up to £500k at the Construction News Specialist Awards 2014 and is just one of a number of awards won by the company.

read more on p29

Photo copyright R Morton Photography

THE GREEN AGENDA 36 The big green building show returns to Manchester 37 The low-carbon agricultural revolution beneath London’s streets 37 Politics and ‘renewable hot air’? 38 Emissions advice delivered at capital’s construction show 38 Future-proof homes go under the microscope 38 Longworth launches solar division 39 Boningale Greensky plugs into Scotland’s largest wildflower and sedum green roof


CONSTRUCTION IN SCOTLAND 41 Scotland gears up for its networking event 41 Cofferdam completion marks progress at Dundee V&A 41 RIAS Awards honour influential architect FINANCE 42 £500,000 Annual Investment Allowance ends 31st December 2015 44 Pension ‘Auto Enrolment’ – are you prepared? 45 Don’t let slow payment hold back your business


CONCRETE 46 Concrete forms the base of wind energy project 46 Watertight team offers Kryton concrete solutions 47 Structural Concrete Alliance issues new guidance on concrete repair and protection PLANNING 48 Planning Applications – technical knowledge can resolve unexpected obstacles PIPELINES 49 Pipeline reporting specialist celebrates 15 years in UK 50 Contractor and supplier complement each other perfectly NEW 52 53 54


PRODUCTS Beyond smart homes – intelligent living technology set to revolutionise UK homes Sundolitt releases new UK specifier support literature for XPS board Invisible innovation from Aspex

HOUSING 55 NHBC announces H&S Award winners as PiJ race gets underway 55 The loneliness of the long distance site manager 57 George joins the charge from the north 57 National giant’s Scottish subsidiaries have their say 58 LABC Awards include recognition for site managers 58 Historic redevelopment scoops the prize in Otley 59 Winner Andy’s bosses are as thrilled as he is 60 Dean pips his colleague at the post in East Anglia 61 Building Excellence Awards see a bigger picture 61 Former apprentice helps fill the skills gap 62 Modern developer is distinguished by design 63 Glasgow homebuyers make sure they don’t lose their plot BOOK REVIEW 66 Revised reporting book reflects new CDM regulations

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[RECENT MONTHS HAVE seen the steady building up of a head of steam in the construction industry. Output has been improving and confidence returning – albeit with a bit of a dip in the run-up to the General Election. The publication of the latest Markit/CIPS Construction PMI survey reported the highest level of confidence in the future for over 11 years – since January 2004. Moreover, orders have been picking up – in the commercial sector as well as the residential – and employment is increasing at the fastest rate since last December. The skills gap is continuing to influence sub-contractor availability, with a consequent steady rise in fees. There is always a ‘however’ to these stories. In this case it is the fact that the rise in activity is stretching the supply chain to the limits. As a result, delivery times have lengthened and supply of some materials has all-but dried up. In some ways it’s a happy problem to have and one that we all hope will also fade as production increases to keep pace. • It is the housing sector that is leading the way, with significant boosts being attributed to various government schemes. There is, however, a significant school of thought that says supply is in no way satisfying the huge demand for housing across the UK and a new approach is needed. One solution being suggested is an increase in the level of off-site modular construction, coupled with changes to policy to encourage better quality and sustainability in housebuilding. The proposal was put forward by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in the form of a report by eminent Fellow, Dr Tim Fox. The report also recommends more help and encouragement for social housing providers such as local authorities and housing associations as well as for self-builders. Whether that would result in even more sub-contractor shortages is unclear. • Self build and one-off projects are also the latest addition to the scope of the NHBC’s Pride in the Job Awards, with the Single Plot Commendation category being added a couple of years ago. They were announced in June, together with the first round of the site manager awards. It is a multifaceted competition and we will be following its progress over the coming months. The competition runs alongside another set of NHBC awards: the Health and Safety Awards. A profile of some of the winners and their sites can be found in this issue, along with winners of the LABC Warranty Site Manager of the Year Awards. It is heartening to see more and more attention going to those at the coal face, so to speak. • Reflecting the increasing optimism in the sector, a new exhibition and conference focusing on the capital’s construction sector took place in June. London Build was hailed a success, with future events planned. As a media partner of the event, this publication partook of that success, making new friends and gaining many new readers. A second in the series of regional events will be happening in November in Glasgow. Scotland Build will reflect what is hoped to be a boost to activity north of the border as a result of hoped-for additions to Scottish Government spending powers. Construction National will once more be acting as a media partner for that event. A further show is planned for the North of England next year, in Manchester. • Of course the biggest influencer of construction activity is government; and George Osborne’s first 100% Tory Budget drew comment from most sectors of the industry. First reactions are looked at in this issue, but there will much further comment in the coming weeks and months as the industry digests the fine print. It is comment which we will be reporting on, both in print and online. q

Chris Stokes Editor, Construction National


Construction industry blows hot and cold on George’s big day >AS THIS ISSUE of Construction National was about to go to print

Chancellor George Osborne had just sat down after delivering his first Budget of the new government. Reaction from the construction sector was instantaneous, with each niche of the industry looking at measures that affected them directly. Announcements on infrastructure and housing elicited the most immediate comment. Nick Baveystock of the Institute of Civil Engineers said: “The renewed commitment to the Northern Powerhouse and efforts made to identify new ways to fund local roads are encouraging. The Chancellor is absolutely right; government must be bold in its commitment to infrastructure if the UK is to achieve a rebalanced economy, increase productivity and maintain our competitive edge.” The Chartered Institute of Building echoed the sentiment. Its public affairs and policy manager Eddie Tuttle declared: “Regional infrastructure is vital for economic growth. Although there is a clear case for devolution, local authorities will need to react quickly to harness the opportunities for local growth and employment.” Matthew Pryor, managing director of road surfacing company Toppesfield, said: “We welcome the new Roads Fund as it clearly underlines the government’s long term commitment to radically improving the strategic road network. This additional investment to the £15bn already allocated by the government over the rest of the decade will have a transformational impact on the condition of our roads and support the growth of our wider economy.”

The Chancellor was not unconditionally praised by everyone, however. Mark Naysmith of consultants WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff was ambivalent. “This has been a mixed bag for the construction industry,” he said. “On the one hand we welcome the priority that has been given to essential infrastructure funding and apprenticeships. It's great to see more attention for tackling the skills shortage, so that industry and the supply chain have the capacity to deliver on projects. On the other hand we still lack a coherent vision for how we are going to build our way out of a housing crisis.” The housebuilding sector itself gave the Budget two cheers – happy at measures to help employment but frustrated by the absence of direct help to boost housing numbers. The NHBC’s Mike Quinton was typical. He commented: “We welcome the launch of The Housing Growth Partnership earlier this week, which gives vital financial support to small and medium-sized housebuilders. However, in recent years smaller builders have not returned to the market at the same rate as following other recoveries. Research by NHBC last year found that access to finance is one of the biggest barriers preventing smaller housebuilders.” A sting in the tail came in the form of a rebuke for Mr Osborne from the Federation of Master Builders regarding carbon emissions from existing stock. Its chief executive Brian Berry said: “The construction industry is at a loss as to why the government is ignoring the need to improve our current housing stock. By refusing to acknowledge the importance of these improvements, the government is exacerbating problems such as high household fuel bills, carbon emissions and the national housing shortage.” T

Off-site construction could help solve the housing crisis, says report >MODULAR OFF-SITE building could be

the key to solving the UK’s broken housing market, according to a new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The report – UK House Building: Manufacturing Affordable Quality Homes – calls on the government to provide more incentives for the off-site construction of homes. It also recommends reversing policies that discourage the construction of quality, sustainable housing and says more work should be done to diversify UK house building by opening up opportunities to self-builders, local authorities and housing associations. Dr Tim Fox, lead author of the report and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said: “Off-site construction technologies have advanced greatly in recent years and can offer shorter build times, better quality, better energy efficiency, less waste and lower costs for buyers.” The key recommendations in the report are: • Government should support investment in the UK supply chain for off-site construction technologies. The current off-site industry needs support for innovation and expansion. It also needs the people and facilities to compete against imports if it is to meet the


demand for its products that will come from clients focused on long-term quality and value. Government should help develop the skills and infrastructure required to grow this sector, which will not only help repair the UK’s broken housing supply market, but create jobs and deliver economic benefit for the nation. • Government must reverse policies that are working against improvements in quality and standards. Building Regulations and planning policies should prioritise long-term sustainability and affordability by setting progressive and challenging standards for energy and resource efficiency through life-cycle assessment. Instead of ‘winding down’ the Code for Sustainable Homes, Government should be championing its further development, and fully integrating its principles into Building Regulations. • Government should work much harder to diversify the UK housing supply market by opening up much greater opportunities for self-builders, local authorities and housing associations. By 2020, there should be at least as many houses built by these players as are constructed by the traditional commercial building companies. Government should recognise that the step change in

ambition required needs far more commitment and imagination than the welcome, but inadequate, £30m for self-build schemes announced in 2011. The need is for a fundamental restructuring of supply and there is an opportunity for New Garden Cities to lead the way. The full report can be downloaded from the institution’s website at T

London Build 2015 lays strong foundations for future events


2015 launched at the O2, North Greenwich on June 18th and 19th, with a wide range of construction industry professionals convening to discuss the latest developments and innovations taking place within London's booming sector. Featuring a wide range of exhibitors, the O2 exhibition hall had an immediate buzz in the air as attendees began to arrive at the venue on a beautiful London day and networking got under way. The event was accompanied by a superb conference and featured brilliant talks from speakers such as Jamie Ratcliff from the Greater London Authority, who discussed future opportunities in London's construction industry, and Peter Shipley from Thames Tideway Tunnel, who gave an in depth update on the progress of the forthcoming super sewer. Other highlights of the conference included the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry panel discussions, which took

place on both days and featured great debates surrounding the skills shortage and regeneration within the city. London Build was also accompanied by 36 hours of CPD training workshops and the inaugural London Construction Awards, which saw A Plant take home two prizes, for Supplier and Plant Hire Company of the Year, as well as celebrating the success of many other companies working within the region.

The exhibition provided many of the show's sponsors with strong business connections for the future. Mike Aitken, Plastic Surgeon’s national sales manager, said: “We are thrilled to have been part of the London Build Expo this year. As relative newcomers to the London market, it provided the perfect platform for us to showcase our products and solutions in front of our target audience, as well as providing networking opportunities with other industry professionals. With Scotland Build 2015 and North England Build 2016 taking place in the next year, it is clear that this is just the beginning, with the series set to go from strength to strength in the coming months and years. London Build 2016, the flagship event, is set to move on to bigger and better things in its new home at Olympia on the 26th and 27th of October 2016. Featuring over 300 exhibition booths, superb networking opportunities and much more, this event is lining up to be an essential meeting for the London construction industry. q



Report shows highest level of optimism in construction for over a decade [CONFIDENCE IN THE construction industry in June reached

its highest point for 11 years, according to the latest Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index, published jointly by Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS). In addition, output in the sector continued to improve, with the sharpest rise in activity since February and employment showed the fastest increase since February last year. According to Markit/CIPS: “Residential activity remained the fastest growing area of construction output in June. However, the acceleration in the headline index since May was driven by a sharp upturn in both commercial and civil engineering activity growth over the month.” The report quoted anecdotal evidence linking a rise in new business to an improvement in business across the economy. The major plus was the rise in optimism, however. Nearly two thirds of those surveyed forecast a rise in output over the next year, compared to less than 5% expecting a fall. The result was the greatest level of optimism since February 2004. Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit and author of the Markit/ CIPS Construction PMI, said: “UK construction companies experienced a growth rebound and surge in business confidence at the end of the second quarter. Survey respondents cited robust inflows of new work in June, adding to already strong order books across the sector.

“Extra workloads and positivity regarding the year ahead outlook meant that job creation accelerated to its strongest so far in 2015. “Scorching hot demand for some construction products placed additional pressure on supply chains in June, with delivery times lengthening again for a wide range of materials. Meanwhile, another substantial rise in sub-contractor charges highlighted that persistent skill shortages in the construction sector are contributing to sharp rises in labour costs in some areas.” David Noble, group chief executive officer at the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, commented: “Construction was on a real high this month with the sharpest rise in overall activity since February as the sector made up for lost ground since the General Election. “Client expectations and strong order books were the recipe for success along with support from a resilient economic environment encouraging positive sentiment in the sector and resulting in accelerated and hastened purchasing activity. Staff numbers followed suit with boosted levels of employment and a larger number of fulltime posts. There was a reduction in the reliance on sub-contractors in particular, as staff hiring gathered speed. “If there was a downside to this upturn it was the burden on suppliers to keep pace with rising need as lead times experienced the greatest lengthening since March 2015 and stock levels were depleted from this higher demand.” q

Technology comes to the aid of site security How to protect [ THE INCREASING USE of construction plant in crimes should concentrate the mind on the vital issue of construction site security and the seriousness of thefts and vandalism at building sites with the accompanying cost to the industry. A cursory trawl through search engines will throw up numerous incidents in just the recent past: in April two thefts of tools and equipment were reported in one small town in Scotland, while in February a ‘number of thefts’ were reported by Lincolnshire Police in the Grantham area. An increasingly common target for thieves is the diesel stored on-site for plant. The Construction Plant Hire Association estimates the cost of plant theft at around £100m per year and has set up a special interest group. The nature of building sites makes the provision of 24-hour manned guarding difficult and expensive; however, technology has come to the aid of the security industry in the form of ‘smart’ surveillance systems using mobile communications. The essence of these new rapiddeployment systems is that they are particularly suited to temporary installations such as construction sites. They are portable and selfcontained. In January we reported on a JCB tower system that uses heat and movement sensors to detect intruders and transmits live video footage via the 3G wireless network. One company has even produced a system that can operate in remote areas – even where there is no power and limited communications. Tensor’s RDAPS (pictured) is Secured by Design accredited and features solar or wind chargeable batteries, as well as multiple platform communications capabilities. It is designed for sites such as wind farms or other off-track sites. q

your van – on and off site

[ A MAJOR TARGET of thefts both from

sites and elsewhere is the ubiquitous panel van. According to Samuel Williams, new business manager at Northgate Vehicle Hire, around 47,000 commercial vehicles are stolen in the UK each year, at a total cost of around £152m. It’s not just the vehicle itself – when you add in the cost of downtime spent off the road and tools and equipment, it would hit any business hard. Says Samuel: “I recently discussed this topic with one of my sub-contractors, ProtectAVan Solutions Ltd, and together we’ve compiled a list of steps van users can take to increase their vehicle security. The resultant guide to keeping your van and its contents safe can be found on Northgate’s website at www. q


Marshalls brings street furniture brands together Woodhouse now fully integrated with Marshalls


MARSHALLS, THE UK’S leading hard landscaping manufacturer, has announced that it will be bringing together all of its street furniture products and specialist businesses into a singular brand offering. Having been a part of the brand for 10 years, leading street furniture, lighting and signage manufacturer Woodhouse, has now become fully integrated into the Marshalls street furniture portfolio. “Now, we’re delighted to announce these bespoke product solutions will be brought together with the rest of our street furniture portfolio into our single Marshalls brand – helping clients to create an extraordinary, cohesive style with ease,” said Jaz Vilkhu, managing director of Marshalls Street Furniture. “All of the things you love about Woodhouse will remain, but with a number of added benefits. We’ll still have the same philosophy for quality and design, but with the wider selection of products and extra technical support that the Marshalls brand brings. “As an element of the Marshalls brand, Woodhouse will become our bespoke street furniture solutions offering. As such, Woodhouse Bespoke Product Solutions will

be perfect for bringing your creative concepts and ideas to life.” Marshalls, best known for hard landscaping products, has been a leading supplier of street furniture for nearly 35 years. Jaz Vilkhu added: “This is a really exciting time for us and will bring a range of benefits for our customers. “The same philosophy for quality and design that Woodhouse has become renowned for will remain, however there will be a wider selection of products available and the extra technical support that the Marshalls brand brings. “Woodhouse has worked on some of the most iconic schemes worldwide and has become a trusted expert in the creation of exceptional bespoke product solutions, so harnessing their expertise and focussing on this area makes perfect sense. “We believe that this move will enhance the customer experience as they will no longer have to correspond with two separate contacts – ongoing there is a single contact number for all sales enquiries, a single quotation and a single account for all accounts paperwork and

correspondence – making our clients lives a lot easier. “All of the products and content from the Woodhouse website has been migrated across to the Marshalls website. We will continue to publish and share the great social content that clients enjoyed through the Woodhouse website, however this will now be published through Marshalls new ‘Creating Better’ knowledge blog where a broader range of subjects will be covered.” q • For more information or to speak to a street furniture expert please call 0370 990 7504 or email

Creating land...on water! [BASED IN THE south of Cumbria, Northern Pontoon Ltd provides

pontoon hire, sales and installation services throughout the United Kingdom. Their experienced engineers help clients to plan their modular pontoon design and then complete the installation of their floating pontoon system, ensuring that all the correct health and safety considerations are in place. Northern Pontoon strive for excellence in every project they are involved in and have an enviable reputation for premium quality and service with a flexible attitude towards each client’s requirements. Indeed, since their inception five years ago, they have worked with a number of high profile clients including Kier Group, QTS Group, Balfour Beatty, Murphy Group and Jacobs across the commercial, events, TV and film industries. They can supply floating stages, floating marquees, floating bars and much more. A range of versatile floating platforms are available for any project large or small, from floating walkways to floating work platforms. They are flexible and lightweight, allowing for structures to be constructed around obstacles or in difficult to get to locations. For railway work, the pontoons enable access to the underside of bridges. This is something that might usually be limited and the use of pontoons reduces the impact on transport in terms of road and rail closures. The firm’s fleet of vehicles can transport a pontoon to any location throughout the UK. If the site has limited access the pontoons can be split into sections, carried by hand and re-built on the water, causing no damage to gardens or sensitive land. Sales manager Lisa Morris said: “Whatever our client’s project requirements, Northern Pontoon Hire can cater for their needs. We will work alongside them from start to finish to ensure that everything runs efficiently. If you feel there is something we can assist you with please get in touch today.” q


Crossrail unveils designs for new station in Ealing [DESIGNS FOR A new station building at West Ealing have been

submitted to Ealing Council as part of a major overhaul of the station for Crossrail. The proposed designs, by Bennetts Associates, are for a bright, modern, spacious new ticket hall. The glass and steel structure will let in natural light and will be surrounded by a large canopy. A range of other major improvements will be made to the station, including: • A new footbridge with new lifts to provide step-free access to every • platform • The creation of a new bay platform for trains on the Greenford branch • line • Platform extensions so the station can accommodate the new 200m • long Crossrail trains • New lighting, customer information screens, station signage, help points • and CCTV The improvement works will be carried out by Network Rail. From the end of 2017 the station will be run by Transport for London as part of London’s integrated transport network. Matthew White, Crossrail’s surface director said: “Crossrail will provide a step change in public transport for people in West Ealing with new trains, quicker journeys and a brand new station fit for the 21st century. Our proposals are for a bright, spacious, elegant new ticket hall that, along with the other improvements, will transform people’s experience of using the station.” David Laing, studio director at Bennetts Associates said: “The building will provide a new, fully-accessible station on Manor Road incorporating clear, step-free access routes to all platforms. Its double height glazed concourse and canopied frontage will ensure the station is clearly legible within the surrounding townscape, while its modern ticket hall and distinctive entrance will make it recognisable as one of the family of new Crossrail stations designed by Bennetts Associates through west London.” q

Silver award – but second to none on quality! [IN MAY, BRISTOL-BASED Elmtree Garden Contractors were

awarded the Investors in People Silver standard. This is one of the highest levels of accreditation possible, with less than 3% of Investors in People organisations attaining the Silver level. “This is a great achievement for everyone at Elmtree and we’re all very proud,” said managing director Paul Lynch. “The award reflects our practice of adopting excellence in customer service as well as the value we place in our people, work and clients.” This approach brought Elmtree another award last year when they were named BALI Principal Award winners at the 2014 National Landscape Awards. Indeed, they aim to achieve the highest standard of landscaping across the commercial sector and are proud to cover a wide range of construction projects. “Our talented staff enable us to operate within a high performance culture,” added Paul. “We have worked on many different kinds of projects and have pride in every job we undertake. Elmtree began back in 1969 and our top level management team have a combined 100 years’ experience in landscaping. “Having implemented the landscaping on multiple major house building and construction developments, we have built up experience and quality that is second to none. We are experts in most spheres of landscaping, including turfing, shrub and forestry planting, hydroseeding, play area installation, wildflower meadow creation and semi-mature tree planting, as well as having specialist grounds maintenance teams.” q

Highways supply chain awards launched [HIGHWAYS ENGLAND HAS launched its supplier recognition

scheme for 2015, giving its suppliers a chance to boost their profiles by putting themselves forward for a series of awards. It is the first time the annual recognition scheme has been held under the new governmentowned company Highways England, into which the Highways Agency transformed recently. More than 90% of the work on England’s motorways and major A roads is carried out by the supply chain, and Highways England wants as many of them as possible to nominate themselves across a number of key areas. Suppliers in direct and indirect contact with Highways England, including through joint ventures and the extended supply chain, can put themselves forward for an award. Entries are open until 25 September. Chair of the judging panel Simon Diggle said: “Suppliers who demonstrate they can deliver benefits in a leading, innovative or efficient way deserve as much recognition as possible – this is why we run our award scheme. “I would urge them to take this unique opportunity, in the first year of Highways England, to put a marker down and show us they can be part of our five-year journey. We hope the certainty of a five-year funding cycle will enable them to plan ahead with confidence and develop the skills they need to deliver.” Steven Jackson OBE of Recycling Lives – one of last year’s winners together with collaborator EM Highways – said: “Winning the award has helped profile our everyday work with vulnerable people and EM Highways’ positive approach to corporate social responsibility. It was also heartening, in receiving the award, to be shown that this responsibility is endorsed by industry and we hope many others will follow suit.” q


Skills gap continues to dog the industry [SKILLS SHORTAGES ARE holding back more than half of medium-

sized construction firms as demand in the sector continues to surge, according to research carried out for the insurance group Zurich and reported by CITB. Some 53% of mid-sized businesses said the lack of trained staff was impacting on their ability to take on work, the report said. More than 65% of construction bosses who took part in the survey felt positive about the state of their order books, saying tender volumes were continuing to rise; however, there is continuing pressure to find staff with the right skill sets, with bricklayers and carpenters cited as being particularly in demand. Apprenticeships are the most common strategy being used to tackle the talent shortage.

Some 35% of firms polled have in place on-the-job training schemes, while around a third are training existing staff rather than recruiting externally and 35% have turned to other forms of training, including initiatives run in partnership with local colleges. The poll, for which 200 medium-sized building firms were contacted, suggests the issue could become more serious unless action is taken across the industry: more than half of firms said they expect skills shortages to become a greater concern over the next five years. Yet businesses are showing no signs of reducing their staff commitments, as just 6% expect to take on fewer workers over the coming months and years. In contrast, 28% say they intend to employ staff directly in 2015 instead of subcontracting. And a further 23% of business leaders thought that skills shortages were already showing signs of easing. q

Wales’s young engineers swing into action

[AT THE END of June, two teams from the Construction Youth Trust –

Budding Brunels and Construction Youth Wales – came together to deliver a Budding Brunels programme funded by CITB Cymru with students from Coleg Gwent. Blaenau Gwent is a key area for the trust’s work in Wales: a 2012 report by Save the Children revealed that 20% of children and young people in the area were living in severe poverty and 14.3% of the working population were unemployed. In all, 18 young people spent three days gaining an insight into the opportunities for education and employment available in the construction industry. Highlights included the piloting of new activities that will be rolled out across Budding Brunels programmes in the next academic year and a site visit to the restoration of Pontypridd Lido with Kier. Both teams will now be sourcing work experience placements for students and planning the next courses to be run in Wales. q • Construction Youth Trust is a charity helping young people in England and Wales to build better futures by giving them access to training, education and employment opportunities in the construction industry.



Preparing students for an increasingly global industry [THE DEPARTMENT OF Built Environment at the University of

Greenwich offers a range of distance learning MSc programmes covering Real Estate, Project Management and Facilities Management. The distance learning programmes have been established for more than 20 years and are delivered through their regional centres including Hong Kong, China, Trinidad and the UK with individual distance learning students from many more parts of the world. This international experience informs much of the teaching and learning carried out, with the programme teams in the UK also responsible for delivery in their overseas centres. The international focus is invaluable in preparing students for an increasingly global industry. Each centre offers two study schools per year where the programme team introduce courses, discuss teaching and learning strategies and deliver key lectures. Each course or module has a Study Guide with extensive online support. The centres also provide students with a range


of facilities including library and IT. All students have full access to the university’s resources including the electronic journal collection, on-line textbooks and OSCARS which was developed by the university specifically to provide support for students studying off-campus. The MSc programmes were developed as specialist degrees to further the careers of those established in their profession and enable those with existing professional standing in other areas to become qualified in these rapidly developing fields. In UK distance learning mode the programmes are accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) offering students a pathway towards becoming chartered surveyors. q • Further information can be found on the university website, the department’s distance learning website or by emailing or phoning the department on 0208 331 9000.

Oxford Brookes University to offer new MSc in the emerging field of Construction Project Management and Building Information Modelling [FROM SEPTEMBER 2015, Oxford Brookes

University will offer a new masters course in Construction Project Management and Building Information Modelling. This new MSc builds on the firm foundation of masters courses already offered at Brookes, by embracing the emerging field of Building Information Modelling (BIM). Building Information Modelling is a collaborative way of working, underpinned by the digital technologies which unlock more efficient methods of envisioning, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining our assets. The UK Government has mandated the use of BIM on all publically funded construction projects from 2016, meaning that construction companies that do not demonstrate BIM capability will not be allowed to tender for these projects. This change in practice has led to an emergence of new roles relating to BIM and project management within the construction industry with job titles such as BIM manager, BIM co-ordinator, project information manager and task information manager. Through an intense programme of study, the MSc in Construction Project Management

and BIM provides students with the essential knowledge and professional skills that position the construction project manager to take a leading role in BIM adoption and development. The MSc will be available both as a one year full-time programme, as well as an open-learning mode which can be taken over two years (and is extendable up to five years). The course, offered by the Department of Real Estate and Construction (within the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment), is currently seeking accreditation from the RICS and CIOB, thus providing graduates with access to the widest range of professions

the built environment offers. The department has strong links with the construction industry, both locally and nationally, and the teaching team provides a strong professional emphasis underpinned by a rigorous academic approach and world-leading research. The course will start in September 2015, and further information about the course will be available soon on the website at http://rec.brookes. q • Please contact to find out more.


School offers cutting edge research in a dynamic environment


THE SCHOOL OF ENERGY, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society at Heriot-Watt University offers its students a dynamic environment where cutting edge research is a key focus shaping postgraduate programmes and influencing the learning and teaching provided. The school is made up of four institutes, including the Royal Academy of Engineering Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design – one of four such centres established at UK universities that jointly form a national network to demonstrate and exchange best practice in teaching and research for the sustainable built environment. The centre at Heriot-Watt undertakes fundamental and applied research, which helps to shape our cities and towns and leads to a wealthier and fairer, healthier and safer, as well as sustainable society. The overall objective is to ensure that buildings, infrastructure, public spaces and places are buildable, fit for purpose, resource efficient, sustainable, resilient, adaptable and attractive. Another of the four institutes is the Institute for Infrastructure and Environment, which


A dynamic environment where cutting edge research is a key focus shaping postgraduate programmes and influencing the learning and teaching provided

innovative technologies, to industry sponsored consultancy projects. The programmes can be studied on the Edinburgh campus, either full-time or parttime, while for those based outside Scotland a number of programmes can be studied at Heriot-Watt University’s Dubai and Malaysia campuses. Another study option offered is Independent Distance Learning (IDL) which gives great flexibility and is ideal for those wishing to further their academic qualifications while in full-time employment. The school enjoys strong links with industry through programme advisory committees, membership of professional bodies, mentoring schemes and guest lecturers. These links ensure that the postgraduate programmes are relevant to industry needs and address current issues in the sector. High-quality, high-impact research is also undertaken in a number of diverse areas related to the built environment. Indeed, at least 70% of the school’s overall research activity was confirmed as world-leading or internationally excellent in the UK’s Research Excellence Framework of 2014. q

focuses on delivering technological advances and informing government policy on topics relevant to the global challenges of climate change, sustainable development, infrastructure deterioration and personal and national security. Research here includes the specialist themes of water management; ultra-speed railways; systems, sustainability and society; construction materials and geo-mechanics; and structures. Within these themes the staff possess the expertise and experience necessary to undertake projects ranging from ‘blue skies’ research, through research investigations of


a proportionate approach By JAMES RITCHIE BA BArch RIBA RMaPS Head of External Affairs and Deputy Chief Executive of the Association for Project Safety

[HAVING SPENT QUITE some time talking to designers, contractors and construction health and safety specialists since April, it seems to me that for some people the message behind the CDM2015 Regulations hasn’t quite got through to everyone. CDM does not have to be difficult, complex, time consuming or reserved for specialists to deal with. Yes there will be projects where the nature and complexity of the design and construction necessitates the employment of a CDM adviser to assist either the client or the principal designer if they feel they are slightly out of their depth, but for the majority of small or medium sized projects the lead designer or another designer, armed with suitable skills, knowledge and experience, should be capable of discharging the principal designer role. This is, I believe, the message that all professional institutes should be giving their members. There is no doubt that the institutes are now getting up to speed with informing their members about the new regulations but there still seems to be a problem with making it clear that the CDM Regulations relate to health and safety aspects of a project not the technical design and management of it. For example, little emphasis, if any, seems to be placed on the need for the required skills, knowledge and experience to be health and safety related skills, knowledge and experience. The principal designer also needs to have control over the project but it is not always clear that this is about controlling the health and safety aspects of the project. I do not wish to sound like a pedant but given the importance of the CDM Regulations and the introduction of further civil liability on clients and designers regarding health and safety, I think it is only fair to give them the ‘heads up’ on what they are supposed to be controlling and planning, managing and monitoring. Learning how to do that would also be helpful for designers, which is why there are a number of courses becoming available across the industry. It is important for those courses however to give a practical and proportionate message regarding CDM and not to make

it sound like a glorified tick box, paper chasing, template filling process – otherwise we could find ourselves back at square one in 1995. Whilst some people have criticised both the HSE’s Construction Phase Plan template, available from their website, and the CITB’s CDM Wizard ‘App’ I personally think they are helpful to our industry. They are not designed for use on medium to large projects but rather work as a way of getting those contractors who may have never considered health and safety to at least stop and think about what they are about to do. It is to this end of the market that the health and safety message really needs to be put across. With the HSE’s Impact Assessment expecting compliance with CDM2015 of only 10-20% for domestic projects, any improvements at the smaller end of the market must be a good thing. Professional clients, designers and contractors used to working on medium to larger construction projects are not the primary focus of attention and, anyway, for those projects there will probably be the need for a CDM adviser in some capacity with sufficient health and safety skills, knowledge and experience. This is where many APS, IOSH or IIRSM members will fit in either as advisers to clients or to the principal designer. The principal designer role is not that of the old CDM co-ordinator but it is all about planning, managing and monitoring pre-construction health and safety. This is the message that needs to be imparted to designers taking on the principal designer role before something goes slightly wrong and they face a Fee for Intervention invoice or worse. The secret to pre-construction design and construction health and safety lies with good inter-personal soft skills, experience and understanding of design and construction risk management, a reasonable ability to co-ordinate other designers and their output and the ability to take a proportionate approach, relative to the complexity of the project. q • For further information visit



Training courses address H and S at every level >THE INSTITUTION OF Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has launched a new training course designed to help industry leaders take the initiative on safety and health within their organisations. The institution showcased its newlydeveloped Leading safely course to delegates at its annual conference – IOSH 2015 – and at the parallel Safety & Health Expo at London’s ExCeL in June. A series of sessions led by IOSH commercial development manager Tracey Wright attracted much interest from delegates, with hundreds of

people attending the presentations or enquiring about Leading safely across both events. Former IOSH president Subash Ludhra, who took part in one of the showcase sessions at conference, said: “Personally I think it is a very important course for leaders within industry and I think IOSH is setting the pace for helping leaders understand what their role is going forward. “Unfortunately leaders don’t always fully understand what they need to know and, more importantly, what the implications are of getting it wrong. I think this package will help to dispel those myths and make it very clear to them in terms of what their roles and responsibilities are.” One of the delegates was George Guy, a safety advisor at RWE Generation UK Plc (parent company of nPower). He said: “There is an acknowledgement within our company that leadership is a key part of managing safety. It is even more important now. With the amount of change that is happening within the industry globally the safety message can be diluted at times. It is key that your leaders actually do lead and keep that message alive.” The new course is an addition to the established series of courses aimed at every level of an organisation’s structure. In particular, IOSH

stresses the premise that: “Everyone at work should have an understanding of why they must ‘work safely’.” Its popular Working safely programme is a oneday course for people at any level, in any sector, that need a grounding in health and safety. Described as ‘ideal for introducing staff to why health and safety is important’, the Working safely course stresses ways in which all employees can make a difference to the wellbeing of themselves and others through everyday behaviour. The new Leading safely course helps focus on the principle that everyone – from the top down – is responsible for workplace safety and health. T

Construction industry fatalities fall – despite small rise across all industries >PROVISIONAL ANNUAL DATA for work-related fatal accidents

released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal that 35 fatal injuries to construction workers were recorded between April 2014 and March 2015 – a rate of 1.62 deaths per 100,000 workers. That represents a decrease from the 44 deaths recorded in 2013/14 and an average of 45 deaths per year in the past five years. The fall in the number of fatalities is in contrast to a slight increase in the number across all sectors. In total 142 workers were fatally injured at work during the same period (a rate of 0.46 fatalities per 100,000 workers), compared to last year’s all-time low of 136 (0.45 fatalities per 100,000 workers). As the HSE points out, fatal injuries at work are thankfully rare events and as a consequence the annual figures are subject to chance variation. However, HSE’s chair Judith Hackitt stressed that every death is a tragedy. She said: “Every fatality is a tragic event and our commitment to preventing loss of life in the workplace remains unaltered. All workplace fatalities drive HSE to develop even more effective interventions to reduce death, injury and ill health.” HSE has also released the latest available figures on deaths from the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma, one of the few work-related diseases where deaths can be counted directly and which currently affects a disproportionate number of workers in demolition and building maintenance. The disease killed 2,538 in Great Britain in 2013 compared to 2,548 in 2012.

That slight fall may in future be seen to be significant, as the number of deaths from the disease was projected to peak next year. According to HSE, a more detailed assessment of the data will be provided as part of the annual Health and Safety Statistics released at the end of October. As this draws on HSE’s full range of sources, including changes in non-fatal injuries and health trends, it will provide a richer picture. T



Safety & Health Expo a success >THE NASC AND CISRS successfully exhibited at Safety & Health Expo, the

UK’s leading health and safety event, which took place at London’s ExCeL in June. The event attracted around 15,000 delegates and 350 exhibitors and saw keynote speeches at the linked IOSH conference from Baroness Karren Brady, Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE and Sir Chris Hoy. The NASC/CISRS stand – with its five metre tall Altrad Plettac Metrix system scaffold centrepiece, erected by member company TRAD Scaffolding – was busy with enquiries over all three days of the packed event. Delegates visiting the stand received TG20:13 tube and fitting good practice eGuide demonstrations on the 32-inch TV screen and a portable Android device. They also discussed CISRS training courses and NASC scaffolding safety and technical guidance – with particular emphasis on the forthcoming launch of SG4:15, the confederation’s ‘core safety guidance’ for work at height. All visitors received a new, fully loaded NASC eco ‘goody bag’ featuring the 2015 Yearbook, Safety Report 2015, CISRS CAP 609 booklet and NASC/CISRS promotional material. On the first day of the event Simon Hughes, managing director of Simian Risk Management, was on the stand offering his expertise to attendees, which was widely appreciated. Laura Weekes was also on hand to discuss CISRS training, along with the NASC’s safety and technical officer, Ken Johnson. NASC managing director, Robin James, said: “Once again, the Expo proved to be a busy and successful event for the NASC with a new, bigger stand for 2015 reaching out to both existing and fresh industry faces. There is still a lot of interest in TG20:13 which is great to hear. And there’s a growing interest in

our information only membership category which is attracting applications from many different sources. Needless to say, the level of enquiries about the imminent release of SG4:15 was also very high and we are looking forward to launching this core safety guidance in the autumn. “The NASC is represented at this event because we want to demonstrate to the health and safety industry and the construction sector what we are doing to improve safety standards as the national trade body for access and scaffolding in the UK. Once again we are pleased with the level of engagement from those attending.” CISRS training manager, Dave Mosley, added: “This event has once again given CISRS a golden opportunity to tell the industry what we are doing to improve training standards in the UK – and globally with the CISRS Overseas Training Scheme (OSTS). We are again very pleased to have had a presence at the Safety & Health Expo and would like to thank all those who took the time to come and visit us to learn more about the recognised industry scaffolding training scheme.” T

Safety Report 2015 >INSIDE THE ‘goody bag’ handed to all

visitors to the stand at Safety & Health Expo was the NASC's new Safety Report 2015. It documents accident statistics for all 200 plus NASC full contracting member companies in 2014 – covering 14,988 operatives this constitutes a major proportion of the UK’s total scaffolding workforce. The report shows another zero for fatal accidents within the membership. The total number of accidents reported by NASC members increased by 9% from 96 in 2013 to 105 in 2014 which corresponds to a 9% increase in the total number of member operatives, now up to 14,988. It also shows that there were 24 falls from height in 2014, with the highest reported fall being from 6m. Nine reported falls were from scaffolds or working platforms of which six were from under 4m and three at 4m or above. There were seven falls from ladders. NASC president, Kevin Ward, said: “The annual safety report continues to demonstrate to the wider industry the continued commitment of NASC members when it comes to dealing with all matters health and safety related. It is therefore no surprise that continuous positive performance is evident in this latest set of statistics. These hard facts help to underpin the professional status for NASC regulated member companies.” NASC managing director, Robin James, added: “Once again, the report has

delivered positive numbers for the confederation membership and has provided engaging analysis, which can be used to raise standards and levels of safety in the scaffolding and access industry. We will be encouraging members to continue to work towards reducing accident figures.” T • To obtain a digital PDF copy of the report please visit or contact NASC directly for a hard copy.



SpanSet’s award-winning selfretracting lanyards – reducing fall distances and improving safety

[WHILE IT IS clear to all involved in

working at height in the UK that staff need appropriate equipment to protect them against falls, what is not so obvious is the fact that sometimes, if not designed correctly, that very equipment can also pose serious hazards. This is where an award-winning product range from SpanSet offers major advantages over other available products and ensures that users are effectively protected against falls from height, the injuries resulting from collisions with any nearby hazards and the forces exerted by the safety equipment. “The crucial issue is all about how fast the equipment can stop and the forces it subjects the user to in doing so,” says SpanSet’s sales director, Pete Ward. “This is where our selfretracting lanyards are in a class of their own, as they safeguard users against the obvious danger of a fall from height while also protecting them from the less well-known dangers of either stopping too fast or too slow.” Involved in work at height for 20 years, SpanSet developed both the single (SSL) and

double (DSL) self-retracting lanyard after a request from an international customer. “Energy-absorbing lanyards conforming to EN355 have been the norm for European scaffolders for many years, but the big concern with them is that not enough consideration has been given clearance height at low levels,” explains Mr Ward. “In the USA self-retracting lifelines (SRLs) have become popular because they eliminate excess in the lifelines and reduce potential freefall. Exxon approached us to see if it was possible to safely construct a scaffold when the SRL needs to be anchored at foot level, to which the answer was no. As a result, we developed our hybrid DSL and SSL, which can be anchored at any height and will arrest the fall with an impact of less than 6kN whether one or both of the anchor points are attached to the structure.” It is this key feature – along with the fact that it is the only device available that can be used by a 140kg worker, can have both legs attached simultaneously and can be anchored at foot

level – that makes SpanSet’s self-retracting lanyards unique. They are ideal in situations where there is low clearance and a lack of overhead anchorages such as scaffolding. They retract exactly like a fall arrest block, but can be used like a lanyard, anchored anywhere from below foot level to overhead. CE certified to EN360 and compliant with the dynamic performance requirements of EN355, the SSL is available with two anchor options, while the DLS is available in three configurations to cater for the UK, European and Asian markets. “We are really proud of these lanyards, which are the first truly effective hybrid products on the market and just one of SpanSet’s recent product innovations,” adds Mr Ward. “With nearly 5,000 sold in 2014 we see great potential for hybrid-style retractable lanyards and are looking forward to further success with this innovative safety product range into the future.” q • To find out more visit


Smart licence card wins safety award

[THE INTERNATIONAL POWERED Access Federation’s machine-

readable Powered Access Licence, or Smart PAL Card, has won the safety category in the Plantworx Innovation Awards for its innovative use of smartcard technology to help improve site safety. The Smart PAL Card can be used together with card readers fitted on machines which can be set to ensure that only correctly trained operators use equipment on site. The Smart PAL Card also won a Silver award in the Elite category and was Highly Commended in the Security category at the awards, which are organised by the UK-based Construction Equipment Association. It is the second accolade for IPAF’s Smart PAL Card, which won a LLEAP award in 2014 in the Aftermarket Support Products & Services category. The Leadership in Lifting Equipment and Aerial Platforms (LLEAP) Awards are organised by US-based Lift & Access magazine and they bring recognition to products that are new, innovative and elevate the mobile access and lifting industry’s performance and safety. PAL Cards can be verified online at and more about the Smart PAL Card is at q

Revised MEWP toolkit updates guidance [THE Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWP) Good Practice

Toolkit, published by the UK Contractors Group (UKCG), has been reviewed and updated to include additional guidance around the selection of MEWPs, MEWPs for Managers requirements, ground conditions requirements and Powered Access Licence (PAL and PAL+) competence. The revised toolkit highlights competence requirements for operators and users. It states: “Operators of MEWPs will hold an IPAF PAL or CPCS qualification for the appropriate category of MEWP. The UKCG recommends that all IPAF PAL-qualified operators should obtain the PAL+ qualification within the first two years of obtaining their PAL qualification in order to demonstrate a higher level of experience and competence. It is likely that some UKCG members will have additional requirements, for example where there are high-risk work activities or where a challenging project means they only permit IPAF PAL+ qualified or CPCS Experienced Worker (blue card) operators to work on site.” PAL+ is an additional one day of category-specific training aimed at operators working in higher risk or challenging environments. The revised UKCG MEWP Toolkit is available at the publications section of q


CISRS close training course loophole [CISRS HAS ANNOUNCED that as of 1st September 2015 it will

be a scheme requirement that anyone wishing to attend a CISRS Part 1 Scaffolding Training course must have held a valid CISRS Trainee Scaffolder or Labourer card for a minimum of six months. Since the scheme began around 40 years ago, in order to be eligible to attend the Part 1 course a delegate must have had a minimum of six months on site experience as a trainee scaffolder or labourer working under the direct supervision of a qualified scaffolder. They were not however requested to provide a copy of a valid CISRS card at this stage to demonstrate registration to the scheme and help establish their time in the industry. The on-going CISRS standardisation programme has helped to highlight this loophole. Around two years ago the CISRS Operative Training Scheme (COTS) course was introduced for New Entrant Trainees and Labourers which allowed a lot of the essential generic health and safety, manual handling and component recognition type training to be delivered in the initial stages of an individual’s career within the sector. Anyone applying for a CISRS Trainee or Labourer card after June 2013 was required to complete COTS training. The introduction of this course allowed the standardisation group to consider reducing time spent on those modules within the Part 1

programme in favour of more up to date industry guidance and best practice such as TG20:13 and Introduction to Scaffold Inspection. Although it was becoming an increasingly rare occurrence some delegates were still attending Part 1 courses without having completed COTS training or holding a CISRS Labourer or Trainee card. There have been instances where a delegate will claim to have had the relevant prior on site experience, however upon attending the course it is apparent that this is not the case and they will subsequently fail the course. As such it was agreed by CISRS and the Access and Scaffolding Industry Training Organisation (ASITO) that this loophole should be should be closed. The new rule was initially going to be introduced with immediate effect but it was felt that industry should be given a short notice period to be made aware of the changes to the scheme. This would also accommodate those who had previously booked a Part 1 course prior to the announcement, it has since been confirmed that the rule will now be implemented from 1st September 2015. Dave Mosley, CISRS scheme manager said: “We think that this is a sensible change of scheme rules and is basically a case of housekeeping. The standardisation programme has highlighted a few minor anomalies within current scheme criteria and these are now being addressed.” q

Success in Middle East for overseas scheme [THE CISRS Overseas Training Scheme

(OSTS) received a further boost in April – as scheme manager, David Mosley granted reaccreditation to the Safety & Access Middle East centre in Ajman (UAE), opened a brand new purpose-built centre in Qatar and took part in a high profile scaffolding conference in the region. The Ajman centre has been granted CISRS approval for a third year in succession. Course numbers have been increasing steadily and will be further boosted in May with a delegation of Chinese scaffolders travelling from Iraq to carry out CISRS OSTS training in the UAE. The new Qatar centre – which is a joint venture with Safety & Access and local company Aecor – is located at Al Khor, close to a major industrial area. It was awarded its accreditation following a strict audit process. The centre received a very favourable report, which noted that the classrooms and practical areas were fitted out to ‘a very high specification’ and that brand new scaffolding materials were present for training purposes. Dave Mosley said: “It’s great to see the OSTS scheme taking off in the Middle East. We are rapidly becoming the scaffolder training scheme of choice both in this region and the Far East with over 2,500 card holders. The new facility in Qatar marks another significant milestone in the development of CISRS training outside the UK”. Mr Mosley also joined Rick Statham, joint managing director for Safety & Access, to speak about CISRS OSTS training at a major industry conference aiming to promote formal scaffolding training standards to access, construction

and industry professionals from the Middle East. He said: “The CISRS presentation was well received and the resultant question and answer session was very lively. It was great to spread the NASC and CISRS message to a lot of major players. Rick Statham said: “The CISRS OSTS scheme is based upon the successful UK scaffolding competence scheme. There are other schemes in the region which claim to meet the requirement for scaffolder training, however none of these are as rigorous as the CISRS OSTS scheme. We believe that through consistent high quality delivery and adoption by clients the CISRS OSTS

scaffolding training scheme will soon be perceived as the premier standard for access training. “We have been working with our partners on the Qatar project for the last year and are delighted that we have now reached our aim of CISRS accreditation. The availability of CISRS OSTS training at Al Khor is of great interest to clients seeking formal qualifications in scaffolding. We were overwhelmed by the attendance at the conference which demonstrates a real appetite in Qatar to enhance an already well-established safety culture.” q • For further details visit


Making your rental fleet work for you [ IN TODAY’S CONSTRUCTION industry, budgets are expected

to work harder and are being scrutinised by finance departments more than ever before. As we see more pressure to show an effective powered access strategy, it is important that your rental fleet is managed more closely, making cost saving decisions, such as offhiring, machine reallocation and machine forecasting in order to make budgets stretch further. In addition, hundreds of thousands of pounds each year is being wasted on under-utilised equipment, as well as unquantifiable risks being posed by the unauthorised use of powered access on work sites. Therefore a streamlined, cost-efficient and safe powered access strategy is needed.

A more harmonised rental strategy Modern construction and industrial sites are often crowded, busy environments, with increasing legislation relating to safe use of powered access equipment. It is important that operators and managers give full consideration when planning their rental fleet. Overcoming these challenges is now possible, by introducing technology to your powered access fleet to give managers and operators a time-efficient management system to improve productivity and safety, save money and eliminate unnecessary costs. SkySentry TM is proven to benefit construction sites and ease pressure by providing real-time reporting and management. With the installation of a small keypad on your hired equipment, SkySentryTM provides you with greater visibility of your working at height fleet – monitoring operating hours, machine status and management information. Producing real-time reports, this new technology can allow managers to not only visually monitor how and when your machines are being used, but also make informed decisions about maximizing the use of machines by off-hiring or reallocating to improve productivity and save costs.

Eliminating unauthorised use On busy work sites, often with several contractors working closely together, unauthorised machine use is an increasing problem. Not only increasing the risks associated with inadequately trained operators using the equipment, but also the use of battery charge for unrelated jobs, meaning added delays for the time associated with charging the machine. SkySentry TM eliminates this risk, providing full control and the ability to limit access only to those who are authorised and qualified to use the equipment. The powered access equipment in the fleet will be unusable and therefore not operate, unless presented with an IPAF Smart ID Card or accessed via a management controlled pin-code, which can be simply managed and pre-approvals set via the online fleet management portal.


Greater more robust fleet management Working with new technologies such as SkySentryTM, will not only enable managers to stretch budgets further, but will also increase machine productivity, make more informed decisions on future projects as well as increasing the safety of operators and workers on site. On a recent project Ian Dodds, project director at Skanska UK, utilised SkySentryTM. He commented: “The introduction of the SkySentry TM has been an outstanding example of how new technology can be quickly, conveniently and cost-effectively used to maintain high safety standards through innovation, whilst also tying into our key aims surrounding sustainability.” Utilising both GPS and GSM signals the system will allow reporting and fleet management even in low-signal areas. In addition, managers can access the rental fleet portal from any smartphone, tablet or mobile device, making it more accessible and manageable.

SkySentryTM from Nationwide Platforms is the answer SkySentry TM is part of the BlueSky range, and can be added to any powered access equipment from the Nationwide Platforms fleet on both new and existing hired equipment. q • For further information on SkySentryTM visit or call 0845 745 0000.

[THE FRONT COVER of this issue shows a Plettac pyramid system

scaffold in place at South Crofty Tin Mine in Cornwall erected by NASC members Chris Sedgeman Scaffolding. It won the Project of the Year for contracts up to £500k at the Construction News Specialist Awards 2014 and is just one of a number of awards won by the company, who also scooped first prize in the coveted Access & Scaffolding category at the same event this year. Most recently they won the Best Family Business Award at this year’s 10th Annual Cornwall Business Awards. These awards are organised by the Cornwall Development Company in association with Business Cornwall magazine and the Cornwall Chamber and are billed as ‘the most prestigious awards in the county and a celebration of innovation and achievement’. The award ceremony took place at St. Mellion International Resort in May. NASC’s managing director, Robin James, said: “Chris Sedgeman Scaffolding Ltd is a family-run company with tremendous expertise in the scaffolding industry. They have been involved in a series of fascinating scaffolding contracts and have now achieved local as well as national recognition. “We are very happy for them and wish them well with their current and future projects. They join an elite group of award winners and nominees within the NASC membership, all of whom strive for the highest standards of safety and industry best practice at all times.” Chris Sedgeman, who recently gave Prime Minister, David Cameron a tour of the company’s Penzance premises during a pre-election visit, said: “It’s fantastic to have won Best Family Business at these awards, especially up against such good Cornish companies, and to be recognised for all the hard work put in by the company last year. We would like to thank all our staff, customers and suppliers for their continual support – it is greatly appreciated.” Other recent contracts undertaken by the company include Lloyds Bank in Penzance, Penzance Railway Station, Dawlish Sea Defences, St Michael’s Mount, Bodmin Keep Military Museum, Lundy Island Lighthouse and Hayle Viaduct. q


Simian Skill OSTS centre accredited for third time

[SIMIAN SKILL’S FZ-LLC CISRS approved Overseas Training Scheme

(OSTS) centre in Al Qorz, near Dubai in the UAE has gained CISRS accreditation – for the third year running. The news came following a recent visit and strict audit by CISRS scheme manager Dave Mosley to the purpose-built training centre. Over the past year the centre has dealt with over 300 OSTS card applications, with trainees coming from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the surrounding areas and also from as far afield as the Ivory Coast, Philippines and Nigeria. The CISRS scheme has attracted delegates from several large companies within the region such as Qatar Gas, Safco Saudi Arabia, Al Mubdee Scaffolding Dubai and Harsco. Simian Skill’s operations director, Ian Fyall, said: “Simian are delighted to receive their CISRS accreditation for the third year running, it's great to be working with CISRS and helping to grow the brand in the Middle East. It’s no easy task when there are so many other schemes offering less days and less practical training. However, we persevere, as we know it will become the scheme of choice over time, as it has over the last 40 years in the UK.” CISRS scheme manager, Dave Mosley, added: “Simian Skill have been instrumental in helping to establish the OSTS scheme within the region – playing an important role in passing the landmark of 2,500 OSTS card holders and cementing CISRS as the scaffolding training scheme of choice in the UAE and

• For further information visit

beyond. The centre's facilities are excellent, as is the standard of teaching. We wish them every success in producing many more OSTS qualified scaffolders, supervisors and inspectors over the coming years.” q

Company fined after worker falls from scaffolding [A WARWICKSHIRE COMPANY has been

prosecuted after a worker fell four metres, causing bleeding on the brain and damage to his lungs and ribs. The incident happened in Cubbington in April 2014, when an employee of the company fell while working on a soffit and fascia installation. The platform he was working on fell from the ladder brackets which were supporting it. As a result the worker was badly injured. HSE’s investigation found that the equipment the company provided was not adequate, Nuneaton Magistrates’ Court heard. The

equipment was being used with no guardrails, no toe boards were provided and the equipment was not installed in line with the manufacturer’s instructions. On 16 June this year Roger Smith Installations Ltd was found guilty of breaching regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £1,229 and a victim surcharge of £120. HSE Inspector Ed Fryer said: “Falls from height remain the most common form of workplace fatality. There is no excuse for not planning work

at height properly or ensuring the appropriate safety equipment is used. Access equipment used for working at height should always be installed in line with manufacturer’s instructions. “This equipment had no guard rails to prevent a person from falling and it could have easily cost this man his life. “It is vital to ensure that equipment is in good order as structural failures can have terrible consequences. The roofing industry is well aware of the risks involved while working at height and the controls which should be put in place to manage those risks.” q


Online agreement promotes regulated contractors [ THE NASC HAS entered an agreement with leading property platform

Plentific to promote the use of regulated scaffolding contractors. The Plentific website at is fully-integrated, enabling users to find property specialists for their housing projects, and the NASC has created a profile on the site to help in the search for reliable scaffolding contractors. NASC members will also be able to create their own profiles for free and clients can contact them with projects via the platform. There are no upfront marketing costs, as a small commission fee is charged only on those projects which are successfully completed. Plentific, which stands for ‘plenty’ of ‘fantastic’ resources, launched in April 2014 and is working with hundreds of professionals to aggressively build out its offering to homebuyers, property investors and entrepreneurs. NASC managing director, Robin James, said: “This partnership will increase awareness of the high quality work delivered by NASC members – setting the standard for safe, compliant and regulated scaffolding - and represents a great opportunity for the 200 plus NASC contractor members to promote their scaffolding operations on a popular property portal.” Plentific co-founder, Cem Savas, said: “Connecting our clients with the best specialists is what we do. Knowing that a scaffolding contractor is an NASC member reassures our users that their chosen professional will manage their project to the highest standard in accordance with industry best practice.” q

Total reliability of supply [ ESTABLISHED IN 1992, George Roberts (North West) Limited has

developed and expanded to become one of the leading suppliers of scaffolding and access products in both the UK and international markets, exporting equipment to more than 40 countries worldwide. The company’s reputation for service, quality, price and customer satisfaction is supported by the belief that their most important assets are their clients. Maintaining and improving this reputation will remain the key to future investment in their people and infrastructure – and to further strengthen their position as the first choice provider of access equipment. With a product range of over 2,500 items and in excess of 15,000 tonnes of equipment available immediately for both sale and hire, George Roberts have the capacity to meet the most demanding requirements on all types of scaffolding and access materials. From traditional tube, fittings and boards to system scaffolds, falsework support systems, alloy beams, temporary roofs and much more, they truly are the one stop shop for all access requirements. Supplying the best quality products available is of course essential to meet the requirements of an increasingly health and safety conscious scaffolding and access industry. In recognising this, the company has successfully achieved accreditation to ISO 9001:2008 with regards to all of their quality management systems, and they are planning to implement ISO 180001 and ISO 140001 in the near future. All products supplied by the company conform to current UK and European standards, with certification available to all customers. Currently supplying onshore and offshore to the oil and gas, nuclear power, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries, together with many major construction and scaffolding contractors, their customer base is continuing to grow. According to chairman George Roberts: “We are proud to provide our services and support to all our clients and look forward to doing so for many years to come.” q • For further info visit or call 0151 524 2434.


Layher covers up impressively at

Winchester Cathedral [AN INTERNATIONALLY FAMOUS structure

with priceless fittings and stonework, and the need for protection for a year – the Layher Allround temporary roof structure that sits over the Presbytery of Winchester Cathedral is impressive by any measure. Specialist contractor, Blencowe Scaffolding, has completed the roof build as part of a fouryear restoration programme that includes extensive internal and external works as well as the construction of a new exhibition and visitors’ centre. The use of the Layher equipment, says the company, directly answered many of the specific questions raised at the site. “The temporary roof has been constructed to provide protection whilst the existing lead work – some dating back 150 years – is removed for remelting and replacement,” said David Blencowe, director of Blencowe Scaffolding. “The cathedral’s own roof has an incline of 60° which is accommodated by our building the Layher structure in a series of stepped lifts. In turn, this supports runners for the translucent Keder roofing sheets which were pulled into position over the apex to create a comprehensive weather-proof cover.” The lightweight design of the Layher system contributed significantly to the handling and positioning process while its wide-bay design meant that the need to keep ties to an absolute minimum was addressed as efficiently as possible. “The roof is located on Layher support scaffolding with ties, where possible, only located after close consultation with the stonemasons,” added David Blencowe. “Dating back to the ninth century, today the layout of Winchester Cathedral exhibits few truly straight lines or square corners,” said Ian Bartlett, construction manager at the cathedral. “Blencowe Scaffolding’s view that this would not present problems to the roofing design was fully realised by the use of the Layher system, the speed with which

it was erected throughout the cathedral making a major contribution to the programme’s scheduling. This has been of particular importance as we need to maintain full public access and use throughout the refurbishment period.” Ian Bartlett also drew attention to the in-built rosette connector system which is at the heart of the Layher Allround design. This means there are no separate fittings and thus the risk of material accidently falling from height is significantly minimised. “This is both a public safety and building fabric issue,” he said. The Layher temporary roof framework was fully constructed in the graveyard alongside the cathedral and then craned into position in four lift operations. “The precision of the ground level build was critical,” said Sean Pike, UK managing director of Layher Ltd, “as the structure had to match the irregularities of such an old building.” The lifting

event itself proved something of an attraction for the local population and regional news teams, who turned out in numbers to witness this rarely seen event. “This is clearly an internationally important and iconic structure and one which presents all the challenges that one would expect from a building dating back so far in history,” added Sean Pike. “We believe it is a testimony to our temporary roofing system and also to the skills of the Blencowe Scaffolding installation teams that the quality of the resultant roof protection is so high. Indeed, it matches the excellent Layher access scaffolding that has been installed in other key parts of the cathedral for the further restoration work which is now underway. “Perhaps the only thing that is just as impressive is the skill of the workmen who originally built Winchester Cathedral all those years ago.” q


Roofing Awards turn ten, with record numbers in attendance [THE HILTON LONDON METROPOLE was

a special place for the UK roofing industry on 15 May. It was when the winners of the UK Roofing Awards were announced at a celebratory luncheon hosted by BBC’s Louise Minchin and NFRC CEO Ray Horwood. The event attracted a record number of guests, contractors and manufacturers to celebrate with the industry. The Roofing Awards bring everyone within the industry together. Along with NFRC, the awards were hosted by trade associations from across the roofing sector, together with self-certification scheme CompetentRoofer and the Green Roof Centre. The event marked an extra special year for the UK Roofing Awards as it was the 10th anniversary since it all began in 2006. To mark the occasion two companies received recognition of their roofing excellence throughout the 10-year period and were presented with Outstanding Achievement in Roofing awards. The two companies – Lakesmere Limited and Karl Terry Roofing Contractors Ltd – show the complete diversity of skills in the industry, working at different ends of the roofing spectrum. Both companies also won the top award in their own categories – Lakesmere winning the Vertical

Cladding/Rainscreen category for the National Graphene Institute in Manchester (top right) and Karl Terry Roofing the Double-Lap Tiling award for New Place in Banstead (bottom right). In addition to the 12 categories covering roofing disciplines, the awards put the spotlight on the individuals and organisations that go above and beyond the call of duty. The NFRC Health and Safety Champion 2014 was Pauline Davies of DVC Roofing and Building Ltd, while the award for Exceptional Contribution to Training, given in partnership with CITB, went to Carol Atherton of Avonside Roofing. The companies that scored highest within their roofing discipline in the NFRC Safety in Roofing Awards for 2014 in pitched roofing¸ flat roofing and industrial roofing and cladding were also given special awards. The Lead Sheet Association’s Young Leadworker of the Year award went to Ryan Fisher, a selfemployed leadworker from Kent. The Lead Contractors Association presented the Murdoch Award to John Fulton Plumbers for Govan Waterside in Glasgow and the Murdoch Sponsors Award to D Blake and Co Ltd for Dumfries House in Scotland. It was the first time both leadworking awards had gone north of the border. q

Anniversary competition win brings in more orders [SOMEONE ELSE WHO is celebrating their 10th anniversary is

natural slate tile manufacturer SIGA. The company found a novel way of marking the event – by running a competition on Twitter to find projects that depict the aesthetic beauty and longevity of roofing slate across the UK – using SIGA products, of course. According to the company, roofing contractors and architects submitted ‘an array’ of their work in response to the competition: #loveSIGAslate. The judging panel, consisting of esteemed industry experts, awarded the first prize of a ‘slate experience’ trip to Spain to Neil Wilkinson Roofing. Neil declared himself: “Over the moon to have been shortlisted in the top three; but to have won it as a sole trader against large roofing companies was amazing. “To be recognised for our quality workmanship and win a national competition was fantastic, and since the win we have been offered a number of jobs by larger firms. We’re thoroughly looking forward to the trip in Spain” Runners-up prizes of an iPad Air and Capital Bonds vouchers were also awarded. Amanda Green, marketing manager at SIG UK Exteriors, said “The competition was designed to encourage our followers and users of SIGA slate to share images of their work where SIGA had been used. We were really impressed with the standard of entries, but Neil Wilkinson Roofing went above and beyond, with their amount of entries and the quality of their workmanship.” q


Roofers’ generosity helps local hospital

Grant puts railway re-roofing project back on track

[A STORY OF generosity by a roofing

[A NEW GLAZED roof is currently being fitted to the canopy at the

company has been reported by local press in Northamptonshire – providing a heartening contrast to some of the negative stories about the industry circulated far too often. Kettering General Hospital’s community and staff recreation hall is around 50 years old and has been in need of refurbishment. An appeal was launched, aiming to raise the £145,000 needed. However, local roofing company JDB Industrial Roofing stepped in to install the new roof at a ‘considerably reduced rate’, saving thousands of pounds for the appeal. The company’s Victoria Lee told local press they wanted to support the Revive the Rec Hall Appeal as a ‘thank you’ to hospital staff for their hard work. She added: “It also enables us to give something back to the community by supporting a new venue that will be available for local people to use.” Protan, Kingspan and SIG also supplied JDB with materials at a reduced price to enable to project to be carried out at minimum cost. One of the organisers and supporters of the appeal, local hair and beauty salon director Shirley Newman, presented Victoria with flowers as a token of appreciation. She commented that the roof was the most expensive element of the whole refurbishment and played a vital part in securing the building and making it weatherproof. q

Bury headquarters of the East Lancashire Railway (ELR) – a heritage steam railway that runs from Bury in Greater Manchester into the Rossendale Fells. The project has been made possible by an award of £10,000 from the Aviva Community Fund to the railway’s ‘Raising for Glazing’ fundraising project. Over 10,000 votes were received for the project, which stood the ELR in good stead in getting through to the finals before more work was needed in order to stand a chance in being selected as a winner. Fundraising co-ordinator, Richard Barnett said: “The award means such much to everyone here at the railway. Work continues apace in order to have the canopy ready for the autumn and now we will be able to complete the project on time following this award.” The award comes just The steel canopy being dry-fixed prior months after the charity was to it being erected dealt a major blow when the glazing supplier originally appointed went into administration. The fund had paid £18,000 to the contractor the day before its parent company failed. As the money had been paid before the administrators were called in there was little hope of them seeing the money again. This new grant has allowed the project to restart. q

Lightweight roof on activity centre contributes to Excellence Award nomination [A LIGHTWEIGHT STEEL roof installed by

Metrotile UK on a leisure facility in Wiltshire contributed to a sustainable project which has been nominated for a regional award. The new building on the PGL campus in Liddington near Swindon has been nominated for the South West LABC Building Excellence Awards 2015, thanks to its sustainability credentials which include the Metrotile roof. PGL, which is based in Ross-on-Wye and operates 22 activity centres in the UK, France and Spain took over the site in Liddington five years ago and recently began working on a brand new guest accommodation block that would be known as Ridgeway. The new timber frame building, which can accommodate 392 guests across 116 rooms, took just 28 weeks to install from the ground up, including a rapid roof installation that utilised the Metrotile Bond profile in charcoal. Metrotile UK was also able to supply custom fittings so that a retrofit photovoltaic system could be installed. In addition, PGL has used Metrotile products at Liddington on two staff accommodation blocks, once again timber frame and utilising a thermal energy system to provide hot water to the 108 staff members that they house.

John Cunningham (left) MD of Metrotile UK with Tomy Thompson of PGL, next to the nominated building at Liddington Tomy Thompson, regional property manager for PGL, said: “We’ve been using lightweight tiles for many years but this was our first use of Metrotile as they offered the best value proposition. “However we were very impressed with the quality of the product and pleased to discover they offered customer assistance to match. “For us, the benefits of lightweight steel roofing are the speed of construction and also the lack of forward maintenance. Bearing in mind that this is a leisure facility, because of the way the tiles are installed

there is no prospect of damage causing loose tiles or slates. “It’s a great product and we hope to work with Metrotile UK again in the future. We are pleased that the facility has received due recognition with the award nomination.” The main contractor on the building work was Powys-based SJ Roberts Construction and the Metrotile UK product was installed by specialist independent roofer Dion Black. Mr Black, who has been working with Metrotile UK products for more than 20 years, said: “Where I come from, in New Zealand, all roofs are made from lightweight tiles such as Metrotile. It’s how I was brought up on roofing. “The benefits – cost, sustainability, security and durability – are starting to get more widespread recognition in the UK now and it’s great to see.” John Cunningham, managing director of Metrotile UK, said: “We are delighted that PGL opted to use our products on the new facility at Liddington and we are equally delighted that the results have been recognised with this award nomination.” q • For further information visit the website at


Roof truss fall triggered domino effect and injured workers [A WORCESTERSHIRE FIRM has been sentenced for safety failings after

four workers were injured, one of them seriously, when a roof truss in a new extension collapsed during construction causing several others to fall. Four men working on the extension were caught in the collapse at premises in Coventry, in June last year. One man was trapped by his legs, two suffered minor injuries and the fourth suffered severe grazing and a fracture to his lower spine which led to many painful months off work. On 15 June the principal contractor for the project – DP Designs Ltd – was prosecuted for safety failings following an investigation by the HSE. The court heard that, due to an omission during the planning and procurement process of the project, a critical structural truss had been overlooked. This led to workers attempting to install the trusses in an unstable manner; but as soon as they realised it was an issue they stopped working in that area. However, the following day one of the trusses broke, causing a domino effect as several other trusses collapsed above the area where the men were working. The investigation found that had the work been properly planned, organised

and monitored the collapse would not have occurred. Also, if appropriate fall prevention measures had been implemented correctly, the outcome would have been less severe. DP Designs Ltd, of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire was fined a total of £24,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,106.15 after pleading guilty to two offences – one a breach of Regulation 25(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and the other a breach of Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. After the case, HSE inspector Chris Gregory, said: “As the principal contractor, DP Designs Ltd should have ensured the roof truss installation was properly planned, appropriately supervised and, above all, safe. “The company had a duty to inform those who may be affected of any changes to the plan that may impact on their work. In this case the company failed to inform workers of changes that led to the structure becoming unstable. “Where work at height is involved, companies should also provide suitable measures to prevent falls and, secondly, provide equipment to mitigate the outcome of any falls. However, as a result of DP Design Ltd’s failings, four men were injured.” q

Yesterday’s tradition, today’s choice, tomorrow’s heritage… [HERITAGE CLAY TILES LTD is the UK’s leading supplier of high

quality handmade and handcrafted clay roof tiles, peg tiles and machine made tiles.


The company pride themselves on their high quality product range. Manufactured using traditional skills coupled with modern kiln technology, their tile ranges are second to none. They offer old world character and charm, yet are able to meet modern, contemporary requirements. A wide colour choice, including innovative shades and bespoke styles is available, allowing the architect, specifier or homeowner complete versatility to create a stunning design that will enhance any project. The Clayhall range has been carefully crafted to replicate all the features of handmade clay tiles and the Clayhall hand crafted range of tiles offers an excellent alternative when budget restrictions are a concern, but without compromising quality or durability. The Heritage Classic range of plain tiles is one of the finest ranges of clay tiles available on the market today. The company source only the best raw materials for their craftsmen to create beautifully hand formed clay tiles of the highest quality and durability. The process is rigorously monitored and checked continuously in the factory to ensure that standards are strictly adhered to before undergoing further stringent tests by Lucideon Building Technology. Imerys Roof Tiles, like all of the Heritage ranges, are covered by a comprehensive 30 year guarantee for durability. The Phalempin Plain Tile is a highly appealing traditional plain clay roof tile produced at Phalempin in the north of France. The mellow, textured surface combines the beautiful appearance of mature handmade tiles with affordable prices. Unique anti-capillary channels ensure enhanced performance and peace of mind at pitches as low as 30 degrees. Available in seven distinctive colours, which may be used individually or mixed on site to create your own distinctive blend, the Phalempin Plain Tile is supported by a range of matching accessories including ridges, valleys, bonnet hips, cloaked verge, eaves and gables plus external angles for vertical hanging. Heritage Clay Tiles aim to offer maximum value for minimum outlay, urging clients not to compromise, but to get the roof they desire, for less! q

SnapIT Rainclear Systems’ boltless aluminium range the secret is out

[SNAPIT IS A premium quality aluminium gutter system which simply

clicks together without the need for nuts, bolts and washers – saving significant time and reducing the fuss and hassle involved in fitting. The standard stock range comprises of beaded half round gutter in 115 or 125mm and Victorian moulded ogee gutter in 125 and 100mm, with a complementary swaged downpipe system in 65 and 75mm round. Orders in smooth matt black will get next day delivery or there is a choice of 26 standard RAL colours that is available on a 10 day lead-time. At a significantly cheaper price than cast iron or cast aluminium, SnapIT is a perfect choice for builders striving for a quality rainwater system at an affordable price. It is made in the UK from 80% recycled material and is 100% recyclable, so it’s also an environmentally friendly option for those discerning clients that want individuality, longevity and low whole life costs. Geraint Jones, managing director at Rainclear, said: “We’ve recently extended the range to include 115mm beaded half round gutter with 65mm swaged pipes and associated fittings. We’re keeping more and more in stock as the secret gets out and demand for this innovative product increases. Sometimes the choice of options can come down to how quickly the parts can be delivered, so we aim to save our customers time and hassle there too. q • Customers can visit the website at to see the full range and save 25% on the list price during July 2015. The aluminium brochure with prices and an installation guide is available to download. There is next day delivery which is free on orders over £300 net with payment by credit card or Paypal. Alternatively, if you have questions, give the team at Rainclear a call on 0800 644 44 26.


The big green building show returns to Manchester [THIS YEAR’S Greenbuild Expo will

take place at Manchester Central on 10-11 November and registration is now open. Described as the most focused sustainable construction and refurbishment event in the UK, Greenbuild Expo will have even more on offer this year as it is joined by Buildings and Energy Efficiency (BEE) – a new event running alongside. The free, two-day conference and exhibition offers expert advice on making buildings greener, with a huge variety of workshops and seminars to attend. BEE has been introduced to address the issue of energy performance in commercial buildings, from office blocks and retail units to hospitals and schools, with a free conference and exhibition offering expert advice on cutting energy use and – ultimately – utility bills in both newbuild and refurbishment projects. Speakers already confirmed for the events include those from APSE, BiFM, Future Cities Catapult, Loughborough University, Balfour Beatty, The Energy Institute, Zero Carbon


Hub, nPower, Planet First, NEF, Procure Plus, Bioregional and the BRE. Also running as part of Greenbuild Expo will be Ignition 15, the UK biomass exhibition and conference. According to the organisers, biomass accounts for 95% of new installations, with a combined installed output of 1,150MW. Ignition 15 will be focusing on the new sustainability and land use criteria expected to be in place for compliance with RHI funding. One of the highlights of the two days will

be the BEE Awards ceremony at Manchester’s Palace Hotel on the evening of 10 November. The awards will recognise outstanding projects and innovative products that are promoting energy efficiency in buildings across the UK. They will showcase innovation, celebrate best practice and recognise expertise in energy usage and the ways it contributes to an attractive, energy efficient and sustainable built environment. There are a number of categories in the awards, for both new and refurbished buildings, domestic and non-domestic, private and public sector. There are also awards for innovative products, behavioural change initiatives and breakthrough projects. The deadline for entries has been extended to 14 August. To find out how to enter visit q • For further information on Greenbuild Expo, BEE and Ignition 15 visit www.greenbuildexpo. and

The low-carbon agricultural revolution beneath London’s streets [GROWING UNDERGROUND, London’s first subterranean farm, will

start trading for the first time in mid-July. The farm, in old World War II tunnels beneath the Northern Line at Clapham, is the brainchild of West Country entrepreneurs Richard Ballard and Steven Dring, in partnership with Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr. Last year the farm successfully completed a crowd funding round that was oversubscribed. The concept has attracted huge interest from consumers and retailers, as well as scientists and urban planners worldwide. The first phase of the farm, which includes a sophisticated lighting and irrigation system, is in the final stages of preparation for commercial supply. Phase one crops include pea shoots, several varieties of radish, mustard, coriander, Red Amaranth, celery, parsley and rocket. “We’re delighted that our first shoots will be delivered to the surface in the next few weeks,” said Richard Ballard. “After 18 months of research, development, growing trials – and tribulations – we’re about to start supplying into the market.” “Phase one represents more than £750,000 of investment in sustainable urban farming for London and we’re delighted to be fulfilling our first orders within weeks,” added Steven Dring. Michel Roux Jr commented: “I’m looking forward to creating my first dish using produce from the world’s first underground urban farm, less than two miles as the crow flies from the heart of London. It’s great to be involved in this ambitious project, for which we have equally ambitious growth plans. Above all, it’s fantastic to be able to source produce that is so fresh in the heart of Britain’s largest city.” Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who supported the original idea for the

farm through his London Leaders business start-up programme, welcomed the launch. Said Boris: “This is a fine example of the dynamic start-ups that are helping London lead the world in green business innovation. I want even more entrepreneurs to help create these brilliant concepts that are delivering thousands of jobs and boosting London's green economy to almost £30 billion a year. I wish Growing Underground every success.” Crops are grown in a sealed clean-room environment with a bespoke ventilation system, advanced lighting and a sophisticated irrigation system that enable the farm to produce crops at very low energy. The farm’s mission is to deliver fresh produce with zero effect on the environment and all energy is sourced from green suppliers. q

Politics and

‘renewable hot air’? [DESPITE AN ELECTION campaign that failed to mention the UK

renewable energy policy, the recent G7 meeting made a commitment to pursue ‘deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions’. Good news? Yes, probably, although cynics might suggest this does no more than delay commitments made previously to reduce emissions by 50% before 2050! Rhetoric will no doubt increase toward the ‘UN climate show’ in December, a major objective of which is to limit global temperature increase to 2°C. John Findlay of Carbon Zero Consulting explains: “The UK’s efforts in reducing CO2 emissions rely on replacing coal (and later, gas) with increased power output from nuclear, wind, solar and tidal – as well as through massive uptake of renewable heating. “The latter continues in a rather surprising direction. Recent figures show that 93% of all non-domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) applications have been for biomass systems. On the domestic front, the story is more mixed, but shows that the predicted renewable market as a whole is well below where it needs to be.” Major changes to the RHI are needed to breathe life into the renewable heating market, to correct the imbalance of technology uptake and to allow movement towards the stated aims of the UK Climate Change Act. Proposals to address these factors have been developed by the Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA). These can be found at John Findlay adds: “Although recent reductions to biomass RHI will help the situation, we must ensure renewable technologies are selected on sound engineering principles – and not simply on short term RHI gain.” q


Emissions advice delivered at capital’s construction show [ THE LONDON BUILD 2015 exhibition,

on 18-19 June, saw experts from leading emissions control specialist Johnson Matthey offering retrofit advice on diesel particulate filtering (DPF) for construction machinery. Construction sites in London are considered to be responsible for 12% of London’s NOx emissions and 15% of particulate matter (PM). That has led the Mayor of London to introduce a new Low Emission Zone for non-road mobile machinery on sites in the capital. From September it will become a legal requirement for construction machinery to comply with the new emissions limits on certain sites. Guy Tremayne, marketing manager at Johnson Matthey, said: “It is a legal requirement in many countries and regions for non-road machines to be fitted with filter systems for occupational health reasons and also to improve air quality, as the technology can reduce the number of harmful particulates emitted by diesel engines by more than 99%.” Johnson Matthey’s European Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) Group has over 20 years’ experience of engineering retrofit DPF systems for many types of non-road machinery. Its systems provide a choice for operators needing to comply with particulate matter limits from September. Its certified

technologies will enable machinery to go well beyond the Stage IIIA (Greater London) and IIIB (Central Activity Zone and Canary Wharf) particulate matter limits. At London Build Johnson Matthey exhibited diesel emissions control systems

for a variety of heavy duty construction machines, such as excavators, loaders, telehandlers, piling rigs, crawler cranes and dump trucks. They offer a range of filter sizes, types and regeneration methods to cover most applications. q

Future-proof homes go under the microscope [THE ECO-CREDENTIALS of what has been dubbed the ‘future-proof home’ came under

scrutiny recently when Quadrant Building Control inspected an exclusive development of five Trivselhus houses in the rural village of Meopham in the heart of Kent. The two and four-bedroom detached houses in Meopham’s Windmill Close were built by niche housebuilder Cedar Rydal in partnership with Swedish building company Trivselhus. Paul Knight, director of Quadrant Building Control, said: “The thermal standards that these houses have been built to exceed the current standards required by the building regulations and the recommended standards for zero-carbon homes that the Government committed to introducing in future changes to the building regulations.” Trivselhus doors and windows are triple-glazed, argon-filled units that are pre-fitted in the factory and arrive on site within the completed wall panel. Service conduits for electricity and plumbing are included in the build at the factory stage so that no holes need to be made in the walls or floors on site. Paul commented: “These features are aimed at minimising construction time while ensuring that the occupants don’t experience draughts and energy loss. The whole house has mechanical ventilation with heat recovery for good air quality and no wasted warmth. “In the Meopham houses, heating and hot water come from a high-efficiency gas condensing boiler with a hot water storage cylinder and radiators. “This creates homes that are very thermally efficient, require low heating loads and provide a clean, fresh and comfortable internal environment insulated from external noise.” q

Longworth launches solar division [ LEADING BUILDING ENVELOPE specialist Longworth has

compromise roofing guarantees.” launched Redsky Solar to combine expertise in roofing with a full Longworth has already been involved with over 7,000 solar rooftop solar PV design and installation service. installations on public sector and commercial properties and is Building on Longworth’s 150 years of experience in the roofing confident that having dedicated solar arm Redsky will help them to industry, new solar division Redsky is one of the only solar companies grow this area of the business. in the UK to offer PV installation by roofing experts. Paul Smith added: “Demand for renewable energy is set to grow Paul Smith, managing director as emissions reductions targets of Longworth and Fellow of the reduce and green taxes increase. Institute of Roofing, said: “The “Clients have already told growth in the renewables sector us that being able to use and the increasing drive towards installers from one of the UK’s sustainable construction made leading roofing experts has given strengthening our solar offer a them the confidence to embrace natural step for Longworth. solar power, and we are proud “Solar panels can be fitted to be able to help businesses, to new or existing roofs to schools and hospitals around save money on energy bills the country discover the benefits and reduce carbon emissions. of cleaner, greener energy.” q Our engineers bring together expertise in roofing and solar, • For more information about so Redsky Solar clients have the Longworth and Redsky please added benefit of knowing that visit and installation will not damage the or call Paul Smith, managing director of Longworth and Redsky Solar structure of their existing roof or 0151 556 0535.


Boningale Greensky plugs into Scotland’s largest wildflower and sedum green roof [BONINGALE GREENSKY HAS helped to

create Scotland’s largest wildflower and sedum green roof on a new £842 million hospital complex in Glasgow. The award winning green roof department of Albrighton-based Boningale Nurseries won the contract from Frosts Landscape Construction Ltd to supply and deliver 40,000 specially grown sedum plug plants, cuttings and wildflower seed for the hospital’s multifaceted green roof. The new hospital complex features a 1,109 bed adult hospital and a 256 bed children’s hospital and is the largest single NHS hospital build project in Scotland. Rooms will have views over the biodiverse sedum and wild flower roofs which have been formed over 10 areas stretching more than 6,000 square metres. Maggie Fennell, technical green roof expert at Boningale GreenSky, said: “We were thrilled to be involved with this project, not only because of its enormity and significance for

Scotland, but because of all the associated eco-benefits this huge green roof will generate for the locality. Importantly, it will also provide a beautiful and peaceful vista for the hospital’s patients and staff.” Boningale GreenSky’s SkyPlugs were specified because they have been uniquely created to thrive in the harsh conditions of a rooftop environment. Rather than being grown in unsuitable rich, fibrous peat, they are in a mix of peat-free growing medium and substrate, which mimics the conditions they are to be planted in. Maggie, who work with the technology experts at the University of Sheffield’s Green Roof Centre to develop and academically research plug plants and substrates, added: “This growing technique ensures the rootball is strong and is able to grow out of the plug space as soon as possible, giving them maximum chance of establishing and surviving. We look forward to seeing how the green roof flourishes at this fantastic new hospital complex.”

At, contractors, designers and architects involved with green roof design can access a range of free web tools and green roof guides. This also includes the award winning substrate selector tool, which has been developed using PhD research to determine the best product for different performance criteria, maintenance requirements and local rainfall levels. q



Scotland gears up for its networking event [THERE ARE NOW less than 20 weeks to go to the opening of Scotland

Build – the two-day exhibition and high-level conference which will bring to together key stakeholders and decision makers from across the Scottish construction industry. Scotland Build will take place at the SECC in Glasgow on the 25-26 November, hosting more than 175 exhibitors and with thousands expected to attend. The prospect of new fiscal powers for the Scottish Government – particularly in the areas of infrastructure and housebuilding – have brought the country’s construction industry to renewed attention and the event, organised by events company Oliver Kinross, will add further to the spotlight. With numerous event partnerships such as Scottish Renewables, Glasgow

City Chamber of Commerce and the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists already confirmed, along with having all the event's workshops CPD accredited, Scotland Build is already looking like it is going to be a big success with over four months to go. Registration for Scotland Build 2015 is now open and it is free to attend. q • For more information visit the website at

• Construction National is a media partner for Scotland Build 2015 and will have a presence at the event. In addition, to highlight the increasing significance of construction activity in Scotland, we will be including a major feature – ‘Construction in Scotland’ – in the next issue of the magazine.

Cofferdam completion marks progress at Dundee V&A [COMPLETION OF A cofferdam in the River

Tay at the site of new V&A Museum of Design in Dundee marks a major milestone in the £80m construction project. Dundee City Council’s administration leader, Cllr Ken Guild, said: “This is significant progress on a nationally-important project to provide a unique and stunning building. I am delighted to see that the construction of V&A Dundee is proceeding apace and people will really take notice when

RIAS Awards honour influential architect [ON 17 JUNE the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) held its annual Awards

Dinner at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. The 12 winners represented the very best of current Scottish architecture. The judging panel was chaired by RIAS past president Iain Dickson and included Julia Barfield from RIBA, Karen Cunningham, the director of next year’s Festival of Architecture, Hugh Dutton Hon FRIAS of Hugh Dutton Associés in Paris and Stuart Goodall, the chief executive of Confor. Willie Watt, President of the RIAS, commented that the 65 submissions from throughout Scotland, which ranged in cost from just £30,000 to £26m, is ‘a tremendous vote of confidence’. “It absolutely confirms that this award, in only its fourth year, is now the single most important recognition of architectural achievement in Scotland,” he added. In the fourth year of the restyled awards the RIAS has again teamed up with Forestry Commission Scotland/Wood for Good, Historic Scotland, The Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland for four prestigious sub-category awards. At the awards Professor Robin Webster OBE FRIAS was presented with the incorporation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is given to those architects who, in the view of the council of the RIAS, have made an outstanding contribution to architecture in Scotland. It was presented by RIAS President Willie Watt, who described Mr Webster as ‘one of the most influential UK architects in the latter half of the 20th century’. He said: “The fact that the practice that bears his name and is now fronted by his daughter and son-in-law continues to win awards confirms that his influence endures.” q

tower cranes move onto the site later this summer. “The aspirational V&A Dundee project is designed to provide the city and Scotland with a world-class museum which will help to provide jobs and wider economic benefits.” Museum director Philip Long commented: “We are thrilled at the progress and pace of work in the first three months of construction. The project really comes to life when you see the form of the building marked out on site. It will be hugely exciting for all of us to watch its striking physical shape emerge over the coming months and years up to opening.” The V&A Dundee building will protrude out into the River Tay and to enable the land reclamation work to progress, BAM Construction has constructed a cofferdam in the river. The cofferdam is effectively a temporary watertight structure built around the protruding part of the V&A Dundee. This allows the area enclosed by the cofferdam to have the water pumped out, creating a dry working environment for the major land reclamation work to proceed. The cofferdam was completed at the end of May, ahead of the 1 June date when the summer embargo on work on the river began, to avoid any impact on the harbour seal breeding season. Doug Keillor, regional director of BAM Construction in Scotland, said: “BAM is on target with our construction programme to deliver a world-class building that will be a source of pride for the people of Dundee and Scotland. We have formed an excellent working partnership with V&A Dundee and Dundee City Council, which is always the foundation of a successful project.” Nearly 30 job opportunities for young people have already been created at the site. They include new starts by people who were previously unemployed, redundant or who have completed registered training programmes, as well as graduate and apprenticeship opportunities. q


£500,000 Annual Investment 31st December 2015

JCB Finance warns that a £500,000 tax saving opportunity is drawing to a close [IN THE Summer Budget 2015 The

Chancellor announced that the Annual Investment Allowance will be set at £200,000 from January 2016. Time is therefore running out if you would like to benefit from the enhanced AIA of £500,000. This potential tax relief is available for capital expenditure on plant, machinery and commercial vehicles (not cars) purchased until 31st December 2015. This an important tax incentive which


accelerates the tax relief so that 100% of eligible expenditure can be offset against taxable profits in the first year instead of taking up to 12 years to reclaim 90% of the original cost using the normal 18% annual writing down allowance. In effect for every £1 spent the Government will give you £1 back in the form of relief against your taxable profits. The net benefit will depend on the rate of income tax or corporation tax that your business pays – which could be between

20% and 45%. It is the equivalent of a subsidy to encourage businesses to invest in plant and machinery. Capital expenditure via a hire purchase agreement is also eligible for exactly the same AIA, just as if you had paid cash, but you will also gain a terrific cash flow advantage. Potentially your business could gain up to £500,000 in tax relief after only having paid the deposit and the interest charged is also

Allowance ends

100% tax deductible. All businesses can claim the AIA – the only exceptions are mixed partnerships or trusts, i.e. those in which a company is a member. If you have not already planned how to maximise the benefit, speak to your accountant or finance director now. If your financial year end is March or your tax year end is April then your £500,000 AIA has already dropped to £425,000.

Timing is critical Proper advice is needed because different financial years that straddle either the tax year or calendar year end may result in complicated calculations that could result in a lesser AIA being granted in that financial year. The chart opposite illustrates the maximum amounts available by showing four different financial year end companies and how vital it is to spend the right amount within the right periods in order to maximise the tax benefits. The maximum AIA actually available may be lower than the amounts indicated in the chart, depending on the timing of the expenditure. Given the lead times for some machinery, from order to delivery, this also needs to be carefully factored in to your buying plans. Get the timing and /or the amounts wrong and your business could either miss out on available tax relief or worst still, end up paying far more tax then is required. Other factors being equal, if your business is contemplating purchasing eligible plant or commercial vehicles in the near future, there are some strong tax-based and cash flow arguments to carefully plan these purchases before the end of your financial year and certainly before 1st January 2016 when the reduced allowance of £200,000 will come into effect. T • JCB Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. JCB Finance provides asset finance for UK businesses for both JCB and non-competitive machinery, including vehicles and cars, but it is not a tax or financial advisor. Always seek advice from your accountant or finance director, because every business’ circumstances are different. Businesses should not make investment decisions purely on a tax basis.


Pension ‘Auto Enrolment’ – are you prepared? [MORE AND MORE businesses are falling

under the scope of the new ‘Auto Enrolment’ legislation. Mandatory Auto Enrolment for large employers has already taken effect and over the next couple of years all employers (with the exception of one director companies with no other staff on the payroll) will come into the system and will have to comply with the legislation. Failure to implement a qualifying pension scheme by a given ‘staging date’ will result in financial penalties and the Pensions Regulator has already issued fines to some employers for non-compliance. The financial penalties for non-compliance are an initial fixed penalty of £400 and then daily penalties between £50 to £10,000 (depending on the number of employees) if the employer does not comply following the initial fixed penalty. Andrew Wilson, director at THSP Risk Management, said: “The Pensions Regulator is in the process of writing to all small employers regarding their legal obligations to implement Auto Enrolment by the given staging date over the next year or two. We would recommend that at least 9 months prior to the staging date employers should prepare for the commencement of Auto Enrolment. Failure to implement a qualifying pension scheme by the


given staging date will result in an initial fixed penalty of £400”. Andrew Wilson suggests 6 steps to help prepare for Auto Enrolment: 1. Know your ‘staging date’ – The date you have to comply with the new rules can be found on the Pensions Regulator’s website (you will need your PAYE reference number). 2. Decide who will be your dedicated contact – The person who will liaise with the Regulator. Nearer to your staging date, you will need to tell them who it is. 3. Assess your workforce to identify: • ‘Eligible Jobholders’ – these workers must be Auto Enrolled into a pension scheme on your staging date. Your business must contribute on their behalf into the scheme. • ‘Non Eligible Jobholders’ – these workers

must be notified they can join the scheme if they wish. Your business must contribute into the scheme if they decide to join. • ‘Entitled Workers’ – these individuals must be notified they can join if they wish, but your business doesn’t have to contribute into the scheme. 4. Set up a suitable pension scheme – Existing pension arrangements should be assessed – they may not satisfy the new rules. It is advised that at least 9 months is given prior to your staging date to form a suitable pension scheme and that it is fully active on your staging date. 5. Ensure your payroll software can deal with Auto Enrolment – This also includes the administrative letters that must be issued to your employees regarding their entitlements. 6. Plan now – there is more to it than you think! To find out more about Auto Enrolment and how THSP can help meet your legal obligations, contact Andrew Wilson at THSP Risk Management on 03456 122 144 or email for further details. THSP offer a fixed fee ‘Employment Safe’ service for a comprehensive and cost-effective solution to your employment law needs. Or if you’re looking for something more flexible they also provide services on an ad hoc basis, so you can get expert assistance for your business as and when you need it. q

Don’t let slow payment hold back your business By MARTIN BENNISON and TIM WILKINSON of Ultimate Construction Finance

>FIRST TIER SUBCONTRACTORS in the construction industry are

between a financial rock and a hard place – they have to pay for wages, materials and plant long before they get the money in from the main contractors. There have been several different initiatives to encourage the move towards more of a prompt payment culture. However, real progress has been slow and many subcontractors are turning to innovative Construction Finance products to help fuel their growth.

A problem that’s proving remarkably stubborn According to a recent survey carried out by BACS Payment Services Limited, late payment is now the single biggest threat to the survival of many construction firms in the UK, with over three quarters of businesses being forced to wait at least a month beyond their agreed contract terms before getting paid. That’s despite the fact that in 2008 the Government implemented the ‘Prompt Payment Code’ to help SMEs in general. A survey last year by the Institute of Directors found that two-thirds of SMEs were still experiencing late payment. The Government tried another approach last year, with the introduction of the ‘Construction Industry Payment Charter’. The deal, organised with the Construction Leadership Council, currently commits contractors and

Martin Bennison

Tim Wilkinson

clients to pay their suppliers within 60 days. From June 2015 this will be reduced to 45 days and from January 2018 to 30 days. It also sets out clear commitments in respect of ‘pay less’ notices, contract variations, electronic payments and Supply Chain Finance schemes.

Sounds good, but… By signing up to the charter, an organisation will agree to apply the commitments in its dealings with its supply chain, to be monitored against a series of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and to consider the performance of its supply chain when awarding contracts. The KPIs for monitoring compliance with the charter will be published in due course and mirror the new statutory reporting requirements which will come into force from April 2016. While these initiatives are certainly a step in the right direction, some within the industry are questioning the likelihood of real success, noting the slow rate at which companies are signing up. There are also further concerns about how the scheme will be policed and enforced.

Giving trade bodies more teeth Last month, the Government also set out proposals that will allow subcontractor trade bodies to challenge unfair main contractor payment terms in court. The proposed new powers would give trade bodies more power to challenge late payments and unfairly long payment terms on behalf of their members. It is hoped that these measures could be enforced before contracts are signed, giving smaller businesses more confidence and legal backing to insist on more reasonable payment terms.

Smart businesses are finding their own solutions With the economy now in full swing again many first tier subcontractors simply cannot afford to take a ‘wait and see if things improve’ attitude. If they are to take on new and bigger contracts they need access to funding now. At Ultimate Construction Finance we’re seeing a surge in demand for our specialised facilities. These have been specifically developed to support the working capital and growth aspirations of first tier subcontractors in the plastering, plumbing, roofing, heating, flooring, decorating, groundworks, scaffolding, electrical, maintenance and industrial cleaning sectors, along with many other specialist trades. We can offer advances of up to £3,000,000 that bridge the gap between raising applications and getting paid. What’s more, we fund Uncertified Applications for Payment on a fully confidential basis and our pricing matrix is clear from the outset. To qualify you just need a turnover of £500,000, to have a positive tangible net worth and be profitable. T • For more information contact Ultimate Construction Finance now. Martin Bennison – – 07834 524 380. Tim Wilkinson – – 07870 212 180.


Concrete forms the base of wind energy project [HOPE CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS is supplying 4,500m

3 of concrete to specialist civil engineering contractor I&H Brown to build 11 wind turbine bases at Crook Hill Wind Farm on the moors near Whitworth in Lancashire. The project, which began in October 2014 and should be complete by the end of July, will secure renewable energy for 25,000 homes in Rochdale and North East Lancashire, with up to 36MW of electricity in total being generated. Hope has been delivering over 350m3 of concrete for each turbine base in one continuous pour, which was necessary to meet the structural design and in-situ concrete performance required. A smaller pour is then required to ensure the bases are ready for the turbine to be fitted. A concrete grade of C32/40 is being supplied from Hope’s Rochdale and Burnley readymix plants, which are perfectly located to meet the demands of the project. Paul Coleman, area commercial manager at Hope Construction Materials, said: “This is a great contract for Hope to be associated with, particularly as it complements our own sustainability commitments, and it is great to know that the outcome will supply thousands of homes with renewable energy. However, delivering over 350m³ of concrete for each turbine base in one continuous pour to the site from our plants in Rochdale and Burnley has been challenging. “Accessing the site means driving along seven kilometres of temporary ‘floating’ roads which have had to be constructed over the top of An aerial view of the site at the moorland, and constantly maintained and

repaired by the contractor to allow safe access to the bases. The remote location also presents other challenges, including poor visibility and difficult weather conditions, with our drivers operating in convoy to ensure any safety issues are addressed quickly.” Simon Wray, site agent for I&H Brown Ltd, said: “Hope secured the contract based on past performance at a close-by wind farm location. They have proved they have the capability and resources to undertake a project of this scale and are able to cope with the layout and logistics of the site. Once completed, the wind turbines will provide green energy to thousands of homes in the region and getting the bases in place is the first element in this process.” q

Crook Hill Wind Farm

Watertight team offers Kryton concrete solutions [A NEW TEAM has been appointed to bring

the unique range of Kryton concrete waterproofing solutions to the UK market. The team will be based around the London area and work directly for Source One Environmental, exclusive distributors for Kryton in the UK and Ireland. Kryton products offer permanent waterproofing to concrete structures via a patented microscopic crystalline technology. The range includes admixtures, post-build applications and repair products. In use for over 40 years, Kryton products have been applied worldwide to deliver certainty to structures as varied as basements, car parks, dams, water tanks, bridges, marine construction and tunnels. The new team consists of Keith Pearce and Andrew Sapnik, both of whom have recent experience within concrete and cement specialist companies. Keith will spend most of his time in the capital, as well as covering the South East from his base in Maidstone in Kent. Andrew is based in Oxfordshire, with great access to the northern Home Counties, South West and The Midlands, as well as assisting Keith with enquiries from North London. “The appointment of this team signals a new phase in our partnership with Kryton and demonstrates our long-term commitment to distributing this fantastic technology,” explained


Source One Environmental newcomers Keith Pearce (L) and Andrew Sapnik (R) are on hand to discuss Kryton concrete waterproofing products Source One Environmental MD, Glenn Cartledge. “Both Keith and Andrew bring great experience and knowledge with them. They understand the market, the technology and the products.” Both Keith and Andrew are available

immediately for discussions with architects, engineers and contractors who wish to know more about concrete waterproofing options. q • For further information visit

Structural Concrete Alliance issues new guidance on concrete repair and protection


new guidance documents on the repair, maintenance and protection of concrete structures. The Alliance, which brings together the Concrete Repair Association (CRA), Corrosion Prevention Association (CPA) and Sprayed Concrete Association (SCA), has added to its library of guidance documents with the publication of three new Technical Notes.

A new CRA document offers advice on Coating and Protecting Concrete in accordance with BS EN 1504, while the CPA has issued guidance on the use of cathodic protection systems in the form of Technical Note 22: Cathodic Protection for Buried & Immersed Structures and Technical Note 23: Cathodic Protection for New Structures. Coating and Protecting Concrete in accordance with BS EN 1504 offers the latest advice on available materials and coating application methods. Available for free download from the CRA website at, the document explains that concrete can deteriorate due to mechanical, chemical and physical means, as well as a result of fire; while corrosion of reinforcement can be caused by carbonation, corrosive contaminants and stray currents. It describes in detail the use of anti-carbonation and barrier coatings, as well as hydrophobic impregnations to address these issues. The CPA’s Technical Note 22 offers advice on Cathodic Protection for Buried & Immersed Structures. Although such structures can be protected using anode systems, the document states that protection can often be more economically provided using the cathodic methods regularly used to protect buried or immersed steel structures. The document lists the standards that apply and describes design considerations and typical applications. Meanwhile, Technical Note 23 Cathodic Protection for New Structures highlights the increasing use of such systems for new structures in particularly corrosive environments, or where longevity and guaranteed durability are of particular importance. The document offers guidance on installation and maintenance of these ‘cathodic prevention’ systems. Although noting that their use requires a commitment to monitoring, control and maintenance, the document explains that such systems have already been proven to be a cost effective method of providing corrosion control to reinforcement in many large scale applications where a long operational life is required. Both CPA documents are available for free download from the CPA website at The Structural Concrete Alliance provides authoritative guidance on the repair, refurbishment and renovation of concrete; cathodic protection of steel and concrete structures; and sprayed concrete technology and application techniques. T • For further information on Structural Concrete Alliance guidance documents and for details of its free regional CPD seminar programme visit


Planning Applications –

how key technical knowledge can help to resolve unexpected obstacles By MARK CHESTER of Cedarwood Tree Care

[ PART OF MY role as a consultant in the planning process is to

identify potential problems at the earliest stage and guide the parties through the minefield that can emerge. Sometimes, the issues which emerge are due to the inexperience of an applicant. Problems can also be encountered due to a lack of specialist knowledge within planning departments. There are occasions when a local authority is being unreasonable and one needs to be informed in highlighting this. I try to help my clients prepare an informed brief. One client, who had previously not encountered trees on a development site, had surveyed the main specimens. They were unaware that, with the site being in a conservation area, smaller trees, including some self-set sycamore, still needed to be included in the survey data as they were sufficiently large to be included in the protection afforded to trees in such a location. A desire by one client to plant trees for high impact resulted in alders being proposed for a prominent street frontage. This seemed a good idea to the planning consultants advising him, but they had overlooked the drawback of planting trees which cast shade and can grow to 20m in front of apartments which were proposed for this part of the development. I was able to reassure the worried planners that this feature would not be in the final draft! Local authority cut backs can result in officers with little experience of trees being asked to comment on technical matters. Ecological arguments relating to dormice were being used by a team to resist the management of woodland. A reminder that the legislation protecting trees does not extend to dormice, which are protected by statute elsewhere, helped to ensure common sense prevailed. I recently encountered an officer who cited the possible presence of veteran trees on a site to request more space for trees being retained, thus reducing the developable area. In the absence of this space, he was unwilling to support the application. Veteran trees are afforded more space within a development setting, and the request would have been justifiable had the trees been veterans. It happened that the trees on that site were oaks, which are the second longest living genus in the UK, rarely attaining veteran status before they are 500 years old (oaks can live to 900 years and yews for 2,000 years or longer). I commented that the trees would have needed to be growing when Henry Vlll was on horseback to be veterans. As the site was Victorian, this was not a valid request. Often, lay people can be caught unaware by a request for a report to BS5837:2012 or for a Tree Constraints Plan. There are occasions, however, when a request seems to be somewhat unreasonable and common sense is needed. I have been asked to visit sites where the tree cover is little more than a self-set sycamore and this information needs to be conveyed to the planners quickly, efficiently and with minimal fuss. Sometimes, reassurance is being sought, although I do feel that there are occasions where the administrators are being pedantic. I had one case where the officer was unwilling to sign off the trees condition, where some minor amendments had been agreed and the plan endorsed, until the new plan was incorporated in to the main report. There are, of course, occasions when the applicant is being unrealistic or overly ambitious with their plans. In such cases, a feasibility assessment is beneficial, and I can provide recommendations of what may be acceptable to the local authority on arboricultural grounds. Providing this starting element is sound, usually the later challenges can be resolved, even if sometimes it feels like a box-ticking exercise. q


Pipeline reporting specialist celebrates 15 years in UK [THIS AUGUST SEES the 15th anniversary

of WinCan Europe Ltd, the leading UK supplier of software for CCTV inspection reporting in the utilities industry and a subsidiary of CD Lab, the Swiss company that produces the WinCan software packages. The story began, however, in 1998, when two executives of Telespec travelled to the Pumper and Cleaner Expo in Nashville, Tennessee. There they met Alessandro Caldara of CDLab Switzerland. Both were so impressed with the products they saw that they invited CDLab to make a presentation to the technical staff at Telespec. Everyone involved immediately realised that the products would revolutionise the CCTV pipeline inspection industry. Telespec became the UK distributor for WinCan and in August of that year Telespec’s Paul Woodhouse travelled to Switzerland to receive full training on all CDLab products. At that time in the UK inspection industry, full on-site data collection and digital recording was unheard of. But once word spread of the reporting possibilities available with WinCan, it soon became a hit with customers and installations of the software rolled out across the country. On 3 August 2000 Paul Woodhouse and Sandro Caldara incorporated WinCan Europe Ltd, operating from a back bedroom office. In the subsequent decade and a half WinCan has become one of the most – if not the most – widely used CCTV inspection reporting software systems, not just in the UK but in many parts of the world. The company now has five employees based in Woking, in a modern building incorporating

We chose WinCan as it is userfriendly for our CCTV division and gave us the versatile reporting structure we needed for our diverse range of customers. It has helped us gain an edge over other contractors and secures us more repeat business. Liam Sellar: director, In-Sewer Surveys

electronic design, PC build and service departments, as well as dedicated training facilities.

What makes WinCan effective? Early CCTV inspection operations were to a significant extent very ‘people-centric’, which can be time consuming and more often than not costly, because data was not only collected but had to be reworked to complete the necessary videotape and paper-based client reports. Many of the actual and potential customers for the software are in areas of the utility and pipeline industries that are always under pressure to provide their services to the customer at acceptable cost or come under the auspices of Government regulators. WinCan offered a highlyefficient alternative and the rollout of fully digital data capture systems began. Today, vehicle-based or fully portable on-site reporting systems are now commonplace, particularly within the larger utility companies and especially those in the water sector. WinCan director Paul Woodhouse said: “Flexibility and scalability have been key aspects of the success of WinCan across the UK’s utility industries. Users from the small domestic survey contractors through to those undertaking the major strategic structural surveys required by the main water companies are easily catered for within the WinCan product family. “We now not only work with end-user clients who utilise the WinCan software for their everyday survey reporting and analysis, but also with CCTV equipment manufacturers with WinCan Embedded. This enables them to provide equipment that is underpinned with the ability to off-load survey data into WinCan while maintaining their own unique identity with their own CCTV survey operating systems.” Over the years various updates of WinCan software have been introduced, each improving on the performance of the last. With the rollout of Version 8 in 2010 came a training requirement. Hundreds of candidates have successfully attended operational training at WinCan Europe’s dedicated training facility in Woking.

MTS Cleansing Services has used WinCan for many years, from when we were running just one CCTV unit. With the support and innovation from WinCan we have developed and grown and the company is now running 17 CCTV units incorporating a 4x4 mobile unit and various section 24 units. Jim Johnson: MTS Cleansing Services Ltd

Thames Water has greatly benefited from supporting WinCan and the resultant ongoing development of the WinCan software over recent years. Today, a CCTV contractor that is not using WinCan software cannot compete on price or quality with a ‘WinCan'd’ contractor. David Martin: Technical Consultant, Thames Water

As part of the licence for Version 8, fully comprehensive maintenance packages are offered. Many customers have seen the benefit of these and are now signed up, safe in the knowledge that any updates to standards or client requirements – even, in time, the next major release of WinCan – are covered and under control and that the reporting system will be as up-to-date as it can be. It is almost time for that next version of WinCan to be released and the company believes that the new WinCan VX, combined with the up-coming WinCanWeb service, will be another game-changer in functionality and efficiency. WinCan modules are now also available for CCTV surveying, manhole inspection, 3D survey systems, 3D presentation of underground assets, mapping, laser profiling, pressure test, cleaning and joint sealing to name just a few. The company also has many new modules on the way. q • For further information visit

WinCan is very easy to use and saves me time; but more importantly I can now give my customers a very professional inspection report. WinCan has certainly helped me win both new and repeat business. Alan McRae: Candid Services Ltd – Dyno-Rod franchisee

WinCan means that powerful, professional reporting is available to the smaller contractor. My customers are delighted with the quality and clarity of information I can give them. Steve Redford: Aqua Clenz Ltd

Screen shot of The new WinCan VX


Contractor and supplier complement each other perfectly [TWO COMPANIES IN the pipeline rehabilitation industry –

both based in Peterborough – have been collaborating to carry out projects that have posed particular challenges. The two companies are DALROD, a family-run drainage industry service provider established in 1985, and C J Kelly Associates, supplier and distributor of lining systems for the industry. In one such successful collaboration, DALROD’s Cambridgeshire division was involved in a technically challenging project to keep water flowing to a major cement works in Essex. The site is part of an industrial development in the mined-out section of what is elsewhere a working quarry site. Investigations showed that the pipe, which carried fresh water between two lakes, was in need of rehabilitation. However, the fact that the site was industrialised, with other operations as well as the cement works, meant that the operating conditions for any rehabilitation work would be far from easy. The client expressly demanded that the rehabilitation be completed in a set timeframe, with all traffic management to be undertaken by the contractor and – most of all – that not only during the rehabilitation works but also subsequently there The non-polluting MC Construction Chemicals Blue Resin in the liner was just the should be no pollution created by the products used to complete right product for this highly environmentally sensitive project the work. With the cement works and other industrial units remaining material from subsequent repairs. Furthermore, the survey also revealed operational during the work, traffic was going to a significant that various repair jobs had changed the diameter at several points along factor in how the project could be completed. Before DALROD was the route as non-standard pipe had been used. So now the pipeline varied brought to the site a number of other contractors had attempted to survey in diameter to less than 300 mm in some places. the pipeline in question but failed due to the level of pipeline deterioration. The survey results also showed that the state of the original pipe One company did, however, complete the survey successfully, but at the was worse than originally expected. There was significant groundwater time were unable to complete the rehabilitation work within the timeframe infiltration due to the very high level of groundwater in the vicinity of stipulated due to commitments elsewhere. Not wanting to let the client the lakes. On top of that, several of the pipe joints were affected by down, however, and knowing DALROD’s reputation for that sort of work, running sand infiltration from the surrounding soil. This meant the pipe that contractor passed the project details over to DALROD to see if they foundations were in danger of being washed out, potentially leading to the could offer a solution. Having examined the survey results and discussed pipe collapsing. options with the client, DALROD was awarded the contract. To alleviate that problem before lining works could be undertaken DALROD completed some 10 patch installations over the sand-infiltrated Difficult access joints to eliminate the sand wash-in. The pipeline in need of rehabilitation runs between two freshwater lakes, Once that problem had been solved it was decided that the lining work both of which hold expensive fishery stocks such as carp which had to be could be completed to specification using mainly the standard hot waterprotected during the rehabilitation operation. The water supply from the cured resin-impregnated felt liner supplied by C J Kelly Associates. It lakes also provided process water for the nearby cement mixing factory would be carried out in three separate installations of 46m, 110m and that needed to remain operational through the works. 125m in length. Initially, it was thought that the pipeline to be repaired was a 300mm In a few short runs, totalling about 10m in length, DALROD also utilised diameter concrete pipe. However, it turned out that the pipeline was in the standard Brawoliner product, where tight pipeline bends and other a mix of materials – both from the original construction and different challenging circumstances meant the Brawoliner product was easier to install for the best results. The Brawoliner was also supplied by C J Kelly Associates, who are UK distributor for Brawoliner products. A difficulty was that the standard resin used with the felt liner did not fully meet the very stringent nonpollution requirement of the contract. However, C J Kelly Associates also represents Brawoliner cured in a pipeline and (right) Impregnating the blue MC resin into a liner MC Construction Chemicals


in the UK and they have recently developed a new resin type which cures to a blue colour. The new resin is extremely environmentally-friendly and trials undertaken by DALROD showed that the new resin does not produce any form of pollution either during or post-installation, nor is there any leaching of by-products out of the liner subsequent to lining completion and cure. Mike Pollard of DALROD The Brawoliner HT liner material offers flexibility and strength as well as high temperature and chemical Cambridgeshire commented: “This resistance and (right) the new catchpit installed at a Yorkshire soft drinks plant was the only product we could find that offered this non-polluting under the strain. That meant that utilising standard rehabilitation techniques capability and we understand that this is one of the few projects yet would be impossible. undertaken using the new resin. It proved to be just the right product for Mike Pollard from DALROD Cambridgeshire liaised with John Kelly from C these circumstances.” J Kelly Associates. Using previous experience from other sites and carrying The MC Construction Chemicals resin used for most of the lining work out some technical data testing against the Brawoliner data sheets it was was the Konudur 170 TL-NV product, a thermo-reactive epoxy resin for proven that the Brawoliner HT product was best suited for the job. Not only CIPP liner systems. was it chemically resistant to the specifications set out by the client, it was The resin enables control of the impregnation process while the liner/ also flexible enough to negotiate the numerous bends on the pipe route. resin combination is flexible enough to negotiate pipe bends. It has high The complexity of the project came into play during the pre-lining chemical and thermal resistance and is easy to use at a construction site survey. As the base of the original pipe was missing in many areas, due to variable application and hardening times. There is also no annulus pulling a camera system through to complete the pre-project survey and gap between the host pipe and liner as the installed lining material sits plot lateral positions for reopening later was technically impossible using flush to the old pipe wall. More importantly for the project in hand, the standard CCTV survey equipment. The deterioration also meant that, resin is certified to be environmentally compatible with groundwater. even with the best CCTV system, it was often impossible to plot lateral During the course of the work, carried out during November and positions effectively. DALROD devised a special method which comprised December last year, it was not only the level of traffic and the need to keep pulling a cable line through that ran along the pipe roof. That allowed the the industrial sites working that caused DALROD’s crew problems. Initially contractor to pull a camera system through to plot the laterals that could some water was over-pumped from the upper lake to the lower lake in be seen and pass through a cutter robot to excise any obstructions in the order to maintain the necessary water supplies to the cement mixing pipe that might impede the lining process. factory. However, very inclement weather added to problems of overOnce that process was complete lining could commence. Even then pumping during the course of the work as significant rainfall caused the a change to the standard lining process had to be adopted. To ensure upper lake to fill to the point of flooding, so increasing the need to monitor that new liner inflated in the host pipe correctly, given the missing invert the lake level and over-pump more to ensure that excessive flooding did sections, it was decided to introduce a pre-liner to form the new shape not occur in the surrounding area. of the liner so preventing the Brawoliner HT liner from slumping into the Mike Pollard continued: “The successful completion of the work means ‘V’ of the eroded invert channel. That allowed the new liner to form the that the freshwater supply pipeline is now able to operate very effectively, correct pipe shape during curing. with no sand infiltration or potential for adverse effects on the lakes or Once the liner had completed curing, the now correctly-shaped pipe their highly-prized fish populations. All-in-all, despite the challenging allowed the lateral reopening robot to be inserted to undertake the lateral circumstances, a job well done.” re-opening works. That was also where another aspect of the Brawoliner HT proved useful. Its flexibility meant that it profiled well into all the Cast iron solution for soft drinks plant lateral connections, so when it came to reopening laterals the robot cutter A major soft drinks manufacturing plant in Yorkshire was the site of operator not only found those that had been highlighted by the initial another collaboration between the two companies. It involved a challenging survey, but also others that had not. project undertaken by DALROD using the Brawoliner HT CIPP liner system Commenting on the project, DALROD’s Mike Pollard said: “This was supplied by C J Kelly Associates. The project had apparently been looked a very challenging job, however it went reasonably smoothly as our at by other rehabilitation contractors but dismissed as not possible using team had previously worked at this site and had learnt from previous currently available techniques. experience. The work programme was completed three days ahead of At first glance it appeared to be just another ‘pipe rehab’ project schedule with all of the lining runs completed. The project also included comprising the lining of some cast iron wastewater pipeline that carried some construction work and the installation of a new stainless steel catch effluent away from the soft drinks production process. The reality proved pit into the floor of the factory to collect any over-spill of liquid which somewhat different, however. Pipe diameters varied from 100mm to would have potentially caused erosion of the floor. All-in-all, the customer 300mm and comprised both surface water and foulwater pipelines. The was delighted with DALROD’s turnaround time, pricing and attention number of linings required led to the work being carried out in two phases: to detail. On site daily meetings also kept the client up to speed with Phase One in 2014 and Phase Two completed in early 2015. progress. DALROD as a company thrives on taking on challenging projects The temperature of the effluent varied depending on the process being where others may have tried and failed, this is another feather for the drained and the production cycle. The pipelines’ locations also varied DALROD hat.” considerably with some running under production line floors. That meant John Kelly, senior partner at C J Kelly Associates, commented: “Given the timing of the individual lining operations was a vital element in the the state of the host pipe this was never going to be an easy installation rehabilitation process. While some areas of work were undertaken during for anyone. Working together with DALROD, using its wealth of field line close-downs, other work had to be undertaken off shift to ensure no experience allied with the technical excellence of the Brawoliner HT production loss. product, it was possible to achieve an outcome for the client that no-one Investigations showed that the acidity of the varying temperature plant else seemed to be able to offer. A success for all concerned.” q waste had damaged the pipe so much that it had led to exposure of the sub-soils beneath. In others areas the pipe fabric was so thin there was • For further information visit and no chance of running equipment on it as it was believed it would collapse


Beyond smart homes – new intelligent living technology set to revolutionise UK homes

>INTELLIGENT LIVING PIONEER Wondrwall has launched its revolutionary

technology that sets out to change the UK’s new housing market and redefine the future of home automation. Wondrwall is an in-home technology that transforms the entire home into a living, learning ecosystem that understands and adapts to the behaviours of its inhabitants. Offering a new layer of sophisticated intelligence and modern functionality, the technology combines and controls the home’s heating, lighting and security systems, transforming a building into a more energy efficient, convenient and secure home. Simple and inexpensive to install, the Wondrwall system offers homebuilders and renovators an affordable solution that injects planned, new and existing housing stock with futuristic capability. Rather than simply offering remote control functionality for home appliances through an app, as many smart technologies do, Wondrwall is compatible with all existing appliances and circumvents the need for these ‘smart products’. Enabling the home to think intelligently and control all appliances within it, Wondrwall activates and deactivates them as required without needing the user to do anything.

Key features of the Wondrwall system Streamlined living – Wondrwall is designed to streamline and simplify in-home life by learning from your day-to-day behaviour and routine to predict your in-home activity and needs. From gradually lighting your bedroom in the morning to wake you up, to predicting your movements to heat and cool rooms throughout your home so they’re at the optimum temperature without using excess energy, the technology turns a house into an intelligent and enabling structure. Safety and security – For the same cost as a standard alarm system, Wondrwall technology heightens home security by using the system’s audio analytics to identify the sound of smashing glass and automatically activate the siren. Internal lights are flashed and an emergency notification is sent to you and your contacts, all before the intruder has breached the property. The audio analytics are also used to identify the sound of a smoke alarm, again triggering the siren, flashing the internal lights and sending an emergency notification – taking the response several steps further than a traditional alarm is capable of. Daniel Burton, founder and CEO of Wondrwall, said: “With the launch of Wondrwall, we’re pioneering the first intelligent living system that will transform how people interact with their homes. We believe that the home is no longer just a living space, but an interactive surrounding. Wondrwall technology revolutionises the home, allowing people to experience a more secure, efficient and convenient style of living.” T • For further information visit the website at


Sundolitt releases new UK specifier support literature for XPS board > SUNDOLITT – THE UK arm of Sunde

Group, Europe’s leading polystyrene products manufacturer – has launched a new set of specifier support literature aimed at helping construction and civil engineers, building contractors, architects and building materials distributors to select quickly and easily from a wide range of options of density, thickness, size and format of XPS board to suit every application. Sundolitt XPS is an extremely durable, thermal insulation board which is not only lightweight but is also able to withstand extreme loads. Its water resistance means it can be stored and installed in severe wet weather conditions with no risk of deterioration throughout its life. XPS is easy to cut and customise on site with no special equipment or tools required. XPS has proven performance in a wide range of construction applications including commercial and domestic flooring, inverted roofing, cold stores and civil engineering projects such as car parks, landscaping, rail, airport and road building activities. It is also ideal as a large void fill where strength and durability are essential to safety, stability and longevity. Philip Cheshire, Sundolitt’s UK general manager, said: “XPS is an outstanding product and is already well accepted by many construction and civil engineers across

New Sundolitt XPS materials

Cold store flooring for high thermal protection

the UK but we wanted to make specification easier for those who may not be fully aware of its potential. We have launched a new six page overview of the credentials of the material as well as a new product data sheet which outlines all of the options available to the professional specifier as well as indicating which of the popular specifications are available ex-stock for urgent projects.” XPS from Sundolitt comes as a rebated (ship lap) board to minimise thermal bridging as well as a butt edge board. It is available in compressive strength/ densities from 250 to 700kPa (EN826) and thicknesses from 20mm to 180mm. Other options include an embossed surface to facilitate adhesion to coatings and finishes, a tongue and groove edge and drainage lined boards with non-woven membrane. Thermal conductivity starts at 0.033W/mK to EN13164. The new specifier literature also stresses the strong environmental credentials of Sundolitt XPS which – being 100% CO2 blown – uses no harmful greenhouse gases during manufacture. The material can be recycled when recovered at the end of its life. The company also states that with the built environment accounting for 40% of Europe’s energy consumption, the greater energy efficiency that comes from using products such as Sundolitt XPS can, in some cases, reduce

Road and car park applications

total energy consumption in buildings and structures by 75%. The new specifier literature is available by contacting Sundolitt’s UK expert team who can also help and advise architects and specifiers on the most appropriate specification for their needs. T • For further information call the Sundolitt UK Head Office on 01786 471 586 or email


Invisible innovation from Aspex

[ASPEX, ONE OF the UK’s leading door and ironmongery companies, has

launched the Novista Riser door range which are designed to ‘disappear’ within the wall construction.   The Novista Riser doorset includes a steel doorframe which is supplied precut and mitred for easy assembly on site and, when fitted, is totally concealed within either a stud or block wall, rendering the door virtually invisible when closed as there are no obtrusive architraves. Novista Riser doorsets are available as double or singles with either a three- or a four-sided frame. The four-sided frames are particularly suitable for use on riser doors and allow skirting boards to run uninterrupted below the door, thereby allowing the door to blend in almost seamlessly with the adjacent walls. The three-sided frames are suitable for storerooms and cleaners’ cupboards and the height of these can be adjusted to align with adjacent riser doors. The Novista Riser doorsets are ideal for use in hotels as bathroom access doors, or risers, and also in commercial office buildings and apartments.


Ashley Burberry, managing director of Aspex UK, said: “This new range demonstrates our commitment to providing our customers with the highest quality design solutions and helps to overcome the problem on many developments of unsightly riser cupboards. We have demonstrated over recent years that we are happy to either partner with Europe’s best-in-class manufacturers or to develop our own products to meet the requirements of architects, designers and developers alike.” The new Novista Riser doorset range is designed, manufactured and tested to very exacting standards. The doorsets are available with a fire rating of either FD30 or FD60, with both standard and concealed hinges, in either a three- or four-sided frame.   The Novista Riser doorset range is supplied in sections making the product easy to store, move around site and install. The system is very versatile and can be used within either taped and jointed or plaster skimmed walls. q • For further information visit

NHBC announces H&S Award winners as PiJ race gets underway [OF THE MANY award schemes for

the housebuilding industry, probably the most eagerly-awaited – certainly among the builders on the ground – are those given by the National Housbuilders’ Council (NHBC). Awarded by builders to builders, the NHBC Pride in the Job Awards have been running for 35 years and reward the skill, expertise and dedication of the site managers themselves – those individuals and their teams who are on-site building homes. The multi-stage awards process, which culminates each January with an awards dinner in London where the national winners are announced, began on 19 June this year with the announcement of 450 winners of the Quality Awards in the various categories of builder and single home commendations. Mike Quinton, chief executive of NHBC, commented: “A Pride in the Job award is the highest industry accolade a site manager can receive. It represents success for the site manager, his team and associated trades as well as providing a reputational boost for the building company. Most importantly, homeowners who buy a Pride in the Job award-winning home benefit from a high quality product.” A cross section of those award-winning sites will feature in the next issue of Construction National, together with profiles of a number of

award-winning site managers. Overlapping the Pride in the Job Awards, the NHBC also presents the only awards to recognise health and safety exclusively in the housebuilding sector. This year’s NHBC Health and Safety Awards took place at the Birmingham NEC on 3 July, when the national and regional winners were announced. They were taken from a total of 54 sites from across the country that were Commended in the first round of judging in May. Some were also singled out as Highly Commended at the event. Now in its 6th year, the awards strive to celebrate and promote the success of house builders in keeping a safe environment on-site. They demonstrate the benefits of implementing good health and safety practices while highlighting examples of good active management. Tom Kitchen, NHBC health and safety operations manager, said: “As the very positive start to the year continues, and new home registrations are at their highest levels since 2007, it’s important the industry continues to deliver safe sites. Encouragingly, in the last 20 years construction sites in the UK have seen significant reductions in the number of injuries related to workplace accidents assisted by housebuilders across the UK placing health and safety practice high up on their agenda.” q

The loneliness of the long distance site manager [PLOUGHING A SOLE furrow for the North East of England in the

NHBC Health and Safety Awards was Ray Dargue from Bellway Homes NE. Ray has been winning awards for his numerous sites since many of his site manager colleagues were completing their apprenticeships. This year saw him Commended in the Health and Safety Awards. At the finals in Birmingham on 3 July Ray learned that his perseverance had paid off and he had scooped a Highly Commended award to add to it. Ray’s site is the fifth phase of the Five Mile Park development in Wideopen, a village north of Gosforth in Tyne and Wear. Described by Easier Property magazine as ‘…one of the most sought after locations in the North East’, it has already seen over 100 properties sold. That same commentator explained the development’s popularity by comparing prices with those of Gosforth itself, one of the North East’s most expensive locations, stating: “However if you look a little further afield, you will find Five Mile Park just north of Gosforth and close to Wideopen where the homes are a lot more affordable and where you can still benefit from all the amenities on Gosforth High Street.” Ray Dargue has been busy winning multiple Pride in the Job awards as well, including a Seal of Excellence in 2010. Ray didn’t win a PiJ last year, so he’s made up for it this year by winning two – one for his current site and the other for his previous site, Emerson Park in Washington! q



George joins the charge from the north [ THE SCOTTISH CONTINGENT of Commended winners at this year’s NHBC Health and Safety

Awards is one of the largest ever, encompassing sites of all sizes and stages of development. What they have in common is that they have been recognised as representing the best examples of health and safety practice. One of their number is George Carty of Bellway Homes Scotland. George won his accolade for The Marches development in Stepps, in Glasgow. On 3 July, at the ICC in Birmingham, George (pictured) received his Commended Award in the Large Builder category. Like many winners in the Health and Safety Awards, George has also scooped a Pride in the Job Quality Award, announced just a couple of weeks afterwards. He is, in fact, a bit of a serial award-winner: this is his fourth Pride in the Job award on the spin – a haul which includes two Seal of Excellence awards, in 2013 and again last year. George told local press: “It is an honour to be recognised for doing a job that I love and this award is as much a tribute to Bellway and the fantastic team of people around me. We are all passionate about delivering the highest standards for our customers – a home is the biggest investment most people ever make and we strive to ensure every property we build exceeds their expectations.” George has worked in the construction industry for 28 years, having started as an apprentice joiner. He joined Bellway Homes as an assistant site manager and within two years was promoted to site manager. q

National giant’s Scottish subsidiaries have their say [ AS A MAJOR housebuilder, Barratt and David Wilson Homes

figure prominently in any awards scheme for the sector – and the NHBC Health and Safety Awards are no exception. This year the group achieved seven commendations for its developments across the country. Perhaps more notable is the fact that two of those awards were for developments in Scotland – or maybe not so out of the ordinary when the sites and individuals concerned are considered. One of Scotland’s longest-running developments is The Grange in Elgin, a Barratt North Scotland site which has been in development for over five years. Now in its third phase, the site has attracted NHBC awards in various forms since the very beginning. The latest man in charge, David MacLean, is carrying on the tradition with awards in both NHBC competitions – the Pride in the Job Awards and the Health and Safety Awards. At the national Health and Safety Awards Gala Lunch in Birmingham, David picked up his Commendation Award in the Large Builder category. In football terms, he can now ‘concentrate on the league’ and progression in the PiJ awards.

The four-bedroom Carrick at Lockhart Gardens in Stonehouse

The three-bedroom Findhorn at The Grange in Elgin David was joined in Birmingham by colleague Mark Harris of the neighbouring Barratt West Scotland division. Mark earned recognition for the attention to health and safety matters at his Lockhart Gardens site in Stonehouse, South Lanarkshire. Mark is the first to put the development on the awards map – it was launched last autumn. Already though, the development has made its mark in the local community – a pledge to donate £100 to the local Kilbryde Hospice for every reservation from its launch to the end of last year resulted in the hospice receiving £500. Steve Mariner, sales and marketing director at Barratt Homes West Scotland, said: “Our initiative to support Kilbryde Hospice has proved really popular at Lockhart Gardens and it’s great to be able to support the community in this way. Each home at Lockhart Gardens has been designed to provide the comfort, lifestyle and quality expected by today’s buyer and already, in 2015, significant levels of interest have been noted.” Mark’s Commendation Award joined David’s on the journey home north of the border. q


LABC Awards include recognition for site managers [SITE MANAGERS ON housing

developments are the focus of attention for awards by another major warranty provider. LABC Warranty ‘works in partnership with Local Authority Building Control (LABC) throughout England and Wales to provide new home and structural warranties’. LABC itself provides a national forum for local authorities’ building control provision across the board, whether residential, commercial or industrial. According to the awards website: “The annual LABC Warranty Regional and National

Site Manager Awards provide recognition and reward for site managers who achieve the highest standards of construction. This award represents success not just for the site manager, but also for the associated developer or contractor.” The regional events are run as part of the LABC Building Excellence Awards. It is at these events that the LABC Warranty Site Manager Awards are announced. LABC Warranty’s risk management surveyors are responsible for nominating

Historic redevelopment scoops the prize in Otley [THE MANCHESTER-BASED developer P J Livesey Group has a reputation for the

sympathetic – and sometimes spectacular – redevelopment of heritage buildings for residential use: indeed, its motto is ‘Breathing new life into Britain’s historic buildings’. One such is the Victorian Wharfedale Hospital in the Yorkshire town of Otley – replaced by a new facility in 2005. When the redevelopment was launched, as Wharfedale Park, it saw five sales in the first two weeks. Phase one includes the conversion of some of the beautiful listed buildings into apartments and houses as well as eight newly built large family homes. The project has also seen its site manager Carl Tucker crowned as LABC Warranty Site Manager of the Year for the West Yorkshire Inside one of the prestigious homes at region. Wharfedale Park in Otley P J Livesey director Georgina Livesey said at the development’s launch: “Our aim is to deliver a development of the very highest quality, mixing old and new to create a lasting legacy for the town that offers a wonderful place to live.” Carl and his team have certainly delivered on that aim. And Carl was quick to point out the importance of the team for success. In particular he was quick to single out assistant site manager Leigh Harman for his contribution. q


site managers, although developers can put forward their own site manager for consideration. The criteria for judging are stringent and comprehensive. Each site manager is scored against the same comprehensive assessment and marking sheet. The sheet details specific criteria relating to build quality at key stages of construction, as well as a number of onsite management functions. They include site administration, health and safety welfare facilities, storage and protection of materials, waste control, the protection of work in progress and the tidiness of the site. LABC Warranty has this to say on what makes a winning site manager: “What sets the winning site manager above the rest is their vision for quality and going that extra mile. Often their attributes portray that ‘good enough’ is simply not acceptable and therefore they are always looking to improve on their successes as well as being thorough in their workmanship.” The timescale for the awards in any one year covers a period of over a year. From the previous September to January the risk management surveyors make their nominations, then from February to March the nominations are forwarded to area managers for site visits and shortlisting. The top three finalists in each region are invited to the relevant LABC regional awards ceremony, which run from April to July. At these events the regional winners are announced. Finally, in November the National Site Manager of the Year is announced at a glittering gala dinner in London. This year’s event will take place on 10 November at the Lancaster Hotel on Lancaster Terrace. q • For more information visit www.labcwarranty.

Winner Andy’s bosses are as thrilled as he is [THE FIRST REGION of the LABC to

announce its Site Manager of the Year Award was Central, covering the Heart of England. Northamptonshire was where the award headed, with Grace Homes manager Andy Redgwell the deserving – if somewhat surprised – recipient for his White Lodge Farm site in Burton Latimer. When asked how he felt about winning, Andy said: “I was astounded, shocked, proud; in fact I was over the moon to have been nominated. To then go on and win was flabbergasting – I am still smiling from ear to ear.” His employers at Grace Homes were equally ‘thrilled’, declaring: “The LABC Awards are the industry’s way of showing appreciation for those who excel at forming positive working relationships and are able to provide new solutions through their creativity and vision. We are particularly proud that Andy has The three-bedroom Medway Cottage at Grace Homes’ White Lodge Farm development been given this award as these are qualities he has demonstrated time and time again over the years he has worked at Grace Homes.” White Lodge Farm offers a range of detached and link-detached homes on a hilltop overlooking the historic town. The homes recall an era when a farmhouse was as imposing as it was cosy. Here, the roofs are of natural slate or clay tile, and the brick walls feature details that are typical of the Northamptonshire vernacular style. The development also won the House Builder Specification category in the Worcester Bosch Group Environment 2020 Awards for 2014. Grace Homes explained: “Not only are they constructed to our usual high standards of quality, but these homes collectively produce over 10% of their energy requirements from renewable sources. “Through the use of solar collectors on the roofs, homeowners are able to benefit from a plentiful supply of free hot water throughout the year. In addition, each heating system is supported by a Worcester intelligent control module which guarantees maximum energy efficiency all year round.” q


Dean pips his colleague at the post in East Anglia >IN EAST ANGLIA the corks were popping for Persimmon Homes site manager Dean Bellamy, who took the regional Site Manager of the Year Award for the region at the LABC Warranty Awards. Dean’s site is Clover Chase in the picturesque Norfolk village of Lingwood. The development offers a mix of two-bedroom bungalows and two, three, four and fivebedroom homes in a small development of just 39 properties. As a small village, Lingwood has a strong sense of community and Persimmon Homes Anglia showed its commitment to that community earlier this year by donating road safety armbands to all the pupils of the local primary school. Dean won out in a tussle between colleagues: he was joined in the final by Paul Tull of sister company Charles Church, who was highly commended for his site, Brazen Plain in Norwich. In a generous gesture that is typical of the camaraderie among site managers,


The five-bedroom Tiverton at Clover Chase Paul was the first to take to social media to congratulate Dean. “Well done, Dean,” he tweeted. “Well deserved winner.” Persimmon Homes Anglia managing director Andrew Fuller said: “We work hard to get the right staff around us and it is great

when you get confirmation that your staff are amongst the best. “What sets a winning site manager apart is the fact that they will go that extra mile to achieve quality and are thorough in their workmanship.” T

Building Excellence Awards see a bigger picture [THE LABC WARRANTY site manager

awards are presented at a series of regional events and a national final which form part of the LABC Building Excellence Awards. Those awards cover the whole spectrum of the building industry in the UK and fall into a number of categories. Some are for building projects, while others recognise the efforts of individuals and organisations. The project categories are: Best Extension or Alteration to an Existing Home; Best Change

of Use of an Existing Building or Conversion; Best Individual New Home; Best Small, Best High Volume and Best Social or Affordable New Housing Developments; Best Public Service, Inclusive and Educational Buildings; and Best Commercial Building – sometimes split into large and small. Individuals are recognised in the LABC Site Supervisor of the Year category, as well as the Site Manager of the Year awards, while organisations can be awarded Best Partnership

with a LABC Team or Best Local Builder or Traditional Craftsperson. Following the various regional award ceremonies the winners are put forward for the national final in November, where the category winners are announced, together with a number of Highly Commended winners where appropriate. q • For more information visit awards.

Former apprentice helps fill the skills gap [ROBERT WOODHEAD LTD site manager Anthony Leach is a living

example of the fact that you can work your way to success in the construction industry. The eyes of the general public in the East Midlands may have been focused on the Nottinghamshire company’s iconic restoration project at Lincoln Castle, the raft of awards it has scooped and its prospects in the Heritage Lottery Awards. Those in the know in the local housebuilding industry, however, were at East Midlands Conference Centre at the University of Nottingham on 3 July, where Anthony was crowned Site Manager of the Year in the LABC Warranty East Midlands regional awards ceremony. Anthony began working at Woodhead following redundancy from his previous employment, where he had started an apprenticeship in joinery. Speaking during this year’s National Apprenticeship Week, he said: “I was lucky enough to be able to complete the final year of my apprenticeship with Woodhead. Having worked for a while on-site I decided that I’d like to work towards becoming a site manager. “I really enjoy that side of construction as no two days are the same and you have to be able to problem solve under pressure. I enrolled on Woodhead’s Site Management Training Programme and had the opportunity to assist the site managers on some of the projects I was working on, which was really valuable experience.” Following qualification as a site manager Anthony managed several projects through to completion prior to starting his current new build

project on Scarborough Road in Bilsthorpe for Newark and Sherwood Homes. The development has enabled Anthony to pass on his own skills and experience to a new generation with the training of his first apprentice, Jaydan Mosler. Jaydan himself recently won an Apprentice of the Year Award following a nomination from his assessor at The Dukeries Academy in Newark. q


Modern developer is distinguished by design [THERE IS SOMETHING a little different

about Yorkshire developer Strata Homes. Take a look at any of their developments and one or two of the house designs stand out from the crowd. Design is an intrinsic part of the build process at Strata – real design, not just formula build. There is also a genuine desire to provide real quality for their customers, coupled with a real effort to connect with the communities they serve. On the home page of the company’s website those principals are stated from the start. A statement from Strata’s chief executive Andrew Weaver reads: “Strata is a modern family business with a fresh approach to home building. Our love of design and quality underpins a desire to create beautiful homes of the highest standard. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do and we strive to deliver an outstanding home buying experience.” Strata’s developments are in Yorkshire and the Midlands. The whole operation is


The five-bedroom Valencia luxury home has been launched at the Identity development in Bramley planned from its head office in Doncaster, which is also the site of its Dominion development of four-bedroom family homes. Over the past year a number of new sites have come on stream. Four were headlined

in autumn of last year – Ethos, Identity, Expression and Definition. Locations range from the surrounding towns of Derby and Rotherham to the rural retreat of Midway in Derbyshire; plus the

company is building in Nottingham for the first time. What must be Strata’s longest-running site is Topaz – maybe the jewel in the crown – which has been on stream since 2013. In Heanor the company’s Pure development was chosen for the launch in April of its new Florence show home. The four-bedroom detached was introduced to the world with typical style by Strata. The VIP launch saw homeowners, suppliers and sub-contractors enjoying drinks and nibbles while exploring the beautiful interior of the Florence. Last month saw the launch of two further show homes at the same event. The five-010bedroom Valencia was revealed at the Identity development in Bramley, Rotherham. The style will also be available at the Panache development in Sherburn, North Yorkshire. Chief executive Andrew Weaver said at the launch: “The Valencia is the largest house type in our range and so the stakes were high. We knew when we acquired the site at Bramley that it is a strong location. The house types we have got there lend themselves to local living, the local schools are really strong and that helps support what we are doing. It's all about the customer and their first interaction with the new home.” The event also saw the launch of the three-bedroom, three-storey Naples show home. Strata’s Yorkshire roots are always evident, though. Nothing says Yorkshire more than rugby league and the Big Fellas stadium of iconic Featherstone Rovers is only a rugby ball’s throw away from Strata’s Origin development. The developer has teamed up with the club to sponsor a new stand at the stadium, which has been renamed the Strata Homes Stand. Strata’s sales director Gemma Smith said she was delighted to be working with Featherstone Rovers: “Many of our purchasers are rugby league fans so we are honoured to have the Strata signage on the team's home stand. There is a fantastic community spirit here and we are proud to be a part of it.” q

Glasgow homebuyers make sure they don’t lose their plot [WHEN PERSIMMON HOMES announced the third phase of its popular Kingston Quay

development in Port Glasgow – known as Quay 3 – there was an expectation that demand would be high. Within little more than a year the first part of that phase – 3a – is more than 90% sold and a second part is eagerly awaited. The development offers an unparalleled mix of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes. No other development in the town, located just east of Greenock on the Firth of Clyde, offers such a range. The presence of large, five-bedroom properties, together with the attraction of the location, even led one family to sell their home before the latest phase was even launched in order to secure the best home off-plan. Gillian and Alan Roxburgh and their five children moved in to their parents’ home at an earlier phase of Kingston Quay in anticipation of the new phase. The Roxburgh family outside their Gillian Roxburgh said they moved new five-bedroom Warriston home quickly so that they could secure the home that they so desperately wanted: “When we heard they were building a new phase we were determined to get a plot on the same street as my in-laws. They waited for the release of the five-bedroom Warriston home. “It’s the biggest house type on the development so there’ll be plenty of space for us all,” said Gillian. “I love the open plan kitchen diner and the Jack and Jill en-suite is ideal for my three girls to share. “Also, buying off-plan presents so many benefits. Not only can we secure our dream home in our preferred location on the development, it will also allow us to personalise the interior. We will be able to choose things like kitchen units, flooring and tiles.” Ingrid Gahagan, Persimmon Homes West Scotland’s sales director, said: “Kingston Quay has proved to be an extremely popular development with interest particularly high in our detached villas. We already have a waiting list of buyers ready to move the minute we confirm our releases. “It’s all about location and we work hard to find sites that will appeal to buyers. In particular, Kingston Quay offers a tranquil location with waterfront walks which I’m sure has made it an appealing choice for first time buyers, growing families and those looking to downsize.” q


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Revised reporting book reflects new CDM regulations Accident Book - Revised 2015 Published by CIP Books; Stock Code CIPACCIDENT ISBN 9781852631390; £4.99+VAT


2015 regulations, with the accompanying guidance published by HSE, has led to a raft of new notes and interpretations by a number of bodies aimed at their own profession, as well as a number of guides and explanatory documents from CIP Books, including a practical guide for architects published by RIBA. A number of other associated documents have also been affected by the new regulations and have required updating. Among them is the book used for the reporting of accidents. Although the statutory Accident Book does not specifically refer to CDM regulations – it is a requirement of Social Security legislation that an accident book is kept readily available and the recording and reporting of injuries and ill health is covered by RIDDOR and the Safety at Work Act as amended – the fact that this particular version of the book is aimed specifically at the construction industry means that the management of health and safety in that industry is central to the scope of the book. Consequently the introduction to the new edition carries a set of guidance notes to health and safety management with particular reference to CDM 2015. According to the publishers: “Social Security legislation specifically requires you to keep an accident book (such as this one) readily available, into which details must be entered of every accident causing personal injury to an employee. The employee may complete the book or have someone else make an entry on their behalf. In addition, the book can be used to record ‘near misses’ which (although records are not required by statute) can be useful to investigate in order to prevent accidents in the future.” The book takes particular cognisance of the Data Protection Act 1998, which requires that personal details entered into accident books be kept confidential. To that end each report in the

book is in two sections. On the right-hand side is a detachable section which includes personal details and must be kept in a confidential file by the person responsible for the book. On the lefthand section details are filled in of the nature of the action, what action was taken and whether it was reported under RIDDOR. That section is kept in the book, providing a detailed record of all accidents that occur on the premises. In that way the requirement to make information available to safety representatives and other bodies is met without divulging personal information, unless the person concerned gives consent.

The two sections are married together by the accident number entered in both sections. Other notes cover what kind of incident needs to be recorded or reported, who must report the incident, which occupational diseases must be reported and how incidents can be reported. The Accident Book is one of a suite of publications from CIP Books designed to enable statutory reporting. They include Reports of Inspection of Scaffolding; Reports of Thorough Examination and Inspection of Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment; and Reports of Inspection under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. T

• Construction Industry Publications (CIP) publishes a range of construction, health and safety and environmental titles. As well as its own publications and DVDs, including the iconic Construction Health and Safety Manual and the Environmental Manual, CIP supplies a wide range of DVDs, books and report forms from all of the leading specialist publishers including the HSE, Paragon Training and CIRIA for construction professionals, architects, designers, civil engineers, training organisations and specialist consultants. All can be purchased from the CIP website at or ordered by phone on 0870 078 4400.




1CHE 2015 mag p1 68 online  

Construction News Training & Education Health & Safety Working at Height NASC CISRS Roofing The Green Agenda Construction in Scotland Financ...

1CHE 2015 mag p1 68 online  

Construction News Training & Education Health & Safety Working at Height NASC CISRS Roofing The Green Agenda Construction in Scotland Financ...