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Sustainable drainage systems This issue’s front cover features a SuDS scheme at Bristol Harbourside completed by Grant Associates. Government planning requirements on the incorporation of sustainable drainage systems, or SuDS, into new developments came into force last year and CIRIA, the Construction Industry Research and Information Association, is currently updating guidance on the construction of SuDs to ensure they are built as designed and provide the performance and benefits required.

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7 Constructive Comment


NEWS 8 9 9 10 10 10 11 11

HS2 announces significant steps forward Government has not one, but two cunning plans Figures show construction output falling at beginning of year LABC honours its very own ‘angels’ Productivity is the focus of CIOB research London calling for Newtownabbey based M&E building services company Find out where your TV signal is heading Cool solution for cold store construction

THE GREEN AGENDA 13 European federation publishes green roof market report


NORTH ENGLAND BUILD 2016 15 New expo will showcase the Northern Powerhouse 15 Development finance can be easy 16 It’s been a busy year for Avantgarde! 17 Bespoke or high volume products are equally achievable 19 All-encompassing Icopal 20 Expansion for award-winning contractors 21 Groundhog Day for Mobile Mini 22 Manchester expo signals the beginning of a worldwide adventure 22 Flowcrete’s flooring solutions on show


ROOFING 24 Finalists revealed for Roofing Awards 2016 24 NFRC appoints new head of training 25 Website upgrade enhances online experience for Alumasc customers 25 Rainclear now stock Harmer roof drainage systems SUDS 26 28 29

ENQUIRIES: Advertising

Tel: 0161 710 3880


Tel: 0161 710 3881


Tel: 0161 710 2240


AND DRAINAGE Concrete block permeable paving and SuDS offer flood protection – and much more Updated guidance will help ensure SuDS are built and function as designed Clark-Drain launches High Max cover for the utility, highways and public sectors

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 WORKING AT HEIGHT 30 NASC launches updated free scaffold specification template 31 2016 Safety Report 32 A quarter-century of achievement leads to continuing expansion 33 CISRS approves first Overseas Scaffolder Training Scheme training centre in Africa 34 CISRS approves new training centre in the North East 35 IPAF instructors introduced to new learning tools 35 Solar panel firm fined after rooflight fall


HEALTH & SAFETY 36 CDM changes still causing confusion 37 Insurers: sentencing guidelines will have ‘significant impact’ on construction 37 Crossrail shares its experience and insight BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING 39 Reflections on the 2016 BIM mandate 40 BIM and the role of higher education 41 Planning wasn’t just academic for Bouygues UK at Norbury Manor Primary School


CONCRETE 42 A tender subject DEMOLITION 43 Health surveillance now a mandatory requirement for NFDC membership 43 World expo heads west for 2016 43 Recovery work begins following Didcot tragedy 45 Bridging the gap FINANCE 46 Good or bad news? Both can have a significant impact on cashflow 47 N East adopts new approach to highways financing 47 New site helps construction SMEs find finance 47 Small businesses need proactive accountancy services 47 Beware the VATman, developers urged


ON THE ROAD 49 This heavyweight is light on the pocket – and on the balance sheet 49 Boxer takes up tennis with Judy Murray 49 They’re dedicated to keeping your business on the road 51 Continuous evolution is the watchword at Volkswagen HOUSING 54 Training initiative will address housebuilding skills crisis 54 MP visits brownfield housing site 55 Dream homes replace sporting dreams TREES 56 Using young trees to enhance a development NEW 58 58 59 59

PRODUCTS Free outdoor lighting for construction Access cover secures prestigious Kitemark CP Electronics launches smartphone apps for lighting controls New affordable fire alarms for construction sites

Looking for a product or service? Try our... Website A to Z..................12

Construction Supplies........57






AS THIS ISSUE of Construction National goes to press it is just a little over two weeks on from Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget. Although the main furore over the speech concerned changes to welfare, there was also much in the announcement that concerned the construction industry – principally announcements regarding infrastructure and investment in the so-called Northern Powerhouse. Nestling among the measures on homelessness and the sugar tax, there was a commitment to push ahead with the development of Level 3 BIM. BIM, as can be seen in this issue, is the way forward (and has been for some time) in the development of new ways to look at construction projects. The government’s commitment to introduce a requirement for Level 2 BIM for all major public sector projects is now in force, a fact evidenced by the transfer of responsibility for BIM development from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills to the Treasury. • Barely a week after the Budget came the Treasury’s twin announcements of the National Infrastructure Development Plan and the Construction Strategy. Easily dismissed as simply wish lists, the very existence of the plans allows the construction industry some idea as to where the government is planning to channel investment. A major component of the infrastructure plan is investment in Mr Osborne’s vision of the future for the North. Having steered HS2 though the Commons the focus now shifts to HS3, the trans-Pennine rail route that has lain unregarded for decades. • Another of the measures announced in March was enhanced investment in flood defences. As an inhabitant of Pennine Lancashire this writer has a particular interest in the measures. There is, however, a temptation to see the announcement as a case of sandbagging the stable door after the horse has floated away. After all, weren’t flood defences in Lancashire subject to cuts not that long ago? • A modern way to help reduce flooding risk is the introduction of sustainable drainage systems, or SuDS, into project designs. Last year saw new requirements for their incorporation into new developments, with the capability to control run-off and even harvest water for a variety of uses, from car washes to public amenities. The designs for the systems need to be interpreted carefully, however. • All the talk of investment in the North brings into sharp focus the upcoming conference and exhibition in Manchester on all things construction. North England Build is the latest in a series of regional shows that is extending around the world. As with previous events in London and Glasgow, Construction National is acting as a media partner to the event. The Northern Powerhouse will be high on the agenda. Also central to the show will be a new Skills Hub. Tackling the skills shortage is key to the delivery of any infrastructure initiative and North England Build will be showcasing the availability of support for training available in the North. • Training in health and safety is a major issue in the construction industry – from simple steps to prevent trips to complex risk assessments for major jobs. In particular, working at height requires meticulous safety procedures to be followed. Every year the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation requires all full contracting members to submit an annual accident report. The resultant Safety Report this year shows further reductions in the number of accidents during 2015, with no fatalities in the scaffolding industry. q

Chris Stokes Editor, Construction National


HS2 announces significant steps forward [

ON 23 MARCH HS2 Ltd announced significant progress on the design and development of the high-speed rail link to the North West, including the shortlisting of companies for the major engineering contracts. The announcement included a shortlist of nine bidders for between £7.1bn and £11.8bn of civil engineering work between London and Crewe, the start of formal tendering for up to £900m of enabling works and the start of the procurement process to grow several million trees to be planted alongside the line. Civil engineering contracts covering the 140 miles from London to Birmingham are expected to be signed in 2017, with the start of work on site one year later. Firms that deliver the best results in terms of value and efficiency will be eligible to bid for work on an additional 40 miles between Birmingham and Crewe, due to open in 2027. HS2 chief executive Simon Kirby said: “Today’s announcements are a major milestone for the project. Over the next 10 years HS2 will help create tens of thousands of job opportunities, build specialist skills and expertise across the country and create at least 2,000 new apprenticeships.” Transport Minister Robert Goodwill commented: “HS2 is an exceptional opportunity for businesses, creating thousands of jobs during construction and helping to rebalance our economy long before trains start running in 2026. This major moment


in the procurement process takes us a step further to getting spades in the ground next year, so construction can begin on this vital railway.” HS2 also confirmed that it has invited seven joint ventures to formally tender for enabling work, preparing sites for the start of construction and carrying out essential pre-construction activity such as utilities diversions and archaeological surveys. In a further milestone, HS2 also published details of engineering design work worth up to £500m for developing the detailed plans for Phase Two, including Crewe to Manchester and Birmingham to Leeds, ahead of a formal route decision on Phase Two, expected in the autumn. Applicants are expected to be shortlisted in the summer with the successful bidders appointed once the route has been announced.

The announcements came a week after HS2 named a team made up of CH2M, Atkins and SENER as its Phase One engineering delivery partner. The team will be fully integrated within HS2 in order to drive long-term efficiencies across the design and build process. Their role will focus on providing expert engineering and construction management support, as well as assisting with preparation for the procurement of the main civils contracts for the London to Birmingham stage of the route. Announcing the appointment HS2 said: “All three companies have significant experience of driving project innovation and efficiency, with CH2M and Atkins involved in London’s challenging Crossrail project, and SENER bringing recent experience from Spain’s extensive high speed rail network.” q

Government has not one, but two cunning plans [

THE GOVERNMENT HAS published two linked documents that set out its infrastructure priorities over the next five years and its new Construction Strategy. For the first time, a new National Infrastructure Delivery Plan brings together the government’s plans for the whole Parliament to support large-scale housing and regeneration, as well as investment in new local schools, hospitals and prisons. The plans are underpinned by a commitment to invest over £100bn in infrastructure by 2020-21, together with significant investment by the private sector. Announcing the plan, the Treasury said: “More of this investment is now being targeted to bring benefits to the local economy and community. The plan also highlights the government’s commitment to build a Northern Powerhouse, by connecting up the great towns and cities of the North.” The plan incorporates the latest version of the National Infrastructure Pipeline, which highlights over £425bn of planned investment in over 600 major projects and programmes across the UK to 2020-21 and beyond. In addition it sets out £58 billion of public investment for housing and regeneration, education, health and justice. Speaking at the Institution of Civil Engineers, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Lord O’Neill said: “From more modern transport links to faster broadband, better infrastructure is at the heart of our plans to build a more productive economy and improve people’s everyday lives. That is why we are stepping up with the private sector to invest in some of this country’s most ambitious projects to create a more secure future for the next generation. “This government is determined, even at a time of global uncertainty, At the same time the government has published its new Construction to invest in the long-term projects that will make our economy and our Strategy that includes a commitment to reducing the cost of projects country fit for the future.” by £1.7bn during this Parliament through the use of innovation and The establishment of a new Infrastructure and Projects Authority efficiency. q alongside the independent National Infrastructure Commission lays the foundations, says the Treasury, to improve our ability to make better decisions on future infrastructure, support and improve project delivery and provide the confidence needed by industry and investors. It brings together the expertise of Infrastructure UK and the Major Projects Authority to improve delivery of major government projects. It will report back every FIGURES RELEASED BY the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 11 March showed that in year on progress that has been made in January 2016, output in the construction industry decreased by 0.2% compared with December delivering these plans. 2015. All new work decreased by 0.8% while all repair and maintenance increased by 0.8%. Average annual infrastructure investment There were decreases in public new housing (-10.6%) and infrastructure (-8.6%), which were (public and private combined) rose by 17% offset by increases in private commercial (4.7%), public other new work (1.6%), private industrial in real terms in the last Parliament, when (0.7%) and private new housing (0.6%). Within the repair and maintenance category, housing compared to the preceding one. repair and maintenance increased by 3.0% while there was a decrease of 1.5% in non-housing Nick Baveystock, director general of the repair and maintenance. Institution of Civil Engineers commented: At the same time the ONS published figures for new orders for the construction industry in “The National Infrastructure Plan has evolved Quarter Four of last year. New orders were estimated to have decreased by 0.5% compared with steadily since 2010 and this new iteration of Quarter Three and increased by 1.4% compared with Quarter Four in 2014. the plan and pipeline builds on the progress Commenting on the figures, Corry Bourke, director of portfolio management at development made, improving visibility for the supply chain finance specialists Urban Exposure, said: “The UK is failing to build enough homes that it so and investor community. The shift in focus to desperately needs with significant constraints around planning, access to finance, a shortage of key delivery over five years sets a fresh tone – one materials and a skilled workforce. The figures chime with housing starts in the UK decreasing to of ‘spades in the ground’ – and we welcome the 31,000 in the fourth quarter of 2015, down from 36,530 in the previous quarter and below the recognition that this must be complemented average of 38,203. by a vision for the longer term. This brings to “Today’s numbers reflect a dampening of confidence in the UK construction sector, with firms the fore the role of the National Infrastructure becoming naturally wary of investing or expanding due to uncertainty over the upcoming Brexit Commission in setting out the UK’s priorities up vote. However, unless more is done to boost construction of new homes, the gap between supply to 2050, and the importance of a robust needs and demand will continue to rise, forcing up house prices and pricing many out the market.” q assessment to underpin the vision.”

Figures show construction output falling at beginning of year [


LABC honours its very own ‘angels’ [A TOTAL OF 13 employees of local authority

building control teams in England and Wales have won accolades in the LABC Superstar Awards. The outstanding individuals were nominated by their own colleagues because they always go the extra mile to support their customers, protect the public or improve their department’s performance. A winner was chosen for each of LABC’s regions by a judging panel including external building industry experts. Chair of the judging panel, Marcus Jefford, operations and marketing director of SaintGobain Greenworks, commented: “I really appreciate the efforts of building control people to deliver a good service. I see similarities in my own business world working in one of the UK’s largest builders’ merchant’s operations, where we have thousands of people delivering excellent service to customers. “I was amazed by the scope and depth of work carried out by building control and we saw many examples of great work by individuals, covering training, emergencies and danger to the public, consumer protection and everyday support for good builders, architects, developers and property owners. It certainly helped me to see local authority building control in a new light.” Speaking at the awards ceremony at the Leicester Marriott Hotel, LABC managing director Phil Hammond said: “We have some

fantastic people in the LABC network who frequently do far more than their job description demands. We’re in the frontline during floods and emergencies and we really care about public service and public protection. We also have our everyday work of helping the construction industry, builders, architects, agents and developers to create high-quality buildings. This work is largely invisible and local authorities

don’t have many ways to recognise their own superstars. So we thought we’d say ‘thank you’ and recognise the best.” q

Productivity is the focus of CIOB research [

THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF BUILDING (CIOB) is creating a simple to understand piece of research on the key issue of productivity in construction, which is being supported by a polling of policy makers across the entire built environment. The RICS is working with the CIOB to build a truly crossindustry sample. The aim is to help broaden understanding of construction productivity among decision makers and policy makers within industry and government. Additionally, it will deliver a common base of knowledge, dispel myths and provide a reference point for a wide variety of those interested in productivity. The report will draw on the government’s Fixing the Foundations report launched last summer, which contained a 15-point plan to improve the UK’s productivity. It will explore how, for each point, construction acts as both an agent of change and an object of change, and provides opportunities. It will also set out the challenges associated with each section in a construction context. Eddie Tuttle, principal policy and public affairs manager at the CIOB, flagged up the research in his response to George Osborne’s Budget, saying: “The Budget’s repeated mentions of concerns over the UK’s productivity growth are echoed by CIOB. We will be producing research in May 2016 with the aim to broaden understanding of construction productivity, as well as provide proposals to improve it, among key decision makers across government and industry.” q

London calling for Newtownabbey based M&E building services company [

COUNTY ANTRIM MECHANICAL and electrical building services contractors, the Harvey Group has established a new office in Dunstable as part of a multi-million pound strategic expansion programme. The privately owned firm, which recently acquired renewable energy company Solmatix, says the new office will help facilitate further growth in Britain and allow the firm to maintain its customer focused service in south east England. Harvey Group’s operations director Herbie Watterson (pictured) said the strategic move was in response to the growing number of contracts the Newtownabbey-based M&E services company is winning in Great Britain. “Over the past number of years we have won substantial business outside Northern Ireland and our new office, which will initially accommodate up to 15 staff, has been opened with a view to increasing our employment numbers beyond the current group figure of 110 to around 150. In the past couple of years we have invested around £2m across the business and our GB expansion will bring the total invested to around £4m by 2018.” With an annual turnover of £30 million plus, Harvey Group has over 35 years’ experience in the design, installation, commissioning


and maintenance of building services within every sector throughout NI and GB – including education, healthcare, pharmaceutical, commercial, office, stadia and leisure. In the past year they have completed a number of high profile projects at locations as diverse as Kings Hospital Windsor Walk, Sheffield Hallam University and The University of Ulster, The Waterfront Complex, the Titanic Building, Kingspan Stadium and the Queen’s University of

Belfast’s Centre of Experimental Medicine – all in Belfast. The company have secured a £20 million order book in GB for 2016/17 so far – this includes Luton Airport, a CAT A office fit-out in Fenchurch Street, (NHS) Healthcare works and Lynchill Academy in Reading. q • For more information visit the company’s website at

Find out where your TV signal is heading [ON 27th APRIL The Confederation of

Aerial Industries (CAI) will be holding its annual show at Birmingham’s National Motorcycle Museum. Evolving Connectivity 2016 will be unlocking a number of secrets this year: vital information for facilities management companies and those responsible for designing the systems within buildings – single homes or multi-occupancy dwellings like apartment blocks, care homes, hospitals and commercial premises – that involve the distribution of moving pictures, audio and data. Tim Jenks, CAI senior executive, said: “The big issues under discussion will be how we cope with the sell-off of more TV spectrum and the impact on viewers aerial installations, plus the latest devices on which TV is being watched and how we make signal arrive at those devices.” According to the CAI at least 100,000 homes will need an aerial change when existing services migrate to new spectrum area. How the affected viewers will be helped through this ‘switchover’ will doubtless involve CAI members. The keynote speaker this year will be Richard Lindsay-Davies, chief executive officer of the Digital Television Group. Richard

will present a broad overview of where this now extremely diverse industry is heading as TV and audio spread across even more platforms of delivery. The show will round off with a first-time visit from CEDIA’s education director Simon Buddle. Simon has a wide, experienced overview of the custom installation trade – an area more and more CAI installers are finding themselves involved in.

Training milestone The end of January saw another milestone reached in the history of the CAI. A visit from a City & Guilds delegation

to the confederation’s Watford HQ led to confirmation that a major percentage of the CAI’s education and skills programmes would be carrying the City & Guilds logo on its certificates. The CAI’s education and skills co-ordinator Amanda Ward had been working alongside senior executive Tim Jenks to piece together the necessary criteria needed for accreditation by one of the best know qualification brands in the UK. The main, demanding requirements of City & Guilds were the provision of assessment and administration systems within a specified, tested framework. The CAI team dedicated to providing bespoke training for the industry proved itself to be robust enough to come under close scrutiny. With some fine tuning, the application documenting CAI’s training management system passed all the required verification and the CAI signed a contract with City & Guilds for the use of their accredited logo on a raft of its courses. Tim Jenks commented: “This is a major step forward in the future of the CAI. As the industry leader providing the educational backbone for the signal reception and distribution industry, the courses offered by the UK’s trade body are now given the recognition they deserve.” q

Cool solution for cold store construction [

ONE OF THE UK’s leading producers of quality savoury and sweet pastry products has completed a £7.3 million investment in a state-of-the-art packing and despatch facility which benefits from the in-built strength and insulation afforded by extruded polystyrene (XPS) from Sundolitt. McColgan Quality Foods has created 43 new jobs in Strabane, Northern Ireland by investing in the new facility designed to help meet a targeted 50% increase in export sales over the next three years. Achieving such success relies on the importance of reliable and accurate temperature control helped by Sundolitt XPS – the cool secret buried in the floor of the new 8,000 sq ft factory extension where it not only gives high thermal performance, but is unaffected by freeze/thaw cycles and is also highly resistant to water absorption. Sundolitt supplied two grades of XPS for the project to enable the flooring to cope with the varying load requirements, including point loading beneath each static foot of the fixed storage racking. Sundolitt XPS is manufactured in a wide range of thicknesses and sheet sizes and, according to the type of use, it achieves outstanding compression resistance and offers exceptionally low moisture absorption through its closedpore system. This makes it a preferred solution in industrial floors, such as cold stores and chilled warehouses, as well as in a wide range of load-bearing construction applications. The main contractor, Woodvale Construction, said that a key challenge was to ensure the project was completed without disruption to the existing food manufacturing facility. Karl Pedersen, of Mullarkey Pedersen Architects who designed the project, commented: “The creation of a modern food facility has its own challenges in terms of design and functionality. Every element and component of this building demanded our fullest consideration both creatively and technically and we are very proud of the result.” Sundolitt XPS sales manager Bryan Mawer said: “In this type of food storage facility, XPS offers outstanding thermal insulation, strength and rigidity. It is

Sundolitt XPS load-bearing insulation nearing completion at McColgans also very easy to install, cut to fit on site and safe to use in a food approved environment. It comes in square or shiplap edge – the latter having the advantage of preventing thermal bridging and capillary action. “For fast-track construction projects, our customers can be reassured that it is available ex stock from Sundolitt in the UK. It also has great environmental credentials and being a vertically integrated company, production is covered by Sunde Environmental Management System (EMS) ISO14001.” Sundolitt has introduced a new sampling system for contractors and merchants through which it is happy to give expert help and supply material samples on request. q • For further information call 01786 471 586, email enquiriesuk@ or visit the website at


atoz construction national website

Welcome to our A to Z guide of the websites of some of the industry’s leading players. If you are one of our many online readers simply click on any of the logos listed below and you will be automatically directed to that company’s website. To get your company’s website listed on this page just give us a call on 0161 710 3880 or email

Asta Powerproject BIM – affordable 4D planning

Cable Management Systems

The Construction Publication Specialist

Innovative Manufacturers of Adhesives, Grouts, Cements and Coatings

New & Used Portable & Modular Building Sales. • Alteration • Refurbs • Installation • Relocation

Online Tradesman Search Facility & Directory

Suppliers and Distributors of Scaffolding and Access Equipment

Construction Finance Specialists

Think Roofs, Think NFRC

High Speed 4G Wireless Broadband Routers

Working within the Construction Industry • Health & Safety Training • Roofing Training

Your partner for working safely at heights


European federation publishes green roof market report [

IN DECEMBER THE European Federation of Green Roof Associations (EFB) published a market report Green Roofs and Walls in Europe. The publication was undertaken in response to the EU’s Green Infrastructure & Ecosystem Services (GI/ES) Strategy. European Commission officers had intimated that a market report would be useful for the various participants in Brussels to understand the existing market in green infrastructure on buildings. According to the EFB, the market report provides an overview of the federation’s members and how the industry links to various EU strategies, from the GI/ES Strategy to policies on climate change and well-being. The EFB states: “Although there is a focus in Brussels on new innovations and businesses to drive the European economy, Europe is already a world leader in green roofs and walls. The federation believes that we also need new innovations in approaches to cities through innovative services that develop policies and mechanisms to mainstream our industry across the whole of Europe.” In the report, the authors state: “The delivery of green roofs and walls in the urban realm will address many issues associated with climate change. The increased likelihood of flash floods and excess urban heat are headline issues. These issues will become increasingly important for urban areas to deal with. “Already cities such as Vienna are looking to these types of interventions to ameliorate these negative effects. Adaptation to change is a key strategy for the commission within the Climate Action agenda. We are convinced that green infrastructure in the built environment will be an important element in creating resilient cities.”

The EFB was founded in 1997 to bring together Europe’s green roof associations. The 13 associations – including the UK’s – promote and encourage the uptake of green roofs and green walls in their countries to help address issues related to climate change, ecosystem services, green infrastructure and lack of green space in the built environment. The EFB also reaches out to non-member countries to facilitate the growth in green roofs green walls and facilitates the establishment of new national associations. In light of the launch of the GI/ES Strategy the federation regularly attends working groups and meetings in Brussels organised by the European Commission. The new approach to cities being promoted by the Commission gives the federation an important role to play in the coming years. It was also the principal sponsor of the first European Urban Green Infrastructure Conference in Vienna last year. q



New expo will showcase the Northern Powerhouse [

APRIL SEES THE move to Manchester of the highly successful series of constructionbased expos from Oliver Kinross, in the form of North England Build 2016. The show, involving a comprehensive exhibition and seminar programme, as well as a full debate on the future of the industry in the North of England, reflects a renewed commitment to construction projects across the region on the part of the Government, as evidenced in the 2016 Budget. Schemes such as HS3 between Leeds and Manchester, the widening of the M62, upgrades to the A66 and A69 in the North Pennines and a look into the feasibility of a trans-pennine tunnel linking Sheffield and Manchester, were all given backing by Chancellor Osborne. With such large scale projects in the pipeline, more and more jobs are set to be created with a concomitant increase in demand for skilled industry professionals. In response, North England Build 2016 will be launching the new Skills Hub zone. The Skills Hub will bring together some of the UK’s leading universities,

recruiters and construction companies to provide students, job seekers and career movers with a unique opportunity to meet and network with industry insiders, offering the best possible advice for a career in construction. National Federation of Builders north west region chair, Clare Watson, stated: “While it is important to maintain the skills needed to preserve our traditional buildings, it is equally important to keep an eye on skills needed for the future. There is a huge amount of talent in the North West. Improving transport and infrastructure will not only improve business prospects, it will increase social mobility and widen the opportunities available in construction for the next generation.” Supported by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, North England Build 2016 will be held at Manchester Central on 27-28 April, and will provide a key platform for SMEs to discover opportunities within the sector as a result of the Northern Powerhouse initiative. Chris Fletcher, marketing and policy director at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce,

said: “We are really pleased to be able to support North England Build and it’s great that Manchester has been chosen as the venue for this event. There is a lot of discussion and talk around the Northern Powerhouse at present and also a lot of differing views over what business opportunities will come about as part of this. There’s no doubt that the construction sector will play a major part in the Powerhouse and events like this will help set the scene for many as to what the benefits will be.” As with previous events in the series, Construction National will be acting as a media partner for the show and will be on hand to introduce new readers and advertisers to the publication. q

Development finance can be easy [MARTIN POWELL of Bristol-based Heron Way Consultants has

arranged and funded many development projects over the years – from a barn conversion to 30 flat conversions under permitted development rights and even eco builds. The company, part of the Heron Way Group, have over 25 year’s experience in obtaining development finance for clients through a variety of smaller lenders and private syndicated lenders, with development loan sizes ranging from £25k to £5m. Martin says that whatever the project the main requirements for lending do not change, as all a lender requires is: • Security, normally a correct legal charge over the site • A site that can be developed, with planning and pre-commencement • conditions satisfied • A realistic build programme with a builder that can deliver • A clear exit strategy to get the loan repaid. Martin added: “In the past I have helped clients to satisfy all of these requirements – from finding solicitors and suppliers to obtaining exit finance – and finding the lender is often the easy bit.” q • If you are looking for funding for a project or would like further information on development finance you can find Martin and the team from Heron Way Consultants at Stand DF41 at North England Build Expo.


It’s been a busy year for Avantgarde!

[AVANTGARDE, A NATIONALLY OPERATING provider of site services

across public and private sectors, have been busy the last 12 months supplying its services into some very notable projects around the UK. In Scotland there has been the completion of the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow and the V&A Museum in Dundee, both for BAM Construction. Later on in the year the company was asked to play its part in the Northern Powerhouse concept and was deployed on the Milton to Whitby joint bay/roadworks for Interserve as they looked to service the east coast power grid. As its reputation steadily grew, Avantgarde was recruited to place services and support into a nationwide upgrade of Shell Petroleum service station forecourts, carried out by Fox Construction. It has been a year of healthy growth which has cemented their reputation as one of the UK’s most innovative and trusted service providers. This continued prominence lead to a need for innovation, partnership and national logistics. With this in mind the company, who had already reshaped and overhauled its security and facilities management divisions, decided there was an opportunity to broaden its appeal and add technology to its list of established products.


From this came the signing of a framework agreement with V360 Systems, a market leader in onsite technologies. The mandate was simple – find a technology partner who could add another dimension to Avantgarde and help them offer a uniquely holistic set of services. Many companies were trialled, however in V360 there was a sense of innovation as well as a tangible infrastructure already in place. V360 has worked on some high profile construction sites, including the Heads of the Valleys motorway extension for Carillion, the Athletes Village for Glasgow 2014 and the AWPR oil pipeline and motorway extension in Aberdeen. Trial deployments of V360 CCTV towers, VStile Biometric turnstile pods and wireless VFire fire evacuation systems were rolled out and it was clear that in V360 Systems, Avantgarde had a likeminded progressive supplier. With its track record and new partnership, the team from Avantgarde feel that they can now deliver the broadest range of services that can be found in one place – from manned guarding, CCTV towers, access control pods, building fabric maintenance, cleaning and much more. According to the company: “With Avantgarde, clients can take the hassle out of dealing with multiple providers by using one customer focussed supplier. We offer one company, one contact and one monthly invoice.” q

Bespoke or high volume products are equally achievable [BASED IN LANCASHIRE and established

back in 1942 is Dudley Industries. Now operating in multiple markets globally, the company was originally established for the production of roller towel cabinets for Initial UK. It has since grown into a world-class designer and manufacturer of innovative, quality stainless steel products in both washroom and sub-contract services. Dudley offers a dedicated service for bespoke and standard stainless steel products by working closely with their customers to develop effective solutions tailored to their requirements. With over 70 years of experience they offer high-quality manufacturing expertise and a professional design and consultancy service. A company spokesperson explained: “We are a leading supplier of washroom equipment to the top five blue chip washroom consumable companies worldwide and have a reputation with our UK and EU customers for providing high-quality, durable stainless steel products at competitive prices. We achieve this through an effective short supply chain, ensuring an efficient delivery service within the marketplace. We are recognised as a provider of attractive, functional and competitively priced commercial and public washroom products.”

Manufacturing and design Dudley Industries provides a full manufacturing service, from design concept through to finished item, to meet both standard and non-standard customer requirements for a wide range of products. The company has been manufacturing washroom products for over 70 years, growing its manufacturing facilities to include the latest software and machinery capabilities. With a team of experienced in-house designers using the latest CAD technology they have created and maintained a huge portfolio of existing and custom designs. Dudley designs and manufactures products related to its core business of washroom related items in both volume and

bespoke, project-orientated production numbers. Continued expansion and investment in modern design technology enables them to rapidly develop products in a collaborative manner with its customers. Dudley also provides a complete manufacturing facility at its 120,000 sq ft premises, dedicated to both small batch prototyping and large volume manufacturing with the emphasis on quality and safety. Its manufacturing capability includes CNC punch pressing, press brake bending, electromechanical assembly, laser cutting, robotic welding, finishing/polishing and powder coating. Dudley also has the facilities to brand products with screens and laser etching. The spokesperson continued: “Dudley’s mantra is to continually improve and regularly exceed the expectations of our customers. This is managed through company practices and procedures that are externally audited and accredited with the requirements of ISO 9001:2008.” By applying a ‘right first time’ philosophy, Dudley maintains high standards of quality throughout its cellular, lean manufacturing with a high emphasis on safety and by vigorous quality control procedures.

Branding Dudley Industries recognises that an effective brand strategy provides a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. “Simply put,” the company avers, “your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. “At Dudley Industries products can be customised to specific requirements with the inclusion of company names or logos, instructions or promotional message. Branding promotes your business directly at the point of use and enhances awareness of your company.”

Dudley Industries constantly strives to improve the total supply chain process by embracing the latest innovative techniques in stock management. That success is reflected by a high level of ‘ontime’ customer delivery service.

Sub-contracting The company’s wealth of experience in stainless steel manufacturing is also of significant benefit to other suppliers through their ability to design, manufacture and deliver small or large volume items on a regular basis. With the assistance of its in-house design team, new concepts can be followed through to finished items efficiently and to a high standard, working collaboratively with their customers’ teams. Dudley works in that way with a number of companies in the printing and packaging, water treatment, sign, infrastructure and vacuum technology industries. q



All-encompassing Icopal Icopal, the world leading waterproofing manufacturer, boasts over 160 years experience with one of the most comprehensive ranges of construction membranes, support services and insured guarantees available. Following its recent acquisition by GAF, the combined group boasts 65 manufacturing sites globally and more than 6000 employees. Icopal’s full range of products will be on show at this year’s North England Build show.

[ICOPAL BOASTS A significant amount of

experience and with this recognises that product development is key to delivering choice in a range of products. Investment in innovation has always been, and will continue to be, a significant area for Icopal. As a result, the manufacturer’s product offering includes waterproofing and building protection products used from the roof down to the basement and in buildings of every shape and size – including both new build and refurbishment projects in both the commercial and residential sectors. Alongside a full range of bituminous, single ply roofing systems and pitched roofing, Icopal also boasts its Eco-Activ® range, which encompasses Noxite, ICOSUN® and green roofs. The highly innovative range of products offers versatile and sustainable roofing solutions that work with nature to help reduce air pollution, cut CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency, enabling new build and refurbishment projects to meet the increasingly challenging environmental targets specified by evolving building regulations. For example, the Noxite® waterproofing membrane uses sun, wind and rain to convert harmful NOx compounds into less harmful nitrates. When the membrane’s granular titanium dioxide finish is activated by UV radiation from the sun, NOx particles (carried by polluted air) are converted into nitrates, which are then

washed away by rainfall. In support of this, Noxite® is made from recycled roofing products resulting from Icopal’s BiELSo (Bitumen Endless Life Solutions) process. This process reduces dependence on raw materials, relieves pressure on landfill sites and cuts the energy required – and CO2 produced – to create completely new bitumen roofing. Icopal also offers Decra® Roof Systems. Replicating the appearance of traditional clay, concrete or slate tiles, Decra® tiles comprise a galvanised steel core protected by a resilient multi-layer coating and stone or powder coated finish. The result is a tile that is typically oneseventh the weight of traditional alternatives. It also requires less maintenance and is much more secure making it able to withstand both extreme weather and most vandalism. Building on its considerable expertise in roofing, Icopal has developed a range of products designed to offer temporary weather and debris protection for building sites of all sizes, as well as for industrial applications and domestic use. The range includes Monarflex® Scaffold Sheeting, Monarflex® DigiWrap, Monarflex® Flexoprint and Monarflex® tarpaulins. With the demand for housing constantly outstripping supply, developers are now looking to build or refurbish more attached dwellings or increase housing density. As such, high

acoustic performance has become a top priority. Achieving high acoustic performance demands skill, experience and a highly competitive product range. Icopal’s acoustics solutions trade under the Monarfloor® brand name. The range includes Bridgestop®, Monarfloor® Tranquilt and WallCap®. The company’s high quality products are fully underpinned by knowledgeable staff and extensive technical service support – including site inspection, design assistance, inspection and project monitoring. The team is constantly updated on product performance, evolving building regulations, codes of practice and methods of application. This is essential for the right product to be specified and for it to be installed correctly. Alongside this, Icopal also provides access to a network of approved contractors, trained to install the company’s products according to Icopal’s specifications. In addition, insured Icopal provides further reassurance on all its products through its range of comprehensive guarantees. Enhanced system guarantees are also available covering materials and workmanship, design and consequential damage should a problem arise. q • For more information on Icopal please visit or visit Icopal at North England Build 2016 at Stand E40.

Just two of the ranges that Icopal offer – the Eco-Activ® range (left) and the Decra® Roof Systems range


Expansion for award-winning contractors [

FOUNDED IN 1948, Thompsons of Prudhoe are award-winning specialists carrying out every aspect of demolition, site clearance, preparation and earthworks projects – including asbestos removal, site waste management, recycling and ground remediation. From its base in Prudhoe, Northumberland, the company operates across the whole of the North of England and recent expansions have led to the addition of a new base in West Yorkshire. Thompsons have extensive experience of civil demolition – safely bringing down houses, factories, leisure facilities, tower blocks, car parks, commercial and local authority properties – as well as providing a highly technical industrial dismantling service. The business has a specialist asbestos removal unit within the demolition division. Fully licensed and experienced teams follow stringent industry regulations to remove and dispose of all types of asbestos. Thompsons place great importance on sustainability – sustaining jobs and workload at a profitable level whilst taking careful consideration of the environment. The company currently has a recycling rate of over 97% and on many projects achieves a rate in excess of 99%. Their approach is to take on a level of work that can be managed, controlled and delivered safely by existing staff and resources, rather than relying on any outside agencies. Ongoing training of employees and new apprentices, together with an annual multi-million pound investment programme in specialised equipment, ensures high standards of quality and safety are maintained.


Having completed numerous complex projects for clients within the development, construction and industrial sectors, Thompsons have vast experience of handling the entire demolition and site preparation process as principal contractor. The company was one of the first of its kind to achieve ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification and holds accreditation for ISO9001, OHSAS18001, ISO50001, CHAS, Safecontractor and Achilles as well as being members of specialist trade associations ARCA and NFDC. For the last three years in a row Thompsons of Prudhoe have been selected as finalists at the prestigious Construction News Specialists Awards in the category of Demolition Specialist of the Year, winning the national title in 2014 and cementing its reputation as one of the leading demolition and site preparation specialists in the UK. q • Visit Thompsons of Prudhoe on Stand G32 at North England Build 2016.

Groundhog Day for Mobile Mini [

LEADING HIRER OF portable site accommodation and storage containers, Mobile Mini have recently teamed up with top manufacturer Genquip to add a new range of mobile welfare units to their fleet. The six-man eco-rated Groundhog Mobile Fusion unit further expands Mobile Mini’s existing fleet of 36,000 steel storage containers, portable offices, canteens and toilets which are currently delivered nationwide from the company’s 16 UK branches – stretching from Glasgow to Southampton.

The latest in mobile welfare The most advanced mobile welfare unit of its kind in the UK, the Groundhog Mobile Fusion uses the latest concept in 12 Volt technology to deliver costeffective, environmentally-efficient, robust and easy to use ground-lowering, anti-vandal site accommodation. Easily towed and manoeuvred on site, it requires only one operative to secure it, saving on time and money. The unit provides self-contained on-site canteen and WC facilities for sites without electricity or water connections, comfortably

seating up to six people in a pleasant working environment that includes toilet area, warm room/generator area and a canteen area with seating, sink, microwave, kettle and heating system. Its safety features meet all HSE requirements and the high security doors and windows make for peace of mind in operation.

Eco-rated But it’s the environmental features that are the real selling point. The lightweight unit saves on haulage costs and its 12 Volt technology and LED lighting deliver reduced fuel usage and bring a 60% reduction in generator servicing, a longer generator life, fewer breakdowns and low noise pollution. In fact the Groundhog Mobile Fusion promises the lowest emissions and fuel consumption of any welfare unit in the UK. It is Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ‘C’ rated, making it an exceptionally eco-friendly welfare unit. The EPC indicates the energy efficiency of the building fabric, heating, lighting systems and ventilation. q

Stand A21

To find out more about how Mobile Mini can help with your site accommodation and storage needs, call 0800 019 5316 or visit


Manchester expo signals the beginning of a worldwide adventure [ NORTH ENGLAND BUILD 2016

sees the return to these shores of the ever-expanding series of shows from Oliver Kinross. Following inaugural shows in London and Glasgow last year, the bandwagon moved to New York and Sydney in March. The brand breaks for the summer after the landmark Manchester event before returning to London in October. The globetrotting recommences with a trip to Texas on 9-10 November, followed a week later by Auckland Build and the week after that a return to Glasgow. Next year kicks off with a Scandinavian debut in Malmo at the beginning of March. All the shows are characterised by a series of seminars and debates reflecting the particular issues affecting the construction industry in the areas concerned. In Auckland, for example, a particular driver of industry expansion is a shortage of housing and a backlog of infrastructure projects – a common factor with the North of England. In Manchester the issues explored at the conference include the Northern Powerhouse, the skills gap and the difficulty

chair of the Housing and Planning Commission for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. In a further development, the expos worldwide include regional presentations of Greenbuild and Infrastructure exhibitions. Those issues will continue to be explored throughout the world of construction as the organisers take the message on sustainability in construction to the major construction centres around the globe. q North England Build 2016 will launch the new Skills Hub zone of finding finance for construction SMEs. Free to attend, the show will include a two-day conference, exhibition and 22 CPD-accredited training workshops, as well as numerous networking sessions and the launch of the Skills Hub zone. Visitors will hear from leading industry experts such as Dr David Hancock, head of construction for the Cabinet Office, Elvin Box, associate director for performance management at MACE and Sue Derbyshire,

Flowcrete’s flooring solutions on show [

VISITORS TO NORTH ENGLAND BUILD will be able to find out how the nation’s burgeoning construction industry can utilise Flowcrete’s specialist solutions to create floor areas tailored to the challenging requirements of largescale commercial environments. On Stand E41, Flowcrete UK will be demonstrating the potential of its Floorzone concept to combine resin floor finishes with high-performance, sustainably manufactured screeds and efficient underfloor heating systems. Flowcrete is aware that the flooring specification process can be a tricky task – especially for complex developments such as hospitals, schools, high-rise buildings and transport hubs – and the Floorzone concept has been created to simplify this process, as every element of the floor build up, from the substrate to the finish, can be sourced from one supplier and under one warranty. The robust nature of resin floors makes them an ideal choice for such projects, as they provide a seamless, easy to clean finish that can retain an unblemished, colourful and visually appealing surface for an extended period of time. The variety of finishes available means that designers can choose the style that matches their aesthetic criteria combined with the necessary functionality and installation speeds. The resin systems included within the Floorzone are broken down into decorative epoxy, fast curing methyl methacrylate and hard wearing polyurethane coatings. These finishes can be combined with the Isocrete Green Screed range, which utilises recycled materials to enhance a building’s eco credentials. Designed to create level, long-lasting screeds, these systems can incorporate Isowarm Underfloor Heating and Isocrete Acoustic K Insulation to create a floor area that provides ultra-efficient temperature control while simultaneously reducing noise transfer around the building. For sites that need the sturdiest screed solution, Flowcrete’s market leading Isocrete K-Screed has been formulated to rapidly create a robust layer that


can be combined with bolt-on flooring components and topped by a variety of finishes. The diversity of Floorzone’s options has already made it popular among largescale commercial construction projects. The pick-and-choose list of flooring solutions means that developments can specify floors for different areas of the site based on the demands and challenges that particular locations would face. Visitors to North England Build will be able to find out about Flowcrete’s newly launched series of flooring solutions which have been designed to create high performance, easy to install floors despite difficult installation conditions. The new systems that have been added to the comprehensive flooring collection are Flowfresh HF LT, Flowflex Joint Sealant, Isocrete Screedfast Flex and Aqualock OneCoat. q • For further information visit, email or call 01270 753000.


Finalists revealed for Roofing Awards 2016 [

AFTER RECEIVING ALMOST 300 entries this year, the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) have revealed the finalists for the UK Roofing Awards 2016. The awards have become an industry-wide event that recognise and reward outstanding standards of workmanship and safety within the roofing industry. A range of criteria are taken into consideration by the judging panel including degree of difficulty, aesthetics, problem-solving, health and safety, workmanship and environmental qualities. This year’s competition ran from September 2015 until the end of January when a panel of technical experts from supporting trade associations whittled the entries down to just 56 projects across 14 categories. The winners of each category will be chosen by a small panel of construction professionals and announced at the UK Roofing Awards Congress at the Hilton London Metropole on Friday 13th May – a date which for some will not be unlucky! q • For further information visit

NFRC appoints new head of training [NFRC HAS ANNOUNCED the recent appointment of Livia Williams

MBA FIoR as the head of training. This new, vital full-time role will ensure that NFRC can deliver the maximum training benefit to its membership. With over 17 years of experience working within the roofing industry, Livia has gained a wealth of experience and knowledge and has dedicated her work to supporting the industry at strategic level, with the development of training, management and qualifying the workforce. Many within the industry will of course know of her involvement with the Roofing Industry Alliance, as well as playing a key role in engaging with CITB and other industry partners. On her new role, Livia Williams, said: “I look forward to taking on the role, developing clear strategy and objectives, focusing on members’ skills and


training requirements, apprenticeships, a fully qualified workforce at all levels, management and leadership. These are vital to our future and stimulating the roofing sector growth.” This comment was echoed by NFRC chief executive, James Talman, who went on to add: “I am delighted that Livia has joined the NFRC management team and that her strategic approach, determination and enthusiasm will enable us to tackle the challenges of achieving the desired, cross-industry qualified, competent workforce for our membership and beyond.” Livia will be officially taking up the role from the 1st April 2016. q

Website upgrade enhances online experience for Alumasc customers [ ALUMASC ROOFING SYSTEMS recently upgraded their website – – to cater for the 20% of visitors who access their site from mobile devices. The new upgrade makes it simpler and easier for customers to find vital product information, datasheets and documentation for their projects from any device or location. A redesign of key site pages has also made it easier for visitors to find what they need – which may be flat roof, green roof or rooftop accessory information – more quickly. For example, the homepage has been simplified to give visitors a clearer journey. Alumasc’s download centre also provides specifiers, contractors and surveyors with quick access to live, upto-date specification information, CAD details, product datasheets, safety datasheets, brochures, CPD details, case studies and much more – again, all easily accessible on mobile phones and tablet devices. David Luukas, Alumasc Roofing System’s marketing manager, says: “Recent market research revealed how the online resources we offer are received. One element that our customers called for was a more friendly experience when using mobile devices, such as mobile phones and tablets. “Statistics for the website in 2015 showed a 90.28% increase in visitors from mobile devices compared to the previous year. With projected overall growth of mobile device usage set to climb even

further within all sectors, Alumasc have taken the necessary steps to cater for this.” q • For further information visit or call 03335 771 500.

Rainclear now stock Harmer roof drainage systems [

HARMER, THE MARKET leading range for rainwater handling and building drainage, is now stocked by Rainclear and available on its website to purchase for next day delivery. The Harmer AV Roof Drainage Outlets (pictured), which drain 40% more roof area than conventional gravity outlets, are suitable for warm, cold and inverted roofs and ideal for connection to a continuous waterproofing system. They are available to buy from the website with a 20% discount. The Harmer Modulock Raised Paving & Decking Supports are also available to buy online, currently with a 15% discount. These robust, adjustable height pedestals are designed for use in terraces, walkways, balconies and ballasted flat roofs. Harmer has software to assist with layout, number and type of pedestal the project requires. Other products include Harmer Cast Iron Outlets, inherently strong and ideal for copper or lead clad roofs where risk of bi-metallic corrosion is high, and Harmer Modulock Steel Channel Drainsand Gratings, a highly versatile line designed to provide level access drainage solutions at the perimeter of a building or across thresholds. Charlie Cutforth, senior sales executive at Rainclear, said: “With our customers in mind, we only stock the highest quality products and these are the market leading products for roof drainage.” q • For technical advice and quotes call Rainclear on 0800 644 44 26 or visit the website at


Concrete block permeable paving and SuDS offer flood protection – and much more

Government planning requirements for SuDS on new developments – incorporating techniques such as concrete block permeable paving – came into force last year. There is now a growing realisation that they can deliver far more than just drainage and flood reduction, as CHRIS HODSON, consultant to the concrete block paving industry’s trade body Interpave, explains.


in the North of England is a reminder of the urgent need to take firm measures and a holistic approach to flood prevention. Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) and techniques such as concrete block permeable paving are essential tools in the fight against flooding and pollution – particularly with overloaded sewers, urbanisation and climate change. Yet the government chose to abandon dedicated plans to implement a requirement for SuDS on new developments in the 2010 Flood and Water Management Act. Instead, an additional policy now sits alongside the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), spelling out ‘the Government’s expectation…that sustainable drainage systems will be provided in new developments wherever this is appropriate’. That measure is now being applied by local planning authorities (LPAs) in England through local policies and plans, as well as application decisions on ‘major developments’ of 10 or more dwellings and equivalent non-residential or mixed developments. New government guidance, in the form of Non-statutory Technical Standards for SuDS, was published in March last year, albeit with a minimal level of information. The NPPF Planning Practice Guidance now defines SuDS as: “Sustainable drainage systems…designed to control surface water run off close to where it falls and mimic


natural drainage as closely as possible. “They provide opportunities to reduce the causes and impacts of flooding; remove pollutants from urban run-off at source; and combine water management with green space with benefits for amenity, recreation and wildlife.” Although the measures are much weaker than originally proposed, some LPAs are promoting SuDS and encouraging their wider use through local policies. In addition, existing NPPF prioritisation of SuDS in areas of flood risk and requirements that developments should not make flood risk worse elsewhere – often by utilising SuDS – still apply to developments of any scale. Also, existing planning regulations for non-domestic premises, as well as homes, remove permitted development rights for new or replacement hard surfaces, such as drives and car parks, unless permeable paving or similar solutions are used. Under the new arrangements LPAs must satisfy themselves of minimum operational standards and ensure that maintenance is provided for the lifetime of the development – by using planning conditions or other obligations such as Section 106 agreements. SuDS designs must also be ‘economically proportionate’ in terms of operation and maintenance. There is plenty of evidence to demonstrate that well-designed SuDS should cost no more to install or maintain than conventional piped drainage, particularly when considered

as multifunctional elements within the overall project design. This is highlighted in the Code of Practice for Surface Water Management, BS8582:2013.

No additional land-take By its very nature, concrete block permeable paving is uniquely placed to help meet those multifunctional requirements. Of course it provides a hard surface – supporting HGV traffic loads where needed – combined with a drainage system, with no additional land-take. But it also addresses both flooding and pollution issues, unlike storage tanks which only deal with flooding. Constructing permeable pavements on sloping sites is not a problem and it can also handle run-off from adjacent impermeable areas of paving and roofs equivalent to double its surface area. Different systems can be applied to allow simple infiltration to the ground, or containment and conveyance to another part of the SuDS management train or drainage system, in all cases that would follow attenuation and treatment. A SuDS can also be designed to collect, treat and store rainwater for re-use – such as for irrigation, washing cars or toilet flushing. Following some 25 years use in the UK and abroad, concrete block permeable paving is a well-established, demonstrably effective technology. Having said that, designers are exploring new possibilities as well, for example to collect and initially

treat water for other types of construction, including sub-base replacement and retrofit overlay systems covering existing road bases.

the need for cross-falls, channels, gulleys or other interruptions. Rainwater ‘ponding’ is eliminated, reducing the risk of ice forming on the surface and preventing splashing from standing water. But the real strength of concrete block permeable paving is an ability to remove water-borne pollution, offering the important – and often missed – opportunity of a gradual flow of clean water that can be exploited to enhance landscape design and biodiversity. With concrete block permeable paving, SuDS offer housing providers, developers and designers real opportunities, rather than technical problems to be solved. Taking a holistic approach, they can now embrace SuDS as one of the central design considerations from the very start of their projects, exploring innovative solutions that form an integral part of urban design. q

Permeable paving compartments Increasingly, designers are considering areas of concrete block permeable paving as distinct ‘compartments’ within a subcatchment, particularly when flow control structures are applied to the outlets – with access provided for monitoring and adjustment. The technique is useful for containing flows through the pavement construction on sloping sites. It also optimises the time that water remains in the pavement for removal of pollutants, fulfilling one of its major benefits – a controlled flow of clean water for amenity use. In addition, permeable paving compartments with flow controls provide volume storage for water deployed around a site, requiring no additional land-take – a factor which can be demonstrated to the LPA as part of the approval process. That will reduce, or completely negate, the need to provide additional storage on a development, with major cost reduction implications.

Landscape design The paving will, of course, help to define the character of a development and its landscape design. The growing choice of concrete block permeable paving products

available from Interpave manufacturers – with their many shapes, styles, finishes and colours – allows real design freedom. At the same time it can provide completely level, well-drained, firm and slip-resistant surfaces that are accessible to all, without

• Guidance and case studies on SuDS and concrete block permeable paving can be downloaded via the Interpave information resource at Interpave is the Precast Concrete Paving and Kerb Association, promoting and developing concrete block paving, paving flags and kerbs. It represents the UK’s leading manufacturers and is a product association of the British Precast Concrete Federation Ltd.


Updated guidance will help ensure SuDS are built and function as designed By SUZANNE SIMMONS of the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA)


WITH THE RELEASE of CIRIA’s new SuDS Manual (C753) we could be forgiven for thinking that guidance on the subject of sustainable drainage systems, or SuDS, was complete. Not so – a good SuDS design can be misinterpreted and let down by poor construction and detailing and that can affect performance and ultimately cause failure. With SuDS becoming more commonplace and the diversity of schemes and applications growing, it is timely to review and update guidance on the construction of SuDS to ensure they are built as designed and provide the performance and benefits required. One of the biggest areas of concern in the SuDS community lies in reputational risk. All too often inexperienced contractors are faced with SuDS projects having never constructed a SuDS scheme before. Assumptions are made and what gets built is not necessarily what was intended by the SuDS designer. The reasons for that can be unclear but the outcomes can be catastrophic for the project and its end users, and importantly it can undermine the reputations of designers and contractors. From the client’s perspective it is imperative that we ensure SuDS are constructed well and that they function as intended. That is why CIRIA is now developing guidance on SuDS and construction. RP1028 Update of SuDS and Construction Guidance is led by landscape consultancy Illman Young and the Environmental Protection Group (EPG Ltd). Lead author Sue Illman said: “Knowing how to build SuDS properly to both good visual and engineering standards is the industry’s last big hurdle. Unless we do, it will seriously undermine its uptake.” Contractors need to understand that in constructing SuDS schemes they are also delivering a multiple range of benefits – not only for the conveyance of surface water but also for water quality, amenity and biodiversity. The new SuDS Manual extols an interconnected relationship between what the authors call the ‘four pillars of SuDS’, where a welldesigned and constructed SuDS can deliver on water quantity, quality, amenity and biodiversity. CIRIA’s author team for RP1028 Update of SuDS and Construction Guidance recently carried out an industry survey that drew significant feedback on contractors’ relationship with constructing SuDS, drawing out information on performance that included the good, the bad and

the ugly. The feedback gained from the research will now feed into the project to shape outputs and target areas most in need of steer. Positive suggestions from respondents that are being considered in the new guidance relate to: • Checking the design prior to commencement – for services, infiltration capacity and confirmation of levels at all stages • Ordering the right materials at the right time • Using the right contractor or specialist contractor • Managing the works on site throughout – including sequencing, site conditions, protecting the works and maintenance • Ensuring that those who sign off have the right expertise to do so. Poor delivery of SuDS may be due to a lack of clear communication and handover; but more often it is due to a lack of understanding and awareness of the critical principals required for SuDS that differ from those for conventional, below-ground drainage. Resolving these issues often begins with having a basic understanding of the principals underpinning the project’s SuDS design philosophy. The new update will take the feedback and suggestions from the construction industry and work them into accessible and easy-to-follow guidance. It will include illustrations, images, step-by-step processes, case studies and handy hints. They will have strong visuals, be easy to read and suitable for contractors to use on site. They will be aimed particularly at those who supervise site operatives. However, the outputs from the research will have wider readership within the construction team, as well as for SuDS designers and approval/adopting bodies who share vital interactions with the construction process and construction team. The guidance will be shaped around the following key stages and processes: • Setting the scene – SuDS: the basics • Pre-construction – understanding the site and its design • Construction planning and programming • Site management and general construction considerations • Constructing and inspecting SuDS. It is anticipated that the outputs from CIRIA’s Update of RP1028 SuDS and Construction Guidance with be released early next year. q • Suzanne Simmons is a chartered landscape architect and the project manager at CIRIA responsible the recent release of its SuDS Manual (C753) and forthcoming CIRIA project RP1028 Update of SuDS and Construction Guidance. If you have any queries on the project, or wish to provide supporting case studies or information, please contact Images courtesy of Salix and JPP Consulting


Clark-Drain launches High Max cover designed for the utility, highways and public sectors [CLARK-DRAIN HAS LAUNCHED a new

version of its D400 High Max series – designed with water companies, local authorities and highways contractors in mind. The manhole cover will satisfy the heavily trafficked needs of UK road networks. As road traffic intensifies and weather conditions become more changeable the ‘best-fit’ specification and installation of access covers to specific industry requirements has a role to play in supporting ‘whole life costs’ and health and safety needs. Fash Shahidi, key account manager at ClarkDrain, comments: “Choosing covers which help to prolong surface wear and skid resistance life is an important consideration for organisations interested in ‘value improvement’ based around total cost of installation and whole life costs, particularly in the water, highways and environmental sectors.” Premature failure in the bedding material is often cited as the main factor contributing to poor performance of installations. Fash continues: “Product design plays a massive role in extending product life. With High Max it was important to incorporate an understanding of dynamic loads. Finite element analysis and 3D modelling was used in the design of High Max to evaluate how these were dispersed under heavy load stresses to minimise the impact on the bedding. A tread pattern with 25% more density than the minimum requirement specified in EN 124 and 40% greater tread height than rival manhole covers all contribute.” Through the years significant improvements in frame and cover design have generally been integrated into the nation’s roads and Highways Agency guidance has driven improvement. Fash adds: “What is needed is a new way of delivering the best possible performance for the installation. We have engineered High Max to meet these needs by providing exceptionally good durability, safety and flexibility in use.” With road traffic increasing almost 25% in the last 15 years, despite government attempts to get people to drive less, and with vehicles becoming bigger and heavier the total cost of installation was one issue Clark-Drain was particularly keen on tackling. “Durability is an increasingly important factor in delivering value, so we have deliberately designed High Max as our heaviest duty D400 manhole cover to address this,” Fash notes. “Heavy duty design, coupled with unique features that encourage longevity such as ‘inboard’ cover supports, reduces the risk of cover collapse under extreme loads. High Max is also quiet in use with non-rock three point suspension using oversized cover corners to direct the loading stresses for best-case frame and bedding interaction and to minimise surface noise.

“The shape of the flange has also been optimised to increase the area where loads are concentrated, whilst a flared frame design transfers dynamic loads around the corners to minimise the stresses on the bedding and extend the life of the installation.” With increasing incidence of flooding, High Max also delivers additional levels of safety with accessories to help curb the impact of inclement weather. Fash adds: “Ingress of surface water into a sewer network can add to problems of surging during increased flows in the drainage system. The low leak sealing plate slows down and even prevents the ingress of surface water off the road. “For heavier rainfalls and subsequent flood conditions manhole covers are often forced out of the ground, creating a hazard. High Max features a bolt-in steel sealing plate designed to overcome back pressure experienced in sewer shafts up to 0.5 bar – equivalent to pressure of 5 metres head of water.” To offer multiple applications with one frame design Clark-Drain has developed High Max to accommodate five accessory options – bolt-in sealing plate, low leak plate, safety grid, glass reinforced plastic sealing plates and prison grills. The bolt-in plate option is factory fitted whilst the others are either factory fitted, or retrofitted Fash states: “This is another value-based design element we considered. It avoids having to buy separate products, which can be costly, to meet the differing safety and security needs of a wide variety of project types. The multiple insert design also enables stockists to keep one product instead of separate products to minimise yard space.” Manual handling is also a key design consideration. Health and safety is supported by High Max as the product has a double triangular design with four key holes enabling a two person lift. The problem of disengagement is also reduced with non-slip safety key holes compatible with long handle lifting keys and other mechanical lifting devices. q

HIGH MAX SPECIFICATION Manufactured from ductile iron and Kitemark certified to BS EN 124, the High Max series exceeds the required 400kN loading for D400 class and includes design features which make it a valuable low maintenance option: • Clear opening sizes include CD 901H KMD • (600mm x 600mm x 100mm), CD 901AH • KMD (600mm x 600mm x 150mm), CD • 902H KMD (675mm x 675mm x 100mm) • and CD 902AH KMD (675mm x 675mm x • 150mm) • Non rock three point suspension • Recessed locators in cover provide bolt • locking option • Non slip safety key holes compatible with • long handle lifting keys and other • mechanical lifting devices supports safe • manual handling • For existing, older installations that need • replacement covers the 600x600mm clear • opening High Max products incorporate a • frame design to accommodate imperial • 24’’x24’’ pit sizes • Vented grouting pockets on flange improves • bond to mortar and lateral stability of • manhole cover in service • Solid flange meets the minimum 75mm • width conforming to BS 7903 • Range accessories to enhance, protect and • increase safety include drop in ductile iron • low leak plate, bolt-down steel sealing • plate, GRP sealing plate, safety grids and • security grills for prisons.

T: 01733 765317 F: 01733 246923 E:


NASC launches updated free scaffold specification template


THE NASC IS launching an updated version of its user-friendly, free scaffold specification template Guide to Managing and Appointing Scaffolding Contractors later this month. This popular scaffolding guide was originally developed by the NASC and is designed ‘to improve the quality of scaffold structures erected on construction sites and other works of engineering maintenance in accordance with current legislation, guidance and protocol and to minimise the risk of accident or injury to operatives working on or near the scaffold and the general public.’ This 20-page word document, which is free to download from the NASC website and to distribute by email to those who need it, is intended for use by anybody with responsibility for the management, use, monitoring and provision of scaffolding. The template features a wealth of information about tube and fitting and system scaffolding as well as lightweight mobile access towers. There


are sections on current scaffolding regulation, competence, training and proficiency of CISRS Part 1, Part 2 and Advanced scaffolding operatives, scaffold design, handover certificates, scaffold inspections, risk and method statements and client information. In addition, there is a large section on the minimum requirements for scaffold tube, boards, fittings, loading bays, brick guards, sheeting and debris netting, access and egress, edge protection, ties and hop up and stage brackets. This easy to read and navigate document also contains TG20:13 Compliance Sheet examples, Scaffold Inspection Report Sheets, examples of current CISRS cards and more useful documentation. NASC president, Alan Lilley said: “For many principal contractors and clients, specifying the criteria for a scaffolding contract at tender or pre-contract stage can be as onerous and uncertain a task as trying to manage the operations of an appointed scaffolding contractor. “The information contained within this guidance will be of great assistance to those procuring, appointing and managing scaffolding contracts. It should help to ensure that correct and up to date scaffolding standards are incorporated into relevant contract documentation and will require that appointed scaffolding contractors adopt recognised scaffolding industry good practice on their sites.” NASC managing director, Robin James added: “This is a very popular NASC document for good reason – it’s of great relevance to local authorities, contractors and other bodies with responsibility for and involvement with the erection of scaffolding. It is just one of many free to access documents which the NASC produces with the aim of making the scaffolding industry safer. We hope it is widely downloaded, read, digested and adhered to by anyone involved in scaffolding projects.” q

2016 Safety Report [ THE NASC LAUNCHED its 2016 Safety Report at ‘The Health &

Safety Event’ held at the NEC, Birmingham in March. The highly-regarded annual NASC Safety Report documents and analyses accident and injury statistics for all 199 NASC full contracting member companies. This included 14,954 scaffolding operatives for 2015 which constitutes a major proportion of the UK’s total scaffolding workforce. A digital PDF version is available to view on the NASC website and hard copies of the report will be sent to all NASC full contracting member companies, its hire, sales and manufacturing members and information members, as well as construction and health and safety industry professionals. All of the full contracting members are required to submit a completed annual accident return as a requirement of membership, and the NASC Safety Report is based on data generated by this exercise. It features: • Injuries and fatalities to operatives, the public and third parties. • Accident causes and types. • Detailed analysis of accidents. • Comparison of HSE/NASC accident statistics. • What the NASC does to support safe scaffolding practice. In line with current HSE reporting procedures, it reports on seven day incidents only – as it is did in 2014 and 2015. As such, the latest report appears to show a marked reduction in incidents. Positively, figures included in the 2016 Safety Report show another zero for fatal accidents within the membership, there were no reported falls from a scaffold/working platform where the fall was arrested by a lanyard/harness, and falls from scaffolds/working platforms showed a decrease of 44% in 2015 from nine to five incidents. In addition falls from ladders also decreased. However, as per the trend of the previous 12 years, the major cause of injury to scaffolders during 2015 continues to be slips, trips and falls on the same level, amounting to just over 34% of all injuries reported this year. The NASC health and safety committee is committed to looking at ways of reducing the amount of slips, trips and falls – starting with the publication of a new safety guidance note later this year SG32:16 Management of Slips,Trips and Falls. The report also states, as in previous years, that the highest number of accidents occurred in the 21- 30 age group and stood at 42 (44%) and that it was scaffolders reporting the greatest number of incidents (also at 44%) compared to other scaffold sector jobs such as labourers and managers. NASC president, Alan Lilley said: “The NASC continues to produce this most detailed and honest breakdown of incidents that occur annually within its membership. Safety professionals across the construction industry rush to analyse the detail, as do we. The information is used to benchmark our members against the wider industry and to ensure that our safety and technical guidance remains good practice and fit for purpose within the scaffolding and access sectors. “The NASC members’ incident statistics over the years have seen dramatic reductions in major injury and fatalities – and this year sees many positive safety statistics again. “As ever, we must continue to strive for zero incidents throughout the scaffolding and access industry. I am confident that through greater regulation on the part of the confederation, future issues of this well received annual Safety Report will show further reductions in reported incidents within our membership.” NASC managing director, Robin James added: “It’s pleasing to see that our members and their 15,000 scaffolding operatives – accounting for a significant share of the UK scaffolding workforce – have once again helped reduce accident and injury statistics across the sector.

“By training staff properly and adhering to the latest industry regulations and safety and technical guidance – such as SG4:15 Preventing Falls in Scaffolding Operations – the NASC membership is helping to make scaffolding and work at height as safe as possible.” q • To obtain a digital PDF copy of the NASC 2016 Safety Report visit the information page of the website at or contact NASC directly for a hard copy.


A quarter-century of achievement leads to continuing expansion [

THIS YEAR SEES work-at-height training consultancy Safety and Access Ltd celebrating its 25th anniversary. Formed in 1991 under the name Scaffold Inspection Services (SIS) Ltd, to provide an independent, nationwide scaffold inspection service it was a joint venture between scaffolding company SGB and Hinton & Higgs Ltd which was at the time Europe’s largest construction health and safety consultancy. The company’s range of services soon expanded to include scaffold inspection training, the Construction Industry Scaffolder’s Record Scheme (CISRS) range of skills training, scaffolding consultancy and PASMA lightweight aluminium tower scaffolding training. A management buyout resulted in the company being re-named Safety and Access Ltd in 1998. Further expansion followed, with the company offering specialist workat-height training and consultancy services to the construction industry, local and national government, the petrochemical, power and offshore industries and in the entertainment, utilities, education, property and facilities management sectors. As part of its own commitment to health and safety, Safety and Access Ltd developed its own health and safety management system in line with BH OHSAS 18001. In March 2001 it was externally audited to the standard by NQA. In 2010 the company added ISO 9001 to its many accreditations. A dedicated management training facility at its Nottingham head office and training centre – opened in 2004 with a capacity of up to 40 – was followed by an additional, fully-accredited facility at Stallingborough on Humberside, offering CISRS and PASMA accreditation for work-at-height and scaffolding-related training.


Joint managing directors Ray Johnson (left) and Rick Statham International expansion has followed, with CISRS facilities in the UAE, Qatar and South Korea. Further international expansion plans are in place for other regions. Today Safety & Access Ltd is regarded as one of the leading scaffolding and work-at-height training and consultancy service providers and can boast some of the largest UK and international businesses among its client base. Joint managing directors Ray Johnson and Rick Statham are very proud of the company’s achievements over the years and are confident that the business, with the drive and support of their highly competent team, will continue to expand and diversify. q

CISRS approves first Overseas Scaffolder Training Scheme training centre in Africa [

CISRS HAS JUST granted training provider accreditation to the first CISRS Overseas Scaffolder Training Scheme (OSTS) training centre in Africa – set up by Simian Skills and Falck Prime Atlantic in Nigeria. Falck Safety Services is the world’s largest provider of safety training for the offshore industry. Each year, they provide safety training to more than 320,000 employees from shipping companies, military defence units, the aviation industry and the oil industry – and now CISRS OSTS scaffolding in Nigeria. CISRS scheme manager, Dave Mosley has just returned from auditing the newly accredited centre in Ipara Ogun State, Nigeria. It is the culmination of nearly three years of discussions between CISRS and the training providers. The creation of the training centre began in 2013, when Simian Risk first spotted the demand for a recognised qualification via international oil companies and the Department of Petroleum regulators in Nigeria. Simian had received many enquiries from African-based companies and individuals wanting to come to the UK and Dubai to undertake CISRS courses. Simian contacted Dave Mosley who worked closely with them, advising Falck of what would be required in order to comply with CISRS scheme rules. Simian directors Simon Hughes and Ian Fyall visited Nigeria and made several presentations to petrochemical leaders Exxon, Total, Shell and the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC), in order to gauge industry support of CISRS should a local centre gain accreditation. Based upon the positive response received, two containers of scaffold training material left the UK for Lagos in order to stock the training centre, which is situated between Lagos on the coast and Ibadan, inland in Southern Nigeria. The three parties then met at Simian’s training centre in Warrington to discuss moving the project forward and to consider centre design, dimensions, instructors and facility security. Construction of the facility began in the autumn of 2015 and was completed in time for a successful accreditation audit visit this February. Dave Mosley said: “CISRS are very pleased to be working with Simian Skills and Falck Prime Atlantic on this historic project and are proud to have granted accreditation to the first training centre of its kind in Africa. It’s an excellent facility – we wish them the greatest success and hope that it will improve the safety and standards of scaffolding within the region, whilst also offering a potential career opportunity to many Nigerians for years to come.”

The first CISRS OSTS Level 1 course has since been completed at the centre with all delegates passing and now in the process of obtaining their CISRS OSTS cards. CISRS currently has around 4,000 OSTS cardholders globally. Whilst in Nigeria Dave Mosley and the centre staff gave presentations to several major client representatives – including Shell, Total, Exxon, Agina, LSSC and the Nigerian Department of Petroleum Resources – many of whom are set to train

their scaffolders at the centre in the coming months. Simian risk operations director, Ian Fyall said: “We are thrilled to be involved in the creation of the first OSTS training provider in Africa – which is absolutely superb and a real feather in the cap of Simian Risk, Falck Prime Atlantic and CISRS. It’s been a long process to get to this point, but we are immensely proud to have done this and are confident the centre will be a roaring success in the region – helping to drive up scaffolding standards.” q


CISRS approves new training centre in the North East [CISRS HAS JUST granted training provider accreditation to a

prestigious industry training centre in the North East – namely AIS Training in North Shields, part of the Advanced Industrial Solutions Group. The state-of-the-art training village, conveniently located off the A19 in Tyne & Wear and offering 200,000 sq ft of first rate training facilities, as well as an on-site hotel and restaurant, is accredited for Part 1 Tube & Fitting Scaffolding and CISRS Operative Training Scheme (COTS) courses, with Basic Scaffold Inspection Training to follow soon. CISRS scheme manager Dave Mosley said: “AIS has a very impressive set-up and a rich history in training off-shore and other sectors. They have responded really well to the strict criteria and demands it takes to be a CISRS approved training provider and we are very pleased to have them on board.” Part 1 and COTS scaffold training courses got underway at AIS Training in February this year and the centre is now taking bookings for the courses. David John Adams, lead scaffold instructor at AIS Training said: “We are delighted to have been awarded approval to deliver CISRS courses at our world class training village – it will help make construction and work sites a safer place. Scaffolding is a crucial, highly sought-after skill and CISRS is widely acknowledged as the best industry standard available. We are anticipating high demand for places. “This is the latest course to be added to our comprehensive portfolio of 175 industry-approved qualifications for the construction, oil


and gas, wind and maritime sectors. It will be delivered from our brand new multi-million pound training centre of excellence for the construction sector, which offers state-of-the-art facilities and a world class learning experience.” q • For further information contact AIS Training on 0844 800 1810 or email

IPAF instructors introduced to new learning tools [IPAF CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS have been given a preview of new learning tools that are set to rejuvenate IPAF’s full training programme for operators of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), also known as aerial work platforms (AWPs). The new generation learning tools were the central theme at this year’s series of IPAF Professional Development Seminars (PDS), which were attended by more than 683 instructors and covered 23 countries and 8 languages. The new tools include an eLearning theory module which delivers flexibility and interactivity, as well as an instructor-led theory course that uses the same state-of-the-art graphics, animations and learning techniques. What remains the same in IPAF’s operator training

programme is the focus on practical training. Only trainees who pass a supervised theory test and a practical test are awarded a Smart Powered Access Licence (PAL) Card as proof of training. IPAF instructors trained a record 145,094 people in 2015. This is an increase of 5.6% on those trained in 2014. Training available from IPAF-approved centres includes operator courses for which a PAL Card is issued, and harness and management courses for which a certificate is issued. IPAF issued a record 137,517 PAL Cards worldwide through its approved training centres in 2015, an increase of about 5.6% on the previous year.

IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman said: “For almost 150,000 people every year, IPAF instructors are the face of IPAF. Their hard work and enduring commitment has made this voluntary training programme the global success that it is today. We aim to support our instructors by building on their skills and professionalism, and providing them with innovative and top-class learning tools.” The PDS is the annual event for IPAF certified instructors and ensures that they remain up-to-date with legislation and training. Through attending the event, instructors gain CPD points, necessary to maintain their IPAF instructor status. This commitment to continuous learning is one of the unique features of the IPAF training programme. q

Solar panel firm fined after rooflight fall [A SOLAR PANEL firm has been fined £153,000 after a worker

was seriously injured in a fall through a fragile rooflight at a private home in Kent. The worker, from Ashford, fractured his shin and a vertebra in the incident in April 2013. The rooflight the man fell through was on an outbuilding housing a swimming pool. Although the water partially cushioned his fall, he made a heavy impact with the side and flooring around the pool and was unable to return to work until January this year and only then on a part-time basis. The court had heard in a hearing in January, when the Glasgowbased company pleaded guilty to three health and safety offences, that the injured worker was part of a three-man team working on the pool building to replace faulty solar panels that had been initially installed by the same company in 2011. The roof contained eight rooflights and the worker fell through one of these while carrying a panel.

HSE established that a scaffold tower, ladder and safety harness had been provided for the panel replacement work – however, none of the installation team had received any formal training or instruction on how to use them. That effectively rendered the equipment useless. Other measures could also have been taken, such as providing full scaffolding or hard covers for the rooflights. After the hearing HSE inspector Melvyn Stancliffe said: “The injured worker suffered serious injury in the fall and could have been killed. He and his colleagues were effectively left to their own devices with equipment that was not wholly suited for the task at hand. In short, better equipment, training and supervision should have been provided. “Working on or near a fragile roof or materials is not a task to be undertaken without proper planning, and without having the appropriate safety measures in place at all times. There is considerable free guidance available from the HSE regarding the precautions needed when working at height, including on or near fragile roof coverings.” q


CDM changes still causing confusion By CHRIS IVEY, Health and Safety Consultant Director at THSP Risk Management

[IT IS ALMOST A year on since the CDM changes were brought in, but

there still seems to be some confusion as to how the regulations have panned out and what the implications are for builders, especially those working on smaller projects. Here’s a quick re-cap.

Changes to the regulations and the roles of the duty holders Whilst the technical standards set out in Part 4 of the current regulations have essentially remained unchanged, the key differences lie in the removal of the CDM co-ordinator role and the re-allocation of their duties, plus the introduction of a new duty holder – the principal designer. With the CDM co-ordinator removed, many of the duties previously placed upon them now have to be performed by either the sole ‘designer’ or the ‘principal designer’. This means that the responsibility for the co-ordination of construction health and safety information during the pre-construction phase falls to them and includes identifying, eliminating or controlling foreseeable risks, as well as ensuring that relevant information is passed to other duty holders. They are also responsible for ensuring that the health and safety file is prepared and passed on to the client at the end of the project. The final key change is that only those projects lasting longer than 30 days and which involve more than 20 persons, or those involving more than 500 person days will need to be notified by the client to the HSE.

Changes for homeowners The second key change has been that the new regulations place duties upon ‘domestic clients’ (i.e. home owners). When working on a project for a domestic client the role of designers, principal designers, principal contractors and contractors is generally no different to their role when working for a commercial client, however, under the new regulations the domestic client normally transfers their duties to the contractor/ principal contractor or the principal designer. From a design perspective, it is also important to note that design teams have to be more risk aware when considering schemes; not only for those risks arising from what they propose to construct, but also from the existing building or site’s current conditions, as they are responsible for ensuring that this information is passed to the construction team.


So what does this mean for the average builder? The new regulations have introduced a requirement for a construction phase plan (CPP) to be produced for all construction projects – whether that is re-tiling a bathroom, adding an extension or building the tallest skyscraper. In the new guidance, HSE state that the size and content of these CPPs needs to be determined by the levels of risk. All of this may be somewhat daunting for those builders used only to working on domestic projects, particularly as there is currently no legal requirement for a written health and safety policy or record of risk assessments for companies with less than five employees. Under CDM2015 however, there are no exemptions and a construction phase plan must be in place for all projects. Clearly this can lead to an increase in the amount of paperwork that needs to be produced, especially when working on domestic projects, and is likely to incur additional costs which may need be incorporated into the project budget. As with all regulation changes it is important to be fully aware of your responsibilities so you can ensure that you are compliant and your business remains safe. q

Insurers: sentencing guidelines will have ‘significant impact’ on construction [

EXPERTS AT A leading construction insurance specialist have said they expect new sentencing guidelines for England and Wales to have a significant impact on the industry’s safety record, as well as on its workforce, employers and insurers. The new guidelines from the Sentencing Council – which came into force in February – are designed to reinforce efforts to improve health and safety standards across a wide spectrum of businesses, but construction will be more affected than most because it is so hazardous in nature, according to the experts at Focus, a major player in construction insurance. Widely expected to maintain the trend towards tougher penalties for employers’ health and safety failings, whether or not actual injuries result, the guidelines are intended to reflect the degree of employer culpability and the extent of the risk of serious harm. Penalties are geared to have enough financial impact to impress upon management and shareholders the need to operate within the law. That implies that ‘the larger the company the bigger the fine’, with a £20m fine possible for a serious offence by a major entity. Where the most serious offences are shown to involve corporate manslaughter, both the financial penalty and the personal consequences are too great for anyone to ignore. A closely implicated director could face charges that carry a possible two-year jail term. Said John Finch, Focus’s commercial director: “In an ideal world such a severe regime shouldn't be necessary. You’d surely imagine that the

Crossrail shares its experience and insight

prospect of seeing a worker with multiple injuries after a fall from height would be enough to encourage site safety. “Yet such incidents occur weekly in the industry and many cases are taken to court by the Health and Safety Executive. Almost invariably the HSE representative will explain how a fall, impact from a heavy load or vehicle, or other incident was wholly avoidable. “That being so, it must be right for workers, employers and insurers to support the new guidelines and try to achieve the desired reduction, not ignoring the many near misses and minor injuries that form the base of a notional triangle with fatalities at its apex.” The involvement of principal contractors, sub-contractors and selfemployed workers in the construction industry makes site safety a shared aim, but clear responsibility for safety issues must be agreed in order to ensure that none of them gets overlooked, says Focus. Like construction industry employers and workers, insurers have a clear interest in achieving a reduced level of incidents. If an employer is prosecuted for health and safety failings, their insurability might be called into question. “The first step to ensure compliance, avoid site accidents and keep insurance premiums down is a risk assessment,” said John Finch. “Our online self-assessment tool can aid this process, whether or not an upgrade to a full risk management service is envisaged.” He concluded: “I see the new sentencing guidelines as a move in the right direction. The possible gains for workers and for insurers are clear. For employers, the effort and expense of safety compliance must be worth it, even if no size of fine should motivate more than a fatality.” q


IN FEBRUARY Crossrail launched its much-heralded initiative to share insights from Europe’s largest construction project with the wider UK infrastructure industry. Crossrail’s Learning Legacy initiative seeks to collate knowledge and share good practice on a wide range of topics, including successes in health and safety. Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail’s chief executive, said: “Passing on the lessons and good practice that we have learned at Crossrail is an absolutely essential part of raising the bar in the delivery of major projects. With an unprecedented number of infrastructure schemes around the corner, now is the time to start sharing what we have learned so the UK can build on its reputation for delivering safely, on time and on budget.” The first tranche of material covers over 100 documents. Some of the early examples of lessons learned include: • The use of ‘leading’ health and safety indicators – which measure the steps being taken to create safe and healthy working environments – rather than just traditional ‘lagging’ indicators, such as accident frequency rates. Crossrail’s Health and Safety Performance Index drives positive behaviours and a culture that helps to prevent accidents occurring in the first place. • The Performance Assurance Framework, which measures contractor performance across a number of key areas, including health and safety. The scheme has allowed contractors to learn from one another and has helped to embed a culture of continuous improvement. Simon Bennett, head of learning legacy at Crossrail, said: “The launch is just the start of Crossrail’s Learning Legacy initiative. Our focus now is on publishing updates on a regular basis and working with our partners to make sure that others can learn from our experience of working on the Crossrail project.” q



PETER BARKER, managing director of BIM Academy, offers some...

...reflections on the 2016 BIM mandate [

UNLESS YOU HAVE just returned to the property and construction sector from an extended stay on a desert island over the last five years, you cannot fail to have noticed the inexorable rise of BIM and its potential to transform how we design, manage and operate the built environment. The cynics have observed that inflated expectations are always followed by the trough of disillusionment, but with continued impetus from UK government and other countries around the world who are following suit, industry is now well on the slope of enlightenment and heading to the uplands of productivity. For the uninitiated, BIM stands for Building Information Modelling or Management and involves the use of data-rich digital 3D models to support the better capture, co-ordination and management of information about a facility throughout its entire lifecycle – from briefing through to operation and disposal. Correctly planned and implemented, it has huge potential to create real value to users, designers, constructors and managers of all types of facilities through better co-ordinated, shareable data throughout the lifecycle. Information managed in this way can positively impact on cost (Capex and Opex), safety, quality, environmental performance and user satisfaction. It was primarily with the end user and operator in mind that HM Government first announced in its 2011 Construction Strategy that it would mandate the use of BIM to maturity Level 2 on all centrally funded government projects from 2016. By the time you read this, the mandate will be in force and the government plans further escalation via its Digital Built Britain programme as embodied in the Government Construction Strategy 201620. So what has all the fuss been about and who are the winners and losers? The losers are definitely those who have had their heads in the sand and have not seized the opportunities to make their businesses leaner and greener, enhance the quality of their output and generally punch above their weight through intelligent use of these digital tools and processes. Those expecting government funding to spoon-feed them change have on the whole been disappointed and it has generally been left to the individual organisation to chart its own roadmap to adoption, navigating the apparent myriad of standards, terms and acronyms. For those baffled by this, independent and impartial sources of advice have been relatively scarce but several universities and industry bodies have established initiatives to fill this void. Amongst them Northumbria University

BIM Academy delivers its collaborative Virtual Project workshop to industry professionals seeking greater understanding of BIM process and technologies in a low risk environment and its joint venture with Ryder Architecture which established BIM Academy in 2010 to deliver support to industry in BIM adoption through consultancy, research, education and training. For architects, the advent of BIM into the mainstream around 2009 offered the seductive prospect of regaining leadership of the design process which was often considered lost and much lamented for years. But with a few exceptions, this has failed to materialise and the canny project manager has filled the void as they did in the 1980’s and 90’s. We now have the role of BIM project manager usurping many of the leadership tasks which could rightfully sit with the architect as lead consultant if there was the will to do so. Looking beyond this however, those who have benefited are not defined by their sector or discipline but more through attitude, agility and progressive thinking – property owners and managers, manufacturers, suppliers, designers, contractors, SMEs and multinationals have all seen tactical benefits of BIM once they have taken the initiative. The greatest prize which is only now being grasped is the opportunity for owners to harvest reliable information about their assets which

can flow from a well-managed and resourced BIM project. Worryingly, many owners are still ignorant of the potential benefits or have placed BIM in the ‘too difficult’ pile, although BIM Academy has been fortunate enough to have supported several visionary clients in the UK and overseas with BIM for facilities management initiatives in both the public and private sector. Indeed, originating from the government initiatives, the UK is now seen as the world leader in digital construction and property initiatives, with consequent benefits to our businesses and educational bodies working in this sector. Where we have moved too slowly as an industry is in a collective collaborative approach applying these smart technologies and management processes to realise substantial tangible benefits – but the momentum is building and there’s no turning back. There has been a major challenge for industry in education and in many cases basic awareness training is all that is needed to break the paralysis often encountered by an organisation when a disruptive change to working practice is approaching. Often a series of awareness workshops and development of a focussed business case by an independent source is all that is needed to kick-start businesses to develop skills on its own terms and chose what is right for its needs, often at relatively low cost and risk. This is a role which several universities have begun to play and BIM Academy has pioneered work in this field, helping companies ranging from SME regional contractors, consultants and manufacturers to multinational contractors and owner operators navigate a pragmatic course through the transition. To support this, in 2012 we developed a unique multidisciplinary course ‘Virtual Project’ based on our award-winning Build Live successes which mentors the uninitiated through BIM processes and technologies through a project lifecycle in a collaborative and low risk environment. The feedback has been excellent and has been the catalyst many companies need to adopt BIM on their own terms. So in summary, whilst the government’s continuing impetus towards Digital Built Britain is laudable and necessary to set the bar for 2020 and beyond, as an industry we shouldn’t be distracted from resolving the real challenges faced by getting everyone on the same page and delivering real value from the Level 2 process, rather than just to be seen to be ticking the box. There are many sources of independent and impartial advice out there for those seeking support. q • For more information contact Peter Barker via email at


BIM and the role of higher education By SEPEHR ABRISHAMI, MSc & PgC (DL) BIM Course Leader at University of Portsmouth

[WITH ACCELERATING GLOBAL challenges and opportunities,

the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry faces ever more challenges to become more efficient and integrated. At the forefront of the response to such challenges, is the increasing use of Building Information Management & Modelling (BIM). Construction projects are increasingly becoming more complex, often engaging new business processes and technological solutions in line with a project’s requirements. Moreover, it is advocated that the AEC sector in particular is likely to require a myriad of increasingly advanced technologies in order to cope with future projects. Furthermore, global competition and the transdisciplinary nature of evolving AEC activities makes it progressively important to educate new AEC professionals with appropriate skill sets. These skills include the ability to use new methods of construction in order to deliver novel design solutions and construction processes. The UK Government has mandated Level 2 BIM for its construction projects by 2016. To address this need, the industry requires broadly educated professionals who can lead these digital developments and face the challenges of the future. The


Government, in collaboration with the industry, has already committed to the Level 2 BIM programme by 2016. It has invested £220M in the development of a high performance computing programme and over £650M in the delivery of transformational high speed broadband across the UK which has now been delivered. According to Cabinet Office figures, these have resulted in significant construction cost savings of £840M in 2013/14. Despite the recent innovations in BIM and Lean Construction and its burgeoning implementation in the field of practice, the academic sector as a whole has not yet fully acknowledged the importance of investing in BIM education, nor embraced it as an enabler. In addition, the need for investing in BIM education has been intensified by the UK’s recent impetus in adopting BIM across centrally procured public construction projects, as well as forthcoming milestones, which makes the UK one of the leading nations in the exploitation of BIM. This provides an opportunity for UK universities to align their pedagogical strategies with those of the Government. q

Planning wasn’t just academic for Bouygues UK at Norbury Manor Primary School [ WHEN COLIN SANDERS of Bouygues

UK submitted his application to the Construction Manager of the Year Awards in the New Build and Refurbishment category (his first project leadership role) he knew he would be judged against some of the best in the industry. Colin was awarded the Gold Medal in his category for his planning excellence, commitment to building great relationships with local stakeholders and commitment to social responsibility.

Term-time rules The new build and refurbishment of Norbury Manor Primary School for the London Borough of Croydon was a short duration build but had significant targets and tough challenges to meet. The 1.83 million contract would deliver a five-classroom extension along with a new extension and roof to the rear of the school and involve significant refurbishment. The milestones of the 29-week build were set around the dates of the school year. With a completion deadline for the work determined by the prospect of children suddenly flooding onto site, there was no room for error or delay.

I used Asta Powerproject to create drop lines and enable me to look ahead at the programme with our subcontractors.

Strict with trades Keeping subcontractors and trades on track was critical. As Colin said: “I used Asta Powerproject BIM to create drop lines and enable me to look ahead at the programme with our subcontractors. I could easily print off the programme and sit down with them to discuss where we were, what we needed to achieve and by when.”

Learning to communicate

Colin was in charge of maintaining relationships and reporting transparency with all stakeholders: “Each month we held a client stakeholder meeting which included progress on site. Using Asta I would run off a dropdown for the week and use this to discuss

About Bouygues UK [ BOUYGUES UK has been operating in the UK since 1997, during which time it

has developed and grown its business organically. This, along with the company’s acquisitions of Denne Construction, Leadbitter, Thomas Vale and Warings – and the creation of its specialist business, Bouygues Development – has helped it to become one of the biggest players in the UK construction industry. Operating on around 110 sites at any one given time, from Birmingham to Brighton and Southampton to Swansea, Bouygues UK’s annual turnover is in excess of £860m. The company has a workforce of around 1,800 people to help deliver its projects, providing vital homes, infrastructure and regeneration for people living in communities across the UK. q

where we were and what we were doing to mitigate any possible delays.”

No school holiday for the crew The location was challenging - site access was shared not only with local residents but an elderly care home situated immediately next to the school. Colin had to carefully schedule deliveries via a route that was used not only for canteen deliveries but that also formed part of the care home’s emergency exit route.

Final report card Asta Powerproject was used in some smart ways. Colin recounted: “I became concerned about the amount of refurb work that would need to be completed during the final six weeks. Using Asta I broke it all down into much greater depth, and reached the conclusion that we needed to reduce the scope of refurb work. The client also needed savings and so I was able to suggest areas of the refurbishment to reduce.” Of course, Asta Powerproject wasn’t the only key to success – as the awards judges noted, this was largely down to Colin’s organisational and social skills. No software programme could have conceived the role that a donated Bingo machine could play in maintaining excellent relations with a nearby elderly care home. However, this powerful planning tool enabled this strong organiser to stay on top of the challenges. Colin concurred: “It was very easy to use for resequencing and reporting. I found it very useful and will definitely be using it going forward.” q • To see what’s new in the latest version of Asta Powerproject BIM call 01844 261700 or visit the website at


A tender subject The Concrete Repair Association explains the importance of preparing an accurate Bill of Quantities as part of the tendering process for any concrete repair project.


the tendering process is based on a Bill of Quantities which enables contractors to produce an accurate estimate of the costs. It aims to provide a fair and accurate system for tendering, allowing each contractor to state their price for each item of work and enabling tenders to be compared on a like-for-like basis. However, when it comes to concrete repair projects, there has been a tendency for Bills of Quantities, particularly for smaller jobs, to be presented only in generic terms, meaning that specialist concrete repair contractors are required to prepare their quotes based on incomplete information. It is recognised that quantifying the expected cost of repairs can be problematic, since the actual size and quantity of repairs may only be reasonably accurately determined after the structure has been cleaned and surveyed. To assist with the origination of clearer Bills of Quantities for concrete repair the Concrete Repair Association (CRA), a member of the Structural Concrete Alliance, has released a new edition of its Standard Method of

Measurement for Concrete Repair. The document provides a uniform basis for measuring concrete repairs and for fully itemising all aspects of the work involved. The document, now in its third edition, has been fully revised to reflect new and current methods, practices and standards. It provides notes on repair measurement, explaining that the repair area must be defined and outlined with regard to the method to be used and the area to be treated. It also provides detailed instructions for quantifying all aspects of a repair project, along with a specimen Bill of Quantities. The framework includes advice on items to consider when putting together a quotation. It recommends that a Bill of Quantities should fully describe and accurately represent the quantity and quality of the works to be carried out, with work which cannot be accurately measured given as a provisional sum, or detailed in a bill of approximate quantities.

Detailed advice The document provides detailed advice on how the costs can be quantified for all aspects of concrete repair including: surface cleaning; surveys; repairs; crack repairs; pore/blow hole fillers; levelling mortars/ fairing coats; surface coatings and treatments; and resin injection. In an attempt to overcome some of the difficulties due to the frequent need for remeasurement of the repairs as the project progresses, the Standard Method of Measurement itemises time related elements such as provision of access, site facilities, weather protection, propping and hoisting. These can then be adjusted as necessary if the quantity of work should differ substantially from that originally estimated. In addition it details items related to testing that should be included, such as equipment and time required for carrying out trial sample panels and repairs, including taking test cubes, pull-off tests and any similar tests required to the samples. The document recommends that sizes should be stated for any cores to be taken and that the frequency of any testing be detailed as well as time allowed for presenting the results and making good the tested area. By ensuring the Bill of Quantities is prepared by a specifier experienced in concrete repair and in line with the CRA Standard Method of Measurement, a more cost-effective tender price will be achieved for the client and a level playing field created for contractors taking part in the tender process. Being one of the CRA’s most popular technical documents, the Standard Method of Measurement has proved of enormous benefit to construction professionals since the first edition was published in 1990. The third edition is available for free download from the CRA website at The Structural Concrete Alliance brings together the Corrosion Prevention Association (CPA), Concrete Repair Association (CRA) and Sprayed Concrete Association (SCA) to provide authoritative guidance on the repair, refurbishment and renovation of concrete; cathodic protection of steel and concrete structures; and sprayed concrete technology and application techniques. q • For further information on guidance documents and training available from the Structural Concrete Alliance, and for details of its free regional CPD seminar programme, visit


Health surveillance now a mandatory requirement for NFDC membership [

FROM MARCH 2016 the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC) has introduced a requirement for health surveillance as part of its Site Audit Scheme. This is now a mandatory requirement for all members. NFDC members must be able to demonstrate at the time of the audit a Letter of Appointment or Service Agreement with a healthcare provider outlining, as a minimum requirement, assessments for general wellbeing and lung functioning as well as screening for audiometry, vision and hand-arm vibration syndrome. It must also include occupational dermatological surveillance and a musculoskeletal review. According to a statement from the NFDC: “The requirement for health surveillance within our industry is both legislative and best practice. The implementation of mandatory occupational health will bring countless benefits, promoting a healthier and safer industry to work within. It will ensure compliance with health and safety regulations and will demonstrate good practice among members. “Every employer has the duty to assess risks to health and safety. In an industry where safety is paramount, health assessments are often inadvertently overlooked.” As the federation points out, there are legal duties to provide health surveillance under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. In addition, there are requirements for specific health surveillance under various regulations which include the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002 and Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005.

In addition, employers are already obliged to undertake medical surveillance under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, which has been a legal duty for many years. More recently, with the introduction in April last year of a requirement for medical surveillance to extend for all operatives carrying out Notifiable Non-Licenced Works (NNLW), all NFDC members should now have in place full and completed NNLW medicals for all employees working within NNLW conditions. The statement continued: “Organisations have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act (1974) to ensure a safe system of work. It is implicit in this duty that the medical fitness of employees is a component of such a safe system of work. As the demolition industry is considered to be a ‘safety critical’ working environment, the implementation of health surveillance provides a means to satisfy ‘Fitness for Work’ certification for safety critical work.” q

World expo heads west for 2016

Recovery work begins following Didcot tragedy [

ON THE WEEKEND of 19-20 March work began on the sad task of retrieving the three men missing in the ruins of the boiler house at Didcot A Power Station, following the catastrophic collapse in February. In a joint statement issued on 16 March, the HSE and Thames Valley Police, who are investigating the incident, said equipment for the recovery had started to arrive on site that day with the intention of starting the work during the weekend. The statement read: “Our priority remains the recovery of the missing men so they can be returned to their families and to understand what caused this incident. “Specialist officers from Thames Valley Police continue to support the families and are providing them with regular updates on the progress of this work.” Demolition workers Ken Cresswell and John Shaw, both from Rotherham, and Chris Huxtable from Swansea, remain missing following the collapse. The disaster killed another man, Mick Collings, and injured five others. The National Federation of Demolition Contractors quoted the contractor as posting on its Facebook page: “We have been working relentlessly with site owners RWE and independent experts to ensure the recovery operation can begin safely and are relieved that we are now in a position where work can get underway. “The start of the recovery operation is an important milestone in a process to re-unite our missing colleagues with their families.” q


ONE OF THE major annual international events for the demolition industry, the World Demolition Summit, will be vacating its home in Amsterdam and heading west to Florida this year to reinforce its status as a truly international event. It takes place at the Miami Marriot in Biscayne Bay from 13-15 October. Organisers KHL Group and Demolition & Recycling International are working in co-operation with the US-based National Demolition Association (NDA) to create another notable show, again combining the networking and educational benefits of a high-quality conference and a gala awards dinner. The NDA will be holding its Autumn Board Meeting the day after the summit, helping ensure a large number of delegates. The European Demolition Association remains a supporting association for the event and will revert to being KHL’s main association partner when the Summit returns to Europe in 2017. The event comprises two main component parts: the World Demolition Conference and the World Demolition Awards. The former is a highlevel technical conference with presentations covering some of the most challenging recent demolition projects carried out around the world. The awards are open to all contractors, recognising excellence and best practice, as determined by an international judging panel of leading industry experts. q



Bridging the


Although construction and demolition are allied industries, they are also markedly different. So when the two are required to work side-by-side, a guiding hand might be required to help smooth the path. That is where C&D Consultancy comes in.

[WE LIVE ON an island, an island that is

virtually full. So, in the majority of cases, the construction of any new building generally requires the demolition of an older one. Yet while construction and demolition both belong to the same ‘hard hat, high vis’ fraternity, there is very little mutual understanding of the challenges that each face or the processes they employ. Indeed, the relationship between the two is often fractious. However, having recognised that increasingly tight construction schedules will require the two to work side-by-side, an increasing number of UK construction firms are calling upon the advice of companies like Wolverhampton-based C&D Consultancy to help smooth the transition between deconstruction of the old and construction of the new.

Working for all stakeholders Founded in 2003, C&D Consultancy is owned and operated by former Institute of Demolition Engineers’ president John Woodward who had previously been employed by Loxley Dismantling. In the 11 years since, C&D has grown to become one of the UK’s leading providers of demolition consultancy. Woodward has been the author of many of the guidance notes by which the demolition industry navigates its way through ever more complex demolition contracts. He has also devised, written and delivered a multitude of new demolition training courses.

Some of the biggest and most spectacular explosive demolition contracts of the past few years – including Richborough Power Station, Sighthill, Glasgow Phases 1 & 2 and Riverford Road, Glasgow – have seen members of the C&D team involved in the planning. The company is also actively involved in the demolition of the remaining tower blocks at Glasgow’s Red Road as part of the Safedem/GHA team. “A lot of our work involves ensuring that the specific needs of all stakeholders are being met at every stage of the demolition process,” says John Woodward. “This generally means the needs of the client, the needs of the demolition contractor and the needs of local people and businesses as well as those of highways agencies, railway companies and utilities providers. But as construction timelines have been compressed, particularly in the house building sector, the specific needs of the construction company are also now taken into consideration. In the past, those needs were quite simply for the demolition contractor to leave a site flat and construction-ready. But not any longer.” According to Woodward, demolition and construction companies are increasingly working side-by-side to ensure that strictly enforced deadlines are met. “It is not unusual for demolition to be taking place in one area of a site while piling is taking place in another,” he said. “Also, with secondary materials being used to an ever greater degree, the demolition company is now viewed as much as a materials supplier as

they are a specialist contractor. The demolition and construction landscape has changed and it is vital that both industries fully understand each other.”

Never the twain shall meet Woodward reports that a key area of contention arises when a construction company is acting as main contractor and makes unrealistic, unachievable or even unsafe demands upon a demolition sub-contractor. “Most construction companies are totally unaware of demolition processes and procedures so it is not unusual for them to insist on something that goes against demolition best practice,” Woodward explains. Against this background, an increasing number of construction companies and major house builders, such as Berkeley Homes, are appointing Woodward and C&D Consultancy to gain a greater insight into the demolition process. Woodward continued: “In the past, it was often a case of ‘never the twain shall meet’, but increasingly, construction companies are looking to learn more about the demolition process to identify efficiencies, potential pinch-points and to help deliver safe, commercially secure, efficient, environmental and best value outcomes for their clients. And that is where we come in.” q • For more information please visit the websites and


Good or bad news? Both can have a significant impact on cashflow Regional director of Ultimate Construction Finance, EUAN BELL, suggests companies should turn outstanding billings in to cash rather than waiting months for them to be paid.

[ WHICH DO YOU want first, the good news or the bad news?

Well the bad news, as you may know, is that according to data from the Office of National Statistics, UK construction output took everyone by surprise by falling 0.2% in January, compared to December, when analysts were predicting a rise of 0.3%. Further statistics, from the Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index, indicated that growth in Britain’s construction industry unexpectedly dipped to a 10-month low in February. It also revealed that optimism among construction companies regarding business activity for the year ahead fell to its lowest level since December 2014. But fear not…now for the good news! George Osborne announced mid-March that the Government is to accelerate spending by pumping billions into the construction of new roads, railways and housing so the economy doesn’t stagnate. He lists loads of exciting projects across the UK, with quite a bit of emphasis on creating his much talked about Northern Powerhouse. Whether you’re a ‘glass half full’ or ‘half empty’ type will dictate whether you are concerned about the slow down or excited by

George’s news. Either way both will probably have an impact on cashflow. For those that have plenty of work on, the slowdown may have little effect on the volume of business in the short term. However many of those companies may be subcontracting for the bigger firms who are most likely to be the first to feel the pinch. If they do, it will inevitably lead to them hanging on to their cash a bit longer, leading to a domino effect all the way down the line with the squeeze getting greater and greater, depending on your position in the ‘pecking order’. It doesn’t make those smaller companies any less successful, it just means it’s taking longer to be paid for the work they have been asked to do. This is compounded by the fact that SMEs in the construction industry are second only to the manufacturing sector in having the most unpaid outstanding billing, according to research by the Asset Based Finance Association. Furthermore, when it comes to payment times, construction companies are treated the worst, having to wait an average of 107 days before their billing is settled. Put these factors together and it results in an ever-increasing strain on cashflow. One solution is to go to the bank to arrange or increase your overdraft limit – ‘blood and stone’ come to mind. Another is to make the most of your assets, and by that we mean your outstanding billing, whether it is ‘Uncertified Applications for Payment’ or invoices. By arranging an invoice finance facility these ‘assets’ can be turned into cash the next day. If you have earned it, why should you have to wait an average of 107 days to get paid? This will ensure problems being experienced ‘up the line’ will have less impact on you. On the other hand, experience tells us that the extra work planned for the sector by the Chancellor could also put a strain on cashflow. We have worked with many companies that have been asked to tender for a large project who have seriously considered turning it down because they could not afford to take it on. That’s because they would have to recruit extra staff and purchase the materials to carry out the contract. With cashflow already tight it looked like a non-starter. At Ultimate Finance we believe that successful companies winning new contracts should not be held back because they are being made to wait three months or more to be paid for a job they have completed successfully. By using an invoice finance facility the outstanding billing can be turned into cash almost as soon as they are issued which means they can tender for the contracts and not worry about the consequences if they win them. If you haven’t already done so, it would be worthwhile reviewing your working capital position and calculating the potential value to be released in outstanding billing. Then just think about how the company could benefit, and grow, if they were all paid now. q • Ultimate Finance has offices across the UK – for further information visit


N East adopts new approach to highways financing [

THE North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO) – in partnership with the North East Highways Alliance – has entered into a four-year framework agreement for highways maintenance with 13 successful contractors. The move signals a new more collaborative approach to financing highways construction. The collaborative agreement, which was led on behalf of NEPO by Darlington Borough Council, covers 16 specialist lots ranging from standard carriageway resurfacing to road markings. NEPO works in partnership with local authorities in the Nort East to deliver a programme of strategic procurement in order to maximise savings, identify efficiencies and promote best practice. The new highways framework agreement, with an estimated annual spend value of £24m across the region, will aim to implement all the local authorities’ annual planned maintenance to principal, non-principal and unclassified road networks. A pipeline of works has been forecast from the local authorities’ programmes, with both direct awards and further competitions emerging in various package sizes. It is envisaged that the more joined-up

Small businesses need proactive accountancy services [ ARE YOU LOOKING for an accountant that is interested in you

and in developing your business? Small businesses need an accountant that will do all those boring time-consuming administration tasks, ensuring you remain fully compliant whilst you apply your skills to developing the business. Imagine your own accounts department with all the expertise of a large company department available at a fraction of the cost. Based in Chester, Foremans LLP are offering a new exciting way for the self employed to access accounting, tax and administration expertise. According to accounts advisor Jennifer Hobdell: “Unlike traditional accountants who offer once-a-year services, our aim is to understand a client’s daily business operations in order to provide proactive advice and help when it is needed, not just when they ask. “Whilst financial and tax considerations are important, we are aware that each individual has their own aims and purposes for going it alone. So whether it’s a better work life balance, a planned early retirement or simply someone wanting to try being their own boss we can help find the best business structure. “A client can decide, with our advice and help, whether to trade as a sole trader or through a limited company. We can then ensure that the business is correctly established with all the relevant HMRC registrations, CIS administration, insurances and bank accounts. Foremans specialise in providing a bespoke service for individuals looking at the best way to work for themselves. “With fixed fees, a dedicated advisor for each client and easyto-understand services we aim to minimise the hassle of running a business and to help our clients get a trading advantage.” q • To try the new type of accountancy services offered by Foremans call 01244 625500, email or visit the website at

approach will drive benefits and efficiencies throughout the period of the framework. The contract will be under the NEC3 Form of Contract and specific key performance indicators have been developed to deliver and monitor social value in key areas such as employment and skills. q

New site helps construction SMEs find finance [ THE MAJORITY OF SMEs still fail to take advantage of the

wide variety of funding choices available to them because it is too time consuming to research and apply to multiple providers. That was the message delivered at the launch of Capitalise – a new online marketplace that uses behavioural analytics to intelligently match lenders with SMEs seeking finance, particularly in the construction industry. Paul Surtees, former executive director at Goldman Sachs, is its managing director and co-founder. He said: “The rise in alternative lenders is beginning to ease the significant constriction in small business lending, but there is a lot more to do. “Many SMEs only contact the largest banks when seeking finance, with the vast majority only approaching a single lender. Capitalise creates greater opportunities for independent, alternative and traditional lenders to reach small businesses with lending solutions that will fuel growth and ultimately, economic benefit.” q

Beware the VATman, developers urged [ TAX AND AUDIT consultancy RSM has issued a warning to

property developers and construction businesses to be extra vigilant with architectural plans and planning applications when carrying out construction and conversion work or they could face a hefty VAT bill. Two recent tax tribunal VAT decisions have highlighted the confusion currently faced by property developers and construction businesses on the VAT treatment of building new buildings or converting existing ones. The first case concerned the demolition of a property and construction of a new house on the same site. The bay window from the old house was retained and, as this hadn't been a requirement of planning permission, the Upper Tax Tribunal determined that the existing building hadn’t been entirely demolished, so the new house did not qualify for zero-rated VAT. The second case involved the sale of two properties following their conversion from a pub and manager accommodation. The Tribunal determined that, despite earlier rulings to the contrary, the case did, in fact, qualify for a VAT zero-rated sale. Ian Carpenter, RSM's head of VAT, said: “VAT on property transactions is complex and mistakes can be costly, and so homebuilders need to be on their toes to ensure they don't get caught out by an unexpected VAT bill. “These two cases demonstrate how complicated this area is, and hopefully HMRC will now take the opportunity to clarify its position around these issues and prevent any further costly mistakes for homebuilders in the future.” q



This heavyweight is light on the pocket – and on the balance sheet [A MAJOR PLAYER in the commercial vehicle market in Europe with a

very wide range, Peugeot continued the renewal of its model offer last year with its new Boxer panel van. Tested over more than two million miles and proven under extreme conditions, the quality, robustness and durability of the new Peugeot Boxer is expressed through a resolutely modern design in the marque’s style. Low running costs, including best fuel economy in the market, as well as competitive service contracts, ensure peace of mind in use. The wide range of bodies and load capacities – equal to the best in segment – and standard equipment designed for business users, make everyday life and driving simple on board. Much more than a means of transport, the Boxer forms a key element in the efficiency of a business. Peugeot has a long history of vans, starting in 1950, and has produced more than 1.8 million of the vehicles. Said Philippe Pelletier, Peugeot’s quality director: “Reliability and durability are naturally key factors in the purchase of a commercial vehicle, as they enhance the product’s function, performance and resale value in particular. We are committed to an in-depth approach to quality in use and durability, so as to be at the level better than our competitors. These are essential levers in the brand’s move up-market and the new Peugeot Boxer is a strong demonstration of this.” The specification for the new Peugeot Boxer includes a quality imperative expressed at all levels – design, build quality, reliability, noise suppression and durability.

Of particular interest to users in the construction industry is the range of bodies available to suit many trades. They include: • Seven-seat crew cab • Flat bed, with single three-seat or double seven-seat cab • Tippers and dropsides with GVW of 335 Base vehicles are also available for conversions on single and double chassis cabs, floor cabs, bare chassis and ‘back-to-back’ versions. q

Boxer takes up tennis with Judy Murray

They’re dedicated to keeping your business on the road [

THE LARGEST Peugeot dealership group in the United Kingdom is Robins & Day, with 21 business centres nationwide. It is also, unsurprisingly, the number one choice for both fleet and business buyers. The company extends its high level of exemplary service to all its business customers – whether it is throughout the sales process or during aftercare, or in servicing a single vehicle or a whole fleet. Business users can be sure that they are the number one priority. And Robins & Day don’t expect people to just take their word for it, either – in a 2015 Peugeot customer survey more than 98% of customers recommended them for sales and 91% for aftersales. As the company itself says: “Here at Robins & Day we understand that, as a business, your vehicles are your lifeline, which is why we work hard to offer a local ‘one stop shop’ for all of your Peugeot requirements. “However large or small the company, we’re here to ensure that your business and fleet needs are met quickly and effectively.” That is achieved through the Robins & Day centralised booking centre, a flexible solution aimed at allowing all requirements to be dealt with in just one call. q


PEUGEOT UK HAS provided Judy Murray’s Tennis on the Road programme with a Boxer van, designed to help grow the game of tennis. The van will be the visual backdrop for the activity while also carrying the promotional equipment for the Tennis on the Road programme – which is now supported by the Lawn Tennis Association – as it visits schools and tennis clubs around Scotland. Said Judy Murray: “Tennis on the Road is about inspiring and supporting parents, teachers, volunteers and coaches to increase participation and grow the game in their local areas using whatever space they have. You don’t need a tennis court to get kids started! Our new van from Peugeot is perfect for carrying our equipment and our team, and is a great way to show that tennis really is on the road!” Andrew Didlick, Peugeot UK’s director of brand partnerships (pictured with Judy Murray handing over the Boxer), commented: “As a brand with a very rich history, a broad product range and competitively well-specified vehicles, Peugeot is keen to play a key role in the growing appeal of tennis. Our support for the sport comes with a co-ordinated approach: our brand ambassadors are Novak Djokovic and Jamie Murray, and we support the LTA and ATP with their official car. The presence of the Peugeot Boxer van gives the Tennis on the Road programme operational support and a backdrop to its endeavours while on tour.” q



Continuous evolution is the watchword at Volkswagen [LAST AUTUMN SAW the UK debuts of the latest incarnations of Volkswagen’s Caddy and

Transporter models. Launched at Van Centres across the country on 7 September, both models contained significant design and technology enhancements, including upgraded engines, further improved safety features and increased levels of comfort.

New Caddy Providing excellent value for money, the fourth-generation of the Caddy panel van is available in three trim levels – Startline, Trendline and Highline – and with short or maxi wheelbases. Featuring new state-of-the-art technology and a raft of comfort, convenience and safety innovations, the new generation Caddy now has Volkswagen’s advanced Euro 6 engine across the model range and is set to continue the success of the previous model. The Caddy remains the second best-selling model in the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles range and is supplied with an impressive array of standard equipment. These include electric windows and heated and electrically adjustable wing mirrors, a five-inch touchscreen Composition Colour radio system with DAB+ and Bluetooth capability. The Caddy sets a new benchmark in its class for its array of safety and convenience systems, which include driver and front passenger front, side and curtain airbags, a new automatic postcollision braking system and a seatbelt reminder. Owners can also opt for park assist and a rear-view camera, which help to reduce damage to vehicles when parking, as well as high beam assist and driver alert systems to enhance safety. The Euro 6 engine comes in a number of variants: the 2.0 TDI 75PS, 2.0 TDI 102PS and 2.0 TDI 150PS are available on all trim levels of the standard panel van and Maxi versions, with the 2.0 TDI 102PS and 2.0 TDI 150PS available on the Maxi kombi, twin-cab model. In addition, while all variants feature Volkswagen’s signature BlueMotion Technology (start/stop system and battery regeneration) to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, a standalone BlueMotion variant is also available on the standard panel van models. Featuring the Euro 6 2.0-litre TDI 102PS engine and five-speed manual gearbox, it can return 65.7 mpg and CO2 emissions of 114 g/km.

The new Caddy from Volkswagen

New Transporter Raising standards again, the sixth-generation Transporter sets the benchmark for quality, practicality and low running costs. The latest version launched with the widest range of engine, transmission and trim level options ever offered by Volkswagen. It also introduces a host of new design and engineering features, along with new assistance, safety, convenience and comfort systems. Featuring cleaner, more efficient engines, the Transporter is available with a range of four 2.0-litre TDI Euro5 engines with outputs of 84 PS, 102 PS, 140 PS and 180 PS (Highline only) and a 2.0-litre TDI Euro 6 unit that develops 102 PS. All models benefit from Volkswagen’s acclaimed BlueMotion Technology modifications as standard. They include low rolling resistance tyres, regenerative braking and start/stop systems to reduce fuel consumption, meaning the new Transporter is cleaner and more efficient than the previous model. In keeping with Transporter tradition, the new T6 model offers a range of body options and gross vehicle weights to suit the needs of all operators and drivers. In addition to three roof height options – standard (1,410 mm), medium (1,635 mm) and high (1,940 mm) – the new Transporter is available with four gross vehicle weights (ranging from 2,600 kg to 3,200 kg) along with short and long wheelbase options. In addition to BlueMotion Technology, the latest incarnation of the Transporter boasts a host of new standard features, including DAB+ digital radio, 5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone connectivity and USB connection. Standard equipment also includes Volkswagen’s acclaimed automatic postcollision braking system, which automatically applies the brakes after a collision, reducing the risk or severity of a secondary impact. In February the company added a further set of options with the launch of its latest evolution of the iconic Transporter Chassis Cab. Offering a versatile blank canvas for businesses who wish to create a load space to suit their specific needs, it is also available to order with a drop-side body directly from the factory. The latest Transporter Chassis Cab range has been developed to complement the range of Volkswagen Crafter chassis and drop-side derivatives that are available through Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ ‘Engineered to Go’ programme. Available in either single cab or double cab variants, the new Transporter Chassis Cab can carry up to six passengers in double cab form and offers a payload capacity of up to 1,339 kg in single cab specification. The factory specification drop-side bodies offer versatile load space of either 5.2 m2 in single cab form or 4.2 m2 in double cab arrangement. q The new Transporter from Volkswagen

• Full details of all of the new models are available from–




Training initiative will address housebuilding skills crisis [

OVER 45,000 NEW workers in the homebuilding industry will be trained by 2019 as the result of a £2.7m initiative announced by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Home Builders Federation (HBF). The first of its kind, the Home Building Skills Partnership will bring together firms of all sizes to ensure that the industry has the skills it needs to build more homes. It will include initiatives to promote collaboration on skills across the supply chain, so that the industry can better plan for its future needs. The partnership will support over 3,500 construction businesses and train 45,000 new entrants and 1,000 experienced workers with the new homebuilding training qualifications. This new partnership will use industry insight to understand skills needs and develop new training and qualifications suited to the modern homebuilding sector. It will aim to create long-term skills solutions to meet the government’s target of one million new homes by 2020. It will be overseen by a board chaired by Redrow CEO John Tutte and include a range of senior industry representatives plus CITB. The initiative was launched at HBF’s Policy Conference on 22 March, which was addressed by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis. Speaking of the new training initiative, Mr Lewis said: “The number of new homes is up 25% in the last year because the country is building again and delivering the homes the nation wants. That’s why the Home Building Skills Partnership is an important initiative and will help deliver the training of skilled workers we need to get the job done and to improve quality across the industry. “Construction offers an exciting and rewarding career and we need to build a new generation of home grown talented, ambitious and highly skilled construction workers.” Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of HBF, commented: “The industry has delivered huge increases in supply over the past couple of years. To enable us to continue increasing output, such that we can deliver the highquality new homes the country needs, it is absolutely crucial we build up industry capacity. To allow us to do so it is essential we have a clear focus on delivering the training the industry needs. The partnership will enable us to develop targeted training that meets the specific needs of our industry in a structured way so we can grow steadily and sustainably.” Steve Radley, policy director at CITB, added: “Homebuilding faces major skills challenges and we will only meet them through new ways of working. Homebuilders have said they want


Housing Minister Brandon Lewis to work with CITB to anticipate their skill needs, to get closer to their supply chains and to ensure training provision and qualifications meet their needs. “The Home Building Skills Partnership will

deliver the infrastructure, the tools and the funding to meet the industry’s skill needs. We look forward to playing an active role in the partnership to create the skilled workforce that homebuilding needs.” q

MP visits brownfield housing site [THE BENEFITS OF building on brownfield

sites – in particular former office blocks in town and city centres – was demonstrated when the MP for Harrow West, Gareth Thomas, visited the site of two derelict 1960s office buildings on the edge of Harrow Town Centre that Redrow London, is transforming into Lyon Square: a new development of 309 new homes plus commercial space. The site visit was organised by NHBC to highlight its risk management processes and to show the MP a prime example of new and affordable homes being built on a former disused site. The offices were previously derelict for a number of years and were an eyesore. Commenting on the visit, Gareth Thomas said: “Over the last few years I have seen a huge increase in the number of families coming to my advice surgery struggling to find suitable housing. Many of them now find themselves priced out of the area they grew up in, so it was good to see vital new housing units being built in Harrow.” Mehban Chowdrey, NHBC’s regional director for London, commented: “NHBC has worked to raise standards in house-building, and we are delighted to be able to show Gareth Thomas firsthand how we are helping builders construct high-quality new homes of all types in Harrow West and across London.” Tina Dedman is Redrow London’s divisional sales and marketing director. She commented: “The site at Lyon Road offers a rare opportunity to deliver new homes on an underutilised brown belt site in a sustainable location within walking distance of Harrow Town Centre and Harrow on the Hill underground and rail station. The site's redevelopment will support existing regeneration activities in the town centre and will make a valuable contribution towards meeting housing needs in the area.” q

Dream homes replace sporting dreams

The four-bedroom Crofton at Cunningham Grange and the three-bedroom Patterdale at Delph Green

[WHEN WORLD-FAMOUS rugby league club St Helens made the

move from their historic Knowsley Road ground to a modern stadium across town at Langtree Park, the site became a ‘field of dreams’ for local families looking for a brand new Taylor Wimpey home. The homes form the Cunningham Grange development – named after club hero Keiron Cunningham, who famously scored the final ever try at the prestigious ground. The development features one and two-bedroom apartments and three and four-bedroom houses suitable for first-time buyers and families alike. Those lucky enough to secure a home on the development included one young mother who was more than a little familiar with the venue. Said Clare Williams: “The development holds special memories for me as I used to go to so many rugby games with my family way back when it used to be the old ground. If you’d said to me that one day I’d be living on where I’ve watched too many scrums, tries and tackles to count, I wouldn’t have believed you! It’s all been possible down to great advice and the Easymover scheme.” Clare was equally enthusiastic about the facilities and the design of their home. “I’ve lived in St Helens all my life and know it’s a great place to raise kids. I wanted a house that was going to be suitable for my growing family, while close to the boys’ school and our friends and family. Cunningham Grange ticked all our boxes – the homes were lovely and spacious, with plenty of room for my sons Ryan and Charlie to play. “Our home is perfect – I can’t wait to start making new memories in a place that holds so many old ones for me already!”

Cunningham Grange is now complete, but for those looking for a collection of more substantial properties in a rural location, Taylor Wimpey is offering the Delph Green development in Burscough, just a few miles away in West Lancashire. Delph Green features 16 four-bedroom detached properties in four styles, nine three-bedroom semi-detached homes in the Dadford style and a single Patterdale three-bedroom semi-detached, complemented by a row of five two-bedroom affordable homes. Located on the Leeds-Liverpool canal, Burscough is a popular location, with good transport links to both Liverpool and Manchester. q


Using young trees to enhance a development By MARK CHESTER of Cedarwood Tree Care


I HAVE WRITTEN previously about how, with careful management, the retention of trees within a development site can enhance it – but focusing on incorporating young trees is equally important. There can be the temptation to think of this as a minor issue of aesthetics, like the style of kitchen and bathroom. Experience suggests, however, that with care, young trees can enhance a development and provide the touch of class that enables it to stand out from the rest. There are those who see trees, whether established or newly planted, as a problem, something to be avoided. However, research by social scientists has demonstrated that their presence can enhance a development. For retail sites, trees improve the shopping experience and encourage customers to stay for longer and increase their purchases. Residential areas with more tree cover attract a premium in value and sell more quickly. Ill-considered tree selection and positioning will inevitably prove unsuccessful, either through the tree failing to establish itself or causing problems locally. For example, whereas the alder and ornamental pear can be ideal in a car park, where their height and shading are an asset, they are unlikely to be so popular close to a building, especially if they shade windows and limit light. Space is increasingly at a premium on development sites, and I find those involved in the planning process juggling to find room for all the essentials. It is easy, when faced with the choice of space for trees or for parking, to err towards the latter, especially when the local planning authority specifies the allocation. Technical developments over the past decade have opened up a planting opportunity previously unattainable, that of the subterranean environment. We can now install modules below ground which can accommodate the growing media that trees need to sustain them whilst also being strong enough to support vehicles as heavy as large goods vehicles. I was able to help one business use this approach last year. The business was seeking to transform waste ground formerly owned by the local authority into much needed car parking. This involved the felling of a small group of trees, most which were of little value. It was not possible to retain any of the trees, including half a dozen which were of value. The local planning authority insisted that each of the trees be replaced within the new scheme, even if this reduced the number of parking spaces. This requirement would have affected the viability of the site. However, through the careful positioning of selected trees, and use of the modules, I was able to demonstrate that the replacements could be incorporated. Trees contribute much to the urban landscape. They enhance


developments, soften the hard edges of the built environment and make new builds more appealing. They can provide focal points and enable a new development to fit in to the surrounding area. There are few places where they do not enhance, and now few positions where they cannot be planted. Planting trees can make all the difference and I encourage my clients to make the most of every opportunity. q









Free outdoor lighting for construction [NEW FROM BRIGHT SPARK SOLAR is

the Solar Sensor LED Light. This inexpensive solar-powered LED floodlight is robust and fully weatherproof and provides some powerful lighting using free solar energy for a host of applications – from driveways and yards to remote buildings, paths and entrances. This new generation of solar lighting provides more light for longer. The Solar Sensor LED Light has a crystalline solar panel which charges an integrated lithiumion battery in just 9 hours of bright sunlight, which in turns provides five nights of light from the low wattage LED floodlight. The floodlight uses 44 Superbright LEDs to provide no less than 1,000 lumens of powerful light. The lighting package has so many applications as there is no need for wiring, no need for digging trenches or laying potentially dangerous power cables and the electricity is free from the solar panel. It is also extremely easy to install with just two screws to secure the solar panel bracket and two screws to fit the floodlight to a wall. In a business setting it is perfect for car parks, outside offices, building sites, hotels and almost limitless commercial settings. It is also just the product for farms, barns and

agricultural buildings which are very often remote and off-grid with no mains electricity. The Solar Sensor LED Light is fitted with a sensitive PIR motion sensor which detects movement up to 5 metres away and in a 120° field. This triggers the floodlight to come on with 1,000 lumens, equivalent to a 120W light bulb, but returning to a lightsaving mode of 100 lumens when activity is no longer detected after 30 seconds. The Solar Sensor LED Light is literally ready to plug and play. The 3.5 metre cable provided allows the solar panel to be mounted some way from the LED floodlight into which it is plugged – it can be mounted in a bright unshaded position for maximum charging from daylight. Made from aluminium alloy with a toughened glass lens, the LED floodlight is fully weatherproof to IP65 and measures 24 x 12 x 9cms, with the solar panel measuring just 27 x 18 x 2cms. The Solar Sensor LED Light retails at £66 plus VAT. q • Further information is available from Bright Spark Solar on 01628 637111 or 07968 751574, by emailing richard@ or by visiting the website at

Access cover secures prestigious Kitemark

The SOLO SLIDE® recessed access cover is installed across the UK, including in Trafalgar Square, London


announced it can now offer its recessed SOLO SLIDE® range with the prestigious Kitemark and EN124 accreditation in A15 and B125 loading. This access cover is predominately used for entry to underground telecommunication networks. It is recessed and can be filled with a material to match or suit the surrounding area. The range is unique to the market being configurable up to spans of 1,000mm c/o and a maximum cover width of 400mm, with infinite lengths for duct runs.


The full option list includes: • A15 and B125 EN124 Load class • Configurable sizes • 70-150mm in tray depth to accept a wide • range of materials • Lockable • Mesh in Base (for epoxy resin mortar) • Unique identification The benefits over competitors are: • Unique availability in A15 load class • ensures savings when installing in a • pedestrian only environment

• • • • • • • • •

No need to stick to s standard clear opening or block depth, order to the exact size of existing opening and infill depth Security and safety issues resolved with locking option Filling guaranteed no movement when installed with resin mortar Identifying chamber without need for removing cover. q

• For more information please visit the website at, email or call 01952 581430.

CP Electronics launches smartphone apps for lighting controls [CP ELECTRONICS, a leader in the design and manufacture of energy

saving lighting controls, has announced the launch of its very first range of smartphone apps which will enable contractors and end users alike to control their lighting remotely. Suitable for infrared enabled mobile phones working on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and above, the UHS7 and UHS5 apps will replicate the functionality of their handset counterparts. Broadly, users will be able to raise and lower lighting levels, turn lights on and off and select scenes – all from a smartphone! Available from Google Play Store, the intuitive user interface also provides information around basic programming and installation of CP Electronics’ infrared enabled devices. Consistent with the company’s mission to deliver sustainable, energy-efficient lighting controls solutions to the market, the two new apps allow for the possibility of energy and cost savings by granting customers complete control over their lighting usage. While the UHS7 app will have exactly the same layout as the UHS7 handset, many of the multiple programming options available via the UHS5 handset have been streamlined, making them easier to use than ever before. Merlin Milner, director of new product development at CP Electronics, explained: “In creating these apps, we are responding to ever-growing demand for convenience and ease of use. By helping our customers to take complete ownership of their lighting controls, we are enabling them to save time, energy and money. There is an app for most things nowadays and we want to find new and innovative ways to stay ahead of the curve.” q • For further information please visit

New affordable fire alarms for construction sites [

THIS MONTH SEES the launch of two new site fire alarms from Bull Products, the specialists in safety and security for construction sites. The Bull Site Siren systems are designed as stand-alone temporary fire alarms on construction sites. The affordable alarms are fully self-contained and can be used separately as a stand-alone device, linked by cable or linked with a radio connection. The alarms have the benefit of an extremely robust ABS casing for maximum durability. They have a very high noise output of 115dB, more than adequate to be heard over the general noise on construction sites. No mains electricity is needed as the units operate from 9V PP3 batteries and they can be used for internal or external use with their IP65 rating. The alarms feature a flashing strobe as well as the siren. Where linking is required between the fire alarms, this couldn’t be more straight forward and is achieved simply by connecting cables, positive to positive and negative to negative, using the integral quick-release lead connectors. The radio link version of the system is a particularly popular alarm in the construction industry. With this alarm there are no cables to connect and installation simply requires a unique site coding configuration to enable the wireless connection. This avoids interference with neighbouring alarm systems or radio systems in general. The coding mechanism also means that the systems can be locked together so, when an alarm is activated, only the alarms that have been locked to the activated alarm will sound. The Bull Site Siren call points are compatible with Fire-Bull smoke and

heat detection devices and the system can have separate zones running a maximum of 12 alarms per zone. Bull Products provides full on-site installation service, maintenance and training on the Site Siren systems. q • For further information call Bull Products on 0844 669 1111, email or visit the website at



Construction National 1CHH (Spring 2016)  

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