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Special scaffolding protects HS2 archaeology project


Beneath a massive temporary roof, archaeologists are carrying out a large-scale investigation of an ancient cemetery under St James Gardens in Euston, next to the high-profile development of the new HS2 station. The protection of the teams involved in the work has been made possible thanks to the experience and expertise of long-established scaffolding specialists Palmers. The project has utilised every ounce of the company’s accumulated knowledge to produce a unique structure. Even the process of assembling the scaffold is innovative. Read the full story, together with some of the awe-inspiring statistics, on page 41

7 Constructive Comment





Post-Grenfell regulation changes do not go far enough, architects warn


Construction industry alarmed by immigration proposals


MSPs to look into the effect of Brexit in Scotland


Construction firms are wasting millions, thanks to an R&D blindspot


NHBC seminars will help prepare for quality in homebuilding


Inclusion is at the heart of RNIB site redevelopment


QS scoops top young surveyor title


Learn how to deal with silica dust


RCA ventures into new markets


Stanstead names contractor for new terminal


York Handmade plays pivotal role in new art and design centre




New projects bring history to life


V&A sheds new light on the history of photography


Newton looks forward to its new ‘Place’


Revamped museum tells the story of D-Day


Award-winning museum project reveals the ancient and the not-so-ancient


Principal designer hails a highlight


Jubilee Galleries form culmination of Westminster Dean’s vision


1,000 years of archaeology beneath Weston Tower


Visual design at the Museum of Royal Worcester


Re-interpretation and design work begins with HLF bid


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Glasgow looks forward once more to Scotland’s biggest industry event


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





Special scaffolding protects HS2 archaeology project


Access industry luminary is honoured with OBE by Her Majesty


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NASC launches 2019 Yearbook


NASC and CISRS take speaking slots at major scaffolding conference in China


NASC signs Time to Change Employer Pledge


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Graduate Apprenticeships: Scotland’s way forward


Apprenticeship scheme helps preserve iconic buildings


Scotland celebrates work-based learning


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[THIS ISSUE OF Construction National has a bit of a tartan tint to it. The high-profile event of the next three

months is the annual Scotland Build Expo, which this publication is proud to support as a media partner. The show has established itself as the must-visit expo in Scotland. What sets it apart is the fact it is not just an exhibition; it’s not even just a conference and exhibition – it’s a full two-day programme of debate and networking bringing together Scotland’s great and good in the construction industry. This year’s show will have added gravitas because of the uncertainties regarding Brexit – particularly given Scotland’s closer links to the EU than many parts of the UK. In many areas the increasing divergence of Scottish legislation from that of England and Wales means the debates at Scotland Build have added resonance. • One area of public policy in which Scotland has traditionally differed from the rest of the UK is in the education and training system. Scottish universities have always offered a different system of degree study, and now the area of modern apprenticeships has continued that difference. The main visible difference is in the development of Graduate Apprenticeships, which follow the traditional fouryear degree course. Many of Scotland’s universities have signed up for the new qualification. • Scotland has its own unique stock of ancient buildings, and there has been a real threat in recent years that the ability to maintain that stock has been disappearing. In response, CITB has partnered with St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh to train the stonemasons of the future to maintain those buildings. • The maintenance of ancient buildings has become an ever-more important priority for the construction industry throughout the UK. The number of high-profile buildings involving restoration projects has blossomed in recent years; last year, however, saw several particularly noteworthy projects come to fruition. Westminster Abbey saw the opening of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries. It is the new tower constructed to gain access to the galleries that has gained particular celebrity in the construction sector – including the prestigious Murdoch Award for its leadwork. Other notable projects include the V&A’s new Photography Centre, an overhaul of the Museum of Royal Worcester and a complete reimagining of the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth. • Archaeological investigations form part of many new projects these days. One such is the new Euston Station being developed for the HS2 programme. To allow the investigation to be carried out undisturbed, a unique scaffolding structure has been constructed by specialists Palmers. Just how impressive the structure is can be seen on the front cover of this issue. • Just a couple of miles along the Westway from the prestige project at Euston stands the charred monument to building incompetence that is Grenfell Tower. A year and a half after the conflagration engulfed the building, government measures to tackle fire prevention in high-rise buildings have met with little enthusiasm from the professions. Most commentators described them as not going far enough. • It is at this point that this column turns to the vicissitudes of Brexit and its implications for the construction industry. This month, however, the whole process has been turned upside down to the extent that it is impossible to report on what is likely to happen from one day to the next. • Instead, this column is proud to conclude with a tribute to a leading light in the work at height and access industry sector. Over the past few issues we have reported on the outstanding work being carried out by the sector to minimise falls from height. Much of that success is due to the vision of Peter Bennett, who has been honoured with an OBE. q

Chris Stokes Editor, Construction National



Post-Grenfell regulation changes do not go far enough, architects warn [ENGLAND STILL LAGS behind Wales

and Scotland on the issue of fire safety in buildings, according to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Responding to the government’s building safety update and implementation plan, released in December, Jane Duncan, RIBA’s immediate past president and chair of its Expert Advisory Group on Fire Safety, said: “The update contains some welcome proposals. We are pleased to see that the government will require proper testing of fire safety products rather than relying on desktop studies, and that they are planning substantial and comprehensive reform to the regulatory and accountability framework. “But the news is long-overdue and, with the exception of combustible cladding, the Building Regulations remain the same as they did when the Grenfell Tower tragedy took place, over 18 months ago. England is now lagging behind Wales and Scotland, who have in place or are

introducing regulations to require sprinklers, and in Scotland provide a second means of escape: two recommendations the RIBA has consistently called for to provide clarity for the industry and protection for the public.” Ms Duncan also warned about the continuing danger of cost-cutting on building projects. “Furthermore, until we see real reform of how construction projects are procured, the pressure to cut costs will continue to incentivise the use of cheaper and ultimately riskier materials and approaches. The government must urgently reform the inspection process; but in the long-term we need to see a holistic focus on safety, not just cost cutting.” She also called for the widening of the scope of the measures. “The next large-scale fire may not happen in a tower block – it’s vital that the government do not neglect other high risk buildings like care homes, hospitals and schools.” q

Construction industry alarmed by immigration proposals [THE GOVERNMENT’S Immigration White

Paper, published in December, prompted dismay from a number of areas of the construction industry. A typical response was from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), which said the document ‘shows the government isn’t listening to the business community’. FMB chief executive Brian Berry said: “The government seems hell-bent on ignoring the business community when it comes to its immigration policy, as demonstrated by this disastrous White Paper. Despite more than two years of constructive engagement, what has been proposed by ministers takes on none of our feedback. If the government wants to jeopardise the UK economy for the sake of meeting an arbitrary immigration target, it’s going the right way about it.” Berry continued: “What’s particularly worrying is the government’s obsession with salary thresholds for migrant workers entering the UK. It makes no sense to draw meaningless lines in the sand when we should base our immigration policy on what will make our economy strong and productive.” The measure relating to low-skilled workers drew most comment from industry figures. Brian Berry continued: “The White Paper also states categorically that it will make no allowances for so-called low skilled workers. This is wrong on two levels: firstly, the definition of low skilled will cover most construction tradespeople and secondly, genuinely lowskilled workers, such as labourers, are essential to the safe and smooth running of any construction site.” His view was echoed by Scape Group chief executive Mark Robinson, who said: “The government could ease the minds of the

industry and classify construction workers as highly skilled. Construction trades require specific and detailed knowledge and it is a classification that is as arbitrary as it is unhelpful and could be hugely damaging to the UK.” There was also criticism of the expense and complexity of the scheme for 12-month visas. Berry concluded: “Small and medium-sized

construction firms, which make up 99% of the industry, do not advertise for roles internationally. Also, from a migrant worker’s perspective, why go to the UK for just 12 months when they can settle in other countries for much longer and put down roots if they wish. If the 12-month work visa idea was supposed to be an olive branch to the business community, it leaves much to be desired.” q

MSPs to look into the effect of Brexit in Scotland [

THE EFFECT OF BREXIT on the Scottish construction sector is one of the focuses of a wide-ranging inquiry by a committee of MSPs. The Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee has launched an inquiry to understand the challenges Scotland’s construction sector faces, and is looking for a wide range of views on how the industry can be developed to help further drive the Scottish economy. Specific areas that will be explored are economic impact, access to finance, skills, procurement, infrastructure and innovation. The committee is also keen to hear views on how to encourage young people to take up apprenticeship roles in construction and particularly to tackle the gender gap in the industry. Scotland has around 46,000 construction enterprises. The great majority are sole traders (74%) and a fifth have fewer than 10 employees. In total, employment is provided to 154,410 people across the sector, representing 7% of the Scottish total. The convener of the committee, Gordon Lindhurst MSP, said: “Construction is a vital sector in Scotland as it drives and underpins the economy with its knock-on effect on other sectors. As well as being a major employer, the sector also delivers infrastructure for housing, transport, education and community, and contributes £21.5bn to Scotland’s gross domestic product. “However, the sector has its challenges and we want to hear views and suggestions on how these can be overcome. We also want to find out how we can encourage young people to work in the industry, and we’ll be holding consultation work with businesses and colleges over the coming months.” q



Construction firms are wasting millions, thanks to an R&D blindspot [

THE UK CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY is a hotbed of innovation, with the 300,000 firms that make up the sector constantly looking for more efficient, safer and environmentally sustainable ways to build. Research shows that eight in 10 architecture, engineering and building firms have developed new products and services in the past two years, meaning they could be eligible for R&D tax relief; however, only 39% of firms questioned had ever made a claim. At a time when the industry is flatlining – construction output fell by 0.2% in October alone – R&D tax relief could provide a much-needed boost. The average R&D claim in construction is a massive £105,000 – money that could be reinvested in the business to fuel further innovation and growth. Mark Tighe (pictured), CEO of specialist tax consultancy Catax, tried to make sense of the conundrum. He told Construction National: “Frustratingly while many within construction have heard of R&D tax relief, most of them do not consider it applicable to their work, associating it with scientists in laboratories. Introduced in 2000, R&D tax credits are designed to reward and encourage innovation across all industry sectors, and HMRC were careful to adapt their definition of R&D to ensure many different forms of innovation across the business world would qualify. “The blanket HMRC test for genuine R&D is whether a project can be shown as seeking to resolve a ‘scientific or technological uncertainty’. This can take the form of a new process, product or service, or simply be an improvement to an existing one.” Construction firms have successfully claimed R&D tax credits for projects as varied as: • Designing and installing steel casing to go around tall buildings to • support scaffolding • Designing, building and installing a completely unique internal • ‘floating’ staircase with an integrated lighting system • Developing new construction techniques, including the testing of

• materials to suit design aspirations and • calculations to ensure they satisfy current • legislation • Developing new cleaning methods for • existing stone façades • On-going development and use of 3D design • and modelling software So why don’t more companies apply? “Another barrier to companies claiming R&D tax relief is that ‘they would not know where to start’ in their claim,” Mark explained. “We cannot pretend that applying for R&D tax relief is an easy process; the rules around R&D relief are quite complex. The claim is made up of a calculation of qualifying costs, such as the staff costs and materials you use in the course of the R&D. “Tax legislation is strict as to what does and doesn't qualify and without help it is easy to get this wrong. That is why many companies prefer to use a specialist tax consultant to advise them or even make the claim for them. “The third reason construction firms do not apply is because they fear the process will be expensive and time consuming; however, it needn’t be. Most reputable consultants will work on a contingent fee basis, so there does not need to be any upfront cost to claiming. “We have helped construction firms claim back a total of £1.57m, so it is a worthwhile exercise. Construction executives looking to improve margins and efficiencies must take a proper look at their R&D tax relief entitlements – and give themselves some credit.” q • For more information visit

NHBC seminars will help prepare for quality in homebuilding [FEBRUARY WILL SEE the return of the NHBC’s Building for tomorrow

events. Running for 28 years, Building for tomorrow is an annual series of seminars where industry experts and NHBC present the latest technical and regulatory updates in housebuilding, as well as sharing best practice gleaned from the 900,000-plus site inspections NHBC carries out each year. The focus for the 2019 events will be on Preparing for Quality Homes. The theme will cover the changing political, economic and market landscape and what that means for housebuilding in the future. It will include factors such as the Brexit deadline in March, the skills shortage, supply chain and market challenges, as well as changes to the regulatory landscape. Delegates will be guided through the potential impact of those challenges and what needs to be done to prepare to build quality homes in a changing environment. A strong feature of the future will be the increasing use of components, framed constructions and off-site manufacturing, which will also be explored as part of this year’s programme. Building upon feedback at last year’s events and the on-going collaborative work NHBC does with manufacturers, the seminars will look at how feedback on quality can help improve standards for the future as well as meet changing regulatory requirements. There are 10 Building for tomorrow events tailored according to which region they are in. The series of seminars kicks off on 26 February at Taunton Racecourse and completes on 25 April at Westminster Central Hall. In between it will visit venues in Glasgow and Belfast, as well as across England. q



Inclusion is at the heart of RNIB site redevelopment [CONSTRUCTION HAS BEGUN on the Royal

National Institute of Blind People’s residential site in Redhill, Surrey. The scheme, being delivered by Countryside Properties, will provide RNIB with specialised accommodation for up to 50 residents, as well as 77 luxury new homes for sale on the open market. The completed development will include the refurbishment of a Grade Two-listed Tudor House and Garden Cottage. At the heart of the scheme is a sensory trail, which uses sounds, smells and textures to aid navigation around the site for people with visual impairment. Planning permission for the redevelopment was granted in November 2015, and after a complex demolition and infrastructure programme the first RNIB accommodation and private homes are now under construction. The first specialised accommodation is expected to be completed by the spring, along with the occupation of the first open market homes. Royal Hill Park, as it is known, has a rich philanthropic and historic past, with a record of almost 200 years of charitable services – making it a vital location for heritage and social care. The scheme will preserve both the original Tudor-style housing and the natural topography of the area, while revamping the development with high-quality facilities for all residents.

This carefully crafted combination of tradition and contemporary design will help stimulate a vibrant and inclusive community. Iain McPherson, managing director of Countryside’s new homes and communities south region, commented: “We are proud to be working with the RNIB on redeveloping their Redhill site. Central to the new site are innovations such as the sensory trail, which highlights the role that hearing, touch and smell can play in assisting people with sight loss to navigate around the site. We hope that this will also inspire other property

developers to pursue more partnerships in the charity sector that benefit social care and help connect local communities.” Keith Valentine, RNIB’s director of development, added: “It is a great example of how accessibility and inclusion can be – and should be – part of the design process right from the start. We are excited to be part of the creation of a development that encourages inclusion and showcases how simple changes to housing can make a difference to the quality of life for people with a wider range of disabilities.” q





QS scoops top young surveyor title [LAURA COLLINS, a quantity

surveyor working in London, has been named UK Young Surveyor of the Year for her outstanding achievements in the construction industry. Laura's award comes after beating off tough competition from over 75 shortlisted surveyors from all over the UK at the annual RICS Matrics Young Surveyor of the Year Awards, held on 30 November at the Park Plaza, London Riverbank Hotel. Laura, who currently works as an associate at Rider Levett Bucknall, also won the Quantity Surveying & Construction category before being named overall winner of the Young Surveyor of the Year. The title is awarded to the category winner who has not only achieved significant success in their role and sector, but who also demonstrates an unwavering commitment to inspire the next generation and improve the wider industry and profession. Laura entered the profession as an apprentice at the age of 18, and then worked her way up the career ladder, becoming a chartered surveyor at 23 and the youngest person in her firm to be promoted to the role of associate director before the age of 30. Her project successes – which include helping to deliver the Salesforce Tower, a London landmark providing 440,869ft2 of Grade A office space – have led to many clients worldwide specifically asking to work with Laura. Chair of the judges, Anna Keys of Calfordseaden LLP, said: “Laura is an exemplary professional who is ambitious, astute and a fantastic role model. Her drive and determination to succeed, and to provide the best work for clients and her employer, is impressive and admirable, and I hope her quick career progression and commitment to inspiring the next generation demonstrates to others just what can be achieved in our industry in a short space of time with motivation and initiative.” q

Learn how to deal with silica dust [DUST IN YOUR HOME is a nuisance, but dust in the workplace

– and particularly in the construction industry – can be a serious health hazard. Take silica, for example. This natural substance is found in most rocks, sand and clay. It's also a major constituent of bricks, tiles, concrete and mortar. Construction activities such as cutting, drilling, grinding and polishing generate a fine dust called respirable crystalline silica (RCS), also known as ‘silica dust’. If sufficient silica dust finds its way into the lungs as a result of prolonged exposure, it can lead to life-changing respiratory illnesses and even death. HSE’s practical one-day training course, Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) – Health Surveillance and Exposure Control, addresses background issues, current practice and developments in health surveillance, and provides information about controlling RCS exposures in the workplace. Aimed at healthcare professionals, occupational health technicians and health and safety representatives, the course takes place on 29 January at the Health and Safety Laboratory in Buxton, Derbyshire. It will be delivered by medical and scientific experts with direct experience of RCS-related health issues. q



RCA ventures into new markets


RCA CONSTRUCTION recently completed the upgrade of the existing infrastructure for Alstom Transport at their Wembley depot to enable the servicing of the new Caledonian Sleeper trains, which provide the overnight train service from Scotland to London. The first carriages from the new £100m fleet have arrived in the UK ahead of their introduction to service later this year. Starting in January 2019, the overnight rail service will begin to be transformed as 75 new carriages are introduced in a phased transition. A total of five carriages have arrived in the outskirts of Glasgow, where they will start extensive testing over the coming months. These initial five carriages are still to be fitted out internally following testing. The introduction of the new trains will be the culmination of a wide range of

improvements and investment in Caledonian Sleeper since Serco took over the franchise on behalf of the Scottish Government in April 2015. These changes have had a dramatic impact on the service and, after years of decline in patronage, the number of customer journeys has increased by 21%. To meet this rise in demand, RCA completely overhauled the existing service line at Alstom’s Wembley depot. A new Controlled Emission Toilets (CET) system was installed to ensure the safe, hygienic disposal of the contents of the toilet retention tanks on carriages. A total of eight new pumping stations (right) were installed and the existing main pump house was totally revamped. All the works were carried out during daytime possessions, with the tracks being handed back every night at 5pm.

A new pumping system was installed within the existing pump house (left) and major new pipe work infrastructure was installed on a weekend possession

RCA’s internal design office, based in Manchester, extensively mapped the train movements in 3D, enabling the design team to accurately position the modules around Alstom onsite procedures. Paul Rawlings, managing director of RCA Construction, said: “This was an exciting new venture for RCA and a project that wasn’t without its complications.” He further went on to say that he sees further company growth within the rail sector, and looks forward to major projects within that sector in 2019. q


Stanstead names contractor for new terminal [LONDON STANSTED HAS appointed Mace

as main contractor for the construction of its new, £150m arrivals terminal. Work on the 39,000m2 terminal is due to start in the spring and is scheduled for completion in the autumn of next year. The terminal is the flagship project in the airport’s £600m transformation, which will support its future growth and pioneer the next generation of travel there. To mark the announcement, a fly-through animation was produced showing what the airport will look like following the transformation and how passengers will seamlessly flow through the airport. The airport’s CEO Ken O’Toole declared: “I’m delighted to welcome Mace on board as we now focus on the most critical phase in the transformation of London Stansted. Mace has a great track record of delivering major projects like this on time, on budget and to the highest quality. “London Stansted’s transformation project is really gathering momentum.

We’ve made fantastic progress so far, but it’s this year when the project starts to take-off, when work begins on our arrivals terminal. The terminal is the most significant contract the airport has awarded as part of this project, and when complete it will provide a first-class, technology enabled, experience for our passengers.” The arrivals terminal will include larger immigration and baggage reclaim areas, new retail facilities, a public forecourt and improved access for all onward transport options. Once completed, Stansted will be the only UK airport operating dedicated arrivals and departures terminals. Gareth Lewis, Mace’s chief operating officer for construction, commented: “The new arrivals terminal will completely transform Stansted and the experiences of the millions of people that arrive at the airport every year. This will be our first major construction project at Stansted since 2008, and we look forward to working closely with Manchester Airports Group to deliver the terminal.” q

York Handmade plays pivotal role in new art and design centre [

THE AWARD-WINNING York Handmade Brick Company has played a pivotal role in the creation of the new Art and Design Technology Centre at Pocklington School, near York. York Handmade, based at Alne, near Easingwold, supplied 31,000 bricks for the exterior of the new £2.5 million building, together with 4,300 terracotta tiles for the interior floor. The contract is worth £78,000 for the company, one of the leading independent brickmakers in the UK. David Armitage, chairman of York Handmade, commented: “It was a tremendous honour to be asked to provide our bricks and tiles for such a prestigious project. Pocklington School has a long and proud artistic heritage and this stunning new building reflects this. “Our increasingly popular linear Maxima Galtres bricks have been used on the building’s exterior, complementing the contemporary design and fitting in with the school’s architecture and landscape. “We were commissioned by York architect Simon Mitchell, who has used our products on several projects before, to create a bespoke design of our Onda terracotta tiles, which have been used on 210 sq m of internal flooring.

“The design of the tiles is based on a 330mm diameter circle with two sides inverted to create an interlocking ‘wave’ type pattern, all in the natural-looking material of York Handmade terracotta made from our own local Vale of York clay.” Simon Mitchell commented: “I am exceptionally pleased with the contribution made by York Handmade to Pocklington School’s new Art and Design Technology Centre. The exterior, with its ever altering facades, is just as I imagined, with the handmade bricks effortlessly combining a sense of heritage with a cutting edge look.

“It is a joy working with a company like York Handmade. They are focussed and flexible, understanding exactly what a customer needs, and skilled enough to provide exactly what is wanted. They have helped to create a magnificent building which should inspire everyone who works within it.” Mark Ronan, headmaster at Pocklington School, said: “The design of our new Art and Design Technology Centre has been very well received and the York Handmade bricks we have used for the exterior fit perfectly within the school’s campus. The floor tiles provide a striking feature within the building itself and we are greatly looking forward to beginning teaching in there, inspiring pupils to develop their own creative skills.” The original 1969 Art and Design Centre, a single-storey structure out of keeping with the rest of the school, has been removed to make way for the new building, which was completed in November. George Houlton of Hull were the main contractors on the project. q • For further information call 01347 838 881, email or visit


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New projects bring history to life [ THESE PAST FEW MONTHS have seen the completion of a

succession of new buildings of historic importance. Perhaps the most noteworthy has been the construction of the Weston Tower to allow access to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries at Westminster Abbey. In preparation for another anniversary – the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings – Portsmouth’s D-Day Museum has been completely transformed into a brand new visitor experience. Two historic towns are having their own stories retold in spectacular new fashion: the new St Albans Museum + Gallery is

housed in the city’s Georgian Town Hall, which has been completely restored. Meanwhile, work has started on the conversion of a former church to house a new museum and civic buildings in Newton Abbot in Devon. Newton’s Place is due for completion next winter. The famous ceramics name Royal Worcester also offers a new face to the world. The museum building in Worcester has undergone a £1.7m refurbishment. We open this clutch of stories with the latest phase of the V&A’s plan for the future. The new Photography Centre allows that most modern of artistic media to show off its own history in a new way. q

V&A sheds new light on the history of photography

[OCTOBER SAW THE opening of the new

V&A Photography Centre – the latest exciting addition to the V&A’s facilities. Designed by David Kohn Architects (DKA), the new gallery more than doubles the space to display photography at the museum. The sensitive refurbishment of several historic galleries – carried out by main contractor M E Construction with engineering services by ARUP – will change the way photography is presented while taking the discipline back to its architectural roots. The museum’s director Tristram Hunt declared: “I’m delighted to open the V&A’s new Photography Centre. The transfer of the historic Royal Photographic Society collection provided the catalyst for this dramatic reimagining of photography at the museum. “Our collection – established by the V&A’s visionary first director Henry Cole – now seamlessly spans the entire history of photography, telling the story of the medium from the daguerreotype to the digital. “Our new Photography Centre provides a world-class facility to re-establish photography as one of our defining collections. In an era when everyone’s iPhone makes them a photographer, the V&A’s Photography Centre explores and explains the medium in a compelling new way.” DKA’s design celebrates the grandeur of three galleries in a listed building, reconfiguring the space through a series of subtle interventions to create a contemporary display setting. The visitor experience begins on the entrance

landing, where two large cases display 140 cameras from the collection to introduce the story of photography from its origins to the present day. Historic connections between architecture and photography are referenced by the ‘dark tent’: a multimedia projection and lecture space inspired by the travelling darkrooms of photography pioneers of the 19th century. David Kohn Architects – whose work often explores ideas around ‘buildings within buildings’ – have also extended the concept to a series of bespoke modular display cabinets. Each is designed as a miniature house in its own right and together can be easily reconfigured to permit greater flexibility and varied displays. Matching wall cabinets and gallery seating ensure the coherence of the overall design. Said David Kohn: “Every photograph is a portal to a moment in history. In the new Photography Centre we are able to present the V&A’s incredible collection alongside cameras and other related artefacts that bring the story of each photograph to life – taking visitors beyond the image and into the rich social and cultural contexts of their inception. Architecture and photography surround us, and we have enjoyed exploring both historic and contemporary connections between them.” New lighting creates a rich variation of atmosphere within the galleries. DKA worked carefully with curators and engineers to develop a discreet approach to climate control that creates

optimum conditions for fragile and light sensitive photographs, thanks to a bespoke ventilation system above the gallery on the museum roof. The introduction of a layer of insulation to the gallery ceilings ensures a more constant temperature and reduced heat loss while existing historic wall penetrations were used to minimise the impact on the historic building. Martin Barnes, senior curator of photographs at the V&A, commented: “The Photography Centre encompasses more than a new gallery space. Beyond its walls lies an associated programme of research, digitisation, learning activities, publications, exhibitions, access to items in stores, and collaborations with other UK and international partners. Photography is one of our most powerful forms of global communication and I’m thrilled that we can contextualise the past and present of this powerful medium in new and exciting ways.” David Kohn concluded: “It has been a great learning experience to work alongside the V&A’s brilliant curators, led by Martin Barnes, on some of the most important photographs in the world. We greatly value furthering our conservation expertise; for our practice it has been a privilege to work on the interiors of the V&A and we are now keen to develop our museum portfolio further.” Phase Two of the project, due to open in 2022, will establish a photography library and study, two flexible learning and event spaces, and a photographer’s studio and dark room. q Images ©David Kohn Architects


Newton looks forward to its new ‘Place’


WORK HAS BEGUN on the £2.2m conversion of a redundant Grade Two-listed church in Newton Abbot, Devon, to create Newton’s Place – a new museum, community space and accessible town council offices, as part of a Cultural Quarter initiative. The historic town of Newton Abbot lies to the south of Dartmoor and close to the holiday hotspot of Torbay. It was awarded a Royal Charter in the 13th century and has prospered since. The 2008 Newton Abbot Community Plan made an improved museum and new community ‘hub’ the town’s number one priority. In 2016 the Newton Abbot Neighbourhood Development Plan (NANDP) was adopted by the local planning authority, Teignbridge District Council (TDC). That meant the town council’s share of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) receipts would rise from 15% to 25% and the NANDP set on record the intention of using CIL income to help fund the Newton’s Place project. Said Town Clerk Phil Rowe: “Newton’s Place won’t deliver everything people have asked for, but it’s a great first phase: not least because we’re also saving this wonderful historic building for the town.” Newton Abbot Town Council bought the former St Leonard’s Church in 2016 for £200,000 when the asking price dropped by a third. It had lain empty for several years after being used as an antiques centre and suffering a number of unsympathetic alterations. The council’s purchase was only made, however, after Jeremy Newcombe of local firm LSN Architects assured the council that the building could be successfully adapted. His practice has a long association with the building. Said Jeremy: “The original church was built in the 1830s, and then in the 1870s the chancel was added by an architect called Joe Rowell, who was one of the partners in my practice – so there’s this lovely synergy.” The original idea was to create the museum on a new first floor and develop the council offices and community space below. That was quickly turned on its head, however, in order to maximise flexibility and exploit the richer architecture of the later chancel. The older part of the church is a rather plain affair, built to replace the nave of the nearby medieval St Leonard’s Chapel, which was demolished for 19th-century road widening. Joe Rowell’s later additions, however, were more refined and reflected his skills as a celebrated church architect. Jeremy and Phil struck up an early relationship with TDC’s conservation


officer, taking advice and maintaining regular contact. The strategy paid dividends, as permission was given for the new first floor where previously two galleries had existed. What’s more, the decision was delegated rather than taken to committee. Said Jeremy: “They were very keen we retain the existing gallery structure – a main feature of the nave – and we’ve done that in the design. No one will actually be able to stand there and use the galleries, but they’ll see how they were positioned in the building.” The principal construction contract has been awarded to south west firm Pollard, which has experience of similar projects and knows the skill-sets its workforce requires. Pollard was appointed in October 2018 and the 39-week works programme, due to end in August 2019, is set to cost the town council in the region of £1.4m. Unexpected findings have included a bizarre and antiquated mercurycontrolled ventilation system, which had to be removed, together with several tonnes of pigeon guano that had amassed to a depth of 300mm across the entire roof void. Museum design is being carried out by specialist firm Leach Studio from Huddersfield. Their bespoke £500,000 interpretation of a 21st-century visitor experience will be installed as soon as Pollard move out. The total project cost of £2.2m includes the now-completed two-year development phase, in which a successful bid was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Their award of £950,000, won unusually at the first time of asking, will be boosted by the sale of the existing town hall and museum and, of course, CIL. “Without CIL money the town council would be struggling,” said Phil. “We’d either have to find other grants, which aren’t easy to get in this day and age, or it would have been dealt with in loans.” “We’ve had a brilliant relationship with the HLF. They see Newton’s Place as a win-win because they believe it would be a pointless exercise spending £2.2m on preserving a building if the community didn’t benefit. You could do the work and preserve it in aspic by not letting people use it, but the HLF wants to see that rich heritage being conserved so the public can come along and engage with it.” Newton’s Place is due to open to the public in the winter of 2019/20. q

Revamped museum tells the story of D-Day

[ PORTSMOUTH’S D-DAY MUSEUM has been completely transformed

ahead of next year’s 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings. Renamed ‘The D-Day Story’, the £5m project was supported by a £4m Heritage Lottery Fund grant, together with funding from client Portsmouth City Council and many other benefactors. The project was masterminded by Hampshire County Council’s Property Services Department, whose architects and interior designers worked alongside exhibition designers Studio MB and an integrated design team including landscape architects UBU Design. Main contractor Pilbeam Construction worked with engineers Pope Consulting and Marbas. Alongside significant alterations and refurbishment of the building and its surroundings, the project included the conservation of the 83m-long Overlord Embroidery, together with a number of landing craft and other vehicles. Architect Laura Jarman of Hampshire County Council Property Services described the project: “Our concept was to open up the heart of the building to create a concourse that offers a welcoming hub of activity and improves visitor orientation. This new foyer links the refurbished exhibition

spaces together and strengthens the museum’s connection with its relandscaped forecourt and the adjacent Scheduled Ancient Monument of Southsea Castle.” The unique architecture of the original 1980s building has been revealed, exposing the large circular exhibition hall containing the Overlord Embroidery and enabling it to be legible both inside and out. Moving the café into the new concourse has enabled a conference, education and temporary exhibition space to be created, offering a wider range of activities and outreach programmes. The main exhibition halls have been transformed to support a powerful interpretation of the D-Day story, revealing personal accounts to a modern audience. The building fabric has been upgraded and improved environmental control supports the long-term conservation of the museum’s collection. Landscape architect Mark Johnson of UBU Design took up the story: “The design for the entrance area provides a simple and elegant plaza, creating a generous space to the front of the museum. The new plaza is surfaced in a resin-bound gravel, alluding to the Normandy beaches, bisected by a series of granite bands which ‘fragment’ and ‘fracture’ the ground plain. The works also included the creation of the Normandy Memorial Wall. “Working closely with the D-Day trustees we developed a design for a series of feature totems. These have a striking visual presence, with a simple message that complements the intent of the memorial wall. The finished items comprise nine corten steel totems 3m high, with the single word Remember laser cut into the steel in different languages, representing the nations involved in the campaign. The use of corten steel means each totem will change and age in a subtle and unique way.” Jane Mee, head of museums at Portsmouth City Council, said: “Transforming the D-Day Museum will establish the museum as the national centre that the scale and significance of the D-Day story deserves – with exhibitions that truly engage and excite audiences now and into the future – and inspire interest in and a greater understanding of what happened, and why D-Day is still relevant today.” The museum was officially opened By HRH The Princess Royal in May, with a dedication ceremony for the memorial wall on the anniversary of the D-Day landings on 6 June. q


Award-winning museum project reveals the ancient and the not-so-ancient


THE NEW £7.75m St Albans Museum + Gallery opened its doors to the public on 8 June, following the two-year restoration of the city’s Georgian Town Hall. In the opening weekend, over 10,000 visitors came through the doors to enjoy a dynamic programme of events to celebrate the opening of the new arts, heritage and cultural attraction in the transformed building. The new museum is housed within a Grade Two*-listed building built in 1831, and will rejuvenate the cultural life of the city and beyond. It is set over three floors, with a number of restored historic spaces and newly created galleries which will host changing exhibitions and a vibrant roster of events. Visitors will also have the opportunity to explore the fascinating history of the Town Hall, including its grand assembly room, historic courtroom and cells. The beautiful historic spaces have now been fully restored and preserved for future generations by a team led by main contractor Willmott Dixon. They


reveal the dramatic stories of law and order in the district. The subterranean cells, where defendants were once held, lead up directly to the dock in the courtroom and visitors can now experience what it may have felt like to stand as the accused, or oversee court proceedings from the judge’s chair. Those looking to soak up the atmosphere of the courtroom can take freshly prepared food and drink from a new servery to enjoy in the historic space. Originally used for balls, galas and concerts, the Assembly Room has been fully restored to its former glory. Visitors can admire the stunning Georgian architectural flourishes, ornate chandeliers and lustrous gold leaf when they step inside. With its double height ceiling and large windows which flood the space with light, this breath-taking room will host cutting edge art installations throughout the year. Architects John McAslan + Partners included the addition of glazed links to

the first floor as part of the restoration. These additions now enable visitors to walk around the entire building and to take in wonderful rooftop views of the city. A new temperature-controlled and secure basement gallery has been hand-excavated under the building to house national touring exhibitions and contemporary art shows. The ground floor has also been renovated to accommodate a learning studio, visitor information point, gift shop and café. The project has been made possible with a £2.8m award from the Heritage Lottery Fund. St Albans City and District Council is also committed to providing £3.3m from the redevelopment of the former museum site on Hatfield Road and S106 developer contributions. A special partnership with the University of Hertfordshire has played a key role in the realisation of the project. There have also been generous donations from Arts Council England, the Garfield Weston Foundation and many other organisations and individuals through the work of the St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust. A local community fundraising campaign has raised nearly £400,000 towards the project. The work involved in delivering the project was rewarded in the 2018 Hertfordshire Building Futures Awards, which resulted in the award for Retrofit for the Future and a shortlisting in the Project of the Year category. The citation read: “The result is a world-class cultural hub which provides a platform to show contemporary arts to its visitors, whilst enhancing cultural life in the city.” The judges said: “The rescue and restoration of this landmark Grade Two*-listed building has been carried out impressively, cleverly increasing the useable space while retaining the original features.” At the heart of the new museum, permanent displays will tell the story of the district’s development – from the preRoman era through to modern times. The story starts as far back as 110,000BC when hunter-gatherers first arrived in Britain. It features Roman treasures and evidence of Boudicca’s revolt in the city. Visitors will be able to learn more about the city’s fascinating role at the start of the Wars of the Roses. They will see how St Albans played a part in the lives of Sir Francis Bacon, Sarah Churchill Duchess of Marlborough and Ryder Cup founder and ex-mayor, Samuel Ryder. More recent local figures will also feature in displays, including Stephen Hawking, Stanley Kubrick and rock music pioneer Jim Rodford. q

Principal designer hails a highlight [

THE ROLE OF principal designer for the museum was taken by Silver DCC Ltd, a development and construction consultancy established in 1945. For Silver, this challenging project was a highlight of the year. In the words of chairman, Brian Middle: “The intricate construction required significant levels of health and safety advice to ensure that, once completed, St Albans Museum + Gallery would be a safe workplace compliant with the Workplace Health & Safety Regulations 1992.” Silver is committed to delivering solutions that their clients can trust. What sets Silver apart is the range and depth of expertise they are able to draw on in-house. As market conditions and client needs have changed over the years, the practice has continued to evolve and innovate to meet them. As Brian explained: “Our project management, cost consultancy and quality teams have expanded with the recruitment of experienced professionals who have a contractor background. “The result is a combination of consultancy, design and construction expertise that gives us a unique insight into every aspect of any project. We have an invaluable contribution to make at every stage, from planning and procurement to maintaining quality through construction and on to completion. “We have the specialist insight and expertise that will deliver the required outcome for our clients in their required time frame and a commitment to teamwork is at the heart of our approach to every project. Above all, we care passionately about what we do and what motivates us is the determination to ensure that we succeed in achieving every client’s business objectives.” q


Jubilee Galleries

[JUNE SAW THE culmination of an unprecedented project to open

up parts of Westminster Abbey to the public never seen before, together with a collection of art works with particular relevance to Her Majesty to commemorate 60 years on the throne. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries are set more than 16m above the abbey floor in the medieval Triforium, an area that has never been open to the public before. Displaying 300 treasures from the abbey’s collection, many for the first time, the new galleries reflect the abbey’s 1,000-year history. Having lain unused for centuries, the Triforium has been transformed by Ptolemy Dean Architects and London-based architecture practice, MUMA (McInnes Usher McKnight Architects). Known for their crafted use of materials and sensitive response to a building’s context, they have designed a spectacular new exhibition that will allow the public to deepen their understanding of a royal church which has been at the centre of the nation for centuries. The new galleries and tower were opened by HM The Queen, together with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, on 8 June. They were greeted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who escorted them on a tour of the galleries. There they viewed objects which included the 13th-century Westminster Retable, the funeral effigy head of Henry VII and the marriage licence of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Dr Hall said: “We look forward to welcoming visitors to the galleries. The views are breathtaking, the space astonishing and the displays fascinating. The visitor will gain far greater insight into the life and history of the abbey than ever before. The fulfilment of this vision is a shared achievement with so many people involved. We are profoundly grateful.”


form culmination of Westminster Dean’s vision At the opening The Queen and The Prince of Wales met some of the major donors to the project from Britain and the US, along with contractors and members of abbey staff who had been involved in the development of the galleries. Before departing, The Queen unveiled a plaque commemorating the opening. The galleries tell the story of Westminster Abbey in four themes: Building Westminster Abbey, Worship and Daily Life, Westminster Abbey and the Monarchy and The Abbey and National Memory. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries form the final phase of the Dean

and Chapter’s 2020 Vision development plan, which set out to offer a more comprehensive and generous welcome to the two million people who come annually to the abbey as worshippers and visitors. The total project cost has been £22.9m, all of which has been met by private donors and trusts. Visitors reach the galleries through a new tower, housing a staircase and lift. Named the Weston Tower, it is the first major addition to the abbey church since 1745. Designed by Ptolemy Dean, the abbey’s Surveyor of the Fabric, the tower is outside Poets’ Corner, tucked between the abbey’s 13thcentury Chapter House and 16th-century Lady Chapel. The tower displays stunning herringbone lead cladding to its pillars and roof, which was announced as the winning project in the 2018 Murdoch Awards – the Lead Contractors Association’s major accolade for leadwork. It also involves the installation of over 600 traditional leaded light windows set into bronze-finished steel frames. It is believed to be the largest installation of traditional leaded light windows in the country, with over 13,200 panes of glass. q

1,000 years of archaeology beneath Weston Tower [AN INTEGRAL PART of the specialist project

team which implemented the construction of the Weston Tower at Westminster Abbey was PreConstruct Archaeology Limited (PCA). The tower was constructed within Poet’s Corner Yard, until recently an overshadowed area housing visitor toilets and storage. Historically the yard was incongruous, but trial trenches by PCA in 2012 showed the presence of important remains, including medieval burials which predated the massive footings of the abbey itself – which had been built in that location in around 1250, in the reign of Henry III. Extensive archaeological work was designed to prepare the ground as far as possible in advance of the construction groundworks. The first major phase of that archaeological work was executed in 2015 to excavate the footprint of the new tower. The earliest remains found were burials attributed to the 11th-century monastic cemetery attached to the church of Edward the Confessor. They had been truncated by the

construction of the raft foundation of Henry III’s abbey. Hundreds of disarticulated human bones had been packed into the construction trench for the raft, showing how much disturbance to the earlier cemetery was caused in the 13th century. During the construction phase of the project, PCA continued an extensive watching brief, working closely with main contractor Daedalus Conservation to excavate the service trenches necessary for the build. These encountered numerous burials within the monastic cemetery, along with anthropoid (human-shaped) lead coffins dating from the 15th century and possibly the earliest of their type found in Britain. The conversion of the Triforium Galleries also required detailed archaeological work, to record graffiti and marks left by various carpenters from Christopher Wren’s tenure as Surveyor of the Fabric. PCA recovered masses of artefacts by systematically sieving dust from the cavernous pockets below the Triforium floor. They included hand-painted playing cards from the 16th century, printed tobacco wrappers and newspapers from the 17th century and thousands of fragments of stained glass dating

Anthropoid lead coffin as excavated by PCA from the medieval period onwards. PCA projejct manager Chris Mayo said: “The whole project has been exceptionally interesting and enjoyable, with an established project team working closely and to the same objectives.” q

N 020 7732 3925 E D Excavation in progress in advance of construction


Visual design at the Museum of Royal Worcester [THE MUSEUM OF ROYAL WORCESTER shared a busy factory

site until a decade ago when, unable to maintain profitability through the financial downturn, the china manufacturer Royal Worcester and Spode Ltd went into administration and porcelain ceased being made in Worcester. Worcester had housed porcelain factories since 1751 and the Royal Worcester brand had made the city famous worldwide. For centuries, tourists had come by the coachful to Worcester, eager to see skilled craftsmen at work and to bag a bargain at the factory shop. Since the late 19th century, the museum had been the highlight of any visit, displaying a mass of gorgeous ceramics. The museum was every collector’s dream with cases full of the best collection in the world of the finest, most sumptuous porcelain. The museum itself and its collection was protected by its far-sighted prewar benefactor Charles Dyson Perrins. A great collector and director (and investor) of Royal Worcester, Dyson Perrins had put his own collection


and that of the factory into a charitable trust. But the museum needed to survive without the surrounding factory. For several years, the director and trustees worked to fundraise to develop and modernise the museum, and to find a way for visitors to understand its unique history without manufacturing taking place next door. With Heritage Lottery Stage 1 funding secured, exhibition designers hsd were brought in to plan how to maximise the space available and shape the museum so that visitors would be able to discover a much fuller story of Worcester porcelain. Visitor consultation showed that the museum’s audience didn’t necessarily want a change in objects on display, but they did want to hear the human stories that had been missing. They wanted to see not just the spectacular exhibition pieces and the shining golden services created for royalty, but also the quirky things in the collection like false teeth made of porcelain or the century-old legal papers threatening Harrods for selling fake Royal Worcester. Alan Birdsall and his design team at hsd worked closely with the museum staff, planning how to thread all these stories through the displays and where additional hands-on interpretation could be added to further engage families and schools as well as knowledgeable collectors. Despite the late discovery of significant amounts of asbestos and the subsequent re-design required to the work programme, with investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund and many more generous funders, the project reached its £1.7million target. The final phase of design work, when additional skills are brought into the project to take it through implementation, is the point at which a museum display or exhibition can move from a good design to an exceptional design. Displays are visual things, but curators are often verbally-focussed. It’s very easy for a museum project at this stage to become swamped by ideas, by words, and often by too many objects whose connections are unclear. Studio Savidge won the contract for the project’s graphic design. This company already knew the museum well, having redeveloped its brand a few years previously. Matt Savidge’s vision for the project was led by

Re-interpretation and design work begins with HLF bid [

his appreciation for the quality of the collection, but he was also driven to communicate its strengths visually. The detail of each part of the design was planned by Matt from Studio Savidge in consultation with Philippa Tinsley, the museum’s consultant curator with oversight from Amanda Savidge, the museum’s director. The contents for each case were considered together, with Matt pulling out a colour theme for each case to best communicate what made each particular group of ceramics interesting. Colours were then balanced across each gallery, ensuring that surfaces, carpet, paint colours and blinds either rose to visual prominence, or fell back to allow the porcelain to shine. The Museum of Royal Worcester holds an impressive archive, comprising of centuries of designs and patterns, a design library, factory photographs and the company’s marketing and administration documents. This had been only rarely seen by the public in the past. Studio Savidge and the museum team searched deep in boxes, pulling out historic visuals that not just looked good in the display but which added to the story each case was trying to tell. Some were just tiny fragments of centuries-old design work, which when scanned at very high resolution and retouched looked stunning at large scale across a display case. For the parts of the story where the museum had no suitable archives, Studio Savidge commissioned an illustrator who was able to create patterns and narrative artwork that brought complicated stories of the Worcester factory to life. The end result of these layers of design partnership is a newly opened museum where visitors are fully engaged with the new displays, however much they already know about Royal Worcester. Each gallery has its own atmosphere and the vistas of iconic blue-and-white porcelain, or glimmering gilded treasures, alongside faces of real workers, familiar places and gorgeous pattern work draw the visitor forward to discover each part of the story. The Museum of Royal Worcester is open seven days a week and is now joined on the old factory site by the Royal Porcelain Works arts centre, which includes a new cafe. q

THE MUSEUM OF ROYAL WORCESTER appointed Haley Sharpe Design (hsd) in February 2014 to assist with the re-interpretation and redisplay of the museum’s collection. Narrative development and exhibition design work by hsd was used to support the museum’s second-round HLF bid for its Celebrating 250 Years of Innovation, Industry and Craftsmanship project. Following the funding award in February 2016, hsd was subsequently appointed to provide 3D technical design, public space and gallery layouts as well as project management services for the exhibition delivery phase of the scheme. The creative team worked collaboratively and efficiently to deliver a step-change in the interpretative visitor experience offered at the museum. Visitors can now explore the layered stories of those who produced, desired and purchased Royal Worcester porcelain, through an engaging and contemporary museum environment and stunning redisplay of the museum’s world-class collections. Alan Birdsall, project consultant at hsd, said: “It has been a great pleasure working with such an iconic British brand. Our new gallery designs include interactive exhibits, short films, never-before-displayed objects and the opportunity for visitors to watch and talk to skilled craftsmen. The new displays will raise the museum’s profile with the aim of attracting a new, wider audience.” hsd is currently working on a number of cultural and heritage projects worldwide, including the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, Oman Botanic Garden in Al Khoud, Oman, and Yorkshire’s Maritime City Project in Hull. q

• Further details can be found at Images ©Studio Savidge



Glasgow looks forward once more to Scotland’s biggest industry event

[SCOTLAND BUILD – Scotland’s leading expo for the building and

construction industry – returns to the SEC Glasgow on 20-21 March. The free-to-attend show attracts thousands of decision makers from across Scotland’s construction industry, including all tier 1 contractors, housebuilders and housing associations, developers, sub-contractors, architects, specifiers, civil engineers, local councils, government, distributors, suppliers, manufacturers and many more. In a welcome letter, the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown MSP, wrote: “The construction industry is a core sector of the Scottish economy, providing infrastructure to businesses across all sectors of the economy. We continue to work with the industry to promote best practice and research and development to foster construction excellence. This event is a great opportunity to access major developers, contractors and suppliers from across the country.” The extensive exhibition will feature over 150 exhibitors showcasing their latest innovations, products and services, with the exhibition floor plan reading like a Who’s Who? of the Scottish construction industry. Meanwhile, there will be high-level networking sessions and drinks receptions across all zones for more tailored networking, including the Women in Construction Networking, SME Speed Networking and more. The show also plays host to five dedicated conference theatres, with over 150 hours of free CPD conference and workshop sessions discussing the latest developments, challenges and opportunities across Scotland’s built environment. The debate centres on four ‘Summits’: The Future of Construction; Sustainability; BIM & Digital Construction; and Architecture. In addition, the CPD Hub will address issues of Skills & Development, Building & Maintenance Solutions and more. The sessions will be led by over 150 speakers from the best-known names in the industry: from BAM Construct UK, Mitie, Arup and Kier Construction, to the Scottish Government, Urban Union, Clyde Gateway and many more. But Scotland Build is not your average construction show. Organisers Oliver Kinross believe doing business should be fun and have included within the event a Festival of Construction. The Festival of Construction includes entertainment, competitions, prize giveaways, live music and much more. Scotland Build is also extremely active in the promotion of inclusivity, diversity and equality in the industry. The annual Women in Construction Networking Event in Glasgow, now in its third year, will take place on 21 March and is sure to attract thousands of empowering women working in construction for its open panel discussion session – with plenty of networking. The involvement of more than 50 high-profile partners enables Scotland Build to continue delivering on the exciting content and highlevel networking for everyone in attendance. The Built Environment Networking Hub will host free-to-attend, exclusive networking events across the two days, including the Builder’s Breakfast, Architects Hub, Festival of Construction and more. The show offers an unparalleled

opportunity to build connections, gain inspiration from industry thought-leaders and win business. Gordon Reid, business development manager at Keir Construction, summed up the feelings of many who attended last year’s show: “As in previous years, the Scotland Build expo has been extremely well-attended and supported by the construction industry. Our stand had a high interest and our talk on community benefits has already sparked significant interest. Well worth attending.” q • To join Scotland’s building and construction industry at their biggest coming together, register for free tickets at or email for further details.

• • •



Accurate solar reporting is really a matter of getting a Bird’s Eye view


A FIFE-BASED COMPANY specialising in advising on renewable energy projects is using the latest drone technology to add accuracy and value to its reports. Bird’s Eye Drones and Solar Investment Company uses unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – popularly known as drones – to produce high-definition images that are then used to produce accurate reports. “Our technology differs from the current state-of-the-art,” explained managing director Iain Campbell, “in that the two current approaches to solar panel feasibility studies are either detailed but highly cost and time intensive – in the case of personal site visits by qualified engineers for every property – or extremely low in accuracy, necessitating additional onsite assessments and corrections later in the job. “Our solution is to leverage existing UAV/ drone technology to capture extremely highresolution images (up to 4k) then, using a process called photogrammetry, to combine these images and extrapolate a highlydetailed, photorealistic 3D model which can be viewed in detail from any angle or distance.” The models can be built on by inputting other information. Iain Campbell continued: “Combining this model with information on location, altitude, roof angle, building orientation and any nearby objects which might create shade enables our qualified solar installation engineers to build on preexisting information on more general ambient light levels throughout the year at that location. That allows them to more accurately assess larger numbers of

those buildings in a shorter time and from a single remote location. “This, in turn, not only drastically reduces on-site assessment and inter-site travel time for those professionals – whose hourly rate is many times higher than that of the drone pilots capturing the photogrammetric data – it also increases both the volume and the accuracy of the assessments themselves, leading to considerable additional time and cost savings at later stages of the job – particularly the design and installation phases.” A further advantage of this technology is that it can be used to demonstrate to stakeholders – from investors and tenants to planning authorities and nearby residents – how the solar panels will appear once they have been installed. The highly-realistic 3D model can be viewed from any location and on any device – from common smartphones and PCs through to virtual reality headsets. The models can be further adapted to demonstrate new-build solar-equipped properties that have yet to be constructed or completed – again covering both assessment and demonstration applications. Iain Campbell concluded: “By combining the three-dimensional output with the skills and experience of our solar assessors, our approach can dramatically improve the speed and output of the solar assessment and planning process, while reducing costs and actually increasing accuracy.” He pointed out that the methods used also have wide applications for other elements of construction and property management, including repair and maintenance, energy efficiency and project planning. q

Bird’s Eye Drones Tel: 0131 510 7560 Email: Web:


Specialist training company launches new machine control courses [

A RECENT REPORT published by the CITB – Unlocking Construction’s Digital Future: A Skills Plan for the Industry – highlights that the industry needs to work towards ensuring the workforce has the right digital skills. Setting Out For Construction has launched two new training courses in machine control. Machine Control for Site Engineers and Machine Control for Machine Operatives promise to make critical training in this field available to those who need it. The new courses are designed to fit in with Setting Out for Construction’s existing successful courses in Levelling, Total Station, GNSS and Survey Software. They are aimed at companies who either already use machine control but need to upskill their workforce or those who would like to get started. Machine control means that a display screen in the cab of the excavator or dozer shows the required ground profile. The driver uses this as guide to achieving the exact levels – meaning that no pegs, profiles or batter rails are needed on ground. The benefits of embracing machine control technology are proven, yet many companies aren’t aware of the significant ROI achievable in the short term. Using machine control on even the smallest of projects allows greater productivity, a safer workforce and reduced wastage. This means that companies can increase margins as well as tender for bigger contracts. Peter Roberts, Technical Support Manager at Topcon, said: “We worked


with Setting Out For Construction to develop this much needed course. Machine control is used on all major infrastructure projects but it’s important to recognise that it’s not just for big jobs and that smaller contractors can gain major benefits. Adoption of new technology has often been a challenge in the construction industry, but these courses ease the transition for site engineers and drivers alike, creating a workforce fit for construction’s digital future.” The courses were developed with support from the leading machine control providers as feedback from industry experts suggests that this training fills a critical skills gap. The equipment is extremely user-friendly from an operative’s point of view. A good analogy is the transition from planning a car journey using a map to operating a sat nav. For the site engineer it’s a little more involved, creating and checking the 3D model and ensuring the machine is in the right position. Saffron Grant, Director of Setting Out For Construction, added: “Training is important, but we know that some companies need more to help them get started. As well as the training courses, we also offer independent advice and a full set-up and support service for companies who know they need to keep pace with the technology but don’t have the resources inhouse. Our lead trainer on machine control is an experienced site engineer who started her career as a machine driver.” q

Midlands specialist offers concrete solutions [ISCHEBECK TITAN are specialist providers of engineered

solutions for concrete frames, ground engineering and civil engineering applications. Founded in Germany over 120 years ago, Ischebeck is one of the world’s principal manufacturers of formwork and falsework systems. Renowned internationally for its Titan support system, the group has a long standing tradition of innovation and engineering excellence. Product quality is its hallmark and the company’s manufacturing facilities are amongst the most advanced of their type. The company prides itself on a close working relationships with its customers, to understand their detailed requirements and provide innovative, cost-effective solutions. Now it is bringing that customer focus to Scotland Build, to meet its customers face-to-face. A team of product specialists are ready to assist visitors to Stand B6 with all their concrete construction projects or advise on specialist ground engineering solutions.

Frames, formwork and falsework solutions Ischebeck Titan supply an extensive range of innovative solutions for creating in-situ concrete frames, slabs, walls and columns – as well as products to meet safety and screening requirements. From a market-leading table support system to lightweight panel decking, you will find just about everything you need for the efficient casting of in-situ concrete frames and slabs for a variety of situations, together with a range of complementary products to ensure smooth progress. Large and small panel systems combine with a choice of column forms, vertical climbing systems, props and anchoring systems to create one of the most comprehensive ranges of wall and column forming equipment available from a single manufacturer.

Whether your project is a relatively straightforward two-storey construction or a multistorey building, you will find that Ischebeck Titan’s range offers a rapid and effective solution at every level. Products include screens, perimeter edge protection and climbing screens.

Ischebeck Inform Founded in 1982, Ischebeck Inform ( have established themselves over the past 35 years as one of the leading suppliers of concrete reinforcement, accessories and formwork systems to many sectors of the construction industry. An excellent choice of products are offered, all supported by first-class technical support. In 2006 Ischebeck Inform became part of the Ischebeck Titan Group, and together they are able to offer a greater choice of solutions to their customer base. Since that time they have shared extensive industry knowledge and expertise, and collaborated on product development. q



Women’s networking event promises to be better than ever [THE WOMEN in Construction

Networking Event returns to Scotland Build on 21 March from 10.00am - 12.30pm in the Built Environment Networking Hub. The event has become the largest gathering of women working in construction in Scotland. The session is free to attend for all and offers the chance for professional individuals operating in this market to network and feel inspired. They can learn from a panel of established experts discussing the untapped opportunities for women working in construction, together with issues surrounding diversity and equality. The event will be examining the issues of gender imbalance and inequality in the built environment industries. Places fill up on a first come first served basis, so people eager to attend are advised to book their ticket and arrive early on the day to catch the highly-anticipated annual event. Scotland Build is working with a large team of female ambassadors to grow the session even bigger for this year. Those interested in putting their weight behind the organisers to drive equality and diversity in the built environment as a Women in Construction Ambassador should get in touch with the team at q

Networking session looks to inspire the next generation


THE Built Environment Networking Hub at Scotland Build will be the venue for a Future Generation of Construction networking event, highlighting a wide range of career paths within construction and challenge stereotypical perceptions of the industry. Thought leaders and inspiring young construction workers will take the stage for a panel discussion and open Q&A for students, graduates and others looking to explore the opportunities across the construction industry and careers within the sector. Speakers and topics for the session, which takes place on 21 March from 2-4pm, are yet to be announced. q

Toolden and illbruck: a partnership made in Scotland Build [

PERFECT SEALING AND BONDING is crucial both to the functioning of buildings and their energy efficiency. Rules and regulations regarding airtight building standards or the environment combine with the increasing intricacy of building physics to make the builder’s job more challenging every day. To cope with it you need the right partner – with the right set of products, services and expertise. Such a partner is illbruck, a brand of European manufacturer and service provider of high-performance building materials, tremco illbruck. illbruck adds perfection to all sealing and bonding projects: whether it is windows, facades, interiors or exteriors. They have been setting standards for 60 years. The TP series of joint sealing tapes, the i3 window sealant system, window membranes and extensive range of adhesives and sealants are all milestones in that innovation heritage – products that are perfectly geared to improve the overall climate of buildings and lessen your workload. Whether it’s a major construction scheme or a minor refurbishment job, illbruck is just perfect. Now the latest range of illbruck products is being showcased by Toolden at Scotland Build Expo (Stand C46). Recent products added to the range include: illbruck SP510 (low-mod construction sealant), illbruck PU700 (multi-use construction adhesive) and Nullifire FF197 (gun-grade fire-rated PU foam).

illbruck strives to remain at the forefront of the construction industry. Working with partners like Toolden, they listen to what the market needs and develop products that are fundamental to the success of businesses. In its own words, illbruck has one plain purpose: “We do what we do to make your work as simple as it is appealing – and as pleasurable as it is professional: in other words, making it perfect.” q


Conference programme scales the Summit of informed debate [

ALL THE CONFERENCE and workshop sessions at Scotland Build are CPD-accredited and free to attend – and the line-up of speakers is truly impressive. As with previous shows, the programme centres on the four ‘Summits’, each of which confronts issues related to a particular facet of the construction industry.


The Future of Construction Summit addresses the broadest spectrum of issues, beginning with two basic challenges: Building the Future Scotland and Reshaping Building Standards in Scotland. Housing matters also feature on the first day’s agenda, with debates on the housing shortage, modular build and innovation in housing, and the role of master planning. The day ends by tackling the major topic of fire engineering, safety and prevention. On day two, transport, infrastructure and innovation take centre stage for the first few sessions, with the challenges of How Our Ageing Population Can be Supported by The Built Environment and Diversity and Equality in Today’s Built Environment being addressed. The Summit will conclude with debates on health and safety in the industry, with the issues surrounding mental health being uppermost. The Sustainability Summit will open with a presentation on A Sustainable Built Environment for Scotland followed by Healthy Cities, Healthy Buildings – Improving Quality of Life. Redefining sustainability and the future of sustainability appraisals will come under the spotlight before attention turns to sick building syndrome and indoor air quality. Day one concludes with the Passivhaus Trust Conference. The Passivhaus input continues on day two with a presentation on EnerPHit in residential retrofit, before Glasgow City Council lead three sessions on planning, the circular economy and responsible sourcing. Energy and recycling in their various forms are examined before the Summit ends with a discussion on flood defences. At the BIM and Digital Construction Summit, Scotland’s big guns on the latest in technological development in construction are brought to bear. Subjects under discussion include what the future holds, whether the industry actually understands BIM and is the industry playing catch-up? A case study of Edinburgh St James looks to shed some light on the subject. Day two sees perspectives from both the private and public sector, before a manufacturer’s viewpoint brings the Summit to a close. The Architecture Summit, meanwhile, also has digital technology at its heart. Designing for the Future is followed by Tech Trends for 2019 in the Design Process, before a panel debates The Evolution of Architecture in a New Digital Age. The second day sees an update from the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland followed by a presentation on affordable Passivhaus homes. To conclude, the Summit turns its attention back to digital technology with The Future of Immersive Digital Design. q


Photo and cover photo courtesy of Palmers Scaffolding UK Ltd/Royle Media

Special scaffolding protects HS2 archaeology project [SPECIALIST SCAFFOLDING COMPANY Palmers are providing large-

scale, special access solutions and scaffolding for the enabling construction works at the prestigious London Euston HS2 Station. The scaffold consists of a huge, 10,000m2 temporary roof – supported from below by 15 towers and 300m of Palmers’ bespoke, special access spine beam – with a large-scale privacy screen around St James Gardens, to house Costain Skanska Joint Venture’s (CSJV) archaeology programme. That involves carrying out a number of operations in the ancient cemetery that lies underneath the park. There are around 30 experienced Palmers scaffolding operatives on the site, installing the large temporary roof spans (of over 37m), the multiple scaffolding towers and complex access spine beams which complete the temporary roof, access and scaffolding structure. The vast bulk (90%) of the work on the structure will be completed from the confines of a safe working platform – fully boarded and hand-railed – and then traversed into position, to avoid the risk of working at height. Palmers managing director Donald Morrison said: “This is a marvellous project in every sense. The design process has taken a long time to perfect, but the solution is proving to be ideal for purpose – with the 15 support towers running the entire length of the site and the spine beams allowing the temporary roof sections to be rolled out into position, creating a mobile weather protection system to suit the works below.” The temporary works began in early July and the scaffolding structure is to remain erected for approximately 18 months while the archaeology work is carried out. Ian McFarlane, the firm’s director of business and project development, commented: “It is fantastic to be working at Euston Station on such largescale, high-profile construction works within the rail sector. It is a specialised piece of scaffolding, requiring specialist knowledge to erect and manage and Palmers are proud to be providing the modern special access here.” Palmers operations director for special access, Paul Duggan, added: “The design has involved months of planning and constructing demonstration rigs for the client at our base in Chester, prior to installation on site. We are all proud of the works. We believe Palmers are unique at producing something with a design this innovative.” q


Access industry luminary is honoured with OBE by Her Majesty [A LEADING LIGHT in the work at height sector

has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List with the award of an OBE. Peter Bennett is the managing director of PASMA – the organisation representing the mobile access tower industry – chair of the Access Industry Forum (AIF) and a founding trustee and current chair of the No Falls Foundation charity. Recently, Peter was instrumental in establishing the All Party Parliamentary Group for Working at Height. He also serves on a number of national and international standards-setting committees, Peter Bennett OBE sits on various advisory groups of the Health and Safety Executive, and contributes to the work of the Better Regulation Panel at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. In 2007 he was appointed executive director of the Ladder Association. He has also served as a council member, training committee chairman and president of IPAF, the International Powered Access Federation. PASMA chair Gillian Rutter commented: “This honour is richly deserved and reflects the huge contribution that Peter has made, not only to the growth and success of PASMA, but to the development and recognition of the work at height industry in general. “He is passionate about height safety, as evidenced by the fact that PASMA alone now trains upwards of 75,000 people a year – an increase of 2,500% compared with 1999/2000.”


Said Peter: “In accepting this honour I am deeply conscious of the need to acknowledge the unstinting help and support I have received, and continue to receive, from the PASMA secretariat, PASMA members and, of course, my colleagues in the Access Industry Forum and the wider work at height community. “I would also like to pay tribute to those individuals who willingly give up their precious time to serve as PASMA officers and committee members to advance the work and role of the association. This honour is as much for them as it is for me.” Peter Bennett studied at the University of Glasgow – the city of his birth. After graduating he joined the Glasgow office of national scaffolding company Stephens and Carter to begin a lifelong career in the work at height industry. In 1988 he moved to Turner Access Ltd as general manager, leaving in 2004 to establish the PASMA secretariat. As well as acting as chair of the AIF and the No Falls Foundation – the only UK charity dedicated exclusively to preventing falls from height and objects falling from height – Peter has been actively involved in the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Working at Height since its foundation in October 2017. Chaired by Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, the APPG has now completed its first report and produced a set of recommendations intended to reduce the overall number of deaths and injuries resulting from falls from height. q

Product purchasing guidance notes now available [

THE NASC HAS published a suite of scaffolding product purchasing guidelines – simple, go-to documents for contractors to use so they can ensure the equipment they source is up to standard. The six new product guidance (PG) documents – numbered PG1:18 to PG6:18 – cover a range of product categories: EN 39:2001 tube [4mm], EN 10219-1:2006 high tensile tube [3.2mm], BS 2482:2009 timber boards, EN74-1 couplers, aluminium beams and BS EN 12810/11 system scaffolds. Hard copies can be purchased via the NASC online shop, where they can also be downloaded for free. Robin James, NASC managing director, said: “Through the

publication of the new PG notes, contractors can ensure the products they hire or buy are safe and compliant to BS EN standards. This can either be achieved by selecting equipment on the NASC’s Code of Practice (CoP) compliant product list, which includes products that have successfully passed rigorous independent testing, or by carrying out your own checks on products not on the list using the guidance and tips included in the PG documents.” The NASC CoP compliant product list will be expanded as required. PST units were added in January 2019 and a corresponding PG note will follow shortly. q

NASC launches 2019 Yearbook [ THE NASC IS proud to launch its

2019 Yearbook – showcasing the latest confederation news and updates. The Yearbook features a round-up of the achievements and plans of the various NASC committees, more than a dozen pages of project overviews submitted by NASC members as well as a comprehensive listing of full contracting NASC members. Robin James, NASC managing director, said: “We are delighted to launch the 2019 Yearbook. This year’s publication is packed with helpful information, reviews and updates on the work of the confederation, and includes reports from its standing committees including the new Current Affairs committee, which has already made a strong impression. “Whilst looking back at activities undertaken throughout this year, the Yearbook also looks ahead to 2019. We have plans to host more presentations and events up and down the country with a view to further increasing the number of clients including NASC membership as a pre-requisite for their projects. “Membership continues to grow, and we expect the 250 barrier to be breached in terms of number of scaffolding contractors in NASC full membership during early 2019.” The NASC 2019 Yearbook is available via the NASC website ‘About’ page. q


NASC and CISRS take speaking slots at major scaffolding conference in China [

THE NASC AND CISRS were represented at a major, two-day scaffolding conference in China. The Construction Material Rental Contractor Association (CMRA) event, held in Tianjin, drew more than 600 delegates from across the country. David Mosley, NASC director and CISRS scheme manager, was invited to attend as a keynote speaker. He gave a presentation on the role of the NASC in establishing best practice and producing guidance, not only for its members but the industry as a whole. He also gave an overview of the UK CISRS scheme and the CISRS Overseas Scaffolder Training Scheme (OSTS) and explained how having


a regulated industry and a recognised training scheme had made the UK scaffolding sector a much safer place. After the presentation, David took part in a panel discussion aimed at exploring what advice the UK representatives could give to help improve the scaffolding sector in China. Andy Sharp, senior scaffold instructor at Simian Skill, gave an interactive, hands-on tool box talk on SG4:15 Preventing Falls in Scaffolding Operations. The pair also gave an additional presentation to more than 60 health and safety representatives from the China State Construction Engineering Corporation, one of the largest construction companies in the world. Delegates said they were impressed with CISRS OSTS and would be looking to send some of their workforce on Inspection and Supervisory Training courses. Yu Naiqiu, CMRA president, said: “We would like to thank our guests form the UK for sharing some of the good practice relating to safety and training with us, it was very informative and a really positive experience.” Howard Liu, chief director of Wenma Forming and Shoring (pictured with David Mosley and Andy Sharp), added: “Our members were really pleased that David Mosley and Andy Sharp could attend the annual conference. “We were very impressed with the quality of the guidance that NASC and CISRS produces and I think it is excellent that it can be downloaded for free. We are sure our members will find it very useful.” q

NASC signs Time to Change Employer Pledge [

THE NASC HAS joined more than 900 organisations across the country in signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge. Robin James, NASC managing director, signed the pledge on Monday 10 December, further sealing the confederation’s commitment to changing how it thinks and acts about mental health in the workplace. This commitment forms part of the NASC’s Head for Heights campaign, aimed at changing how mental health is approached and acted upon in the scaffolding industry. The NASC was inspired NASC president Des Moore (left) and to launch this campaign after statistics published earlier this year revealed the scale of mental health issues suffered by people working in the scaffolding and access and wider construction industries – and the fatal consequences they often bring. Every year more than 400 construction workers commit suicide. Stress, anxiety and depression also account for a fifth of all workrelated illnesses. Additionally, a Construction News ‘Mind Matters’ survey revealed that 55% of respondents had experienced mental health issues and one in four workers had considered taking their life.

The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity also revealed that demand for its range of support services was rising and that more than 18% of those it provided financial assistance to were scaffolders and roofers. Robin James said: “Mental health is a huge issue in the scaffolding and access industry but sadly one that often goes by without notice. By signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge we’re doing our bit to raise awareness of the need to change attitudes towards mental health and wellbeing in the industry. “As the voice of the scaffolding managing director Robin James industry, we encourage other scaffolding industry companies to follow suit.” Des Moore, NASC president and CEO of TRAD Group, which has also signed the pledge, added: “It’s crucial that we shine a greater spotlight on mental health and wellbeing in our industry and encourage more people to speak out without stigma or prejudice if they feel like they need support. “A broken bone is obvious. However, an individual can easily hide a mental health problem. This is a safety risk factor not just for them, but also their teammates working in a dynamic but also – as we all know – very demanding environment.” q

Charitable donations boosted by member generosity [ DONATIONS MADE BY the NASC to

two deserving charities at its 2018 Ball & Awards evening have been tripled – thanks largely to the generosity of members. NASC president and TRAD Group CEO Des Moore presented the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and Demelza Hospice Care for Children with cheques for £10,000 each as part of the black tie event held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh, last month. He then urged members to help raise a further £5,000 for each charity through a five-lot charity auction. This fundraising goal was surpassed several times over during the course of dinner, with guests digging deep with their bids, helping to push the total raised well past each lot’s reserve prices. These efforts were supported by a number of substantial stand-alone donations from members, who approached either Des Moore or the ball’s toastmaster to submit financial pledges. Combined with the original £10,000 sum – and boosted by a £2,300 donation by CISRS – the NASC was delighted to reach a total fundraising figure of £60,000, which was split equally between each charity. The NASC presented each charity with their cheques earlier this month.

Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have received this huge donation from the NASC members. We urgently need funding to sustain our helpline services and develop our Building Mental Health programme and this money will go a long way towards making a difference to our construction families in crisis. Thank you again to all the NASC members who were so very generous.” Ryan Campbell, CEO of Demelza Hospice Care for Children, added: “This donation and the overwhelming support we have received from the NASC and the scaffolding community is so much appreciated. This is a great boost to the care we are able to offer

children with terminal conditions and their families.” Robin James, NASC managing director, said: “The money raised for these charities, predominantly from NASC members, will be one of the enduring memories of the 2018 Ball & Awards. The way members embraced the opportunity to support these two deserving charities, both at the event and in the following days, was great to see. “I’d like to thank each and every member that helped boost the total donated for their efforts. I’d also like to thank all of the Ball & Awards sponsors for their association with the event. Without their backing we would not have been able to stage such a prestigious evening in the first place.” q



Fine levied after fall from scaffold [

AN ENGINEERING COMPANY and its director have been fined after an employee fell from a tower scaffold. Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 9 January 2017, an employee of Trueline Engineering Services Ltd fell from a partially-erected tower scaffold while carrying out welding work on a silo, sustaining a neck fracture as a result. An investigation by the HSE found the tower scaffold had not been erected correctly, with no hand or mid-rail in place to prevent falls from height, and staff had not been given training in how to properly erect the scaffold. The investigation also found that both Trueline Engineering Services Ltd and its director failed to ensure the provision and safe use of equipment for work at height and did not report the incident to HSE. Trueline Engineering Services Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and Regulation 4(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences

Regulations 2013. The company was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,500. Its director, Paul Smith, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, in relation to the company’s failing of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 4(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. He received a conditional discharge and was ordered to pay costs of £2,500. HSE inspector Jane Carroll said after the hearing last December: “This case highlights the importance of following industry guidance to ensure scaffolding is erected correctly and in a safe manner, so that workers using it are not placed at risk. “Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.” q

Ladder safety was the message over Christmas [

OVER THE CHRISTMAS period the Ladder Association published a free Ladder Safety Pack, as part of its on-going Get a Grip on Ladder Safety campaign. The pack included the association’s ‘12 Top Tips for Ladder Safety’ during the festive season, which is traditionally one of the busiest times of year for ladder users – both at work and at home. Jason Carlton of the Ladder Association said: “If ladders are used safely and sensibly, no one need have their festive fun ruined by a fall from height. We’re urging everyone to use their ladders wisely and appropriately, especially in the home where they might only be used once or twice a year.” The Ladder Safety Pack offered help and advice for both the professional in the workplace, where work at height is governed by the Work at Height Regulations, and the occasional user at home. For those using a leaning ladder the pack provides information on – among other things – positioning, stability, maintaining a firm handhold, and the dangers of overloading and overreaching. Similar advice is given for stepladders, plus guidance on the need for a pre-use check to quickly establish whether the stepladder is safe

for immediate use. For example, checking that the stiles are in good condition, as bent or split stiles could lead to collapse The pack also features an explanation of the Ladder Association’s STEP methodology: Site, Task, Equipment and People. It can be downloaded at The Get a Grip on Ladder Safety initiative has been running since September with the message: “If it’s right to use a ladder, use the right ladder and get trained to use it safely”. Thousands of Ladder Safety Packs have already been downloaded. q



Graduate Apprenticeships: Scotland’s way forward [

FOLLOWING ON FROM the recent consultation on the apprenticeship levy, the Scottish Government has reaffirmed its committed to the expansion of work-based learning opportunities through Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships. Ministers are committed to increasing the number of Modern Apprentices, including Graduate Apprentices, to 30,000 by 2020. According to Skills Development Scotland (SDS): “The Scottish Government, SDS and its partners understand the level of investment and commitment needed to meet the scale of ambition. We’re confident that, by working with industry, employers, FE colleges and universities, Graduate Apprenticeships will become an embedded part of Scotland’s skills landscape by 2020 and beyond.” Speaking directly to employers, SDS stated: “A graduate apprentice will work for you full time. It’s likely that they’ll spend about 80% of their time at work, and 20% with a university or college. You’ll work with the university or college delivering the training to decide what kind of learning timetable best suits your business. “For example, it might suit you to have apprentices attending university or college once a week – or online learning, or block release learning for several weeks, spaced throughout the year, may suit you better. The mix between work and learning means the work your employees do counts towards their qualification.” Construction and the Built Environment is one of the courses available

Apprenticeship scheme helps preserve iconic buildings [A CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TRAINING BOARD (CITB)

partnership has been launched in Edinburgh to help meet the demand for stonemasonry skills to protect and preserve Scotland’s iconic buildings. The St Mary’s Cathedral Workshop Stonemasonry Apprenticeship Scheme runs as a partnership between CITB and St Mary’s Cathedral Workshop. Five stonemasonry apprentices are among the first to benefit from this CITB support. One of them, Ben Nicolson, commented: “Starting an apprenticeship in stonemasonry is a great opportunity for me to learn new skills and earn a wage as I do so. I’m really excited about it as stonemasonry skills have become pretty rare in Scotland. “I get to work on some stunning stone projects and I work with lots of enthusiastic, knowledgeable people. This apprenticeship will help me to build a secure career for the future – where no two days are the same.” The scheme was visited recently by Gordon Lindhurst MSP, who said: “‘I am glad to support the apprenticeship scheme at St Mary’s Cathedral where traditional methods of stonemasonry are taught. “St Mary’s has a proud tradition of carving out the stonemasons of the future. These skills are urgently required across Scotland; particularly in Edinburgh, where the skills will contribute to the maintenance of buildings that are fundamental to Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. “I am pleased that CITB is able to support this apprenticeship scheme and I hope this investment in skills can continue so that we can maintain our proud built heritage.” q

as a Graduate Apprenticeship in Scotland, which differs in its higher education system from England. The programme will offer the knowledge and competences necessary to begin practice as a professional in the construction and built environment sector. It will offer: • Competence in the valuation of land and property (applies to those • within the land and property sector) • Understanding of appropriate solutions around the principles of design • and technology • Understanding and applying relevant laws – describe standards, • regulations and their consequences across the sector • Knowledge of business management concepts such as data • management, business finance and business strategies • The ability to confidently work both as an individual and part of a • team to develop and deliver solutions within construction and the • built environment • Understanding of the importance of applying negotiation, effective • work habits, leadership and good communication with stakeholders • The ability to take responsibility for obligations for health, safety, • welfare environment and quality issues The key content areas which make up the Construction and the Built Environment Graduate Apprenticeship are: design and technology; business management; project and delivery management; and professional practice. q

Scotland celebrates work-based learning [

EVERY YEAR, employers, learning providers and apprentices across Scotland take part in Scottish Apprenticeship Week – hosting a range of events and activities to celebrate the benefits of work-based learning. It also showcases apprentices who have chosen work-based learning to develop their careers. This year’s week – taking place from 4-8 March – is set to be even bigger as Scottish apprenticeships continue to grow and flourish. Co-ordinated by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Scottish Apprenticeship Week highlights the commitment of businesses who have decided to invest in the skills of their workforce. Apprenticeships have become fundamental to the growth and success of Scotland’s economy. There is a commitment to continue to increase the number of Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeship opportunities, enabling employers to tap into a bigger pipeline of talent. Director of National Training Programmes, Katie Hutton, commented: “Scottish apprenticeships are increasingly becoming a vital means for industry to shape its workforce. More and more individuals are recognising the benefits of work-based learning, with opportunities to gain skills in careers for the future. “Scottish Apprenticeship Week shines a light on the major contribution apprenticeships make across all business sectors and the difference they make to the lives of thousands of people across the country.” Through Scottish Apprenticeship Week, SDS wants partners such as councils, industry, learning providers, schools and employers to encourage many more employers to take on apprentices. This year’s #ScotAppWeek will also be encouraging people, including current and past apprentices, to show their gratitude for individuals who have made a difference to their career. In the run up to the week, SDS will provide more information and support on ways to get involved. q


CITB continues its ‘divestment’ programme [THE Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has signed an

‘enabling partner agreement’ with outsourcing company Shared Services Connected Ltd (SSCL). The partnership comes as part of CITB’s Vision 2020, whereby CITB will take on a more strategic and influential role, focusing on securing the right training mix, high standards and quality assurance, to build employer confidence in the market. From February SSCL will take over a number of activities on behalf of CITB: HR, finance, procurement, technology and change, apprenticeship processing and certain customer operations. SSCL is a joint venture between the UK Cabinet Office and Sopra Steria. According to CITB: “They have a proven track record of providing high-quality operational services to some of the UK’s largest public bodies, including the Environment Agency and Department for Work and Pensions.” Announcing the partnership in November, CITB CEO Sarah Beale said: “Partnerships are at the heart of our Vision 2020 strategy, so that we can achieve more for our industry and modernise our business. SSCL is an industry leader in delivering core services to organisations that are similar to CITB. Our new partnership will modernise our systems and bring the latest innovations in service to our customers. “This next phase of CITB’s modernisation is being delivered on time and

as promised to British construction and the government. It will allow CITB to focus on our priorities and become a leaner, more agile organisation that delivers the skills needed by British construction. “We do not underestimate the impact that this will have on our colleagues, who are incredibly talented and committed. I see the fantastic work they do every day, and this decision to outsource is in no way a reflection on their skills and abilities.” The move came at the same time as CITB announced it was selling the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) to awarding organisation NOCN Group. The move is also part of CITB’s Vision 2020 programme. Braden Connolly, director of products and services at CITB, said: “Card schemes will continue to play an important role in demonstrating workforce competence, and by stepping away from direct delivery we remove any conflict of interest. CITB will evolve to oversee and ensure standards are maintained, targeting funding to meet current and future skills needs. This will enable us to focus on building the right relationships with providers to secure the kind of provision British construction needs.” The transition is expected to happen in two phases with completion expected by August, subject to all parties being ready. This will ensure a smooth changeover of systems and processes with minimal disruption to employees and customers. q

Students urged to rise to the challenge [ JANUARY SEES THE INITIAL stage of the annual Chartered

Institute of Building Global Student Challenge. The competition is open to teams of built environment students and is a test of construction industry know-how – it takes place in stages over a number of months. The challenge provides a realistic simulation, where teams made up of three or four people act as a board of directors running their own company. The Foundation Years stage, which kicks off in January, is where competitors learn how to play the game: running a virtual construction company in a simulated environment, testing out different strategies and refining tactics for the competitive game. The CIOB advises that, based on performance in previous years, teams who do well in the competition are the ones who make the most of this stage. The Early Years stage starts a few weeks later. Teams now play

competitively with other teams around the world, making decisions that influence the success of their companies. The leaders after six weeks of competition are given the opportunity to compete in finals that attract talent from around the world. The winning team receives £2,000 in prize money, along with access to a unique mentoring programme, with industry leaders offering advice and guidance to support the winning team’s professional development. More than 60 teams entered the 2018 competition, with the six teams scoring the most in the early rounds being invited to the finals as part of the CIOB’s annual Member’s Forum. In 2019 both events will once again be run alongside each other – this time in Edinburgh. The competition is only open to full-time students, although there remains an allowance of one postgraduate member per team as in previous years. Teams are normally made up of four members, but three is permissible. Costs will remain the same as last year. q

Architecture apprentices become a reality [

THE RIBA employer’s guide to architectural apprenticeships will be published in January. It will cover everything practices need to know about the scheme, the recruitment of new entrants to the profession and the apprenticeship route for existing Part 2 and Part 3 employees. Early last year the Architecture Apprenticeships Trailblazer Group, consisting of 20 large practices, drew up two apprenticeship standards for the training and study equivalents of Part 1 and a combined Part 2 and 3. These were accepted for funding under the government’s apprentices scheme for England over the summer, allowing the first apprenticeships to get underway at the start of the current academic year. The Architectural Assistant apprenticeship is also known as Level 6 and is equivalent to a Part 1 qualification, while the Architect Apprenticeship is Level 7 and equivalent to completion of Part 2 and Part 3 qualifications. Both of the architectural apprenticeship schemes last for four years, with 80% of an apprentice’s time spent with the employing practice


and 20% with a participating university. Employers pay the students’ academic fees and salary but can claim back 90% of academic fees as periods of study are completed. One practice with an apprentice already on board is 3DReid, whose employee Nathan Akilla is studying at London South Bank University. Director Richard Fairhead said: “There is always a risk when taking on a school leaver that they are not going to see things through, so work experience before entry is probably the best route. They get a taste of working in a practice and we can take a view on whether they are the right people for us to take on. “If these apprenticeships had been around when I started, I would definitely have taken this route.” q • Practices and potential apprentices can find regularly updated information on the RIBA Apprenticeship hub.

Colleges set out their views on apprenticeships [

IN DECEMBER the Collab Group of Colleges published its latest report on the apprenticeship levy. The paper focuses on three core areas: individuals, employers and providers. Respectively, each section discusses the cultural issues surrounding apprenticeships’ stigmatisation, the barriers of the levy system for employers, and the need for a regulatory framework that ensures good provision. Each matter is backed up by suggestions on how the apprenticeship system can be made a success. The aim of the paper is to show that working in partnership can truly make apprenticeships great again. Ian Pretty, CEO of Collab Group, said: “An apprenticeship system that is up to a high-quality standard is crucial on all levels. Whether it is to attract young people to become apprentices or to increase the supply by employers, we need a system that is as efficient, appealing and dynamic as possible. “The apprenticeship levy is a good start; but as the paper highlights, there are too many flaws in its approach and management. On top of that, the regulatory framework for providers also needs improvement, in order to embed quality in the delivery of apprenticeships. We hope that this paper helps to get apprenticeships to the highest standards, as they play a crucial role in delivering a credible and respected system of technical education. “Collab Group colleges are pressing to see this transformation and are working very hard to achieve a better future for apprenticeships.” q

Construction training courses and/or apprenticeships are available at the following colleges: Bath College T: 01225 312 191

W: E:

The Sheffield College

City Centre Campus, Avon Street, Bath BA1 1UP

T: 0114 260 2600 E: W:

Somer Valley Campus, Wells Road, Radstock BA3 3RW

City Campus, Granville Road, Sheffield S2 2RL

Barking & Dagenham College

Stoke on Trent College

Rush Green Campus, Dagenham Road, Romford RM7 0XU

Stoke Road, Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 2DG

New City College

Warwickshire College Group

Falkirk St, London N1 6HQ

Warwick New Road, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV32 5JE

New College Lanarkshire

Weymouth College

T: 020 3667 0294 E: W:

T: 020 7613 9123 E: W:

T: 0300 555 8080 E: W:

T: 01782 208208 E: W:

T: 0300 456 0047 E: W:

Motherwell Campus, 1 Enterprise Way,

T: 01305 761100 E: W:

Motherwell ML1 2TX

Cranford Avenue, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 7LQ

Apprenticeships at Salford City College

Wiltshire College & University Centre

Frontier House, Merchants Quay, Salford M50 3SR

Trowbridge Campus, College Road, Trowbridge BA14 0ES

T: 0161 631 5555 E: W:

T: 01225 350035 E: W:


Kent’s latest retirement facility combines

[A NEW RETIREMENT VILLAGE and care home has recently opened its

doors in Hextable, Kent. Emerson Park – the latest addition to the Cinnamon Care Collection – recently welcomed over 100 local dignitaries and VIPs to its official opening. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was performed by the chairman of Sevenoaks District Council, Cllr Pat Bosley, and Rev Johnny Douglas of St Peter’s Church in Hextable. Guests enjoyed a celebratory atmosphere as they toured the bespoke facilities provided for the 47 luxurious retirement apartments. VIPs also visited the on-site luxury care home – Emerson Grange (above right) – which provides state-of-the-art facilities in homely surroundings, offering exemplary standards of residential, nursing, dementia and respite care and support. Welcoming guests to the opening, general manager Paul Hart said: “We are delighted to welcome the VIP guests here for our official opening. There is such a need for high-end, luxury retirement living throughout the UK, highlighted by the fact that we have already sold over 40% of our retirement apartments. “Residents are purchasing properties for all sorts of reasons – from couples looking to downsize and perhaps free up finances to enjoy hobbies and travel, to single people, widowers and widows who are keen to benefit from the extensive range of activities and support provided by our dedicated on-site staff.”


The £1.6m development was project managed by Meedhurst and constructed by care sector specialists Castleoak to a design by award-winning architects Harris Irwin Associates. The apartments are housed on three floors of two buildings – The Lodge and The Mews – and are finished and equipped to the highest luxury standards. They feature a range of built-in appliances and granite work surfaces in the kitchen, top-of-the-range bathrooms and high-quality carpets throughout. Security is provided via an audio-visual door-entry system as well as cylinder deadlocks on apartment entrance doors. For additional peace of mind and reassurance, each apartment has a 24-hour emergency call system which links to the on-site team. As well as the apartments, Emerson Park provides a range of five-star facilities, including a state-of-the-art exercise studio and gym, hair and beauty salon, café-bar and cinema room. The Club House room is the perfect place to meet friends for a coffee and a chat, or to enjoy a three-course meal. For those who crave independence in retirement but sometimes need access to a little extra help, there are five spacious, one-bedroom ‘Service Plus’ suites combining worry-free living with stylish design and quality craftsmanship.

apartments with a care home The suites are located next to the main reception and Club Room, with easy access to the communal facilities. Rev Johnny Douglas commented: “With the growing ageing demographic and increasing demand for quality elderly care, Emerson Park is just what Hextable and the wider area requires. It is lovely to be here to welcome them to the local community.” Located on the same site, Emerson Grange Care Home provides state-of-theart facilities in homely surroundings, together with the highest standards of care and support. From the cosy reading rooms to the relaxed beauty salon, all the facilities have been designed with changing needs in mind. Paul Hart explained: “Our care home, Emerson Grange, has been designed and built to the very highest standards. Every aspect of the new care home has been planned with the people Cinnamon care for in mind – whether it is the personalisation of care plans, the careful selection of room décor, meal times, hobbies or personal routines.” The luxurious rooms at Emerson Grange have been designed and fitted out to the very highest standards with every detail carefully thought out to ensure maximum convenience and comfort. The rooms are spacious and bright, fully furnished with an electric profiling bed, TV, Wi-Fi and telephone, and an en-suite wet room. To meet the aspirations and wishes of today’s older generation, Emerson Grange also has a small selection of care suites, many with direct access to outside space. The care suites are fully furnished, luxurious one-bedroom apartments, but with the reassurance that care and support is on hand 24 hours a day. The care suites include an en-suite bedroom, lounge and kitchenette. Although developed with couples in mind, they are ideal for those who are

Emerson Grange has selection of care suites, many with direct access to outside space looking for more space and privacy than a traditional care bedroom. They mean, however, that in a situation where one partner in a couple needs 24-hour care and the other doesn’t, they can still be together. Paul Hart commented: “Emerson Park is all about giving people more choice in older age and our care suites are another example of this. So often I have witnessed couples having to live apart after many years of marriage because one requires 24-hour care. Our care suites mean this is no longer the case.” q

Emerson Park’s facilities include an exercise studio and gym as well as a cinema and TV room

Approved inspectors can take the place of LABC [BUILDING CONTROL SERVICES for Emerson Park were

provided by jhai Ltd – an approved inspector. jhai are licensed by the government, via the Construction Industry Council (CIC), to carry out Building Regulations approvals (building control) as an alternative to local authorities.

In the past five years jhai have handled over 65,000 building control applications – 17,000 in the past year alone. By volume they are one of the biggest approved inspectors across all sectors in the UK, possibly the largest in the housing sector. They now also provide a range of energy assessments and additional services. jhai offer building regulations approval that is fast, helpful and intelligent. That includes building control for all types of commercial and domestic projects, with the same high level of service whether it’s for a self-builder planning their dream home or a major developer needing quick decisions on a national roll-out. They cover all of England and Wales and aim to make projects easier and save their clients money. A spokesperson for the company said: “We take our responsibilities to our clients seriously – we know that we are trusted with professional reputations and lifetime investments. Our promise to you is that whether you are a multinational developer or a one-person self-builder, we at jhai will do everything we can to provide you with the best, most efficient and cost-effective building control service possible. “We handle everything from initial notice, plan checking and site inspections through to final certificate. If you’re unfamiliar with the approved inspector building control process, just contact us. We look forward to working with you.” q


Housing association installs second district ground source system [

A NEW COMMUNAL ground source heat pump system is set to save customers of an East Anglia housing association hundreds of pounds a year on their heating bills. The new system has been installed at Flagship Homes’ Quayside Court scheme in Lakenheath, Suffolk. It will improve quality of life and affordability for customers, as well as reducing CO2 emissions. The project follows on from a similar awardwinning installation completed at Flagship’s Orchard Close estate of 30 flats in Watton in 2017. The district heating system, which draws energy from the earth using a central heat pump and distributes it from a standalone plant room to each home, will replace the current individual electric storage heaters and oil boilers, providing a more effective and efficient system for the 21 bungalows. Each home will be individually metered and customers only charged for the energy they use. The installation will qualify for the Nondomestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), a Government scheme which assists with the project’s capital cost by providing quarterly payments for 20 years, allowing Flagship to roll out the much-improved heating system into other homes in the future. Head of asset management at Flagship, Charlie Conley, said: “Ground source heat pumps are a low maintenance, sustainable way of heating our homes. “We are committed to continually improving our renewable energy sources to help tackle fuel poverty and reduce our carbon footprint, and this system does that. Capital investment by Flagship, as well as the

RHI, provides a positive and sustainable return for us and our customers.” Bryan and Maria Kelly have lived in their Quayside Court home for 11 years and said: “Getting the new heating system is fantastic. Once it’s up and running, we’re likely to save around £500 a year. Having this additional money in the bank will allow us to use it on other things such as a holiday. It gives us extra financial freedom.” Attleborough-based renewable heating expert Finn Geotherm has worked in partnership with Norwich company Gasway Services Ltd to install the system. Finn Geotherm was responsible for the district heating system at Orchard Close – the first installed in East Anglia for a housing association. The Orchard Close project has subsequently won numerous awards for its innovative energy and cost-saving heating. Finn Geotherm’s commercial director Guy Ransom said: “We are delighted that Flagship has chosen to install a second district heating system for its tenants. We have seen first-hand the difference a heat pump such as this has made to Flagship customers by eradicating fuel poverty and creating homes that customers can enjoy living in. It is a pleasure to be working with an organisation which not only puts its customers at the heart of its operations, but also its responsibility to reducing carbon emissions and energy use.” The system is connected to the Finn Geotherm offices, which allows it to be monitored wirelessly to ensure optimum performance and to highlight any potential maintenance needs. q

V&A Dundee’s ground source makes the most of natural heating AND cooling [ THE LAST ISSUE of Construction National showcased V&A

Dundee, Scotland’s new museum of design – placing its stunning architecture in pride of place on the front cover. Underneath Kengo Kuma’s fantastical exterior lies a monumental engineering project, which includes a series of ground source heat pumps. The system both heats the building in summer (supplemented by air-source pumps on the roof) and cools it in summer. The Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA) reports how a low and zero-carbon technologies study was undertaken in 2011 as part of the project's obligation to identify the most appropriate form of renewable energy for the 8,000m² building, and ground source was identified as the optimum solution. The heat pumps provide direct renewable energy for the museum, with 800,000 kWh a year of heating and 500,000 kWh a year of cooling. The system features 30 boreholes, each 200m deep, which allow the heat pumps to draw heat from the ground to provide heating in winter. In summer the heat pumps transfer excess heat from the building down to the borehole field. That not only provides efficient cooling, it also


stores heat in the ground for the winter when it will be recycled back to the museum to provide heating. In the words of the GSHPA: “This building is run by the sun.” Getting the heat into and out of the building is just part of the story. Engineering consultancy ARUP produced a low-energy design by creating efficient systems which exploit diversification in loads and match the systems to the ground source heat pump primary heating and cooling plant. q

Innovative collaboration wins engineering award [

IN THE SUMMER we reported on a new type of retrofit ground source heating system installed at London South Bank University (LSBU) by a consortium known as Balanced Energy Network (BEN). The BEN system incorporates a heat sharing network which is designed to provide a more cost-effective, flexible and scalable alternative to conventional district heating network technology. Heat sharing networks transfer warmth via piping circuits between buildings at near ground temperature and extract it via heat pumps in each building: fifth generation district heating and cooling networks. At the time GSHPA director Edward Thompson described the advantages of the system thus: “This form of heat transfer avoids the use of combustion completely. There are therefore no emissions of CO2 on site, which answers the Clean Growth Strategy comprehensively. There are also no emissions of NOX, SOX or particulates, which also totally answers the Clean Air Strategy.” In November BEN was named winner in the Energy and Environment category of The Engineer’s Collaborate to Innovate Awards for its

fifth generation district heat network, known as a cold water heating network (CWHN). Announcing the award, The Engineer described the input of the partners in the project: “The CWHN was developed by ICAX, which is acting as the co-ordinator of the project. It also designed and developed a new type of high-temperature pump which is central to the concept. LSBU, meanwhile, is acting as the host site for an experimental network, while also providing system modelling and assessment of the network. “Terra Firma Ground Investigations designed and drilled two 110m boreholes to regulate the network temperature. Upside Energy provided demand side management analysis and cloud-based control of the electrical elements of the system. Mixergy designed and developed the thermal storage cylinders and Origen Power, in partnership with Cranfield University, developed a device called a fuel cell calciner, which enables electricity to be generated in a way that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.” q



Volkswagen’s classic van offers even more Transporters of delight

[ WHEN VOLKSWAGEN designed its

first compact van 65 years ago, the aim was to capture the imagination and meet professional needs. Since then, each generation of the Transporter panel van has added to that legacy, using its load space ever-more efficiently and making difficult jobs easier. The latest transformation of the Transporter offers a new generation of TDI and BiTDI common-rail direct-injection diesel engines, with power outputs ranging from 84-204PS, designed to Euro 6 emissions standard and offering plenty of usable torque for shifting heavy loads. A five or six-speed manual gearbox comes as standard, while the 150PS and 204PS engines can be specified with a dual-clutch direct-shift gearbox (DSG), providing a smooth power-flow when changing gear. The modern Transporter offers two wheelbases and two roof heights, combining to offer a load volume of between 5.8-9.3 m³, with space for up to three Euro-pallets. With a low load bed, a generous rear opening width of 1,473mm and maximum load height of 1,940mm for high roof models, the Transporter is designed to make load access easy and convenient. Moreover, getting the load in and out of the rear doors has been made as convenient as possible with the option of either a large tailgate or versatile rear wing doors, with the option to specify 250° opening angle hinges on long wheelbase models. Both are available glazed or in solid metal for added security. Keeping the driver as secure as the load is a priority, and the intelligent safety and driver assistance systems in the Transporter include driver alert and brake assist as standard, as well as optional adaptive cruise control and lane assist – which can help maintain speed and warn the driver when the vehicle is in danger of unintentionally changing lanes. Plus, there’s now an option to upgrade the Transporter for less, thanks to the Business Pack. Available on the Transporter Startline panel van models, the discounted pack

features rear parking sensors, climatic air conditioning, an anti-theft alarm and towing protection. For those who want to make a real statement on site, two special versions help the Transporter stand out even more from the crowd. The stunning new Edition builds on the Highline’s impressive specification and combines it with a striking high-gloss black roof and wing mirrors and unique decals that accentuate the bodylines. The exterior styling is finished off with 17 or 18-inch alloys, depending on the engine chosen, LED headlights with LED daytime running lights and privacy glass.

Meanwhile, the top-of-the-range Sportline (below) features all of the qualities found across the Transporter range, but with an enhanced specification that’s as comprehensive as it is sporty. q

Use your van as the driving force for fitness [THE NEW YEAR is over and the annual rush to the

gym has begun. But for van drivers, who spend long hours sat behind the wheel, finding time to keep fit can be a struggle. Life on the road has challenges: not only can it lead to less-than-ideal nutrition and grabbing snacks on the go, but hours of sitting can slow the metabolism. That affects the ability to regulate blood sugar and Panel push-ups are one of the blood pressure and metabolise fat – and may, over time, exercises recommended contribute to weaker muscles and bones. To help van drivers and tradespeople find time in their schedule to start 2019 in healthy fashion, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is living up to its ‘Working With You’ promise and has created a unique exercise regime that can be completed anywhere, anytime – with its Mobile Gym Transporter. Volkswagen has teamed up with fleet customer Pimlico Plumbers and its in-house personal trainer James Dean to devise the programme which is designed to tackle different muscle groups for a wellrounded workout. And there’s no need for expensive gym memberships and pricey equipment. The training regime makes use of the Transporter’s body panels and load bay – with ‘bumper dips’ and ‘panel push-ups’ – plus everyday tools and gear stored in the racking, with moves like the ‘pipe clean and press’ and the ‘toolbox squat and raise’. Sarah Cox, head of marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “Our brand promise, ‘Working With You’, is devised to keep customers and their businesses moving forward, and that goes beyond just the health of the vehicle. We want to encourage van drivers to get fit with our onthe-go workout that can be done anywhere drivers find themselves with a spare five minutes.” q










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Construction National Winter 2018/19  

Construction National Construction news Brexit NHBC RNIB Stanstead Airport Museums and Galleries V&A Photography Centre Newton's Place D-Day...

Construction National Winter 2018/19  

Construction National Construction news Brexit NHBC RNIB Stanstead Airport Museums and Galleries V&A Photography Centre Newton's Place D-Day...

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