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COVER STORY

CONTENTS Memorial pays tribute to fallen ‘Bomber Boys’ Following a long campaign spearheaded by the Bomber Command Association, the Heritage Foundation, the Royal Air Force, supporters from the entertainment industry and the media, a new RAF Bomber Command Memorial was unveiled this summer. read more on p4

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TRAINING 7

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Shared apprenticeship schemes secure long-term training in Lancashire Women are encouraged to learn skilled trades

HOUSING 22 - 25 LONDON BOUND

WORKING AT HEIGHT 9 11 11 13

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Accident reporting to be mandatory for IPAF rental members Umbrella body promotes safety while working at height Contractor fined for allowing risk of falling from height Industry seminar hears from IPAF and HSE on entrapment Scaffolder Challenge 2013 Trainers claim to be PASMA accredited Access trade association offers training places on Facebook Abseiling can be tight

GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMPS 17 17 18

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Ground source association unimpressed by RHI Conference calls for EU action plan on geothermal Major ground source system installed in Wandsworth

BOOK REVIEW 19

Manual helps comply with environmental legislation on site

CHIMNEYS 21

BFCMA launch new web site and guidance on chimneys for wood burning appliances

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The next stage of the Pride in the Job awards saw 130 Seals of Excellence presented, while 38 Regional Award winners are heading to London in January to compete for the ultimate accolade - the Pride in the Job Supreme Awards 2012. 26

Clegg pledges massive investment in housing

26 - 34 NEW BUILD A look at some prestigous new developments from some of the country’s top house builders. 26 Village development in Lincolnshire by Chestnut Homes 27 Harron Homes’ fast selling Yorkshire woodland site 27 Northern Ireland seaside site from Houston Homes 29 Springfield Properties buck the trend in Scotland 31 Sell out design from CALA Homes in Lanarkshire 32 Anwyl Homes know Welsh surroundings like no other 32 Family homes in Wales from Llanmoor Homes 34 Larkfleet Homes build for the over-55s in Lincolnshire

For all other enquiries: Tel: 0161 710 3880 Fax: 0161 710 3879 Email: editorial@dmmonline.co.uk 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.

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Memorial pays tribute to fallen

‘Bomber Boys’ n Following a long campaign spearheaded by the Bomber Command Association, the Heritage Foundation, the Royal Air Force, supporters from the entertainment industry and the media, a new RAF Bomber Command Memorial was unveiled this summer. At a service in June, attended by over 6,000 veterans and families of the deceased, The Queen unveiled the £6m memorial to the 55,573 airmen of Bomber Command who died during World War Two. The memorial, in London’s Green Park, was designed by architect Liam O’Conner, who previously designed the Armed Forces Memorial in Alrewas, Staffordshire. Built of Portland stone, the memorial features a 9ft-high bronze sculpture depicting a seven-man bomber crew returning to base after operations. Sculptor Philip Jackson said the tone of the work was reflective and portrayed men returning from a mission. “I chose the moment when they get off the aircraft and they’ve dumped all their heavy kit onto the ground,” he said. The form of the memorial, with its central raised section and lowered ‘wings’, is a variation on the theme of the Ionic screen on Hyde Park Corner, to the west of the memorial. The screen ‘wings’ each contain seven freestanding columns, prefiguring the seven aircrew sculpture at the heart of the memorial. The central section is framed by two stone plinth-like masses defining a lofty, spacious loggia, or open arcade. Inside, the space is open to the sky, allowing light to fall directly onto the ‘life-and-a-half’ scale sculpture at the core of the structure. The inscriptions and badges were carved by Richard Kindersley who devised unique letterforms for the memorial, based on sans serif letterform from the 1940’s merged with classical Greek references. The roof, installed by FTMRC member Martin UK Roofing Systems, is predominantly copper, but incorporates sections of aluminium recovered from a Halifax Bomber LW682 from 426 Thunderbird Squadron, shot down over Belgium in May 1944, in which eight crew were killed. The RAF Benevolent Fund (RAFBF) took guardianship of the memorial in June and has agreed to maintain it for future generations, ensuring the sacrifice made by those brave men in defence of our freedom is never forgotten. Mike Neville from the RAFBF said: “It is a great honour for us to become guardians of the memorial – a lasting monument to these incredibly brave men, who showed astonishing courage in the most terrifying conditions. They are more than deserving of this permanent memorial and we are proud to maintain it in their honour.” In response to overwhelming levels of interest since the memorial was unveiled, the RAFBF has recently launched an app for iPhone and iPad, which allows users to undertake a tour of the memorial, either in person at the site or virtually in the comfort of their own home. It can be accessed at https://itunes. apple.com/gb/app/bomber-command-memorial/id571938401?mt=8&ignmpt=uo%3D2.

As well as an audio guide for visiting the site in Green Park, the app brings together a range of audio and visual content to tell the story behind the memorial. It includes exclusive interviews with veterans of Bomber Command and the daughter of a ‘Bomber Boy’ who never returned – moving, personal stories with poignant reflections on what the memorial means to them. The app also uses archive photography and infographics to bring the facts and figures behind the men and aircraft of Bomber Command to life. The RAF Benevolent Fund has a number of products available to buy, including a 2013 calendar and Christmas cards, with all proceeds going towards the maintenance of the memorial. Visit http://shop.rafbf.org/ collections/christmas-gifts/bomber-command. q • To find out more about the memorial, purchase themed merchandise or make a donation, visit www.rafbf.org.uk/bombercommand or scan the QR code below.

The recently launched app for iPhone and iPad, which allows users to undertake a tour of the memorial



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The Bomber Command Memorial A Case Study in International Co-operation

Few of the hundreds who attended the Bomber Command Memorial unveiling ceremony in June, or who watched it on TV, can have been aware of the story behind the creation of the largest UK memorial for 200 years and the international effort that was required in one particular aspect of its construction. n It started in 2010, when David Martin, managing director of FTMRC member Martin UK Roofing Systems, was approached by respected architect Liam O’Connor, of Liam O’Connor Architects and Planning Consultants, to provide a full design and installation service for the memorial roof covering. After initial meetings to discuss the project and the potential roof, a natural finish sheet copper was selected for its longevity, lightness and harmony with the classical design of the memorial. The design incorporated 0.7 mm curved profile copper sheets to the central hall of the memorial together with perimeter copper clad parapet gutters and flashings, designed to discharge rainwater onto the adjoining east and west masses. These were also adorned with copper clad mono pitch roof areas and were drained by a secret internal cast iron rainwater system.

The structural stainless steel lattice work supporting the roof had been specifically designed by Liam O’Connor to represent the diamond shaped structural framework found in the RAF Wellington bomber. Not only that,

The structural stainless steel lattice work supporting the roof it had to interface with an aluminium ceiling which represented the aluminium cladding – complete with authentic riveting and joint detailing – found in the cladding of warplanes in the 1940’s. Not only had the detailing to be authentic, but the material used was itself to be uniquely sourced, from a World War II Halifax Bomber recovered by the Canadian Bomber Command Museum in Naton, Alberta.

The Halifax Bomber LW682 was part of the 426 Thunderbird Squadron of the RCAF and had been shot down over Belgium in 1944, killing the crew of 7 Canadians and one Briton. In 1997 a team from Canada recovered the aircraft from a swamp, together with the bodies of three of the aircrew that had not been recovered before the aircraft had sunk. The unusable wreckage was melted down into aluminium ingots and shipped back to the museum in Canada, initially with the intention of being made into memorial plaques. Then, some five years ago, the museum was approached by representatives from Britain seeking to raise funds for a long overdue Bomber Command Memorial and the curators immediately offered some of the precious aluminium ingots, as an incredibly special ‘donation’ to be used in the memorial. “The very essence of that Halifax crew remained in those ingots” said one museum curator. It was at this point that a unique design to incorporate this material was developed by the architect. But that wasn’t the end of the story of international co-operation, as the next problem for Messrs Martin and Harvey was to find a

The roof design package also included the timber substrate incorporating 200mm curved timber battens bolted to the stainless steel structural framework. The battens were then clad with two layers of 9mm WBP plywood forming the perfect curved substructure for the copper cladding. It was only during the design stage of the copper roof that David Martin, together with consultant Ian Harvey, were also asked to consider installing the aluminium ceiling between the internal stainless steel lattice work on which the copper clad timber substrate was to be laid. Whilst pleased to take on what was thought to be a straightforward addition on such a prestigious project, it was only after further research that the truly symbolic nature and complexity of this work became apparent. www.constructionnational.co.uk




smelter to convert the ingot into the 2mm aluminium sheets required. Despite extensive enquiries in Canada, the United States, UK and Central Europe, no commercial smelter operation could take on such a small quantity and guarantee to preserve its unique identity. Almost by accident the problem eventually came to the attention of Shaun Kelly, managing director of Richard Austin Alloys of Coventry, who was meeting that evening with Hydro, the Norwegian aluminium manufacturers. As a tribute to the Norwegian aircrew that were in Bomber Command during the war, the company’s management agreed to do a special smelt and produce the required sheet, free of charge, as their donation to the project. The ingots were flown by the RCAF from Canada to Glasgow and from there shipped to the Hydro smelter in Sunndal, Norway and then onto the rolling mill at Homestrand. Having sourced the metal, attention turned to the very specific design requirements, resulting in a visit for Messrs Martin and Harvey, organised by Liam O’Connor, to the Sir Michael Beetham Conservation Centre at RAF Cosford where a Wellington Bomber was being renovated. It provided key information with regard to the diamond lattice work fuselage dimensions and the aluminium clad wings showed the riveting patterns used. With the information from Cosford, David and Ian were able to work with Littlehampton Welding to recreate the design pattern representing the internal bomber frame, which would be on show within the memorial on the underside of the roof, some 8.5m above



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the floor. The exposure of the roof underside meant particular attention was necessary not only with regard to the dimensions but also the perspective, as viewed from ground level. Having agreed the design detail, the prefabrication work on the aluminium sheets could be organised – but not in Norway. The sheets were shipped back to Glasgow to the premises of specialists John Gilmore Ltd, who sheared them to size and then punched the riveting holes and anodised the surfaces, before forming the curved ‘top hat’ jointing ribs which would be used to fit the panels together in situ. The Gilmore family fully appreciated the significance of the project because of their own family losses with Bomber Command aircrew during the war and waived all charges for their work. Next stop for the aluminium fabrications was the workshop of Littlehampton Welding, where David Martin’s team used the sheets to partially clad the steelwork which had been carefully prepared to fit under the timber substrate. This off-site work saved critical time on the project which had an absolute deadline, with Her Majesty the Queen unveiling the memorial on

June 28th to a world-wide television audience. Meanwhile, back on site in London, work was progressing apace on the timber substructure to the east and west masses. A second Martin UK Roofing Systems team had completed the timber substrate on the concrete slab and the copper cladding to these areas had begun. The structural stainless steel framework, partly clad in aluminium, was transported in sections to London, assembled on site and the four elevations crane-lifted into place, enabling the parapet gutters to be constructed by the Martin UK Roofing Systems team together with the remaining areas of the curved aluminium and timber substrate. With the substrate complete, the final effort was focused on installing the remaining copper gutters, cladding and flashings to the central hall together with the cladding to the perimeter cornice. By a relative hairsbreadth, the project was completed on time and signed off on June 25th, three days before the opening. As can be seen from the accompanying photos, the finished result is breath taking and a magnificent testimony to those from Bomber Command who sacrificed their lives. “Attending the opening ceremony was a humbling experience” admitted Ian Harvey, “and to see the appreciation in the eyes of all the veterans who attended that day made all the effort and aggravation worthwhile. I doubt that any of us will ever again be part of a project like this that attracted such international support, effort and involvement and we are all extremely proud of the contribution each of us has made.” q


Shared apprenticeship schemes secure long-term training in Lancashire n Six apprentices are being guaranteed placements for the full-term of their training, thanks to a partnership between Lancaster City Council, Preston-based social housing rengeneration specialist Forrest, Constructing the Future Lancashire and CITB ConstructionSkills. The initiative, unique to the north west of England, is unlike other Shared Apprenticeship Schemes, which work on an ‘on-demand’ basis and place apprentices back in the pool once a contract has ended. The apprentices will be employed by Constructing the Future Lancashire, with Forrest and Lancaster City Council exclusively sharing the responsibility of providing the six apprentices with the work-based element of their apprenticeship, for the length of their course. Forrest will utilise the apprentices – two plumbers, two plasterers and two joiners – to

support its work on Lancaster City Council’s Planned Maintenance Framework. First of the recruits was apprentice joiner Reece Robson McClintok, from Morecambe, who said: “I’m excited about joining the scheme because it allows me, over the next 3 years, to gain a wider range of experience working for both Forrest and Lancaster City Council, enhancing my future career opportunities with both organisations.” Lee McCarren, chief executive at Forrest, said: “Working in tandem with local authorities is what allows us to offer valuable employment opportunities when some apprentices are struggling to complete their courses after being laid off due to declining trade. Our long-term offering will allow the first cohort within Constructing the Future Lancashire to work alongside our capable team and hone their skills.” Coun David Smith, Cabinet member with

responsibility for Environmental Services, said: “We were delighted with the response to the recent open day and were inundated with applications for the apprenticeships. I’m pleased that through this innovative scheme we have been able to give six school leavers the opportunity to carry on their studies and gain valuable hands on experience alongside a skilled workforce.” Jane Smith, Constructing the Future Lancashire, said: “Our aim is to keep the construction industry buoyant and plug the skills gap, but without the support of local employers our initiative would be redundant. The guaranteed work allows apprentices to put their theoretical learning into practice to prepare them for a career in the industry.” q

Women are encouraged to learn skilled trades n When 16-year-old Milana Julie Dodangoda told her friends and family she was going to Leicester College to learn skills such as plumbing and carpentry, there were a few shocked faces. Milana is one of 128 female apprentices who have been taken on by Leicester City Council over the past 25 years to learn new skills such as plumbing, painting and decorating, and electrics. This year, 15 trainees have enrolled on the five-year Maintenance and Operations Level 2 Apprenticeship – a third of whom are female. The apprenticeship enables the learners to become qualified and skilled in a variety of areas, so at the end of the course they are ready to take on a job with Leicester City Council, carrying out maintenance on its 22,000 plus tenanted properties. Milana said: “I think people were quite shocked at what I was choosing to do because I am quite a girly girl. Everybody said it was going to be hard and I expected that. But I like to surprise people.” Leicester City Council’s Apprentice Co-ordinator, Barry Sullivan, said: “More than 50 per cent of the population is female, but that still isn’t reflected in our workforce. We feel it’s important to reflect both the local community and our customers. But it’s not just a matter of equality, it makes business sense too. Some of our customers prefer to have a woman come to their house.” At 16, Milana is the youngest apprentice on the course this year. She explains: “At home it’s just me and my mum. She has always taken care of everything that needs doing in the house and I’ve helped her along the way. Between us we’ve decorated, laid floor boards and re-tiled walls, so home maintenance was something I already had an interest in.” “To get the chance to learn five different trades on one course is a big opportunity for me. I didn’t feel university was for me as I wanted to gain more practical experience. I know five years is a big commitment, but I’m working towards qualifications with the College and will hopefully have a career with the council when it comes to an end.” Barry added: “Both the Council and Leicester College are leading the way in creating positive action for encouraging women to study trades that are

traditionally targeted at men. Other organisations offer apprenticeships but we really believe our course is more in depth and of better quality than some others out there.” q

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WORKING AT HEIGHT

Accident reporting to be mandatory for IPAF rental members n From 1 January, rental companies that are members of the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) must report any known mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) accidents involving their staff at the IPAF accident database. The mandatory reporting is a condition of IPAF membership. “This is the initiative for IPAF,” said Peter Douglas, chairman of IPAF’s country council for the UK, who has been leading the accident reporting campaign. “We need to make the industry safer. Go to the IPAF website and report accidents. The data collected will help indicate the most common high risk behaviours. And if we can reduce those risky behaviours, we will gradually reduce the number of fatal and serious accidents. “The initial mandate is for UK rental companies to report all lost time incidents for their employees,” he explained, “but all members are strongly encouraged to get on board and report all accidents, near misses and contractor incidents they are aware of. The more information we have, the better we will be armed to reduce accidents in our industry.” Technical officer Chris Wraith added: “Companies who commit to report accidents at the IPAF database will be able to confidentially record data and create their own register of accidents. The system requires companies to ‘sign off’ monthly on their accident records. In return, a dashboard feature analyses the company data in a graphical format, providing a management tool to monitor safety performance. Individual companies will be able to compare their safety performance against

aggregated results from across all rental company members and recognised industry benchmarks. IPAF’s accident reporting system gives the industry the means to comprehensively collect and analyse accident data and at the same time provide a valuable management tool to improve safety in the workplace.” All manufacturers, rental companies, contractors and users are encouraged to report any known fatal and serious accidents involving MEWPs worldwide at the IPAF accident database. IPAF’s accident reporting project shows that from January to September there were 26 deaths worldwide resulting from 25 accidents involving MEWPs. Two of those fatal accidents were in the UK. IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman said: “There are nearly 1.5 million MEWPs in use around the world and, while every death is a tragedy, powered access is still a very safe way to work at height. The analysis of accident data will allow the industry to become even safer.” q • IPAF is a not-for-profit, member-owned trade organisation for manufacturers, rental companies, contractors and users of MEWPS worldwide. It ‘promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide in the widest sense – through providing technical advice and information, through influencing and interpreting legislation and standards, through its safety initiatives and training programmes’.

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WORKING AT HEIGHT

Umbrella body promotes safety while working at height n The major event for the promotion of health and safety in the workplace is the annual Safety and Health Expo and one of the main subjects of discussion is safety while working at height. Next year the show will be on 14-16 May in Birmingham and the Access Industry Forum (AIF) will once again be delivering a significant round-up of the latest work at height safety advice. According to the AIF: “With work at height continuing to account for the largest number of workplace fatalities the event is fundamental for anybody who is dedicated to reducing injuries. “As in previous years the AIF’s work at height zone will command a major position at the venue and will play host to some of the industry’s most important and high-profile individuals. The

message will be loud and clear – work at height accidents must stop!” That message is also the title of a YouTube video of one of this year’s presentations. All 30 of the presentations, discussions and debates were filmed and are available to watch free at www. accessindustryforum.org.uk/she_2012_knowledge_ base.htm. q • The Access Industry Forum (AIF) was formed in 2004 and liaised with the HSE during the formulation of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It comprises the main trade associations involved in work at height. They include ATLAS, BSIF, EPF, FASET, IPAF, IRATA, the Ladder Association, PASMA, SEMA and WAHSA.

Contractor fined for allowing risk of falling from height n A building contractor from Cornwall has been fined for allowing multiple safety failings at a construction site in Newquay, exposing workers to serious risk of injury, particularly of falling from height. An investigation by the HSE found a number of instances of risk at the four-storey apartment block, including unprotected edges in floor-toceiling window openings, the lift shaft and stairwell. Scaffolding was also incomplete. A health and safety inspection had been carried out by a competent advisor two months before the HSE inspection. The fall risks were highlighted by the advisor, yet no effective action had been taken by the contractor, Paul Brannan, to make improvements or to eliminate the safety risks. Mr Brannan pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,800. Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Barry Trudgian said: “The dangers of working at height are well known within the construction industry and this site had the greatest number of fall risks I have seen in one structure. It is very fortunate that nobody was injured because in numerous parts of the building, on each floor, there were no measures in place to prevent workers falling from height. “Today’s prosecution should serve as a reminder to all building contractors and companies to protect their employees from falls when working at height. It is a legal duty to manage safety and failing to do so ends too The unsafe site in Mount Wise, Newquay – courtesy of HSE often in tragedy.” q www.constructionnational.co.uk

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WORKING AT HEIGHT

Industry seminar hears from IPAF and HSE on entrapment OManagement must lead on identifying and responding to antientrapment issues in the use of MEWPs as there is no simple solution available, a group of more than 30 contractors was told by a representative of the HSE at a seminar at Heathrow Airport convened by IPAF for senior directors and safety management. In addition to Joy Jones from the HSE’s construction safety team, speakers included IPAF’s technical officer Chris Wraith and its director of operations, Giles Councell. Introducing the event, IPAF’s CEO Tim Whiteman reminded delegates that MEWPs are recognised as an extremely safe way of doing temporary work at height and have made a great contribution to safety. That was echoed by Joy Jones, who noted that it would be a retrograde step if contractors ever stopped using MEWPs because of concerns about entrapment issues. “Going back to ladders in the belief that MEWPs are dangerous would be the worst outcome,” said Ms Jones. Delegates all received a copy of the industry best practice guide, issued by the UK Strategic Forum in 2010. The document was endorsed by the HSE at the time of its publication and Joy Jones reiterated that it represented current best practice. Tim Whiteman added: “Management must identify that working in restricted overhead spaces is a high risk activity and undertake appropriate risk analysis. As we have heard today, the solution is for appropriately trained managers to ensure that an appropriate MEWP has been selected, that the operator has appropriate experience and training, that there are suitable work systems in place to minimise risk and prepare for any emergency, and to consider whether any additional devices will assist in reducing the risk of entrapment.” Entrapment is descriptive of a situation where a worker on a MEWP platform is pinned against the ceiling or other object by the lifting of the platform. Joy Jones encouraged the companies present to consider enrolling staff on the IPAF MEWPs for Managers course as part of a coordinated response to the issues raised at the seminar. There was also much interest in the PAL+ advanced operator course, which a representative of the UK Contractors Group (UKCG) said was likely to become a requirement for certain trades operating on UKCG sites next year. The seminar followed a reminder issued by IPAF earlier in November of the existing guidance on the issue. In that statement, IPAF said: “No one single device will prevent all crushing and

trapping accidents, and the basis for preventing such accidents must go together with appropriate training, adequate familiarisation, risk assessment, proper planning and management of work at height.” IPAF reiterated that there is current best practice guidance on avoiding trapping and crushing, first published in July 2010 by the UK-based Strategic Forum for Construction Plant Safety Group, of which IPAF is a part. HM Chief Inspector of Construction Phillip White wrote in its foreword: “The guidance is straightforward, comprehensive and easy to adopt. I commend the guidance to anyone who owns, supplies or controls the operation of MEWPs. Please read the publication and turn the advice into action.” R

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Scaffolder Challenge 2013 OIn 1995, two scaffolders from Glasgow based Turner Access Ltd erected a 100m² scaffold in less than 26 minutes – this was listed as an official Guinness World Record. Although this was perfectly acceptable practice then, the method used would not fully meet statutory regulations or industry guidance today. Therefore, Turner Access has decided to arrange another competition to record the fastest time but adopting practice that meets the up to date health and safety requirements. Ian Wilson, Turner Access managing director, explains: “The previous world record was established before 1996 when UK statutory regulations changed – the scaffolding industry introduced double guardrails and began to consider method in relation to use of harnesses. “Further changes to statutory regulations introduced in 2005 (Work at Height Regulations) and the introduction of the new European product standards raised the bar much higher in terms of compliant practice. “Today, the most up to date statutory regulations and guidance applicable in the UK clearly require that everyone working at height, including scaffolders, should, when erecting and dismantling scaffolding, prevent the risk of fall when avoidance of that risk is not practical. “Therefore, the rules governing the Turner Access competition adopt this as best practice by maximising work activity on the ground and

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strictly adopting fall prevention method when not.” Ian Wilson’s predecessor, Gary Gallagher, due to retire in February 2013, who arranged the first competition explains: “The very best scaffolders are highly trained athletes, on a par with top sports people. They perform professionally most days of their life and therefore continually develop strength, stamina, balance, technique and method. In 1995, Turner Access Scaffolders, David McBride and “The last element mentioned requires Tom Stirling, completed a 100m2 build in less than 26 their employers to make training and minutes - A Guiness World Record equipment available to them to enable “The competition is also open to companies the scaffolder to achieve the safest wishing to sponsor and enter their best squad, method. although entrants must meet a qualifying time to “Unfortunately despite statutory regulations compete.” and guidance requiring this, some employers of Final word with Ian Wilson: “Britain performed scaffolders continue to rely solely on mitigation exceptionally well in London 2012 and it was at best and fail to consider collective (passive) a fantastic celebration of competition and protection measures on any of their projects. achievement. The top medals this time are for “This is a competition which is open to all scaffolders and we look forward to recognising the qualified scaffolders and to facilitate this Turner very best in our business.” R Access will also make available all necessary equipment, and indeed training, to those • The Turner Access Scaffolder Competition will scaffolders who have not yet had this type of be held in 2013 (exact date to be confirmed) training or do not have equipment through their please see www.turner-access.co.uk for up to employers to enable collective (passive) protection date announcements. to be adopted as required in the competition.


WORKING AT HEIGHT

Trainers claim to be PASMA accredited n It has been reported that a number of unscrupulous companies are falsely claiming to be PASMA Training Members, without having shown that they meet the industry standards needed to become an accredited PASMA member. Training from these providers, says the association, will not result in any delegate receiving a legitimate PASMA training card and certificate. Without authentic cards workers could be turned away from sites. PASMA’s managing director Peter Bennett said: “As PASMA sets the highest standards for its training instructors and centres, delegates must ensure that they are being trained by a genuine approved centre. The popularity and renowned quality of our courses has led to some companies trying to jump on the bandwagon without having met the industry standard criteria on which PASMA insists. “We take this matter very seriously and are adopting a zero-tolerance approach to these fake PASMA training firms to ensure we maintain the credibility that the industry expects. We urge anybody considering PASMA training to double check the authenticity of the company and, if in any doubt, to contact PASMA.” If a company is not listed on the PASMA website but is still promoting training using the PASMA name and logo, it should be reported to info@ pasma.co.uk. q

Access trade association offers training places on Facebook n PASMA – the Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association – is using Facebook to help people find spaces on training courses. The scheme allows PASMA’s accredited training companies to use the association’s Facebook page to post information about any lastminute places that become available on their courses. PASMA hopes it will encourage as wide an audience as possible to seek training and understand the dangers of work at height. PASMA training committee chairman Ian Fyall said: “We believe it is important to continue to press forward with new ways of delivering training to those who need it, especially the smaller companies which have traditionally been the hardest to reach with the safety message. “With falls from height continuing to be the number one danger in the workplace, we must make it as easy as possible for people and companies to find training and understand the risks. PASMA believes that new media, with their ability to reach different groups than by the more traditional methods, can be a large part of that.” PASMA represents manufacturers, suppliers, specifiers and users of mobile access towers. It provides and oversees the industry standard training scheme and is a major publisher of safety-related knowledge, information and guidance. q

Abseiling can be tight n Abseiling can be the most practical solution for many access situations. When Yorkshire based Alternative Access Logistics (AAL) were approached to survey the boiler flues at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield by the NHS Trust, they were searching for a way to

gain accurate information about the internal condition of the flues. The flues, with a diameter of less than one metre and a height of over 60m, required a full surface inspection to the circumference of the shaft. AAL initially provided a video inspection to assess the overall condition of the five flues and assess the options for a tactile access operation involving IRATA rope access techniques. Following the video survey, AAL devised a safe method of work for a tactile access operation involving one operative being lowered through the entire length of the flue whilst logging and imaging faults previously identified on the video surveys. Abseiling techniques can be utilised in both open air situations and in complex confined spaces, especially whilst working

at height and rope access is the most practical option. q • For more information visit http://www. alternativeaccess.com/solutions/industrialrope-access/.

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Ground source association unimpressed by RHI n On 7 December consultations closed on two proposals by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for extension of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Currently, under phase one of the scheme, the incentive payments are available to qualifying non-domestic properties, including ground source and air source heating systems, biomass and biogas, and solar. One of the proposals is for phase two to be extended to domestic properties and for the scheme in non-domestic properties to be extended. A third consultation on air-to-water and energy from waste closed in October. The proposal for a domestic scheme is that the subsidy would be provided through ‘tariff-based payments over a seven year period’. Payments would be made on the basis of the ‘deemed amount of renewable heat generated, taking into account the circumstances of the property’. However, the RHI is not proving to be a viable way of encouraging ground source heat pump systems, according to the association representing the industry. A particular problem is the use of the term ‘naturally occurring energy stored in the form of heat from the ground’. In its response to the consultation, the Ground Source Heat Pumps

Conference calls for EU action plan on geothermal

Association (GSHPA) stated: “We understand that the use of the term ‘naturally occurring energy’ and the problems of definition have caused insurmountable difficulties for Ofgem officials. Our members were staggered to discover that the problem may not be resolved until the end of this calendar year at the earliest, and probably not until next summer. By then the geothermal heating industry may have ceased to exist.” In a press release, the GSHPA said: “The ground is never the ultimate source of heat. Heat is constantly on the move (from warmer bodies to colder bodies) and it is of the essence of ground source heat pump installations that they exchange heat with the ground in a dynamic way. GSHPs can transfer heat from the ground to buildings in winter and they can transfer excess solar heat from buildings down to the ground in summer. This is how GSHPs can play a vital role in combating climate change by recycling solar energy. “The unnatural interpretation placed by DECC on requiring heat to originate from a finite source has blocked innovation in the ground source industry and caused unemployment in the sector at the same time as the ministers in DECC have been stating that it is the intention of the RHI to support innovation and provide employment in renewable energy technologies. “We call upon DECC to understand the potential for GSHPs and to support the recycling of solar energy as an efficient means of combating climate change instead of attempting to block the use of this uniquely efficient renewable energy technology.” q

n At a European Workshop on Geothermal Energy in Urban Areas held in Brussels on November 15th, EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger stated that “geothermal will play an important role in the future energy mix of the EU” and that “we should encourage geothermal development in more and more cities”. The workshop looked at how to exploit the huge potential of geothermal electricity and heating and cooling through increased cooperation in research and development, technology and best practice knowledge transfers among the EU member states. One of the main findings of the event was that geothermal energy can and will be a major contributor in the future energy mix of the EU. If appropriately encouraged, geothermal energy can continuously provide electricity and heating and cooling at high and low temperatures, with the possibility of underground thermal storage which fits well into the concept of smart cities. “The geothermal industry needs a clear framework for investing in new installations, such as new drilling rigs. That is the reason new binding RES targets for post 2020 are needed,” said Philippe Dumas, manager at the European Geothermal Energy Council. Dumas also pointed out that “policy-makers, local authorities and utilities need to be more aware of the full range of geothermal resources available and of their possible applications”. Finally, the importance of the heating and cooling sector was highlighted. However, “concrete actions are yet to be taken”, Mr Dumas added. Therefore, the geothermal industry has called for an EU Action Plan on renewable heating and cooling in order to assess the major bottlenecks hindering the further development of the sector. q www.constructionnational.co.uk

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Major ground source system installed in Wandsworth n One of the UK’s largest open-loop ground source systems has been installed at a luxury development alongside the River Thames in Wandsworth. The installation minimises the impact of the development on the local environment and helps cut carbon emissions. The system provides heating and cooling to residential and commercial properties at Riverside Quarter and is estimated to reduce carbon emissions and the production of greenhouse gasses by nearly 10% in comparison to traditional sources of energy. It has been designed to provide all the cooling and over half the heating requirements for six of the buildings on the development, which consists of 572 apartments and 30,000ft2 of commercial space, requiring only minor external electric input. The £100m landmark development incorporates eight 100m bore holes, developed and designed by MEP consultants Hoare Lea. The development’s significant renewable energy contribution has been implemented in accordance to GLA planning policy, making it one of the few London accredited schemes. Dr Stanley Quek, chief executive of developer Frasers Property, commented: “Creating a development that is as magnificent as it is sustainable and kind to the environment has been a long-held vision of mine, and it’s fantastic to see that this dream has been realised. “We have gone some way to ensure that Riverside Quarter is a luxury development that is in harmony with the local environment. Using state-of-theart technology we have been able to ensure that the development emits as little carbon as possible and is sustainable for generations to come.” The system operates as four pairs, split into cold and hot wells, where it uses a series of heat pumps designed to increase and decrease the temperature of the fluid extracted from two large, separated thermal stores – for heating and cooling. During the summer months heat is stored in an aquifer under the development, via four of the eight bore holes. The heat rejected from the bore holes provides cooling for the heat pumps, which is then used to air-condition homes across the development. In winter the open loop cycle is reversed, with the heated fluid rejected during the summer providing warm fluid for the heat pumps and creating hot water that is used for central heating and hot water supply. q

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Manual helps comply with environmental legislation on site Construction Environmental Manual Construction Industry Publications ISBN 9781852631208 £140.00 OThe main website address of Construction Industry Publications is www. cip-bluebook.com – after the cover of its famous, comprehensive Construction Health & Safety Manual. The other ‘big issue’ in the industry is sustainability, and CIP also publishes the ‘Green Book’, the Construction Environmental Manual. This also has its own site, www.cip-greenbook.com, where the manual and its contents can be downloaded, together with updates and amendments as they happen. There is also the paper version, published in 2007 and also continuously updated. The updates are published every six months and sent out to subscribers for insertion into the book, so those who prefer to see it on their bookshelf do not lose out on keeping up to date. A CDROM format is also available. The manual is aimed at those at the sharp end of construction activity: site managers, project managers, site agents, engineers and the supervisory staff of sub-contractors. It has been written by environmental managers and advisors who were members of the Construction Environmental Forum and of which a number of them now sit on the Manual editorial panel. The forum was responsible for the celebrated Environmental Toolbox Talks. The Green Book was updated in November, with the next update due in May next year. The starting point of the manual is the need to comply with increasingly complex legislation. In its Preface it states: “The undoubted moral duty of individuals and businesses to protect the environment continues to be backed up by a substantially increasing quantity and complexity of legislation originating both in Europe, in the UK Parliament and in the devolved administrations. Failure to comply with this legislation can result not only in environmental harm but also in prosecution and the consequent damage to corporate reputation.” Its aim, therefore, is to provide comprehensive yet easily digestible guidance to those responsible for complying with that legislation on site. It is split into 12 sections. Following an introduction there is a run-down on generic legislation, including how the UK arrives at its legislation and ways in which the constituent parts of the UK differ. There are then six chapters on specific environmental topics: waste, water, nuisance, ecology, heritage and brownfield. Following a list of further resources and a glossary of terms, the manual concludes with the famous Toolbox Talks. There are 29 of these short presentations, split into five groups: good practice, nature conservation, nuisance, pollution prevention and waste control. The subject matter ranges from energy and fuel efficiency to avoiding disturbing nesting birds. R • The Construction Environmental Manual is available to purchase in paper form, as a CD or as a download from www.cip-greenbook.com.

OConstruction Industry Publications (CIP) publishes a range

of construction, health and safety and environmental titles. It was formerly owned by the Construction Confederation, but following the demise of that body is now in private ownership. As well as its own publications, including the recently published Construction Environmental Manual, CIP supplies a range of contracts from JCT and NEC, a range of ICE titles and a comprehensive range of price books and other publications for construction companies, sub-contractors, architects, surveyors, civil engineers and health and safety professionals. All can be purchased from the CIP website at www.cipbooks.com, or ordered by phone on 0870 078 4400. R www.constructionnational.co.uk

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BFCMA

launch new web site and guidance on chimneys for wood burning appliances n The growing interest in the carbon saving potential of wood burning stoves has led to a corresponding growth in the number of flue and chimney installations for wood burning appliances. Increasingly, heating engineers are seeking to add the installation of wood burning stoves as one of their competences. To help meet this need for information the British Flue and Chimney Manufacturers’ Association(BFCMA) has created a new web site at www.bfcma.co.uk with a downloadable document giving guidance on the selection and installation of flues and chimneys. The web site has an easy to understand overview of the different types of chimneys and flues available with links to individual BFCMA members’ web sites for a more detailed explanation of the products and how they should be used. There are also standard installations drawings showing how the different types of flues and chimneys should be installed with wood burning appliances. The regulations for wood burning and solid fuel are different to those for gas and oil appliances, as are some of the flues that can be used. So it is important that the appropriate flue or chimney is installed with an appliance. The web site can be used as a reference site for installers and specifiers as it contains an up-to-date listing of the latest flue and chimney standards. Guidance is also given on the new standard for clay chimney liners. The standard was revised in 2012 into two parts to cover liners for both non-condensing and condensing appliances. People can become confused by the CE designation for stainless steel flues so there is a clear explanation of the coding system used to specify the different classes of flue. The web site and the guide have been developed to give installers, and people thinking of buying a wood burning appliance, a better understanding of what is involved in correctly flueing a wood burning stove. There are sections on the design, installation and maintenance of flues and chimneys. The guidance given is line with the training given to installers by HETAS. This is the first stage in a series of initiatives designed to provide clear information on the installation and use of chimneys and flues. Already planned for 2013 are guidance on the flueing of pellet boilers and an overview of the new UK annex to the installation standard for chimneys (BSEN1528). The publication of the guidance on the flueing of pellet boilers is timed to meet the anticipated increase in demand for pellet boilers through the Green Deal initiative. By simply registering on the BFCMA web site people can be sure of receiving these documents when they are published. q

• The BFCMA is the British Flue and Chimney Manufacturers’ Association. The Association represents the main manufacturers and sole importers of chimneys and flues in the UK. The BFCMA works closely with government departments and other organisations to provide efficient and safe chimney solutions.

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London bound

top site managers recognised in NHBC regional awards OBetween 7 September and 2 November a number of events took place around the country at which the regional awards in the NHBC Pride in the Job competition were announced. There are nine regions of the NHBC and each announced a number of second-round Seal of Excellence awards, from which the various category winners were taken, plus one from a new category for single plot builders. The other categories are for Small, Medium and Large Builder plus Multistorey. Over 3,500 guests at the nine ceremonies saw 130 Seals of Excellence and 38 Regional Awards presented. The Regional Winners in each category now go on to represent their region in the final judging rounds, competing for the ultimate accolade - the Pride in the Job Supreme Awards 2012. They will be announced at the Pride in the Job gala dinner in London on 11 January. The first region to declare its winners was London and the South East. Around 700 guests saw the announcement of 21 Seals of Excellence and four Regional Awards. The awards were presented by NHBC’s operations director Ian Davis, Mehban Chowdery, the regional director for London, and Steve Catt, regional director for the South East region. Other events followed. On 14 September Cardiff was the scene of the awards for Wales. One of the smallest NHBC regions saw the only female site manager in the competition crowned Regional Winner in the Single Plot category. Jenny Jarvis of Anvis Ltd joins two male compatriots in London. One week later the largest number of Seal of Excellence awards was presented, in the East region. From the 24 Seals were drawn a full complement of Regional Winners to contest the national finals. Following the North East regional awards on 28 September – which again provided five winners – October saw events in Glasgow, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham.

Simon Morganti was the first winner of the new Single Plot category

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The series came to its close on 2 November at the Culloden Hotel in Belfast. Winners from Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man scooped the final three regional titles and nine Seal of Excellence awards. Pride in the Job recognises outstanding work by site managers across the UK. Entry is automatic for any site that is NHBC registered. Launching this year’s competition back in June, NHBC executive chairman Isabel Hudson said: “For over 30 years, Pride in the Job has been one of the cornerstones of NHBC’s work to improve housing standards for the benefit of home-owners. It is the only UK-wide competition that is dedicated to, and directly recognises, site managers who demonstrate commitment to achieving high standards in housebuilding. It has been extremely successful over the years in promoting and encouraging best practice on site. “Highly regarded within the industry, winners earn the true respect of their peers. Anyone gaining a first-round award is already in the top 3% of their profession, and they can be very proud of their achievement.” R

Jenny Jarvis, the competition’s only female site manager, receiving her award


WESTGATE, INVERURIE

Steven heads for another London final n In the last issue of Construction National we reported on the progress being made by Steven Lyon of Malcolm Allan Housebuilders in following his father Bert’s record of PiJ achievements. In October Steven took another step towards the Supreme Winner title when he

Alan seals another win THE GRANGE, ELGIN n Alan Fraser of Barratt David Wilson Homes has added another Seal of Excellence to his haul of Pride in the Job awards. Alan’s site at The Grange in Elgin is a mix of three and four-bedroom homes on the edge of the historic city, known for its 13th-century cathedral ruins and Elgin City FC, one of the Scottish League’s newest members. The homes on Alan’s site range from the Pitlochry, a three-bedroom semi-detached offering perfect family accommodation for less than £140,000, to the double-fronted, four-bedroom Crail. They are situated on a greenfield site bordering on the Moray countryside. Alan has been with Barratt nearly 10 years now and this is his second Seal of Excellence in that time. q

SCOTLAND

was named Regional Winner in the Medium Builder category for Scotland. Steven, pictured receiving his award at the ceremony in Glasgow, is now presiding over a fourth phase of his Westgate site in Inverurie. It’s been a happy hunting Steven Lyon receiving his award – ground for him so far as his courtesy NHBC previous Regional Award was for the same development back in 2010. All the properties at Westgate are to the developer’s own design – a fact reflected in their names. They range from the two-bedroom Muirallan bungalow to the spacious four/five-bedroom Braeallan detached villa. Westgate is surrounded by countryside and woodlands, with the River Don meandering close by, but the facilities and amenities of Aberdeen, including Dyce Airport, are only a 20-minute drive away. Aberdeen beach boasts Scotland’s biggest all weather fun fair, so there’s more to Westgate than the relaxation of the Scottish countryside. q

Millionaire’s Row brings its own rewards EARLSPARK, BIELDSIDE n One of the most exclusive developments in the country comprises just nine mansion-style villas, all of which were sold within weeks of going on the market. Earlspark is located in Bieldside, described as ‘the wealthiest area in Scotland’, and the properties were priced at between £750,000 and £1.2m. The Stewart Milne Homes development also earned a NHBC Pride in the Job Quality Award for site manager Ronnie Falconer. Mike Cowie, sales director of Stewart Milne Homes North Scotland, said: “While the upper end of the market is performing well, and we were confident Earlspark would generate a lot of interest, the rate of these early sales is simply unprecedented.” Located to the west of Aberdeen and less than five miles from the city centre, Bieldside presents an idyllic country setting of nature trails and local boutiques for the very best of both worlds. q

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FAIRFIELD MANOR, CASTLE DONINGTON / FOX HILL VIEW, EAST LEAKE

Bloor’s winning pair from the Midlands n In September we carried the story of three PiJ award-winning site managers from one office of Bloor Homes in the East Midlands. In October Bloor Homes East Midlands could reveal that two of those managers had gone a stage further and scooped prestigious Seal of Excellence awards. They were Richard Gibbons for his work at Fairfield Manor in Castle Donington and Clive Vickers for Fox Hill View in East Leake. Announcing the awards, Bloor Homes said: “Seal of Excellence awards are presented to the top site managers selected from the Quality Award winners. Winners of this coveted award can be extremely proud of their achievement,

Plaudits for famous name SUMMERS FIELD, PAPWORTH EVERARD n Situated on the famous Ermine Street, the Roman road that linked London to York for two millennia, and just 13 miles from Cambridge, is Papworth Everard – famed as the home of Papworth Hospital. A bypass now takes through traffic away from Ermine Street and Papworth Everard is a quiet village. There is little new housing, but what there is has been making headlines itself. More precisely, Terry Brand, the site manager of the Summers Field development by Barratt David Wilson has. He has been recognised for a NHBC Pride in the Job Quality Award for the site – a mix of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes on the outskirts of the village, on Ermine Street itself. Terry has been with David Wilson Homes for over a decade and it is his fifth Quality Award. He said: “I’m part of a great team at Summers Field and we work together very effectively.” Work began on the site in 2011 and is expected to take three years. q

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EAST

having been successful through a rigorous selection procedure, initially drawn from 13,000 site managers.” Clive’s Fox Hill View development is a collection of three and four-bedroom homes in a range of styles, integrated with affordable units and nestling around a green, in East Leake in Leicestershire, which has been voted one of the UK’s most desirable places to live. Castle Donington, known for its motor-racing track and near to the burgeoning East Midlands Airport, is where Richard manages Fairfield Manor, a development of 15 home styles. q

MINET FIELDS, HAYES

LONDON & SOUTH EAST

HA development among first to declare

n The first of the Regional Winners of this year’s Pride in the Job Awards to be announced were for London and the South East. Among them was Geoff Turner of Pinner-based Howarth Homes, who was recognised in the Medium Builder category for site-managing Paradigm Housing Association’s new Minet Fields development in Hayes. It is also the only development in the regional awards being built for a housing association. Minet Fields is an affordable development offering purchase opportunities for those currently letting properties in the Borough of Hillingdon. It comprises three and four-bedroom houses with gardens and parking, some with office space. Gary is pictured with his award at the event. The regional awards event in Brighton on 7 September also marked the first ever Regional Award in the Single Plot category, introduced this year. It went to Simon Morganti of Royalton Ltd for a £50m private home in Egham. Neil Jefferson, Customer and Business Development Director for NHBC, congratulated the winners: “At a time when building levels still remain low, this first round of winners from London and the South East have demonstrated that attention to detail and commitment to quality in housebuilding remains high across both private and public developments. I wish them luck for the national final.” q


OAKWOOD PARK, LISBANE / ASHBOURNE, NEWTOWNARDS / BEECHFIELD AVENUE, BANGOR

Local Builders rule the (highly desirable) roost around the Irish Sea

N. IRELAND & ISLE OF MAN

The 4-bedroom house at Oakwood Park OThe Northern Ireland and Isle of Man regional awards in the Pride in the Job competition read like no other in the NHBC’s listings. Nowhere would you find the large national companies familiar to the rest of the UK. The likes of Barratt, Bellway, Miller Homes and Taylor Wimpey are absent from the list – in fact the regional awards did not feature a Large Builder or Multistorey category winner. The essence of the housebuilding industries in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man – for they are separate in many ways – is the plethora of small local developers building small numbers of high-quality homes. That is true whether they are large executive properties, apartment buildings for young couples and singles or affordable family homes in the suburbs. The developments are by the likes of McCloskey & O’Kane, Farrans Homes or Dunlop Homes. The latter had two familiar names in this year’s competition: Stephen Austin for Ashbourne in Newtownards and Philip McCullough for Beechfield Avenue in Bangor. One of the most popular developments, however, was Oakwood Park, a Chambers Homes development in Lisbane, near Killinchy in County Down. Described as ‘Luxury properties with a choice of contemporary finishes and generous sites’, the homes on The Straits are being snapped up as fast as they are being released. It’s no wonder, because the remaining two detached villas are on the market for £295,000. That is on a stretch of road where a neighbouring property is priced at £895,000! The homes on Oakwood Park are built to the high standards Chambers

Homes have become known for. The development is close to the shore of Strangford Lough with its fishing, watersports and lakeside walks. The quality of build is due in no small part to the diligence and skills of site manager Sammy Scates, for which he has pocketed a NHBC Pride in the Job Quality Award. R

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Clegg pledges massive investment in housing n Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg used a speech at the annual lunch of the NHBC to announce major new initiatives in housebuilding policy, including £225m of new Government money to add to massive private sector and European investment. He told the lunch: “Now is the time for politicians of all stripes to get behind a major housing push. I can announce that the coalition government has identified major housing projects that have hit a wall and we’re intervening directly to unblock them. We are working with a number of large locally-led schemes, ranging from 4,000 to 9,500 units in size, which in total will deliver up to 48,600 new homes. “I can announce today new funding. We will provide £225m of Government money, which will also leverage private investment to effectively de-risk these projects and get them moving. And once these developments are complete, the taxpayer will get that money back.” The way forward, he said, was by resurrecting major housing developments such as garden cities and garden suburbs, similar to those seen in the early part of the last century. “I urge all the people in this room to help make this a success – garden cities and suburbs for the 21st century, in keeping with our great British traditions. It’s time to think big” In response to the announcement, the NHBC chief executive Mike Quinton said: “Our figures…show there is still an urgent need for new homes, with little increase in the number of homes being built this year. We therefore welcome the Deputy Prime Minister’s announcement that

Nick Clegg revealed a vision to resurrect garden suburbs, such as Hampstead more, targeted support is coming to an ailing industry, particularly the £225m funding to unlock 48,600 new homes. The plan to create new garden cities and large-scale housing is bold, but at its heart lies a commitment to increase the number of homes being built, and we look forward to hearing more.” q

There’s lots happening at this village development n One development that is continually in the news is Kings Manor in Coningsby, Lincolnshire. In October the Chestnut Homes development offered the opportunity to purchase a two-bedroom home for £107,500 with furniture and a ready-made garden included. That followed a first-time buyers’ weekend at the site at the end of April. There were experienced sales negotiators on hand to explain how the buying process works and answer any questions. An independent financial advisor was also available on the Sunday to answer questions about the mortgage application process. Buyers who reserved their plot during the weekend only paid £99 as a deposit. In February the company added new home styles to the list – two

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examples of the popular Blankney three-bedroom semi-detached and a four-bedroom detached Cedar House. The Blankney has The three-bedroom Blankney a driveway and generous rear gardens while the Cedar House is on three storeys. Kings Manor comprises a range of two, three and four-bedroom homes in a village setting. q


Two remain at woodland site n Harron Homes have been building quality houses across Yorkshire, the North West, Wales and the Midlands since 1992. Based in Leeds, the company’s philosophy is summed up by this quote from their site: “We pride ourselves on listening to your needs and delivering you the home of your dreams – we are a company that is large enough to trust yet small enough to really care about you. “The quality of our homes is of paramount importance to us and you'll be pleased to know that we don't compromise on the build or specification of our homes. Every home built is finished to the exacting standards that we demand and you require. A Harron home is a home built by us, but always with you in mind.” That approach has certainly paid off at the Woodberry Grange development in Whitley,

North Yorkshire, where only two homes remain on sale. Woodberry Grange is set, as its name suggests, in a woodland setting off Selby Road on the edge of the village, with easy access to the M62 motorway. It is a small collection of three, four and five-bedroom homes arranged in small closes. q

A giant among local developers n Described as ‘Northern Ireland’s favourite holiday destination’, the seaside town of Portrush stands on a peninsula in County Antrim, near to the world-famous Giant’s Causeway. It is also home to Royal Portrush, the only golf course in Ireland to have hosted the Open Championship. It is also home to a new development by Houston Homes (NI) Ltd. The first phase of Ashbrook Fields comprises 27 homes ranging from three-bedroom semi-detached to five-bedroom detached properties. Houston Homes has a reputation locally for quality build and finish, but they are not expecting local buyers to take their word for it, they are inviting people to come and visit the development for themselves. The homes are in five styles, ranging from £165,000 to £225,000, located off the town’s Coleraine Road. All purchasers will be shareholders in a management company formed to maintain communal and open space areas. q

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Scottish housebuilder sees profits soar n Elgin-based Springfield Properties are bucking the trend in UK housebuilding, having announced a rise in profits for the year to May of 56% to £3.94m, according to a report on the Scottish business website Business 7. The figure accompanies a rise in turnover of 32%. Last year the firm acquired the Scottish operation of Redrow Homes, which added a further potential eight sites to the Springfield portfolio. The company’s new managing director Innes Smith said on his appointment in October: “We’ve seen a real hike in sales since we introduced the Springfield approach to housebuilding on our new developments. It’s an approach which asks our customers what they want. Our customers tell us that our unique combination of choice, quality and service all adds up to the best value in the market

and that is generating sales.” That approach has seen one of the company’s developments, Silver Birch Park in Motherwell, offering a new home for under £100,000. Priced at just £99,000, there is a selection of twobedroom terraced villas featuring traditional back and front doors. Tricia Malek, sales and marketing director at Springfield Properties, said: “Not everyone who is trying to get their foot on the property ladder is looking for an apartment, so to be able to offer a house for under £100,000 is very attractive for first time buyers.

“Many first time buyers are resorting to purchasing their house through shared equity schemes, however, priced under £100,000 these homes will give many new buyers the opportunity to fully own 100% of their property, an attractive offer in today’s market. “Priced so they fall below the stamp duty threshold, these two bedroom villas will also appeal to those looking to move to the area. “I believe that with the high specification on offer, coupled with the location and the price, these homes won’t be available for long.” q

Homes sold as fast as planning allowed n One Springfield Properties site that wasn’t available for long was Duncanshill in the company’s home town of Elgin. All plots on the site have been sold off plan. Final planning permission was only confirmed in March, although the site had been marketed since January, when Elgin Council said it was ‘minded to approve’ the application. According to sales manager Joyce Napier the response was phenomenal. She said in March: “We have more than 20 of the 30 homes reserved in less than four weeks. These bungalows are the right homes in a fantastic golf course location, we thought sales would be brisk and Duncanshill is proving to be a real flyer. Now we’re excited

about launching nearby Duncansfield which showcases our new portfolio of family homes.” That second development, Duncansfield, is now taking reservations for the 12 properties currently available. They include the new Huntly and Culbin designs. Springfield’s chairman Sandy Adam said: “These homes are a testament to having the right product in the right location and provide a welcome boost at a challenging time.” q

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Adam mansion lends its name to a modern development n Situated on the Moray Firth, in what was Banffshire, is Buckie, a bustling coastal town. Just outside Buckie is the Letterfourie estate with its Adam mansion, which is currently on the market for £1,755,000. It was occupied by a branch of the famous Gordon family. James Gordon, the sixth laird, commissioned the Scottish architect Robert Adam to design a new mansion house for the estate. John Connachan-Holmes wrote in Country Houses of Scotland: “Robert Adam’s first house in Scotland after his return from the Grand Tour was built in 1772. This house was called

The Brodie at Letterfourie Letterfourie, and was a small three bay-fronted mansion of a restrained and dignified air.” The house has a dated keystone of 1773 at the centre of the top floor of the south front and a builder's mark beneath the portico on the north front. Letterfourie is a Gaelic word for ‘the slope of the hill where the springs are’ and the original estate is situated on a hill above the town of Buckie. In the town itself is another Letterfourie, where the property values are somewhat less elevated. For Letterfourie is also the name of another development by Springfield Properties. The development comprises twobedroom apartments, three and four-bedroom family homes and a new range of two and three-bedroom homes starting from £104,950. The pride of the collection is the four-bedroom Brodie. q

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New showhomes replace sold-out design n CALA Homes (West) has launched two new showhomes at its prestigious Thorntonhall development. Located in the desirable village of Thorntonhall, near Glasgow, the development has proved to be exceptionally popular with potential home-buyers. The new showhomes are the six-bedroom Roxburgh and the fivebedroom Shaw. The Waverley house-type has already completely sold out, exemplifying the need for superior quality family homes in the West of Scotland. However, the high specification of the Waverley continues in the Roxburgh and Shaw. Both house-types offer flexible living over three levels, allowing the home to grow with the family, and ensuring that the changing dynamic of family life is catered for. The Roxburgh’s entrance makes an immediate impact, with a beautiful pine staircase hinting at the treasures which lie upstairs. Leading off of the hallway through stylish double doors is the lounge, decorated in a muted yet stylish palette of greys and blacks, with two chandeliers adding a touch of glamour. The room features double French doors, which lead out to the garden and allow light to flood in. The first floor, with a magnificent galleried landing, leads to five of the six bedrooms. The master bedroom features a dressing area with beautifully crafted wardrobes and a charming en-suite with bath, separate double shower and his and hers sinks. The jewel in the crown of the Roxburgh is unquestionably the second floor, which features an entire living space, with recreation room, shower room and spacious bedroom. The Shaw replicates the grandeur of the Roxburgh, offering an alternative option for families looking for room to grow. With extensive living space on the lower floor, the entrance makes a spectacular statement and leads into a spacious lounge. The marble fireplace with striking mirror atop provides a glorious focal point, around which the living area is centred, with sophisticated furnishings. Liana Canavan, sales and marketing director of CALA Homes (West), said: “Thorntonhall’s success is undoubtedly due to the desire for a luxury home which meets the needs of every family dynamic, without compromising on space or specification. “We have had a lot of interest of the Roxburgh and Shaw housetypes, and would advise potential home-buyers to visit Thorntonhall and speak to our sales advisors about how a CALA home could work for them.” q

The new showhomes are the six-bedroom Roxburgh (top) and the fivebedroom Shaw

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Established homemaker knows its n Anwyl Homes have been building homes in North Wales and Cheshire for over 60 years and, more recently, in Shropshire. During that time the company has accumulated unrivalled experience and knowledge of the locality where it builds. The location of each Anwyl development is specifically selected with the buyer in mind, set in attractive surroundings in close proximity to local amenities. As the company’s own publicity material states: “Each Anwyl home is unique, creating individuality to reflect that of its new owners and ensuring that traditional hallmarks of character and style are naturally incorporated in the fabric of the

building. In addition, every location is designed to fit perfectly within its surroundings, blending in naturally and unobtrusively with the landscape. “All our homes are constructed by local employees employed by Anwyl Homes for their proven expertise and experience in house building. Their skills are self-evident in the quality and range of houses we build, from compact and economical starter homes through to spacious family houses and bungalows, designed to make life easier and comfortable.” At the very western point of Wales is Anglesey – Ynys Môn in Welsh. Home to the druids in

Two of the homes at Anwyl’s development at Awel Y Mor, the Trefnant (left) and the Rhos

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Roman times, the island retains a mystic all of its own. Situated on its north east coast, however, is the pretty seaside town of Benllech. Searching on line for a property in Benllech you are as likely to find holiday accommodation as homes for sale, so the small Anwyl Homes development at Awel Y Mor has proved very popular. With just 31 homes on the site, it is a mix of four-bedroom detached, three-bedroom semi-detached and two-bedroom mews homes. Despite its rural location, Benllech sits on the main road between the town of Amlwch and the Welsh mainland via the Menai Bridge and past


surroundings like no other the railway station with the UK’s longest name – LlanfairPG for short. Situated in Holywell, one of the main towns of Flintshire in North Wales, is The Ridings, a development of around 40 detached homes – most

with four bedrooms – set in a location that is ideal for families and couples, being in close proximity to local schools and facilities. Holywell is named after the world famous 7th century St Winefride’s Holy Well, described as ‘one

of the Seven Wonders of Wales’. Nevertheless it is less than five minutes from the main A55 Expressway, which transverses North Wales and feeds into the national motorway system. q

Family-run developers who live in their own homes n Where’s the best place to look for new property in South Wales? Well, certainly a good place to start is with Llanmoor Homes, a family-run company that has been building quality new homes in the region for over 45 years. As the company itself says: “While other new homebuilders may have turned to cheaper modern techniques and compromised on processes and materials, we believe our approach, placing emphasis on the new home as a desirable, comfortable and attractive living space, is the best. “We simply specify, design and build the kind of property we’d like to live in ourselves – and most of our family members live in the houses we build!” That approach has been adopted at the company’s Parc Penrhos development in Caerphilly. Phase two of the development is now underway, with homes ranging from two-bedroom semidetached to four-bedroom detached with en-suites. Parc Penrhos forms part of the Glenfields estate on the outskirts of Caerphilly, which now has a tramway linking it to the main Saint Cenydd Road. Caerphilly is at the foot of the Rhymney Valley and is famous for its mild and creamy cheese and its medieval castle. q

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Exclusive community caters for the over-55s n Larkfleet Homes specialises in the development of high-quality sustainable homes for first-time buyers and older people. The company is based at Bourne in Lincolnshire, where it is currently developing The Croft, an age-exclusive community for those aged 55 years and over, in conjunction with Keystone Developments. Also based in Lincolnshire, Keystone was formed in 2001 as part of the Longhurst Group to specialise in the development of retirement housing. The Croft consists of 68 one and twobedroom bungalows with three-bedroom chalet bungalows also available, all arranged around attractively landscaped courtyards. It has an arts and crafts theme and offers a choice of design and finish options to let residents add a personal touch. The focal point of the development is a manor house that has been restored and will act as the hub of the retirement community. It was built by a local businessman and retains an impressive driveway along with original features such as cast iron lighting columns. It also provides a base for the scheme manager and grounds maintenance service.

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According to Larkfleet Homes, The Croft is being marketed not only as a place to live but as a community of like-minded people who enjoy a lifestyle full of possibilities. Homeowners at The Croft will be able to live the life they want to lead, in a secure and caring environment. An example of the kind of activities that the community can cater for was a series of craft events in October, which included cheese and wine tasting. They proved so popular they are

being repeated in December. Larkfleet’s managing director Karl Hicks said: “The Croft offers enjoyable community living that allows residents to embrace their interests and hobbies. The wine tasting classes proved incredibly popular in October so we are delighted to offer these sessions again during December. Social activity classes like these are a great opportunity for participants to get a feel for The Croft and the benefits it can offer its community.� q


BUILDING CONTROL

PORTABLE BUILDINGS

DRILLING & SAWING

SCAFFOLDING

HEALTH & SAFETY

SECURITY

LANDSCAPING

STEEL FABRICATORS

TRAINING & ASSESSMENTS

PLANT HIRE TREE SERVICES

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Construction National Dec 2013 (CHT)  

Construction Magazine

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