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UK INDUSTRY NEWS FMB’s Report Underlines Need to Increase Offsite Volumes

A report by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), highlighting the fact that the shortage of construction workers has hit its worst ever levels, is the latest sign that offsite housing volumes must be increased to help tackle the housing crisis. The assertion comes from pan-European insulation specialist Actis, a long term advocate of timber frame as a speedier method of construction with no negative effect on quality. The FMB in its quarterly report on the state of the industry, found that small and medium sized companies are struggling in particular to recruit bricklayers and carpenters and that demand for skilled plumbers, electricians and plasterers is also outstripping supply. Actis UK and Ireland Sales Director Mark Cooper said: “This latest report highlights yet again that the construction industry is desperately short of skilled workers to help build the hundreds of thousands of homes this country desperately needs. As well as needing to ensure we increase skills training for the longer term and find a way to ensure we don’t lose our best tradespeople after Brexit, we must urgently embrace ways in which we can build those homes in a shorter time, thus necessitating fewer skilled man hours. Homes created offsite can be built up to 30% more

quickly than their brick and block counterparts and costs can be reduced by as much as 25%. Actis also recently launched the latest in its series of in-depth ‘how to guides’, with the new addition aimed at helping architects and specifiers use the right products for their projects. The 36 page ‘Actis Reflective Insulation Guide’ looks at the factors involved in maximising thermal performance, explains the Fabric First approach to construction, and examines how to avoid thermal bridging and ensure airtightness without encouraging condensation. Actis UK specification manager Dan Anson Hart explained: “The generally accepted Fabric First approach means the best way to create a thermally efficient building focuses on reducing heat loss through the fabric elements in the first place. The average thermal efficiency of a building is made up of 45% thermal transmittance, or U- value, 30% air tightness and 25% thermal bridging. With those figures in mind it is clear that insulation should be prioritised before looking at using more sophisticated building services such as mechanical ventilation and heat recovery and renewable energy systems.” Source: www.insulation-actis.com

Site Check Timber Frame Guidance Now Available Two of Britain’s leading timber associations have joined forces to publish: Site check: The timber frame pocket book – the definitive guide to best practice in timber frame construction. TRADA and the Structural Timber Association (STA) have combined their expert knowledge to update and merge individual timber frame publications to produce a single-source ‘best-of both’ guide to on-site construction. Site check: The timber frame pocket guide is an invaluable tool for all those responsible for high quality workmanship, imperative when the burgeoning timber frame sector has grown at almost twice the market rate in one year alone. TRADA’s Rupert Scott said: “We are delighted to collaborate with the STA to provide the timber industry with a single source of timber frame advice. Site check: The timber frame pocket book equips site managers and other construction professionals with a handy aid to supervise and check that subcontractors’ work is done to a high standard. “The timber frame market is enjoying spectacular growth, providing a golden opportunity for those operating in this sector. And with the Chancellor recently committing £44 billion for the largest house-building drive for decades, this growth shows no sign of abating.” 12

Written as an illustrated guide that can be easily consulted by on-site management, this spiral-bound pocket book gives construction professionals the competitive edge by helping them to ensure subcontract work is carried out to the highest standard. “With a shared objective to enhance the standards within the structural timber sector, our collaboration with TRADA brought together the technical expertise of two of the timber industry’s leading organisations,” said Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the STA. “Quality management should be an end-to end process - from the sourcing of raw timber and offsite manufacture in well managed factories - to the final onsite installation. The Site Check pocket book will be a valuable asset to site managers and although concise,

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the information will play an important role in refining onsite quality controls.” From timber frame delivery and storage to installing a breather membrane, insulating and damp-proofing to masonry cladding and roof framing, Site check: The timber frame pocket book is packed with high quality guidance and diagrams, as well as handy check-lists for onsite inspection. Site check: The timber frame pocket guide is available to buy at TRADA Bookshops visit: https://bookshop.trada.co.uk/ A discount of 35% is available to both TRADA and Structural Timber Association members.

Offsite Magazine - Issue 10 (March/April)  

Offsite Magazine contains the latest news, exemplar case studies, comment, interviews and feature articles from leading lights in the indust...

Offsite Magazine - Issue 10 (March/April)  

Offsite Magazine contains the latest news, exemplar case studies, comment, interviews and feature articles from leading lights in the indust...