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ISSUE 124 FEBRUARY

Preservation and

protection Why safeguarding buildings from aggressive climatic conditions is essential and how waterproofing membrane technology can help See page 20

Tunnel transformers

Joint venture announced for London’s super sewer

Northern presence

Carillion purchases stake in Manchester-based real estate company

Supporting the Forth

Structural monitoring in use on Forth Road Bridge


20Cover story

contents

Chairman Andrew Schofield Editor Libbie Hammond

libbie@schofieldpublishing.co.uk

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Art Editor Gerard Roadley-Battin Advertising Design Fleur Daniels

FEATURES

Studio Assistant Barnaby Schofield Staff Writers Jo Cooper Andrew Dann Ben Clark Operations Director Philip Monument Research Manager Laura Thompson Editorial Researchers Nick Bochmann Mark Cowles Tarjinder Kaur D’Silva Keith Hope Sales Director Joe Woolsgrove Sales David King Mark Cawston Production/ Office Manager Tracy Chynoweth

Schofield Publishing Cringleford Business Centre, 10 Intwood Road, Cringleford, Norwich, NR4 6AU, U.K. Tel: +44 (0)1603 274130 Fax: +44 (0)1603 274131 www.ccemagazine.com

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© 2016 Schofield Publishing Ltd

2 Apprentices

94 company profiles 33 TMCA 35 A1 Flue Systems 38 Doosan Bobcat Manufacturing 41 Travis Perkins 43 KazAvtoZhol 48 Fugmann 51 Machine Mart 55 Fabric Architecture 57 Radley Engineering 61 Peter Duffy 65 Taylor and Braithwaite 67 Part AB 70 Express Glazing 73 Spencer Group 75 Marshall Construction 78 Premier Modular 83 Actavo 89 ITA 91 Norsk Stein 94 KW Bell Group 100 Dura Vermeer 105 Kodumaja 108 The Underfloor Heating Store 112 Furse 118 Joseph Ash Galvanising 121 Sammon Contracting 125 Construction Materials Online 130 Concrete Valley 135 Commercial Marine and Piling 139 Terex GB 144 Lignacite 147 Dancourt Group 151 HARTELA

Libbie Hammond talked to Alasdair Waddell of Network Rail about the lessons that can be learned from its highly successful apprenticeship scheme

6 Battersea Power Station £8 billion of investment is creating a new community at Battersea Power Station

8 Painting and decorating The challenges and opportunities facing the UK painting and decorating market

11 Construction disputes There are some common types of construction disputes and this article highlights some of the methods that can help resolve them

14 NEWS Updates and information from the construction and civil engineering market

16 Heavy plant The performance of Europe’s construction industry means there is strong demand for used heavy equipment, and this is good news for IronPlanet

20 Waterproofing The importance of specifying a waterproofing membrane, which is fit for purpose

22 Brick Brick remains the preferred building product for the construction sector

26 Digital Modelling How Building Information Modelling is changing the future of construction

28 Procurement Are learning and co-operation key to the delivery of a successful mega project?

30 Drainage A UV cured lining solution has been used to repair cracks and fractures in a concrete pipe

Please note: The opinions expressed by contributors and advertisers within this publication do not necessarily coincide with those of the editor and publisher. Every reasonable effort is made to ensure that the information published is accurate, but no legal responsibility for loss occasioned by the use of such information can be accepted by the publisher. All rights reserved. The contents of the magazine are strictly copyright, the property of Schofield Publishing, and may not be copied, stored in a retrieval system, or reproduced without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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Images courtesy of Network Rail

apprentices

Ready to

learn As skills shortages are starting to bite in the construction sector, Libbie Hammond talked to Alasdair Waddell, recruitment specialist at Network Rail, about the lessons that can be learned from its highly successful apprenticeship scheme

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W

ith the Government’s plans to reach three million apprentices by 2020 and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills stating a commitment to making England’s apprenticeship programme the best in the world, the overall issue of apprenticeships remains high on the agenda.

Apprenticeship schemes not only play a part in meeting objectives to boost skills and drive-up productivity for the country as a whole – they also widen access for young people to the professions and build the high level technical skills needed for the jobs of the future. The last six months have seen quite a flurry of activity in this area, with the Prime Minister sharing his plans in August


With a growing railway that is getting busier every day, we need to ensure we attract and develop a pipeline of valuable talent into our workforce to help us maintain our 20,000 miles of track and keep people moving. Today, more than 2000 apprentices have been through our scheme

to boost apprenticeships and transform training (including a controversial Apprenticeships Levy) and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announcing an ambition to boost apprenticeships across the road and rail industry – pledging 30,000 apprenticeship places in the sector during the lifetime of this Parliament, with help from a transport strategy led by Terry Morgan, Chairman of Crossrail.

Indeed, the construction and rail sectors have long appreciated the value that apprentices bring to their businesses and many businesses already have sophisticated and highly regarded schemes in place. One such organisation is Network Rail, which prides itself on its very competitive and thorough apprenticeship programme, that offers candidates the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, in some cases up to degree level, while working and earning. At the time of Patrick McLoughlin’s announcement, Mark Carne, Network Rail Chief Executive explained that the company needs a highly skilled workforce to enable it to deliver its multi-billion pound railway upgrade plan and a network fit for the 21st century. “That’s why we have a steadfast commitment to training and developing everyone from apprentices and graduates to up-skilling our 35,000-strong workforce and others across the industry with the latest digital, technical and engineering skills,” he said.

It is clear that the Network Rail Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme is a vital component of its recruitment strategy, and as Alasdair Waddell, recruitment specialist at Network Rail explained; it has been as such for a decade. “With a growing railway that is getting busier every day, we need to ensure we attract and develop a pipeline of valuable talent into our workforce to help us maintain our 20,000 miles of track and keep people moving. Today, more than 2000 apprentices have been through our scheme.” Eighty-three per cent of these trained apprentices also still work for Network Rail, with many progressing onto senior positions within the company, proving again that its investment is being returned. “Our scheme has a retention rate well above the average, with a 95 per cent completion rate, more than 20 per cent ahead of the sector average of 74 per cent. This means that the young people we’re training are staying with the company and growing through our programme,” added Alasdair. What also makes schemes such as this so important is the diversity of activities in which trainees can be involved. So at Network Rail for example, apprentices that complete the scheme can go on to develop their careers in a number of areas across the company. “The apprentices we have trained have progressed to become national aerial survey specialists, assistant track maintenance engineers, as well as team leaders and technical officers,” highlighted Alasdair. “Some on our current programme are working on the government sponsored Thameslink Programme

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Images courtesy of Network Rail

apprentices

– one of our biggest construction projects as we rebuild London Bridge and the railway around it.” Many of the skills learned can be transferred across departments, as well as in different companies and even across industries. But as Alasdair noted, a high proportion of individuals remain with Network Rail once they’ve graduated, and today these people are working throughout the business in roles across signalling, telecoms, engineering and project management.

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“A couple of examples of graduated apprentices that have gone on to excel within our business include Reece Martin, a senior project engineer. He joined our Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme in 2006 and has gone on to become a senior project engineer overseeing national development projects across the country, he’s also been promoted to a senior management position and gained his Institution of Railway Signal Engineers license. “Another great example is


Adam Fountain, now a scheme project manager, responsible for managing a £5 million maintenance project, which is crucial to keeping Britain’s railway moving. Adam has also been promoted four times since joining the scheme in 2006 and managed a number of large project teams along the way.” While the scheme is obviously very successful, Network Rail is continually making improvements and appreciates that the benefits

of the approach are not all about business success but the human element as well. Therefore, as part of the Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme’s ten-year anniversary, the organisation commissioned an employee survey to capture their views on the value that apprentices bring to the organisation. “That survey looked at what the scheme offers our apprentices and we’re thrilled to see that the partnership works both ways. Forty-seven per cent

Above Mark Carne and 10 apprentices from 10 years of the scheme

of our apprentices achieved professional accreditation earlier than their peers who hadn’t taken part in an apprenticeship, while 62 per cent felt they made a direct impact on the company at an earlier stage.” What also sets the scheme apart is its inclusive nature – Network Rail doesn’t set an upper age limit for applicants for example. “The minimum requirements for applicants are four A*- C GCSEs, including English, Maths and Science however it is a candidate’s personality and aspirations that we are most interested in,” emphasised Alasdair. “We are keen for candidates who enjoy a more practical working environment, who embrace problem-solving tasks and want to kick-start their career by getting into work rather than continuing in the classroom.” It is easy to see why Network Rail’s scheme can be held up as an example to other businesses that might be weighing up the benefits of creating an apprenticeship programme, and Alasdair would encourage those considering it to go ahead. “We think it is a fantastic way to boost your workforce,” he stated. “Apprentices have delivered fantastic results year-on-year for Network Rail and bring fresh thinking, a willingness to get stuck in and an eagerness to learn that really sets them apart. “As a company we’re very proud of our apprenticeship scheme; it’s attracted a wide variety of talented people to our company who we’ve been able to nurture and develop. For anyone thinking about pursuing an apprenticeship, I would recommend strongly considering it. Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to learn in a hands-on fashion while getting paid, as well as gaining valuable life skills along the way – why not give it a shot!”

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battersea power station

A powerful

history

The foundations are being laid for a new community at Battersea Power Station, with £8 billion of investment creating a thriving, diverse neighbourhood. October 2015 witnessed a new milestone in the project

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he Grade II* listed Battersea Power Station, situated in the Nine Elms area on London’s South Bank, is the largest brick building in Europe and is notable for its original, lavish Art Deco interior fittings and decor. Having ceased generating power in 1983, numerous redevelopment plans were drawn up from successive site owners, but it

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wasn’t until 2012 that Knight Frank announced that administrators Ernst & Young had entered into an exclusivity agreement with Malaysia’s SP Setia and Sime Darby and were working towards a timely exchange and completion of the site and associated land. Completion of the £400 million sale took place in September 2012, and work finally commenced with Phase 1 on July 4th, 2013 - the 80th anniversary of this historic building. This vast 42-acre former industrial brownfield site is going to be revitalised into a community of homes, shops, cafes, offices and 18 acres of public space. Described as a ‘new town centre for London’, it will also be serviced by an extension to the Northern Line. The overall plans include the restoration of the art deco structure internally and externally, reconstruction of the chimneys,

and refurbishment of the historic cranes and jetty. Also included are 4000 homes of varying sizes, and sales of residential apartments in Phase 1 of the redevelopment began in January 2013 with around 75 per cent of townhouses and apartments being sold within four days. Construction work on Phase 1, called Circus West, is being undertaken by Carillion and commenced in 2013. The full redevelopment consists of seven main phases, some of which are planned to run concurrently. Phase 1 is due to complete in 2016/17 with the Northern line extension and requisite new Battersea Power Station terminal anticipated to complete in 2020. The overall development is anticipated to be completed in 2025, with The Power Station itself expected to be open to the public for the first time in over 30 years in 2019.


Chimneys As mentioned above, reconstruction of the chimneys is part of the site plan, and in fact, is a significant part of the project, given that Battersea Power Station’s four chimneys are iconic structures that are instantly recognisable and a much-loved feature of London’s skyline. However, following exhaustive surveys and testing by leading experts it was found that any refurbishment of the existing chimneys would only ever be a short-term fix and not actually prevent the chimneys from continuing to deteriorate. Therefore, with the agreement of Historic England and the London Borough of Wandsworth, it was agreed that the chimneys would be dismantled and rebuilt, using the same techniques and materials, so that they will continue to dominate the skyline for generations to come. Each new chimney will be visually identical to the original, the only difference being that the new chimneys will use a more modern pattern of steel reinforcement within the concrete. Initially, work started on just the new South West chimney and October 2015 saw a major milestone reached in this aspect of the project, when it reached

a height of 25m above the highest point of the wash tower brickwork. This marked the halfway point, and meant that work could start to dismantle and rebuild the other three chimneys simultaneously. Rob Tincknell, Chief Executive Officer at Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC), agreed: “Reaching the halfway point on the first chimney to be rebuilt is another significant milestone for everyone involved in the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station. We are very proud of this achievement and with work to start soon on the other three chimneys, I would like to offer the teams on site every best wish for the rest of the project.” Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, added: “These chimneys are a defining feature of the London skyline so as the local planning authority we have a profound duty of care to make sure the rebuilding process is a success. With each of these structures towering above the Power Station’s brickwork we also have to recognise that this is a truly unique engineering challenge.” The rebuild process is to pour concrete into a set of wooden shutters measuring 1.22 metres in height. The concrete section or ‘lift’ as it is known is left to set for 24 hours and then the shutters are removed unveiling the new chimney surface. In total, running vertically through the concrete sections will be approximately 70 tonnes of steel reinforcement bars that are set into the concrete in two concentric rings. With another 10m of new chimney lying inside the brick washtower, the South West chimney will be restored to its full height of 50m before the end of 2015. The rebuild programme that uses the same construction principles to ensure the new chimneys are rebuilt to be visually identical to the originals will conclude late summer 2016. Once

the rebuild work is completed, all four chimneys will then be painted. Until then the chimneys will remain in their grey concrete– fluted form as they did when they were first built. Paint scrapings have been taken to ensure that the new chimneys will then be repainted in the same original colour. Whilst the colour will look brighter initially, this is simply because the surface will not have weathered yet, which will affect the eventual shade. The rebuild programme has been undertaken by a group of specialist contractors including construction managers Skanska, Beroa Bierrum and Buro Happold Engineering. BPSDC is working with Historic England and LBW throughout the process of redeveloping the Grade II* listed Power Station to open it up to the public. Nigel Barker, Planning Group Director for London at Historic England concluded: “We are excited to see the delivery of this milestone stage. Our Historic Buildings Inspectors and Engineers have provided expert advice throughout the rebuild process so that the new chimneys match the originals as closely as possible. This demonstrates BPSDC’s commitment to the redevelopment of the Power Station which will safeguard its distinctive profile for the enjoyment of future generations of Londoners.” For more information, visit

www.batterseapowerstation. co.uk/chimneys

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painting and decorating

The changing

landscape Jamie Barber discusses the challenges and opportunities facing the UK painting and decorating sector

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he first ever Skills Spending Index released this year confirmed that British consumers are collectively spending more than £72bn each year on skilled tradespeople. A major proportion of that spend includes residential decorating jobs that are serviced

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by the professional painter and decorator sector. However visit any DIY multiple around the nation on a weekend and chances are you will see that Britons’ penchant for DIY has not quite resulted in the slow death of DIY that some analysts have suggested. The tills are still very much ringing in the DIY sector. But while the DIY market continues to be fairly static, trade has become increasingly brisk over 2015 in the ‘do it for me’ (DFM) market. Evidence suggests that time-poor individuals will certainly look to professionals for larger scale residential jobs or for specific projects that require professional application


and a high standard of finish. Getting professional painters and decorators in to do a job is often seen as quicker and hassle-free. Consumers are also keen to follow interior design, colour and painting trends such as the ombré inspired paint effect, which Dulux Trade forecast as a key look for 2016. Consequently, the trends indicate that Brits are leaving complex specialist interior paint techniques to a professional. The professional paint market has seen significant growth in 2015 - driven by both domestic and commercial markets and growing to an output of 174.9 million litres. The commercial market in particular has benefited from sales in the house building industry, for which a broad breadth of colour and superior opacity is crucial within the paint ranges specified. Similarly, growth in the commercial market has also been fuelled by the education sector as specifiers for schools, colleges and universities tend

to choose high performance durable products to cope with the demands of high traffic. But rather interestingly, we have also seen an increasing blurring of lines between the domestic and trade paint markets as consumers who would traditionally purchase from retail channels are purchasing trade paints from specialist merchants. This is due in part to the quality of trade products, increased consumer decorating knowledge as well as a much better in-store customer experience and service, provided by merchants. Post-recession, the commercial paints market has cautiously regained its sense of confidence, reflected by activity in the construction industry rising for the tenth consecutive quarter in Q3, 2015 . Vigour in the housebuilding market has also fuelled double digit growth of ‘2nd quality emulsion’ segment, which in our case represents our lower quality paints that offer less durability, cover and opacity. The painting and decorating industry is also seeing an increasing demand for value add services, which is reflected by a general trend throughout the construction industry and other sectors. Manufacturers are incentivising their customers with services that not only help their customers but ultimately the end user. Services increasingly being offered by brands such as Dulux Trade range from design services for both commercial and residential customers, project

management and consultancy to the creation of digital platforms that connect an approved decorator to consumer or commercial customers. These value added services offer efficient methods that not only help to further professionalise the industry and add weight to our customers’ businesses but enable our customers whether commercial or retail to transform their environments into beautiful living spaces. All of this good news however does not hide the fact that the painting and decorating industry, like other critical sectors including the housebuilding industry, is facing a profound skills shortage with a lack of

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painting and decorating

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newly skilled trainees coming into the decorating profession. A growing number of large suppliers to the construction industry are vocalising their alarm at the shortage and depletion of skills - recent analysis of the situation suggests a shortage of 33,000 tradesmen in London and the south-east alone, while two thirds of construction firms claim they have turned down work because of a lack of resources. We are one of a few large companies who are taking the initiative to help prevent a situation where demand outstrips supply. We recognise

contractors and professional decorators who have traditionally used solvent-based paints to water-based products. There are encouraging signs that the nontraditionalists are bought into environmentally friendlier high performance products, reflecting consumers’ increasingly green consciousness. Lack of odour, the speed at which waterbased products dries and their durability are key attributes of water based products. The finished results from using water based products are as good as solvent based products including

that a shortage of skilled and professional decorators could exacerbate the UK’s housing shortage. So, we have opened a new academy in Slough, which will not only train those new to the industry but also develop and enhance the skills of established painters and decorators, in an attempt to reverse the reduction in the number of quality tradesmen in Britain. One of the painting and decorating industry’s challenges is to transition building

the high level of gloss that can be achieved without the brush marks symptomatic of some solvent-based paints. We are hopeful that the painting and decorating industry will embrace the trend for water-based products, reflecting our desire to push the sustainability agenda even further forward. Growing professionalisation and the development of new technologies that enable painters, decorators and building contractors to meet customer

demand quickly, cost-effectively without compromising quality mean that this group are reviewing their jobs through a more commercial lens. It is up to the industry to pull together and the responsibility of individual manufacturers to help the industry along, particularly to meet the challenges of a skills shortage. We are optimistic however that the challenges can be met head on and remain absolutely committed to doing our bit to help the industry continue to be fit for the future.

Jamie Barber is Senior Marketing Manager at Dulux Trade. One of the UK’s leading paint brands in the professional market and a champion of colour, Dulux Trade offers a comprehensive range of premium quality decorative finishes, exterior and specialist products. The company is committed to delivering brighter futures for its customers and industry by offering a range of innovative products and integrated design and specification services. For more information, visit

www.duluxtradepaintexpert.co.uk


construction disputes

In

agreement Common causes of construction disputes and how to resolve them By Lorna Carter and Umran Kadir

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he construction industry is well known for its fair share of disagreements and disputes. There are some common types of construction disputes and this article highlights them, as well as the methods that can be adopted to resolve these with minimal fuss.

Types of construction dispute Payments The most typical construction dispute is about money; in particular not being paid. Payment terms relating to commercial construction contracts are subject to the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration

Act 1996 as amended by the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2011 (known as the Construction Act). The Construction Act creates an entitlement to staged payments and prohibits pay-when-paid clauses. Non-payers must carefully follow the Construction Act’s requirements to provide formal notices known as ‘pay less’ notices allowing them to hold back payment on valid grounds. Failing to provide these notices on time gives the party requiring payment a relatively straightforward case in adjudication.

delays are not the fault of any party, such as inclement weather, but, in principle, damages would be recoverable from parties responsible for non-excusable delays. Sometimes these are preestimated and agreed in advance - these are known as liquidated and ascertained damages (LADs). However, there are often disputes about the cause of the delay and who is responsible. Complex legal analysis and establishing what, if any, damages are payable will be required for concurrent delays. These are delays, which run sideby-side for whom different parties are responsible.

Delays

Extensions of time

Delays are relatively common in construction projects. Some

Where there is a delay for which the Employer is responsible a

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construction disputes

contractor is entitled to apply for an extension of time avoiding LADs, subject to the terms of the contract. Care must be taken to comply with the contract terms in providing notice of the delaying event and such information is required by the contract in order to obtain the required extension.

later. Most construction contracts allow a contractor to return on site and rectify any defects during an agreed rectification period. Failure to allow the contractor to return during the rectification period could result in the Employer’s right to recover damages being significantly reduced.

Defects

Professional Negligence

Defective works can range in severity from pure snagging items to undetected structural issues that may only be discovered years

Professional negligence claims usually arise where an Employer is alleging that a consultant or contractor involved in a project

has carried out their design without due skill and care. In contracts for services where the professional is acting in the course of a business, if not expressly dealt with in the contract, it will be implied by the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 that their services will be carried out with reasonable skill and care, within a reasonable time and for a reasonable fee. It is possible to exclude or limit these duties, for example through net contribution clauses. We acted for the consumers in the first case on the enforceability of such clauses against consumers West v Ian Finlay & Associates (2014).

How to resolve? Meetings It is often useful for the parties to meet in order to talk frankly about the dispute. It is important that those with sufficient knowledge and the necessary authority

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settle the dispute attend and, if a settlement is reached, the terms of agreement should be recorded in writing and signed by the parties to try to avoid misunderstandings. It is helpful for such meetings to be held on a ‘without prejudice’ basis so that the parties are free to make comments that may not be referred to in Court if a deal is not struck.

Mediation This is a confidential and nonadversarial form of dispute resolution. The mediator attempts to facilitate negotiation of the dispute to reach a resolution. Parties will generally bear their own costs and share the mediator’s fees. Again, it is important that those with sufficient knowledge and the necessary authority to settle the dispute attend. If settlement is reached, the terms of agreement will be recorded in writing and the decision will be binding. Even

where a settlement is not reached, mediations tend to narrow the issues and the parties may well achieve a settlement later.

Adjudication Adjudication is a quick and confidential process. It is automatically available at any time for disputes where there is a ‘construction contract’ as defined by the Construction Act. The adjudicator must issue his decision in 28 days although this may be extended by agreement. The successful party can seek a Court order to enforce the decision. In relation to costs, the parties pay their own but the adjudicator decides who is to pay his fees. Due to the fast nature of adjudication it is important to seek legal advice early on.

Court Action Court action can be a long and expensive process and, if not managed properly, the costs

can end up dwarfing the sum in dispute. There is a Pre-Action Protocol for Construction and Engineering disputes which means that the parties should exchange correspondence in a specified format and also meet on a without prejudice basis before issuing Court proceedings. Court action is commenced once a claim form is served on the defendant. The dispute is then classified according to the sum claimed. For small claims (under £10,000), legal costs are not recoverable from the other side so parties tend to represent themselves. Reasonable legal costs are recoverable on fast and multi track claims but the Court will not usually award more than 70 per cent of costs to the successful party. Court action is a last resort.

Arbitration Sometimes the nominated dispute resolution procedure in a contract is arbitration. In our opinion this is best employed on large complex disputes where the parties intend to continue with their commercial relationship, as it provides a confidential procedure with an arbitrator who is generally a construction specialist. Again this should be seen as a last resort. Lorna Carter and Umran Kadir work at law firm Hewitsons LLP. Hewitsons is an ambitious law firm that advises businesses, individuals, and institutions such as charities, educational bodies and parts of the public sector. For more information about Hewitsons and its range of legal services for the construction sector visit:

www.hewitsons.com

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news

Panels on show Insulated infill panels manufactured by Panel Systems, based in Sheffield, have transformed three apartment blocks in Leeds. The company supplied more than 200 aluminium faced Aluglaze panels and these were glazed into the new windows in two colours; grey and a striking green to complement the new render on the main elevations. This transformed them to give a vibrant new look that fits in with the modern skyline of the city. As well as enhancing the apartment blocks’ aesthetics, the insulated panels also help to reduce energy consumption and the carbon footprint due to their high performance insulated core. Aluglaze panels can be supplied in different thicknesses to achieve U-values as low as 0.15W/m²K. The work is part of the Sustainable Communities for Leeds project in partnership with Leeds City Council, which includes the refurbishment of 1245 existing council properties and the regeneration of communities in Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck. A premium quality panel, Aluglaze is typically specified when aesthetic considerations are paramount and is available in all Interpon D, Syntha Pulvin & Anodised colours. Panel Systems’ bespoke service means that Aluglaze panels can be designed to suit all glazing and curtain walling systems. They are also able to meet the required insulation, acoustic and fire resisting criteria.

Tunnel transformers A joint venture between Atkins and Arup has been appointed a consultancy contract to deliver a range of design and engineering services for BMB, the joint venture between BAM Nuttall, Morgan Sindall and Balfour Beatty, who have been appointed by Tideway to deliver the West section of London’s new ‘super sewer’, the Thames Tideway Tunnel. Valued at £416 million, the six kilometre ‘West’ section of the 25km Thames Tideway Tunnel will run from Acton in West London to Wandsworth in South West London incorporating seven separate work sites along the route. Works will include design, construction, commissioning and maintenance following construction completion. Upon completion, the Thames Tideway Tunnel will ensure the capital’s sewer system is fit to support its projected population for at least the next 100 years, and will tackle the issue of discharges of untreated sewage that currently enter the River Thames on a regular basis. The new tunnel will be the biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken by the UK water industry. Nick Roberts, UK CEO at Atkins, said: “The Thames Tideway Tunnel will help transform the river and we are very pleased that BMB chose the valuable experience, expertise and approach we’ve developed with Arup from projects such as Crossrail. We look forward to playing our part in promoting a positive change in the relationship that Londoners and visitors have with the Thames.”

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Contract extension In April 2015, Trimble won the initial bid to supply the Beijing New Airport project with a construction information management system used for tracking and monitoring construction operations in real-time. Based on the success of the solution to date, the contract has been extended to include additional machine control systems for soil stabilisation. Beijing’s new airport is projected to handle approximately 72 million travellers and 620,000 flights by the year 2025. Steve Berglund, president and CEO of Trimble commented: “The contract extension validates Trimble’s ability to provide innovative solutions that transform work processes.”

Construction growth New analysis by Creditsafe reveals eight of the ten most searched for UK companies on the Creditsafe system in 2015 operate in the construction industry or are specialist suppliers to the sector. Five of these firms directly work in property construction and development, while three are specialist retailers servicing the industry. In terms of growth the construction sector has experienced a dramatic upturn in 2015. On average, 1840 new construction companies open per month in the UK, compared to 862 in France and 230 in Belgium. In Germany, the number of construction companies fell by an average of 25 per month.


Supporting the Forth

Northern presence

Strainstall, part of James Fisher and Sons plc, provided a rapid response to a sudden transport infrastructure closure by installing its state-of-the-art structural monitoring system, BridgeWatch, onto the Forth Road Bridge in record time. The Bridge was closed to all traffic at midnight on 3 December 2015 after a crack was discovered in a truss under the carriageway, resulting in long delays as the holiday season approached. Strainstall immediately mobilised a team of engineers, who had been working close by on the Queensferry Crossing. Together with additional personnel, the team worked around the clock to provide specialist expertise and deploy the BridgeWatch structural health monitoring system – a first for the Forth Road Bridge. By installing a number of sensors in record time, including strain, temperature and tilt, the system delivered monitoring and engineering

Carillion has announced the purchase of a majority stake in Ask, a Manchester based real estate company. Ask has said it now aims to create a £500m pipeline of commercial property development schemes across the Northern Powerhouse region, supported by Carillion’s developments team. The deal will see Carillion buying out the four founding shareholders of the business, which was formed in Manchester in 2000. Ask Real Estate managing director John Hughes and finance director Jonathan Cross retain their executive roles and will be joined on the board of Ask by Simon Eastwood, managing director of Carillion’s developments business and Peter Forsyth, Carillion’s director of strategy and investment. The investment builds on an existing joint venture between Carillion, Ask and Tristan Capital Partners that is delivering a twophase development at Embankment in Manchester City Centre. The first phase comprises 101 Embankment, a tenstorey, 165,000 sq ft development of Grade A office space, retail and leisure units and 442space multi-storey car park pre let to Q-Park due for completion in July 2016. The joint venture will also submit a planning application in February 2016 for the second phase of the scheme; an adjacent identical office building entitled 100 Embankment.

information to support bridge operator Amey’s planned testing schedule and help ensure the bridge was reopened without delay. Testing was completed on Saturday over five hours, with the BridgeWatch system providing real-time information on the effects of wind and traffic loading on the integrity of the structure. This data, provided to the bridge’s control room, supported the decision to open the bridge almost two weeks earlier than officials had originally stated. As the original sensors continue to provide monitoring data, additional sensors will be installed during a second phase to monitor other critical points of the bridge for on-going monitoring and asset management support.

Market shaker Four years after its purchase of the ex BP Castrol oil terminal in Stanlow and, following a multi-million pound capital investment programme at the Ellesmere Port plant, ESL Fuels is targeting the plant equipment sector with the launch of its new premium Ultra Gas Oil fuel product. ESL Fuels’ managing director, Stephen Whittaker believes that the plant and construction machinery sector is ready to accept a competitive new market entrant in direct gas oil supply: “Whilst the benefits of a gas oil’s higher cetane value are becoming increasingly recognised, product quality has been consistently compromised by price-sensitivity. It’s our intention to shake up a market that has traditionally been shaped by fuel wholesalers and distributors and to halt their ‘race to the bottom’ in terms of standard product quality by introducing a gas oil that, with price taken out of the equation, would be the preferred choice of any discerning construction plant manager. “Furthermore, because we have complete control over the blend, manufacture and distribution of Ultra Gas Oil we can manage costs so that if there is any price premium for the customer it is almost negligible and far outweighed by engine performance benefits and cost efficiencies over the longer term.”

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heavy plant

Equipped for

success

With an encouraging pattern of growth in the European construction market during 2015 so far, IronPlanet has been capitalising on an increasing demand for used heavy equipment through a number of initiatives. We spoke to IronPlanet’s Vice President of European Sales, Felipe Fernández-Urrutia Massó, to find out more

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A

wave of strategic developments in 2015 so far mean that IronPlanet, the world’s leading auction marketplace for the buying and selling of used heavy equipment and trucks, has seen a significant rise in its European activity – a pattern that is set to continue throughout the rest of

the year and into 2016. The combination of an increased demand for both the buying and selling of used heavy equipment, as well as the pursuit of new business opportunities as part of a carefully crafted global expansion strategy, means that there are exciting times ahead for both the company and its customers in Europe and beyond.

“The strongest markets in Europe are still Germany, the United Kingdom – which is flying at the moment – and France,” explained Felipe FernándezUrrutia Massó, Vice President of European Sales at IronPlanet. “The Netherlands has picked up and has now surpassed Spain and Italy, and Belgium and Poland are showing promising signs too. The reality is that these economies are not yet close to a level experienced before the global economic crisis, but there has been a definite improvement. “The performance of Europe’s construction industry in these key economic regions means that there is currently a strong demand for a number of machine types,” he continued. “For example, medium and small sized construction machines are working particularly well, such as mini excavators, wheel loaders, telehandlers and backhoe loaders.” The nature of the construction industry means it is often an excellent means of gauging the state of a country’s economy. As such, IronPlanet is in a prime position to monitor how and where to focus its attention, which ultimately benefits its huge volume of buying and selling customers. “We are a used marketplace selling used equipment. We have a 1.3 millionstrong user database and that is what drives the participation that drives the prices,” he continued. “But if we feel that specific countries have a strong market at any given time – for example Poland, where we have a lot of

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heavy plant

good buyers at the moment – we invest our resources into these countries accordingly. It means we can help our sellers to find the right buyers from the right locations.”

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But whilst fluctuating market trends dictate how IronPlanet’s core marketplace business operates, the organisation has spent 2015 implementing innovative strategies to take advantage of new demand opportunities: “Our most important strategic developments in 2015 have been IronPlanet’s merger with Caterpillar Auction Services and our activity as the equipment disposition partner for the United States Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) here in Europe.” explained Felipe.

“Caterpillar Auction Services (CAS) was an independent company in the United States set up by a number of large Caterpillar dealers,” he added. “IronPlanet has merged with CAS and we will be using that brand to help our user-base participate in high-scale, onsite Caterpillar auctions via our own online auction facilities. Many international Caterpillar dealers have already decided to participate, and it is now something that we are confident of replicating here in Europe.”


The partnership puts IronPlanet in the unique position of being directly and deeply integrated with one of the most renowned construction equipment manufacturers in the world. In addition to the CAS merger, IronPlanet forged an agreement with the United States Department of Defense and its Defense Logistics Agency to act as its equipment disposition partner both in the U.S and Europe. The partnership means that IronPlanet will offer registered auction participants

with the opportunity to purchase used U.S. equipment from an American military base in Germany. “We hosted the inaugural DLA auction in Europe in July and the audience has been huge – over 40,000 attendees, from military equipment enthusiasts to construction companies. It was extremely impressive and obviously the DLA is very happy. That is why we will soon be selling equipment out of more U.S. bases across Europe, including in the UK and additional bases across Germany.” Felipe is confident that the early promise of this first auction will help IronPlanet to attain similar partnerships in Europe in the near future: “The success at this early stage will be very helpful for us because organisations will begin to appreciate just how big an audience we can attract and how much demand there is for this kind of equipment,” he said. “It means the operation will not just be limited to the U.S. military – other militaries will be motivated to work with us as a disposition partner, but also organisations like the U.N and even from the public sector. That is what we are working on in the coming months and we are looking forward to achieving some great results.” In addition to these latest developments, Felipe is keen to emphasise that a strong focus will continue to be placed on the development of IronPlanet’s relationships with some of the largest contracting and rental companies that operate on the continent, including Vinci and Bouygues: “The services we can offer are fantastic for these types of seller,” he said. “We have different platforms and different routes to the market, be it through our monthly feature auctions or our reserve-auction Daily Marketplace. This combined with the special marketing campaigns we can offer makes IronPlanet

The partnership puts IronPlanet in the unique position of being directly and deeply integrated with one of the most renowned construction equipment manufacturers in the world

an extremely attractive equipment disposition option for these larger companies.” For IronPlanet so far in 2015, ambitious expectations have been met with exceptional application and the business looks certain to continue its evolution in Europe and beyond. “As a business we have been working extremely hard, but all of these developments and initiatives mean that IronPlanet is an exciting company to be involved with right now,” concluded Felipe. “However the real winners here will be our customers. They are the ones who will be able to experience an unrivalled level of all round opportunity and service in both the buying and disposition of used equipment.”

IronPlanet is the leading online marketplace for used heavy equipment and an innovative participant in the multi-billion dollar heavy equipment auction market. Since 2000, IronPlanet has sold over $4 billion of used equipment online and has built a database of more than 1.3 million registered users worldwide. For more information please visit:

www.ironplanet.com

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waterproofing

Preservation and

protection

Faced with a number of location challenges, a new museum in Marseille has benefitted from highly innovative waterproofing membrane technology

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ith a greater number of buildings now constructed close to bodies of water such as the sea, lakes and rivers, developers must carefully consider the exposure conditions and how these will adversely influence the use, watertightness and durability of the entire structure. As the high water table, aggressive soil conditions and the corrosive effects of seawater will pose unique risks to the building, a proven and reliable waterproofing membrane has fast become one of the most important specifications at every construction project. A high performance waterproofing membrane improves the concrete’s structural performance and durability by providing constant protection from sulphate, chloride and water ingress. The selection of the right material solutions early on in the design stage of any project is important, as it is difficult and costly to do something about concrete cracks and water leakages later. By getting the

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specification right first time, you can prevent water ingress – and the many causes of concrete corrosion – with one relatively simple application. High water tables cause hydrostatic pressure to be exerted beneath basement floors and against the substructure walls. This forces water into the building through cracks, joints and any porous substrates and can contribute to mould, corrosion and other moisture related problems – which in turn can lead to major structural damage. So it’s vitally important to choose a waterproofing system that is resistant to chemical attack, mechanical damage and hydrostatic pressure. The most suitable solution is to utilise an impermeable barrier that not only restricts moisture or water movement into the building, but stops water migration between the waterproofing membrane and the building itself. Utilising over 50 years of experience as innovators in the waterproofing industry, Grace Construction Products developed the market-leading Preprufe®

system to combat the harmful effects of water migration and prevent concrete deterioration before it starts.

Causes for concern Whether directly or indirectly exposed to below ground water, the waterproofing system is faced with aggressive climatic conditions, sulphate attack and chloride induced corrosion. In particular, seawater is made up of a complex array of chemicals that will increase the concrete’s permeability and make it more susceptible to further attack whilst also reducing its protection from the additional sources of deterioration. Following an initial stage of deterioration, the compromised concrete will then provide additional paths of contamination – in the form of cracks and fractures. No matter how small these penetrations, contaminant ingress will be further accelerated to jeopardise the concrete’s integrity and dramatically reduce its service life. With traditional basement waterproofing the key requirement is to keep water out. However, with a dry internal environment and the external environment remaining wet, the risk of sulphate attack is increased. Due to groundwater sulphates refreshing the reactionary process, concrete composition and microstructure changes cause extensive cracking, expansion and loss of bond between the cement paste and aggregate, leading to an overall loss of concrete strength. Although continuous developments and innovations in concrete production have created an improved resistance to aggressive ground conditions, without a waterproofing solution the concrete will never be immune from its harmful effects. Concrete can only be fully protected if water infiltration is prevented entirely – with the waterproofing


membrane stopping corrosion before it can begin.

A proven solution Designed with synthetic adhesive layers combined with a robust HDPE film, Grace Construction Products’ Preprufe provides a permanent physical barrier that protects the concrete from the salt and sulfates found in the sea, ground and environment on coastline locations. Unlike other waterproofing solutions, Preprufe ensures the structure remains unaffected by salt and sulfate attack even if the concentration changes over time. Preprufe also eliminates the issue of water migration – water tracking between the membrane and structure – a problem well recognised by industry experts. Once a conventional membrane is breached the whole structure is vulnerable, so when a leak becomes visible it is often a considerable distance from the actual source. This makes leak remediation haphazard and expensive, when a simple Preprufe application would have prevented and cured the problem in one. Conventional membranes are often sealed to the wrong surface such as mudslabs or blinding slabs and then covered with a protective layer that separates it from the structure, providing paths for water migration as a result of membrane discontinuity. Grace’s patented Advanced Bond Technology™ needs no protective layer and enables concrete to aggressively adhere to Preprufe, forming a unique and continuous intimate seal which prevents any water migration between the waterproofing and the structure and substantially reduces the risk of leaks. Workmanship is another major factor in obtaining good quality and durable structures and the need for concreting and membrane installation to be supervised by qualified and experienced personnel is of

primary importance. Preprufe has been specifically designed to ensure that the structure is enveloped with a continuous layer of protection, isolating the structure from the highly aggressive below ground environment. Installation risk is minimised by using a single layer application with simple and efficient detailing that relies less on human skills, saving time and supervision cost compared to traditional low value systems with poor site productivity.

A watertight base Built on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the new £100 million Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MuCEM) in Marseille has been designed to deliver exceptional resistance to the challenging and aggressive coastal conditions. Faced with salt water exposure, high water tables and fluctuating temperatures, over 5,000m2 of Grace Construction Products’ Preprufe waterproofing membrane proved the perfect solution to provide watertight protection from below the ground up. Designed by architects Rudy Ricciotti and Roland Carta, and built by Dumez Sud (VINCI Construction France), MuCEM sits on reclaimed land at the entrance to Marseille’s historical harbour – between a 17th century fort and former cruise terminal. A spectacular 15,000m2 cube covered with a latticework reinforced concrete shell, it is the first national museum exclusively located outside the French capital and marks the year of Marseille as the European Capital of Culture. Due to its coastal proximity, structural engineers SICA and Lamoureux & Riciotti required a comprehensive waterproofing system which would protect the slab from water ingress, provide protection from salt and sulphates in the ground and preserve the lifespan of the structure. Preventing water penetration and

migration around the foundations, the application of Preprufe will protect the development and its collection of over 800,000 photographs, prints and pieces of artwork for many years to come. To complete the project’s comprehensive waterproofing specification, Grace supplied its Bituthene® LM asphalt-modified liquid membrane to provide a continuous waterproofing barrier system between the concrete slab and diaphragm walls. No other system on the market better protects a substructure from the harmful effects of water, vapour and gas than Preprufe. It can also be applied on wet concrete and is immediately trafficable after installation without protective layers, which makes for fast and easy installation. In fact, when compared to traditional loose-laid PVC systems, Preprufe is more than five times quicker – with approximately 500m2 laid in one day compared to 60-100m2 of PVC over the same time period. Preserving and protecting cultural buildings is essential for future generations which is why the successful application of Preprufe perfectly demonstrates the importance of specifying a waterproofing membrane which is fit for purpose, economically and environmentally sustainable and delivers waterproofing performance like no other system on the market. Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts; engineered and packaging materials; and specialty construction chemicals and building materials. The company’s three industryleading business segments - Grace Catalysts Technologies, Grace Materials Technologies, and Grace Construction Products - provide innovative products, technologies, and services that improve the products and processes of its customer partners in over 155 countries around the world. For more information, please see

www.grace.com

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brick

The age of Andrew Halstead-Smith takes a look at brick – still the most popular product for the building market

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rick has never been more popular. It remains the preferred building product for the construction sector, which is currently experiencing increased building activity levels, according to recent reports from Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS). Brick’s proven long-term performance and its undoubted wide-ranging aesthetic appeal, are the foundations of its continued attraction. Such characteristics,

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as well as superior sustainability credentials, underpin the role of brick as the anchor construction product for many of the nation’s most visually impactful and award-winning commercial buildings and homes. However, to keep pace with a fast changing construction environment and increased market demands, the brick industry must continue to innovate in all areas. This includes ensuring production and supply levels are maintained, product options are enhanced and sustainability credentials remain


production sites such as Ibstock’s £22 million redeveloped Chesterton factory, has seen an impressive response from the sector to meet the welcome signs of increasing market demand. Brick availability is not an issue.

Changing tastes and speedier construction

an important consideration when specifying a product.

Meeting demand Statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) demonstrate that brick production has risen by seven per cent and brick manufacturers have created one billion bricks over the past six months. While demand for brick hit the headlines last year, updated production figures released by the industry, as well as ongoing investment in operationally-efficient brick

Like all building products, taste in brick colours changes over time. While timeless classics will always remain popular, there has been noticeable increased market demand for more vibrant colours, design options and alternative finishes. The growth in interest for glazed finished products indicates a market demand for exploring alternative solutions to deliver highly attractive building façades. Portfolios of real ceramic glazed finishes in a huge variety of colours, sizes and finishes including frosted, gloss and satin - are being developed to satisfy demand for brick solutions offering striking designs. In addition, as the name suggests, the Everyday Specials range is a portfolio of unique shapes you might commonly use all the time – or every day – to help create effortless brickwork design. The range is supported by an innovative quotation and ordering system, the ‘Everyday Easy Order System’ that enables immediate and instantaneous quotations and the ability to order with despatch in 48 hours so you can keep products can be kept in stock. The secure online system provides access to full product information, while quote generation and ordering take just a few easy steps. This

modern process helps speed-up the procurement process for busy contractors looking to keep on track of build timescales. As well as support services designed to speed-up construction, the sector is also seeking faster and more efficient methods to incorporate brick into projects. This has led to the development of a number of technical solutions at a time when construction projects are experiencing sustained pressure to complete on time and in budget. These include: Arches – A traditional feature of brickwork over openings, varying from simple flat arch details to highly decorative solutions. The availability of traditionally built arches or large scale precast arches or drive throughs can reduce complexity on site and quicken construction. The selection of fully structural onepiece arch systems with stainless steel bearing plates to aid simple installation is proving popular. Underslung soffits – Deep reveals and soffits are an increasingly popular design feature. To create the effects, the surrounding brickwork bond is carried over the openings while still maintaining an exposed brick soffit without the need for unsightly exposed supporting steelwork. An effective solution in the form of underslung soffits can be a great answer for instances where unusually shaped and long openings need to be overcome, or where there is restricted access or little or no bearing surfaces available. Faststack - An ideal answer as a pre-fabricated real brick slip chimney. With changes in planning

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brick

criteria reintroducing a number of requirements for chimneystacks, the fact that Faststack has gained British Board of Agrement (BBA) accreditation ensures builders can be satisfied the product will deliver in terms of quality, performance and regulatory scrutiny. It enables the easy installation of both working and decorative chimneys and offers cost effectiveness benefits. From a choice perspective, its wide range of designs and flue options

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for all roof locations, and the fact it is clad in real brick slips, means it can be matched with new or existing buildings without issue. Fastwall – Similarly to Faststack, Fastwall is an innovative and extremely quick method to clad, infill or build a wall with real brick slips. A precision-engineered composite of 20mm brick slips bonded to patented backing and featuring a unique interlocking system, it can shave significant time from build


gain verification under the BRE Global’s Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) scheme. This ensures its environmental impact can be effectively measured in comparison to other materials. Brick is a natural product that has very little added to its mixture. Unlike many other building materials, it has low toxicity and does not use preservatives. It also lacks the volatile organic compounds commonly found in the formulation of plastic and synthetic materials. As well as longevity, once used, brick also produces very little in terms of wastage through the manufacturing process and has excellent energy efficiency credentials.

Planning is key With production meeting demand, ever-increasing design options and a continued focus on delivering sustainable credentials, brick is set to remain as vital to the UK’s construction industry as it has always been. As demand for brick products is predicted to continue as the construction sector hits an 11-year activity high, all stakeholders must ensure they plan ahead on construction projects. This will ensure brick production and supply continues to meet demand for this ever-popular construction material. projects. It is constructed off site and can replicate the aesthetics of traditional brickwork with ease. Fixing is straightforward. Adopting some of the methods outlined here can help reduce construction timescales.

Demand for sustainable answers When Ibstock questioned stakeholders in the construction industry about attitudes to sustainability, just over a third

(36 per cent) said that clients or customers had requested sustainable solutions on projects. While this percentage is fairly low at the moment, architects told us that the issue is going to become more important in the future. Ibstock takes sustainability extremely seriously and supports the view that it is a vitally important issue for the future of construction. That is why we were delighted to see brick become the first construction product to

Andrew Halstead-Smith is Group Marketing Manager at Ibstock, the UK’s largest brick maker. Ibstock invests heavily in ensuring a more sustainable future through its manufacturing, its communities and its products - over £100 million since 2003. The company offers an unrivalled choice of over 500 different bricks in its extensive range, which includes prefabricated brickwork components, rainscreens and a diverse selection of special shaped bricks and pavers. For more information, please see

www.ibstock.com

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digital modelling

Turning visions into

reality Richard Allen looks at how Building Information Modelling (BIM) is changing the future of construction

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IM is no longer considered as the up and coming force in construction and building design, it is now the present and the future. The Government’s 2011 BIM strategy announced its intention to require mandatory collaborative 3D BIM on all central government funded projects by 2016, now just six months away - yet some parts of the industry are still getting to grips with certain aspects of the legislation. So why does the Government see this as so important? Ultimately, BIM is driven by a desire to improve efficiency within the industry and provide a universal modelling system that improves both construction and the management of buildings.

What is BIM? As a concept that was first invented way back in 19701 as a way of pooling and sharing

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information between contractors - BIM is finally benefitting from the modern technology required to catch up with the original idea. BIM enables architects and contractors to go far beyond the previous two-dimensional drawings that formed a project. Now, elements such as design, time, manufacturing and cost can all be factored into the building information model - meaning that BIM represents not just geometry, but conjures a projected reality that is shared with the different professionals and disciplines involved in a construction project. From a project planning perspective, BIM has become remarkably useful. Similarly, the model of information created can be shared, amended and updated from the design team to contractor, subcontractor and operator - ensuring that no aspect of design and planning can be overlooked, as well as providing a system of ensuring that all team members are working to the same standards as one another.

UK on track? As the BIM 2016 deadline draws ever closer, there have been increasing doubts amongst construction professionals over whether the UK will be able to meet the government target. A


recent survey found that 71 per cent2 of respondents believed that the industry would not be BIM ready by 2016. The main reason for this is believed to be the lack of understanding of BIM throughout the entire supply chain, causing a non-collaborative approach. According to the 2014 NBS National BIM Report3, 54 per cent of UK construction professionals used BIM on at least one of their projects, whilst 93 per cent of those who know about BIM believe they will be using it in three years’ time. As the awareness of BIM is now widely spread, the challenge is for the whole industry to get up to speed on the BIM learning curve, and really understand what BIM can do for them. Challenges

functional properties to ensure we deliver engineered solutions for the main contractor through accuracy and zero-waste. The UK construction industry is large and complex and many see it as slow in adopting change. Many of the principles of BIM are already being implemented in projects across the building industry, but to set a consistent standard for project delivery and operational performance, it must be utilised by the entire industry to ensure we’re all working to the same high standards. 1. http://www.archdaily.com/302490/ a-brief-history-of-bim/ 2. http://www.out-law.com/en/ articles/2015/may/industry-doubtsover-uk-government-meeting-2016-bimtarget-increasing--survey/ 3. h  ttp://www.thenbs.com/topics/ BIM/articles/nbs-national-bim-report2014.asp

so far have mainly been due to the absence of collaboration in the construction team and its supply chain – something that, at voestalpine Metsec, we’re proud to have lead with a collaborative approach for over 20 years. In order to meet the 2016 deadline, it is important that software vendors and data providers work to encourage every strand of the construction industry to work together to make BIM happen ensuring that easy to use software is being created. However, it is also important to remember that BIM is not purely about the software - it’s a cultural change within the construction industry. At voestalpine Metsec, we’re committed to working together with every aspect of the construction process to ensure that the BIM process can be applied as transparently as possible. BIM has grown to become an integral part of the ‘Metsec’ service offering and we make use of its cross

Richard Allen, Marketing and Business Development Director at voestalpine Metsec plc, the UK’s largest specialist cold roll-forming company, that provides products for the construction and manufacturing industries. The company focuses on adding value through expert design, precision manufacturing and on time in full product delivery. For more information, please see

www.metsec.com

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procurement

Go beyond the

traditional Procuring complex capital projects: are learning and co-operation key to delivery of a mega project? By Gerard Chick

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hy is it that mega projects tend to be overdue, over budget and often fail to meet the client’s original specification? Plans to spend £24.5 billion building Britain’s first new nuclear power station in two decades should come to fruition now the final go-ahead for Hinkley Point C in Somerset has been given. The project, which is being partly funded by China, is underwritten by £2 billion of Government loan guarantees while the huge cost of the plant will ultimately be paid for by consumers in their bills.

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When it comes to something of this scope and nature, one wonders is there really such a thing as a formal procurement strategy? Or will its completion be driven by a process which goes beyond the customary make versus buy decision; does a project of this nature need to be driven by something else, some kind of innovative contracting and relationship strategy? The opportunity presented to those charged with delivering a project of this nature, to think beyond the traditional procurement approach, is especially challenging as we work in increasingly volatile and unpredictable market conditions. Hinkley C is expensive because it is very big and very complex. For more than a decade, EDF, the stateowned French energy giant, has been building two similar reactors, one in France and one in Finland,

both of which are running late and neither of which has generated a single watt of electricity. EDF won the Hinkley contract partly because of the Treasury’s preoccupation with not spending public money, and it is struggling to raise the private finance. That is one reason why George Osborne is ‘cosying-up’ to the Chinese with potentially costly blandishments. For a while, there was resignation about the project’s cost. It was a price that had to be paid to keep the lights on and the smart phones charging. But in the past few years, it has looked less and less like the next generation in clean energy and more and more like a rerun of previous debacles. But why should this be? Why can’t we learn from those who have seen this type of project through to a successful conclusion? There have been previous successful projects for the construction of mega infrastructure. Perhaps one forgotten success story, which reflects how a mega-project can be successfully managed, is BAA’s delivery of T5. Those working on


the project faced the challenge of developing and implementing a radically new approach to project management in an industry notoriously resistant to innovation and change and often reluctant to embrace new ideas from other industrial sectors. If one casts a cursory glance to the oil and gas industry, where several core project management approaches frequently used by those working in it are analogous to the T5 undertaking we can see how these projects can be successfully delivered. Practices such as client risk bearing, integrated project teams and pre-assembly techniques, all of which were first developed by the oil and gas sector in the 1980’s; have been successfully deployed to avoid the high cost of delays associated with the construction of offshore platforms. These techniques give those working in the construction sector an alternative approach; rather than using the traditional prime contractor methodology, integrated project teams can be created. These can be made up of

people from the client organisation as well as various contracting and engineering teams. More importantly the management of contracts and their integration with key aspects of the relationships established for completion of the project can be leveraged to maximum effect. To deploy such a strategy, the key issues for consideration when working with the complexity associated with mega projects include:  The  need for early engagement of commercial resources;  The  importance of focus and definition of goals, objectives and a clear understanding of their relative importance;  The  imperative for stakeholder inclusion and engagement;  The  need for risk management to be integrated into performance management and the development of a practical and structured approach to handling risks; and  The  importance of engaging the right people, with the right attitudes at the right time. The chances of project failure are likely to increase if the parties simply rely on some vague notion of ‘the relationship’. Today’s business environment demands a far more realistic definition of performance and governance techniques. Consequently informal, relationship structures such as frequent meetings or the use of phone and email, just don’t work. Similarly face-to-face meetings with little or no purpose or definition can often be an excuse for a lack of discipline – and are therefore often associated with unsuccessful projects. On the other hand success factors include robust and welldefined contracts, which offer defined approaches to goals, their oversight and governance. They are also linked to a well thought out contract management plans, where well-trained contract management professionals are

deployed and are engaged early in the project. Performance measures must be few in number and relevant in form. Technology also plays a growing role – in fact many of the out-dated procurement systems typically used in mega projects have little or no relevance to project success since they are too mechanistic and generate little or no relevant data or analysis. Ultimately it is the perseverance of those leading these mega projects to break with tradition and to reinforce team-based behaviours and foster a culture of learning among and between the partners on the project who will succeed. Their behaviours, based on so called ‘soft’ skills associated with elements of trust and co-operation require all parties to work constructively, rather than the more traditional modus of contracting based on a commercial estimation of risk and making claims when problems arise. The recognition that a different procurement approach to different types of capital projects works is one thing. However the real test for those charged with delivering major capital projects such as Hinkley Point C will be to enforce the change beyond a single project and ensure the application of nontraditional techniques more widely. Whether this can happen remains to be seen. Gerard Chick is Chief Knowledge Officer at Optimum Procurement Group, a leading procurement outsourcing and consulting company, which supports clients in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and North America. Optimum currently manages over $1bn of annualised client spend across more than 200 categories of expenditure, with specialist service lines operating in vehicle fleet management (Optimum Fleet) and energy procurement (Optimum E-Switch). For more information, please see

www.optimumprocurement.co.uk/index

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drainage

cure The perfect

When cracks and fractures were found in concrete pipe, a UV cured lining solution was installed in just one day – the open cut option would have taken seven

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ALROD (UK) Ltd is a specialist drainage services contractor that covers areas of the UK from North London to Newcastle. Recently the company ventured into new pipe lining territory using, for the first time, UV cured lining on a project for client Peterborough City Council (PCC). The project known as Baxters Bridge was located near Newborough, a small hamlet and civil parish in the Peterborough district, in Cambridgeshire, UK. Newborough is situated about 4.6 miles (7.5 km) north of Peterborough. A crossroad near the village, adjacent to Crowland Main Dyke, was a site where a deteriorated 600 mm diameter, under-road culvert required rehabilitation over a length of about 20 m.

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The culvert carries land drainage run-off waters between dykes that control the water levels in the local fenlands. The road route at the site of the culvert is a busy ‘rat-run’, particularly during rush hour and used by commuter traffic, heavy goods and farm vehicles. Inspection of the culvert by PCC showed that, due to its position with its crown at just 2 m below the road surface, the structural integrity of the concrete pipe construction was compromised by multiple fractures, cracks and other defects. Had the culvert not been rehabilitated or replaced there was a significant possibility of collapse and damage to the road above.

Limited options Having decided that the culvert was in need of repair, various

options were investigated including the use of open cut techniques to replace the culvert length beneath the road or to rehabilitate the culvert to reinstate its structural integrity. Consulting with PCC project’s main framework contractor Skanska, the open cut option was relatively quickly dismissed due to a number of factors. To complete the project in open cut would have required a complete road closure over some seven working days, which in turn would have led to the large volumes of traffic using a diversion route of a minimum three to five miles (five to eight km) around the works. There would also have been a need for significant numbers of works vehicles to and from the site over this time. Given the very rural aspect of the area, the diversion route would also have required the use of several minor roads which often have steep embankment sides to bring the road level up above the level of the surrounding fens, which would have potentially led to significant traffic handling difficulties. With the potential also existing for a high carbon footprint on the project using open cut, it was decided to investigate the rehabilitation options. Looking at the rehabilitation options meant selecting a lining technique that would ‘fit the bill’. Given the experience of many contractors in the field of lining works, the project was put out to competitive tender. However, many lining options such as hot water cure and epoxy resin use do have significant leachate from the liner during the lining process and subsequent to the liner installation. As the site was handing land drainage this was not seen as an option that could be utilised. The remaining option was the use of an Ultra Violet (UV) cured lining that does not have the


environmental disadvantages of other systems. Ultimately, DALROD’s Cambridge franchisee (under the leadership of Mike Pollard) was selected as the preferred bidder for the works using a UV cure system, even though the company had not previously utilised UV cure on other operations. However, it was understood that the company’s experience on other lining works, as well as the fact that DALROD was very familiar with prevailing conditions in this part of the country, stood it in good stead for this operation.

inflated against the inner culvert wall. The UV light train was pulled through the liner in accordance with the manufacturer’s specification at a speed that would fully cure the eight mm thick liner. On this project the cure time for the 19 m run was just about 45 minutes. Once the light train had completed its run, the ends of the liner were opened up to retrieve the light unit and the liner ends were sealed at either end of the culvert. The CCTV camera was again passed through the culvert to record the completed liner for client records. The whole lining operation was completed from arrival on site, through set-up, culvert cleaning, CCTV survey, lining and final survey in just one working day on 13 October 2015, as opposed to the seven working days that would have been required for any open cut operation. The other advantage of being able to complete the works in just the one day is that overall the cost of the project was significantly less than could have been achieved using open cut replacement techniques. The carbon footprint of the project as a whole was also considerably lower.

Lining works One of the other advantages of the UV lining option, over and above the environmental ones in terms of non-contamination of the ground water run-off, was that there would be no need to have a complete road closure, as the works could be completed using a four-way traffic control system at the crossroad where the culvert was located, so eliminating the major disruptive diversion route. So, having established the works site over the culvert entrance, first the culvert was thoroughly cleaned to ensure that there was nothing within it that could impede the lining operation. The culvert was then checked and surveyed using a CCTV camera. The UV liner was then prepared for insertion. Supplied by RSM Lining Supplies of Doncaster, UK, the reinforced UV liner was delivered to site pre-impregnated with the UV sensitive resin. To install the liner a winch was set-up on the downstream end of the culvert and a winch line was passed through. Initially a pre-liner was winched into the culvert, which helps to prevent any external friction wear on the final liner during its insertion. The winch was then used to pull the main liner through the culvert into position inside the pre-liner.

Once in place, the whole liner assembly was then attached to a compressor/air blower unit and inflated to ensure the liner fitted correctly. A reinforced liner system was utilised to ensure the long-term integrity of the culvert, which once rehabilitated would continue to carry significant traffic loadings into the future. In the meantime the UV light train was set-up and connected to a towing line that ran through the liner. The light train was then placed into the liner, the ends were sealed using special fittings that allowed the light train to be pulled freely through the liner whilst maintaining it in its inflated state so as to achieve the curing process. The liner was then fully

DALROD (UK) Ltd is a specialist drainage services contractor that covers areas of the UK from North London to Newcastle. This family run company has over 30 years’ drainage maintenance experience that includes: • 24 hr/365day emergency call-out service for unblocking Drains & Sewers • Cleaning pipes by High Pressure Water Jetting • CCTV Surveying of underground assets • Sewer & Drainage Rehabilitation (Specialising in the installation of hot water cured epoxy lining systems) • Removal of Roots/ Concrete/ Intruding connections by specialist remotely controlled robotic machines • Civil Engineering For more information, please see

www.dal-rod.co.uk

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Traffic Safety Officer Services Ltd 12a Westpoint Enterprise Park Clarence Avenue Trafford Park Manchester M17 1QS Mobile: 0771 4015821 Phone: 08456 801 802 Fax: 0161 848 9299 Email: info@tsoservices.uk.com

Traffic Safety Services Ltd was established in March 2012. Since its inception, we have grown our client base on a foundation of reliable service and highly experienced operatives of all grades. These range from Traffic Safety and Control Officers to LANTRA qualified one day operatives. The company has grown year on year to be one of the most recognised traffic management recruitment companies in the industry. We have been striving to bring on board new clients each year and currently provide operatives on a national scale from Southampton to Newcastle. Our comany has been working on its new induction and vetting process for the labour provided to the industry. This will ensure full compliance is achieved with all new health and safety requirements requested, from some of the leading traffic management companies we support. The new process will be implemented in the New Year with all current workforce completed as part of their annual review. We have been working over the past two years on a bespoke automated online booking system called TOAST. TOAST was rolled out in october 2014 and has received excellent reviews from all our clients that use the system. There have been a number of of developments with the system in the first year to keep it well ahead of its competition. The system holds all of the workers qualifications which can be accessed by any supervisor or auditor, at any time, from any smart device or via the TOAST App. It holds all shifts worked on a calender, so the working patterns of the operatives can be interrogated, assessed and monitored. The system searches for the best qualified operatives for the roles uploaded to the system, highlights them to the operators in seconds, and with thier availability already preloaded into the system by each candidate, positions can be filled in seconds rather than hours. The TOAST system has all the business rules built into the search parameters, so it will not allow any double shifting across clients, contracts or shifts (days & nights). The system also has a very clever “Flag� system which can archive any operative and remove them from the search parameters for a variety of reasons and timescales for such things as failing to attend site on a regular basis, Bad working attitude, Expired qualifications or failed drug and alcohol test, which will enroll the operative in our rehabilitation programme. We also have a number of new developments that will be released in the New Year to agian keep the system far out in front. We are now also developing our fully accredited Lantra training centre. Our growing number of assessors have been busy looking at all of the operatives assiciated with our company for development prospects. This is allowing us to assist people to move up through the grades, and assist in supplying a larger number of the higher skill grades required in the industry as it expands, thus assisting with our client’s ever growing needs. In the coming year we hope that we will be able to assist our clients with the training of their own employees as the demand for more qualified and versatile workforce presents itself.

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profile: TMCA

Safety

first The TMCA continues to play a leading role as the traffic management industry looks towards a future of zero accidents

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ormed in 1989 with the encouragement and support of the DfT, the Traffic Management Contractors Association (TMCA) has spent the last two decades working closely with its industry to overcome the challenges of maintaining high safety standards for workers and the general public at major traffic management sites. Sharing Highways England’s ‘zero accidents’ goal, health and safety informs the main activities of the TMCA and over the years the organisation has been instrumental in driving improved safety throughout the industry. Whilst the organisation only has 13 members, they account for 90 per cent of the major works carried out on the Highways England

Above This no longer happens on the carriageways

network. “We’ve been going now for 26 years and over that time we have built up a level of trust and encouragement with the industry and have always been at the forefront of the practices that have been introduced,” begins long-serving Chairman and now Secretary of the TMCA, Richard Pearson. “Just over a decade ago the ‘roadworks’ industry was going through a very bad time and there were 11 deaths in one year. This resulted in an industrywide crackdown from the HSE, and since then a number of safety forums have been set up, many of which have covered traffic, to which we have had a major input, with a goal to improve these figures.” As such, the general trend for these figures has been positive and in 2014 only two worker fatalities occurred on UK’s roads, neither of which involved traffic management operatives. In fact in 2007 and 2011, no deaths were reported. “The introduction of these new safety forums changed the industry beyond

recognition,” continues Richard. “The IPVs (Impact Protection Vehicles) that you see on the roads now, for instance, weren’t in existence back then. It is a fact that working on the highways is dangerous and some things are easier to safeguard than others when operators are working within a few feet of live traffic. The slightest thing can go wrong to put workers at risk and we continue to do everything we can to minimise these risks as much as possible through various initiatives.” One such initiative that Richard points out as being highly effective is the removal of central reservation traffic management signage for overnight ‘relaxed’ works. “It was only very recently that operatives were still crossing carriageways on foot to put out signs on the central reservations,” he says. “We have now helped implement a change in procedure that eliminates the need for anybody to cross. This is part of the wider strategy that no operative is to be on the carriageway on foot at all, unless

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profile: TMCA

protected by an IPV. We are also now in the process of removing road danger lamps so that workers don’t have to be placing lamps right next to the traffic. There are initiatives like this being trialled by various TMCA member contractors at present.” One other area where the TMCA has been keenly focused at present is on labour. “We have been setting up a system to record the testing and results of drug and alcohol tests,” outlines Richard. “Unfortunately, we identified a steady rate of failures month on month so this is a problem we are working to improve.” One solution currently being supported by the association is the introduction of a worker’s passport, similar to the type of system operated in the rail industry, whereby a worker’s training, testing and work is recorded. As Richard points out: “At present an operative can fail a drugs test one day and then go to work on the roads for another company the next. However with this system if they fail a test, it is recorded and that keeps them from going back on the road. This

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isn’t in our hands as it is ultimately the decision of Highways England, but we are keen to support it as it will be a big step forward for the industry as a whole.” Another initiative being managed by the TMCA to protect the safety and rights of labour is its Labour Agency Charter, which came into affect on 1st October 2015, and requires all members to use only the approved agencies that have signed the charter. The charter lays out 11 points to be followed by a labour agency covering everything from training, development and employee rights, to equal opportunities, drug use and disciplinary procedures. So far, the TMCA has 39 agencies signed up to the charter and Richard is keen to bring more on board in order to provide a wide network of support and protection for both employees and employers. Over its time in the industry TMCA has consistently proven itself to play a prominent role in representing its members and ensuring safety is continually driven throughout the country, and its vision for the future is

unfaltering in this approach. “It’s about making sure there is a better, well-trained workforce out there, and ensuring the procedures are there to protect them whilst working on the roads,” says Richard. “Safety and best practice in the industry are what the TMCA is all about and this will continue well into the future.” Highways England currently aims to achieve a target of a 40 per cent reduction in the number of KSIs (those killed or seriously injured) on its network by 2020 with a vision to cut this to as close to zero as possible by 2040. In such an unpredictable and risk-laden working environment this is a big challenge, and the dedication of the industry, illustrated by the TMCAs commitments, will be key to achieving this.

Traffic Management Contractors Association www.tmca.org.uk Services: Association supporting safety and best practice within the traffic management industry


profile: A1 Flue Systems

Road to

success Occupying a leading position in the commercial and industrial segments, A1 Flue Systems has amassed a portfolio of iconic projects and now sets its sights on the domestic market

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ith 42 years of successful trading behind it, familyowned, multiaward winning A1 Flue Systems has grown to become a true leader in its field. Employing a dedicated team of 134 people, the company specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of tailor made flue systems, and has established an unrivalled project portfolio of high profile projects across the UK. “We cover a wide range of projects from small, local projects of values as little as £6000 and supply right up to the top end at about £250,000,” highlights Contract and Manufacturing Director, John Hamnett. “In 2014 alone we completed just over 5000 projects, with up to 400 live contracts running at any one time.”

Predominantly a manufacturing business, the company employs a team of 45 manufacturing and 20 engineering staff to cope with this demand, and deploys 16 of its own install teams across the company to deliver the systems to a high specification. “With this team behind us our strength is in the fact that we only offer bespoke solutions,” John continues. “We manufacture and tailor make every system to meet every client’s needs and the specific site requirements. Whilst many of our European competitors try to fit standard systems into buildings, we have established a reputation for doing the opposite – designing around the buildings.” Amongst its growing list of projects, A1 has supplied systems to many of the iconic London structures including the Shard, where the company successfully installed a fleet of seven flue structures serving three boilers, two generators and two CHP systems, whilst ensuring longevity and ease of access. The Leadenhall building, 20 Fenchurch Street, most buildings on the Canary Wharf

complex, Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament also feature, as well as a number of ongoing developments across the capital. Elsewhere, the company has supplied to the recently completed Birmingham New Street Station redevelopment and Glasgow Law Courts projects. Presently, the company is involved in the ongoing development of London’s iconic Battersea Power Station. “We have been linked to this project since 2008 and whilst the programme has been knocked back a number of times, we have continued to maintain our involvement,” explains John. “As a result we were recently awarded a contract to provide some temporary flues whilst the

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profile: A1 Flue Systems

chimneys are being rebuilt as well as designing and putting a specification together for the permanent system.” Complementing A1’s offering is its specialism in flue dilution systems, for which it has demonstrated a leading capability to deliver across Europe. “We have successfully won and completed a number of large projects that are of a scale and design complexity that our competitors haven’t been able to rival,” notes John. “For example, we worked on a very big fan dilution system on Twickenham stadium, which we were awarded because we were the only company that put forward a compatible quotation. Likewise, we have just completed a large dilution system in the Grand Egyptian Museum in Egypt. Again, despite tendering across Europe, we came out as the only compliant tenderer that put forward a suitable and viable option for them to go with.” In its bid to diversify and maintain its position at the top of the industry, A1 Flue Systems has recently made some significant strategic moves to expand and enhance its offering to the market. Firstly is a partnership with natural ventilation providers, Monodraught. John explains: “We worked as a supplier to Monodraught a number of years ago when they offered flue systems as well as natural ventilation but as they moved away from flues the relationship

Monodraught Monodraught and A1 Flue Systems have signed a partnership agreement in a bid to increase the use of natural daylight and natural ventilation systems in schools, offices, hotels and public buildings across England and Wales. Both A1 Flue Systems and Monodraught have high hopes for the partnership and have identified opportunities that could result in more than £500,000 of orders in the coming months.

fizzled out. Then, recently they approached us because they could see an opportunity where we could open up each other’s channels and offer a complete heating and ventilation package to the market by working together. There are a lot of synergies to be had here and we hope to see some positive development as we move forward.” In addition to this, in October 2015, A1 announced the launch of its new, standalone business, A1 Expo Ltd, in partnership with Italian stainless steel giant, Expo Inox. Specialising in flue systems from 125mm to 200mm for installers of small-scale chimney systems and wood-burning stove retailers, A1 Expo is the company’s first foray into the domestic market. “A1 Flue Systems is firmly established as the UK market leader in the design, manufacture and installation of commercial and industrial chimney, flue and exhaust systems – but we have long harboured ambitions of being equally dominant in the domestic market,” highlights A1 Director, TJ Duncan-Moir. “To make a success of it, we needed to partner with an industry heavyweight, and Expo Inox fitted the bill perfectly.” Supplying a range of products from twin and single-wall flue systems, cowls and chimney fans, to core vents, stove fans and carbon monoxide detectors, the venture has ambitions of joining its parent

companies as a market leader. The market for A1 has been challenging over the past 18 months as the economy still recovers from a long recession and John notes that during this period the company faced tough competition from cheaper, European suppliers. “This appears to be bouncing back now,” he comments. “Whilst we never really dropped the amount of work during the period, we were facing more cost pressure, which has alleviated now that we are winning more quotedvalue contracts.” Securing the company’s continued success is its ability to stand apart from the competition and offer highly technical, cutting edge solutions, which appear to be favoured in a market that is recovering from a period of cost-sensitivity. With new market opportunities opening up as a result of careful strategic planning, allowing A1 Flue Systems to make inroads to new customer bases, and recovering market conditions, John is clear that the company is still as focused as ever on its core industries. “Looking ahead we are keen to carry on with more of the same,” he says. “We know where we come from and we know what we’re good at. We have established a reputation for the large, bespoke projects so we will be securing more of these, but at the same time we will continue with our smaller jobs, as these are vital to the business’s continued success on a day-to-day basis. We believe that we are leaders in what we do, but being leaders and staying leaders are two different things so we have to focus on maintaining this position.”

A1 Flue Systems www.a1flues.co.uk Services: Leading specialists in the design and manufacture of bespoke flue systems 37


profile: Doosan Bobcat Manufacturing

Moving the

earth With roots dating back as far as 1896, the Doosan Group has acquired 120 years of industry experience within a number of industries. Today its Doosan Bobcat Manufacturing subsidiary represents a market-leader in the manufacture of mini excavators, loaders and complicated equipment

T

aking its name from the Korean words ‘Doo’ meaning a unit of grain and ‘San’ meaning mountain, Doosan means ‘little grains that can build a mighty mountain.’ The driving force behind this thought is that great things can be achieved when even the smallest forces join together in a unified effort. With a wider business comprised of operational division across several industry sectors, the Doosan Group presently represents the fastest growing infrastructure support business in the globe, within 38 countries across five continents around the world. Based at its corporate headquarters in Prague, Doosan Bobcat Manufacturing has several sales and distribution centres throughout the Czech Republic, as well as a manufacturing plant located with the Central Bohemian Region town of Dobris. Operating as a subsidiary of the global construction equipment supplier Doosan Infracore,

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Doosan Bobcat Manufacturing is the sole authorised importer of Bobcat skid steer and wheel loaders, excavators, telescopic handlers, accessories and spare parts. Furthermore, from its manufacturing facility the company it also able to manufacture and supply Doosan power generators, light towers and air compressors. The history of Doosan Bobcat Manufacturing dates back to 1947 and the formation of the Melroe Manufacturing Company in Gwinner, North Dakota. During 1958 the company started production of the Melroe Bobcat Model M-200, beginning a new chapter in compact construction equipment. From 1995 onward the business operated as Bobcat Ingersoll Rand until July 2007, when Bobcat, along with two further divisions, was sold to Doosan Infracore for $4.9 billion. The transaction represented the largest overseas sale in Korean history and pushed Doosan Infracore to rank among the world’s seven largest construction

equipment manufacturers. During 2016, Doosan Bobcat Manufacturing will celebrate 15 years of successful collaboration with Bobcat as a specialist provider for heavy construction equipment, which in 2013 celebrated its 55th anniversary since the start of production of world’s first skid loader, the Bobcat M400. By offering market-leading products, a comprehensive support network and a strong manufacturing base within the Czech Republic, Doosan Bobcat Manufacturing guarantees quality and reliability. Since 2000, the company has worked to make specialist construction equipment available to clients within the Czech Republic. Today throughout its sales and supply network and manufacturing facilities, Doosan Bobcat Manufacturing employs 550 staff including, trained sales representatives and more than 45 skilled technicians with several years of experience. This allows the company to provide expert sales support,


customer service, leasing, staff training, spare parts, as well as the supply of high-end machines and accessories to more than 1900 customers. Doosan Bobcat Manufacturing its able to supply both used and new equipment through several forms of financing, ranging from financial or operational leasing through hire-purchase or the redemption of any brand of old machines as part exchange. Additionally the company also operates a constantly maintained fleet of machines that are available for short-term rental. Customer satisfaction is the main goal Doosan Bobcat Manufacturing and compels the company to continually improve its services, as such it strives to maintain a wellfunctioning business that not only sells equipment, but also cares for it throughout its full lifetime. Doosan Bobcat Manufacturing offers equipment from a portfolio of three well-known industry brands, comprised of Bobcat, Doosan and Doosan Portable Power equipment. The company is the exclusive importer of Doosan Bobcat construction machinery within the Czech Republic with products including skid steer and tracked loaders, excavators, telescopic handlers, accessories and spare parts. Doosan earthmover designs are available weighing up to 52 tonnes, as well electric current generators, air compressors, compaction and lighting equipment supplied by Doosan Portable Power. The company’s new generation of Bobcat skid steer loaders, labelled S500 to S800, are newly designed to incorporate cabins that provide exceptional operator comfort as well as greater engine power and improved hydraulics. The next generation of Bobcat machines offer higher visibility, greater space and a lower noise level. By delivering better traction and faster work cycles, the new loaders allow

operators to complete more work, more effectively and faster. By leveraging its leadership in the design and manufacture of skid steer machines, Doosan Bobcat is able to offer a generation of equipment that defines new standards in the market for compact machines worldwide. For example, by bringing the cabin forward and introducing a large moulded door with a lower edge, the machines offer easier access and greater operator comfort. Furthermore visibility is improved in all directions offering a view that is improved by a factor of 32 per cent. Further to its broad base of machines and power equipment, Doosan Bobcat Manufacturing also provides a comprehensive range of more than 70 different

accessories. These industry proven add-ons include components ranging from soil augers to angled brooms, winches, handlers and more. Each additional device is designed and constructed to ensure maximum performance and reliability. This impressive array of components combined with the company’s fleet of robust construction machinery makes Doosan Bobcat Manufacturing a market-leader with a proven base of industry experience, that will continue to provide exceptional service throughout 2016 and beyond.

Doosan Bobcat Manufacturing www.doosan.com Services: Equipment manufacturer

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40


profile: Travis Perkins

A united

division

In recent years Travis Perkins has been investing in improving its customer propositions and optimising its network of stores and branches. Over £200m of capital has been deployed during 2015 with the Contracts Division benefitting from investments to better track new construction projects and to provide a more integrated, customer focused service

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enowned as one of the biggest suppliers in the UK, the FTSE 100 listed Travis Perkins has 19 industry-leading brands in its portfolio, an excess of 100,000 products available to trade professionals and a turnover in excess of £6 billion. Keen to strengthen operations in all areas of the group, Travis Perkins made the strategic decision to realign its businesses into four divisions at the beginning of 2014: General Merchanting, Consumer, Plumbing and Heating and Contract Merchanting. Comprised of businesses with both a common customer type and common service requirements, the divisions have put vital support functions closer to each business unit, which in turn has increased efficiency in making decisions. As one of the four business segments, the Contract Merchanting Division brings together BSS, CCF and Keyline, the three businesses that supply products to high spec construction firms and project contractors. As a division, it has been involved in the majority of major commercial and infrastructure projects in the UK, such as Crossrail and iconic

Marshalls Marshalls, the UK’s leading manufacturer of hard landscaping materials, has long fostered a culture of innovation within its business. Marshalls is proud to lead the landscaping industry in product innovation and it is its focus on innovation in all areas of the business over an extended period that has been a key element of its success. Marshalls is committed to ongoing investment in Research & Development and understands that it is this commitment, which is key to its ongoing success.

buildings such as the Shard. Since the restructure of the group in 2014 the division has been evolving, says Frank Elkins, divisional Chief Executive Officer of the Contract Merchanting Division: “Within CCF we have seen an opportunity to grow in dry lining and insulation; if you look at our position in the market 18 – 24 months ago we were at number four in the market place but we are now a strong number two. “We see opportunity to continue to grow, which is why we had 32 branches at the start of the year following major expansion of eight new branches during 2015; these new branches are in Aberdeen, Colchester, Crawley, Didcot, Gloucester, Manchester East, Northampton, and Redruth. This expansion is part of our strategic objective to be an hour from any site covered by local branch network and is also why we have further plans to expand in 2016 and 2017. Our proposition is to be close to our customers locally and to understand their needs and requirements so we can be their destination of choice for ceilings, partitions, dry wall and insulation.” Previously not well known for insulation distribution, CCF has also boosted its reputation

as a destination of choice for insulation services by having a comprehensive product range readily available from stock and ready for delivery nationwide, competitive prices, deliveries you can depend on and a reliable service from a friendly and knowledgeable team. Alongside these developments, the company has also launched its own ceiling range Sektor to complement its partitions offering and been training its internal and external personnel in insulation as well as their technical expertise in partitions. Meanwhile, Travis Perkins has continued with its strategy of making Keyline the leading civils and drainage and heavy building materials supplier in the UK, as Frank explains: “We have rebranded the business and also focused on ensuring that no matter what branch our customers go to, there will be a strong range of products available; in line with this, we have developed some new supplier partnerships with companies such as Polypipe. We also acquired Rudridge in February 2015 from the two owners, Alan and Rob, who have since stayed on in the business and helped it grow with us. This acquisition has given us a stronger presence in the southeast as Keyline wasn’t well covered in this area but the four Rudridge branches have been a great fit for us and have progressed very well.” The final part of the Contract Merchanting Division, BSS Industrial, a specialist distributor of pipeline, heating and mechanical services, already has a strong presence with 61 branches spread across the UK. Because of this, the division has consolidated to one branch in Leeds while also opening a new 45,000 square foot facility on the side of its industry-leading Magna Park National Distribution Centre (NDC) in Leicestershire. The latter development provides customers

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profile: Travis Perkins

with a whopping £50 million worth of stock as well as delivery options that no other supplier can offer, with guarantees of next day delivery from seven AM when ordered from BSS or HireIt branch before five pm. “This additional space enhances our central distribution operations as we have 15,000 product lines distributed out of Magna Park on a next day basis; it is a fantastic service,” enthuses Frank. On top of this, an engineering assembly station and machine workshop has been developed to ensure seamless product delivery as well as enhanced product testing capabilities; these developments mean customers get faster dispatch times across a range of grade A, fully machineconditioned stock and ‘to order’ items. To complement these developments, the company has focused on enhancing its IT capabilities with new systems and applications, as Frank notes: “We brought the Project Tracking System onto a Google platform two years ago, which means we can collaborate and share information throughout the division; we have also developed other tools such as the quote management system, which allows us to download all of the quotes from our points of sale system. This allows us to provide information to the customer via a tablet or phone.” While these improvements are integral to ongoing growth, Frank says the company is also continuing to focus on enhancing its safety culture: “To us the concept of safety within the workplace is never a completed job as we want everyone within the business to go home safely at the end of the day. Because of this, we are looking at the root cause as to why accidents happen as it is easy to blame people when things go wrong. Also, from a cultural point of view we are driving for equal

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responsibility so all colleagues are aware of safety and look out for one another. Although we have made strong progress we will never become complacent and will continue to invest in the safety arena.” Alongside the many steps forward that the Contract Merchanting Division has taken to further cement its leading reputation in the market, the company is also securing its future through creating its own training development programme and management apprenticeship. “Our industry is not good at recruiting the next generation coming into the business but as a Group, as well as within this division and business unit we have spent a lot of time and energy on our trainee scheme. We have also

looked at technical training and have developed an academy in Keyline, CCF and BSS to help train and develop both our colleagues and our future managers. For us this means we are embedding technical training deeper into our business as we develop our leaders of the future.” Having covered all angles for future growth, the future looks positive for Travis Perkins and the Contract Merchanting Division as it continues to lead the way in delivering building and DIY products to its broad customer base.

Travis Perkins www.travisperkins.co.uk Services: UK’s leading timber and builders’ merchants


profile: KazAvtoZhol

International

importance As Kazakhstan looks to become a leading global economy over the coming decades, KazAvtoZhol is tasked with developing a critical circularity system that enables the country to grow and perform on an international stage

D

uring his annual address of December 2012, Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan announced the 2050-Strategy, a programme focused on implementing widespread economic, social and political reforms to position the nation among the top 30 global economies before the second half of the century. The strategy covers a broad spectrum of issues from improving utilities and trade through to developing the country’s infrastructure,

and much of this began with a governmental restructure. In 2013, as part of this shake-up, KazAvtoZhol was formed as the national road authority primarily focused on developing, improving and operating the republican road traffic network. Developing the road and transport infrastructure of the nation is considered as one of the main priorities in the plan’s 100-step strategy. Speaking to Construction & Civil Engineering, Chairman of KazAvtoZhol, Ermek Kizatov explains why the country’s road network is so critical to realising the strategy’s vision over the

next four decades. “According to estimates by experts in the transport sphere, the Central Asian region shall remain the major transport route for relations between Western China and Western Europe for the next 20 to 25 years,” he says. “The issue of developing international traffic attracts much of our attention at present, taking into account the various directions and volume of trade flow between China, Russia, the Middle East and European Union countries across this Eurasian territory. With the participation of Kazakhstan, a new architecture of transport corridors

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profile: KazAvtoZhol

is being created to enable the country to compete with other global trade routes both on land and sea.” As globalisation deepens and international commercial relations continuously improve, the growth of cargo flow between the European and Asian continents is seeing a revival of the ‘Great Silk Way’. With Kazakhstan falling in the centre of this transitional region it is critical that it can provide the essential infrastructure to support such movements. As part of this globalisation strategy, in April 2015, the Kazakhstan government approved the infrastructural development plan, named ‘Nurly zhol’ (‘Bright Path’). “The main direction of this programme is to develop the transport network of the Republic and its integration into the world transport system and today we actively proceed in this direction,” continues Ermek. “Under the programme fall 11 separate renovation

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projects across 7000 km of road. Corridors will pass from the capital, Astana, and out towards the north, south, east and west to promote this global integration.” However, it is not just the importance of creating a necessary conduit for passing trade that drives Kazakhstan’s desire for an improved transport network, but also the need to nurture and develop its own economic performance on the global stage. “Roads turned America into an industrial country with a powerful economy and they helped Russia to expand and develop its territory from ocean to ocean,” highlights Ermek. “Historically, roads have also helped to promote industrial and agricultural production in Kazakhstan as well. In spite of the fact that air space and rail networks have become significant parts of the twenty first century, road-traffic routes have not lost their relevance and accordingly I am convinced that the road

infrastructure is a strategic link in the economic, political and social development of any country.” At present the public road network in Kazakhstan covers around 97,000 km. Of this, 73,000 km is classed as roads of public significance, whilst the remaining 23,700 km is considered routes of republican and international significance, and it is this latter network that exists as the primary focus for KazAvtoZhol. “Today, the powers of us as the national operator can be split into four columns,” outlines Ermek. “Firstly is the implementation of budget investment projects on


many of the programme’s other visions are to be realised. With aspirations to become a leading global economy, one which plays a crucial role in facilitating a wider international economy, having a network of the necessary capacity and quality will be key to Kazakhstan’s journey into the future. As Ermek sums up: “The cities and settlements will be connected with high-quality roads and high-speed routes of all transport types but there is nothing like highways to unite countries and people.”

the development of the public road network both of republican and international significance. Secondly is the organisation of construction, renovation, repair and maintenance of these roads. Then is the control of the course and quality of these development works and finally is the introduction of paid traffic routes.” One of the core goals of KazAvtoZhol under the 2050 programme is to increase transit capacity in the country. Delivery of this will be though numerous large-scale projects aimed at doubling capacity by 2020 and increasing it ten-fold by the end of the planned programme. To achieve this, the organisation has been declared the single operator for the maintenance and development of the road network. Under this power, it is responsible for attracting strategic investors into the road industry for the implementation of paid and public highway road systems, for coordinating the implementation of service on the road and for introducing payment systems on the network. As part of such a major national project spanning the realms of political, economic and social development, improvements to the road network may only be

one portion of focused attention. However, ensuring this improved infrastructure is implemented correctly is absolutely vital if

KazAvtoZhol www.kazautozhol.kz Services: National road authority for the Republic of Kazakhstan

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profile: Fugmann AS

Sparkling

innovation With a vast history behind it, Fugmann continues to deliver complex, cutting-edge solutions in a market that is currently experiencing a technological revolution

B

ased in Copenhagen, FUGMANN was officially founded in 1961 by Vilhelm Fugmann, who began his career as an electrician in 1915. Now in its third-generation of ownership under Henrik Fugmann, the company has grown to become one of Copenhagen’s leading and most innovative electrical installation companies. With over 100 highly trained and experienced employees, including

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20 apprentices, FUGMANN has established a strong reputation in the national market for delivering high profile and complex projects, and this year is set to turn over close to 13 million euros. “We have been contractors on a number of large projects including new builds, renovations, hospitals, education facilities and infrastructure developments,” begins Henrik. “At present our special focus is on building automation and intelligent

solutions into sites, with the primary aim of reducing energy consumption, ensuring efficiency and improving the working conditions of our customers’ projects.” Where FUGMANN has excelled over the years is in its ability to listen carefully to its customers and understand the specific needs within the market. As such, the company has been able to develop the best solutions for the current demands. “The main strength on top


of this is the highly specialised workforce that we maintain here,” says Henrik. “We operate a programme of continuous training and development to ensure that our staff are key to the continuity we deliver to the market in terms of increasingly complex systems. As a result of this many of our employees have stayed with us for many years, and likewise we have developed long-lasting relationships with our customers, some of whom we have worked

with for many decades. The combination of these gives us a really good market position.” A look at the company’s recent and ongoing projects gives a good sense of FUGMANN’s ability to deliver highly technical and complex solutions to a range of sectors. Its major highlight of 2015 is completing the electrical and security installations for its first skyscraper project. Requiring complex intelligent installations and numerous automation systems, FUGMANN successfully delivered the work to the 21storey Copenhagen Towers development, which was designed by world-renowned architect, Norman Foster. “We have worked on several very modern nursing homes,” continues Henrik. “This is an important market for us as the buildings can be very technical – they are essentially a combination of home and hospital so a lot of electrical infrastructure has to be built in. In addition to this we have just started a project to renew the fibre and data cabling in the main part of the Copenhagen hospital sector, and will be installing security features such as protection and video surveillance in the city’s new 15,000 capacity Royal Arena.” With the state of the construction and technology

markets moving as they are, integrated technology and user interface systems are set to play a much more prominent role in the industry over the coming years. Indeed, Henrik points out that more and more these days, the value of a property is becoming more reliant on the technology that is within it. He sees this as being where significant value lays, and as such the company is readying itself to take advantage. “We have invested into new intelligent solutions and increased the number of staff in this sector, because we see how significant

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profile: Fugmann AS

it will become in the very near future,” he says. “We have also invested into a sister company, called ProReact, in order to develop innovative solutions for user interface touch screens for a range of sectors and applications, such as healthcare, retail and education. For instance we are looking at a large pin board-type touch screen module, which could be used for a number of user interface applications.” Diversifying in this way is critical for FUGMANN to remain competitive in an economy that is starting to emerge from the European financial crisis, is now looking to invest heavily into its housing and infrastructure, and is attracting international competitors. “We have already established a lot of skills and

a good reputation within the Danish market so I am quite confident about our position at the moment,” explains Henrik. “However, it is important that we are seen to bring something different to the market in order to distinguish ourselves. For a long time our main offering has always been hidden behind a wall, but this is starting to change as intelligent solutions become integrated within public and private spaces.” With this in mind it is no surprise that FUGMANN’s future

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railway and metro systems will present significant opportunities to the company, as will the growing demand for cutting-edge technology. “The wider vision is to continue improving our skills in installing and delivering automation and intelligent solutions,” concludes Henrik. “We will also continue bringing on and investing in our staff, who are very important to us. We take particular pride in educating the young people to be the future electricians and technicians, not just for FUGMANN, but for the industry as a whole.” will be defined by continuing to take on numerous complex challenges in both the public and private sectors. Major infrastructure investments into

Fugmann AS www.fugmann.dk Services: Specialist in electrical installation


profile: Machine Mart

The unmatched With one of the widest ranges of equipment available in one place, Machine Mart founds its success on the robust service it provides to customers

A

prominent player on the UK market for over 30 years now, Machine Mart is arguably Britain’s biggest specialist supplier of tools and machinery. With over 7000 products on display and a further 10,000 available online, the company prides itself on the extensive range and depth of its offering, which remains unmatched by any competitor. “We are considered the Aladdin’s Cave of tools and machinery,” says Advertising Manager, David Barnes. “We have a huge range of items out on display, not just in a storeroom or listed in a catalogue.

So when a customer comes into one of our superstores they can see everything in front of them.” Headquartered in Nottingham, Machine Mart currently has stores in over 65 locations across the country, serving markets relating to everything from construction all the way through to the automotive sector, targeted to both the DIY enthusiast and industrial user alike. Mainstream brands supplied from the company include Clarke, DeWalt, Makita, Ryobi and Bosch amongst many more. “Unlike many of

our competitors, who may only stock a selection of models from a particular category, we will have up to 10 or 20 models on display for the customer to select from,” continues David. “We then have a very knowledgeable and dedicated workforce on hand to discuss the particular requirements of each individual and advise on the best and most appropriate product accordingly.” With such an extensive range on offer, well-trained and experienced staff are key to delivering the strong service Machine Mart has become known for. “We recruit on the basis that the person has experience and a particular interest in the products that we are providing,” adds David. “Many of them will come from the industries we serve, or will be running their own DIY projects at home, so understand the types of challenges faced by customers and have developed a specialist knowledge of the best solutions available to them. Underlying all of this is a passion for the products and the industry, and this goes a long way in

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profile: Machine Mart

serving our customers.” With this in mind, it is clear that having such a large and widereaching product offering is not the sole focus of Machine Mart and that service is just as highly ranked. “We of course ensure that we provide this technical and support service during the sales process, but we also make sure to continue these well into the aftersales service,” explains David. “We have a full range of spares and additional equipment in stock to support the products that we sell, something that is particularly celebrated considering some of the highly specialist and unique tools that we provide. We then have a team of fully trained engineers who can provide repairs and service products to prolong operational lifetimes on equipment that sees heavy use day-in and day-out.” Keen to offer as wide a range as possible, Machine Mart has established strong channels beyond its physical stores with a widely distributed and wellreceived catalogue, a thriving mail order department and successful website. “Our catalogue is updated and published twice a year with each product selection and page design crafted to suit the needs of our customers in the best way possible,” explains David.

“This is a valued and well received part of our business and is a great way to engage with the customer base – we become very busy over these catalogue launch periods.” Whilst listing all equipment available in store, Machine Mart’s website makes available a much wider range of highly specialised, and sometimes exclusive, products through its Machine Mart Xtra section. Displaying everything from material handling solutions and protective clothing, to industrial furniture and 3D printing systems, this website is an essential source of equipment for any construction or industrial need. The company’s excellent reputation for service successfully crosses the bridge into this sphere as well, with a 24-hour order service and the ability to export worldwide. Illustrating this level of service, Machine Mart currently

holds an independent Trust Pilot rating of 9.2 from a total of nearly 10,000 reviews. “Combining all of these elements is where our core strength comes from,” David says. “It’s the vast range and depth of our products, including the specialist items, combined with an unrivalled service across all our channels that gives us an edge in the market.” With such a solid foundation beneath it, Machine Mart is currently enjoying continued success from the UK’s buoyant housing market, and is also experiencing positive trends in other markets such as classic car restoration. Supported by strong and long-standing supplier relationships with many of the industry leaders and specialists, Machine Mart has successfully built up a robust and reputable position within the market over the last four decades. By continuing to remain committed to the core values of product range and customer service that have been key to earning such success, the company looks forward to a long future of further expansion and growth.

Machine Mart www.machinemart.co.uk Services: Leading UK supplier of power tools, machinery and workshop equipment 53


MEMBRANES OF TIMELESS DESIGN

www.mehler-texnologies.com construction and civil engineering magazine _2015-12.indd 1

12/8/2015 4:35:07 PM


profile: Fabric Architecture

Raise the

roof A provider of canopies since 1982, Fabric Architecture leads the way when it comes to installing tensile fabric structures for customers across the globe. Known for the innovative approach it takes when it comes to finding solutions for clients, the company also offers expertise, knowledge and a range of optimum quality, high value designs

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aving completed thousands of projects since its inception, the UK headquartered company, which also has divisions in North America and the Middle East, is able to deliver ground-breaking solutions for large-scale international tensile projects. Dedicated to improving the world of fabric architecture, the company stands firm on its commitment to never compromise when offering value

for money and quality. Renowned for creating unique and inspired design solutions, the innovative firm pushes its materials further to find the best, most efficient result for every client. Benefiting from in-house design, engineering and materials expertise, the company’s competent and knowledgeable team strive to exceed expectations by challenging the status quo. By remaining flexible and innovative and focusing on integrated design-thinking, the

company is able to deliver an insightful service and tailored, ontime solutions. With thousands of installations around the world, the company also offers 37 pre-engineered designs in an array of sizes. Within Fabric Architecture’s portfolio is the iconic Pagoda, a truly modular canopy that can be extended in infinite directions; viewed as the ultimate definition of ‘flexible,’ the Pagoda can be used as shelter for any application and has been installed more than 3000 times

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profile: Fabric Architecture

MEHLER TEXNOLOGIES High performance coated textile products used in a wide variety of highly demanding applications. Mehler Texnologies, one of the leading international companies in this market, produces and sells more than 53 million square meters of material each year under the brand names VALMEX®, POLYMAR® and AIRTEX®. Customers are companies from the processing industries. The demand of high-tech membranes for textile architecture like the O2 Arena Skywalk (London), Konya Stadium (Turkey) or Schalke Stadium (Germany), is continuously growing. Established applications are as well, textiles for solar protection and tents. Over 60 years of development and production experience represents the basis for Mehler’s sophisticated products. Permanent research and development improve the available composite materials and open up new areas of application. A machinery park, which is always up-to-date with the current status of technology, ensures the high and consistent quality of products. An active dialogue with planners, producers and processors are proof of a close and trusting co-operation. across the world. When specifying material to use in its projects, Fabric Architecture always selects appropriate fabrics for the application in which a structure is used. PVC coated polyester has a lifespan of 20 years, offers 100 per cent protection from harmful sunrays, offers light transmission of up to 20 per cent and is waterproof. Meanwhile, Fabric Architecture’s silicone glass weave has a lifespan of 30 years, filters UVB and UVC and allows UVA to enable plant growth; it has a light transmission of up to 40 per cent, is waterproof and fully recyclable. The final option available to customers is shade cloth, which has a lifespan of ten years, offers 80 to 90 per cent protection from harmful sunrays, offers light transmission of up to 35 per cent and is showerproof; unlike the other two options, the shade cloth is not recyclable. From start to finish, Fabric Architecture offers its customers a turnkey service, leaving them with the challenge of choosing a structure out of its stunning and diverse range. Once the decision has been made, the company is proud to run a tight ship that ensures a prompt, efficient service with minimum disruption.

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This way of working guarantees the structure will be installed within ten weeks of the order being placed and also provides customers with confidence in the ISO 9001 accredited company’s integrity. Proud to deliver the best possible solution to each customer’s requirements, Fabric Architecture’s efforts have not gone unnoticed in the industry, with the award winning company receiving accolades from the British Design Award to IFAI’s International Achievement Award. Being held in such high regard has naturally led to an increase in demand for its superior services, with the company recently working on major projects such as Westfield Shopping Centre, Dubai Leisure Complex, Dublin Gateshead Stadium Roof and the FIFA Fan Zone; the latter of which was constructed in Doha Qatar for the 2014 Brazil World Cup. Holding crowds of up to 2000 people at a time, the purposebuilt FIFA Fan Zone featured a commanding fabric retractable roof system that was designed, engineered and constructed by Fabric Architecture. With outside temperatures reaching up to 45 degrees Celsius, the design had to respond to local climate

challenges while also ensuring spectators were comfortable; to find a solution to this challenge, the company created a largescale retractable roof system with integrated climate control alongside project engineers at Arup and SCX Special Projects. Manufactured off-site, the 112 tonne roof was then lifted onto its four columns in a perfectly synchronised operation through the use of four 250 tonne cranes. Thanks to a successful collaboration and the innovative design philosophies of Fabric Architecture, a new type of construction that could be cooled from 45 degrees Celsius to 26 degrees Celsius was taken from idea to reality. Having provided innovative shelter solutions to people across the globe, Fabric Architecture has built a strong name for itself in a wide range of markets around the world. With a long list of satisfied clients behind it, the quality focused, customer-centric company will be looking to the future with confidence.

Fabric Architecture www.fabricarchitecture.com Services: Innovators in tensile fabric structures


profile: Radley Engineering

Engineering

brilliance

As demand rises for Radley Engineering’s world-class services, the company is investing heavily to cater for a wider range of specialist needs and systems

F

ounded in 1972 by Brothers John and Thomas Radley in Dungarvan, Ireland, Radley Engineering today employs 255 people and is now one of Europe’s leading specialists in the manufacture, fabrication, and installation of steel solutions. With a strong reputation for quality, flexibility and personable service, the company is active in a global capacity within the manufacturing, mechanical, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and dairy industries amongst many others. “The main strength of the company lies with its people,” begins Technical Director, Greg Conaty. “We have a highly skilled management team of project managers and engineers, alongside a robust team of craftsmen and apprentices, of which we currently employ 22. Many of our staff have been with the company for a long time and people tend to stay with us, developing and deploying their skills to compliment the

company’s strengths within the industries we serve. We see providing opportunities through our apprenticeship scheme as crucial for the company’s future.” Market conditions for Radley Engineering are positive as major international companies are starting to invest heavily into upgrading or building new factories within the Irish pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Export activities for the country’s dairy products have also increased. This results in increased business for the engineering firm, and combined with a focused expansion strategy in the petrochemical sector, Radley is going through a strong period of growth. “We’re doing a lot of work for Cameron at present, one of the major suppliers to the oil and gas industry,” Greg explains. “We have now secured several subsea welding contracts for 2015. The tubes, which are free issued to Radley Engineering by the pipe manufacturer, are welded under a tightly monitored and controlled environment. The

tube material grades are highly specified chrome martensitic F22 and 4130, both manufactured to client’s specification and working to extremely high pressures on the seabed. Radley’s are the first of any company in Ireland to achieve this welding approval. All weld procedures are completed by our highly qualified and experienced coded welders.” Radley Engineering is committed to future investment into new equipment and machinery for the production of the units and will hope to expand its client base in the oil and gas market. Existing clients include ConocoPhillips, Shell, Statoil and Worley Parsons. The company has also upgraded its painting facilities with specialist heating, ventilation and humidity controls to meet the high demands of the oil and gas industry. Beyond the petrochemical industry, Greg continues to outline some of the additional investments that have been significant to Radley’s current growth. “We’re really focusing on the fabrication side of the

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profile: Radley Engineering

business, so we’ve done lots of work in instrumentation welding. A number of years ago, Radley invested in a high purity pipework facility. This is a dedicated 2000 square metre cleanroom to ISO class 10/1000/10,000, servicing pharmaceutical, bio pharmaceutical and medical sectors. We are also in the middle of extending our existing workshops with a further 600 square metres of undercover space to cater for the growing volume of work that is coming in at the moment. Overall then, there is a lot of work going on at Radley.”

Design and documentation Radley is the industry leader in computerised vessel design and modelling using both 2D and 3D applications including Auto Desk Product Design Suite (Inventor and Autocad), Autodesk Plant Design Suite, PV Elite and Finglow. This allows the company to design vessels to ASME VIII, PD 5500,

EN13445, AP1650 and TEMA standards. It operates a quality management system certified by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) under ISO 9001. Radley’s commitment to quality, inspection documentation and design standards ensure that client’s specification requirements are continually met in full. However, its commitment to

delivering this quality in an open manner goes beyond this. “A lot of our customers, such as Cameron and Alstom, carry out their own periodic audits,” says Greg. “As do many of the consultants and project management companies that we work for, like Jacobs. It is vital that we maintain full visibility with the type of work that we do and we have to make sure we continue manufacturing to these standards across all our products.” Going hand-in-hand with quality management is the company’s commitment to health and safety, for which both its site and factory teams were recently accredited with a safety award. “We employ safety managers and officers with the main objective of making sure all our staff work safely and go home every evening unharmed,” highlights Greg. “This is delivered through regular training programmes that focus on different topics and safety issues that may occur in the workplace. Essentially, it’s about making everyone aware of what’s going on around them – looking out for themselves and their fellow workers.” Radley has established a reputation on a global scale with work successfully completed in markets as far as Dubai, and

capitalising on this is will be the company’s primary focus as it moves forward. Large projects at present for BMS in Dublin and Sanofi in the UK will be the major focus for the site division over the next year, as will continuing to tender and win new mechanical installation contracts. Greg concludes: “As the company looks to the future, we will continue to maintain our excellent relationships with the existing supply chain from client, EPCM and contractor in our current market sectors. We will forge ahead to develop new relationships within the subsea oil and gas markets as well as the UK nuclear power market. This is an exciting time to be working at Radley and with our next generation now in key positions within the company the future looks bright. Our vision is to be a leading global provider to specialised engineering solutions that will bring value to our clients.”

Radley Engineering www.radleyeng.ie Services: Specialists in design, manufacture, fabrication and site installation of high quality stainless steel, carbon steel and other exotic materials 59


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profile: Peter Duffy

N flow A steady

Peter Duffy’s extensive civil engineering expertise is being put to good use as it looks to expand its market footprint

ow under secondgeneration family management, Peter Duffy Ltd was first established back in 1972 and has spent its time since providing general civil engineering solutions to a range of clients up and down the country. Over its history the business has undertaken groundwork and general civil engineering activities,

roads, concrete structures and drainage. Over the last few years a strong performance from Peter Duffy Limited has secured it a number of accolades including the Safety Innovation award from Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, and being named in the LSE’s Top 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain list for 2015, following three consecutive years of continual demonstrable growth and profit. One of Peter Duffy Limited’s major strengths is its specialism in drainage solutions and as a result in 2001 the company set up the DrainsAid brand, through which it provides repair and sewer rehabilitation services to a range of clients. “Although the company has provided drainage solutions since its formation, this division was established to identify the specific service that we offer to the sector and it has been a great success,” explains MD, Peter Duffy. “We provide 24/7 service to private and commercial clients

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The flexible supplier of transportation, stevedoring and contracting.

Randers Stevedore: Is a young, dynamic and all-round business that offers a broad variety of transportation and logistic solutions within handling of goods, discharging, inland transportation and shipping. We are specialized in adapting stevedoring- and transport solutions to each of our customers’ needs. We offer all-in-one solutions, as well as individual solutions in stevedoring and transportation.

www.randersstevedore.dk Randers Stevedore A/S, Tronholmen 49, DK - 8960 Randers SĂ˜

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Phone: +45 86 42 36 38 Mail: r-s@os.dk


profile: Peter Duffy

as well as the sewerage and water industry, and we have invested heavily in innovative solutions to offer them. There are few competitors in the UK who offer the range of technical solutions that DrainsAid does and we are gaining a growing reputation for quality, reliability and technical solutions as a result. Drain and sewer rehabilitation is a dynamic sector with innovative solutions regularly being developed and introduced into the field, we see a lot of potential in these being brought to our clients.” As an example of DrainsAid’s competitive services, earlier this year the company completed a complex underwater sewer repair and rehabilitation project on a 200-metre section of cast iron 375mm diameter combined sewer, which is attached to the wall of the River Ouse in York. Working for client, Yorkshire Water, and by using divers and a specialist river vessel, the team worked to clear a potential concrete blockage, which had started to interrupt the flow and was becoming a pollution risk to the busy city centre, and complete subsequent relining work. Unpredictable and challenging weather conditions and complex access required the firm to deploy its propensity for innovation to successfully complete the work in five days. Despite this high level of service to the water industry, earlier this year Peter Duffy Limited lost out competitively to Amey on a £20 million repair and maintenance contract for Yorkshire Water. “Following this we still offer the specialist drainage solution nationally, but the loss of this contract has forced us to look harder at opportunities in other sectors and increase our activities in different areas,” says Peter. “In particular, anticipating the loss, over the past 18 months we have been developing our activities in rail and after a slow start we are now working with a

number of framework contractors in CP5. We have even been successful with DrainsAid here, winning a drainage maintenance contract direct with Network Rail on the West Cost line.” Demonstrating both the company’s breadth of services outside of drainage repair and its recent entry into the rail industry, Peter Duffy Limited recently completed the platform extension project at South Hampstead station, installing the Megatech EPS system. Network Rail and London Overground needed to look at reinstatement after stability issues on a 50-metre stretch of decommissioned platform had been rectified. “The challenge here was the extremely tight working window and having no impact on the network,” highlights Peter. “Due to massively tight possession availability – around three hours a night – most systems of reconstruction were not suitable, particularly when excavations within the track support zone were required for foundations. The Megatech EPS system was selected due to its ease of installation and limited excavation requirements.” Other recent successes include Peter Duffy Limited’s first entry into the renewable sector, when it designed and installed the piled foundations for a wind turbine at the Knostrop WwTW treatment works. Alongside this, the company also carried out associated access and

site infrastructure works, all whilst having no impact on the operational site. Health and safety is clearly a major focus for any civil engineering operator, and Peter Duffy Limited’s approach to ensuring this is as high as it can be is no exception. “We are working on an interdependent culture within our business and with our clients, where we collectively work together to improve health, safety and wellbeing,” says Peter. “This has involved behavioural safety training where employees engage with scenarios to develop their confidence to discuss improvements with peers. The company has been recognised over the years by clients and industry bodies for its excellent performance in health and safety. In 2014, after five years of successive RoSPA gold awards, Peter Duffy Limited received the RoSPA Gold Medal, which was reawarded again this year.” As it looks ahead, maintaining this focus on health and safety will be key to the company’s success in achieving its ambitions. “We will be focusing on building our business back up after the Yorkshire Water contract loss,” concludes Peter. “This will involve pushing harder for wider opportunities in civil engineering, developing the recent new market of rail and continuing providing innovative sewer rehabilitation solutions across the UK. The aim for the business over the next three years is to return to the level of turnover that we have seen in 2014/15, but at the same time to consider new markets and sectors where our current skills can be used and become more diverse within the construction sector.”

Peter Duffy Ltd www.peterduffyltd.com Services: Civil engineering and utility contractors specialising in drainage repair 63


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*To get these special offers quote ref: TB01 when placing your order For info on the Cabcare product range: Visit: www.cabcare.com Or call: 01785 851944

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profile: Taylor and Braithwaite

Planting

seeds Taylor and Braithwaite proves that committing to its customer service strengths and responding to market demands is key to success in a market that is facing considerable growth as well as a number of industry-wide challenges

W

hen Construction & Civil Engineering last spoke to Taylor and Braithwaite back in April this year Sales Director, Ian Burton was confident about the company’s future despite a slower year and clear challenges in the industry. Sales in 2014 were unprecedented within the company’s history jumping by 40 per cent from £10 million to £14 million, but Ian admits that this has not continued through into 2015 for a number of reasons. “It has been a harder year,” he says. “We will be down on turnover and volume on a level with 2013 again, but it has played out as I thought it would. Generally the market is busy and the future looks optimistic with plenty to do in the housing industry as well as infrastructure.

However, the problem still lays in the shortage of skilled labour.” When asked if he had seen any improvement in the labour shortage over the last year Ian noted that he hadn’t and that most of the customers he spoke to were keen to invest in more machinery but lacked the staff to operate them. “This is almost every office I go to,” he says. “It is clearly a big problem within the industry and there is a danger that some of the big companies who are winning big contracts may start to pay more and drain the industry of this labour even further. However, I do believe that in the medium term the future for the industry is positive and eventually this labour gap will be filled by apprentices that were brought on after the recession and will become qualified for these skills – so it should level itself out.”

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profile: Taylor and Braithwaite

However, despite these industry-wide challenges the supplier of new and used plant equipment and machinery has still had a successful year as it continues to develop its product offering and market share. In October the company brought on board experienced salesman, Jamie McGlinn, to focus on the crushing and screening side of the business, where it sees a lot of potential opportunities with its Maximus Crushers and Screeners franchise. “This has been a key part of our expansion and development plans and since taking this new salesman on we are starting to see some good results now,” highlights Ian. “Overall we have had a really good year on the heavy side of things with larger excavators in excess of 30 tonnes subject to strong demand. Much of this demand is coming from the large quarrying projects as more aggregates are being taken out and so on, so our foothold in this industry has really made progress. We have also had a lot of success with our new Wacker Neuson cabbed site dumper, which provides better comfort, health and safety and weather protection, and is proving popular to site operators in the UK.” With house building and infrastructure projects also taking off in the UK, the company has seen strong demand for its eight to 14 tonne products. However, growth in the 20 tonne sector, which had previously shown the strongest levels of demand, has dropped off according to Ian who again notes that this appears to be an industry-wide problem. It was also mentioned in the last feature that the forestry industry would be a particular point of focus for the business as it moves forward. Whilst its product range is well-suited to this market with a number of sales under its belt, many of Taylor and Braithwaite’s customers are anticipating grants that could contribute up to 40

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per cent of the cost of buying the machinery and therefore the firm is seeing a hold up in sales. “Again the demand is there and we know many of our customers are keen to invest but understandably they are sitting on their hands at the moment having applied for the grants,” Ian notes. “However, I am also confident that opportunities will start to materialise here in the near future.” With a slower market to contend with, Taylor and Braithwaite’s position within it remains strong and the company has been proactive in using this time wisely to consolidate its position in the market and expand its resources. “We have just had plans approved for a new workshop facility so this construction should be getting started on over the coming months,” explains Ian. “The site as it is at present is okay but the guys working here could do with a better workshop and its important that we provide good working conditions for them and keep moving forward as a company. We have also been employing new sales staff and marketing staff to help promote the company further. As well as this the other director, Paul Taylor, has taken on the role of Workshop Manager, which is a major part of our customer service offering and is an incredibly challenging job dealing with many of our customers’ problems. I think him taking on this position demonstrates our commitment to our customers and they seem to appreciate that.” Ian is confident that 2016 will be a stronger year and hopes to see 10 per cent growth. “Essentially, we will be focusing on carrying on with what we have been doing,” he says. “Focusing on excavator sales will always be at our core and expanding this to serve our customers with a more widespread portfolio is important to us. A few people have been

knocking on our doors with products like telehandlers and forestry chippers, so looking into new routes like this could uncover some potential opportunities. Next year will also be exciting for our Hyundai offering, with its new HX series launching. These are new wheel loaders and they are once again proving how well Hyundai are progressing in terms of technology, with lots of new safety features, a bigger cab and other features like that. One of our long-standing customers, Thompsons Plant Hire in Maryport, will be taking the first delivery of this series from us for a 52-tonne HX520L– this will actually be the first of its type in the UK.” The company will also be taking its 500th Hyundai early next year, marking a significant milestone for the strong working relationship it shares with the manufacturer. It is clear that Taylor and Braithwaite has faced a tough year in 2015 with many outside pressures posing challenges to Ian and his team. However, the company has established for itself a strong reputation in the market for serving its customers with excellent customer service and quality products. Continuing to do so will be a key part to maintaining the success it has enjoyed for so many years as it approaches its 50th anniversary in 2017. Prospects for 2016 look positive as well with a market that is growing busier every month and customers who are willing to invest in resources. By committing to serving this growing market with an ever expanding but consistently focused product range, Taylor and Braithwaite’s future looks set to secure further success over the coming years.

Taylor and Braithwaite www.t-and-b.co.uk Services: Services: Suppliers of new and used plant and machinery


profile: Part

Simplified success

Innovation, high quality and world-class manufacturing processes put Part at the top of its industry supplying simple, prefabricated bathrooms to a growing market

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n 1989, Nils Lundholm was managing Sangishus, a house builder in Northern Sweden. Faced with the challenge to build a timber-framed house in three weeks complete with tiled bathroom, Nils and his company were up against extreme time pressures to complete the project. Foreseeing a problem tiling against the wooden frame of the building, the company struck upon a solution to install steel cassettes pre-coated in plaster and lined by tiles – effectively creating a pre-furnished bathroom ready to go. The idea stuck and Nils began supplying the concept to hotel chains across Sweden. Significantly it proved to be key to the organisation’s survival when the financial crisis hit the country’s economy in the 90s when the house building industry collapsed but bathrooms maintained a steady course. The company shut down its house production and transformed its existing facilities into a bathroom factory – Part was born. Soon moving to its current

premises in Kalix, the company implemented a production process similar to that of a car manufacturer and its unique concept became widely known. The next stage of success came quickly at the start of the 1990s with the commissioning to kit out all nine of the new hotel complexes for the 1994 Winter Olympic Games, which was taking place in Norway. Further inroads had been made in Norway through a close relationship with hotel investor, Arthur Buchardt. Today Part employs around 200 people at its facility in Kalix, turning over 310 million SEK a year by providing 6000 high quality prefabricated bathrooms to the construction and real estate industries annually. Born out of innovation, the company continues to explore new product developments and bringing unique concepts to market remains its key focal point. Nils Hotell, in Kalix, stands as an example for this. A simple, wellpriced yet high quality hotel – this concept is designed around the

modern guest with all booking, checking in and paying carried out online. This is supplemented by two of the Part Group’s subsidiaries, PartIT who manages the hotel and Space, a joinery company that specialises in hotel fittings and solutions. This dedication to development is something that has always and will continue to define Part as it moves forward. It looks carefully at its production lines, materials and processes to see where it can constantly improve and much of the ability to do this comes from the strength of its skilled and highly experienced staff. Many of the firm’s technicians have been with Part since the beginning and have become integral parts of its continued success, sharing the same desire to improve and innovate. Facilitating this, much of the profit generated by the business is reinvested into new robotic assembly lines, equipment and innovation. Part brings to market a simple and economically positive product that matches, or even exceeds, the quality and finish of a traditionally built bathroom. High quality clearly sits at the top of the agenda, but its ability to adapt to the varying needs and space requirements of different sites from hotels and nursing homes to residential properties really sets the company apart in the market. With this, the customer is able to order to their own specification, and experience shorter construction periods, more reliable production and ultimately a better construction economy, all delivered through a single contractor. Produced in a weather-protected environment, quality and lead times are not affected during the process, saving both time and money compared to a traditional project. The prefabricated elements themselves come complete with all fixtures and fittings, carefully

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profile: Part

designed around the utilities already in place. This includes polyester-coated steel ceilings, all electricity, water and sewer lines, a water distribution box, aluminiumzinc coated coffered steel walls, and steel-framed concrete flooring, complete with mounted drain floor. Upon installation it is simply a case of connecting the product to the electricity and water supply. As an illustration of Part’s unrivalled offering to the market, last year it completed its biggest ever contract for Skanska Healthcare AB, on the huge New Karolinska Solna construction project. The project will eventually be home to the new state-of-theart Karolinska University Hospital and Part is supplying over 500 wet rooms adapted for people with reduced mobility. “This is our biggest deal ever and it feels like a real challenge to take on New Karolinska Solna and to be part of this huge project,” comments CEO, Anton Lundholm. “As usual, we will build all the wet rooms in Kalix and then deliver them fully completed to Solna. With this contract, we have positioned ourselves as one of northern Europe’s leading suppliers of bathrooms.” Accompanying Part’s construction processes is its attention to sustainability. The company uses type-approved products and components and is accredited by several ecolabels to ensure it maintains its course towards responsible manufacturing. The materials used in the frame, for instance, are constantly under a process of review, evaluation and approval by Byggvarubedömningen, the Swedish construction industry’s system for environmental assessment of construction products. It also became the first manufacturer of prefabricated bathrooms that has achieved certification of a type-approved product, holding certification from

SINTEF and SP SITAC. Looking ahead, Part remains focused on providing the market with innovative solutions that adhere to its core focal points of quality, cost effectiveness and logistical ease. However, using the experience it has developed over the past 26 years it is now looking at new markets to move into, particularly in expanding its product range to include kitchens. Speaking on the company’s 25th anniversary last year, Anton summed up Part’s forward-focused vision: “The company has gradually acquired an ever stronger foothold in the market and this is, of course, a development that has pleased us greatly. We now produce prefabricated bathrooms for delivery primarily to customers in

Sweden, Denmark and Norway. But we are not content with this and continue to be on the lookout for opportunities to expand, to find new and interesting markets for our products. I believe very strongly that we will succeed in doing so. “I am excited about our company’s future and foresee a development from now that will mean we should be able to produce 10,000 modules annually within a five-year period. It will be a real challenge, but at Part we like challenges.”

Part AB www.partab.nu Services: Producer of prefabricated bathrooms

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profile: Express Glazing Contractors

A clear

view E merging in the late 1970s, Express Glazing Contractors (EGC) has grown to become one of the largest and most prominent glazing contractors in the country. Over this time the company has been successful at retaining many of its management and staff. It’s a success that means that there now exists an extensive wealth of experience and knowledge in the business – perfectly suiting it to the high demands put upon it. With many of its operations taking place within the M25, but also serving regular clients across the country, EGC has become a leading contractor, often delivering its services under the most extraordinary circumstances. “It is this continuity of staff, combined with their extensive knowledge and experience of our products and services that really sets us apart in the market,” explains Chairman, Paul Rogers. “This large pool of knowledge has been obtained over many years of trading and delivering

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With unrivalled levels of service and experience behind it, Express Glazing Contractors continues to deliver to complex and demanding contracts across London and the rest of the UK through economic highs and lows, storms, civil disturbances, terrorist attacks, as well as providing services to blue-chip clients from the top of the highest buildings to underground facilities. This has continually allowed the team to provide a current, professional and rapid service installing glass, glazing and applied window film to such a diverse range of commercial clients.” With operatives ready to be deployed 24/7 throughout the year, EGC is able to respond to any demand whenever required. Notably, its services were called upon during the August 2011 London riots in order to board-up glazing for protection as well as to replace glass from violencestruck areas. The company’s emergency response was carried out in parallel to normal operations, and was delivered to a range of properties from retail units to government buildings. Accompanying this flexible, ‘express’ service, EGC also has a range of competencies including associated traffic management

works, the ability to work in high level, sensitive and secure locations with specialist access equipment and abseilers, and glaziers qualified to work both ‘airside’ and ‘trackside’. Over its long history, EGC has delivered to a range of high profile clients and projects including hotels like the Savoy and Connaught, government and embassy buildings, including the Houses of Parliament, retail units, transport hubs and a full variety of commercial and industrial facilities. Recent contracts that perfectly demonstrate the depth of capabilities that exist in the business include the replacement of 2800mm by 1500mm, insulated double-glazed units as part of the atrium roof of the Department of Health building in London. Following bird damage, the company was called to make-safe, survey, manufacture, supply and reglaze the 200kg panes, 120 feet above the ground. In February this year the firm also completed an emergency job for one of its facility management


clients in Hatton Garden, London, to make safe a double-glazed unit. The job required the replacement of a panel that was 2000mm by 3650mm large and weighed over 250 kg, which was made particularly challenging by difficult access. Under tight time restrictions, EGC had a new unit manufactured by its supplier Pilkington Glass, whilst it put in place out-of-hours road management systems, specialist access scaffold and lifting equipment to carry out the work successfully. As well as its commercial and industrial offerings, EGC has also amassed significant experience within the rail industry. “We have worked with this industry both on main rail and underground sites since the 1980s,” says Paul. Over recent years the company has completed high security glass installations and large-scale window replacements for clients such as A. Edmonds, Vinci, Proteq and H A Marks at a number of key mainline and underground stations around London. This year EGC responded to an emergency problem to repair and replace a large tempered unit at Waterloo International Station. Highly experienced glaziers with the correct rail certifications successfully installed the unit under complex and limited access circumstances, which measured approximately 1500mm by 3900mm. In September, the company also completed a large job to reglaze over 100 obscure glass panes at Harrow on the Hill Tube. Working in such extreme and demanding environments, it is no surprise that health and safety features heavily in EGC’s agenda. “This always has to be the highest priority for us,” Paul emphasises. “In the early days of trading there was very little safety glass, so the company had to be very conscious of the need for safety in all its handling and glazing activities. This culture has developed continuously in

line with modern advancements across all areas of the business as it interacts with clients and the wider public on a daily basis. Training, accreditation audits and trade networking at the GGF (Glass and Glazing Federation) make sure that we are continually conscious of the needs and developments in health and safety, as well as best practice.” As demand for its services grows, EGC is presently going through a programme of investment to secure its future with skilled tradesmen, despite a shortage in the industry, by actively participating with the GGF and supporting the foundation of GGF Training Ltd for flat glazing industry training. This will be accommodated by a move in 2016 to new larger and

more modern premises, providing increased capacity for growth. As glass becomes increasingly technically complex and used more extensively in construction, the future for EGC, with its years of experience, will be positive. Paul notes that opportunities exist as competitors shy away from challenging inner-city logistics, and is confident that as long as its focus remains on delivering a quality service alongside superior health and safety consideration, EGC will continue to grow and develop with more new contracts and clients.

Express Glazing Contractors www.expressglazingcontractors.co.uk Services: One of the oldest and largest glazing companies in the UK

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J.G. Services Norwich Ltd offers a first class mobile service for repairs, servicing and a lot more, for all types of machinery including quick hitches etc. We travel all over East Anglia; we also offer a 24/7 anywhere any time to help keep your downtime to a minimum. We are main dealers for Yanmar and Amman, and can supply new and used machinery.

Hydraulic Hoses Our mobile Hydraulic hose repair service is focused on repairing all types of pipes, valves, rams etc, from the very large to very small pipes, on any type of Machinery.

J.G. Services Norwich, Unit 29D Newton Street, Newton St Faiths, Norwich, Norfolk, NR10 3AD U.K Tel: 01603 891004 jgservicesnorwich.co.uk

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profile: Spencer Group

High

climbers Already well established as an engineering specialist with a number of high profile bridge projects under its belt, Spencer Group continues to deliver quality, world-class solutions to compliment its robust reputation

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s one of the UK’s biggest privately owned multidisciplinary engineering businesses, Spencer Group has established itself a robust reputation for providing innovative engineering solutions for the transport, infrastructure, energy and industrial sectors. With a history of repeat work and collaborative relationships, the group has become renowned for its open and honest policy as well as its ability to drive innovation and high-quality into any project. From this history comes a unique expertise and breadth of experience that means Spencer’s team of industry leaders can provide solutions to clients at any stage of the project life cycle,

always looking for the best and most cost effective way to carry out a job. What really gives Spencer a competitive edge in the market is its wide-reaching, in-house design skill set, which covers civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, control, instrumentation and rail systems competence. This offering is particularly strengthened when the company is able to mobilise multiple disciplines in one project and over the last year alone the company has successfully demonstrated its world leading ability to deliver complex projects on two of the most prestigious suspension bridges in the world. Earlier this year Spencer successfully completed a critical project to maintain the structural

integrity of the Humber Bridge, which was the longest of its kind when opened 34 years ago. The £4 million project, which was vital to the long-term safety of the bridge, was a highly complex challenge to replace the four A-frames that connect the main span of the bridge to the towers at either end. Alongside design partners, Arup, the team first installed temporary load-bearing arms before transferring the load to a permanent pendel and wind shoe system, which is designed to protect the new installation from challenging wind pressures. Significantly, all work was carried out whilst the bridge remained fully operational and its successful completion helps further cement Spencer’s reputation for delivering complex high-level bridge works. “The delivery of this project gives the Humber Bridge security in its support bearing systems for many years to come,” explains Nick Cooper, Technical Director at Spencer. “It also highlighted the multi-disciplinary expertise within the business, as it required the ability to integrate different disciplines, from hydraulics, to mechanics, to structure, while working in a very confined space.” Contract Project Manager, Daniel Smith, added: “It’s been very much a team effort, with lots

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of ideas coming forward from within the Spencer team and Arup colleagues to address the many complex issues this project posed. People within the team have come up with ways to work efficiently and cost-effectively to deliver the best possible results.” The importance of this project on the Humber Bridge has been widely recognised throughout the industry. As such the programme was awarded the Smeaton Award for projects between £500,000 and £5m at the Institution of Civil Engineer’s annual Yorkshire and Humber awards. It was also short-listed for the highly coveted UK Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award at the British Construction Industry Awards 2015. Further illustrating Spencer’s unrivalled abilities when it comes to highly complex bridge works, in October 2015 the company successfully completed the world’s largest bridge cables anticorrosion project on Denmark’s East Bridge. Part of the giant Great Belt network, which links the east and west parts of the country, the Eastern Bridge is currently the third largest suspension bridge in the world with a span of 1.6km. The 18month, £8 million project required

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RBC Lubron Bearings RBC Lubron Bearings designed and manufactured custom LUBRON TF spherical plain bearings and supplied them to Spencer Group for installation in the Humber Bridge. The bearings are self-lubricating and maintenance free. They allow for rotation and misalignment of the main span replacement A-frame’s. The LUBRON TF material within each bearing is able to withstand an extremely high load whilst providing a low coefficient of friction that allows the bearings to move easily, minimising the forces induced into the structure. RBC Lubron Bearings also tested the bearings to ensure the enhanced performance and quality that will provide for extended design life.

Spencer to once again deploy its broad expertise to install 105,000 metres of protective wrap to six kilometres of cable, each 83cm wide in diameter. To achieve the project, Spencer had to mobilise its own innovative and trademarked Cable Crawler gantry platforms, a traversing system that enables the negotiation of the cable infrastructure without returning the gantries to the bridge deck, therefore eliminating the need for lane closures after initial installation and the subsequent removal. As such, the entire project was successfully delivered with zero accidents and without disruption to the bridge’s 31,000 daily vehicle crossings. “Every bridge project has its own unique set of challenges,” highlights Project Manager, Andy Macdonald. “However, this was a major step up and on a different scale from any of those we have previously undertaken. Throughout the project we worked very closely and collaboratively with the client, who was highly supportive and understanding of the complexities and challenges involved. Ultimately, it was a brilliant team effort, which demonstrated

the technical capability within the Spencer business and our commitment to deliver a painstaking project to exceptional levels of quality.” Lars Fuhr Pederson, Technical Director for A/S Storebælt, the client for the project, commended Spencer’s competence saying: “We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Spencer because of their diligent and committed approach and the high standard of their work.” The complexities and challenges posed by such high level and safety critical projects only serves to demonstrate the world-class expertise Spencer retains within its business. Crucially, successful and safe completion of both helps the company secure its position amongst some of the world’s leading and most specialist engineering groups. With these two projects, plus a range of other high-level bridge works, behind it the company is now actively pursuing further bridge maintenance projects in the UK and across Europe.

Spencer Group www.thespencergroup.co.uk Services: Leading engineering specialist


profile: Marshall Construction

that last F Relationships

With a long history of successful projects behind it, Marshall Construction has positioned itself at the front of the Scottish construction industry by paying close attention to both the diversity of its offering and commitment to its clients and partners

ounded in 1983, Marshall Construction has quickly developed into one of Scotland’s leading independent building contractors. With a diverse customer base and wide reaching service offering, the company delivers jobs ranging from just £50 right up to £20 million. With every key trade represented within its staff force, the experience and competence of Marshall, combined with its unique commitment to employment and apprenticeships, provides the company its core strength. As such, the contractor has amassed an impressive project portfolio over its history in the industrial, commercial, retail, healthcare, education, sport and residential sectors. In order to cope with such a diverse offering, the company is split into a number of separate divisions: contracts, general building, plant and fleet,

scaffolding and homes. At the heart of Marshall is its desire to deliver client satisfaction and quality throughout all aspects of the construction process from general advice to hand over. Developing strong relationships with its clients is key to the company’s success, both in terms of understanding and delivering to the precise needs of a client and also its own growth aspirations. This has been realised recently with the awarding of the company’s biggest win to date. In October 2015 and at a value of £17.8 million, Marshall was awarded the contract from Chivas Brothers Ltd to build 14 warehouses on its site in Willowyard, Beith – a site the company is familiar with having delivered work there for more than a decade. Due to be expedited over a period of 120 weeks, the construction programme has been uniquely

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As a major supplier of timber, sheet material and joinery to the construction industry for over twenty years.

Thornbridge Sawmills Ltd are pleased to be associated with

Marshall Construction and wish them every success for the future. Branches throughout Scotland

Head Office: Thornbridge Sawmills Ltd, Thornbridge Yard, Laurieston Rd Grangemouth, FK3 8XX Tel: (01324) 612121 | Fax: (01324) 612100 Email: mail@thornbridgesawmills.co.uk www.thornbridgesawmills.co.uk

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profile: Marshall Construction Thornbridge Sawmills Ltd designed to suit the client’s needs. “We demonstrated an impressive approach to the projects, as we had a clear ability to address the challenges of the current site, resulting in the best cost and programme outcomes,” explains Contracts Manager, Stephen Walker. “Above all, we are excited about continuing our relationship with Chivas Brothers and Charles Scott and Partners.” Robert Marshall, Managing Director at Marshall goes on to add: “We are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to work at Willowyard again. When we started talking to Charles Scott and Partners following our tender submission it was clear that they shared the same belief that partnership working is the way forward in selecting the best skills for the job – this is what differentiates us in the marketplace. Marshall Construction continues to deliver first class projects even when up against stiff competition and we are delighted that this is our largest contract win to date.” Another significant moment in the company’s growth was reached in September with the signing of a National Framework Agreement with Whitbread plc, owners of Premier Inn across the UK and Ireland. Initially allocated three extension projects for Premier Inn properties in Cambuslang, Stepps and East Kilbride, the opportunity of the framework for Marshall is tremendous. “The sheer scale and volume of work required by this framework means that a dedicated contract management team has been formed to ensure that each project is delivered to the agreed standard and programme of the client.” Whilst demonstrating the company’s flexibility to deliver large-scale programmes, the framework once again reflects Marshall’s strength of forming successful working relationships with its clients. As Business

Thornbridge Sawmills Ltd is an independent Scottish company, established over 23 years ago and has been supplying Marshall Construction throughout this time. With a seven acre site based in Grangemouth and eight Trade Centres situated throughout Scotland, the business has grown and developed to become a major player in the Scottish Timber industry. It is a first hand importer of sawn softwood and panel products from all corners of the globe and its on-site facilities include a Sawmill and Timber Treatment Plant which allows the company to provide a comprehensive service to the construction industry. Development Manager, Gareth Bland, explains: “We are very proud to have been selected as a trusted construction partner by Whitbread and look forward to furthering our relationship over the next few years. As a business we always strive to achieve consistency in the service delivery and administration of our contracts, across all our operating divisions and we are confident that Whitbread will be happy with our work ethic and finished product.” In July 2015, Marshall commenced work on another project that aptly demonstrates its diverse competencies and commitment to local communities. The Dens Road development in Dundee, for client Hillcrest Housing Association, is for 21 one and two bedroom affordable (social and mid-market rent) apartments in the Hilltown regeneration area, close to the city centre. The project is expected to take 12 months, and is not the first time Marshall has worked with the client, therefore illustrating the strong reputation for quality and service, on which the company prides itself. “This is an exciting

new housing scheme, with a well thought out mix of homes that will cater to a wide range of needs. The new homes are a further demonstration of our commitment to building neighbourhoods and creating thriving, empowered communities,” says Robert. The success and growth gained by Marshall throughout 2015 only serves to confirm the reputation that it has earned over its three-decade establishment within the Scottish market. Years of delivering to all sectors with high quality product and service have culminated in a successful year of significant contracts that represent not only the company’s growth but also the commitment to its core values. Looking ahead, forging more of these long-lasting relationships and integrating its brand into local communities will undoubtedly play a major role and as such the success of Marshall looks set to continue.

Marshall Construction www.marshallconstruction.co.uk Services: One of Scotland’s foremost independent building contractors 77


profile: Premier Modular

Piece by

piece Premier Modular (part of the Waco International Group) is experiencing strong growth as it looks to take new opportunities and expand its footprint in a number of sectors

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hen Construction & Civil Engineering last spoke with Premier Modular back in June 2015, Divisional Director David Harris, spoke about the positive growth trajectory the company had been on and outlined its plans for the future, which generally involved diversifying the business offering and capitalising on new opportunities. Eight months on and David retains his positivity, reflecting on a number of successes over the second half of

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2015 and is confident about the future. “Our growth levels have continued in terms of turnover and profitability across the whole business in both the hire and new build segments,” he says. “This has been helped by our presence in a diverse mix of sectors. We are more active in the student accommodation market, we have reignited our history in healthcare and education continues strongly.” Speaking about market conditions, David sees that some buoyancy has returned to the market despite a noticeable slowdown in order intake


before and after last year’s General Election. However, he maintains that legacy fallout from the recession still exists placing pressure on pricing and subsequently depressing margins. “I don’t really foresee this changing,” he says. “However, it just means that we have to be more slick and efficient in taking new growth opportunities to continue a strong performance.” One particular area of opportunity that Premier Modular has begun to take advantage of over the past few months is the housing sector. In our last feature

we covered the three-day event that formed the launch platform for the company’s innovative modular housing system, also noting the successful award of its first social housing scheme in Hull. Since then it has added another project in Glasgow to its portfolio and its outlook going forward is bright. “I think there is quite significant growth potential for us in the housing industry with a lot of this driven by the government agenda to build more homes combined with the skills shortage that plagues the traditional market place,” David comments. “In addition to the two housing schemes already delivered we have secured positions on three modular housing frameworks, which I have no doubt will start delivering schemes for us over the next three to six months. We have also partnered with a key house builder in the North West, who is very keen to bring modular solutions onto some of its sites.” Premier Modular has also made some serious inroads into larger schemes up and down the country. In London, for instance, its hire business has provided several buildings to the Battersea Power Station redevelopment, including its first six-storey hire building. However, set to prove highly instrumental to its future growth strategy is its preferred bidder status on EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C (HPC) project, the

UK’s largest modular construction project to date. With the contract in the final stages of negotiation, the prestigious £40 million accommodation project will help to firmly cement the business as a leader in the UK industry. A number of permanent modular buildings with a combined floor space of 38,000 square metres and made up of almost 1000 steel-framed modules will be constructed off site and installed at Hinkley for the nuclear power plant’s ten-year construction cycle. After this time most of the buildings, which will be providing office and welfare facilities for the project, will be relocated to other areas of the EDF estate whilst one will be reconditioned to remain in place. “For me, HPC is a real feather in the cap having been working on it for over three years now,” explains David. “The challenge will be the huge time pressures as when the button gets pressed the client will want a workforce on site as soon as possible. Overall it will take around 16 months from

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profile: Premier Modular

manufacture to handover, with about a year of that spent in the factory. In terms of its significance, it will have a major impact on the business’s continued success helping to increase our turnover around 50 to 60 per cent annually over the two-year project cycle. This fits in nicely with the growth trajectory that we’ve been on over the last couple of years, so the objective will be to maintain this new level beyond the project.” Other successful projects from the past few months include a recently completed children’s centre in Westminster, which combines a multi-tiered rooftop section, two-storey open hall area, laser-cut façade and traditional brick finish to create a building that goes beyond the expected possibilities of a modular system. “The fact that we’re using systems

here that you wouldn’t have thought possible with modular construction really demonstrates just how far we have come with it over the past few years,” notes David. Similarly, it has recently finished a two-storey school (one of seven for Brent County Council near Wembley), which hosts a MUGA (multi-use games area) on its roof. “This involved pouring concrete on to the top section and required us to look closely at the building’s structure to take such big loads, but again shows how far the technology has come,” he adds. Another significant focus for

Premier Modular over the past couple of years has been its people. “We have spent quite significant levels of money on different levels of leadership and management courses through the business from team leadership right up to executive development,” David says. “We’ve just had five of our senior managers go to GIBS Business School in Johannesburg on a leadership course, which will be a big step towards our future planning.” In terms of the future Premier Modular is well placed to overcome many of the challenges it foresees relating to managing growth with training and recruitment, regenerating capital expenditure to grow its hire capacity and managing capacity with a newly opened factory. “The three core focus areas as we move forward then are firstly, investing further into our hire fleet and ensuring we keep that utilisation high. Secondly, driving growth into new growth areas like housing, retail and student accommodation whilst maintaining our normal business-as-usual sectors, and finally attracting more people to facilitate this,” David concludes.

Premier Modular www.premiermodular.co.uk Services: Leading UK modular construction company 81


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profile: Actavo

Strong

performance

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ringing together years of experience and global expertise, 2015 saw the launch of Actavo as a leading international strategic operations partner. Its name, coming from, ‘actus’, the Latin for performance, Actavo is the new brand stemming from a wider transformation within the business. “It’s been an exciting time for the company,” begins Roger Hastie, CEO Actavo – Structural Division. “It comes following a lengthy and detailed process of review and reform across the group. The rebrand sees the integration of Deborah Services, Roan Building Solutions, RoanKabin, EventServ, Sierra Support Services, PDC, Siteserv and Siteserv Access & Formwork under one clear, progressive corporate identity. We are now providing customers with a single point of focus for a more extensive and versatile range of products and services across the business.” With this rebranded and refocused strategy in place,

Below Chris Foulkes, CEO Actavo

Below Roger Hastie, CEO of Actavo Structural

Following a major corporate transformation in 2015, Actavo looks forward to a future of continued growth on a global scale

Actavo now employs a robust workforce of over 4500 people across more than 100 locations around the world. Its main services range from network, inhome and industrial solutions to hire and sales, building and event services, all targeted towards some of the world’s leading companies. With this offering, the company has established itself as a specialist in a variety of industries, including power generation, marine, petrochemical, nuclear, home energy, satellite and telecommunications, education, healthcare, events services, civil engineering, water and construction. “The opportunities for us in the marketplace at this time are ever increasing,” continues Roger. “Having secured a number of large contract wins in recent months – from Scotland to Kazakhstan – we are building upon the momentum of our strong business performance across various jurisdictions.” One portion of the business that highlights Actavo’s long-standing and leading position in the global

market is the Structural Division, which offers a comprehensive range of services. “This starts with the sale and hire of bespoke modular buildings and the more traditional jackleg units,” explains Roger. “Then we have the country’s most wide-ranging supplier of traditional and system scaffolding, formwork, fencing, shoring and non-mechanical equipment. Our dedicated teams bring specific expertise into large festivals, mass participation events, brand activations and other public activities to the worldwide events sector. Finally, we launched our own e-commerce site in 2015 and are optimistic for significant growth through this channel.” Where Actavo’s Structural division really excels is in its customer service and its regular customer surveys support this, consistently reporting that Actavo is an easy company to do business with, alongside its high levels of technical expertise and service. Combined with its extensive and leading service offering, it is unsurprising that the division has achieved significant year-

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profile: Actavo

JSP JSP congratulate DSL on their recently announced new venture and re-brand under their new company name of ACTAVO. We are delighted to have been partners for many years enjoying continued growth annually as we have evolved together. JSP continue to invest enabling continuity of innovative safety products keeping us at the forefront of technology and remaining a market leader across many sectors. We don’t doubt this new venture will generate growth opportunities especially with the extensive ranges JSP has to offer, these covering PPE, height and road safety for all industry sectors. For over a decade the Titan pedestrian barrier system has been DSL’s flagship barrier proving perfect for both sale and hire. Over the years continuous modifications have been made to improve and further enhance its durability, most recent changes being modifications to fit accessories and increase stability leading to safer workzones thus protecting the public even further. on-year growth, well in excess of general construction indices, for several years. In addition, it has shown particular skill in reacting to market trends and supporting its clients accordingly. For example, as Roger highlights: “Skills shortages in some sectors are affecting where we invest, so those products that require lower skills and can help overcome the shortages are definitely products we invest in.” “Over the coming year, we will also be investing further into comprehensive training and development to improve our customer service. Our new allpurpose training centre will be opening soon and is intended for the product training of all new staff as well as presentations to customers. Alongside this, we are also looking at how we can increase the proposition we offer to our customers in terms of convenience and added value service. Therefore, we are now developing our ‘Actavo Direct’ online business, as part of our

multi-channel approach to the market. Our passion is about providing quality products that are competitively priced and delivered with total customer convenience and satisfaction at its core. “Whether it is onsite, in one of our expansive list of depots nationwide, or now online or on mobile, we are available to provide the best possible service to our customers. With a continued commitment to expand our services, with the likes of mobile and click-and-collect options, we believe we will be able to meet the growing and changing needs of our customers. As such, in line with these growing demands, this is an important area of development for us and we believe that it will become one of the major growth areas of our business.” Other recent investments for the segment have been into BIM in its Building Solutions business with the aim of differentiating itself further and developing its success in more markets, such as the

education sector. Actavo has consistently demonstrated its ability to provide valuable services to high-profile and demanding events. In 2015, for example, it completed a project management contract in Canada for the Pan-America Games. Roger comments it is this type of event he would like to see the company’s expertise being increasingly deployed into the future. “Elsewhere, our hire and sales operation is now a market leader in many of the products and services it offers and the plan is to open more branches and relocate a number to larger premises to become even more prominent,” he adds. Further embodying the company’s fresh approach to the market is Actavo’s Industrial Division. With close to 50 years experience behind it, Actavo – Industrial Solutions has a service portfolio that includes everything from access solutions, surface preparation, protective coatings and insulation to rope access,

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profile: Actavo

Encon Encon is the UK’s largest independent insulation distributor with 20 branches supplying the HVAC, process and power generation industries with all the major brands in thermal, acoustic and fire protection insulation materials. With independent advice, a highly trained team and reliable service Encon is the distributor of choice for thermal insulation contractors. Encon has also been associated with the Actavo Group for the past 25 years, supplying insulation materials and associated ancillary products. The company’s innovative solutions have helped Actavo secure a number of major projects and industrial sites throughout the UK, notably Virvigo – at that time Europe’s largest industrial project. asbestos removal, industrial cleaning and fire protection services. Its long history has seen it provide these to the power, nuclear, oil and gas, petrochemical and marine industries, and last year it extended this offering into transmission with the acquisition and integration of the UK’s No1. provider of tower maintenance services. Illustrating the level of work carried out by Actavo – Industrial is its recently-awarded contract to become the mainstream provider of services to Babcock International Group. “This was extremely pleasing as it followed a tendering process that had lasted over a year and saw Actavo in direct competition with many of the industry’s leading companies,” says Chris Foulkes, CEO of Actavo – Industrial Solutions. “Our success in securing this work further demonstrates that we are able to compete and win at the highest level. In the short term, this will see us working with Babcock on their marine sites in the South West of England and in Scotland.” Another significant example of its recent business growth and expanding global footprint is its joint venture with Lancaster Group in Kazakhstan. “Although

LAYHER Growing Layher network means greater support Continuing commitment by Layher to developing its network provides excellent support to contractors around the UK – its facility in Eggborough near Selby, for example, has brought Layher’s modular scaffolding and protection systems more directly to organisations such as Actavo in the Northeast. “Our Letchworth head office, centre in Livingston in Scotland, new facility in Ireland – and Birmingham soon – also enhance our UK service,” says Sean Pike, Layher’s UK MD.

we are in the formative stages of this contract and our working relationship, we are seeing really positive early results in the region and have great expectations for our future there,” Chris adds. This project represents Actavo’s first entry into Kazakhstan, a market that is currently undergoing major nationwide economic development. With oil prices as they are at present, Chris notes a noticeable impact on the industrial sector, which is creating new challenges for customers who are looking harder than ever at cost savings. However, he remains confident that Actavo’s strategic partnership with these clients can have a positive impact through these tough times. “Through a commitment to continuous improvement and a focus on innovation, we have been able to work with our client base to provide greater value through productivity improvements, whilst retaining our focus on health and safety,” he explains. “In these challenging times, we will be working closely with them to drive down their maintenance costs, especially through the involvement of our specialist services team and the wide scope

of our offering.” As far as the future is concerned for Actavo, Roger Hastie is confident that the new branding will be key to achieving global success on a large-scale. “Any large corporate rebrand brings both challenges and opportunities,” he says. “The primary challenge is ensuring that everyone knows our new name, is clear on who we were, understands the services and expertise we continue to deliver and can appreciate the additional benefits from availing of our integrated solutions. Actavo is determined to be the preferred strategic operations service partner for the world’s leading companies and we believe we have the personnel and processes to realise that vision into the future. Ultimately, under this new brand identity, we are confident of continuing on our ambitious international growth trajectory.”

Actavo www.actavo.com Services: A leading international strategic operations partner providing solutions to numerous sectors 87


profile: ITA

Beneath

the

surface

The ITA plays a crucial role in supporting the global tunnelling industry as demand for subsurface projects continues to grow at an unprecedented pace

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he International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) was first established back in 1974 with 19 countries. Since then the organisation has grown considerably and today it represents 73 Member Nations, with hundreds of affiliate members and 17 prime sponsors from various sectors within the global tunnelling industry. Amongst those attending the annual conferences and represented by the ITA, many are owners, planners, suppliers, consultants and contractors, all of whom are directly or indirectly involved in the ever-increasing number of underground projects taking place around the world. “When I joined as president three years ago part of my strategy was to strengthen the relationships with our member nations and therefore grow our family,” begins current President of the ITA and specialist at consultancy group, COWI, Søren Degn Eskesen. “As such, a lot of our growth has occurred during

the last five years and we are constantly looking to work closely with our members and bring new members into our group.” Part of this growth has come from the rapidly growing number of underground construction projects that have been completed across the globe. “Over the last ten years the European and American markets have approximately doubled, but it’s in Asia where the industry has really boomed being 15 times larger than it was before that period,” highlights Søren. “Much of this is coming from China where there has been, and continues to be, a huge number of infrastructure projects going into place. South America is also a booming market at present with lots of projects and plans being implemented in Mexico and Brazil. Africa will be an exciting market over the next 10-15 years as well with lots of developing economies emerging there. So we hope to see some new members coming from these regions.” The association’s mission statement is to promote the use

of tunnels and underground space through knowledge sharing and the application of technology, and it carries this out in a number of key ways. Firstly is its annual general assembly conference, of which it has so far held 41. These provide a unique opportunity for many of the industry’s leading members to network, share knowledge and best practice and discuss the burning issues within the global market. Throughout the rest of the year, the ITA’s four Committees and 13 Working Groups produce a number of guideline and best practice documents surrounding the issues of education and training, use of underground space, safety and technology. So far in 2015, eight of these documents have been issued, forming a key and upto-date network of knowledge sharing. Over the last five years it has also run a number of training sessions, which have proven to be successful with 4000 people currently signed up on different courses. “We are such a farreaching, global network that in ITA we will always find someone who is an expert in specific items,” says Søren. “In this way we can create the world’s best source of learning within the industry.” Another part of ITA’s responsibility is to promote the use of underground space as a viable solution to many of the world’s economic and environmental challenges. “The organisation drives a need for increased used of subsurface areas especially for metro systems and other infrastructure, but also in environmental applications,” explains Søren. “Flood protection and water diversion can all be delivered through underground spaces as we face global climate change issues. I think awareness is starting to emerge as to the need of such projects, especially with things like COP21 and we work closely with the UN to propose solutions. Also by moving things

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profile: ITA

underground it is possible to free up space on the surface, so we try to show people the benefits of underground space for storage solutions and so on. One thing we try to push in this respect is an underground planning committee in large cities, where existing underground spaces can be better utilised, such as is demonstrated in Helsinki and Singapore.” Keen to promote the industry on a wider scale and attract attention to its services, in November 2015 the ITA held its inaugural international tunnelling awards in Switzerland. These awards cover everything from safety and environmental successes to projects of different sizes and young tunnelling engineer of the year. This last one Søren picks out as being particularly important

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in today’s market: “I think it is really important because as we see the industry grow we need to attract more people to the industry,” he says. “Globally, we are seeing a labour shortage in our industry and there is a lot of competition for these young, talented engineers from other industries. We try to bring these young engineers into our network with our training sessions and communication channels, and have a young members group to achieve this.” As far as the future is concerned the ITA will be closely focused on continuing the positive work that has defined its progress as it helps the industry respond to societies’ growing demand for more and more underground space and tunnelling projects, in a safe and sustainable way. “We

will continue working with young tunnellers, and reaching out to city planners to promote the benefits of the underground to provide sustainable solutions and we will be working with the United Nations to react to reduce the impact from climate change,” details Søren more specifically. “We will be having our next general meeting and World Tunnel Conference this year in San Francisco and I am sure that this will key to the industry’s continuous growth for years to come.”

ITA (International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association) www.ita-aites.org Services: International association supporting and encouraging the tunnelling industry and promoting underground space


profile: norsk stein

Rock solid

F

success

Market leader Norsk Stein looks closely at its operational performance to achieve continued growth despite challenging and competitive market conditions

irst established in 1987, Norsk Stein (part of the Mibau Group) has grown over the years to become the largest supplier of high quality aggregates in Northern Europe. Currently turning out around ten million tonnes of production annually, Norsk Stein utilises its own modern fleet of self-discharging vessels and barges to distribute to over 40 terminals across Europe. With high quality reserves able to fill the broad spectrum of construction applications across Europe from asphalt materials to concrete and rail ballast, an unrivalled value chain, which includes complete logistics, and an immense capacity of up to 1.2 million tonnes a month, Norsk Stein’s position in the market remains out of reach of its competitors. When Construction & Civil Engineering last featured Norsk Stein back in early 2015, MD Oliver Patsch noted that the company’s focus would be on improving customer relationships,

developing its product range, capitalising on production efficiency and increasing its awareness towards health and safety. Now a year on, Oliver is pleased to report that to varying degrees, the business has been successful in realising many of these ambitions. “The biggest success we have had is in health and safety,” he says. “We have now achieved more than 850 days without any lost time injuries across our entire operation and have had a great

uptake of near-miss and incident reporting. This has been critical to us assessing ways to improve and has started to change the organisation and its culture regarding health and safety.” Part of this improvement has involved a number of training sessions creating awareness for the topic across all levels of the business. “It is very difficult to reach these high levels of health and safety,” he says. “We are still on a journey towards our eventual goal of ‘zero harm to people’. A key element for further improvement is to focus on behavioural changes combined with visible-felt leadership across the whole organisation.” The company has also continued the positive value growth trajectory that has defined previous years. “In 2014 we saw a 20 per cent improvement on our bottom line over the previous year,” Oliver continues. “This year that has increased to 40 per cent, which has been affected by a number of sides within the business. Whilst volumes have remained fairly flat throughout the

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year, the quality of our earnings and the key client relationships that we have developed have helped. Similarly, we have seen success in different areas of cost reduction across the board and in becoming more efficient in production and shipping we have also been able to reduce our debt position substantially.” Other areas of improvement over the past few months have been into product quality, which Oliver notes is an ever-ongoing process as the organisation continues to gain knowledge about its reserves and the best way to generate suitable products for the construction industry. Over 2015, Norsk Stein invested heavily into the training of its people to ensure that everyone is brought up to standard in terms of leadership and operational effectiveness. This falls parallel to continued investment into new equipment and machinery and into ongoing

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improvement projects. “A large amount of the additional money that we earn by growth and improved financial performance is re-invested into the business to make it even stronger for the future,” adds Oliver. With growth ensuing from

improved operations, market conditions for Norsk Stein across Northern Europe are relatively favourable to let this continue. Taking Europe as a whole the market looks quite flat comparable to the previous year’s performance. However,


Germany and various harbour and energy related projects along the European coastline, like new windfarms, tidal or nuclear power plants,” he points out. “These are quite difficult to plan or have been postponed for a number of years, not maturing, but it would be a major plus for the whole business once it picks up.” This is where part of the opportunity for Norsk Stein exists amongst a relatively uncertain European market, as too does making sure it can continue developing and introducing new products into the market to capitalise on new demands. As for the future, many of the same continuous improvement programmes remain top priority for the business as it looks to move forward. Continuing to

improve its health and safety culture, refining its operational efficiencies and therefore its financial performance will all be key to Norsk Stein in 2016. “In the longer term we will be looking at how we can work more closely with partners to make the most of new production opportunities throughout the year,” concludes Oliver. “The more we can increase our flexibility in terms of product mix but also our seasonality, the stronger we will be in the future and we have a couple of investments in the pipeline to achieve this.”

Norsk Stein www.mibau-stem.de Services: Largest aggregate supplier in Northern Europe

within this certain markets are showing strong signs of growth and therefore new opportunities. “There are big ups and downs in the market driven by the different stages the markets and countries are in the construction cycle,” outlines Oliver. “The UK’s construction industry for example continues to be strong and Poland is also currently experiencing a boom, however flat markets in Germany and Denmark and declining markets in France are offsetting this, balancing it out. The unstable and unpredictable nature of the offshore oil and gas market is also making that industry challenging.” However, despite this Oliver is confident that opportunities do exist creating a pipeline of future projects that are likely to have a positive impact on Norsk Stein in the coming years. “There are a number of large infrastructure projects such as the Fehmarnbelt tunnel between Denmark and

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profile: KW Bell Group

A ringing

success KW Bell nurtures a strong reputation for quality and service, and living up to this will be key to the group to continuing levels of growth unprecedented in its history

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early half a century ago Keith Bell started out working as a solo bricklayer in the western counties of England. Operating from a strong family base the company steadily grew in an organisation encompassing four distinct businesses: Bell

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Contracting, Bell Homes, Bell Partnerships and Bell Plant. Today, working across Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and South Wales and with many close members of the Bell family playing vital roles in the company’s management, KW Bell Group turns over close to £50 million courtesy of a 400-strong workforce.

The largest business in the group by far, Bell Contracting accounts for ÂŁ36 million in annual sales and generally has up to 30 contracts on the go at any one time. Formed in 1993, Bell Contracting Ltd demonstrates the impressive levels of growth achieved by the group in recent years as its sales and client base are close to double their pre-


recession rates. Sitting alongside this business is Bell Homes, the group’s own development segment, which built and sold between 70 and 80 private homes in 2015 with sales reaching £12 million. Keen to focus on its own development and sales growth, the firm’s partnership business, which delivers high quality and

affordable housing schemes in collaboration with housing associations, local authorities and investment groups is quieter at present. Supplementing these, the group’s plant business is set up to meet the majority of required heavy machinery and scaffolding needs and following a recent £1 million investment to bring the

machine count to over 120 units, sales for this division currently sit at £2 million. “The strengths of the business are the people, their retained skills and the dovetailing of its operations,” begins current MD, Peter Bell. “Staff turnover rate is very low and we pride ourselves on creating a great place to work with an ethic to match. Some of our employees across all levels of the business from ground workers to management have been here for more than 40 years and this culminated in winning the Gloucestershire Family business of the Year in 2007. This tells its own story.” Working within a 60-mile radius of the Forest of Dean, market conditions for KW Bell are buoyant with enquiries aplenty despite competitive land pricing. Demonstrating the success of its work throughout the region in recent years the group has achieved some new additions to its trophy cabinet with a number of awards from the NHBC (National House Building Council). “The first project of note is the Persimmon Homes South Midlands site in Ross-on-Wye, where we carried out the civils, groundworks, brickwork and scaffolding and which recently won an NHBC Top 100 award,” highlights Peter. “Topping this, the Redrow Homes South Wales site in Mon Bank, Newport has just won the NHBC Best Site in Wales award. Here we carried out the groundwork with production levels at 2.5 homes a week. “We have also won the Redrow Contractor of the Year award for 2015, complementing the same award that we won in 2013,” he continues. With the National Awards once again approaching in 2016, KW Bell is keeping its fingers crossed for more recognition to come its way as it continues to ride its current wave of growth and success. One key area of the group

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profile: KW Bell Group

Actavo Actavo Hire and Sales Solutions have been working closely with K W Bell for a number of years, supplying both groundworks equipment and traditional tube and fitting scaffold, for a large number of their projects in both South Wales (through our Cardiff Depot) and in the South West (through our Bristol Depot). Groundwork equipment supplied includes site fencing (including both vehicle & pedestrian access gates), pedestrian control, chapter 8 (Hi Visibility) and water filled traffic management barriers, anti skid road plates, trench covers, temporary road ways (ground protection mats) and road forms for concrete formworks. Scaffolding products supplied include galvanised scaffold tube, drop forged fittings, BS scaffold boards and scaffolding ancillary products (netting, sheeting and safety gates). All equipment is supplied and delivered on our fleet of HGV vehicles with Hiab (crane off load). We wish KW Bell every success and look forward to our continued successful working relationship into the future that marks its excellence at present is its commitment to health and safety. Becoming Health and Safety Officer in 2011 Peter’s daughter, Nicola Bird, has successfully grown the group’s continuous training programme to become the face of safety and environmental responsibility at KW Bell. In 2015 Bell Contracting was awarded the Platinum Certificate of Excellence from CITB for carding over 90 per cent of its 360 employees in all operations, following a £40,000 investment and 2016 looks to build on this success with more safe workplace programmes coming to fruition. “In January we launched the ‘My DAD’ safety campaign across the group,” explains Peter. “This scheme has been evolving over the last six months and has been developed with ‘our’ guys in mind, playing on the idea that a child is waiting for his/her father to come

home from work that evening. The child is appealing to all other members on site in the hope that they keep an eye out for her dad and work safely around him at all times. We have captured this message in a drawing, which will become iconic for our campaign, and will be printed on every hi-vis vest worn with pride by all the men on site as a constant reminder of why they are working and why it is important to stay safe.” In addition to this, the new year will see the introduction of ‘Bellnet’, an intranet portal allowing all employees to remotely and anonymously report near misses, find SSOW/RAs and site documents and keep up-to-date with all alerts and memos. This will be accompanied by Bell ‘Keynotes’, which will ensure that two A4 files detailing all SSOW will be present on every site. “This is being launched to improve consistency across the board and

to establish uniform procedures,” notes Peter. As far as the future is concerned, success for KW Bell looks set to continue following recent land purchases in the region of £3 million bolstering stock through to 2017, amounting to almost 100 plots. “Our main focus over the next 12 months is to ensure the quality is correct in our Contracting Order Book and to continue the never ending search for the supply of quality sites to build homes. Both of these are strong at present but it is a continuous process,” says Peter. “Wherever possible we are also up-skilling people to take the next challenge on well prepared.” However, it is clear that KW Bell harbours some frustration over the current political state of house building as well as skills shortages in the industry that will both pose big challenges as it looks to move forward. “The planning system

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profile: KW Bell Group

and its continuously protracted set of conditions and hurdles are strangling our industry’s efforts to increase volume,” Peter expresses, noting that in 2015 the industry only built 140,000 out of the minimum required 250,000 homes

and that house price inflation is arguably unsustainable in the long run. “The falling popularity of apprenticeships in construction since 2006 is also adding pressures for many firms struggling to fill vacancies,” he adds.

Despite this, Peter remains confident about KW Bell’s future as the company remains committed to delivering its best possible service to the market: “I am a great believer in consistency and organic growth coming from being very good at what you do,” he says. “Your reputation goes before you and it’s up to you to maintain service and quality at all times to meet this. This is the foundation of our strategy. I would also like to extend my thanks to our loyal clients and staff as without them we would be nowhere.”

KW Bell Group Ltd www.kwbellgroup.com Services: Housing development and construction

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profile: Dura Vermeer

Forging new

paths Despite having its roots in the nineteenth century, Dura Vermeer’s approach to Holland’s construction market remains as fresh and as innovative as ever

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aving been around in the Dutch construction industry for over 160 years, Dura Vermeer has developed a deeply ingrained sense of how to evolve and remain successful in a market that can often bear the brunt of an economic crisis. The year 1855 marks the beginning, when Job Dura established himself as a self-

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employed building contractor near the city of Rotterdam steadily transforming into a specialist residential construction company. In 1998, keen to widen its footprint in a market that was growing rapidly full of large contractors, it joined forces with Vermeer, an infrastructure focused business that started out in 1961. Swiftly completing a successful merger, the family-owned company

now occupies a top ten position amongst the leading and most diversified construction firms operating in the Netherlands with around 2500 employees and a one billion euro turnover. “Our core strength is that we offer a complete package from design to construction and maintenance. All expertise and necessary competencies are held in-house,” begins Managing


Director, Hein Versteegen. “In deploying this we have become very good at thinking outside of the box, looking for smart, innovative solutions for all our clients. When considering a project during the tendering phase we always look closely at the aims and objectives and work out how we can propose the best balance between quality delivery and best value for the client. In

analysing a project at this stage you have to put together a jigsaw puzzle of client demands and then present a picture that they like.” None more so has this approach to project delivery been demonstrated as in the recent Nijmegen phase of the Netherlands’ ‘Room for the River’ flood defence scheme on the river Waal. The ultimate aim for the project was to dig a secondary

channel on the river to lower the water level and increase the river’s capacity, therefore reducing the flood risk. This was accompanied by the relocation of an existing dyke 350 metres further inland, three new bridges and a new quay. Due to the construction of the secondary channel the existing area transformed into an island in the centre of the river that is set to host a mix of new

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profile: Dura Vermeer

living, recreational, cultural and natural spaces. “One of the key specifications for this project was the traffic management issues in that the client, the government and authorities of Nijmegen, wanted minimal impact on the city’s traffic,” explains Hein. “We developed a completely different approach to how we could complete these temporary works and therefore proposed a single bypass for the highway. None of our competitors offered anything similar and this allowed us to initially win the contract. Despite it

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being a relatively large secondary project, the single bypass meant we could save costs by eliminating the need to have multiple solutions for different phases of the work. This also allowed us to work freely throughout the process, rather than in segments.” In addition to this, presenting a strong design that met the client’s specification for a striking part of the city that made a statement was also key to winning the contract. Hein points out that whilst other competitors offered lower cost solutions, Dura Vermeer’s balance between

delivering a project on budget and on time, and that also met the client’s demands for aesthetics of the structures and landscaping was important. “Having a great architectural team and a strong position in BIM engineering with our sister company, Advin, on board really helped this,” he continues. “Not only were we able to offer an appealing design but the architect did so whilst also developing a clever, workable design in terms of construction. This meant that we could deliver what we had promised, all whilst offering a cost effective programme.” Highlighting the excellence of Dura Vermeer’s work in Nijmegen, the Verlengde Waalbrug extended bridge won the 2015 Concrete Award in the bridges and viaducts category. Equally as significant, the Room for the Waal project as a whole was recognised for its collaborative success by winning the Dutch Bouwpluim in 2015. Whilst market conditions can be been seen picking up in the Netherlands, with more large and interesting projects coming to market, Hein does note that it is still tough and companies are having to offer smart solutions in order to win contracts. “The


Nijmegen project has put us on the map,” he expresses. “I think we shocked some of our competition when we were awarded it.” Applying its multidisciplinary approach to projects such as this and offering an innovative solution is what defines Dura Vermeer, with Hein continuing: “We don’t necessarily look for huge contracts with the view to playing in the top league. We want to become successful and profitable in the league just below where we can take on complex projects with smart solutions.” Demonstrating this perfectly, the company’s future ambitions aren’t solely focused on growth, instead it focuses on taking on projects that provide good margins and allow it to be sustainable in the long term. Over

Fugro For the project ‘Room for the river Waal’ Fugro was responsible for the geotechnical, hydrological and hydraulic engineering which included the design of the levees and revetments. Fugro contributed a wide package of geo data services such as field- and laboratory investigations and geophysical surveys, 3-D design drawings, riverbed mapping and monitoring of the building activities. Fugro provided support for the contractors during meetings with authorities for permits, co-ordination of field- and monitoring work, and document management. the course of 2016, the firm has its sights set on some of the other ‘Room for the River’ projects that are due to come on to the market, as well as looking closely at other projects where it feels it can make a difference. “Being a company that is already over 160 years old sustainability means staying around for another 50 years and this is what drives us,” Hein concludes. “We have always been

able to adapt and move forward with the market developments and advances, and this will be the same as the world moves into an age of smart technology.” Over its long history, Dura Vermeer has developed an unrivalled attention to operating in the Dutch construction industry and its work on the Waal has only served to illustrate this on a high profile stage. Continuing to operate in such a smart and client driven way looks to stand it in good stead for continued success despite a challenging and competitive industry.

Dura Vermeer www.duravermeer.nl Services: Specialists in building, civil engineering and infrastructure projects

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profile: Kodumaja

Working

together With two decades of proven industry experience, Kodumaja has established a reputation as a leading manufacturer of prefabricated modular units throughout Norway and beyond

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ince its formation during 1995, Kodumaja has simultaneously represented a brand trademark and the name of a group of companies specialising in the construction of high-quality housing using modular fabrication techniques. Through the implementation of its effective and futureorientated construction method the company ensures that all of its completed projects conform to the various construction requirements and standards within its strategic markets.

Presently 96 per cent of the housing built by Kodumaja is constructed in the Nordic countries, mostly Norway and Sweden, but also Denmark and Finland, while the remaining four per cent is built within the Estonian region. As of December 2015 the company had completed more than 6000 apartments and houses to the satisfaction of its clients. Typically the modular units produced by Kodumaja have a minimum set service life of 50 years, set by industry legislation. Kodumaja however is dedicated to exceeding the standard level of quality expected by its clients and providing structures that with the correct maintenance, will endure for much greater periods of time. Through this commitment the company is dedicated to becoming the market-leader in its line of business within Europe. “We have made significant investments in our business and today we have the technical capacity to increase the turnover of the company to €100million per year,” reveals Chairman, Lembit Lump. “The export turnover of the company during 2015 was 56 million euros.”

The fabrication process employed by Kodumaja incorporates a number of features that translate into critical advantages when the erection of structures commences on site. The manufacturing process relating to the modular components of the units is undertaken at the company’s factories in Estonia. Kodumaja prefabricated modules are closed elements, meaning that most of the work on the units can be completed in-house. All doors and windows are fitted in the facility and 95 per cent of the interior finish is completed including all of the unit’s internal plumbing and electrics. The nature of this construction process allows the units to be shipped straight to site upon completion. Once there, they can be immediately unloaded onto pre-constructed foundations in quick succession. In general it takes between 20-60 minutes to install one individual module, translating to 15-30 modules per day, making the onsite construction process impressively quick and efficient. Within this environment, variables like weather conditions,

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profile: Kodumaja

which can cause timing and material issues on traditional construction sites, are eliminated. Therefore production does not depend on weather conditions, the fabrication process is simple and easily controlled and conditions are optimal for quality control and management. This construction method is highly efficient and allows Kodumaja to offer clients shorter construction times and reduced costs. For example, the factory production of components on site enables a large amount of the work force to operate simultaneously. Furthermore, when combined with the simultaneous construction with onsite foundations and utility lines, the factory production of components greatly shortens each project’s general construction time and minimises mixed overheads. Since the company was last profiled in Construction & Civil Engineering magazine during April 2015, Kodumaja has completed the construction of the world’s tallest timber building located in Bergen, Norway. BOB Eiendomsutvikling AS ordered the impressive structure, known as ‘The Tree’, with planning and negotiations beginning during 2011. Kodumaja began work on the 14-floor, 62 apartment building during summer 2014 and the 4500m2 structure finally opened in December 2015. “We consider working with partners from a very early point as the best way in order to get the most efficient and best possible final result,” Lembit says referring to the technically demanding project. “It is not difficult to build a 14storey residential building, but it is certainly challenge to build a 14-storey wooden house, while ensuring adherence to all of the requirements and standards that are in force. However, we work on behalf of our customers to offer high quality products that meet all

state-of-the-art requirements and we like challenges.” Kodumaja employs a core of more than 500 highly dedicated staff that enables it to maintain a focus on flexibility and a readiness for the implementation of oneof-a-kind projects at competitive rates. During its 20-year history the company has amassed greater experience when compared to competitors in the design and manufacture of large multi-storey projects, through the development of structures including factory produced four and five storey apartment buildings. This extensive scope of delivery allows Kodumaja customers to solve several operational challenges at once, through a single supplier. During 2015 the dedication of the company was rewarded, when Kodumaja was awarded the title of Estonian’s Company of the Year by the President of the Republic of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves. Kodumaja was selected as Company of the Year from a shortlist of 400 companies. Several criteria were considered in deciding a victor, including economic indicators, coping with complicated economic environment, contribution to creation of employment, activities towards export and contribution to society. Estonia’s Company of

the Year award was established in co-operation between the state’s provide and public sector to promote entrepreneurship and recognise the best Estonian companies. Estonia is presently the leading exporter of wooden houses throughout Europe, with the majority of Estonian wooden houses destined for the Kingdom of Norway, followed by Germany, England, Sweden and France. Some 140 companies are presently active within the wooden building sector, generating a combined export turnover for 2014 of 238 million euros. Further to the acclaim of Estonia’s Company of the Year, Kodumaja was also acknowledged as the region’s Exporter of the Year, solidifying its position as a market-leader. Throughout 2016 and beyond, Kodumaja will focus on the continued expansion of its business within the company’s key markets, as well as exploring new possibilities for further growth and expansion. “Today we consider our strategic markets to be within Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Estonia. During the last couple of years we were focused mainly on Norway and Sweden and the same focus will apply over the coming years. Our final target is to split the risks more between our markets to lower the company’s dependence on Norwegian market,” Lembit concludes. “Norway is a generally good and active market for Kodumaja, however the Swedish market also looks very promising now. It is very active – almost booming. Our challenge is that we are not as well known in Sweden as we are in Norway, it takes time to establish a brand in a new market and we are working hard in that direction.”

Kodumaja AS www.kodumaja.com Services: Manufacturer of prefabricated housing units 107


profile: The Underfloor Heating Store

Under the

service The Underfloor Heating Store continues to build on its reputation for quality products and service as it maintains its leading position in the market

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ounded back in 2008 by brothers Michael and Steven Lewis, The Underfloor Heating Store has experienced unrivalled levels of growth and success to become the marketleading online retailer of electrical and water underfloor heating systems and associated products. “Currently the company supplies a wide range of components such as tile adhesives and selfsmoothing compounds from BAL and Instarmac, electric underfloor systems from ProWarm, Devi and Warm-Up, and water systems from ProWarm and Polypipe,” explains Chief Technical Officer, Roy Pooley. “Accompanying

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Above Company founders the Lewis brothers

this is a complete range of thermostats and control systems from numerous brands spanning everything from basic units to a Wi-Fi system controllable by iPhone, Android or online. We also supply shower trays for wet rooms along with various tools required for tiling jobs.” A number of key strengths mark The Underfloor Heating Store’s leading position in the market. Many of these have been realised by a wealth of awards from being named in the 2013 Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 to both brothers becoming Essex Business Men of the Year on separate years, as well as being finalists in the National Business Awards UK and

the 2014 UK Digital Experience Awards. Customer service has also been a key factor of its success with numerous recognitions in this arena under its belt. “Our company offers unprecedented technical support both online and via the telephone with qualified electricians and gas safe plumbers to give advice to potential and existing customers,” says Roy. “This is supplemented by market leading products, which are constantly being upgraded to keep pace with new technology.” As a regular in the public spotlight, The Underfloor Heating Store has garnered a reputation for its high quality service being featured in shows such the


BBC’s DIY SOS and Channel 4’s Home Show. The company can also boast recognition as a Which? Trusted Trader as well as a five-star rating on Trustpilot from around 2500 reviews and counting. This is supported by a full lifetime warranty on certain products, free UK delivery and a price match promise across the majority of product lines. Keen to highlight the strength of the company’s product offering, Roy highlights the inherent benefits that come from installing underfloor heating systems rather than using more traditional solutions. “Whereas a radiator system is really a convector of heat and supplies heat from one

point in the room, setting up an air current around it by sending the warm air to the highest point across the ceiling and down to the floor, an underfloor system radiates heat from the floor area in a uniform distribution to the area covered,” he notes. With this also comes improved energy efficiency and cheaper running costs with lower temperatures required to effectively heat a room. In accordance with this, and also demonstrating the strength of The Underfloor Heating Store’s service offering to the market, in 2015 the company became a part of Travis Perkins Sustainable Building Business (SBS). This move enables the large group to become

an integrated and unrivalled distributor of renewables and energy-efficient heating products. Committed to ensuring its growing range of customers have the widest and most diverse choice available to them, The Underfloor Heating Store has a robust product offering that appropriately reflects the varied needs within the market. In terms of electric underfloor heating the store represents the Devi, ProWarm and Warmup brands, supplementing the range with an additional Budget range offering for the most cost effective solution. Viewed together, the electric heating range caters to every need and budget with a range of prices, thermostat units, surface suitability and installation ease. In line with The Underfloor Heating Store’s dedication to provide its customers with the highest quality products and services, Warmup is the only underfloor heating manufacturer, which has products that are European Compliant, CE marked and accredited by a number of other industry standards. A similar range exists within the store’s water underfloor heating offering with ProWarm and Polypipe running alongside another Budget kit. Being the most costly, but more effective, option of the two underfloor solutions the water system ranges include high quality components and varying degrees of comprehensiveness in terms of tooling and control systems. Manufactured in the UK, the Polypipe range sits atop the offering with long-term performance ensured by a 50year pipe guarantee. Capable of covering multiple zones with high outputs, the Polypipe products are the preferred option for installers and users alike. Sitting just below is ProWarm, which is also capable of high output multi-zone systems, has a similar 50-year guarantee and utilises

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profile: The Underfloor Heating Store

Watts Water Technologies Over the years, Watts Water Technologies has vastly expanded from when it was founded by Joseph E. Watts in 1874, manufacturing just pressure-reducing/ release valves. Now a global corporation with over 14 manufacturing sites in Europe alone, Watts Water Technologies offers an expanding portfolio of solutions for a range of markets. Offering products in the water, gas, renewable and electronic industries for individual home installation to large factory and agricultural projects, Watts Water Technologies is your one-stop solution for all plumbing, HVAC, water and gas requirements.

EPIC INSULATION LTD Epic Insulation Ltd are proud to support The Underfloor Heating Store. We manufacture a diverse range of specialist products for warm water underfloor heating and wall heating applications, marketed under the brand names Profoil, ProGroove, ProTacka and Profix. Each product is designed to meet the individual demands of different floor constructions, whether in combination with a traditional hot water boiler or an energy efficient heat pump.

months we will be looking to maintain and increase our market share with new and varied items on our website as well as focused radio and television advertising,” Roy expresses. “In the longer term we look to increase the public awareness of the ProWarm brand, to increase our product

range further and to establish our products in ‘high street’ outlets wherever possible.”

The Underfloor Heating Store www.theunderfloorheatingstore.com Services: Leading online retailer of electrical and water underfloor heating

only high quality components to ensure the best performance. In addition to the heating systems themselves, The Underfloor Heating Store

also provides a whole host of complementary equipment such as insulation boards, electric and water accessories, thermostats, and wet room systems. As the company enters its first new year under the Travis Perkins umbrella, its ambitions for future growth very much reflect the consistent success it has already achieved. “Over the coming

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profile: Furse

A market-led

total solution approach Operating as a leading brand from ABB, Furse embodies over 120 years of history in the provision of earthing, lightning and surge protection equipment

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he history of Furse dates back as far as 1893, when William Joseph Furse acquired the premises and steeplejack business of Joshua Till on Burton Street in Nottingham. Mr W. J.

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Furse quickly worked to grow and improve the business and realising the growing importance of electricity, soon diversified into electrical installation and opened a new workshop for the production of switchgear and components. The Furse brand

has since continued to develop organically, as well as through acquisitions and buyouts. In 1998, Furse became part of the Thomas & Betts Corporation; then during 2012, Thomas & Betts was itself acquired by ABB. ABB is a global leader in power


and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB group of companies currently operates within approximately 100 countries around the world and

employs about 140,000 people. In the UK, ABB employs over 3000 people in around 20 locations. In over 120 years since its inception, the Furse name continues to be synonymous with innovative engineering. “Our approach to the market is

to provide a total solution for earthing and lightning protection,” says Olivier Bojarski, business unit manager for Furse in the UK. “Of course we offer best-in-class products, which can be found in many prestigious projects in the UK and globally. However, we

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profile: Furse

truly differentiate ourselves from competitors by being a solution provider who can support our customers throughout the entire project lifecycle, including risk assessment and the systems design process. “Furse has been an ABB brand since 2012 and we are seeing many benefits from the acquisition as being part of ABB

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has allowed us to develop in many different ways. For example, we have been able to expand into new geographic and vertical markets due to the group’s global footprint. We also now have access to superior service and logistics capabilities, which means that we can continue to improve the customer experience.” Through a combination of


with our customers on unique applications,” Olivier said. “We are always innovating within the earthing and lightning protection market, however one important new product introduction to highlight is a remote ignition system for exothermic welding, which we will introduce during the first half of 2016,” he continues. “This system is an innovative electronic ignition system, operated by a Wi-Fi remote, which will greatly improve safety when contractors are making permanent below ground earthing joints. The new product is a good example of our approach to innovation at Furse: we gathered feedback from customers and identified a market problem around contractor safety, leveraged our technical

in-depth industry experience, the support of the wider ABB Group and on-going product investment, Furse has continued to prove itself as a market-leading brand in the development of its facilities and the introduction of new technologies. “We have made significant investments in new equipment, such as the installation of a new conform extrusion machine, which will be fully commissioned during 2016. This equipment is a continuous rotary extrusion line that is used to make conductors in non-ferrous metals with various geometries from flat conductors to custom profiles. This investment will allow us to meet growing demand, as well as enable us to work

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profile: Furse

expertise to investigate the latest technologies and applied rigorous product development and testing processes to ensure the new product is ready for the market.” Over the coming years, Furse will continue to extend its substantial market presence, develop innovative products and foster new client relationships. Although market conditions around the world remain challenging, Furse is confident that following recent investments and ongoing product launches, it will continue to be a key market

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player in earthing and lightning protection. Olivier continues: “From our perspective, the construction output in the UK has shown a slight contraction in recent quarters, which suggests limited growth in some traditional markets. Going forward, we have identified and will increase our focus on some other segments, such as utilities and renewable energies, where earthing infrastructure will present significant growth opportunities.” Olivier concludes: “Ultimately we see a lot of opportunity for Furse

due to our strong foundation. Our people are skilled, experienced and passionate about the brand; we have gained significant market access by becoming a part of the ABB Group. Finally, our expertise in earthing and lightning protection remains second-tonone, enabling us to be a trusted advisor to our customers.”

Furse www.abb.com/furse Services: Earthing and lightning protection products


profile: Joseph Ash Galvanizing

Galvanized

growth Joseph Ash Galvanizing offers an unparalleled level of service to a range of customers in the UK and has recently taken positive steps towards cementing its leading position in the industry

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ehind Joseph Ash Galvanizing (JA) sits a long and successful history of partnering with steel goods manufacturers, which stretches back to the middle of the 19th century. Set up in Birmingham, JA responded to the rise of companies manufacturing products such as corrugated iron sheeting and agricultural feeders in the city, all of which needed galvanizing to perform in their field. Today the company operates from eight sites in the UK, with a coverage that includes much of the country’s major industrial areas and has become a leader in galvanizing, as well as providing specialist services in powder coating.

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“We have a wide range of customers from a number of market sectors,” begins Steven Hopkins, Managing Director at JA. “These include construction, so structural steel, balconies, industrial flooring and walkways; security - fencing and CCTV poles; infrastructure - everything from highway barriers, lighting columns and bridge parapets to rail electrification gantries and masts; and agriculture, including barns, feeders, stalls and gates.” From its eight sites, the company offers a range of services that is unrivalled in the UK. For instance, in Chesterfield, JA has a 16.5 metre long bath making it perfect for most structural steel lengths and

lighting columns. In Telford, it has the widest bath in the country, alongside a spin facility for small components, and in Bilston it has the deepest bath in the UK providing a highly efficient way of galvanizing fencing and barrier sections. The site in Medway serves an area from Kent to Hampshire, Berkshire and Essex with 15 lorries and is the only Akzo Nobel approved galvanizer and applicator for powder coating in England. Two additional JA sites are in Walsall, covering the West Midlands from Bristol to Staffordshire, and Bridgend, which serves the Welsh market. Despite vast coverage being achieved through these six sites, a significant portion of the country


east of the M1 was being missed out, prompting the acquisition of Hull-based Premier Galvanizing. “There was a major gap in our coverage in an area too remote from any of our existing plants to be effectively covered given that we pride ourselves on collecting and returning our customers’ materials on a one to two day cycle,” explains Steven. “Premier’s two plants in Hull and Corby, sit centrally in this area and have a fantastic reputation for service that we could not hope to match from afar, so its acquisition was the only logical route to entering this market.” Aside from simply opening the doors to new geographies for JA, the acquisition of Premier also

represents significant benefits for both parties, as Steven goes on to outline: “The other benefit of this strong reputation is the safeness of our investment in the company and this has influenced our decision to allow the business to run independently of JA in order to ensure that its service values and identity continue to be managed by the successful local teams that have built them. Customers should therefore have no doubts about ongoing excellent service that they will continue to receive from these two great businesses. What JA can offer indirectly is some technical support and the financial security of a larger group, and directly we will be able to offer

them the ability to process much longer or wider fabrications.” Offering a highly technical and specialist service is fundamental to JA’s business plan and one particular accolade that demonstrates this commitment is its Akzo Nobel approval. Under normal conditions a galvanized coating can be expected to last between 25 and 100 years, but this can be extended by a polyester powder coating (PPC), which also opens up a range of colour options for the process. “Applying PPC to galvanizing however is a job for an expert and to do so properly requires nine different stages in the chemical processes prior to electrostatic application of the powder and

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profile: Joseph Ash Galvanizing

curing in an oven,” highlights Steven. “Although one or two galvanisers in the UK offer a PPC product, our Medway site is the only one in England that can do the job to Akzo’s exacting standards, which include a rigorous sample testing regime every single day.” Core to JA’s strength within the market is its dedication to service and safety. With a fleet of over 70 vehicles helping it to perform to its collect and deliver service on a national scale, the firm is currently seeking FORS recognition to meet rising demand in London and other high-profile construction sites with its unrivalled breadth of services. “As well as this, safety is always at the top of the list for us and with only a few days to go we have our fingers crossed that we will achieve JA’s first ever year

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with zero reportable accidents in 2015,” comments Steven. “With 500 people handling millions of often heavy and awkward items annually, we regard this as a major achievement.” With a market that suffered painfully during the economic downturn and has only started

recovering in the last couple of years, JA’s robust offering to the market is critical to its ongoing success. Steven comments that maintaining this unique safety record, which it has worked towards for ten long, hard years, as well as taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge sharing opportunities that the new Premier acquisitions presents, will be the business’s major focus over the coming years. Doing so, whilst continuing to offer such a wide range of services and depth of customer service, will be key to JA securing its future as a leader within the UK industry.

Joseph Ash Galvanizing www.josephash.co.uk Services: One of the UK’s leading providers of steel finishing services


profile: Sammon Contracting

Successful

partnerships

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As the Irish economy finds its feet after the recent recession, Sammon Contracting is committed to establishing itself as a market leader through diversification and key partnerships

n celebrating its 30th year in operation in 2016, Sammon Contracting is able look back on a successful history marked by growth and diversification. Now able to count itself amongst some of the biggest building contractors in Ireland, the company started off as a joinery and interior fitouts firm garnering much of its early success off the back of numerous referrals. As the Irish economy emerges from one of its deepest ever recessions, much of the construction industry there is facing an up hill battle, as major contractors set their sights on renewed growth. As Miceál Sammon, Founder and CEO of Sammon explains, his company is making significant steps towards realising this. “Last year we trebled turnover and we forecast a further doubling of turnover this year so we’re now on a very steep growth curve,” he points out. Today Sammon offers a portfolio of capabilities encompassing design and build project management right through to its joinery roots, serving a range of market segments including education and commercial buildings. With

around 150 full-time employees ranging upwards from junior engineer and quantity surveyor level, Miceál describes the business as a management contractor. At any one time it may have a total of 1000 supply chain and subcontractor people working under the Sammon umbrella across its multiple sites. Committed to employing the highest skilled candidates in the market, Miceál puts much of the firm’s success down to its people. “One of the greatest attributes we have is the experience of our staff, particularly when it comes to their global experience,” he explains. “It is this combination of global experience and local knowledge that allows us to carry out the best work in the different locations in which we work. Our background comes from a trade tradition, which means that our company is very good at dealing with complexity across any of the disciplines. This is because we can approach it from a problem solving perspective. Also stemming from our history in the joinery business, we are very strict on quality and it was from this foundation that we built much of our early success through referral work.”

As mentioned, the current challenge facing the entire construction industry in Ireland is the economy’s emergence from a serious crash. Miceál notes that for a market to function on a sustainable basis that at least 12 per cent of GNP should be in a construction related sector, which equates to a value in excess of 20 billion euros in Ireland. However, projected figures for 2015 are showing 7.5 per cent of GNP. “If you do the maths this means that the entire construction delivery capability in Ireland would need to more than double, and it needs to do this from a much smaller base of construction companies still standing after the recession. So with a number of opportunities appearing on the horizon there is a sizeable market opening up on the doorstep of major building contractors in the UK,” he highlights. Left bruised by the recession, many Irish constructors were afflicted by weakened balance sheets but keen to stimulate growth and infrastructure development in the country, the government has launched a number of PPP (public-privatepartnership) schemes to support

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profile: Sammon Contracting

this situation. “We have teamed up with the UK construction giant Carillion plc to deliver these PPPs and have recently won our first project under the name Inspired Spaces,” explains Miceál. “This is the Schools Bundle 5, a 100 million euro package to deliver six new education facilities around the country. Set to start in the summer of 2016 we hope to deliver our first school by September 2017. “We have also got our sights set on a new 300 million euro social housing package and some police/justice projects. With an election coming up in the Spring, we expect that more and more of these PPP projects will come to market so the opportunities for growth over the coming months are very good. With this in mind I believe Carillion have made a very wise decision to partner with Sammon as, whilst they bring the strength of their size and balance sheet, we are a very reputable local delivery partner. Local knowledge and experience is key to the successful delivery of projects with the complexity associated with a PPP.” Alongside the growth opportunities these PPPs can bring to Sammon, the company has also invested significantly to create new growth streams for itself. In 2015 it invested 500,000 euros into a new automated CNC machining centre giving the business a new PVC and aluminium window division that is already showing results. “We have delivered about 3.5 million euros worth of windows last year and have between six million and seven million euros in the pipeline at the moment,” says Miceál. “We hope to roll this out into the UK as we move forward.” He also notes the significant investment the company puts into its staff, saying that having the right skills and systems in place is critical to being able to establish itself as a leading contractor in the market.

As Sammon Contracting looks forward it shares in Ireland’s challenging outlook as it continues to get back on its feet. Encouraging new talent back into the market, as well as skilled workers who emigrated to more fruitful economies, and helping banks support the construction industry will all be particular focal points for Ireland’s government and industry bodies over the coming years. “For Sammon we have a three-pronged strategy as we look at cementing our position in the top four to six contractors in Ireland within the next couple of years,” outlines Miceál. “First off, we will be focusing on delivering these PPP projects whilst continuing to bid for more. Secondly, we need to ensure we keep hold

of the substantial market share that we have with Department of Education projects – this currently stands at around 60 million euros a year. And finally, we want to develop our commercial offering, which we have established over the last couple of years with projects like the Aer Lingus HQ and the One Building in Dublin, as we know there are lots of opportunities in the Dublin area in particular. We will also be looking to partner with eligible contractors to help fill the residential gap in Ireland’s current marketplace.”

Sammon Contracting www.sammongroup.com Services: Irish multi-faceted construction contractor

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profile: Construction Materials Online

A new

venture Construction Materials Online, has in a relatively short period of time, shown the success that can be achieved by presenting their business online rather than taking the traditional route to market

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ounded in 2008, Construction Materials Online (CMO) was the concept of the four directors whose combined experience in the roofing sector stretches back over 30 years. Having established strong partnerships through traditional routes to market, both in their own ventures and prior to this working for major

national companies, the team established the first solely onlinebased merchant targeting the construction sector. Its first foray into e-commerce was Roofing Superstore™, the company’s leading brand. Since its launch Roofing Superstore™ has grown to provide an unrivalled offering of materials and is now the UK’s largest online roofing merchant. Still adapting to the unique mechanics of online trade, CMO has since launched Drainage Superstore™ in 2014 and Insulation Superstore™ in 2015. “The initial concept was to give trade and DIY customers the same sort of experience that they got if they went to a specialist traditional merchant, whilst reaching out to them through new channels,” begins Rob Kavanagh, MD of CMO. “We were the first to do this in the construction industry and we are quite unique in that most of our competitors still have a traditional base. We have a large customer service team and hold a minimal amount

of stock, very different from traditional setups.” With their experience in the traditional merchant industry, the management at CMO immediately saw the advantages of online commerce. “Because of our unique business model we are able to offer a far broader range of products to the customer than a traditional merchant,” Rob explains. “We don’t have access to any products that other merchants are unable to buy, but without the constraints of imposed stock levels (we only stock items that the manufacturers are unwilling to split, the rest being delivered direct) we are able to offer 100 per cent of any manufacturers product range rather than just five to ten per cent. This offers a far great choice to the consumer depending on their own preference and drivers rather than what is in the warehouse.” Rob also points out that the suppliers, who were previously looking to join the online market

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profile: Construction Materials Online

but couldn’t gain access directly without affecting relationships with its merchant suppliers, have generally welcomed this model. “It’s more stable for them, as traditional merchants show no brand loyalty. For them it all comes down to price. The customer led environment of the online platform offers a level playing field for manufacturers,” he highlights. “Some manufacturers have really grasped the opportunity that we present and with their partnership our business has grown phenomenally. Some have even adapted their own business to suit our model.” At the top of CMO’s priorities lies customer service and Rob

is keen to point out that this is key not only to a merchant in the construction industry, but also key for any internet business. “In an e-commerce environment, customers don’t always expect to be able to pick up the phone and get solid technical advice but here at CMO they can. Our customer service team all undergo training and can deal with any enquiry. Customers are always impressed by this,” he says. “Whilst pricing is important to customers, it is not the most important thing. It is often the hook to get people in, but it’s the service that keeps them coming back. Our unique business model allows us to keep our overheads low, thereby retaining a competitive edge whilst still providing a quality service.” Exemplifying this level of service, at the time of writing Roofing Superstore™ has a rating of 9.3/10 from of over 4000

reviews on the independent Trust Pilot platform. “We were very nervous about using this service at first as we were unsure about how it would be utilised, but it is used in a very positive way,” Rob comments. “Nobody is infallible and we do of course get negative comments on there from time to time. We always react to these with the appropriate response, making sure we resolve any issues arising. We want to show people that we care and we believe this will secure our success in the future, more than aggressive pricing strategies.” As Rob explains there are an abundance of opportunities online, to the point where CMO has to carefully prioritise which ones to pursue. New brands such as Drainage Superstore™ and Insulation Superstore™ are born out of new synergies with existing suppliers keen to broaden their online presence with the company.

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profile: Construction Materials Online

“The challenge is convincing new suppliers of the opportunities presented by e-commerce, and how we manage those opportunities in partnership,” explains Rob. “There is an element of trust that goes both ways; they have to trust that we deliver what we promise, and we have to trust that they will deliver the service that we require. As this trust grows, so too does our business and our relationships with those suppliers.”

opportunities facing us and lots of ideas to make the most of them.” Exciting times lie ahead for CMO and by being pioneers in the construction market as far as e-commerce is concerned; the company has proven its

viability through the success it has achieved. With a particular focus on improving the customer experience and accelerating growth; something that will be helped by the recent acquisition of digital media agency DV8 Media; the company has a positive outlook as it plans to expand its online presence over the coming years. CMO is also currently investing in a major expansion and re-modelling of its offices in order to accommodate its growing customer service team and maintain its high levels of customer satisfaction.

Construction Materials Online Ltd www.constructionmaterialsonline. co.uk Services: Online builder’s merchant

CMO is always looking at new opportunities in the construction sector. “Our vision looking ahead is to continue developing our existing brands as much as possible, as well as building the relationships and gaining the support to launch new brands,” concludes Rob. “We have lots of

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profile: Concrete Valley

A new

mould

Innovation and bespoke delivery define Concrete Valley to its core, and with its sights set on market expansion, its vision of becoming a centre of concrete excellence is on course to be realised

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ocated on the west coast of Holland at Bergen op Zoom and based in an 80,000 square metre

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concrete production plant, Concrete Valley is a collective of innovative and highly specialist companies serving niche concrete demands within the

construction and civil engineering industry. The story of Concrete Valley begins in 2009 with lightweight ferrocement element manufacturer microbeton’s first major project. “This was a very large contract for the Ministry of Defence in Holland, to produce seven kilometres of lightweight concrete awnings for their barracks at Kromhout Kazerne,” explains CEO at Concrete Valley, Pieter Nap. “After the growth that followed microbeton had to look for a new location in order to be able to meet the new market demand. In this search we found the perfect location and after moving in during 2012, we named it Concrete Valley.” The sheer scale of the site isn’t understated and with the property


came a whole host of production equipment and infrastructure, including cranes and rail access. Reminiscent of California’s Silicon Valley, the Concrete Valley site’s aim is to attract other companies and specialists to set up shop within the facility. What results is a symbiotic hub of innovative companies providing highly creative and bespoke solutions to a range of projects. “It is essentially an old factory that was originally designed for high capacity concrete production with huge storage areas,” continues Pieter. “However, we are more interested in making more bespoke solutions, so everything is made to individual specification and therefore we have a lot of unused facilities creating a space that lends itself to this kind of hub.” The site now houses two additional subsidiaries alongside

microbeton, Waco and mbX, both of which also occupy specialised niches within the concrete market. “What really forms the core strength of Concrete Valley is our ability to find these niches,” says Pieter. “We’re not interested in doing high volume, high turnover, grey concrete projects, and this makes us incredibly flexible. This site used to do around 30 million euros in turnover, and we are happy at present with five million euros per company but this could easily be doubled if necessary and this flexibility makes us competitive.” Perfectly demonstrating the unique offering Concrete Valley delivers to the market is its subsidiary, mbX. Focusing on the most extreme possibilities of state-of-the-art concrete technology, mbX is able to produce completely original

and complex façade and roofing panels from ultra high performance, fibre reinforced concrete materials. The production of this concrete requires far less raw material and energy consumption than traditional concrete products, yet due to its fibre construction is able to demonstrate far superior bending and tensile strength with increased resistance to challenging environmental conditions. “Our most significant contract for mbX has been the innovatively designed and award wining train station in Arnhem, which is destined to be a key European transport hub now it has been re-opened,” highlights Pieter. “This was designed by UN Studio and the order was for 1500 panels, none of which were the same. We designed an innovative flexible

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profile: Concrete Valley

modular mould that meant we could make a new mould every ten minutes and produce the panels in an efficient and costeffective way. I think the reason

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we won the project was because of how we looked carefully at the processes and simplified the way they could be manufactured. Traditional methods of producing

individual moulds for each panel would have been far too costly and time consuming.� Continued success for mbX has been realised by a new project at Farringdon Station in London to produce wall and ceiling panels for 6500 square metres of surfaces. The two other subsidiaries, microbeton and Waco, are also keenly focused on delivering to highly specialised projects in niche markets. microbeton specialises in lightweight, hollow concrete elements perfect for retrofit balconies and awnings, which are 70 per cent lighter than normal concrete and have a very high surface finish. These are in high demand in Holland’s present construction trend of refurbishing old office blocks into living spaces. The company uses


a patented installation system, which allows invisible mounting of the elements by sliding them onto steel profiles mounted on the façade during construction or onto consoles mounted against the out cavity wall skin. Its project to fit canopies to Kromhout Kazerne was completed whilst keeping the building’s structure watertight via this method and it has also been applied to various other projects including hospital developments. Other popular products developed by microbeton include raising systems, which are targeted to improve access for care homes, stairways, façade elements and tailor-made outdoor concept furniture. Recently microbeton has completed a stairway project for the

Dr. Günther Kast GmbH & Co. The family owned Kast group produces high-performance technical fabrics made from materials such as E-glass, AR-glass, carbon and basalt fibres or mixtures thereof. Its products are utilised in industries such as construction, composite, automotive and many others. Kast takes a leading position in the B2B development and production of open mesh AR-glass textiles for concrete reinforcement: e.g. in façade and acoustic panels, screed, fireboards, etc. Two masonry reinforcement systems against the influence of earth quakes (EQ-Grid and EQ-Top) – showing a significant increase of the masonry wall performance - have been developed lately and are marketed successfully in many countries worldwide. “Apart from our ability to produce large volume textiles, we see our specialty in offering cost-effective, tailor-made textile solutions - wherever needed with special finishes,” says Christoph Kast, Managing Partner in second generation. “Partnership, mutual developments and trustful, long lasting relations with our customers are the key to our success.” Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, a window frame and rooftop terrace project of VU Medisch Centrum in Amsterdam and the modernisation of three buildings in Veenendaal with balconies for the 240 apartments. Waco, on the other hand, is focused on producing heavyweight, precast fabricated elements in excess of 50 tonnes.

“We are currently seeing a lot of activity in the offshore petrochemical industry with Waco,” elaborates Pieter. “One particular project is in the wind power generation area where we created some turbine transition pieces for Siemens. Winning this contract was a big positive for us because this kind of solution is usually manufactured from steel.

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profile: Concrete Valley

However, because of various specification and access issues, the client wanted to investigate the tolerance and maintenance characteristics of a concrete option. As a result, we produced these three large elements here on site. They were too big to be transported via road, so we had them placed onto two pontoons at our waterside facility and taken out to be installed at sea.” Other key specialist products for Waco include bridges, tunnels, culverts, garages and innovative buildings. The future for Concrete Valley and its subsidiary companies can be split into two separate streams. “The first is to continue what we have been doing successfully, whilst making the most of potential opportunities in the UK and Belgium. We have a good looking pipeline full of nice projects at present, and establishing ourselves further in London with more exposure and references will be key to us finding growth in a market, which isn’t actually that far away

from us,” says Pieter. In order to achieve this continued growth trajectory within such niche markets, the company has in place a flexible strategy, whereby focused investments are made in line with project needs. With existing infrastructure already in place, such as rail access, cranes and other lifting equipment,

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this individual project-specific programme is proving effective in winning such specialist contracts. For instance, mbX invested heavily into the new moulding equipment and a new mixing plant for the unique concrete materials, in order to successfully complete the Arnhem Station contract. “We also want to attract more people to Concrete Valley,”

he continues. “The idea of the site is to grow by adding more innovative and flexible companies to the group. There are lots of office spaces in cities where creative companies gather to network and share ideas and we think it is important to offer the same platform to the technical industry, especially to innovative start-ups that can make use of the extensive facilities and infrastructure already here.”

Concrete Valley www.concretevalley.nl www.microbeton.nl www.waco.nl www.mbx.nl Services: A group of highly specialist concrete manufacturers


profile: Commercial Marine and Piling

Watertight

success

Recent work on the Canary Wharf’s New Phase (formerly Wood Wharf) re-development programme proves Commercial Marine and Piling’s leading approach to delivering high quality, innovative and cost effective solutions

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ommercial Marine and Piling Ltd (CMP) was founded in 1986 and has quickly established a reputation in the piling field for expansive expertise and the use of modern technology to achieve results,” begins QHSE Manager at the company, Adam Kiely. “Whilst piling remains a core part of the business, the acquisition of Branford Civil and Marine Ltd in 1999 has assisted the company’s controlled expansion and diversification into the field

of marine civil engineering and specialist marine piling.” Based on the South Coast of England and with a key base on the River Thames, CMP is able to deliver projects across the UK, with the capacity to act as Principal Contractor on projects up to £7 million and as a specialist sub contractor on anything larger. With this unique position established, CMP has successfully completed projects for a diverse range of clients from individuals to government authorities. All work carried out by the company

is underpinned by an unrivalled reputation for quality, safety and environmentally friendly results at competitive prices. Perhaps demonstrating CMP’s comprehensive experience and set of capabilities most aptly is its recently completed work for Canary Wharf Contractors on Canary Wharf’s New Phase, a nearly five million square feet mixed development project to the east of the existing estate in London. The project, which involves the reclamation of 9000 square metres of land from West

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profile: Commercial Marine and Piling

India Dock South, will eventually host more than 30 new buildings, including high rise towers, providing modern residential and commercial space at one of London’s key economic hubs. “We were awarded the designand-build contract for a new cofferdam as part of the scheme,” explains Adam. “The design was for a combi-wall to be constructed with 160 1200mm diameter, 20m long tubular piles in-filled with H1807 sheet piles. It was then divided into two cells to allow dewatering to commence early and for the client to occupy the space after only 28 weeks. The remaining cofferdam had another 12 weeks to complete.” Awarded in December 2014 with work starting in February 2015, CMP’s work began by clearing the pile line of obstructions with the use of a barge-mounted 60-tonne longreach excavator, and later a larger 100-tonne excavator and breaker. “The combi-wall itself was designed by Byrne Looby and

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Partners who were very proactive throughout the project,” continues Adam. “It was installed using in-house designed, purpose built piling gates suspended from temporary piles to position the 1900mm casings, which were vibrated into the clay to create a seal. A second gate was installed on top of the casings and used to accurately guide the 20m long piles as they were lowered into position. This methodology ensured the tubes were accurately positioned enabling the infill sheet piles to slot into place later in the programme.” CMP’s work on the development also illustrates the firm’s ability to transfer its years of experience into innovative and flexible solutions, particularly relating to how best to deal with the dock’s silt layer. “The silt varied between one and three metres and it was originally planned to relocate it to a different area in the West India dock,” outlines Adam. “We proposed to leave the weak silt in place and install a grid of wet

soil mixed columns in the silt from barge mounted rigs. During the pile line clearance it became evident there was more debris and obstruction in the silt than originally anticipated. “The final solution was to leave the silt in situ and install overlapping panels of geofabric on top. These panels were installed using poles mounted on long-reach excavators to hold the fabric on the bottom as the ballast was evenly spread over them. A one-metre thick capping layer of ballast was installed to contain the silt and then the ends of the fabric were folded back down. The bulk fill of the remaining ballast was installed using the Scelveringhe sea dredger that only just fitted into the lock. This ship discharged 7000-tonnes of ballast in four hours, which meant it was able to enter the dock on the flood tide, discharge its cargo and exit on the ebb tide. This eliminated over a thousand lorry movements to deliver ballast.” Eliminating this amount of road


transport from the project was only one example of CMP’s careful consideration of the environment and surrounding infrastructure. Working closely with a number of local and national authorities, the company was able to mitigate risks associated with working so close to the Jubilee Line tunnels, continuously monitor water quality, and safely relocate over 800 fish during the dewatering process. Its health and safety record was also exemplary, thanks to its proactive approach to H&S. Underpinned by the strap line, ‘Keep your family in your heart, keep your mind on safety’, the firm implements regularly updated and fully comprehensive RAMS documentation, daily site meetings, an incentivised positive intervention scheme and a familial

communication channel that runs throughout the company encouraging open feedback, progress reporting and briefings. Overall, successful completion of the cofferdam was a result of CMP’s innovative and highly collaborative attitude. “Canary Wharf Contractors were a great

client, supporting us and very much working with us to jointly deliver a successful cofferdam in seven months,” adds Adam. In line with CMP’s progress the project will stand the company in good stead as it looks to maintain its current position in the market. With this in mind, continual investment into its operational capabilities will enable it to explore new opportunities in new markets, particularly in wind farm maintenance, over the coming years.

Commercial Marine and Piling Ltd (CMP) www.cmp.uk.com Services: Design and build specialist in piling and marine construction

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profile: Terex

Driving

forward Terex looks forward to a strong year of growth with a number of new model launches, innovations and market leading solutions

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hen Construction & Civil Engineering last spoke with Terex a year ago Mark Royse, Product Manager, talked about the numerous changes and developments within the company’s product line that were helping it to secure its position as a leader in

the global construction market. Twelve months on and the same positivity is notable from the firm, which now employs 560 people at its Coventry site – an increase of 140 since this time last year. “We certainly saw strong growth throughout 2015 and we have brought more people on board to support this,” begins Mark. “In fact, we almost grew volumes on certain lines by around 45 per cent.” Mark attributes this prosperous year of growth to rising construction demand across the global marketplace, as well as a successful first year delivering a private labelling site dumper agreement for another leading equipment manufacturer. However, it is also fair to say that Terex’s approach to the international market, its ability to innovate and its wealth of in-house expertise

have also contributed heavily to such marked growth. Allison Tucker, Marketing Manager at Terex GB, points out: “Our manufacturing site here in Coventry supplies globally and the beauty of this means when some markets are declining, there are always other markets that are growing, so we can focus geographically in terms of where we see growth potential.” Despite Terex’s global operations being headquartered in the United States, the GB-based business has a high degree of autonomy that allows it to react to market trends and develop strong innovations quickly and effectively. Everything from engineering and production to product management and design is held in-house in the UK and Mark notes that within this further degrees of autonomy allow each division to make quick decisions

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profile: Terex

and be reactive in the market place. “We are essentially fully sufficient with all our resources held locally. Be it engineering facilities, production systems, purchasing, marketing or sales – they are all under one roof,” he says. “With these short communication channels comes improved flexibility and market responsiveness.” “High quality levels are also a key strength of ours that stems from this in-house expertise,” continues Allison. “With everything being engineered and manufactured here within the factory there is a real sense of pride, involvement and expert craftsmanship.” From this expertise arises Terex’s keen approach to innovation and continuous product development. “Innovation is hugely important to our business and our need to stay at the forefront of the market,” Mark expresses. “Our key opportunities come from looking at the market spaces that aren’t

currently occupied and seeing how we can fill them with new models and features.” Over the course of 2015, innovation greatly contributed towards company performance – completing the successful transition of its largest site dumper range from Tier 4 Interim to Tier 4 Final emissions standards, which were achieved with a solution that doesn’t rely on exhaust after-treatment. Demonstrating the continued commitment to innovation, early this year the company will be releasing a new power shift transmission solution for its nine and ten tonne dumper range. “This will also be released with two technology solutions,” Mark explains. “One is Autoshift, which is a software solution that will automatically change gear for you based on the torque demand from the engine. It is able to sense if the machine is laden or not and make decisions accordingly at the point it changes gear. This isn’t

something that has appeared on site dumpers before and is an in-house development. The other innovative solution is Start-Stop technology, which will save fuel, extend service life and enhance residual values by reducing machine hours. Again this is new for dumper applications, has been developed in-house and has been granted patent-pending status.” One of the major product releases anticipated this year is the new series of backhoe loaders, due to replace the current 820 range in the European market in the spring. “Last year we launched the centre-mount 840 R product, which was developed as a rental spec back hoe loader for the North American market, which did well in supporting volumes last year,” says Mark. “We are now working on an equivalent offering for Europe and the Rest of World, which will feature a side shift option.” In addition to these innovations, the company is also working on

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profile: Terex

new telematic solutions for its compact construction products and will be bringing to market a new nine-tonne swivel dumper later on in the year. The landing stage for such product arrivals will be Bauma, which will be held in Munich during April 2016. Allison comments on the importance of the show as an ultimate showcase of Terex’s wide-reaching range of products: “It gives us a really good opportunity to meet with dealers and engage with their customers all in one go on an international basis. Engaging with the endcustomer is something we want to do more and more of.” As the company continues to drive innovation into the world’s construction market and is being rewarded with successful growth accordingly, the future for Terex will be focused on capitalising

Kubota Engines Kubota’s range of oil and water-cooled diesel and dual fuel engines are renowned across the globe for their exceptional performance, low noise, cleaner emissions and excellent fuel economy. Used in a wide range of applications including plant equipment, power generation and industrial equipment, its products feature either Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) technology or Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) as an after-treatment device to reduce emissions.

on these opportunities as best as possible. “Our dealer network is a major part of the business model as well, so addressing market growth and increasing our strength and presence in certain markets through the appointment of the right partners is key,” continues Allison. “Therefore, we will be working with this network to provide the right products that are suitable and profitable for their individual businesses. This has been complemented by a restructured sales organisation whereby we now have regional business managers responsible for all business in that region, overseen by a head of sales operations.” With this in mind it is clear that the future for Terex is bright. Continual product development and their subsequent launches will be a key part of its journey as it

looks to further cement its leading position in the global market. As too will the company’s ability to expand and adjust its operations in order to best serve the rising demands and ever changing needs that present themselves in the international construction industry as well as supporting new and existing customers with an improved aftersales service. In the culmination of these core strengths and improving market conditions, 2016 looks set to achieve much of the same defining success that has driven the company forward throughout its history.

Terex www.terex.co.uk/construction Services: Leading manufacturer of civil engineering plant equipment 143


profile: Lignacite

Building a

sustainable

reputation With its name to even more prestigious projects up and down the country, Lignacite’s commitment to delivering sustainable solutions to the market continues to define the company in an ever-demanding industry

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onstruction & Civil Engineering last featured Suffolkbased Lignacite Ltd back in June 2015 when Chairman, Giles de Lotbiniere spoke about the wealth of success the company had achieved across its business in terms of sales growth, innovation, sustainable practices and expansion. More than six months on and it is clear to see that much of this development has continued and Lignacite’s position in the market has strengthened. “In 2014 we had a record year at the company,” Giles begins. “Last year continued to be busy and we were able to maintain our turnover and improve our margins. We particularly grew our share in the housing market over 2015 as this

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market became busier.” Established in 1947 the family owned company has always founded its reputation on finding innovative and sustainable solutions for construction block materials, and this focus on sustainability as a driving force in the business is never more true than today. In July 2015, Lignacite completed the

successful installation of 921 solar photovoltaic panels on the roof of its Brandon factory. Capable of generating 5.375 million kW hours of clean electricity over its lifetime with a peak output of 239.46kW, the new system will enable the plant to become completely self sufficient in power over the next 25 years. “This was a significant investment, but is currently on track to pay back within six years,” points out Giles. Over its 25-year lifecycle, the set up is expected to reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 1916 tonnes, the equivalent of driving 7,902,180 miles. “At Brandon we have also installed a brand new water treatment plant, which enables us to recycle all of our water that comes from our own bore


hole on site,” Giles continues, further illustrating the business’ committed approach to operating in an environmentally responsible manner. Elsewhere, at the company’s second site in Nazeing, Giles reports that the new block machine, kilns and aggregate batching plant are now fully operational and working as expected. “Not only has this increased our production capacity but has also enabled us to produce more sustainable blocks as they contain less OPC,” he adds. Critically however, this approach is not solely reserved to the way it operates but also in the products it develops and launches in the market place. The previous profile on Lignacite focused on the firm’s Carbon Buster block, an

innovation unprecedented in the global industry as the first carbon negative construction block. Making use of carbon absorbing pellets, the blocks capture more carbon dioxide than is emitted during their manufacture. In late 2015, the company supplied the blocks to a student accommodation project at the University of Cambridge securing a second project in the area and it continues a supply partnership with Hopkins Homes sites across East Anglia. An indication of the material’s benefit, the 25,000 Carbon Buster blocks supplied to Hopkins Homes in 2013 locked up more than 3500 tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of taking 2000 cars off the road for a year. Beyond the Carbon Buster, the rest of Lignacite’s range of blocks also represent significant sustainability schemes incorporating recyclable materials such as wood and glass. “We are constantly experimenting with a variety of recycled materials and have recently completed trials using hemp, plaster board and plastic,” explains Giles. “It is very likely that we will incorporate the use of

hemp with our Graded Wood Particle (GWP) Lignacite block in the future.” Testifying to the company’s dedication to sustainability, 2015 became a year defined by industry recognition, with Lignacite receiving two key commendations. “The first award was from the Suffolk Carbon Charter in which we achieved Gold level accreditation,” Giles outlines. “This charter is given to companies that are monitoring and reducing their carbon emissions, exemplifying best practice in terms of internal carbon management and championing the environmental agenda in their community. The panel particularly highlighted our track record of maintaining an externally verified policy and our plans for improvements. Over a two-year period of growth, for

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profile: Lignacite

instance, Lignacite has made gains of 40 per cent in carbon efficiency. “We were also selected as one of Archant’s 2015 Green 100, which celebrates the efforts being made by 100 Suffolk and Norfolk businesses who are actively leading the way in sustainable and environmental business practices. The selection criteria include efforts in the reduction of carbon footprint and the design and production of innovative green products.” In terms of contracts, Lignacite continues to put its name to some of the most prestigious construction projects in the UK currently supplying to the Paddington and Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station programmes and delivering £250,000 worth of unique flint and glass polished blocks to

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London’s Rathbone Market. It is also specified on the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station with initial orders for around 400,000 blocks and is in the early stages of quoting for various projects on the Thames Gateway scheme. “Over the next 12 months we

will be concentrating on driving down debt and achieving another record year,” says Giles as he assesses the company’s future. “We will also continue to source recycled and renewable raw materials. In the longer term we are seeking to acquire more land at Nazeing so that the site can be expanded and we are always on the lookout for further sources of raw materials where we could possibly buy other quarries close to our current operations. One particular area of focus at present is to continue searching for a suitable site to open up a third block plant in the future.”

Lignacite Ltd www.lignacite.co.uk Services: Produce sustainable facing masonry and commodity blocks


profile: Dancourt Group

Finding the competitive

edge With years of industry experience behind it Dancourt Group’s approach to the market is allowing it to diversify and grow beyond the reach of smaller competitors

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ancourt drew its first breath back in 2002 and has since grown steadily to become a leading name in the South Western construction market now turning over in excess of £17 million. Working across the South West, South Wales and the Midlands, the company currently employs 135 people to deliver earthworks, groundworks and RC (reinforced concrete) structures. It also operates a large plant fleet. At the heart of Dancourt are its people. “We have a very dedicated team and a capable workforce,” begins Construction Director, Jonathan Hunt. “Within this there is a very good team spirit. Everyone

works well to ensure that together we can deliver a strong service and we place great focus on training and development.” Leading the company is a very strong senior management team collectively contributing years of experience in the construction industry working for sub- and principal contractors, as well as clients, meaning that Dancourt has an inherent understanding of the industry’s many needs and requirements. “We are also very customer focused,” Jonathan continues. “We work closely with our clients to develop plans and targets and we

endeavour to follow-through on everything we promise. By listening to clients we are also able to develop and invest strategically to improve our services according to the feedback we receive from them. The same goes for the suggestions we get from our own people.” As a result of years of industry experience and a keen attention to client’s needs, Dancourt has developed a strong understanding of market trends and how to make the best of potential opportunities. “For us at present the market is positive but conservative, which in reality provides a more sustainable economy to operate in compared to a boom and bust scenario,” Jonathan outlines. “It remains very competitive and you have to work hard to find and develop the opportunities, but the work is out there. We are always looking to find new angles where we can do something differently and better than our competition. Of course, the challenge here is improving our service accordingly whilst

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profile: Dancourt Group

maintaining competitive prices for our clients.” Demonstrating this understanding is one thing – putting it into practice is another but Dancourt’s ability to realise new opportunities and come out on top of its competitors is clear to see. Last year it won the South West Subcontractor of the Year awards for both Skanska and Willmot Dixon, attesting to the firm’s competitiveness in the marketplace. Jonathan also notes that with an industry facing uncertain external pressures from the economy, individual markets can be unpredictable so it is important to spread risk across numerous sectors. “Developing our name and our ability across a range of markets is critical to our continued success,” he says. One area where Dancourt is currently building a sturdy name for itself is in the construction of stadiums as it is currently delivering a £3.7 million groundworks and RC structures package on Bristol City FC’s Ashton Gate Stadium redevelopment. With a remit to demolish and rebuild three

stands to form a new stadium, the project is currently 70 per cent complete with two of the new stands completed in time for the 2015/16 football season. “The major challenge here has been working with our client Mcloughlin Harvey to develop methods and programmes to deliver the project in a live stadium environment,” highlights Jonathan. When it is completed the new stadium will have an increased capacity of 27,000 and will be used by Championship team Bristol City as well as Bristol

Rugby club. “It is great to be involved in the project being a Bristol-based business especially as we employ a number of Bristol City fans,” adds Jonathan. Other projects recently completed by the company include its own new offices and Bridge Farm Primary School, where it built a new classroom block along with all substructures, drainage, external works and a new car park under live termtime conditions. In addition, it is currently in the process of building Llantarnam Primary

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profile: Dancourt Group

School on the site of an existing secondary school, which is due for demolition, alongside contractor Willmott Dixon. The company will provide new access roads, substructures, drainage, an attenuation tank plus all external works around the building. Supply chain partners, Hitatchi Construction Machinery and Tarmac Ltd have both played key roles in supporting Dancourt throughout these works. As growth follows a steady uphill climb for the business, Dancourt has recently undergone a significant investment programme to facilitate it. Part of this has been into its in-house plant fleet with the acquisition of three new tipper trucks at the beginning of 2015. Prompted by a need to have greater control over material delivery, the new vehicles allow Dancourt to work within its own supply chain supplementing suppliers’ transport to ensure it can provide the service it promises to its own clients. “We have found that some suppliers are not investing into their own transport like they used to and the franchise drivers are limited following the recession,” says Jonathan. Elsewhere the company has recently completed the construction of new offices to provide growth capacity as well as the environmental and

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business infrastructure required to take it forward in a sustainable manner. Within the new offices the company now has an in-house training suite and top of the agenda for the new facility will be to continue the strong work it carries out improving health and safety. “We are looking to further develop our own training business, ‘Destination Training Services’, which will form an important part of the operation from these new offices,” Jonathan explains. “We place great emphasis on health and safety, working closely with clients to review and continuously develop our performance. In 2015 we won awards for health and safety and retaining these, as well as securing more, will be a key target for us moving forward.” As far as the rest of the future

is concerned Dancourt has ambitious plans that sum up its passion and commitment to drive quality services into the local industry. On top of its health and safety commitments, the business will be looking to increase its market share of RC frame projects as well as developing its land surveying and earthworks modelling team. To supplement the projected growth it will also be initialising an apprenticeship scheme with local institutes to build its future workforce. “In the longer term we will be focused on consolidating our market position to ensure we can develop our ability to deliver our existing services to a very high level, as well as looking at what other services we can offer to new and existing clients,” concludes Jonathan. “It is about using the development of our services to grow the business because we are good – if a client wants to offer us more work because they are pleased with our service then great, this is how we want to grow. We grow because we get better.”

Dancourt Group www.dancourt.co.uk Services: South Western specialist in medium sized construction and civil engineering projects


profile: Hartela

heart Innovation at the

With decades of experience behind it, Hartela’s approach to innovative and high profile construction projects has seen it become a leading player in the Finnish construction industry

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ith a history extending back 73 years, familyowned Hartela has established itself a strong and reputable position in the Finnish construction landscape. Founded in Turku and with a group operating across the Southern, Western and Oulu regions of Finland, the company has grown into a 300 million euro company with a number of high profile projects under its belt. “Hartela provides construction and project development services,” explains MD of Hartela Oy, Hanna Kolehmainen. “We mainly build residential and business premises and also industrial structures. For example, at present we are

building apartment buildings, assisted living buildings, shopping centres, offices, schools, hospitals, factories, wastewater treatment plants and nuclear waste sites.” With a local focus, Hartela’s strength has flourished from the well-connected networks and relationships the company has established with regional authorities and clients. “We also have a really good brand, which with a long history behind it, is well respected,” adds Hanna. “This is then supported by the extensive technical knowledge and experience we have built up over time with a number of diverse and complex projects.” One particular recent project that demonstrates Hartela’s competence and high regard in

the Finnish construction industry is the Logomo Project in the city of Turku. “In 2011 Turku became the European Capital of Culture and to facilitate this and mark its occasion, the city wanted something that would remain permanent after the year was up, and to create a hub for creatives and artists,” highlights Hanna. “As a public-private-partnership project owned by both the city of Turku and ourselves, it really strengthens the Hartela brand. This PPP ownership structure is a unique one and can have its challenges but it has blossomed into a really positive relationship between us and the city.” Renovated from an old railroad workshop, the Logomo centre has been developed into a central conference and culture centre, coming into the public attention for a number of events during the city’s year as Capital of Culture, including hosting a national TV talent competition. The centrepiece for the building is its main hall and lobby, which perfectly demonstrates both the innovative construction managed by Hartela and the flexible and adaptive environment offered by the building as a whole. The main hall sits upon a rolling stand with air bearings, which can be moved

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profile: Hartela

to allow the space to create three sizes for different events. As a result the space can host small functional dinner events to 3500 strong concert audiences. In a process of ongoing development following 2011, the Logomo centre has steadily grown into an economic centre of creativity. As such in 2013, 5000 square metres of open office space were completed with space for up to 60 individual companies and over 300 employees. Dubbed Byrå, the centre forms a lively economic hub for the creative industry to encourage open discussion and synergies. In Spring 2015, Byrå was accompanied by an additional office space, Konttori, which currently hosts round 25 businesses and 200 professionals. Significantly, the construction of the business centre, which sits inside the old industrial building, is modular and flexible to encourage a process of continuous evolution. In addition to the Logomo Centre, Hartela has also demonstrated its project skills in the recently completed Kangasala Art Centre, which was in the shortlist of five for the Finland Prize for Architecture 2015. Also serving as a cultural centre, the building is a striking multipurpose space, clad in iron oxide treated concrete to give a rust like appearance. Other ongoing work by Hartela includes the Keilaranta Tower Espoo Keilaniemi, which

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when completed will be the highest office building in Finland. In its progress towards becoming a leading construction company in Finland, Hartela has recently trained its focus on its health and safety programme. “We have been actively working with this subject for about four years now,” says Hanna. “Health and safety is crucial to us winning and completing these high profile and iconic projects, and we are constantly striving to improve our record. We believe this happens through effective leadership, open communication and measuring results.” Despite a stagnant Finnish economy, Hanna is confident that opportunities exist for the

Positively, with a number of widely recognised, innovative and iconic projects constantly being added to Hartela’s portfolio the company sits on strong foundations to being able to secure this. As part of a wider group, the outlook of Hartela is very much focused on taking collaborative steps towards an even more successful future underlined by growth and innovation. “Historically, the daughter companies in Hartela have been very separate and independent,” notes Hanna. “Whilst we are focused on maintaining our local presence and making sure decision making is also kept local, at the same time we want to increase networking within the group. For the first time in 73 years we are putting together a strategy for the whole group. This involves dividing the next five years into two separate periods as in 2017 we will be celebrating 75 years of Hartela and 100 years of Finnish independence. Until that time we will be focusing on profitability and the ‘We are Hartela’ theme. Over the coming years we will consolidating our presence within markets and in the longer-term we want to be the partner of choice.”

Akukon Logomo Hall is an acoustical miracle. Its versatility in both shape and size with fully controllable acoustics makes it a truly multifunctional space that accommodates any kind of event without compromise. The Akukon Ltd consultants have created an acoustically dry hall, even though Logomo’s visual appearance with glass, steel and concrete surfaces strongly suggests otherwise. A Meyer Sound Constellation virtual acoustics system with hundreds of microphones and loudspeakers transforms the non-reverberant venue into a world class acoustical concert hall whenever needed. construction company and sees a particular path to further growth in the Tampere region of Finland, the second largest market area after Helsinki in Finland, where the company’s market share is currently relatively small.

Hartela www.hartela.fi Services: Family owned construction company specialising in both residential and industrial construction


Editor Libbie Hammond libbie@schofieldpublishing.co.uk Sales Team

+44 (0) 1603 274130 Schofield Publishing 10 Cringleford Business Centre Intwood Road Cringleford Norwich NR4 6AU

www.ccemagazine.com

Construction & Civil Engineering Issue 124 February 2016  

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