Construction & Civil Engineering Issue 198 April 2022

Page 1 198 APRIL

Shielded from asbestos

A total focus on health and safety unites Shield’s projects in demolition, construction, engineering and refurbishment See page 38

Record-breaking bridge: SKF bearings play a significant role on the world’s longest suspension bridge F Canal-side residences: First CGI images of Lockside Wharf reveal the vision for Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter F 198 APRIL

Shielded from asbestos

Chairman Andrew Schofield


Managing Director Joe Woolsgrove Editor Libbie Hammond A total focus on health and safety unites Shield’s projects in demolition, construction, engineering and refurbishment See page 38

Assistant Editor Will Daynes

Record-breaking bridge: SKF bearings play a significant role on the world’s longest suspension bridge F Canal-side residences: First CGI images of Lockside Wharf reveal the vision for Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter F

Staff Writers - Daniel Baksi, Danielle Champ, Jessica Olley Managing Art Editor Fleur Daniels Art Editor David Howard Art Editor Paul Gillings Sales Director Alasdair Gamble Business Development Director Philip Monument Research Managers Natalie Griffiths, Jo-Ann Jeffery, Ben Richell Editorial Researchers Adam Blanch, Mark Cowles, Jeff Goldenberg, James Page, Wendy Russell, Richard Saunders, Kieran Shukri Advertising Sales Johanna Bailey, Jessica Eglington, Alex Hartley, Sam Surrell Digital Sales Mike Psimis Subscriptions Administration Rory Gallacher, Ibby Mundhir Accounts Rachael Leftley

Construction & Civil Engineering Magazine @CCE_magazine

© 2022 Schofield Publishing Ltd Schofield Publishing Cringleford Business Centre, 10 Intwood Road, Cringleford, Norwich, NR4 6AU, U.K. Tel: +44 (0)1603 274130


ello and welcome to the April issue of Construction & Civil Engineering. I don’t often talk about the news items that we feature monthly in the mag here on my Editor’s Page, but I do love putting that content together. It’s a challenge each issue to choose which of

the many, many announcements I am sent, but it’s heartening to get insights into new projects, see the new equipment and materials that are on the horizon and read about staff changes, company appointments and mergers/acquisitions. I always endeavour to include a mix of subjects, projects and industry topics and do love to use a really eye-catching picture. Please do make sure that I am on the list to receive your releases – you might find your own company on the news pages in May! Moving onto the features and I have seen sustainability and green issues continue to increase in importance ever since CCE was launched, and now, more than ever, the sector is focusing its attention on reducing waste and decreasing energy usage. We’ve got a case study on the latter issue on page 4, illustrating how Litecast Ltd has embraced solar power in its bid to become the UK’s first carbon neutral construction supply company. Alongside that topic, we also touch on fire safety, discuss some astonishing skyscraper projects around the world, and take a look at some intricate brick features for a landmark project in London. Hopefully something for everyone but as ever – if there’s a topic you want to talk about, then do get in touch. Until the next issue.

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, and correct at time of writing, but no legal responsibility for loss occasioned by the use of such information

Libbie Hammond Editor

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.




Spearheading the construction industry’s move to a more sustainable future, Litecast Ltd., has installed a 350kW


SolarEdge PV rooftop system at its new £13 million production facility



A new development at Canada Water called for intricate brick features and balconies with brick soffits – ISG Masonry Support

Pinewood Structures

was ideally placed to help deliver the architect’s vision



A new impetus for changes in fire safety requirements has been driven by the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017, with digital


solutions being called for to help introduce change



With the Burj Khalifa currently holding firm as the tallest skyscraper to have ever been built, are there any contenders currently under construction that are destined to take its crown?


Updates and information from the construction and civil engineering market


Roger Bullivant Ltd




Some building materials can be reused and recycled – by adopting greener practices builders and engineers can help advance a more environmentally-friendly future

20 TECHNOLOGY Four key factors can be accredited for the increase in digital


transformation investment in the construction sector over the coming year

24 DEMOLITION Jets of water travelling at supersonic speeds are playing a key


role in a highway improvement project along one of the busiest roads in the West Midlands

28 CASE STUDY Ahead of its 100th anniversary, legendary London store Liberty was in need of restoration – thanks to its experience DBR was ideally placed to carry out essential conservation work


SafeLane Global




Shield Services Group



JBA Consulting


Pioneer Group


Henderson & Taylor


Renson Ventilation

88 Trojan Construction Management

WFC Contractors 3


Powering forward In its bid to become UK’s first carbon neutral construction supply company, Litecast has chosen a SolarEdge rooftop PV system

S 4

pearheading the construction industry’s move to a more sustainable future, Litecast Ltd.,

has installed a 350kW SolarEdge PV rooftop system at its new £13 million production facility in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Comprising more than 1000 solar

panels installed with SolarEdge Power Optimizers with modulelevel monitoring capability, the installation is forecast to produce more than 284MW of electricity

and offset the production of almost 80 tonnes of carbon each year. As such, it will play a major role in helping Litecast to achieve its goal to become the UK’s first

carbon neutral construction supply company by the end of 2022. Litecast is a precast concrete company that specialises in the

manufacture of concrete floor beams that are used extensively in housebuilding. To meet rocketing demand for its products due to the recent spike in housebuilding



in the UK, it has embarked on a major expansion project, starting with the opening of the 60acre site in Nuneaton. Despite the company’s ambitious plans for growth, it is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its business. Nick Spicer, Managing Director of Your Eco UK, the renewable energy specialist chosen to undertake the install, says: “Litecast is leading the transformation of the construction


industry through its pioneering use of energy-efficient technology and processes. When it came to installing a solar solution, it was looking for a system that would generate the maximum amount of energy, while also delivering more value over its lifetime through reduced maintenance costs, longer warranties and advanced safety features.” The full scope of the solar install at the Litecast site includes 1,019 solar panels, 511

SolarEdge Power Optimizers, nine SolarEdge inverters and a SolarEdge weather station. SolarEdge Power Optimizers increase energy output from PV systems by constantly tracking the maximum power point (MPPT) of each module individually. This eliminates the energy mismatch that typically occurs in traditional string inverter systems, potentially increasing energy output between two and ten per cent over the system’s lifetime. Furthermore,

with these times, ensuring it is able to use as much of the solar energy as possible.” SolarEdge’s advanced safety features, including SafeDC, which automatically reduces output voltage to a touch-safe 1V during maintenance, and arc fault detection, were other important factors for LiteCast in its decision to choose a SolarEdge DCoptimised solution. Meanwhile, further peace of mind is provided by the long warranties offered on both the inverters and Power Optimizers – 12 years and 25 years, respectively. Spicer concludes: “The construction industry has a reputation for being slow to embrace energyefficient technologies, but Litecast is completely turning this notion on its head. Very soon, the company will install a battery at the Nuneaton site to provide essential energy storage, bringing it another step close to its 100 per cent carbon neutral goal. In the meantime, it will continue to utilise the features of SolarEdge’s DC-optimised solution to ensure that it is not only able to generate the most energy possible, but also that it can use that energy in the most efficient way.”

• 350kW solar installation forecast to generate approximately 284MW of electricity and offset almost 80 tonnes of carbon each year • Module-level monitoring will enable Litecast to synchronize key processes with times of peak energy production, optimizing solar energy use

Litecast is embracing the value of solar technology to spearhead its mission to become the UK’s first carbon neutral construction supply company

the Power Optimizers monitor the performance of each module in real time and communicate performance data to the SolarEdge monitoring platform, meaning that Litecast will enjoy enhanced, cost-effective modulelevel maintenance. “The ability to monitor the performance of the install in real time was particularly important to Litecast as it is keen to use the energy produced onsite as efficiently as possible,” explains

Spicer. “While in linear terms the PV system will supply enough electricity to meet the site’s entire annual energy requirements, with no battery currently in place to provide energy storage any unused energy would have to be sent to the grid. Litecast plans to overcome this by integrating information from the monitoring system and weather station to identify times of peak energy generation. It will then move production schedules to coincide

SolarEdge is a global leader in smart energy technology. By leveraging world-class engineering capabilities and with a relentless focus on innovation, SolarEdge creates smart energy solutions that power our lives and drive future progress. SolarEdge developed an intelligent inverter solution that changed the way power is harvested and managed in photovoltaic (PV) systems. The SolarEdge DCoptimized inverter seeks to maximize power generation while lowering the cost of energy produced by the PV system. Continuing to advance smart energy, SolarEdge addresses a broad range of energy market segments through its PV, storage, EV charging, batteries, UPS, electric vehicle powertrains, and grid services solutions.

For more information please see:



Masterful masonry When it came to providing a range of bespoke brick slip products to achieve intricate brick features throughout the façade on the buildings in the first phase of the Water Yards masterplan at Canada Water, IG Masonry Support was well-poised to deliver the goods


orters Edge, Canada Water is a mixed use, multiphased dockside regeneration project in the London borough of Southwark, situated between London Bridge and Canary Wharf. The first phase of this ambitious masterplan included 234 apartments rising up 18 storeys, located in four residential cores surrounding a landscaped courtyard and a 100,000 sq. ft. Decathlon store with a basement car park. The intricate brick features and balconies with brick soffits required IG’s full catalogue of prefabricated components. IG collaborated with delivery architect Stockwool and main contractor Ardmore to design and manufacture bespoke brick slip systems that would achieve the architect’s vision.


The challenge Attractive brick details were a desirable aesthetic for this phase of the Water Yards masterplan. Each residential core of the development was unique. In total six different types of bricks were used throughout the development with a mix of three bricks specified by Stockwool for each elevation. Carefully considered brick combinations were produced to create beautiful brick soffits that are visible throughout the elevations, located above windows, openings and recesses as well as underneath the balconies. When it came to brickwork elements, the size and complexity of the brick soffits on the 70 balconies on the west and northwest elevations presented the contractor with the greatest challenge. IG’s technical team was tasked with designing bespoke brick slip balcony soffits to achieve

this aesthetic feature. Additionally, Brick Slip Lintels and B.O.S.S. units were required to provide seamless brick soffits above the windows, openings and recess panels.

The solution Porters Edge was a standout programme for IG Masonry Support and required a great deal of innovation and adaptability. IG’s technical team designed and manufactured a bespoke solution to achieve the brick soffits on the balconies. This solution was the first that used an extended B.O.S.S system based on steel. IG also provided hangers, which were flexible enough for movement between the main structure of the balcony and its system. The brick slip soffit balcony system had to be signed off by both the NHBC and the contractor. To obtain approval IG had to provide many calculations on thermal

expansion, to prove that the brick soffit panel would work with the cladding that surrounds the balcony. The challenge here was to illustrate that there would not be any cracking or loosening of the bricks as a result of the thermal and mechanical movement of the balcony. IG also had to undertake Finite Element Analysis (FEA), to demonstrate that the system was able to accommodate movement within the balcony during manufacturing, erection and usage. IG’s prefabricated brick slip balcony soffit solution enabled Ardmore to achieve the desired brick detail quickly and effectively. For health and safety reasons the soffits were designed to be installed to the balcony on the ground. Once assembled, the whole balcony was lifted into position and connected to the building.

The complex brick detail achieved above the windows, openings and recesses throughout the development highlights the design versatility of IG’s offsite soffit solutions. Capable of accommodating any brick type or bond pattern, IG’s technical team created both Brick Slip Lintels and B.O.S.S. units for achieving the stretcher bond detail on a combination of 102.5 and 327.5 soffits. As with all of its projects IGMS went above and beyond, adapting its systems to the different sizes and mixture of bricks. Not only does this indicate the strength of its offsite solutions, it highlights the diligence and excellence of the IG team. As a further example of exceptional service, IG Masonry Support supplied drawings and method statements to help the brickwork contractor and engineers onsite.

A landmark project in London’s emerging borough of Southwark, the presence of IG Masonry Support’s solutions will ensure the development’s sophisticated brickwork will look good for many years to come. Founded in 2013, IG Masonry Support is part of the renowned Keystone Group. The company has established a reputation for the reliable supply of quality specialist products and is renowned for its extensive experience in structural products and a culture of innovation. IG Masonry Support designs and manufactures the most practical and advanced range of ‘patented’ stainless steel masonry support products and revolutionary brick slip soffit systems for the construction industry. The business provides architects, engineers and specifiers with an expert partnership for key structural components. With knowledge of customers’ ever changing needs IG continually invests in specialist plant and equipment.

For more information please see:



Push and pull Recent developments in the construction industry fire safety environment. By John Noone


n recent years there have been two clear factors

influencing fire safety in the construction industry: legislative and regulatory changes; and growing industry appetite for digitalisation.


In her address at the Construction Leaders’ Summit in 2020, Dame Judith Hackitt spoke of the need for both a technical and cultural change in the construction sector’s approach to fire safety. Updated regulation

and the widespread embrace of digitisation are certainly two influences well-placed to deliver these much-needed changes. These driving forces are heavily intertwined. More prescriptive regulation provides a sense of

persist around the removal of hazardous building cladding, and many homeowners are still struggling to secure mortgages, or re-mortgages, for their properties. Soon after Grenfell we saw the recommendations made by the Hackitt Report of 2018 – most notably, the drive to digitise fire safety procedures and make building operators more accountable, in line with a safer and fairer society. It is against this backdrop that all fire safety discussions now take place, with each and every stakeholder acutely aware of what can happen if safety is not prioritised. Fire safety covers every inch of the built environment. It is only right that we would want to be

market certainty – this certainty then helps to creates an environment more receptive to new processes (i.e., digitalisation). The impetus for new legislation comes largely from the immense outrage and sadness surrounding

the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. From this came a powerful and undeniable mandate from the public to reform fire safety in the built environment. Of course, Grenfell remains a tragedy without resolution; questions

as effective as possible in our treatment of it. This is why we must think seriously about futureproofing the industry. Dame Hackitt emphasises in the Hackitt Report that change is required in order to ‘support the delivery of buildings that are safe, both now and in the future.’ With so much at stake, we must favour long-term solutions over quick fixes. One way to achieve this is, undoubtedly, bringing a legal imperative to the discussion. The renewed legal incentive to improve fire safety standards will be instrumental, particularly with the Building Safety Bill (BSB) expected to be brought to fruition later this year. With it will come the requirement for accountable persons and building safety managers to implement digital systems for processes such as record keeping and information monitoring and sharing for high rise residential buildings (HRRBs). The Bill has been hailed by many as the most important development in building fire safety in 40 years, and for good reason. The benefits of digitalisation are apparent, both in a commercial and a public-safety sense. The enabling of real-time monitoring will certainly empower those in



charge of fire safety to make informed decisions and take vital action. Additionally, as the size of estates grow, paper-based systems become more inefficient – digitalisation provides an effective means of managing


large estates. The digitisation of fire safety processes also eliminates the often-critical issue of data loss during information handovers and helps to eradicate the persistent ‘fragmentation’ often referred to in the Hackitt

report. Comprehensive, rigorously maintained and accessible digital records can combat these inconsistencies in the fire safety record, as demonstrated by the upcoming requirement for a Fire and Emergency File and digital record. But perhaps most convincing of all for some in the industry will be the legal implications of inaction or failure to comply with new requirements (i.e., the prospect of severe fines), which will provide a commercial incentive to upgrade and uphold improved fire safety standards. When the moral imperative for change is complemented by a clear commercial advantage, we can begin to look forward to mass adoption and a real industry shift. A key recommendation from Dame Hackitt’s report was, of course, the introduction of a Golden Thread of information; this thread is, in itself, a digital record of everything associated with the lifecycle of particularly high-risk buildings – all of its related processes, materials, decisions, and usage. Respecting – and embracing – the direction of these changes will certainly help to futureproof the businesses of those operating in the construction sector. These changes also provide the UK with the opportunity to be worldleading in its approach to fire safety, setting the tone for other nations to take pre-emptive action (and avoid their own tragedies). For all of these reasons, we need digital systems in construction industry fire safety to proliferate. Continued digital innovation in fire safety is not accidental – there are clear motivations behind it, not least the convenience and precision it offers. The embrace of digital systems in the construction industry is occurring, albeit patchily.

There has been a clear appetite for digitalisation across many related industries, including the insurance sector, which has long pushed for reform that extends even beyond the BSB. As with legislative changes, digitalisation, too, offers financial advantages. Indeed, the Hackitt Report, points to research from the USA which suggests that the maintaining of a digital record can bring net savings in the region of five percent in the costs of the construction of new-build projects. Paper-based systems are simply no longer the most effective option. We now have a variety of storage solutions currently in use, ranging from the more pedestrian, like SharePoint, to the more-specialised, such as certain BIM software. Likewise, many initiatives exist to assist the construction industry in navigating the changing regulatory landscape such as: D-Com and the Centre for Digital Built Britain.

But the take-up of these admirable systems has been inconsistent so far. Certainly, many businesses will be thinking carefully about their adoption of these services, which will largely be informed by when, and how strongly, the Building Safety Bill is enforced. We must also be careful not to overlook that, as with paperbased systems, the information that is available to users will only be as useful, informative and as good quality as the information that is fed into the system. For this reason, the efficacy of fire safety processes as a whole must be considered in order to maximise to the protection of property and the public, which is reflected in the BSB. Ultimately, and fortunately, fire safety is advancing rapidly due to the push and pull factors identified in this paper. Wholesale success, however, requires buy-in from all of the parties involved throughout the building lifecycle. We are

certainly on the right track: incoming legislative changes should have a great contribution to raising industry appetite for digitalisation, and in establishing improved and futureproofed industry standards. Now, in the post-Grenfell era, it is a critical time for the introduction of meaningful legislation and for the serious digital overhauling of practices. At the heart of both should be the protection of the built environment and, crucially, human life. John Noone is Co-Founder & CEO at Joule Group, a leading independent firm of UK-based fire safety designers, engineers, consultants and technology solutions specialists. Joule’s proprietary real time fire safety compliance and monitoring software, TFS-Compliance is the leading digital platform for the active management of all types of buildings in the use phase of their life cycle.

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The future of skyscrapers: Four engineering marvels to look out for


he world is full of engineering marvels that test the limits of architectural innovation. For example, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest skyscraper to have ever been built. The structure, which stands 829.8 metres tall, continues to represent contemporary advancements in engineering. So, how will we attempt to overcome this milestone and build the next tallest tower? This article will look into the future of skyscrapers. Whether you’re a construction manager seeking inspiration or an architectural enthusiast, the buildings currently being forged are eye-wateringly ginormous. But


are they enough to cast a shadow on the Burj Khalifa?

Jeddah Tower (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) First on our list of future skyscrapers is set to be the beacon of Saudi Arabia. Jeddah Tower is on its way to becoming the tallest building in the world. The structure is predicted to be a staggering 1,000 metres high, over 170 metres taller than the Burj Khalifa. The building will have 167 floors full of exciting amenities, from luxury apartments to restaurants. Although the Jeddah Tower has been on the radar for a long time, we can’t expect to see the finished product for the

foreseeable future. Construction began in 2013 but has come to a halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this doesn’t stop experts and novices alike from looking forward to a future with this masterpiece in it.

Merdeka PNB 118 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) As well as Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia is building a skyscraper that will change the perceptions of architectural boundaries for generations to come. Merdeka PNB 118 may seem like an obscure name for a building, but upon seeing the futuristic designs for this skyscraper, you might begin to think it is a good match.

Merdeka PNB 118 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Jeddah Tower (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

Merdeka PNB 118 is exactly 678.9 metres high. The tip of the building, which reaches into the clouds, is over 100 metres taller than the Empire State Building in North America. The building will be utilised in a number of ways, providing Malaysia with hotels, offices, residential homes, and much more. The skyscraper, which also halted construction during the pandemic, is set to be fully built in 2022.

highest of its kind in Nanjing. A viewing tower will sit atop the huge structure and give people a bird’s-eye view of its surroundings. This will attract visitors from across the world once construction finishes in 2025. There will be many other buildings surrounding it, including a 100-metre office tower, an 86-metre residential tower, and much more. A project this big will require the latest in construction equipment and technology, from the best aerial work platforms to the latest structural engineering software. Do you think this building has the potential to shape the future of construction?

Suzhou Zhongnan Center (Suzhou, China)

HeXi Yuzui Tower A (Nanjing, China)

China is teeming with impressive construction projects. In addition to HeXi Yuzui Tower, the Suzhou Zhongnan Center is attracting attention from around the world. The building is predicted to finish construction in 2026 and will be 500 metres tall. This contradicts

Next on our list of up-andcoming marvels is HeXi Yuzui Tower in China. The skyscraper is forecast to be a monumental 500 metres tall and one of the

original plans to build a tower that was 729 metres tall, no doubt due to restrictions on high-rise construction throughout China.

Suzhou Zhongnan Center (Suzhou, China)

These are four examples of skyscrapers being built as we speak. There are many more in the pipeline, but these are the tallest on our radar. Whether the structures are to be used as public buildings, residential housing, or luxury hotels, people around the globe will travel to see these engineering marvels for themselves. Which will you go to see first? For a list of sources used in this feature, please contact the editor. Founded in 1985 by Roger Bowden, Niftylift has grown to be one of the world’s leading manufacturers of mobile elevated work platforms, with over 550 employees in the UK and USA, alongside a vast dealer network across over 60 countries worldwide to support the 75 percent of sales as exports.

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Record-breaking bridge In total, more than 340 plain bearings from SKF are playing a key role in a record-breaking engineering project – the world’s longest suspension bridge, which recently opened in Turkey. The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge spans a distance of more than 4 km across the Dardanelles strait in the north-west of the country. It forms part of a larger road construction project worth more than €3 billion. “We’re excited to be part of this extraordinary endeavour,” says Andreas Borek of SKF. “We co-operated with DLSY JV, to analyse the requirements of bearings needed to overcome important obstacles in the project.” These include the need for the bearings to be corrosion-resistant due to the bridge’s coastal location. After carrying out salt-spray tests in its laboratory in Schweinfurt, SKF supplied bearings that were protected with a special surface coating technology. The plain bearings that were produced in Schweinfurt, Germany are located at the top and bottom of the bridge’s vertical suspender cables. They help to transfer extensive loads from the bridge’s two main cables and its deck. At the same time, they accommodate radial, axial and diagonal micro-movements that occur between the bridge and its supporting cables.

£7.5m restoration begins A multi-million pound restoration scheme is now underway to repair the iconic 1930s Saltdean Lido building in East Sussex and bring it back into use. New major grants from The National Lottery Heritage Fund (£4.2m) and Historic England (£215,000) - supported by years of additional fundraising by the local community and £2.5m from Brighton & Hove City Council - have enabled this £7.5m project to go ahead. Saltdean Lido CIC reopened the main pool in 2017 and now the dilapidated Grade II* building will be restored and refurbished so that the lido complex functions as whole again and it can be removed from the Heritage at Risk Register. The restored site will include a poolside café, library, Art Deco ballroom, exercise studio, shared workspace facilities, community rooms and heritage and learning space. Preparatory works on-site have been completed and the main restoration is now underway, led by contractors Buxton, with an expected opening in late summer 2023.


Address the crisis Prior to the European Housing Ministers’ meeting in Nice on 8 March, Build Europe, the trade association representing European developers and homebuilders, alerted governments about the urgency of reviving affordable construction in view of an upcoming worsening of the housing crisis. New housing prices are increasing dramatically in the European Union and rose by almost ten percent in 2021, a sign of considerable tension between an increasingly scarce supply and an increasingly strong demand. “Low- and middle-class households are progressively excluded from home ownership and renting, as affordable housing becomes... unaffordable,” remarked Marc Pigeon, President of Build Europe. “Without a strong and prompt political decision, the current situation will only get worse, considering recent developments,” he continued. In order to avoid a brutal and widespread housing crisis, European property developers and homebuilders proposed the ministers of the Member States act on four essential policy leverages in order to revitalise the production and renovation of housing: Programming and planning, Fiscal policy, Regulations and Listening and partnership. The latter point requires on one hand, listening to citizens who see their purchasing power steadily deteriorating and who aspire to be housed with dignity. On the other hand, the partnership with responsible and committed public and private professionals to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. According to Build Europe, The French presidency of the European Union must become a key moment to relaunch new constructions and renovation at affordable prices throughout Europe.

Key development site Property investment and development company CEG has managed the acquisition of 33 Cadogan Street in the heart of the central business district of Glasgow. With full planning permission in place for a 275,000 sq ft development, the site has already been cleared and readied for construction, and CEG has appointed a design team to enhance the sustainability credentials of the new development. Glasgow based, Cooper Cromar, has been retained as architect for the scheme having successfully delivered CEG’s award-winning Number One Kirkstall Forge in Leeds. CBRE advised CEG on the acquisition of 33 Cadogan Street,

Knight Frank and JLL represented M&G on the sale, and JLL and CBRE have been appointed as joint agents to market the new development on behalf of CEG. Commenting on the deal, Tom Gaynor, Head of Investment at CEG, said: “We are confident in the strength of Glasgow’s office market. The city is under supplied in terms of Grade A workspace and there is a very restricted pipeline of consented and funded schemes… “Designed as a UK best-in class building, The Grid responds to occupiers Net Zero Carbon and sustainability requirements as well as providing enhanced amenities and a workspace environment that occupiers are seeking for their employees. The scheme is fully funded and we

are committed to a pathway to commence construction on site as soon as possible.”

Contract signing

Canal-side residences The first CGIs of the residential development Lockside Wharf in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter have been released. The canal-side development, based on Scotland Street, was formerly offices and is a historic Victorian building. Work has already begun to convert the site into 61 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, split across the restored old building and a brand-new building on the adjacent empty site. There will also be roof extensions, creating four penthouse-style apartments at the top of the development. The Joseph Mews Property Group, which officially launched at the start of the year, and was set up by former SevenCapital sales director Andy Foote, is proud to be helping Consortia Developments bring this product to market. Andy said: “Throughout the development it will keep its ‘reclaimed aesthetic’ with exposed brickwork and steel sitting alongside Karndean flooring and state-of-the-art appliances. It’s expected that Lockside Wharf will be a unique proposition for buy-to-let investors interested in Birmingham.”

Olympia Odos, a subsidiary 29.9 percent-owned by VINCI Concessions and concession holder for the motorway connecting Athens to Corinth and Patras that went into service in 2017, has signed a contract with the Greek authorities to extend the concession. A new a 75km section of the motorway will reach the city of Pyrgos in the west of the Peloponnese peninsula. VINCI Concessions and its partners will be responsible for the design, financing and construction of this new section, which it will then operate until 2044. The concession company will be remunerated in the form of the tolls charged. This new section, operated to the highest motorway standards, will reduce travel time between Patras and Pyrgos by around 40 minutes while improving road safety. It will support economic and tourist development of the Peloponnese by improving connections with ports and facilitating access to the historical site of Ancient Olympia. The project is part of the TransEuropean Transport Network.



Waste not, want not Tony Munro highlights the building materials you can reuse and recycle



he construction sector is responsible for 11 percent of carbon emissions around the world. To address this, the UK government has introduced a ten-point plan to reduce carbon emissions within the industry. This includes releasing whole-life carbon assessments to the general public and updating design standards.

There are many more things the construction industry can do to reduce its carbon footprint, including reusing and recycling building materials. As well as being environmentally conscious, research shows that this can reduce costs and improve a company’s credibility. So, think outside of the box and focus on sustainable waste management.

away every year, and only nine percent is recycled adequately. To battle this, the construction industry can recycle and reuse its plastic waste. This includes plasterboard (or drywall), which is found in walls and floors. As walls are an integral part of any building, the construction industry produces a surplus of plasterboard. One of the best ways to dispose of this is single stream recycling. This allows businesses to recycle large volumes of waste with ease and can be applied to some of the materials below.

Metal Metal is a durable and strong building material. If you want to build with the environment in mind, steel is a great metal to work with. In fact, research shows that the steel we use is made of 40 percent recycled scrap metal. This means you’re reducing carbon emissions before construction has begun. It is also simple to recycle or reuse steel. In construction, metal bars are placed within walls to provide strength and stability. These are called rebars. Whether you’re building from scratch or renovating a space, you may have a surplus of this material. However, as the Steel Recycling Institute claims around 65 percent of these bars are recycled, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Brick This article will explore some of the building materials you can reuse and recycle. Whether you’re managing a sustainable project or building your own home, these materials will leave you with a clear conscience and the world with a cleaner atmosphere.

Plasterboard The war on plastics is a continuous effort. Over 380 million tonnes of plastic is thrown

In the UK, brick is the most common material used to build houses. If you walk down any street in the nation, you’ll see bricks upon bricks forming the environment around you. So, it’s important that we’re able to make this building material as sustainable as possible. Luckily, reclaimed bricks can be used in construction. One of the best times to use recycled bricks is during a renovation, from reviving a

century-old public building to replacing a wall in a barn conversion. They may be slightly less apt for insulation, but they’ll add a sense of vintage style to any renovation project. So you can save the environment one reclaimed brick at a time.

Wooden pallets Construction is no small task. Building a simple structure requires a large number of different materials. These are often stacked and stored on wooden pallets. In the UK, these pallets account for ten per cent of waste in the construction industry. To reduce this waste, companies can attempt to reuse these or recycle them for scrap wood. Overall, the construction industry has a long way to go before it is carbon neutral. There are governmental plans in motion to reduce the environmental impact of the sector, but it always helps to start small and focus on the little things. So, using materials that can be recycled and reused is a great way to be environmentally conscious. By following these simple steps, builders and engineers shine hope on a greener future. How will you help build a carbon-conscious society? For a list of the sources used in this article, please contact the editor. Tony Munro is Marketing Director at Reconomy. Reconomy is the environmental sector’s leading outsourced waste and resource service provider. With 25 years’ experience, Reconomy has a nationwide network of over 1000 supply chain partners that are focused on minimising waste and promoting a circular economy. Reconomy is unique is in its ability to provide consultancyled sustainability and circular economy solutions.

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Future focus

The four key building blocks for a technology-driven construction & engineering sector


onstruction and Engineering (C&E) is one of the largest industries in the

world, and yet, it has been one of the slowest to embrace digital change. The entire ecosystem represents 13 percent of global GDP, but


the industry has seen meagre productivity growth of one percent annually for the past two decades - and this is where disruptive technologies can make a difference. In the years ahead, construction contractors and engineering firms are starting to heavily invest in digital

transformation to create new value across the entire supply chain - Kenny Ingram explains the four forces driving this shift. According to an IDC study, digital transformation investment will increase to $6.8 trillion by 2023 as companies build on existing strategies and

Building Information Management (BIM), Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and innovative new mobile software solutions to replace legacy backoffice systems and inject new value across the entire supply chain. According to McKinsey, C&E business are increasing productivity and value delivery, so they can outcompete their rivals, regardless of how quickly the market returns to or exceeds previous activity levels. This digitalisation of operational processes across engineering and construction companies is set to drive greater connectivity, and four key factors can be accredited for the increase in digital transformation investment over the coming year.

1. Innovation in crisis - market changes require greater business adaptability

investments to become digitalat-scale future enterprises - and the C&E sector is no exception. Despite the global pandemic, the traditional brick-and-mortar industry is ready to enter the digital age - and a recent IFS study conducted found that, despite regional differences,

digital transformation spending among construction and engineering companies was surprisingly more robust than among companies from other industries. Construction and engineering companies are now investing in disruptive technologies including

The C&E industry is particularly vulnerable to economic cycles and the global economic changes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has made digital investments more urgent, as companies try to find new ways to create and deliver value more efficiently. Since the start of the pandemic, the industry’s traditional onsite workflows, which rely on paper trails and outdated communication methods, have not been able to mitigate the impact of lockdown and social distancing measures on construction activity. For instance, the RICS’ Global Construction Activity Index shows that 25 percent of projects have been put on hold, of which only 20 percent of projects on hold are expected to restart immediately with an average 131-day delay anticipated - costing projects, time and money. To combat the continuation of economic uncertainty, many companies are starting to realise that digital technologies provide the solution.



As C&E companies, particularly in North America, explore new ways to unlock operational efficiencies with reduced manpower, recent developments in 5G are having a significant impact on the industry. For instance, the network slicing capability of 5G enables data collection, capture and analysis to increase the visibility over the health, location, status and specifications of assets and projects. This can improve onsite monitoring to better inform decision-making across all stages of a project and minimise issues and changes during construction. 5G has the potential to create fully connected construction sites that can navigate the challenges of the current climate - and C&E companies are starting to respond with investment in cutting edge technologies.

2. Enhancing productivity with transformational technology A separate McKinsey report found that firms which introduced


digital systems for procurement, supply-chain management, better on-site operations and increased automation had improved productivity by 50 percent over firms that relied on analogue solutions. Some of these transformational technologies include AR/VR, AI, IoT and machine learning, which according to the IFS study, will increase in importance in the next two years. Construction projects are often impacted by time and cost overruns, but with this tech, companies can modernise each operational stage, from planning to execution. AR/VR, for instance, may already be helping companies deal with the challenges of project delivery during the pandemic by providing a dynamic format for BIM. In the field, the related technology of remote assistance is growing in popularity in field service settings like those a mechanical contractor may face in discharging maintenance agreements, or an EPCI contractor may encounter as they support projects in the

field. Research indicates that this trend will continue as AR/ VR is expected to become a key component in most construction projects within ten years.

3. The digital workplace can make or break the employee experience Given recent technological advancements and changes in consumer behaviour, C&E companies are recognising that digital technologies will help retain in-house expertise and play a crucial role in creating a more connected and engaged workplace. In fact, IDC predicts that 60 percent of enterprises will invest heavily in digitalising the employee experience over the next 12 months. Across the supply chain, C&E companies traditionally operate in deeply entrenched business siloes, and survey data has shown that a large proportion of reworks are caused by miscommunication between teams. For instance, site workers will often not notify the supplier of any defective products,

which means that on-site workers will need to either fix the products or wait for replacements - this can increase labour costs and create further projects delays. This is where investment in digital technologies can create opportunities for greater collaboration and keep more projects on track and within budget. Cloud-connected mobile apps, for example, can be used to send feedback between teams and tag defects against specific elements in the BIM model before storing the information in a centralised data system. This input can significantly help companies reduce defects and the likelihood of unplanned rework - helping to improve operational efficiencies and the employee experience.

4. Industry sophistication is not a given, but country-dependent Unlike other industries, most construction and engineering work is performed in-country and heavily influenced by cultural factors. This has led to stark regional differences in the degree of technological and business sophistication across the industry. In the UK for instance, government policy to improve construction productivity has led to heavy investment in building information management (BIM), while across the Atlantic there is no equivalent progress being made. According to a McKinsey report, economic value lost by the United States construction industry is the largest in the world at $58 billion versus $46 billion for all of Europe - and experts believe a lack of systems to effectively tackle the problems of the business is responsible for this variation. Similarly, the adoption of modular or off-site construction across the industry is having a significant impact on how C&E companies invest in digital transformation. In this type of

Construction projects are often impacted by time and cost overruns, but with this tech, companies can modernise each operational stage, from planning to execution

construction, companies rely on enterprise systems to reduce the cost and risk of projects, while increasing productivity, quality and safety. However, some countries have made further progress than others, particularly in the offsite building of new single-family homes. According to Boston Consulting Group research, only two percent of new homes in the United States were built offsite in comparison to 11 percent in the United Kingdom, and 20 percent in Germany and Japan respectively.

companies can no longer ignore the radical changes that are taking place within the industry. Digital technologies have become the new building blocks for optimising operational efficiencies and securing competitive advantage and this development is coming a lot more quickly due in part to the immediate demand and supply shocks of the pandemic. For a list of the sources used in this article, please contact the editor.

The digital roadmap for C&E is set and its incumbents must respond to thrive The C&E industry, most notably in North America, is well-known for its conservative stance on tech investment, but companies are starting to realise that this reality has the potential to compromise their future survival. Construction projects are increasing in both complexity and scale, and therefore require this sector to adopt new ways of thinking and working with digital technologies. Construction and engineering companies that don’t take risks when it comes to their digital transformation and carry on as they are will cease to exist in five years. It is no longer a matter of if or when construction will be affected - change is already here and digital transformation investment is an essential component. To take advantage of the increase in demand for construction services, C&E

Kenny Ingram

Kenny Ingram is VP of Engineering, Construction & Infrastructure at IFS. IFS develops and delivers cloud enterprise software for companies around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, build and maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations. IFS’ industry specific products are innately connected to a single data model and use embedded digital innovation so that customers can be their best.

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Under pressure Supersonic water jets are boosting a highway improvement project



he destructive power of water is playing a key role in a highway improvement project along one of the busiest roads in the West Midland region. Jets of water travelling at supersonic speeds are blasting concrete from around bearings in two flyovers on the A4440 Southern Link Road near Worcester. The jets are so powerful that they can tear lumps of concrete bigger than a fist from around the bearings, exposing the steel rebar for the first time since the carriageway was built. However, in the hands of the experienced operatives from hydrodemolition specialist Aquaforce Concrete Services,

WJA Aquaforce Worcester Hydrodem – Representation of how the water jetting operative works. The system is not running. If it was, there would be hundreds of chunks of concrete flying around.

they can also be directed with impressive precision to remove just the right amount material. Aquaforce is working on the project for its parent company, civil and structural engineering specialist Freyssinet, which is carrying out concrete repairs on the existing roadway on behalf of main contractor Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd. Worcestershire County Council is overseeing the £62m scheme to upgrade a 3.5-mile section of the link road connecting the M5 with south and west Worcester, Great Malvern, Ledbury, Upton and Herefordshire. The project, now nearing completion, has involved the phased dualling of the carriageway and the repair and upgrading of the in situ roadway, including two raised sections over the River Severn and its flood plain. Aquaforce, a member of the Water Jetting Association, has been working with Freyssinet to release 56 bearings on four abutments and ten piers along the two flyover sections, so they can be released and replaced. Freyssinet engineers jack up the carriageway to unload the bearing. Aquaforce operatives remove the concrete. The bearing



WJA Aquaforce A4440 20 – Jacking to release bearings.

can be removed. Concrete is reinstated, and a new bearing installed. Their success demonstrates the advantages of hydrodemolition in supporting highway maintenance tasks, said Aquaforce General Manager Gavin Thomas, a member of the WJA’s technical committee. He added: “Our operatives are exposed to almost none of the hand arm vibration (HAV) risks of mechanical tools, and water jetting causes no vibration damage to the structures we work on. “Particles released are held within water, so dust pollution and highway visibility hazards are reduced. Also, structures like rebar are not damaged and surfaces need little or no further preparation before being reworked.”


The hydrodemolition is being carried out within encapsulated scaffolding to contain the thousands of shards of concrete ripped from structures by the water jet. Aquaforce is using trailermounted high pressure water pumps supplied by Calder, also a WJA member, manufactured just down the road from the A4440 worksite, on Worcester’s northern outskirts. Its operatives’ handheld jetting guns are set at an average pressure of 1100 bar (17,000 psi) and a water flowrate of 48 litres per minute. The 10m3 of water needed by each team every shift is collected by an Aquaforce tanker from a nearby standpipe and delivered to site. Wastewater is filtered to remove a significant percentage of suspended solids

and pH balanced on site to ensure it can be disposed of safely and correctly. Each abutment and pier has four bearings. On average, one bearing can be undermined ready to be released every shift, a task that involves removing approximately one metre cube of concrete. It is a level of productivity that no other methodology is likely to match, which is why hydrodemolition has become the standard method to release bridge bearings in the UK. A key consideration throughout has been safety. Supported by the WJA’s blue code of practice for high and ultra-high pressure water jetting, hydrodemolition has an excellent safety record. However, the enormous power of water jets, which can reach

WJA Aquaforce Worcester – Site set up showing water jetting pump, siltbuster water filtration system and encapsulated water jetting area. Also the two carriageways – one on the left is the old one with bearings being removed. The one on the right is a new carriageway.

WJA Aquaforce Ouse bridge – A previous project. This shows what is happening during water jetting.

operational pressures greater than 2,700 bar (40,000 psi), means there is no room for complacency. Aquaforce’s operatives wear the latest water jetting suits made from the same material used in bulletproof vests and suits worn by bomb disposal technicians. Steel lined boots, and helmets with visors that have to be regularly replaced because of the battering they take from concrete shards, complete the specialist PPE. Training is also central to maintaining safety and quality standards. The WJA is the main

provider of water jetting training in the UK. Its class-based safety awareness course and practice modules, accredited by City & Guilds, are designed to give operatives the fundamental knowledge and skills they need to begin their water jetting careers. To maintain WJA registration, safety awareness must be refreshed every three years. Now operatives and their employers can benefit from a new WJA course, the world’s first competency qualification for water jetting. Accredited by ABBE, the

Level 2 Water Jetting Technician Certificate, adds a substantial period of work-based assessment (at least a year) carried out by a WJA-approved assessor, to establish that operatives have a higher level of understanding embedded in operational behaviour. WJA Training and Safety Committee Chairman Darren Hamilton said: “Our Level 2 certificate is designed to support all those involved in the water jetting process, the operatives, their employers and clients. “Operatives can be more confident they are following best practice. Employers are supported in building and retaining skilled and motivated teams. And clients will have greater assurance on safety and quality.” In its latest initiative, the WJA is seeking to support high pressure washing standards with the introduction, in 2022, of a new code of practice for pressure washing. Named the ‘Purple Code’ thanks to its purple cover, it will set out best practice for low pressure water jetting procedures and support learning in the WJA’s pressure washing training course. Darren Hamilton said: “We’re expecting construction contractors, who use pressure washing widely, to welcome our code of practice, which will help underpin safety and operational performance.”

Aquaforce Concrete Services Ltd is a UK hydrodemolition and spray concrete specialist providing high and ultra-high pressure water jetting and sprayed concrete services across the construction, oil, gas, and nuclear industry sectors. Founded in 2011, its services include hand lance and robotic hydrodemolition, surface preparation and scabbling, and concrete coring.

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Restoring history DBR has proved integral to the restoration of one of London’s most famous department stores


ocated off bustling Regent’s Street in the heart of London’s West End, renowned department store Liberty stands as a location with a rich history of selling high-quality homeware and fashion with timeless, universal appeal. One of the capital’s architectural treasures, the Liberty Building was originally constructed in 1927, by founder Arthur Lasenby Liberty, and is one of the country’s finest examples of the Arts and Crafts style. Referencing Morris, De Morgan and Voysey, its NeoTudor exteriors and interiors are filled with intricate and interesting details, making it a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike. Almost a century old, this extraordinary, Grade II listed building, which also includes 24,000 cubic feet of oak and teak salvaged from wooden battleships HMS Hindustan and HMS Impregnable, was in need of a full restoration ahead of its 100th anniversary. Working with highly respected conservation practice Heritage Architecture Ltd, DBR (London) Ltd, was appointed as the principal contractor across this unique project. It was an undertaking that would put many of DBR’s different traditional skills and services to use.

Calling in the experts A pilot project carried out in 2019 by Heritage Architecture to better identify the requirements of the restoration, from the building’s exterior timber cladding to the

massive number of stained glass windows across all façades, identified the sheer scale of the task ahead. The practice quickly identified they would need to bring in a specialist conservation contractor which understood the challenges of working on projects of this size. DBR, one of the UK’s leading contractors, had over three decades of heritage conservation experience. Having completed many prestigious commissions on landmarks including the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, The Royal Albert Hall and The Royal Pavilion, Brighton, it was ideally suited to carry out the wide range of essential conservation work specified. Commissioned in April 2019, DBR carried out trial investigation works to the façade of Liberty to inform the external refurbishment scheme of the requirements to upgrade the building’s envelope. This included the careful erection of specially designed access scaffolding, with painted hoarding panels and wraps to protect the building from external elements during the work. The thorough and meticulous early investigations also included window refurbishment trials to the lead lights and metal casements, alongside paint removal trials to the render panels, Tudor-style oak beams, the masonry and lower ground supporting structure. Comprehensive analysis further led to DBR being commissioned at the end of 2019 to being brought on to carry out the subsequent multi-million pound façade and roof refurbishments,

which included the overhauling of over 1500 leaded light windows as well as the contractor design of the building’s roof lanterns.

The full complement Structural work commenced on-site in January 2020, with a completion date set for December 2021. DBR is well known for its in-house historic fabric conservation trades and was able to dedicate a team of stone cleaners, stone masons, bricklayers, plasterers, joiners, lead workers, conservators, and gilding and fine decorators to deliver an unrivalled, highlyaccomplished conservation project. The team was further supported by specialist subcontractors, including scaffolding, stained glass conservators, conservation metalworkers, glaziers and M&E engineers.



Work gets underway The initial paint-stripping of the façade’s rendered panels, teak timber panels and intricate carvings gave DBR’s team the first glimpse of the incredible adventure which awaited, particularly the awe-inspiring salvaged timber panels so integral to the Liberty story. Furthermore, the iconic Liberty Clock and hidden stone gargoyles kept things interesting for the team during the renovation, alongside the repair and gilding of the symbolic Mayflower weathervane. The stonework repairs carried out by DBR’s skilled stonemasons demonstrated their care, precision and attention to detail. They were even working with replacement Portland Stone from the same seam used for the original 1920s construction. Fittingly, their work evoked the mastery of Lasenby Liberty and his contracting team Higgs & Hill. DBR’s joiners also had their work cut out with the façade’s exposed teak timbers. Teak is not a viable, sustainable repair material so they had to use English Oak, with a hand hewn face to splice-repair rotten sections of hardwood, a task requiring a huge amount of delicacy and deftness.

New light through old windows One of the standout operations on the project was the complete conservation and refurbishment of the 1500 leaded lights and metalframed windows across all four of the stone’s facades. The complex work required the removal of the windows and frames, with temporary lightboxes installed to ensure shoppers were afforded illumination. The leaded lights were then separated from the steel frames and casements, with conservation work carried out by Holy Well Glass (leaded lights) and Arts Heritage (Steel).


with short-term and long-term measures implemented to ensure people’s wellbeing and minimum workflow disruption. The DBR procurement team responded quickly by ensuring enough stock of PPE and disinfecting materials were immediately available across all operations. The site management team constantly monitored the cleanliness of the site, ensuring social distancing guidelines were maintained to provide maximum protection to the project workforce. These measures, quickly introduced, ensured seamless and smooth delivery of services, meeting deadlines ahead of the scheduled early 2022 completion date. Commenting on the project, DBR Executive Director, Adrian Attwood, says: “Liberty has been a unique project to be involved in and provided an exceptional opportunity to showcase the breadth of skill and levels of craftsmanship which abound across our company. Not only did the team rise to the myriad complex and fascinating challenges this site possessed, I also want to applaud their resilience and ability to adapt to a set of unusual and unforeseen circumstances.”

Other fine examples of DBR’s high levels of craftsmanship include the conservation repair of the Mayflower weathervane, the internal decorative plaster panels to one of the atriums and the repair and renewal of the roof gullies, lead flashings, decorative downpipes and hoppers. DBR’s team also completely overhauled and redesigned the large glazed roofs over the 3nr

atriums within the Liberty store improving internal light levels and at the same time reducing solar gain.

External factors The pandemic posed a problem for the whole construction sector, with new restrictions and protocols to follow, to ensure maximum worker safety. The Liberty project was no exception,

DBR is a specialist conservation company that deals with the cleaning and repair of historic fabric and the regeneration of historic buildings. High-quality workmanship, expertise, and a dedicated and sensitive approach to the care of buildings are the foundation of its thriving business. Well known for its exemplary in-house craft trades, DBR is one of the leading conservation specialists in London and the South East of England, working on some of the UK’s most notable landmarks, including Grade listed buildings, scheduled monuments and World Heritage Sites, as well as parochial churches, country estates and modest memorials.

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For wood measure Pinewood Structures offers a wide selection of structural timber solutions to housebuilders and contractors, with some of its most popular including pre-insulated timber frames, closed panel solutions and its One-Roof panelised roof system


stablished in 1981, Pinewood Structures’ five-acre site can be found between Cambridge


and Bedford. Since then, the business has become one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of engineered timber frame structural solutions for the construction of

housing, apartments, retirement living, hotels, and student accommodation. Although the company deals largely with the house-building industry, it has

undertaken a spectrum of projects over its 40-year history that range from supermarkets to medical facilities and schools. “We have had the same management team since

2008, and we feel that we are a respected name in the industry – trusted to deliver good service to our customers,” says Peter Keogh, Sales and Marketing Director at

Pinewood Structures. “Since we started, we have worked hard to build many of the relationships that support our network. Some of our clients have even been with us for



over 15 years, and we are very much a relationship driven company. “We work closely with our customers across every stage of the project. We will speak with them at the early feasibility stage to analyse whether a site is a good fit for timber frame solutions, and then support them right through the design process to help develop the best details that suit the scheme. Once the project goes to site, our supply and erect package would typically include all external walls, internal partitions, floor cassettes and roof. We also offer closed panel solutions, which we would supply and fit,” Peter says. In the instance when some customers build out projects using both timber frame and masonry construction, Pinewood Structures offers them a product for each of these solutions – with its One-Roof project suitable for both masonry and timber frame developments. This is just one of the ways in


which the company separates itself from the competition. Another key trait, which Peter points out, is how the business turns to customer feedback and market research in order to fuel innovation for a better service. “We recently conducted some market research and confirmed that our USP is that we are trusted to deliver. We offer excellent service and reliable delivery, and we provide quality products time and again. Our customers depend on a supplier who can do what they say they are going to do in terms of service, and that’s what it is all about really: a service enveloped in trust to deliver,” Peter shares with us. In light of recent changes to Part L of the Building Regulations requiring higher levels of insulation, and given the increasing emphasis on low carbon builds, Peter highlights how customers have begun re-evaluating their methods

of construction. Pinewood Structures has engaged at the highest levels with customers to try to assist and advise them on the recent changes. “We found that at Group level, housebuilders and contractors are looking to form partnerships with companies that they can depend upon. This approach means that they trust the service levels on an increasingly important element of the build, and ensures the best product for their client. That suits us perfectly – as a business, we’re about cementing long-term relationships with our partners by providing reliable service time and again.” Peter estimates that the company delivers in excess of 1000 units a year, and shares an example of a project with us that demonstrates the company’s strengths. “There is a site we have been working on since 2018, which is a 600-plot site for one of our clients in Surrey. Some of the units are affordable, some of

them are for private sale, and in the past couple of years, through the struggles of Covid-19, the focus has changed back and forth because there was a fear that the demand for private housing was going to completely dry up at the start of the pandemic. “So, we had to be flexible, and we worked with the customer to change build routes, while continuing to work with aggressive build programmes. We were building up to eight units a week, and it ramped up very quickly. The units were pre-insulated timber frames, supplied and erected by us. We are also working with the same client to look at a life cycle analysis on a standard timber frame, compared to a masonry build. They are very proactive and have strong zero carbon aspirations. “The site is still ongoing, and when I think about how we navigated the many challenges that were asked of us, I am proud of our performance. It has been a real success story for both us and the client, and it’s one we are delighted to have been involved with,” Peter says. Looking ahead, the future is an exciting time for Peter, as the company celebrates its 40th year. “We are evolving all the time, and looking for the next thing. We have BIM and 3D design capabilities, which is increasingly becoming an item that customers are looking for. In terms of the product line, there is definitely an evolution happening with regards to closed panels so it will be interesting to see how great that demand becomes. “What I do know is that we will move wherever our customers need us, and continue to push our products to evolve alongside their needs.

that we are always forwardthinking, while also continuing to fulfil our vision of being trusted to deliver. We look to reward people who have been with the company for a while, and who know how we work, because culture is very important to us,” Peter highlights. It is clear from what he has shared with us that one of the key drivers to Pinewood Structure’s success is its people, and the company will do whatever it takes to ensure its team is well taken care of to give their best to customers. “To know that we have a team that buys into the way that we look to operate is very special, because we need to know that in every department across the business, people can be trusted to deliver, and that they are going to make

decisions that are consistent with what we are doing. “We are also excited about the further growth of our One-Roof solution, which is a relatively recent offering from us that I believe is going to do very well. We are already on one framework with a national house builder, and we are utilising the strong relationships we have from the timber frame side of our business to evolve it further. I firmly believe that our business on both the timber frame side and the One-Roof side is just going to go from strength-tostrength over the next few years and beyond,” Peter concludes.

Pinewood Structures Services: Structural timber solutions

We have quite an exciting time ahead for the business as a whole as well. We have recently added to the senior management team to ensure



Shielded from asbestos

With over four decades of history, the family-run Shield Services Group has gone from being an asbestos specialist to becoming a complete onestop-shop, with an all-important emphasis on health and safety


ristol-based Shield Services Group (Shield) began life in 1979 as Shield Insulation,


under the leadership of Phillip House. Specialising in insulation work, the increase in legislation around asbestos removal saw the company expand its services

to fulfil a growing need, quickly establishing itself as a leader in the industry, under the name Shield Environmental Services. When it launched its Shield Marine division

company welcomed its new Managing Director: Luke House, son of Phillip. Since entering the business aged just 16 as an insulation apprentice, Luke has held both branch and regional managerial positions at the company. Assuming the reins, he has sought to capitalise on the strength of the Shield brand by further diversifying its services, beginning with the launch of its asbestos-licensed scaffolding division. A natural move for a company that had long relied on external contractors, it’s been followed by yet more ventures: into demolition, facilities management, mechanical & electrical, and fire & security services, cementing its status as a

not long after, the company embarked on a 35-year journey of organic growth that saw the opening of offices across the country, from Cornwall, Plymouth,

Exeter, Southampton, London, and Cardiff, to Birmingham, Warrington, and Newcastle. Fast forward to 2014, and a new era began at Shield, as the

truly one-stop-shop. Despite the incredible diversity of its service range, each of Shield’s divisions is shaped by the company’s unique approach to business. “Coming from the asbestos industry, and the strict regulations that surround the Group 1 carcinogen, we look at everything through the lens of health and safety,” Luke explains. “It takes just as long to do a job right, as it does to do it wrong. It’s about forming the right habits and creating that care. We’ve even incorporated that into our unofficial tagline: ‘health and safety beyond compliance’. “We don’t care about being the biggest, but we want to be the best,” Luke insists. “Currently, 14 people work directly for our health, safety & compliance team. We also run a safety-first initiative which incorporates a meeting on the first Monday of every month, across every branch of each division, in order to constantly drill home our message that safety should always be your primary consideration. I’m a strong believer that if you get your quality and health and safety right, then you will win more work. It’s as simple as that.” As Luke suggests, Shield’s



ability to realise this commitment relies upon the strength and dedication of its employee base. “We employ on the basis of personality first and foremost,” Luke confirms. “If the person is the


right fit, we can invest and train to develop the skillsets we need. You could go to our branches anywhere in the country, and you’d find honest, hardworking, and genuinely nice people – and

although we have around 450 employees in total, we’re never corporate in our approach. Everyone in the business has a name, and direct access to senior management. We put our trust

2 of the asbestos removal and remediation works at Prince Charlies Hospital, located in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales. A logistically complex project, the works will be carried out over the next 24 months, with Phase 3 overlapping around month 20. All set to be conducted while the hospital remains fully operational, it’s testament to the specialised nature of Shield’s expertise. “Run by our Welsh branch in partnership with Tilbury Douglas, it’s a very well-organised site,” Luke comments. “We’re employing up to 50 local people on that project, which ensures that the money generated goes towards supporting the local economy.”

awarded the insulation and deck covering packages on Babcock International’s Type 31 frigates, for the UK Ministry of Defence, while in Glasgow, the company has been selected to carry out the fitout of the TS Queen Mary. Shield even received a special mention as part of Her Royal Highness Princess Anne’s address, in what was a proud moment for the family-operated business. “On average, we probably do around 400 projects per month across the UK,” Luke indicates. “Around three to four years ago, we applied for a license to open an asbestos division in Northern Ireland. Covid-19 delayed that plan, but as soon as restrictions were eased, we got back to work,

Shield’s work at Prince Charles Hospital isn’t its only success. The company was recently

and we now have our offices under construction in Belfast. With only Scotland missing,

and respect in them to represent our brand, and we believe that it’s appreciated.” Following its success on Phase 1, Shield has recently been contracted to undertake Phase



it’s our objective to become completely nationwide. Looking at some of the projects we have lined up, we’re confident that we’ll be able to achieve that soon.” Alongside the success of Shield, since 2014, Luke and his business partners have been steadily growing a sister company,


Sword Dynamic Services Ltd (Sword). Intended as a specialist recruitment service for the construction industry, it’s a project that has very much grown out of Luke’s decades of experience within construction, and some of the challenges facing Shield when it comes to recruitment.

“Our industry typically sees huge spikes in demand at certain times of year, such as when schools are closed for the holidays,” Luke tells us. “With that, comes a requirement for extra staff – but if you’re only hiring people for a short period, you’ll never attract the best in the

industry. Equally, as an asbestos company, it’s difficult for us to rely on a traditional labour agency. We have one asbestos licence in the UK, and if we were to lose that, up to 300 people will be immediately out of work. Therefore, we need to have confidence that when we’re sending a team out to a site,

we know the individuals, we’re confident in their training, and we can handle and respond to any personal circumstances.” To that end, Sword was founded. “We now have a group of more than 30 professionals who we employ part time throughout the year, in

accordance with their preference,” Luke says. “They’re vetted, they’re familiar with Sword and Shield and the expectations we have of our employees. If they’re out of work for a while, we have a designated refresher programme to get them back up to speed, and we’ll audit them once per week while they’re on site. For Shield, it means our standards remain consistent throughout the year regardless of demand.” Turning to the future, Shield expects to continue building its name within the industry. “Due to the imminent recession, we’re anticipating a tough couple of years,” Luke concludes. “But what you can expect from Shield is a resilient business, committed to its core values and continually striving for excellence. Within five years, we hope to have grown organically across all our service offerings, with truly nationwide asbestos coverage.”

Shield Services Group Services: Construction, demolition and refurbishment contractor 43


Building solid foundations

As one of the UK’s leading foundation engineers, Roger Bullivant Ltd continues to be known for its dedication to safe, sustainable practice




S 46

pecialist foundation engineering company, Roger Bullivant Ltd (RBL), sees ongoing success, as it continues to produce durable, expertly designed foundations to a wide range of customers across the UK. With a team of

commitment to continue to deliver modern methods of construction. Working effectively within its niche, RBL provides an unparalleled depth of knowledge to clients in the construction industry; as Cliff Wren, Managing Director at RBL, details: “Roger

kinds of ground conditions. Our foundation designs are individually engineered to satisfy project and customer needs, with a focus on value engineering.” The company operates across the UK, using a comprehensive network of offices and a centralised, in-

highly trained professionals, and a series of major accreditations under its belt, the company now looks to make further investments in organic growth and has a

Bullivant Limited is a Foundation Engineering Company specialising in the design and construction of foundations for all types of buildings and structures, in all

house manufacturing facility. “We operate from our head office in Swadlincote in South Derbyshire, and we have eight regional offices, including an office in

The company’s focus on sustainability and safe, secure practice has helped it achieve major accreditations over the last 12 months, including being named ‘Business of the Year 2021’ at the East

“It was the first time we had entered the awards, and we were shortlisted in four categories. To be named ‘Business of the Year’ was a real honour. Our team is very

Staffordshire and South Derbyshire Business Awards. As Cliff enthuses: “Our success at the Business Awards was one of real pride to the business.

proud of the achievement, as this success was down to their hard work across all areas of the business.”

Wales and one in Scotland. Our manufacturing facility is located on the same site in Swadlincote, and can produce over one million metres of precast concrete piles every year, together with 180,000 linear metres of precast beam. “We are part of the global Soletanche Freyssinet Group, and report directly into one of its main subsidiary group organisations, Soletanche Bachy, all of which is part of the VINCI Construction group,” Cliff explains.



One of RBL’s unique selling points is its range of precast products, which are designed and built in the company’s own manufacturing facility. “Our large factory in Swadlincote manufactures all our precast items, and distributes them nationwide. The factory was commissioned in 2017, and was designed to introduce the latest automation technology to our operation. “All our concrete is batched on-site, using locally supplied materials, which allows us to closely manage quality and environmental impact. We engage with industry specialists to stay informed of the latest technological advances, and our most recent initiative is a review of material flow and robotic welding technology,” confirms Cliff. RBL’s products are designed to be both effective and malleable, in order to meet the requirements of as many applications as possible. They are also made to optimise the safety and sustainability of RBL’s operations, as Cliff discusses: “Sustainability based projects 48

feature highly within our current portfolio, and quite rightly so. For example, our Continuous Displacement Auger (CDA) is a tool we have developed and deployed to compete against traditional Continuous Flight Augers (CFA). “The key difference here is that CDA displaces and improves the ground, whilst CFA removes and replaces it. This means that piles can be shorter for a given load, generate very little spoil, use less material, and increase productivity. These benefits all help reduce our embodied carbon, leading to reduced fuel because of the shorter programme and fewer truck movements, removing spoil or delivering concrete. “We are also improving our concrete mix design at the moment, by reducing the embodied carbon in our concrete. We are achieving this by replacing 50 percent of our cement-holding materials with Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBS); we plan to increase that percentage further in the coming months.”

The company’s dedication to research and innovation has helped it produce some of the industry’s most cutting-edge foundational engineering products. “At Roger Bullivant Limited we have a diverse approach to research, development and innovation, covering every aspect of the business. This relies on building an innovation culture, wherein all of our staff are encouraged to challenge current practices, and to suggest improvements. These suggestions are then evaluated and prioritised based on their opportunity and feasibility against our core strategic pillars of safety, profit, work winning, people and innovation,” reveals Cliff. In the last two or three years, this approach has led to the release of numerous new techniques, processes, and improvements. “The key to our success is clear project definition and aims, followed by rigorous testing, evaluation and detailed documentation. All these things rely on our greatest asset: our staff.

“Sharing these improvements is also important; whenever a new project is released, it is shared on our intranet, and in our company magazine. We also provide internal

and external webinars to promote the uptake of new products and processes. These are a great way to share what works, as well as opportunities for improvement.

“In addition, we recently held a series of three webinars covering housing foundations in the residential market, showcasing one of our projects in Surrey. This series covered everything, including identifying the requirements for the job, the design element, manufacturing the product, pile installation, beam installation and client feedback. This series is important as it shows clients and prospects what we do and how we work, so they can be more informed on our processes and techniques,” Cliff asserts.

Groundtech UK Ltd We are a specialist supplier to the Construction and Civil Engineering Industry. Having being focused on Aggregate Supply for over 20 years across the UK, we have supported Roger Bullivant extensively across the Nation, providing their Vibro-Piling Division with specific aggregates to meet their criteria, on time, within budget and utilising a flexible network of hauliers to facilitate any last minute changes or decisions to aid a seamless supply. All this executed whilst taking into account minimal carbon footprint, keeping road haulage and paperwork to a minimum. We wish Roger Bullivant all the best for their growing future, and thank them for the last 20 + years of business, maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship moving forward.




Roger Bullivant Ltd was recently appointed to provide residential foundations on the £115 million Partington Housing Scheme at Heath Farm Lane. The joint venture, formed by Vistry Partnerships and the Trafford Housing Trust, is one of the largest regeneration schemes in the Greater Manchester area, delivering 600 new homes. “RBL was required to provide a costeffective piled foundation solution in a safe and timely manner, dealing with the issues associated with the regeneration of a brownfield site, and the associated

variable ground conditions, access, and environmental considerations. “Following early consultation with Vistry, we decided that the best way forward would be an offsite solution for the piles and ground beams. This high-quality engineered foundation system is factory produced, removing all quality and waste issues from site. This is in line with Vistry’s commitments to reduce waste and packaging. It was agreed delivery would be phased, in order to achieve the best commercial results,” Cliff reports.

WP Metals Limited WP Metals and Roger Bullivant’s proud trading history over the last four decades is testament to WP Metals’ shared commitment to safety, quality and customer focus. As the two work together to engineer and implement innovative piling solutions that have developed into tried and tested industry standards, WP Metals is proud to support Roger Bullivant Ltd now, and into the future.

This project highlights RBL’s range of capabilities, and speaks to its values as a people and community driven operation. As a business, RBL is characterised by its dedication to steady growth and sustainable practice. It comes as no surprise that this mission is central to the company’s plans for the future, as Cliff concludes: “We are looking to grow as a business in 2022, not only in terms of turnover, but also looking to invest in new plant and equipment. Over the next three-to-five years we have a commitment to look into more sustainable initiatives, and build on the ones we have in place.”

Roger Bullivant Ltd Services: All-terrain foundation engineering



The pursuit of resilience

As an expert in environmental engineering and management, JBA Consulting is leading the way in society’s pursuit for resilience 52


he year of 1995 marked the foundation of an environmental, engineering and

risk consultancy helping to improve the environment, business and infrastructure, with a commitment to exceptional client service.

Since then, JBA Consulting (JBA) has grown to become one of Europe’s leading specialists in environmental engineering and management, with a strong

track record of major studies for national governments and international bodies such as the World Bank and the European Commission. The company has



established a reputation for itself within the fields of flood, coastal and environmental management, engineering appraisal, design and asset management, sustainability, climate resilience, and related software development and data provision. The consultancy’s approach to its work is founded on sharing, innovation, and being different – an ethos known as ‘the JBA way’. “We’re motivated by our heritage, our people and our clients,” says Jeremy Benn, Executive Chairman, JBA group. “Our independence gives us our freedom, allowing us to make our own decisions and judge our own performance based on the things that matter most to us. These are the things that make us special, and the reasons that clients come back to us time and again.” In particular, JBA has established itself as a trusted supplier on long-term strategic


frameworks. “Through longterm partnerships, we’re better able to understand our clients’ objectives, and to align our own business so that those objectives can be mutually owned and met,” Jeremy explains. “One good example is our support for the UK Government’s £5.2bn capital programme of flood risk management works, which will better protect 336,000 homes and non-residential properties, to be delivered from 2021–2026, with an option to extend until 2030. This duration supports collaboration between our clients’ and our own delivery teams, and empowers us to drive innovation, improve efficiency and ensure continual improvement. It also enables us to support our clients’ wider strategic objectives, such as the drive to Net Zero.” Underpinning JBA’s work is an emphasis on innovation for smarter delivery and problem

solving. “Annually, we commit more than eight percent of our income to internal research and development programmes,” Jeremy tells us. “Last year, we continued delivering on our theme of increasing efficiencies and improving outcomes through modelling and risk assessment. We enhanced the functionality of our in-house software JFlow – now between three-and-ahalf and five-times faster than other two-dimensional modelling software used in the sector. “We also embarked upon Phase 5 of the development of our mobile data collection and management system, GISmapp,” he continues. “Capitalising on the increased adoption of tablet devices throughout the public and private sectors, GISmapp is a completely new type of product that allows for semi-connected or live on-site asset editing, with dynamic mapping at its

core. Likewise, we’ve embraced CoastSnap, a new citizen science app to capture the details of our changing coastlines. That will serve as a complement to our work with vulnerable coastal communities to understand and adapt to coastal change.” Over the last seven years, JBA has successfully grown its work with international bodies, national governments and their agencies, with a focus on climate adaptation and resilience. “We’ve delivered more than 35 international development projects in the last five years alone,” Jeremy notes. “It’s work that brings unique challenges, including assessing and quantifying risk within complex and often data poor systems, or identifying practical, cost effective and sustainable solutions within local capacity and

resource constraints. There’s also the difficulty of communicating outputs to technical and nontechnical stakeholders, and building local capacity to increase self-resilience.” To meet these challenges, JBA developed its Decide-DesignModel. “We use the model as a route to identify and optimise

“It’s a framework that allows us to deploy our latest innovations in areas as diverse as probabilistic modelling, data processing and analytics, nature-based solutions, natural capital accounting, disaster risk financing, and communication and engagement.” Last year, JBA was named ‘Medium Sized Consultancy of

structural and non-structural interventions to address floods and the impact of climate change across the world,” Jeremy outlines.

the Year’ at the 2021 Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) Awards. The accolade



“We invested over £360,000 in the development of enhanced skills and knowledge, and ran a range of formal, scheduled, and technical courses, along with in-house business skills training. We currently have 90 staff working towards Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) professional membership – a significant increase on previous years. We also continued our delivery of external training, with 230 external delegates attending JBA Consulting courses across 29 days during the year, eight of which were virtual. It’s a challenge that’s given us significant insight into the opportunities arising from alternative modes of delivery, and

recognises the most successful consultancies delivering highquality ecological services, and serving as an exemplar employer and advocate for the profession. JBA’s success is testament to the hard work of its teams and senior environmental leaders. “We are engineers, data analysts, environmental consultants, scientists and designers, and much more besides,” Jeremy insists. “We work hard to ensure that everyone is valued, and is given the opportunity for progression and a rewarding and enduring


career. To achieve this, we support life-long learning and the pursuit of knowledge and growth, valuing academic and vocational qualifications alike. Our learning programmes, schemes and frameworks, are recognised for their excellence and our investment in personal and company learning is unequalled.” The company has maintained this commitment despite the difficulties of Covid-19. “Our staff attended 1980 training days and recorded nearly 15,000 continued professional development hours during 2021,” Jeremy remarks.

we’re confident that they’ll form a key component of our training offering in the future.” As is to be expected, JBA is setting an example with its own rigorous approach to sustainability. “Our actions are louder than our words, and everyone at JBA Consulting understands that,” Jeremy confirms. “We recognise that our social, economic and environmental responsibilities are integral to our long-term success, and to that of our clients and suppliers, our communities and the planet. Accordingly, we embed sustainability in everything we do. “To minimise the environmental impact of our operations and activities, we’ve set ourselves a target of cutting emissions by 42 percent between 2020–2030, with a longer-term goal that must deliver at least a 90 percent reduction,” Jeremy goes on. “We’ve begun implementing early actions as a matter of course, purchasing electric vehicles for our pool car fleet, and implementing a salary sacrifice scheme to provide everyone at JBA Consulting with the opportunity to affordably convert their personal vehicles to electric. We also support the JBA Trust, an independent registered charity that promotes research

and education in environmental risks. We provide annual funding of £150,000, on top of the 3145 hours of staff time contributed to the trust’s projects and activities last year. We also fund work and university placements, and we

remain committed to helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by sharing our best practice and hosting company skills development seminars.” Turning to the future, JBA anticipates a shift in the discussion

and focus around climate change. “Where we once aimed to manage risks, we will now create resilience,” Jeremy concludes. “The responsibility for that lies across multiple agencies, working with residents, businesses, public and community organisations. For JBA, it means working in more integrated ways, and collaborating to create solutions that are bigger than the sum of their parts. Our vision is to support our clients in transforming their businesses, systems, assets or ways of working, and to help them recover more quickly if and when a shock occurs. Nobody is better placed to lead the way.”

JBA Consulting Services: Environmental risk management



A leading light


he story of Pioneer Group (Pioneer) began way back in 2011. Two friends, Paul Childerhouse

and Chris Appleyard, then working under separate


businesses, attended a meeting with a single shared client. Its name was Stadia Solutions, its mission was to launch a new venture installing large-scale LED screens into stadiums across the country for the promotion

of pitch-side advertising - and it wanted Paul and Chris to help. “I essentially shook their hands on the spot,” reflects Paul, now Pioneer Group Director. “I said I’d leave my job tomorrow, and give them my full support.” The same

More than ten years since its first contract, Pioneer Group reflects on its rapid ascent to becoming an established supplier of AV, electrical and infrastructural solutions

day, Paul received a call from a contact - a contractor working across KFC’s chain of restaurants. They were withdrawing from the business, and KFC were looking for a new partner to take the reins.

“I said yes, and we won the KFC contract,” Paul continues. “We had three months to get everything in place across our premises, including our IT systems and call centre, ready for KFC as our first major client

alongside Stadia Solutions.” Pioneer undertook its first project in Glasgow’s Celtic Park, an astonishing debut for a thenfledgling company, before rolling out its own AV solutions across an initial 80 KFC sites.



In September 2021, Pioneer celebrated ten years since that first meeting and the phone call that set the company on its way. “We’ve grown year on year,” Paul says. “From securing our first premises in Stockport, we’ve managed to build a team of nationwide engineers and service engineers, operating across a wide cross-section of businesses. In 2021, we saw a turnover of £12m, and we’re expecting to see more significant growth exceeding £14m in 2022. Alongside our Stockport premises, we’ve added a rental space in Reading. From those two hubs, we deliver our installations and service nationwide.” Pioneer currently operates three distinct business ventures. The foremost of which is its AV division focuses on creating a range of digital solutions to support clients in their advertising

or customer experience goals. In parallel, the company delivers a range of new builds and retrofits for clients across manufacturing, engineering, construction and more through its electrical contracting arm, while its infrastructure division specialises in high-level security projects, rolling out Wi-Fi and cabling into environments including the MoD and Royal Courts of Justice. “There’s a real spread of people with different skill sets across the business sector,” Paul insists. “Nothing phases us in terms of how we approach a project. We wear hard hats one day; then we are programming IT/AV solutions on another.” Pioneer is rolling out Digital Out-Of-Home screens across the UK for one of its most significant projects in partnership with media assets company Wildstone. It’s

a challenge that combines each element of Pioneer’s service capabilities in a complete turnkey solution. “The billboard and digital area is one that’s hugely expanding, with all the big media companies behind it,” Paul comments. “We’re involved in mini-construction projects up and down the country, excavating footings and pouring concrete at the side of roads, hanging screens on the roadside, and the gable end of buildings. We’re looking to do 250 of those installations in 2022, at a cost of about £4m.” Likewise, the company’s partnership with KFC continues to thrive. “We’re very strong in quickservice restaurants,” Paul says. “About six or seven years ago, we did a major refresh for KFC, moving from about 450 sites to nearly 1000 over the course of just four months. We’re now replacing

Unilumin Group For the past several years, Unilumin Group has been acknowledged as the world’s foremost manufacturer of LED displays, with unmatched resources in R&D, engineering and manufacturing. Unilumin is proud to provide sales, support and repair facilities across Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific, and has established subsidiaries in over 15 countries. Unilumin Sports is a division of Unilumin, focusing on the global sports market for LED displays, with important reference installations in many iconic stadiums, including Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena, and Ajax Amsterdam’s, Johan Cruijff Arena. Furthermore, Unilumin Sports has been the LED supplier of many of the FIFA World Cup and Olympic stadiums, and FIBA basketball Arenas. Unilumin Sports is committed to providing first-class professional audiovisual solutions for international sports events in areas such as football, baseball, cricket, ice hockey, basketball, tennis, and Formula 1 through strategic integration partners across the world.


One-stop outdoor solution

One-stop indoor solution

Global LED Sports Solution Provider About Unilumin Sports As an important part of Unilumin Group that focuses on sports, Unilumin Sports is committed to providing firstclass professional audiovisual solutions for international sports events in areas such as baseball, cricket, ice hockey, basketball, equestrian, rugby, racing, swimming, and e-sports. Unilumin Sports provides go-to solutions for many global sports venues and events that combine audiovisual systems, lighting systems, and control systems. With extensive experience in LED solutions, Unilumin Sports have provided all-in-one solutions that were adopted by 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, 2018 FIFA World Cup and many other international sports competitions.

Leading LED Provider In September 2021, Unilumin announced that its Daya Bay smart manufacturing base, the world’s largest LED display smart factory located in Huizhou, China, is up and running. Covering a total area of over 300,000 square meters, the manufacturing base consists of two phases, including Phase I that has been running for years and Phase II that has just been put into use. With the recent completion of Phase II, the

The most commercially valuable pitch-side media space in the Premier League whole manufacturing base has become a “beacon factory” in LED industry, with the ability to provide LED products and services that are expected to value more than $1 billion annually at full capacity.

Trusted LED Partner

“We are customer-centric driven and value what our customers and partners’ needs. We are constantly making innovations on R&D and manufacturing and upgrading our manufacturing in an increasingly digitalized, intelligentized, and automated way,” says Mingfeng Lin, chairman of Unilumin Group, in his opening speech. “Starting in February 2019, the Daya Bay Manufacturing Base Phase II has been invested with over $150 million. With the investment, we are introducing various cutting-edge technologies and smart facilities, such as human-machine intelligent interaction, industrial robots, intelligent logistics management, to pave the way for realizing “digitalized manufacturing” and “Industry 4.0”.”

“After reviewing multiple suppliers, the Club decided to work closely with Unilumin on a new custom-built ‘supersized’ LED system that revolutionizes the way matchday content is showcased. Unilumin’s worldleading technology puts the brand at the forefront of your industry, and we were impressed with both your drive to constantly innovate and quality of your solutions.” says Greg Swimer, Chief Information and Technology Officer at City Football Group, in his recent comment on their collaboration with Unilumin on the two-tier LED system installed at Etihad Stadium that is home to Manchester City Football Club.

With cutting-edge technology and premium product quality, Unilumin has been a trusted partner of many world-class sports clubs and organizations.

In 2019, FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, announced that Unilumin has been appointed as the official long-term LED supplier for FIBA’s top-level international competitions. The partnership was set to commence with the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, taking place from August 31-September 15 in China, and will run through until 2023, which will include the next World Cup, co-hosted by Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis said: “We are delighted to have secured a long-term partnership with an industry leader in Unilumin and are looking forward to unlocking new possibilities within the framework of our cooperation. The synergy between FIBA and Unilumin has great potential and thanks to the unprecedented quality of LED lighting, we are sure that our toplevel competitions will be even more spectacular for our fans.” Contacts Unilumin Group Co.,Ltd. Headquarters Add: 112 Yongfu Rd., Qiaotou Village, Fuyong Town, Baoan District, Shenzhen 518103 China Tel: +86-755-29918999 Unilumin UK Co., Ltd. UK Showroom & Support Center Add: Profile West 950 Great West Road, Brentford, London TW8 9ES, UK Tel: +44 (0) 208 568 6333 Email: Web:


“The key to building the right solutions for our customers stems from understanding the design elements, the goals of the businesses we’re working with and enhancing customer experiences. This means collaboration right from the start. There’s a spectrum of contributors – essential - from the architectural planning and design phases to construction, engineering, project management and subject matter expertise. We’re all mindful of the need to build smarter and more sustainable solutions to achieve climate impact reductions. Pioneer brings the intellectual capital to the table, proven experience, capability and reference ability.”

all of their screens again, in what will be a rolling refurbishment programme approximately every five or six years. On top of that, they’re constantly opening up new stores and will probably hit about 1200 within the next three years.” The rolling nature of the KFC project offers a valuable insight into the pace of development within the AV business. “We’re just undertaking a rollout for doublesided window screens, with a High Bright screen in the window and a Low Bright screen facing indoors,” Paul explains. “Going back a few years ago, McDonald’s had these big chunky boxes with High Bright screens of about nine inches deep or more - ours are about 75mm maximum.” Yet another project flying the flag for Pioneer’s advanced capabilities is a double-stacked advertising board located pitchside within Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium. “We are a design and build company at heart, working closely with fabricators to


manufacture bespoke structures, bracketry and housings for various indoor & outdoor applications,” Paul says. “We picked up Man City around eight years ago, and now we basically do everything for them. “If you watch a City game on TV, you’ll notice how high the LED board is compared to the player,” he goes on. “To achieve that, we had to build one 900mm-high LED screen in its conventional place next to the by-line, with another screen four metres back. From the TV gantry point, one sits on top of the other - so it looks like it’s 1.8 metres high, and it’s absolutely stunning. The second of those LEDs is the barrier that previously sat in front of the spectators, so we had to install bespoke safety gates to guarantee secure emergency exit routes. Likewise, the stand wasn’t exactly level - we had to produce bespoke bracketry to maintain the correct alignment across the screen’s full 250-metre length.

Away from the bright lights of sports advertising, Pioneer is driving important changes within the UK’s charity sector. “We’ve just won a very exciting new kiosk solution,” Paul says. “In the old days of charity collections, you might have a box attached to a chain at a petrol station or a pub. Now, working with a charity called Greater Change, we’re rolling out two interactive devices that provide passers-by with in-depth information about the charity. They will be trialled in Tesco’s in Oxford. If they’re a success, we’ll be able to roll them out elsewhere.” Moving into 2022, the company is targeting a series of new developments within its stadium business. “We’ve been shortlisted with Everton, the new LED at Fulham, and we’re working closely with Arsenal around sustainability,” Paul outlines. “LEDs today are far more energy-efficient compared to those of five years ago. There are a number of new systems that deliver really low power when not in use, and sustainability is now an inevitable feature of every new proposal. It’s an area in which we feel strongly, and as a business, we are focused on improving our sustainability and that of our partners and customers.

Chris Appleyard

Paul Childerhouse

“Longer term, our goal is to unify our divisions under a single, common platform,” Paul concludes. “Whether you’re going to a meeting in Blackpool or Eastbourne, our salespeople

up-to-date. Now, we’re setting our sights on the verticals we’ll target moving forward to further distinguish ourselves from the competition.

will be selling Pioneer - not AV, electrical or infrastructural. We’ve got to the point where our internal systems are working and

“To help us on our journey, we are working closely with our supply chain, enabling us to be agnostic in our approach

and having the ability to be innovative in our design and implementation.”

Pioneer Group Services: AV, electrical and infrastructural solutions



Lean and green Bywaters is proud to partner with its clients to increase recycling rates and overall sustainability, and, through precision and strategy, it is determined to put forward new and unexpected solutions to meet the requirements of the 21st Century





s one of London’s leading sustainability organisations, Bywaters is more than just a recycling company. With services extending across the whole of the UK, the business provides safe, secure and


efficient waste and sustainability partnerships, helping a diverse industry to better manage resources. With a zero-waste to landfill ethos, Bywaters’ services are far-reaching, providing a vast offering for any sector, including a broad range of skips, wheelie bins and roll-on containers, innovative

machinery, refuse collection, reuse solutions, and engineering support. As advocates of circular economy principles, Bywaters works closely with every client, to improve sustainability through the recovery and reuse of all possible materials, leading to ongoing carbon reduction.

and facility management, NHS facilities, Government institutions, sports stadia and events, education, construction and hospitality. As an industry leader, the company is also determined to share its knowledge with its clients to secure a greener future. Every year, eight million metric tons of plastic enters the oceans, causing lasting damage to biodiversity and ocean ecosystems. Although it is not a new problem, it is one that resonates across industries. Accordingly, Bywaters aims to lead the UK towards a sustainable future, protecting it for future generations. Its services are founded on a

The multi award-winning business began its journey long before being incorporated as a limited company in 1952. It all started at the end of World War I with one man operating from a horse and cart in North London. Over time, the business developed from this small-

scale operation, eventually becoming one of London’s most well-established ‘sustainability, including waste management’ companies. Today, Bywaters is still familyowned, serving thousands of businesses across the UK in sectors that include property

commitment to safeguarding the environment, with all clients offered access to Bywaters’ in-house team of sustainability consultants. These ‘Green Gurus’ work with organisations to develop bespoke strategies to reduce waste, increase recycling, reuse material and move toward a circular economy. To provide far reaching benefits, Bywaters has been campaigning for change, with a specific focus on the reduction of ocean plastics. In 2018, Bywaters supported Sky Ocean Rescue’s nationwide education campaign, and ‘Plasticus’ the Sky Whale was formed of material recovered by Bywaters. The whale weighed 2500kg, representing the amount of plastic entering the ocean every second. This campaign provided a segue to further projects, including Bywaters’ recent partnership with Stroodles, the eco-tableware company famous for its pasta straws. Bywaters and Stroodles have teamed up with Thomas Franklin – a nine-year-old environmentalist from Devon – to support his ambitions of making the Scouts more sustainable.



Thomas has been a brand ambassador for Stroodles since entering the ‘Sail Design Competition’, which is part of the #MakeASplash campaign to support the charitable organisation, Clean Ocean Sailing. Thomas’s and Stroodles’ aligned values inspired a plan to introduce a two-tiered Scouts badge. The overarching aim is to educate and inspire younger generations to understand the threat plastics pose if not handled correctly, ensuring that young people have a better understanding of biological preservation than current generations. On the 16th September 2021, the first Sid Vale Cub Scout Group launched the scheme in partnership with Stroodles and Bywaters. After undertaking a ‘Beach Clean’ in Sidmouth, they became the first Scouts to earn two blanket badges called ‘Ocean Helper’ and ‘Ocean Hero’ sustainability badge. It is hoped that the successful implementation will act as a springboard to catapult the campaign nationally. With a reach of over 348,000 male and female Scouts in the UK, and over 153,000 adult helpers, the scheme has the potential to create


a strong, lasting impact on the fight against ocean plastics. Not satisfied with just helping its clients to improve their environmental credentials, Bywaters practices what it preaches, reducing its own emissions by over 50 percent since 2014. This significant shift was supported by the installation of 4000 solar panels at its awardwinning Material Recovery Facility, at the time the largest solar retrofit in London. On a sunny day, the array can provide enough power to run the material sorting operations. This relentless drive to improve sustainable operations has been supported by a detailed plan to achieve Net Zero by 2030. Firstly, Bywaters will be assessing every element of its performance, identifying opportunities to reduce emissions where possible. Secondly, the company will continue to increase its use of renewable energy, persisting with an eight-year track-record of having its carbon reporting independently certified by The Planet Mark. Finally, by investing in zero-emissions technical innovations, from harvesting latent heat generated by its MRF, to new

sorting technology, Bywaters will further fund operations to reduce its environmental impact. With these measures in place, the future of Bywaters is looking particularly exciting as it prepares to lay down investments and new ventures to combat climate change. As part of its ‘decarbonisation plan’, it is investing approximately £7 million in electric vehicles and high-power charging points across its sites, starting with its first electric dustcart. This 100 percent electric vehicle is at the cutting edge of zeroemission waste collection logistics, providing all the standard features of equivalent fossil-fuelled options – including bin lift and telematics technologies. In addition to eliminating emissions, the vehicle is cheaper to maintain and quieter to operate, for an additional reduction in noise pollution on collection visits. The fleet will be charged through on-site vehicle charging points, with electricity drawn from its retrofitted rooftop solar PV array. As part of the procurement process, Bywaters has conducted trial runs on a number of its City of London collection routes to test functionality and battery life, and,

most importantly, ensure that fleet roll-out is seamless, with benefits achieved from day one. In connection to these promises, the company will be releasing its Net Zero white paper in 2022. The white paper will highlight its extensive range of environmental solutions, products, and services that will help customers pave their way to a more sustainable future.

Bywaters Services: Waste management Fiveways Group Fiveways has been working with Bywaters for over 15 years, providing short-term and long-term spot hire vehicles and vehicle maintenance. Its established relationship is testament to how both parties have worked closely together to develop a bespoke service offering, and ensures that vehicle downtime is minimised while service delivery is uninterrupted for Bywater’s customers. As part of its business strategy, it has invested in purchasing over 50 new vehicles in 2022, arriving from April to add to its spot hire fleet. These comprise of standard RCV’s, twin pack RCV’s and caged tipper vehicles. Demonstrating its commitment to sustainability these will also include electric vehicles. Interested? Why not give Fiveways Group a call?



Innovative construction A collection of three companies, Henderson & Taylor is renowned for delivering work on time in the disciplines of highways civil engineering and groundworks and highways term maintenance contracts, as well as invasive weed removal


ounded in 1964, it was in 2000 that John Lynch and his wife, Michelle, purchased the civil engineering


firm, Henderson & Taylor (H&T), and since then they have continued to improve its annual growth. Their original civil engineering company, Lynch Ltd., was founded in 1992,

and within four years the business was identified by the Sunday Times as the 67th fastest growing company in the UK. The owners applied the same enthusiasm

and appetite for growth to H&T, and have expanded the business exponentially over the last 20 years. Now, across its remit, the company specialises in local authority

highways term maintenance contracts, S278 contracting work, roads and structures, new builds, groundworks and drainage schemes, car parks, highways

machine surfacing, and Japanese Knotweed removal. Working predominantly in the public sector, H&T consists of three businesses that collaborate



across multi-disciplinary projects in the civil engineering industry. Each of them – Henderson & Taylor Public Works Ltd, Henderson & Taylor Facilities Management, and Lynch Ltd. – has a long and successful heritage. John discusses with us the firm’s best practises in overcoming the challenges of recent projects, as well his future plans, as he remains determined to keep the company name a prosperous one. “We recently completed a big job in Bedfordshire on the A6


that was worth close to £5 million for Bedfordshire County Council. With the tender documents and works information we won the contract. When we began work on site, we came across a massive problem. The sub-grade under the existing road was not a hard material, it was clay and had to be removed completely. So, we put our heads together to produce a solution. Two days later, we sat down with the council, along with our geotextile specialist, to give them our proposal, and we came

to a reasonable conclusion. Our approach in handling the situation was to remain honest, transparent, and practice clear communication, which eventually brought the project back on track,” John says. “In addition to that, we also built a new council depot and salt barn for Bedford Borough Council,” he adds. “That was also a £5 million scheme, and it looks great. The drainage under the ground proved to be much more of a challenge than we expected, but it was quite an impressive project.”

He continues to state that this particular project is an excellent demonstration of the level of innovation upon which H&T prides itself. “From an R&D perspective, we try to be as cutting edge as possible, certainly when it comes to geotextiles. Land drainage is one of the key factors taken into consideration for a developer. We assure our clients that all our sewer and drainage pipe work is of the highest standards, with no corners cut. With the salt barn’s drainage scheme, for example,

we were able to make proposals that accentuated the strengths of our value engineering team. We look to save money for our clients, and, in a way, we also helped to reduce the risk of the project,” he explains. In terms of the company itself, H&T is built on a legacy of expertise that has manifested in the size of the business, the projects it undertakes, and its loyalty to remaining socially responsible. In 2009, Matthew Lynch joined the company as Managing Director, and has been a driving force behind its recent growth. “Over the next five years, we have secured long term contracts that total approximately £150 million, and obviously, to make this happen, we need a brilliant team!” Matthew says. “We have a workforce of about 250 employees, some of them are subcontract workers, and our depot

in Essex is about 26 acres in size.” John goes on to say: “We are also very committed to recycling, which is something I have been advocating for over 30 years now. I remember doing a presentation to Essex County Council engineers that was based on recycling concrete and stone. Upon explaining the advantages of reusing the materials to the audience, one of the engineers said that he did not want to use old stone. I looked at him and asked if he realized it was already 27 million years old, which is something we do not often take into consideration. “So, at our depot in Essex, we bring in all the materials we’ve collected or used, such as concrete, asphalt, gravel, and sand from roads and footpaths for example, and we screen it, crush it, blend it and we put it back out into the project we are doing, and




its fully recyclable. Practises like this have such a great impact. In another instance, in Thurrock, we were able to prove that we save 8000 lorry movements a year and about 20,000 tons of virgin material that would usually go straight to landfill can be given new use,” John elaborates. Complementing its environmental endeavours, H&T is also proud to a company culture of growth and engagement in which employees are provide with the necessary tools to achieve their goals. He shares an example of an engineer who was handpicked to be part of the business and went on to become

Ayesha Basit. Out of frustration in the lack of progress, she handed in her notice, and I offered her a job to work with us. Then, within two years, we put her forward for the ‘Women in Construction 2021 Award’ at the Southeast Construction Expo, and she won it!” With industry innovation, and a highly skilled team, John is excited about the future of the business. For the next three to five years, the company will be focusing on sustaining its long-term growth, while remaining eager to take on more challenging projects, such as the Lower Thames Crossing. The project, which has been

construction by over a third through the careful design of its route and structures alongside the incorporation of zero carbon energy use, and the recycling of waste. “There have been a few challenges in getting this project going. We haven’t yet won the tender for it, but we are going to continue pursuing it, considering it could make such a fantastic difference to the congestion that is so easily created at the Dartford Tunnel,” he divulges. “That aside, what we are looking to do is expand into more of Bedfordshire, and also strengthen our presence in Essex. We have grown in turnover by about £5

an industry award winner. “We were asked to look at a station in Thurrock called Stanford le Hope, and the engineer looking after it was a woman by the name of

dubbed a £6.8 billion Net Zero ‘pathfinder’, linking Kent and Essex, is still within the early stages of planning. However, it is set to slash emissions during

million in 2021-22, so by the end of March, we will go from £30 to £35 million. I would very much like seeing us grow at this controlled pace.

“We need to be careful about our expansion because we need to be prepared for projects that requires to pay out of our own pocket, which is sometimes the case with public works. Fortunately, that is where my and Michelle’s knowledge comes in. From the extent of our experience, we know what can go wrong, and growing the business organically in the existing market is very tricky at the moment, owing to the fact that it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit

engineers, quantity surveyors, site managers, and supervisors. This means that in the coming years, we are going to remain observant of these challenges, and do our best to be agile in our ability to adapt to them,” says John. “We have also been looking at possible acquisitions, and we are growing into machine surfacing to deliver that ourselves, and tender for other people. But like I said, the ultimate goal for the next five years is increasing our turnover, and I would like to see

us reach over £100 million a year in revenue,” John concludes. With a goal to improve the lives of its clients by creating better and safer environments in which to live, work and learn, it is clear from our conversation with John that H&T takes exemplary pride in the work it does, and will remain doing so for many years to come.

Henderson & Taylor Services: Civil engineering contractor

Tarmac Tarmac is a CRH company, and the UK’s leading sustainable building materials and construction solutions business. Helping to deliver infrastructure projects across the South East, it is a proud partner of Henderson & Taylor. The business collaborates to innovate products and solutions that safely deliver the infrastructure needed to grow the UK economy, and to also help create a more sustainable built environment for the country’s long-term future. It offers its partners unrivalled supply, innovation and materials that are designed to deliver more sustainable outcomes. Tarmac’s new construction materials terminal at Tilbury helps Henderson & Taylor deliver 24/7 supply assurance.



Creating healthy spaces


eading ventilation specialist, Renson Ventilation (Renson), is known for its pioneering work in

the management of indoor and outdoor home environments. The company’s innovative solutions allow customers to cultivate the perfect airflow, temperature and


lighting for their home. Having been awarded the ‘Gold Company Award’ at the 2022 Henry van de Velde Awards, the company now looks to innovate further in the ventilation market, seeking to create systems that reduce the possibility of Covid-19 spreading within the home. Founded in 1990, Renson

Ventilation was a production company before it became heavily involved in research and innovation. Throughout the 20th Century, Renson Ventilation worked hard to create new ways of managing airflow, ensuring that it would one day become an internationally renowned, and rapidly growing player

For over a century, Renson Ventilation has been helping its customers cultivate brighter, cleaner, happier homes with its specialist range of ventilation systems, shading and façade cladding

in the ventilation and homeimprovement market. As the Renton Ventilation website asserts: ‘we are always one step ahead of the game.’ Renson Ventilation is Belgian born and internationally driven. The company is proud of its roots, and produces 100 percent of its products in-

house, through a network of manufacturing facilities across Belgium. Maintaining control of production as well as design has allowed Renson Ventilation to remain flexible, and customisation remains one of the company’s major strengths. Despite the relatively local nature of its manufacturing

network, Renson Ventilation is international in nature and ethos. The company currently serves the European market, as well as numerous customers in the UK, and is looking to expand further. As an organisation, Renson is focussed on healthy and comfortable living, a standard that everyone can strive for. The Renson portfolio is divided into the three major focal points of comfort: warmth, brightness, and air quality. Renson solar shading is industry leading, and designed with a focus on maintaining optimum sunlight levels throughout the year. Natural daylight is essential to a healthy indoor climate, however uncontrolled or excessive sunlight may disrupt the natural rhythms of life; Renson’s solar shadings allow customers to control sunlight levels within the home, and even prevent unnecessary light and heat from reaching the glass. These systems are also designed to maintain homeostasis when it comes to indoor temperature; Renson solar shading will keep out the sun’s heat during warmer months, and maximise natural warmth in the autumn and winter. Also acting as the more sustainable option, the systems are able to reduce energy consumption throughout the home. From external roller blinds, to the company’s unique sliding panels, Renson’s solar shading range is adaptable and suited to a breadth of applications. Each system is designed to discretely integrate and harmonize with the existing structure, using a range of aesthetic components. Customers can select the perfect color and fabric for their solar shading system, in order to ensure it seamlessly becomes part of the home; due to the transparency of the fabrics used at Renson, outside views remain visible even when the blinds are lowered.



Renson’s mechanical ventilation is described on the company website as ‘an absolute must.’ Window ventilation is no longer sufficient for ensuring healthy indoor air quality, and as homes become airtight and better ventilated, the need for more sophisticated ventilation increases. Providing clean air 24/7, Renson mechanical ventilation systems are malleable, discreet and above all functional. These systems are adaptable in order to meet numerous requirements and variables; for example, some structures require more clean air, and others need a ventilation system that will limit acoustic impact. As experts in the field,

In addition, Renson’s architectural solar shading offers a double advantage, as it provides control over the incidence of direct sunlight as well as strong aesthetic appeal. This system is integrated with the home’s exterior, to ensure efficiency, timelessness, and minimal intrusion on living spaces. Alternatively, if privacy is a priority, customers can opt for the sliding panels, which use specially engineered materials to create perfectly lit sanctuaries. It is no secret that we spend more time in our homes now than ever before; keeping our spaces ventilated has become a question of safety as well as comfort, following the outbreak


of the air-borne virus, Covid-19. Renson Ventilation offers a range of solutions, ideal for keeping your home, and everyone in it, breathing easy. Ventilation helps avoid unpleasant odors, allergies and other health problems that can be caused by the spread of aerosols. Furthermore, ventilation is vital when it comes to maintaining the structural health of your home, as it can mitigate and lower the risk of condensation problems and mould development. Providing the solution to this plethora of indoorliving issues, Renson Ventilation offers mechanical ventilation, window vents and a range of louvres.

Renson can provide support in all these areas. The company is also a wellknown innovator, having produced a variety of alternative ventilation systems. Renson’s flagship invention, the louvre, has just marked its 50th anniversary, with the technology still in use today. The louvre is a type of industrial ventilation grill, which can be used on all types of buildings, from offices and hospitals to factory buildings and larger homes. Louvres are frequently used in the residential sector as an exterior finishing, extraction hood, or airing cupboard accessory. They offer great added value as a night cooling tool, meaning they are essential for keeping buildings functional and habitable. Renson’s ultimate mission is comprehensive comfort for its customers. The final piece of that puzzle is temperature and energy management, something Renson is able to support through its façade cladding range. Renson uses aluminium cladding, for unique and functional results. This cladding can be applied to a variety of façades, including doors, windows and gates; vertical cladding guarantees durability and ease of maintenance, whilst horizontal cladding can be

used for a more customisable, sustainable approach. Having mastered the art of keeping indoor environments as comfortable as possible, Renton Ventilation has now embarked on a new mission, with the establishment of Renton Outdoor. As a worldwide trendsetter in outdoor living concepts, Renton Outdoor covers carports, façade elements, garden features and pergolas. All Renton Outdoor products are defined by durability, comfort and supreme quality.

The company excels at constant innovation, which ensures that its garden concepts are the world’s top products for outdoor living. This means that when a customer chooses Renson Outdoor, they are choosing high-end design, tailored to their home. Renson Outdoor is driven by the desire to cultivate a comfortable atmosphere, making the outside an extension of the home environment all year round. Studies have shown that we are now spending nearly 85

percent of our time at home. It is clear that creating spaces in which people are healthy, happy and comfortable is a mission of fundamental importance in a post-pandemic world, and Renton’s attention to detail and design, combined with a touch of luxury, is exactly what we all need.

Renson Ventilation Services: Ventilation systems and installation

Tomburn LBL Finishers Tomburn Ltd operates from a 36,000 sq ft factory in Portsmouth. With over 40 years of industry experience, it is able to offer an in-depth knowledge of a wide spectrum of finishing and accompanying services. The objective of the company is to be the best and the first, automatic choice for its customers. To be the best requires that all customers are provided with what they want, when they want it, and at a competitive price. To remain the best requires a full commitment to continually improve performance. Tomburn is proud to have been Renson’s UK partner for powder coating for over ten years.




stablished over 30 years ago, SafeLane

Global (SafeLane) was previously known as BACTEC International. Specialising in the mitigation and clearance of risk from unexploded


ordnance (UXO), BACTEC quickly established itself as a leader in its field, and was among the very first private companies to be involved in demining operations overseas. Following a restructuring process in 2018, the company rebranded as

SafeLane Global, with a pledge to continue in the safe and sustainable realisation of its clients’ commercial, governmental and humanitarian aspirations. Today, the crux of SafeLane’s domestic business in the UK

Safety first With decades of experience in the mitigation and clearance of unexploded ordnance, SafeLane Global is an essential player within the UK construction industry

is the support it provides to intrusive works within the construction industry. “It’s about saving people’s lives,” says Nigel Barton, Technical Field Manager at SafeLane. “At the end of the day, people in construction

have suffered accidents, or have been killed over the years, because of UXO. Our role is to mitigate against that eventuality, beginning with an initial desktop study, working out what threat there is, if any, and providing

evidence for that through risk assessments. We’ll then make a recommendation, and if needed, execute the mitigation, either in the form of intrusive surveys, or using non-intrusive scans to search for variations in the earth’s




natural magnetic field caused by bombs, bullets or artillery rounds.” The company is currently undertaking UXO mitigation at two sites, in London Euston, and Saltley, Birmingham, in support of the High Speed Two (HS2) rail line. As one of the largest and most complex infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK, SafeLane’s involvement speaks to its wealth of experience. “Our work for HS2 is a challenge, but an enjoyable one,” Nigel tells us. “Saltley, in particular, has posed some really difficult conditions. Originally the site of a warehouse storage facility by the railway line, the ground is absolutely horrendous.” “We’ve been in this business for

in London, we can be there within the hour from our workshop in Kent. Our competitors can’t say the same.” Among SafeLane’s unique offerings is what’s known as its TFG methodology for the delivery of intrusive UXO surveys. “A lot of companies, including ours, have the capability to perform intrusive surveys with cone penetration test (CPT) probes,” Nigel explains. “A CPT probe is an effective tool for surveying down to ten metres over a very open site, with ideal ground conditions. But in and around London, when you come to a site that’s crowded with existing structures or foundations for other buildings, where the strata of the ground can’t support

more than 30 years,” continues Lucie Tiverrier, General Manager at SafeLane. “With that experience comes unique capabilities, whether it’s our bespoke in-house software modelling, or the fact that we have our own assets, be it survey rigs, or detection

a normal rig, or where access is a problem, then you need something different. In those environments, our TFG method is an unmatched solution.” The true bedrock of SafeLane’s success is the depth of its human resources. “Our Explosive

equipment. The construction industry is very dynamic - it changes from one day to the next. If we’re suddenly required on-site tomorrow, we can be. If that site is

Ordnance Disposal (EOD) engineers are all either highly trained ex-military, or skilled and qualified civilians,” Nigel notes. “On every site visit, they’ll

dynamically assess the different conditions, updating our risk assessments in accordance with the particular nature of the task. There’ll always be a senior site manager present, hosting regular toolbox briefings tailored to ensure that each member of the client’s team is fully up-to-speed.” In October 2021, the UK Government published its ‘Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener’, setting out its proposals for the decarbonisation of the UK economy, with the aim of achieving its Net Zero target by 2050. SafeLane is ahead of the curve, however, boasting an extensive track-record when it comes to applying its expertise within the burgeoning renewables sector. “Where are solar developments built?” Lucie asks. “The answer: in flat, open spaces in the countryside, including former airfields. Naturally, those sites require clearance, and that’s where we’re involved.” One such project was SafeLane’s work at EDF’s Dorenell Wind Farm, a 59-turbine site in Moray, Scotland, located atop a former World War II live-firing range. “It was an extraordinarily challenging operation,” Nigel recalls. “The peat hags and brambles made a non-intrusive scan impossible, while the site’s location on a mountain completely threw off our magnetometry. As a result, we had to carry out practical search and clear operations on-foot, with our EOD engineers using handheld magnetometer equipment to sweep an area of roughly 200-square-kilometres. It took approximately a year and a half!” Few businesses were left unscathed by the Covid-19 pandemic. But for SafeLane, the work never stopped. “We had an initial two-week period of uncertainty,” Nigel admits. “Very quickly, however, we saw a rapid distribution of information from

the Construction Leadership Council on how to implement Covid-19 mitigation methods. We received that, adapted our protocols, amended our plans, and within a couple of weeks our teams were back on site working to the guidelines.” “Now, the construction pipeline is very strong again, with a lot of projects starting out, so our goal is to carry on supporting our clients,” Lucie adds. “At SafeLane, we’re always looking at the efficiencies of our kit, our software, and working on our research and development across the board for our land and marine business units. Technology keeps on moving, and the solutions available on the market today are amazing. We’re currently trialling a new set of probes, with the intention of maximising our

productivity in especially arduous conditions. Beyond that, we have exciting plans in terms of mergers and acquisitions, and we’ll be investing in new assets that offer improved emission control.”

SafeLane Global Services: UXO risk mitigation and clearance




t’s been ten years since Trojan Construction

Management (Trojan) was first formed back in 2012. A successful decade, the company enjoyed two consecutive listings among the


50 fastest-growing companies in Wales, and has now established itself as a specialist in the design and construction of drive-through units for the food, retail and commercial sectors, with a series of high-profile clients including

KFC, Starbucks and Taco Bell. It’s a niche market, with unique challenges. “Our projects aren’t straightforward by any stretch,” says David Thomas, Construction Director at Trojan. “You’re working

The trojan force Off the back of securing its largest contract to-date, Trojan Construction Management discusses the drive-through boom that’s creating a stir among international fast-food giants

to rapid timescales of 16-to17 weeks at the most, building predominately on brownfield sites that require remediation, or which require the demolition of existing buildings. At Trojan, we have the know-how to turn these

sites around very quickly, while delivering the standard of quality expected among major brands.” In January 2022, the company announced a new £3.8m project for the development of a site in Christchurch, Dorset. Including

outlets for Burger King and Costa Coffee, it’s the company’s largest contract to-date. “The developer approached us two years ago on the basis that our drive-through experience aligned perfectly with the brands they had in mind




for the site’s front-end,” David recalls. “We took on the entire build, including the trade counters at the rear of the site, working closely with the developer and their project team, holding weekly virtual design meetings and preparing over 30 cost plans, and value engineering solutions to fit within their budget. We started onsite in October 2021, with the project scheduled for completion in July of this year. “The Christchurch development means a lot to our business in terms of the reputation and trust

fantastic way to mark our tenth anniversary.” Trojan has also recently set to work on a two-storey drivethrough unit for Canadian multinational fast food chain Tim Hortons. “We’re already on-site, expecting to complete the project in June,” confirms Shaun Welsh, Director at Trojan. “Located in Manchester, it represents the first step in what is an aggressive expansion strategy for Tim Hortons. Similarly, we’re noticing a number of other brands entering the UK market, with the likes of

we’ve built within the industry,” he goes on. “It’s rewarding to know that a very large developer felt they could come to us with a project of that size. It was a

Popeyes, Wendy’s and Five Guys all looking at drive-throughs. Their interest is a clear signal of the appetite within the UK for this revolutionary American concept.”

Working with household names can be a daunting prospect, but Trojan isn’t fazed. “As with any client, if we want them to keep coming back, we have to deliver,” David insists. “We’re highly flexible when it comes to working with developers and franchisees to get their restaurants and coffee shops open earlier. For instance, we always allow our clients to start fitting-out while we’re building, so that as soon as we’ve finished, the whole unit is ready to go. That benefits the developer, because they have their store open and they’re receiving rent five weeks ahead of schedule, and the franchisee profits too because they’re open and trading.” It’s an approach that has borne fruit in terms of attracting new business. “When a developer, who perhaps hasn’t built one of these drive-throughs before, strikes a deal with a Costa or Starbucks, they’ll turn to them for advice,” David continues. “Nine times out of ten, those franchisees will recommend Trojan. “Likewise, brands themselves will come to us for cost and construction advice prior to their designs actually going out to market,” Shaun notes. “We’re currently working with KFC as they pursue carbon neutrality across their future sites, advising them with regards to the incorporation of sustainable materials. As a company, we’re conscious of the waste that arises from our construction projects. In 2022, we were proud to announce that we had achieved 96.5 percent recycling across all our sites since our launch ten years ago. “In the example of our Christchurch development, the site was previously a building owned by the Office of National Statistics,” he adds. “We crushed the demolished material from that, utilizing it as part of our build. It’s not something we’ve begun recently, or because it’s fashionable; sustainability has always been at the forefront of our thinking.”

No discussion about construction is complete without an acknowledgement of the recent challenges facing the industry, with the protracted Brexit saga followed shortly after by more than a year of pandemicinduced disruption. But against the odds, the outcome for Trojan has been overwhelmingly positive. “In 2020, we were shut down for an initial 12 weeks,” David reflects. “But that’s nothing compared to the huge growth we’ve seen since, particularly within the drivethrough sector, which managed to remain open for a far greater portion of ‘lockdown’ compared to conventional hospitality. As a result, drive-throughs became viewed as somewhat of a safe bet for developers. “Our 2021-22 turnover rose £4m on that from two years before, to £10m,” David tells us. “For the coming year, that amount has already been secured. This year, if we had the ability to take on everything we’re being asked to do, we could easily treble or quadruple that total.” There’s a note of caution, however, as recent events in Europe impose yet more uncertainty. “Who knows what’s going to happen as a result of the war in Ukraine,” David remarks. “Fuel prices are already rocketing. If people are struggling to pay their rising bills, they won’t be taking luxury trips to drive-throughs. We expect those

exporting timber. As the situation with Russia develops, we may well have to look at yet another alternative.” Amid the uncertainty, however, Trojan remains upbeat. “When we set the business up ten years ago, we didn’t know it was going to get to this size,” David concludes. “We remain a relationships-based business, with an open culture.

That’s reflected in our approach to customers. Our challenge is to maintain that, growing within our means, and preserving our quality and reputation.”

Trojan Construction Management Services: Drive-through, industrial and retail construction

issues to be compounded by the government’s ban on ‘red’ diesel, due to come into force this April. As well as the likely increase to our costs, there could be issue of potential theft. As a result, there have been a number of petitions and lobbies seeking to prompt a U-turn.” “We’ll also face challenges when it comes to sourcing our materials,” Shaun indicates. “We shifted to Siberian Larch a couple of years ago, after forest fires prompted Canada to stop




FC Contractors (WFC) was set up in 1976 by

Lloyd Howle and Brian Waggett. From its early days providing


soft furnishings to local pubs and hotels in Torquay, the company quickly evolved into a fit-out contractor with in-house joinery and metalwork facilities, servicing hospitality venues nationwide. The business moved to Newton

Abbot in the mid-1980s and the founders’ sons, Steve Howle and Phil Waggett, joined the business in 1999, before taking up the reins half-a-decade later. By that time, WFC had established a core client base

The specialist treatment From humble beginnings, WFC Contractors has built a reputation as a specialist fit-out contractor catering to some of the biggest names across the UK’s leisure and hospitality industries

among nightclub and casino operators, with projects completed throughout the UK’s major cities. The company also boasted a burgeoning reputation within the health and fitness industry, with such clients as

David Lloyd Leisure and Fitness First. Despite the challenges and uncertainty that followed the 2008 financial crisis, WFC proved resilient. The company secured the fit-out of Babylon in Virgin’s Kensington Roof Gardens, before

winning the contract for The Delaunay for Jeremy King and Chris Corbin, a client who has remained loyal to WFC ever since. In 2010, WFC took the major decision to close its joinery and metalwork facility in Newton



Abbot, shifting focus towards project management. “The decision was mainly an economic one,” recalls Phil Waggett, WFC Executive Director. “When we drilled deeper into what our joinery and metalwork facilities were contributing to the bottom line, it turned out to be not very much. Added to that, joinery was becoming a very significant part of any contract. We realised that by going out into the market we could secure the hungriest price and best available capacity at the time. By contrast, if we were pricing the joinery ourselves and got that wrong, we could lose everything else that went with the contract.” In its present form, WFC bears responsibility for coordinating all the specialists fitting out its clients’ venues. “The client pays us, and we’ll find subcontractors to undertake the work,” Phil explains. “Our strength is in our determination to work with our clients and their professional teams to find solutions to meet their time, budget and quality


requirements. We also have our own dedicated Supply Chain Manager whose role is to cultivate those supplier relationships and ensure that they too can be mutually beneficial.” Phil believes that the company is at its best when given full control of all on-site activities, services included. “As we say of our ideal projects: if you picked the building up and gave it a shake, anything that doesn’t fall out, we’d have done,” Phil says. “We’ve been in this business a long time, and we think we know what we’re doing. When other people are involved in a project we’re trying to deliver, we find it causes complications. The best thing for us is for a client to give us a set of drawings and say, ‘I’ll be back when you’re finished.’ We’ll happily cover everything from mechanical-electrical services to partitions, floors, ceilings, finishes, joinery, fixed seating, plumbing and more.” Every one of WFC’s projects throws up new challenges, as the company works with its clients to

deliver their vision. To that end, WFC is currently undertaking projects for private real estate investor Castleforge Partners at two locations, in Cardiff and Bromley. “We’re currently on our fourth and fifth projects with Castleforge,” Phil notes. “In Cardiff, we’re revisiting our work at Brunel House – the site of our first flexible office project with them. We initially fitted out two storeys of the 15-storey building back in mid-2020, one of our few projects to carry on throughout the pandemic. We’re now fitting out another three storeys. That project started in January, and runs for 19 weeks in total. “In Bromley, we’re working on converting Bromley Town Hall into a lettable office space and hotel,” Phil continues. “We’re working concurrently with clientemployed building contractors who are carrying out significant building, roofing, landscaping and cladding works. Being a building of historical interest, there are heritage considerations around the repairs to the internal fabric

and original joinery. That started in September and will continue through until June.” As its partnership with Castleforge demonstrates, a secret to WFC’s success is the company’s ability to sustain healthy long-term working relationships with its clients. “We really enjoy forging collaborative, not confrontational, relationships,” Phil admits. “In the example of Corbin and King, we won the contract for The Delaunay back in 2010. It just so happened that they liked the way we worked, and we liked working for them. Every project since, they’ve come back to us and said, ‘This is the next project, let’s negotiate.’ They do have professionals who make sure our prices are right, but no project since has been tendered. Ultimately, they’ve never seen any reason to go anywhere else.” A similar situation pertains to the company’s work with fitness studio venture 1Rebel. “Unlike Corbin and King, 1Rebel do sometimes test the market,” Phil tells us. “Most of the time we’re

able to win the work. Again, they enjoy the way we operate, and appreciate the fact that they can just pick up the phone if there’s a problem, and we’ll get it solved. Likewise, our commercial relationship is robust – if they think we’re charging too much, they’ll tell us so, and we’ll normally manage to unravel our differences. At the end of the day, it’s about trust. They have confidence in us to get the job done.” To ‘get the job done’, WFC need look no further than its team of industry experts. “We can only deliver on our promises to our clients by employing excellent people,” Phil insists. “While we’re always challenging ourselves to do more, we still manage to maintain a low staff turnover: many people have more than ten years’ service – and some over 30! On balance, that suggests we’re getting things right.” Despite its history, WFC remains alert to vital new trends and developments – and across the sector, there’s one word on everybody’s lips: sustainability.

“It’s a hot topic for us,” Phil acknowledges. “We’ve just tasked our HR Manager with investigating what’s already being done within the industry, with a focus on how we can do something different and get ahead of the curve. We’ve been working closely with the Construction Leadership Council post-pandemic; they’ll be looking at this to work out what more the sector can do to reach Net Zero. In our mind, wherever we can be more efficient in our operations there’ll be an environmental and an economic benefit. It’s a winwin.” As the sector looks to the future, the hope is that companies like WFC can begin to put the difficulties of the past two years behind them. “Again, the Construction Leadership Council were very proactive and helpful in providing guidance on how to operate safely during the pandemic,” Phil reflects. “Our view in terms of operations was that it was just another risk to health and safety that we had to manage, in addition to the daily risks of



working in construction. More challenging was the postponement of several contracts as our clients reacted to the economic effects of the lockdown on their businesses, added to the cashflow troubles caused by the refusal of some clients to make payments. We’re happy to report that most of those issues have since been resolved.” As 2022 ticks along, WFC is optimistic about the year ahead. “The most exciting job we have lined up is for Scott’s, an iconic seafood restaurant in London’s Mount Street,” Phil concludes. “We’re building a new restaurant for them in Richmond. In terms of broader strategy, it’s really just to get better at what we’re doing. Our belief is that if we can keep delivering really well, clients will come back to us, and new clients will find us. Manage that, and everything else will follow.”

WFC Contractors Services: Specialist fit-out contracting VK Ceiling VK Ceiling has enjoyed a long-established relationship with WFC, collaborating in the successful delivery of many very high specification projects, and achieving unrivaled standards of quality. It stands side by side with WFC in its commitment to meeting the needs of the client, exceeding the expectations of the end user, and the joy that accompanies this. VK Ceiling specializes in dry-lining, all types of suspended ceilings, complex acoustic solutions, and is accredited for fire-stopping installations. Health, safety and wellbeing are at the forefront of everything it does, all day, every day.





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