Construction and Civil Engineering Issue 115 May 2015

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&CIVIL Engineering

Reconstructing Overcoming a combination of challenges on the history reconstruction of a Grade II listed bridge

See page 2

The cost of business

It is critical that public sector procurement policies are reviewed to consider their impact

Device advice

Green walls

How to manage ‘Bring your own Device’ security without alienating users –at all levels of the business

Vegetated retaining walls or embankments can offer key advantages over traditional hard armour systems


Chairman Andrew Schofield Director Mike Tulloch

2Cover story

FEATURES Case study 2 Balfour Beatty’s £4.8 million reconstruction of a Grade II listed bridge faced challenges including the worst winter floods on record

NEWS 5,11,15

Editor Libbie Hammond

Updates and information from the construction and civil engineering market


Editorial Design Jon Mee


Advertising Design Fleur Daniels Staff Writers Jo Cooper Steve Nash Andrew Dann Ben Clark Head of Research Philip Monument Research Managers Laura Watling Steve Spurgeon Editorial Researchers Emily Claxton Tony Wright Nick Bochmann Mark Cowles Tarjinder Kaur D’Silva Keith Hope

How do we ensure that the cost of procurement does not put off the best engineering and construction firms from tendering for the most important public sector building contracts?

Environment 8 Innovative vegetated wall systems are becoming an increasingly popular choice with contractors and civil engineering consultants

Equipment 12 A new raft of legislation has been released that is vital for anyone using a ladder to be aware of


INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY 16 Richard Blandford discusses how to manage BYOD security without alienating users

Affordable housing 18


People are looking not just to use affordable housing schemes, they are also looking to make it more affordable by sharing with friends or family

Hybrid solutions 20 Hybrid construction methods are all about taking a holistic approach

Business Development Director David Garner Sales David King Mark Cawston Production/ Office Manager Tracy Chynoweth

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Adserballe & Knudsen 86 Geith International 90 Hasslacher Norica Timber 93 Norsk Stein 96 Marldon 99 SDC Builders 102 ITA 105 FRANKI FOUNDATIONS 114 ORIGIN 117 AMI GROUP 120 KLH UK 122 TAYLOR & BRAITHWATE 125 SPEEDY SERVICES 129 KODUMAJA 138 SPADEOAK 142 LEE GARTH TOOLS 145 JARVIS GROUP 149

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Construction & Civil Engineering 1



history Balfour Beatty brings a Grade II listed Victorian bridge into the 21st century


or what has been one of the more technically interesting rebuild projects and one that has faced a challenging combination of logistics, site conditions, restricted access and the worst winter floods on record, Balfour Beatty’s £4.8 million reconstruction of a Grade II listed bridge, between Whitchurch-On-Thames in Oxfordshire and Pangbourne in Berkshire, has ensured an important

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river crossing is safe, viable and truly fit for the future. One of only two privately owned toll bridges across the Thames and used by about 1.8 million vehicles per year, The Whitchurch Bridge was built in 1902 but was closed for reconstruction in October 2013. Managed by Oxfordshire County Council on behalf of The Company of Proprietors of Whitchurch Bridge and with designs by Atkins, the toll bridge reconstruction has been completed by Balfour Beatty.

The work on this distinctive bridge was proposed in order to remedy the structural deficiencies that have arisen as a result of the age and increased traffic loads on the existing structure, which has led to serious deterioration of the existing structure and reduced the safe load capacity of the bridge to 7.5 tonnes. Balfour Beatty was appointed to partially demolish the existing bridge and reconstruct a new bridge in the existing location that would comply with current Highway

Bridge Standards. With the existing bridge being a listed structure which necessitated maintaining the original aesthetics, there was the requirement to retain the existing white lattice girders for re-use on the sides of the new bridge as well as the brickwork capping stones and wrought iron railings into the new structure.

A logistical challenge Access was an issue to the bridge as it was restricted by a low

railway over-bridge which had an 11 foot headroom on the south Pangbourne approach, and limiting road widths and a steep hill on the north approach in Whitchurchon-Thames. The site was also in close proximity to a busy medical centre, an adventure centre and the Thames Footpath, which had to be temporarily diverted around the works compound. Working over a live waterway also led to Balfour Beatty sourcing alternative specialist plant and equipment, including pontoons from Holland, a 120t crane from Ireland and a heavy-duty barge kit from Poland, to maintain safety zones around the navigation channel. With continual movements of pontoons and workboats across the width of the river, the Environment Agency stipulated that the bulk of the reconstruction work take place over the winter period from November through March, when a river closure could be granted. The loss of use of the bridge

structure over the period of the reconstruction meant a temporary bridge had to be constructed adjacent to the existing structure so that pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycles would be able to cross the river between the two villages. In addition, a number of existing utility services including high voltage electric and telecom cabling as well as water that were located on the existing bridge had to be temporarily diverted across the river by suspending them beneath the temporary footbridge. Once the temporary bridge was in operation and a temporary support system was installed on the existing structure in order to provide stability, the demolition of the bridge could commence.

The original design The 80 metre span steel bridge has four 20 metre spans supported by three sets of piers within the river with brickwork and concrete abutments on each riverbank. Each pier consists of

Construction & Civil Engineering 3


two diagonally braced steel columns screw driven into the bed of the river. The top of each pier column had a cast iron capitol, which takes the loads of the main bridge girder spans. Following a series of trial holes in the existing carriageway, it was revealed that the existing carriageway was constructed differently than the information detailed in the historic drawings. This raised concerns over the reliability of the historic drawings on which the demolition sequence was based, so further checks and investigative works were undertaken including an underwater dive survey to re-check the condition of the existing pier supports in the river bed. Bernie Van Hoek, project manager, Balfour Beatty said: “Safety was our paramount concern during demolition which led to special measures including removing the dead load on the surface of deck in a piecemeal chequerboard pattern to avoid overstressing sections of the structure.”

The big flood But then as the demolition approached completion in December 2013, the River Thames experienced the worst floods since records began and the river rose to such an extent that all works were suspended for approximately 12 weeks. Once the flood waters receded and the river channel reopened to traffic in April 2014, Balfour Beatty tabled a revised work programme which involved short term river closures, night-time work and a heavy lifting scheme utilising larger floating plant and equipment from Ireland and Holland, which had greater lifting capacities and thus allowing work to proceed without obstructing the re-opened river channel. Following the return to work, removal of the old lattice girders was completed and they were transported off-site for refurbishment. The dismantling also revealed that the existing pier capitals, which had remained covered for 112 years were unable to be separated from the piers due to corrosion, and had to be

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refurbished in-situ using cold stitchwelding techniques rather than refurbishing off site. Specialist piling equipment was used to drill a total of nine new piles at depths of up to 20 metres down into the bedrock to provide the support to the new bridge. Further work involved the reconstruction of the north and south abutments, the erection of new structural steelwork, the casting of a new reinforced concrete bridge deck using 528 tonnes of concrete, and the re-attachment of the refurbished lattice girders to outside of new bridge deck. With the new services diverted back across the new bridge, road surfacing, waterproofing and lighting completed the restoration.

A recycled bridge “One hundred per cent of materials on the existing bridge were recycled or recovered,” added Bernie Van Hoek. “All the existing sub-base and concrete was re-processed, all the steel support arches and transverse girders were cut into sections for recycling and the four existing capping stones and wrought iron railings were carefully removed for re-use.” The eight existing edge girders that give the bridge its distinctive character were shotblasted and repainted off-site, but due to the age

of these girders a number of badly corroded sections have had to be cut out and replaced.

A bridge is reborn Faced with a constrained river site and the worst floods in recent memory, the success of the work is testament to the construction methods employed, which will ensure this iconic Grade II listed toll bridge will stand the test of time. Geoff Weir, the company secretary of the Whitchurch Bridge Company said: “Our bridge is an important route over the Thames for local people and we are delighted that it has reopened after its reconstruction. The Balfour Beatty site team has done a great job for us.” Neil Patterson, Balfour Beatty regional managing director, said: “This has been a challenging project with the worst floods in recent memory and restrictions on the river affecting the programme. However, through close working with the Whitchurch Bridge Company and liaising with key stakeholders we have been able to minimise the impact and deliver a reconstruction which is sympathetic to the original design and stronger, allowing for its use through the 21st century.” m For further information visit: or


Bagging a winner Architectural metalwork specialist Eltherington has helped Tesco to create a stunning first impression for shoppers, thanks to its architectural metalwork solutions. Eltherington supplied and installed the facade solution on the store in Rotherham on behalf of Barnsley-based main contractor Billington Structures. Circular full height column casings in polished satin finish were specified to enhance the store’s architectural style and have been design with extra rigidity to withstand impact by heavy wheeled shopping trolleys. They also had to complement the decorative perforated panels, in steel, used around the entrance area. Project architects, Smith Smalley Architects, specified Eltherington’s architectural metalwork solutions for the superstore. “Eltherington responded well to our brief for a store entrance that offered contemporary aesthetics whilst providing the client with a tough, hardwearing finish. The fact that Eltherington continue to manufacture in Yorkshire and that stainless steel is 100 per cent recyclable adds to the sustainability of this project.” “Billington Structures approached us looking for a complete supply and installation service,” said Michael Riding, Director at Eltherington. “We have recently invested and expanded our installation capabilities and, working with our approved installers, provided Billington with a complete turnkey solution on this project. Stainless steel was an excellent choice of material for this high footfall location and we are confident that it will provide a robust, long lasting solution for the client.”

Bright outlook predicted The global construction industry has regained growth momentum, with the pace of expansion accelerating from an annual average of 2.7 per cent a year in 2011-2013 to 3.1 per cent in 2014. The forecast is for a further uptick to 3.8 per cent in 2015, and then an average annual increase of 3.9 per cent in 2016-2020, according to the latest analysis from Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center (CIC). Based on the CIC’s Global 50, a grouping of the 50 largest and most influential markets in the world, the global industry is projected to grow from $7.4 trillion in 2010 to $8.5 trillion in 2015 and to $10.3 trillion in 2020, when measured at constant 2010 prices and exchange rates (Real 2010 $).

Line up keeps growing The benefit of beautiful buildings The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh has ambitious plans to open its fourth conference and events venue at its South Side home, through a £1.5 million revamp. The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Commercial Enterprises specialises in making the most of the institution’s impressive buildings, with all the profits being invested back into running the globally respected organisation. As Scott Mitchell, commercial director, explained: “The European Language School, tucked away on a quiet side street, is being completely transformed. While the frontage on Hill Place will be enhanced, the real changes will be on the inside and we expect this to become one of the best-known venues in Edinburgh, whether for birthday parties, weddings or business conferences. “The building will actually be accessed from our famous pillared entrance opposite the Festival Theatre, through our private gardens into a lobby area with cloakroom. Inside we’ll have three floors of purpose-built space to suit everything from exhibitions and ceilidhs to small-scale boardroom meetings or a theatrestyle auditorium for up to 160 people. “It will be a hugely versatile space and will sit perfectly between our other venues - the historic grandeur of the Playfair Hall and the glass and chrome modernism of our Quincentenary Conference Hall.”

Momentum is gathering behind UK Construction Week. Held at the Birmingham NEC from 6 – 11 October (with the dedicated trade days from 6 – 8 October), the event, organised by Media 10, will focus on every aspect of the building and construction industry. With nine shows taking place under one roof and 55,000 trade visitors expected to attend, it will be the biggest event for professionals working in all aspects of residential and commercial construction planning and design. A variety of high profile event partners have already signed up including the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists, the CITB, the FMB, the Home Builders Federation, the National Federation of Builders, the National House Building Council and RIBA.

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The costof

business? Stuart Parker discusses issues within public sector procurement, specifically where private sector companies are engulfing costs that could be avoided


he spend on UK public sector infrastructure projects amounts to tens of billions each year and is understandably an area of fierce competition for businesses working in the engineering and construction space. The fact that these projects are subject to OJEU procurement procedures, almost invariably leads to a lengthy and time consuming process. Firms tendering for either framework or individual projects are

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Stuart Parker

required to invest significant sums in the procurement process; indeed the costs can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds or millions for investment related opportunities. For firms that are successful, these costs can often be justified and recovered. However, successfully securing a place on a framework is no guarantee of success. In fact, we’ve found many to be ‘empty boxes’. So how do we find the right balance and ensure the ‘cost’ of procurement does not put off the best engineering and construction

firms from tendering for the most important public sector building contracts? Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) are contracts where the private sector funds public sector infrastructure in return for longterm returns through rental and maintenance revenue streams. For each project within a PFI, three companies are generally shortlisted; in order to win the contract, all three companies are required to produce a design taken to a specified design stage, usually


Successfully securing a place on a framework is no guarantee of success. In fact, we’ve found many to be ‘empty boxes’

stage three. Inevitably with two companies losing out the cost to the industry can run into millions of pounds. One possible way of reducing this cost and the pressure on the private sector is for these schemes to choose a preferred bidder at an earlier stage in the design process. This would require less investment from those companies competing for the business. On the face of it, reducing the choice-set may seem a high-risk strategy, but looking at previous, and relevant, successful

experience, it is a proven way to mitigate this risk. There is also a perception that tender outcomes would reinforce the fact that market management is prevalent. For instance, no single organisation won more than one Priority Schools Funded Programme (PSBP) revenue-funded batch. This means that companies invest in multiple bids with only a real chance of success in one. Not enough onus or resource is allocated to research into a firm’s previous experience, and it is often the case that arbitrary examples of previous experience are required in tender documents, without an intelligent assessment of how the experience relates to the proposed works, or even if it was successful. A thorough look at previous experience will also highlight service levels; it is important, for example, to consider not just a company’s technical capability, but also its ability to deliver projects in the required timescale - a factor critical to project budgets. Payment schedules, particularly within hub framework agreements, are another area where the private sector is having to bear an unnecessary cost burden. Very often, no payment will have been

made until a company is so far down the design stage that 60 per cent of the fees have already been spent, with what can be a damaging impact on a company’s cashflow. As the recession has eased, there are an increasing number of private sector projects where procurement practices are more considerate of bidding resource and investment. It is critical, therefore, that public sector procurement policies are reviewed to consider their impact, in order that they continue to attract the firms that lead the way in the latest technologies, best practice and environmental efficiencies. m

Stuart Parker is business development director at Morgan Sindall Professional Services (MSPS), the multi disciplinary design consultancy. MSPS is a sustainable engineering and design consultancy that specialises in complex infrastructure, process and built environments. The business offers engineering and design consultancy across the full project life cycle. Cost and risk are reduced by applying their technical expertise in a fully BIM compliant environment. For further information visit:


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Green walls 250 riverfront apartments at Carrow Quay in Norwich, believed to be the largest scheme in the UK designed to Passivhaus principles

With contractors and civil engineering consultants continuing to seek more environmentally friendly and cost effective engineering solutions, innovative vegetated wall systems are becoming an increasingly popular choice. Mike Bailey explains


s consultants and contractors demand greater value and increased dependability from their engineering solutions, so they are starting to pay more attention to sustainable infrastructure principles. One example of this is the continuous development and innovation of geosynthetic technologies and the impact this is having on the use of traditional concrete. The

8 Construction & Civil Engineering

current use of geosystems has become exceptionally diverse and now reaches into many areas of the civil engineering sector, with applications including retaining walls, steeped slopes and drainage as well as the construction of earthworks, highways and pavements. A retaining wall, for example, made of poured concrete can be expensive, time-consuming and often requires specialised equipment to construct. Concrete

block systems can go in cheaper than poured walls but many have common structural and finish issues. Vegetated geotextile-based wall systems use the same globally accepted principles of mechanically stabilised earth (MSE) that builders rely on for making massive retaining walls. With enhanced engineering stability, durability and loading capabilities, this proven geosynthetic technology allows the construction of retained walls

Geobag embankment construction


Flex MSE in

and embankments in a reliable, much faster and more economic way; geobag walls have been built as high as 75 ft tall with great success. When it comes to embankments requiring erosion control or stabilisation, or where near-vertical green structures are needed, flexible segmental geotextile systems are ideal. They can flow over existing foundations and adjust to site irregularities such as trees, roots or unexpected

bedrock, and allow contractors to create large, strong, naturally resilient geomodular structures. The environmental advantages of these systems should not be underestimated either. Traditional civil engineering materials, for example concrete or steel in their structural form, contribute greatly to the carbon footprint of any construction project. The avoidance or minimisation of these materials by instead using an engineered system can help to significantly

reduce the embodied carbon of a project. Furthermore, this reduction can be enhanced by a facing that allows the use of site-won or locally available soils, not normally suitable for ground engineering. The re-use of these on-site materials also reduces trucking and landfill waste. Geomodular systems also naturally lend themselves to designing for de-construction. They often contain recycled post-industrial materials, are inherently recyclable, and their component parts can usually be re-utilised, another environmental benefit. Aesthetically, unlike concrete or other solid structures, vegetated geomodular wall systems can reduce any negative visible infrastructure impact. In a rural application, the vegetated wall system can blend seamlessly with the surrounding countryside and enhance the natural landscape; in an urban application it provides a low-maintenance, graffitifree greenspace. These systems are also able to accept almost all types of vegetation. Depending on the application and desired aesthetic, this can include pre-seeding and hydro-seeding with native grasses and flower blends, or live planting and staking of perennial ground covers, shrubs, grasses and flowers to achieve an instant, fully customised vegetation finish.

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Flood protection Another area of growing concern for engineers and contractors, in both the private and public sector, is flood protection. The severe storms and floods of last winter and early spring 2014 again highlighted the vulnerability of coastal and low lying communities and it is increasingly recognised that the building and maintenance of erosion prevention and protective embankments are critical considerations. Geotextile systems offer an ecofriendly flood defence and erosion control solution. They are ideal for any application where land meets water, for example on culvert headwalls, channels, unstable stream banks, groins and weirs or flood protection schemes. With very high settlement tolerance and rapid drainage, geotextile technology has the ability to withstand strong water flow, and even complete submersion, without breaking down. Whilst gabions are perhaps widely regarded as the forefather of modern geotextile systems, there has, over the past couple of decades, been an increase in new

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products in this sector. Our own latest introduction into the UK market, Flex MSE, simplifies the geomodular approach even further. Comprising just two engineered components, soil-filled geotextile Bags and spiked interlocking Plates, Flex MSE can typically be installed twice as quickly as concrete wall systems and yet, with an anticipated lifespan of 120 years (ASTM (System Life) Long Term Design rating*), will last almost twice as long. Additional savings in complex installation equipment, materials, skilled labour and transportation also help to keep project overheads down with all-in costs generally some 60 per cent of comparative concrete block systems. On a typical retaining wall installation or river embankment, Flex MSE’s Bags will be laid tightly end-to-end with an interlocking Plate placed over every Bag joint in a row. Successive layers are added in a standard brick and mortar running bond pattern to engage the interlocking Plate and provide inherent system strength. This process is repeated until the wall’s desired height is reached.

The installation is then vegetated within six months of installation, and inspected yearly. When it comes to selecting a vegetated retaining wall or embankment as part of ecofriendly civil engineering design, Flex MSE’s extended lifespan expectation, reduced carbon footprint, recycling of materials and greening of urban spaces are all key advantages over traditional hard armour systems. *ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is a globally recognised leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. m

Mike Bailey is sales director of Ambrose exclusive UK distributors of Flex MSE. Flex MSE is a unique soft building material that exhibits hard material qualities. It weathers events that would ruin other systems, and only gets stronger and greener as time goes on. For further information vist: or


Award-winning finance deal The deal to finance the £1.86bn Mersey Gateway Project that saw Halton Borough Council appoint the Merseylink consortium as the project company has picked up two prestigious international awards. The deal has been named as Europe’s Infrastructure Deal of the Year at the Project Finance International Awards and IJ Global’s European Road Deal of the Year 2014. An innovative combination of combined commercial and bank finance, the deal devised by the Council along with advisors, KPMG and DLA Piper, was an accumulation of more than two decades’ hard work and dedication from the ambitious local authority to make the vital new crossing a reality. From the beginning, keeping the project affordable was the project mantra, and the deal – which saw the council appoint the Merseylink

Construction workers needed

consortium to design, build, finance and operate the project - delivered impressive savings of £250 million under the budget set by Government in 2011. Liam Cowell, Partner at DLA Piper highlighted the deal’s significance: ‘We are in no doubt that this project will be recognised within the Project Finance industry as a benchmark and one of the most innovative projects of recent years.’

L-R - Hugh O’Connor, general manager of Merseylink, Richard Walker, project director at Merseylink, David Parr, chief executive of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, Rob Polhill, leader of Halton Borough Council and chair of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board

Environmental protection A specialist service, Water Pollution Management (WPM), has been launched by Hydro Consultancy, the professional services division of Hydro International, to help industrial and commercial sites avoid the devastating environmental and financial consequences of inadequate pollution spill containment. To lead the WPM team, Hydro Consultancy has recruited David Cole, one of the UK’s best-known experts in pollution containment techniques and technologies, together with Barry Westwood, a skilled contracts manager with extensive experience in delivering environmental protection on controlled sites. “Many companies may be seriously underestimating the risk of a pollution spill from firefighting water or polluted surface water discharging from their site,” says David Cole. “Catastrophes such as the Buncefield fire in 2005 clearly show the consequences of not being protected – and that’s not just because of the devastating impact on the environment.” He adds: “Proper consideration of how surface water is discharging to the environment should be on the agenda of any company that is keen to act sustainably. Inadequate pollution spill protection is a threat to a company’s brand equity, as well as its corporate and social responsibility. Careful and sustainable use of water resources, especially ground water, is of growing concern to industry, especially where water is used in production processes.”

Buncefield fire image is provided courtesy of Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

By the end of 2016, spades will be in the ground in over 80 per cent of the projects in the UK Government Construction Pipeline, according to analysis published by KPMG. The analysis indicates that 84 per cent of the projects included in the pipeline (2656) are expected to have commenced construction by 2016. This includes 1279 projects, which are reported as being already under construction. The uplift in the number of projects due to start will add to the pressure on the construction industry which is already struggling with an acute shortage of skilled labour. The report, UK Government Construction Pipeline - KPMG Analysis, reflects 3148 projects covering 16 sectors with a total value of approximately £128 billion being procured by central and local government in three spend periods: 2014-16, 2016-20, and 2020 and beyond. Richard Threlfall, KPMG’s UK Head of Infrastructure, Building and Construction said: “It is encouraging to see the Government’s pipeline of construction and infrastructure projects continuing to grow in both volume and value. It is not yet clear however whether the industry will be in a position to deliver the 84 per cent of projects due to start by 2016. There is currently an acute shortage of skilled labour in the industry and unless that is resolved soon some projects will be delayed.”

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stakes of

ladders 2014 was an important year for people who work on ladders. A raft of new guidance was released that it is vital for anyone using a ladder at work to be aware of – most notably, the new, simplified guidance from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE)


adders can seem like such a simple piece of equipment, but there is plenty of evidence that they are not used and understood properly by people within a surprising range of industries. Myths about ladder use are nothing new – just a few years ago false rumours about them not being fit for use on construction sites meant the message that ‘ladders are not banned’ had to be heavily promoted. The cost of this type of

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misinformation is high. Not only are falls from height the number one reason for deaths in the workplace, they are also a leading cause of injuries. RIDDOR statistics have shown that a major proportion of these falls are from low-level work. All ladder users, then, can be just as much at risk of a life-changing fall as those using equipment at higher levels. It is for this reason that updated guidance is vital, and that the latest guidance mentions training as a solution. Last year’s Ladder Exchange, the

scheme originally launched by the HSE which allows people to trade in their old and potentially dangerous ladders for a discount on a new one, has offered the latest sign that many of the people who work on ladders every day could benefit from training. As part of the Ladder Exchange, an annual ‘Idiots on Ladders’ contest is run on Facebook, which asks members of the public to send in pictures of the worst examples of ladder use that they can find. 2014’s campaign had more entries than any previous year. Given the wide range of unsafe use shown by these pictures, and the fall from height statistics confirming that low level falls are a significant danger, it is vital that everyone using a ladder is fully aware of both the risks and the solutions.

Examples of unsafe users of ladders pre-use check should be carried out. This involves the person using the ladder checking its stiles, feet, rungs and any locking mechanisms. If a stepladder is being used, the platform and steps or treads must also be checked. All of this should also be done when something changes, like the ladder being moved from a dirty area to a clean one, or being dropped.

New guidance for winter

What does the HSE say? After a rigorous review of work at height, the HSE established that any issues were not with the regulations themselves but with the supporting guidance. It is from this review that the new guidance, ‘INDG401: Working at height – a brief guide’ was created. The most important fact the guidance starts off with is that ladders ‘can be a sensible practical option for low-risk, short-duration tasks’. A good guide to what types of tasks this actually applies to is the half hour rule – if the task would require someone to stay up either a leaning ladder or a stepladder for more than half an hour at a time, different equipment is recommended. Before thinking about the time, however, risk should be the first thing to consider when deciding whether to use a ladder. Most importantly, ladders should only be used if the conditions allow them to be used safely – in a place that will keep them level and stable and, typically, where they can be secured. When actually using the ladder, the most important rule to bear in mind is that three points of contact should always be maintained – typically two feet and a hand – except for very brief periods such as when knocking in a nail. Longer periods without a handhold

mean other methods should be in place to prevent or minimise the consequences of a fall, such as securing a leaning ladder or using a stability device. The guidance also emphasises that the person using the ladder must be competent to do so. Those regularly using ladders may be best served by a half-day training course. Accredited courses of this type around the UK are listed on the Ladder Association website. On this subject, the guidance specifically says that ladder users should ‘have had instruction and understand how to use the equipment safely’, adding that ‘appropriate training can help’. Finally, prior to using the ladder at the start of the working day a

Winter requires some extra care from ladder users. Not only are some people using ladders who would not usually do so – like people putting Christmas decorations up at home – but the conditions for workers outside are harsher. For these reasons, new guidance has been released which tackles issues specific to winter ladder use. These ‘Five Festive Tips’ cover which ladders to use for which jobs, how to inspect a ladder, positioning to minimise the risk of slipping, alternatives to cutting corners, and the dangers of overreaching. These tips can be viewed in full on the Ladder Exchange website ( The new HSE guidance can be found for free on the HSE website (, while more ladder guidance and details of various ladder training courses are available from the Ladder Association site. m

The Ladder Association is the trade body responsible for advancing safety and best practice in the ladder industry, and oversees the delivery of national training. Formed in 1947 by leading ladder manufacturers, the Ladder Association has since expanded to welcome members from every part of the access industry, playing an integral role in promoting the highest standards of ladder design and manufacture, and advancing best practice in ladder use. For further information visit:

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Historic mill to be transformed McLaren Property Ltd has opened the first show flat at a major £16.6 million student housing development in Bath. The scheme is being delivered by Bristolbased Midas Construction and will transform the former landmark Twerton Mill on Lower Bristol Road in Bath into a state-of-the-art student housing complex. The project will create much-needed new student accommodation for Bath with 330 bedrooms in a mixture of studios, en-suite clusters and townhouses, which it is hoped will free up more privately rented accommodation in Bath for local families. Work began on site at the historic former mill in May 2014, and the new

complex is due to be completed in August 2015 in time for the new academic year. Midas Construction’s Wessex and Wales division has worked closely with developers McLaren Property Ltd, architects Stride Treglown and Bath and North East Somerset Council to ensure the plans for the development fully reflect the historic importance of the site. The mill buildings have been derelict for many years however, and this scheme is designed to regenerate the site, with the plans carefully incorporating many ways in which the rich industrial heritage of the area can be reflected and incorporated.

Lighting luxury The development of a high-end building in London has been installed with 900 of Luxonic Lighting’s chilled beam luminaires. One Pancras Square is a part of the King’s Cross development and accommodates offices over eight floors, including the new head office for French fashion designers Louis Vuitton. The Grade A office building has been rated BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and is installed with the latest technology to minimise environmental impact and reduce running costs for its occupiers. Widely regarded as the most space and energy efficient method of heating and cooling a building, the chilled beam systems increase the design and sustainable potential of projects. Luxonic’s Airlux is a range of satin lensed small nose cone luminaires that have been specifically developed for seamless integration into chilled beam structures to provide controllable light outputs that achieve the optimum lit environment. The Airlux luminaires have been a popular choice for MSCB installations in commercial office projects such as One Pancras Square, primarily for its efficient lighting distribution as well as sustainability. The advanced technology of the Airlux is well matched to the environmental credentials of the building development. As a part of a two million sq ft cluster of office buildings, One Pancras Square is on the doorstep of Kings Cross and St Pancras train stations as well as having great accessibility to the London Underground, with an entrance situated within the building itself.

£480m transformation

L-R: Stuart Black, development director for McLaren Property Ltd; Alan Hope, chief executive at The Midas Group and Paul Crossley, leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council

Turner & Townsend has been appointed to provide programme, project, cost and procurement management support for the new £480m retail quarter in the heart of Sheffield City Centre. Propelling Sheffield into the ranks of Britain’s top ten retail destinations, the new 900,000ft2 scheme will be retail led but will also include residential and office space. Appointed by Sheffield City Council, the consultancy will deploy its expertise and leadership to the Council and its stakeholders to develop the tailored solutions required to deliver this key regeneration project for the City. It is anticipated the retail development will be fully complete in 2021 with the initial phase opening for trading by the end of 2019. Jon White, UK MD at Turner & Townsend, commented: “The new retail quarter is another important step in Sheffield’s vision of becoming an economic hub in northern England, and we look forward to helping the city achieve its aspirations successfully.” Sheffield City Council director of capital and major projects Nalin Seneviratne added: “The design merges with Sheffield’s award winning public realm and world renowned cultural assets – including The Crucible and The Lyceum theatres – and unites key retail pitches in the city centre from The Moor through to Fargate. “This will consolidate an enhanced retail offer and also provide for food and beverage, office and residential to extend the attraction as an evening entertainment destination.”

Construction & Civil Engineering 15


Deviceadvice Richard Blanford discusses how to manage BYOD security without alienating users


t is now almost routine for individuals to bring their own mobile devices to work (BYOD). However, enabling BYOD has been much easier than understanding and managing its security implications. In many instances a technically aware user population are simply configuring their own remote and email access outside corporate IT security guidelines, and potentially storing sensitive corporate information on them. I believe we need to find practical ways to support consumer

16 Construction & Civil Engineering

technology at work while maintaining control of sensitive information. BYOD requires a security policy, which is enforceable, realistic, acceptable to users and doesn’t violate personal privacy laws. There should be no ambiguity and all users should be clear on what is and is not allowed. Once everyone has been informed, the policy should be rigorously enforced. Organisations that use contractors and temporary workers also need to ensure that they set up appropriate network security for these staff and ensure that they understand and

adhere to security policy. I recommend that whoever is responsible for company IT encourages users to come to them for advice on using their device, so that they do not send information outside the organisation in an uncontrolled fashion. This applies at all levels in the organisation – the managing director with his or her new tablet is just as likely to accidentally breach security policy as the office manager. The key principle for a BYOD policy is to minimise the amount of data transferred to or held on the

mobile device. There are three steps organisations can take: 1. Virtualise applications and stream them to the device. 2. Allow access but implement a corporate policy to prevent the user downloading sensitive organisational data. If the organisation wants to allow data to be downloaded, it becomes the user’s responsibility if they lose the device, and they need to be made aware of the consequences and their responsibilities. 3. Take advantage of the remote wipe capability that most devices

have, using encryption to secure sensitive data, and ensure that the organisation’s BYOD policy mandates implementing Mobile Device Management (MDM) capability on the BYOD device. Virtualisation can be provided in three ways. Option one is to run a hosted or virtual corporate desktop, which the user can access through their device, using software such as Quest, Citrix or VMware. All the device needs is the appropriate client software. This solution is largely device independent, so will work with everything from a user’s own laptop and all major tablet types to a Windows, Android or Apple phone. It needs appropriate back-end systems and network connectivity to deliver the desktop or application, and means that the user cannot work on corporate applications unless they are connected to the network. It can also be set up so the user can only access the desktop from known IP addresses. It is important to ensure that the device is reasonably secure and not infected, with appropriate virus protection. A second option, particularly for laptops, is to install client hypervisors and virtual desktop check-in/checkout software on the device, such as MokaFive, Citrix Xenclient or VMware View offline. Windows 8 HyperV can also work in a similar fashion. This is a higher impact solution, as the IT team needs to configure the user device and install the client hypervisor to accept the virtual desktop. It works by creating separate, bootable desktops on the same device and partitioning the hard drive into business and personal areas. As this can be run locally, it is a good solution if the user needs to work offline. When they go back online the system checks back into the server (using a VMware/Citrix solution) or synchronises (using MokaFive/Quest). This solution is particularly good with laptops, but will not work with all devices as you cannot run a full corporate desktop on some tablets. It also creates more work for the IT team, who have to


We need to find practical ways to support consumer technology at work while maintaining control of sensitive information configure the device and install the client hypervisor to accept the virtual desktop. The third option is to repackage applications to be accessed through a portal (similar to iTunes). It requires either application streaming or the creation of lightweight clients (Apps) which can run on a smartphone or tablet, which have just enough intelligence to run basic functions, while most of the processing is carried out by the web-based back end. This becomes more difficult if the user wants to run ‘large’ applications such as SAP or Microsoft Office. This is where most people believe desktops are heading, with a web portal used to display available applications to the user accessible from a wide range of devices and operating systems. BYOD is clearly here to stay, and each organisation needs to find a way to implement it that maintains data security while being realistic and acceptable to users. The list of considerations will differ for each organisation, but it is essential to ensure that corporate policy is made first before looking for technical solutions. m

Richard Blanford is managing director of managed cloud provider Fordway. Fordway has over 20 years’ experience helping large and medium-sized organisations, across all market sectors, realise the best from their IT infrastructure. Fordway offers different IT infrastructure services depending on your organisation’s requirements. For further information visit:

Construction & Civil Engineering 17



Affordable Housing, or make housing affordable? By Andrew Boast


n a property market that is short in supply and high in demand, house prices have shot through the roof in 2014, with the average property price in England hitting £177,377. One solution to combat this is to build and at a rate that meets with the current demand of 250,000 per year (60,000 per year in London). However, with the limited credibility of the Government’s promises to meet this and developers currently building less than half this number, seemingly building enough merely to keep the demand and the prices high, first time buyers are forced to look at more affordable housing. But with average yearly salaries of £24,648 falling far behind the growth of property prices, what housing is affordable? Property prices have risen in England by 7.7 per cent since October 2013 however salaries have only increased by 1.7 per cent during the same period, meaning salaries are simply not keeping pace with these rises and a single

18 Construction & Civil Engineering

average earner is struggling to buy an averagely priced home. With an average salary and the Council of Mortgage Lender’s average mortgage multiple for June 2014 being 3.47, the highest mortgage loan available would be £91,955. Unless you have a £85,422 deposit, buying an average home isn’t achievable for one person. This coupled with a society that is marrying later in life, if at all, finds many singletons forced into rent or searching for some affordable housing solution.

Shared Ownership Schemes The leading providers of affordable housing for many years have been the housing associations via Shared Ownership Schemes. If your household salary is less than £60,000 (higher in London) and you are a first-time buyer then you can buy a share of a home and rent the rest from the housing association running the scheme. You can buy anything between 25 per cent to 75 per cent and the idea is that over

time you build up your share by buying more tranches from the housing association. The downsides to the shared ownership scheme are that costs are often as much as paying back a mortgage on a fully owned property and you are limited as to what you can buy: it has to be leasehold and only from the stock they have available. The process is highly regulated limiting the overall control you have of your property; it can feel like you are still renting and only get to benefit from a small percentage of any property increase. Another affordable housing solution is the Governments’ Right to Buy scheme, which allows most council house tenants the option to buy their home at a discount. The discount starts at 50 per cent for flats and 35 per cent for houses and increases each year by two per cent for flats and one per cent for houses to a maximum of 70 per cent or £77,000 (London is £102,700). The main eligibility

At time of writing, 35,962 first time buyers have been helped by the Equity Loan scheme and 30,269 by the Mortgage Guarantee scheme. Although these are growing numbers they make up less than five per cent of first-buyers. Is this because Help to Buy isn’t advertised well enough? Or people don’t want the Government to be involved with their house purchase? Or is it simply people still can’t afford the five per cent deposit on a £200,000 house on their own?

The real issues

criteria is that you have been a public sector tenant for five years. But what if you don’t live in a council house or want to buy with a housing association? In 2014 the Government launched its flagship solution to affordable housing – the Help to Buy scheme. Launched first in April 2013, the Equity Loan scheme helps first-time buyers with a five per cent deposit by providing a Government loan of 20 per cent to top up the 75 per cent mortgage. Following on from this, the Government launched the Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme in October 2013. This new scheme allows first time buyers with a five per cent deposit to apply for a 95 per cent mortgage of which the Government will guarantee up to 80 per cent. This scheme is outpacing the other in popularity and you can see why when you own your property in full and don’t have the added liability of a separate loan payable back to the Government.

The Government is obviously noting the issue faced by many first time buyers but the solutions they offer miss the real issue. It seems that instead of regulating the development of new properties to increase supply and reduce the cost of houses, the Government is offering new ways to structure buying houses at ever-increasing prices, which puts more people into a greater amount of debt. Perhaps this is why home ownership is on the decline for the first time and over nine million people aged 18 to 34 rent or live at their parents’ home; they simply can’t afford the affordable housing options available. So how do you make housing affordable? Santander recently predicted that over the next two years 39 per cent of all house purchases will be between friends, family and unmarried couples. What this says is that people are looking not just to use affordable housing schemes, they are also looking to make it more affordable by sharing the all the costs of buying a home. They are seeing that one average earner can only afford a mortgage of £91,955, but two can afford one of £183,910 and then new opportunities become available. In the example above, a five per cent deposit on a £200,000 house is £10,000. If two people were buying together, that would be £5,000 each; if they then shared the stamp duty, buying costs, mortgage


Property prices have risen in England by 7.7 per cent since October 2013 however salaries have only increased by 1.7 per cent during the same period repayments and living costs, it would make buying the house even more affordable. By buying with someone else and sharing the costs, you’ll be sharing costs you’d otherwise have to bear on your own. It is important to ensure that when sharing buying a home, your legal interests are protected as there are a growing number of cases where joint owners are disputing their share in the property if the relationship deteriorates. Shareamortgage. com provides a full home buying solution for joint owners and a legal document to protect their share of the property and set down how the relationship will work. Most first time buyers will always seek affordable housing in a market where property prices are left to escalate due to a lack of supply, but even paying a lesser sum is becoming harder. More and more first-time buyers are now moving towards collaboration in order to achieve their goal of home ownership, which gives them some fresh opportunities in an age commonly described as ‘generation rent.‘ m Andrew Boast is co-founder of Shareamortgage. com. Share a Mortgage is an online platform that allows members to search, chat and meet like-minded people who have been credit scored to protect members; with a view to teaming up, pooling their resources and buying a property together. For further information visit:

Average House Price for £177,377 in October 2014 Land Registry Property price increase for England Oct 2014 to Oct 2013 – 7.7% Land Registry Average weekly wage £474 per week Office for National Statistics Help to Buy Statistics The Government

Construction & Civil Engineering 19


Theperfectcombination Hybrid construction solutions and how to select the right technology to optimise the options. By Nick Milestone


s a provider of hybrid structural solutions, which are optimised in terms of cost, performance and sustainability, we take full advantage of offsite manufacturing techniques by exploiting Design for Manufacturer and Assembly (DfMA) protocols. DfMA is used as the foundation for concurrent engineering processes to simplify and fully optimise the structure

20 Construction & Civil Engineering

wherever possible, to reduce manufacturing and assembly costs and to value engineer. This process helps to identify, calculate and eliminate waste or inefficiency in the building design. Through careful design detailing and value engineering, B & K Structures is able to offer the best possible construction solution, ensuring a smooth integration for follow-on trades - delivering environmentally sustainable projects on time and to budget. To ensure value engineering is integrated at every opportunity during the design and development path - the team at B & K Structures have developed some innovative tools to support and quantify design decisions.

Optimising structural specification performance Working with the Austrian based cross laminated timber (CLT) manufacturer, Binderholz, B & K Structures formed the X-LAM Alliance in 2011 and has invested in research to develop technology to aide cross laminated timber specification and design. The CLT Construction Specifier is a free to use groundbreaking online specifying system developed to help validate and support early stage calculations. The CLT Specifier provides a risk and cost free way for designers, engineers and architects to investigate cross-laminated timber as a structural solution. The lack of CLT

performance information has been a barrier to specification and this open source online tool will enable construction professionals to meet prerequisites of the build to deliver exacting thermal, fire and acoustic performance - eliminating the gap between design expectations and as-built results, whilst eradicating the costly risk of over-engineering. This system is freely available to use, visit: technical

Low carbon design using the carbon calculator We have also developed a Carbon Calculator, which is an innovative digital resource, which delivers carbon estimates to help clients assess the most viable low carbon solution. All the relevant information is entered into the system by in-house specialists - such as material volumes and transport factors influencing the calculation. The Calculator takes into consideration packaging waste and provides ‘on site and not in the factory values’ - including delivery transport and waste disposal. The Carbon Calculator produces carbon estimates to act as guidelines for different project scenarios - enabling professionals to gain early information about the environmental impact of their proposed development.

Integrated design - it’s all about taking a holistic approach Crucial to information transfer and share, designing with Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a collaborative way of working, underpinned by the digital technologies which unlock more efficient methods of creating and maintaining assets. BIM embeds key product details and asset data to create 3D Models that can be used for effective management of information throughout a project

lifecycle - from earliest concept through to operation. The 3D Model can be shared by the construction partners with further detailing being added along the design journey - data is passed between the professional design team through .ifc and .sat file sharing. This is of particular relevance in hybrid structures for example, BSkyB’s Believe in Better Buildings (BiBB), a new educational facility for graduates, apprentices and staff training, which reflects the company’s sustainable aspirations. Based at the Campus

at Osterley, West London, the 3000m2 development encompasses a three storey linear building with an additional storey accommodating a restaurant and roof terrace - all providing an inviting multi-functional amenity We provided an optimised hybrid structure for the build - comprising a glulam frame with cross-laminated timber (CLT) floor, roof and stability walls, together with perimeter wall cassettes. The structure was designed to deliver permanent quality, adaptability and long term energy efficiency, to meet the sustainability objectives. BskyB had specific sustainability targets mapped out for the structural framing options. The targets included a 15 per cent reduction in embodied carbon of construction, 27 per cent of recycled content, responsible sourcing of materials through PEFC or FSC timber and 80 per cent of key materials by mass manufacture within a given radius, depending on density. BIM technology and CNC machines were used to ensure the structures were manufactured to exacting tolerances to guarantee the details of the connections were precise. Architects and engineers worked together in a shared office - allowing them to make real time decisions. BIM goes beyond the planning, design and construction phases to the whole life cycle analysis of the project and can provide the end user with information from conceptual ideas and building design to cost control and construction management which was crucial to the BSkyB project.m

Nick Milestone is managing director at B & K Structures and is on the Board of Directors of the Built Environment Hub. B & K Structures offers an unrivalled source of information in the highly specialised field of optimsed structures and has a genuine knowledge sharing philosophy - its ethos is to engage, inform and empower.

Construction & Civil Engineering 21


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All star

cast Milbank Concrete Products is a family owned business widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading suppliers of high quality precast concrete products


trading history of more than 60 years has seen Milbank Concrete Products build an enviable reputation as one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of high quality precast concrete products. The business, which provides a broad range of precast concrete solutions to the construction industry and also offers design and technical support and delivery and installation services, is widely known for its quality, high levels of service and its unique approach to relationships with its clients. “Our success is in large attributed to us ‘going

Construction & Civil Engineering 23

42 Construction & Civil Engineering


the extra mile’ and this is a value that we really work hard to achieve and promote at all levels within the business. For example, as we’ve expanded our team in recent months our aim is to instil this idea in our new staff members. We think it’s really important to develop this idea as a cultural notion so that we pre-empt our clients’ requirements wherever possible and always ‘help our customers achieve success’,” says Andy Mayne, managing director of Milbank. “Today we are recognised as one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of high quality precast concrete products and from our seven acre site in North Essex we design, manufacture and install a wide range of precast and prestressed concrete solutions,” he continues. “We’re a family owned business with a staff of over 160 people, and we are currently seeing an unprecedented demand for our services, primarily as a consequence of the current boom in the construction industry, but also because of our hard won reputation for quality and reliability.”

spectrum of products in its portfolio, which is bolstered by the knowledge and innovative spirit of its design and technical support team. Of course, while designed for a number of applications the products bring with them some key advantages thanks to their precast nature. For example, precast components are manufactured off-site in an enclosed, controlled casting environment that ensures consistent quality and avoids potential delays, precast floors and stairs allow immediate site access and finishing access following installation, the process is quicker than in-situ mould construction and pouring and products can be delivered to site when needed eradicating the need for on-site storage, and it has excellent longevity and sound

reduction qualities. “In terms of products there are two main strands to our growth strategy in 2015, the first of which is our WarmFloor solution, which is a thermally insulated floor used to construct ground floors,” Andy highlights. “It’s a concept that is really gaining momentum because builders are looking to save construction costs and buyers are wanting lower heating costs. WarmFloor delivers both lower costs and higher levels of insulation so we’re seeing increased uptake and gearing for expansion. We’ve also increased capacity in our precast stair production facility and our aim is to increase volume at the same time as delivering a higher quality product. We’ve recently invested in a number of new steel

Diverse range of clients In accordance with such a reputation, Milbank’s products are the first choice for a number of sectors. For example, while the majority of its output is destined for the construction industry the business has a diverse range of clients, and thus projects. “House builders form the bulk of our client base, and these range from the very largest national builders through to self-builders building their own homes or extensions. We’re seeing a resurgence of commercial property development as the economy strengthens and it’s a market that we are well placed to service. In addition infrastructure projects are gaining impetus, with us working on projects for rail, power and environmental clients, and we are also seeing a growth in sporting facility projects such as terracing for stadiums.” The business provides a broad

Construction & Civil Engineering 25


moulds to replace our older timber moulds, meaning that we can offer a much higher standard of finish (Type B) on our standard stairs.” As well as standard stairs, Milbank has added spiral staircases to its portfolio, as Andy explains. “The growth of our curved and spiral stair production continues and it looks likely that we will soon need to increase our capacity with a new mould to complement our current system. To our knowledge our existing Construx stair mould is unique in the UK and we have gained considerable expertise over the last two years in the design and production of these complex units. “The main attraction for our customers is that our curved stairs offer a level of solidity and quality that is unequalled by any other material,” he continues. “This is particularly important to the owners of prestige properties, which often feature swept and curved stairs in their designs that make use of generous spaces offered in large houses. Conversely, the same stair technology allows us to build one piece ‘winder’ stairs, which make the most of restricted spaces and work very well in town house construction. For example, we recently secured a contract to produce 40+ winder stairs in a prestigious West London development with the first stairs due to be delivered in Spring this year. Spiral stairs are surprisingly economical when compared to an insitu solution, so they add significant value for money and appeal to the moderately priced house also.”

Complex stair designs In regard to investing in new moulds the company is expecting delivery of a new adjustable steel mould from the continent which, when installed, will greatly expand its production capabilities. It will enable the business to offer some of its more complex stair designs, which are currently manufactured using timber moulds, in a steel mould. “The upshot of this,” says Andy, “is that we will be able to respond more

26 Construction & Civil Engineering

quickly to orders and deliver a first class finish. It means that we can also incorporate customised stair recesses and nosing, which is something that our clients have been repeatedly requesting.”

Thinking on their feet Although Milbank manufactures its products in its own facilities, the delivery and installation phase of a project presents numerous challenges. For this reason the business has its own dedicated delivery and installation teams that travel to the site. “Safely installing any precast concrete unit takes great skill, which is why we have 11 directly employed teams who are responsible for installing our products,” Andy comments. “The experience of these individuals often makes the difference to the success of an installation and they are often required to think on their feet to overcome unexpected challenges in a safe and professional manner. They work alongside our installers and with our clients to co-ordinate the logistics required, and by reacting quickly to changing circumstances they often save the day by overcoming unforeseen obstacles. We actually regularly receive positive feedback from clients who have been impressed by their resourcefulness and willingness to help.” Naturally, with the inherent dangers of installation health and safety is of paramount concern for

Milbank. One of the main dangers on construction sites is falls from heights, and as Andy explains, it is a danger that Milbank takes very seriously. “We provide our Passive Fall Arrest System, which is deployed during our installations. We own and operate the system ourselves and it is part of the complete service we provide to clients. Essentially it consists of giant air bags that are inflated below the work area and is designed to prevent injury in the unlikely event of a fall. In conjunction we also have a unique gantry system designed in-house and tested externally for unloading our products to ensure our teams are safe in all operations.” As the construction industry steadily recovers from years of uncertainty, there remains reason to be confident for the coming years for Milbank. As Andy concludes, the business will continue to develop and invest in order to maintain its leading position in the market. “The outlook for 2015 is certainly encouraging, and we’re seeing an uplift in the level of inbound enquiries and the strong finish to 2014 has given us the confidence to make significant investment in new infrastructure and capacity. The future for Milbank is very much about us building steadily on our core strengths. We are programming substantial upgrades to our production facilities over the next year, which will deliver greater capacity and efficiency. We’re also making a significant investment in technology with the roll out of a new company wide IT operating system that will join up all our departments from sales to invoice along with delivering highly detailed project costing. Lastly, our new website went live at the beginning of this year, offering more up-to-date content and functionality, and the reaction so far has been extremely positive.” m

Milbank Concrete Products Products: Precast concrete products

PROFILE: Komatsu Mining Germany

Insidescoop Driven by innovation, Komatsu Mining Germany’s (KMG) success as a leading manufacturer of large hydraulic mining shovels stems from its ability to listen to the needs of its customers and adapt to market demand


ith a history dating as far back as 1907, the Dusseldorf headquartered Komatsu Mining Germany GmbH (KMG) was officially established as Demag Komatsu, a joint venture between Mannesman Demag and Komatsu Ltd Japan, in 1996 to develop, manufacture and market large hydraulic mining shovels. “As a division of the worldwide business

player Komatsu Limited (KLTD) of Japan, KMG is part of the mining business unit, and mother plant for super large hydraulic excavators. With more than 39,000 employees worldwide KLTD have design and develop centres in Germany and Japan to develop the products and technologies for tomorrow. Komatsu is responsible for the development, production and marketing of super large excavators for international open pit mining. The brand KMG is a worldwide synonym for top quality, achieved through continuous product development and innovation combined with reliability,” begins Jens Klopmeier, manager of product marketing, planning and application at KMG. Since it was renamed and reregistered as Komatsu Mining Germany in 1999, the same year Komatsu took full control, the company has witnessed steady growth. Notable developments

include the company’s shovels being re-identified with its parent company’s PC series and super shovel designation to compliment Komatsu’s existing excavator range in 2000; the delivery of the 50th PC 8000 super large hydraulic mining shovel to a customer in Brazil in 2005 and the 100th PC8000 in 2013 to a customer in the United States. Moreover, the innovative firm presented the first PC5500 with a Tier II EPA engine at the MINExpo in Las Vegas in 2008 and later redesigned its whole product line to fulfil Tier II requirements in 2012. Aiming to design and produce machines with optimal productivity, low running costs and reliability, KMG and its parent firm’s product range includes, 15-16 m3 buckets, which are used on PC3000 hydraulic excavators, 22 m3 buckets, which are used on PC4000s, 29 m3 buckets, which attach to PC5500s and 42 m3 buckets, which attach to PC8000s. Keen to ensure its products are environmentally friendly, Komatsu’s engines meet international emission regulations, while extended oil change and filter replacement intervals minimise damage to the environment. Engines are available in either single or twin drive, depending on the size of the hydraulic mining shovels and offer fuel tank capacity that is sufficient for continuous operations of 24 hours. Another option is electric driven machines, with 6600/7200 V and 50/60 Hz motors available; the optimised electrical design meets all international standards and the squirrel cage motor offers a soft start function. Depending on a customer’s mine set up, KMG has a front shovel attachment and backhoe attachment available as well as a broad selection of buckets to meet all requirements. On top of this, KMG delivers large, comfortable and safe cabs for operators thanks to an integrated FOPS structure in accordance with ISO 3449, an internal floor area of approximately 4.2 m2, large impact resistant

Construction & Civil Engineering 27

PROFILE: Komatsu Mining Germany

windows, a pressurised cab to prevent dust admissions and cab noise levels between 74 and 77 dB(A) in accordance with ISO 63096. The cabs also offer whole body shock absorption in line with the standards of EN ISO 7096, cab heating and air conditioning and a comfortable multi-functional operator seat with internal heating. “KMG’s shovels are working all over the world, operating day and night under the toughest of conditions.

Tyco Fire Protection Products Tyco Fire Protection Products with ANSUL Fire Detection and Suppression Systems help protect Komatsu mobile equipment. Fires pose one of the greatest safety threats to businesses. Harsh environments and extreme temperatures require a fire suppression solution that keeps crews safe, equipment secure and operations running. Working in partnership with Komatsu, Tyco Fire Protection Products offers an extensive global network of trained and authorised ANSUL Distributors who provide design, supply and maintenance solutions for a full range of mobile equipment fire protection needs.

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Currently, the product portfolio consists of four different shovel types with operating weights between 250 metric tons and 760 metric tons. Depending on the shovel size bucket capacity varies from 15m³ to 42m³. Principally, a customer can choose between a diesel or electro drive as well as between a backhoe or a front shovel attachment. Besides our standard scope of supply we offer a variety of tailor made solutions,” explains Jens. Committed to continuous product improvements, Jens notes that the company recently redeveloped and relaunched the PC4000 super-shovel: “The updated PC4000 boasts a number of new features and design changes to improve its reliability and productivity. For example, the electrical system has been

completely revised and simplified using a ‘lowest cost-per-ton approach’, reducing the number of electrical parts like controllers, relays and circuit breakers by up to 59 per cent. “The choice of technology used in the PC4000 has been driven for further reduction in downtime and increased availability while not neglecting quality and serviceability. The new PC4000 has additional improvements such as hose routing for reduced wear and longer life leading to lower cost and improved uptime. With the latest PC4000 model a new generation of KomtraxPlus, Komatsu’s remote condition and health monitoring system, was launched. New features as well as additional data storage allows instant monitoring of the machines condition and performance.” Data is directly

transferred via the ORBCOM system, which allows for a better schedule of maintenance and operation. In addition, the remote diagnostic functionality is easily integrated into additional tools such as Modular Mining’s MineCare system, for long-term analysis. Key to the ongoing growth of KMG is its constant drive to develop world-leading equipment for the mining and construction industries through working closely with clients and supporting customer efforts to reduce costs while improving performance. “One of Komatsu’s key aspects is the DANTOTSU philosophy which means that Komatsu always wants to have a superior product available for its customers,” says Jens. “Since 2012, the mining industry has been experiencing a decrease in commodity prices. As a result of this miners are looking for opportunities on how to reduce cost or increase their production in order to achieve stable revenues. Either way miners choose to go, we are able to support them. For us at Komatsu, we have the understanding of being a partner rather than a supplier. Our distributors have created a culture of customer support, through both knowledge and experience, supported by a senior management team that cares. The quality of our personnel is evident to support mine sites around the world to reduce MTTR and increase machine availabilities as well as MTBF.” Keen to provide solutions and services to mine site owners and support their business, KMG will continue to use its innovative strength to provide further value through adaptation of its business model and the development of cutting edge technology, as Jens concludes: “By facing the difficulties our customers have we can better understand how to adjust our products and services to our partner’s requirements.” m

Inter Control INTER CONTROL is a leading supplier of control solutions for mobile machines like excavators and cranes. As a pioneer on the field of mobile electronics, INTER CONTROL stands for innovations, which define technical market standards. The CAN-node ICN-VV from INTER CONTROL has been designed to control hydraulic valves. The up to 32 outputs can supply a current of 4A each. The maximal total current is 80A. Up to 16 outputs can be configured to be used as PWM-outputs with current control, additional 16 outputs are carried out as digital outputs that can also be configured to work as digital inputs or counter inputs. Beside these I/O’s, 8 additional inputs are available which can be configured to work as digital or analog inputs. At applications with a lower I/O-requirement an ICN-V with up to 16 outputs and 4 inputs in identical distribution should be considered as an economical alternative. All CAN-nodes of the ICN-V family are suitable to be used in mobile working machines with 12V or 24V power supply. Because of the aluminium enclosure which is protected according to IP6K9K, the extended temperature range of -40 to +80°C as well as the shock- and vibration proof design, a mounting without an additional electrical cabinet, directly at the vehicles body and thus nearby the hydraulic valves, is possible

Komatsu Mining Germany Services: Manufacturer of large hydraulic shovels

Construction & Civil Engineering 29


Focus on the future T

Heléns’ warehouse handles more that 100,000 tonnes of tubing every year for clients within the construction, engineering and processing industries

he company was initially founded in 1927, but it was not until the late 1950’s that it received a financial boost, spearheading the company into the successful position it holds today. The purchase of Heléns by the German organisation Benteler has provided a financial strength that was initially very important, and an association that connects the business to engineering clients and industry across many levels. “That was in essence the change that started us as a tube distributor to the Swedish industries, becoming involved in welded precision steel tubes, seamless precision steel tubes, carbon hollow bars, welded circular hollow sections, special sections, cold

30 Construction & Civil Engineering

formed sections, energy, hydraulics and stainless, selling those products into Sweden,” says Stig Rex, sales director. Since that time the business has progressively grown from being a traditional stockist, forming closer working relationships with industry, resulting in the investment and development of its own internal production. “Instead of bringing in tubes and logistic services, we started to develop in house production, creating more value for our customers,” he adds. Belonging to a family owned company, Heléns benefits from a structure that offers quick decisions, and the freedom to control its own destiny, continually delivering results. Today, its processing operation has become a major

part of the business, which as Stig points out has been advantageous: “We were quite early to leave the traditional stock business and I think that has been very successful for us.” Expanding from its initial operation in Sweden, its trading envelope encompasses much of the Nordic region such as Finland, Denmark and Norway, as well as the Baltic States and Russia, with local representation and stocks in each area. The target markets are segmented into three main areas, as Stig highlights: “The biggest segment for us is mechanical engineering, which encompasses the mining industry, the agricultural industry, drilling works, and yellow goods. In general, it has been a very tough year, with

Construction & Civil Engineering 47


significantly less consumption over the last 12 months. However, we are also working very closely with the Swedish automotive industry with manufacturers such as Volvo and Scania, with the car sector having achieved an all time high in 2014. The domestic construction market also maintains a heavy share of our

32 Construction & Civil Engineering

total volume, and we have noticed an improvement in the building sector, with continued strengthening forecast. This has been driven by planned and important investments in infrastructure, and the building of private dwellings for individuals.� A global reputation has certainly provided the business with an uncompromised strength, and belonging to a group that is active outside of Nordic countries, it too is effectively represented around the world. Working with the likes of Volvo Construction, actively manufacturing big wheel loaders, excavators, haulers, and yellow goods, it is clear the level of respect it has gained in the industry. Additionally, clients such as Sandvik Mining and Thule place further

emphasis on that standing. “One of our major strengths is the mix of products that we have, holding the broadest and deepest stock of tubes for industry, covering all the different types of welded products, seamless tubes, hot rolled bars, and stainless materials, focused strongly on tube solutions for industrial customers. “The in-house production service has also been developed to meet more specific demands, ensuring that the service is delivered in accordance with customer agreements. We have a sales force

that is composed of 50 people, with 13 working externally, visiting the customers at sites, and identifying new buyers and new customers. That focus on the customer is essential, and by participating in different exhibitions, we have successfully built a customer stock of close to 2000 buying customers in Sweden,” says Stig. One problem in high cost countries, such as the Scandinavian market, which has been well voiced, is the little growth in the consumption of steel. The forecast is leveled, and as Stig highlights:

“We cannot depend on growth for the future, instead we must depend on ourselves. By increasing the attractiveness of our service, and increasing that drive towards customers and customer solutions, we hope to make the necessary gains.” Since the collapse of the financial market in 2008, the industry has failed to recover to the comfortable levels previously experienced. However, businesses are still active, and competition has increased quite dramatically, particularly with companies from the more heavily affected areas such as Southern Europe, entering the regional market. “This is why it is important that we grow, more in added value, than in volume. “Having recently reviewed our five-year plan, we work towards the increase of our part of the added value drive, as well as expanding our business with certain products. We are an old and well established organisation, with a high market share for several of our products, so we have to look into the products where we have a lower market share, and review how we can grow on that to increase our volumes, particularly with focusing more on stainless tubes and bars,” concludes Stig. m

Heléns Ror AB Services: Steel tubes Construction & Civil Engineering 33

PROFILE: Severfield (Design and Build) Limited


steel With its sights firmly set on the future, sustainable growth and upholding its position as the largest structural steelwork contractor in the UK, Severfield plc is a must read success story


everfield plc has three UK companies, Severfield (UK), Severfield (NI) and Severfield (Design and Build). Severfield (UK) is prominent in the top end of the structural steel sector. Covering the London market and significant landmark structures and bridges it has successfully delivered numerous projects such as the Shard, 2012 Olympic Stadium, Paris

34 Construction & Civil Engineering

Jim Martindale

Philharmonic and Baltic Millennium Bridge. Based in Northern Ireland, Severfield (NI) is the equivalent of its UK counterpart, however it also operates very successfully in mainland Britain. Severfield (NI) competes very successfully in the next tier down from Severfield (UK), in the London market on commercial office and residential developments. With its headquarters in Sherburn, North Yorkshire, Severfield (Design and Build) was established back in 1949 by two brothers, Frank and Wilf Ward and traded as Ward Bros, initially supplying farm buildings. “The business grew and became a prominent structural steel fabricator in the construction sector both for the home market and also exporting structural steel

all over the world in the 1980’s and early 90’s,” explains Jim Martindale, managing director. That business was bought by Severfield plc in 2005, and under the new ownership and further investment the business has secured a position as the market leading structural steel group. Severfield (Design and Build) concentrates on distribution warehousing and buildings for the manufacturing sector, in addition to serving the retail sector, supermarket stores on stilts and out of town retail developments. The business offers a full range of services, from design through to completion to ensure that projects run smoothly, priding itself on its inhouse capabilities. “We are a customer focused organisation, and over a long period of time we have specialised

in the production of warehouse steel frames, growing to a greater efficiency and higher standard than anyone else,” says Jim, adding: “We have a large in-house technical department, which has refined the art of optimising the design and a production team that consistently delivers products on time, fulfilling the intensive site programmes we provide. Our main driver for repeat business is delivering on time, every time.” The group covers all UK market sectors, something that has proved to be a valuable asset. One of Severfield’s major differentiators is in fact its flexibility, and as various sectors move and change, the business is able to move with them. With an unrivalled level of expertise in structural steelwork, that flexibility is something well appreciated by its clients. Severfield recognises that

its 1200-strong workforce is the future of its business. Dedicated to achieving its strategic growth objectives, the business continues to attract, retain and motivate the best people in the steel industry. A string of successful projects is testament to the calibre of its staff, whether engineers, erectors, designers, or any of the numerous other positions within the organisation. Jim joined the business back in 1995 as a trainee design engineer, at a time where the majority of designs and drawing work undertaken involved manual calculations and drawing by hand. As the industry in general faces

a shortage of specific skills, Jim reflects on how the industry has changed, and the importance of a complex understanding: “Inevitably technology has moved on and both design and drawing work is now computerised with 3D design and drawing models. “However, the traditional hand drawn approach is a very good discipline and there is still a case for a technical trainee to start on a drawing board so they truly understand how a building goes together, as it is a good way to focus the mind on designing for manufacture with standard straightforward details.” Holding

WS Transportation WS Transportation was set up in April 2014 with a fleet of standard flat and trombone trailers. Its drivers are fully trained and equipped to carry high, wide and long loads. WS Transportation enjoys a close partnership with Severfield plc and forms a vital link within its supply chain. With every Severfield load being time-critical, deliveries must be made safely and efficiently and WS Transportation clearly demonstrates this commitment and capability.

Construction & Civil Engineering 35

PROFILE: Severfield (Design and Build) Limited

the recruitment and training of apprentices as fundamental to business development, the business takes on at least ten apprentices each year as a means of ensuring that it has all the desired skill bases available in the future. “For Severfield (Design and Build) the projects that really stand out are the 35 metre high bay warehouses we have built. These projects enable us to show our structural design capabilities and they reverse the rules slightly as the main consideration affecting the design is the build sequence and temporary stability. Generally, buildings up to 20 metres tall are designed for the permanent condition and then checked for the construction scenario,” explains Jim. A promising future is bolstered by a strong list of potential projects combined with a

36 Construction & Civil Engineering

good work mix, that includes several distribution warehouses, a 40 metre tall high bay and two factories with overhead travelling cranes. “The crane supporting structures are always a test of good design details to ensure that we achieve the tight steel erection tolerances on site,” he adds.

Working towards a future where the company is recognised as a world-leader in structural steel, its ambitious and innovative leadership is certainly fuelling an already fast moving business, as Jim highlights: “We would like to see continued growth in markets and improved margins.” Not afraid to get down to basics, key importance is placed on understanding customers requirements and meeting their aspirations through innovative thinking and a flexible approach to deliver successful outcomes. m

Severfield (Design and Build) Limited Services: Structural steel design and engineering

PROFILE: Wirtgen Limited


As a wholly owned subsidiary of Wirtgen Group, Wirtgen Limited specialises in the sale and servicing of equipment, vital to the construction of roads throughout the UK


he business was started by Reinhard Wirtgen in 1961 and remains a passionate, family owned enterprise whose roots were planted in the back yard of its owner as he began developing cold milling and planer technology. It was during the 1970’s that the business first paved its way into the UK market, establishing itself in Lincoln, where it continues trading today. Initially operating as a contracting business, the company gradually began selling greater quantities of milling machines, eventually dropping

its contractor status. Wirtgen Limited was officially formed in 1995 targeting sales, servicing, repairs and overhauls of road construction equipment. Over the last 12 years the Wirtgen Group has acquired several more brands such as Vögele, Hamm, Kleemann, and most recently Benninghoven, incorporating manufacturing specialisms in paving, compaction, crushing and screening equipment, and asphalt plant. “We have effectively added on those brands in the UK, establishing and developing each one within

our market,” says Paul Holmes, managing director. The successful acquisition of Benninghoven completes the circle of offering from Wirtgen Group as he explains: “Being able to produce everything related to road construction has put us in great stead to gain on, and maintain our market position. Through Kleemann we process minerals, which can go into the Benninghoven plant to be made into asphalt, to be laid by the Vögele paver, before final compaction with the Hamm range. The Wirtgen milling machine

Construction & Civil Engineering 37

PROFILE: Wirtgen Limited

is then available to recycle the pavement and go back through the circle.” As diverse as its product range is its extended customer base, ranging from individual SME contractors, through to local authorities, large quarrying companies and

38 Construction & Civil Engineering

contracting organisations working on major highways, quarries and airports. “We have the benefit of German engineered, market-leading products, and we constantly strive to develop that technology, holding our status as market leader in milling and planing, in pavers,

and compaction. Furthermore, the new diesel electric MC 110 EVO jaw crushing machine that we have recently introduced has had a dramatic impact, doubling our market share. This will soon be followed by a more compact MC 100 R EVO jaw crusher, which should appeal to recycling contractors. “Part of our philosophy is striving to provide exceptional customer service, offering support with technical issues, spare parts and application technology, our aim is to be approachable and straightforward. For our customers, their machines are their livelihood, so the whole business is focused on servicing the customer to the best of our ability,” says Paul. In 2015 Wirtgen Limited launches two new milling machines into the UK market, welcoming the W 100 CFi, one metre front-loading track machine, available from March. Already well received by contractors at a factory open day, it boasts Tier 4 final compliant technology, and focuses on providing a faster and easier operation. In addition to the

W 100 CFi, the new series of onemetre machines also includes two further, innovative models – the W 120 CFi and W 130 CFi – with working widths of 1.20 m and 1.30 m, respectively. With these three new front loaders, the new generation of small milling machines now comprises a total of five models, following the successful launch of the W 50 Ri and W 60 Ri half-metre milling machines. These rear loading machines benefit from the same level of technology, offering greater maneuverability for a wide range of applications. With the indicated spend in infrastructure investment, clients are recognising that after years of maintaining their existing fleet, now is the time to replace old for new, and gear towards the future. As a business, it has doubled in size

in the last 18 months, with most of that coming from gaining market share. Such growth has ultimately led to the increase in staffing levels, achieved through laying the seeds for its own grass root talent, as Paul highlights: “Getting people in place with the speed of the growth is challenging. As a result, we are investing very heavily, employing close to 25 people in the last 12 months, and through acquisition we have doubled staff numbers to 115 in the UK. We very much believe in an apprenticeship programme

and we continue to invest in this way, with apprentices helping us to overcome the lack of specialist engineers. We are big promoters of bringing people through the business, developing strong product knowledge and the ethos of the company. “Having increased our mobile engineer workforce by 60 per cent we are now introducing a new 24/7 workshop capability, enabling a faster turnaround in service, maintenance and repair.” As the business seeks to expand the size

GP Logistics When Wirtgen, a leading supplier in road construction machinery were looking for a partner they chose GP Logistics. With 40 years’ experience in the industry GP Global Logistics are able to provide machinery transportation within the UK and to and from Wirtgen’s four manufacturing plants in Germany. GP Global Logistics provide management of transport through a range of hauliers; controlling costs and ensuring that hauliers work to strict guidelines in accordance with Wirtgen’s safe working practices and code of ethics; maintaining communication links between Wirtgen operations, sales staff and client base before during and after the transportation has taken place.

Construction & Civil Engineering 39

PROFILE: Wirtgen Limited

of its premises it remains focused on the needs of its clients. The full time appointment of an in-house trainer allows Wirtgen Limited to provide operator and engineer training for its customers, opening its premises to customers to use and learn

40 Construction & Civil Engineering

about the machines in a safe and controlled environment. Developing the business to provide the full spectrum of road and mineral technology equipment, plays key to it is future, as Paul highlights: “Simply put, we want

to be the market leading provider of road and mineral technology equipment, remaining close to our customers and focusing on products that satisfy the needs of our customers. It is a question of how can we help customers deliver these projects. It is clear that finding a skilled workforce and providing the amount of training required is an immense task, given the planned government infrastructure investment. Ultimately as the ones that are producing the infrastructure, we offer our clients support as a partner, delivering our service to ensure they are able to deliver theirs.� m

Wirtgen Limited Services: Road construction equipment


Playingheavy In the middle of 2008, whilst many companies were experiencing hardship, a small group of engineers saw an opportunity to offer their service expertise in the world of construction equipment, establishing Willowbrook Plant Services


illowbrook Plant Services Ltd entered the market at a very challenging time on the financial calendar, yet clients jumped at the opportunity to have access to the knowledge and experience of the company’s founders, as they sought alternative solutions to purchasing new machinery. “We have built the business on the strength of our service and parts background that has grown its reputation by employing highly skilled staff with experience and vision. Not a lot of people were buying machines, so repair demands were much

greater. Operating as a service and repair outfit, we were quickly able to establish links with some of the bigger clients in the country,” announces sales director Brian Conn. As demand saw the business quickly triple the amount of engineers on the road, in 2009 the company secured its role as a sales dealer for the Takeuchi mini excavator range. Complementing the new path, it was soon after, in 2011, that Willowbrook was awarded a similar contract with Hyundai, further bolstering its strengths. The product range has been so well received that customers are now leaving other brands to benefit from its initial cost savings, fuel efficiency, lower maintenance,

Construction & Civil Engineering 41


cab ergonomics, and all round performance. The combination of sales and service has seen turnover rise from £230,000 in its first trading year to a massive £16 million predicted for 2015. “We have really driven through the success of the sales, and built on the service experience that the guys brought across when the venture was first established. It has been a meteoric rise, we have obviously had a lot of growing pains in between, but we have been fortunate by the fact that we got in with the right brands at the right time,” says Brian. With a steady stream of service and repair work, the agreements with the Takeuchi agency and the Hyundai agency accelerated the business. Takeuchi, with the brand that it has in the market place has always been a strong seller, so as Brian explains: “It was always a case of just sticking with it, keeping in contact with the customers and progression would be inevitable because the product almost sells itself. Securing the

42 Construction & Civil Engineering

Hyundai contract in 2011 took us onto yet another level, because not only are the machines priced correctly, but they compete now with what’s perceived as the best in the market. So we have built on that, growing our engineering capacity with more engineers, and gradually been awarded more area by the manufacturers, based on the success we have had in the past.” It was during 2014 that further developments in its growth were made, with the company signing an agreement with Maximus Crushing and Screening Equipment. Geographically, the company is responsible for the sales of

the equipment for much of the country. “The early days have been successful, selling a handful of the units so far, and we hope to increase that to about 20 units this year. Over the last 12 months we have seen everybody who has held off for the last few years get back into buying mode. All manufacturers have been selling machines, but of course, when that happens, competition can become fierce, prices get tighter and deals get tighter. Certainly now the market recognises our presence and sees that we are a true contender, matching to the likes of Hitachi and JCB in our areas,”

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Construction & Civil Engineering 61


explains Brian. As the company continues to grow, it looks to future recruitment through two main channels, recommendation from within the industry and personal connections, ensuring that the business is able to continue to grow a team that complements the well established close knit community that it has for so long used to maximise its full potential. “We also have two apprentices employed, one which is finishing next year and the other has two years to go. They have both proved well worth the investment, and it is definitely the way to go forward,” Brian adds. In 2014, sales of the 14 tonne Hyundai unit amassed a 50 per cent share of the business, as Brian points out: “There is a massive market for this size of machine

44 Construction & Civil Engineering

and we have taken great success from it. Priced correctly, it is a true competitor to the likes of CAT and Volvo. Either side, sales of our eight tonne range, and 20 tonne range have also amassed to a substantial amount.” In time, and in line with the growth of the business, a depot down in the M25 region or one further North may be established, depending on how much area it gains from current contracts. “There has always been talk of regional expansion, and this will inevitably lead to the requirement of another depot. But as we look towards the future we are searching for a telehandler contract, with the likes of Manitou or Merlo, as well as another dumper agreement such as one with Bomag or Thwaites. Bolting such additions onto our offering would certainly be a great enhancement to the portfolio,” he concludes. m

Willowbrook Plant Services Ltd Services: Dealership and service provider for construction plant

Strickland Direct As a leading supplier ofbuckets, quickcouplers and attachments, Midlands based, Strickland Direct Ltd attributes its continued growth to its customer focused sales team. The combination of having Europe’s largest stock of finished buckets and attachments and our experienced sales team gives us the ability to react quickly offering next day delivery on the majority of orders placed. With a new purpose built factory and five acre site being due for completion in April 2015, Strickland Direct plan to further invest to cope with future increases in demand. Visit us at Plantworx at Block 44 8E4

Construction & Civil Engineering 45



Gowiththe Kone is the global leader in the lift and escalator industry, providing an extensive range of industry-leading lifts, escalators, passenger conveyors and industrial and automatic building doors, as well as innovative solutions for modernisation and maintenance


ounded in 1910 the company remains dedicated to providing the best ‘People Flow’ experience by developing and delivering solutions that enable people to move smoothly, safely and in comfort, and without any waiting in buildings in an increasingly urbanised environment. The company is committed to

46 Construction & Civil Engineering

understanding and implementing the needs of its customers such as builders, building owners, facility managers, and developers across a range of industry sectors including residential buildings, hotels, office and retail buildings, medical buildings, leisure and education centres, infrastructure, and medical facilities. Presently KONE operates through more than 1000 offices worldwide, spanning around 50 countries. It has seven global production sites, eight global R&D centres and authorised distributors in its key market areas, giving it the ability to serve thousands of clients across the globe. In the UK, KONE Great Britain provides the full range of lifts, escalators and autowalks, doors, maintenance and modernisation services in the KONE portfolio. In keeping with the KONE vision the

business is responsible for delivering a performance edge to its customers through the creation of the best user experience gained from ‘People Flow’ solutions. As a leader in its field the company has been involved with many prestigious projects in the UK, including The Shard, 122 Leadenhall Street, 20 Fenchurch Street, Cannon Place, 30 St Mary Axe and Broadgate and 201 Bishopgate buildings, Emirates Stadium, Brunel University, Citigroup, The Co-operative Group HQ, The Jubilee Line Extension, St. Georges Wharf and Heathrow Aiprort Terminal 5 & 2. The latter work at London Heathrow airport has been a significant and lengthy range of projects for KONE, which has been working at the site since 1990. The business was involved in the construction and development of Terminal 5, providing autowalks, escalators and

lift solutions. The main building, T5A, consists of eight levels under a single span roof making the logistics of effectively transporting up to 30 million passengers per year a considerable challenge, and calling for an innovative mix of lifts, escalators and autowalks that would enable passengers to traverse the complex in an intuitive manner. Using its ‘People Flow’ approach, KONE provided 103 escalators, 54 lifts and three autowalks in T5A and T5B, successfully delivering and installing everything on time and fully operational. Following this KONE was awarded a five-year contract for all five terminals at Heathrow Airport in 2001, work that encompassed more than 700 units of lifts, escalators and moving walkways. The contract included work at the T2B satellite

building to Heathrow’s Terminal 2, which opened in 2014, and involved the supply of 40 lifts, 18 escalators and 12 autowalks. More recently, in 2014 the company secured a five year extension to this contract to maintain equipment for people and goods movement at

all Heathrow Airport terminals, meaning that KONE will ultimately be responsible for the smooth and efficient flow of around 72 million passengers per year at the airport. The contract extension highlights Heathrow Airport’s recognition of KONE as a service provider of choice, selecting the company due to it consistently delivering and excellent people flow experience for passengers and a 99.7 per cent equipment availability rate. Speaking at the time of this development Michael Williams, managing director for KONE in Great Britain said: “I am proud that our long-term partnership with Heathrow Airport continues. It is a magnificent achievement to be awarded the contract to maintain all the equipment. Heathrow is internationally renowned for being

Construction & Civil Engineering 47


one of the busiest transportation hubs in the world. To be assigned the service provider of choice and to help passengers move around efficiently and comfortably is a huge credit to our team.” The business is well renowned for its work at UK airports, with the KONE name being synonymous with quality and innovation in moving people efficiently and effectively. In addition to its work at Heathrow Airport the business has completed a series of projects at Gatwick Airport, most recently (December 2014) securing a four-year contract to maintain its lifts, escalators and autowalks. KONE will be responsible for providing around-the-clock maintenance service as well as being Gatwick’s modernisation partner for associated equipment. The company’s ongoing success

relies on its dedication to moving people in an innovative and highly effective manner. Its products are industry leading and eco-efficient, providing best-in-class solutions for customers. Its escalators and autowalks for example set the standard for eco-efficiency, safety

and visual design, providing high quality and reliability combined with a low total cost of ownership. As they are tailored for each individual client requirement they are idea for any number of applications. For KONE, innovation is key and this was recently recognised when business magazine Forbes named the company as one of the world’s most innovative companies. In summer last year KONE was ranked 42nd out of the top 100 most innovative companies in the world, and was ranked sixth of all European companies listed. It was also the only lift and escalator company features on Forbes’ list. Since its inception the company has been at the forefront of its industry with a number of ‘firsts’, including in 1996 when it was the first company to introduce machine-room-less lifts More recently it has developed highrise lift-hoisting technology, KONE UltraRope, which will enable lifts to travel heights up to one kilometre – twice the current possible distance. “It’s a great honour to be recognised among the world’s most innovative companies for a fourth consecutive year,” said Henrik Ehrnrooth president and CEO of KONE Corporation. “Innovation and technological advancement have been at the core of our company for decades and will continue to be moving forward.” Indeed, moving forward there is little doubt of continuing success for KONE. The business remains entirely dedicated to innovative methods of ensuring effective ‘People Flow’. The company understands the importance of ensuring that people are able to move smoothly and efficiently and through continued development it will strive to make the elevator or escalator ride as safe, comfortable and efficient as possible for users all over the world. m

Kone Services: Lift and escalator manufacturer 48 Construction & Civil Engineering

PROFILE: CIMC Modular Building Systems

Contained growth F

ounded in Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China, in 1992, China International Marine Containers (Group) Ltd (CIMC Group) has diversified its services over the last three decades to become one of the leading global manufacturing groups. From its relatively humble beginnings as a container business, CIMC Group today operates in sectors such as modular building systems, vehicles, energy, chemical equipment, food equipment, offshore facilities, track equipment, logistics equipment and financial services. Boasting a global network that operates throughout North America, Asia, Australia and Europe, the massive organisation has more than 150 subsidiaries and 70,000 staff.

With an innovative design and patented building technology, CIMC Modular Building Systems (MBS) has found a solution to clients requiring speed of construction, enhanced quality and early return of investment Under the helm of its parent company, CIMC Modular Building Systems (CIMC MBS) has enjoyed impressive growth since its foundation in 2004, becoming the world-leading provider of modular buildings and modular building systems in just over a decade. With an enviable list of global clients, from

internationally recognised hotel operators to global resource firms, CIMC MBS has developed a strong reputation as a unique provider of profit driven solutions. From its four manufacturing facilities based in three locations, and its five branches that serve customers on a global scale, CIMC MBS provides its high quality services to a broad range of sectors such as hotel and hospitality, apartment and workforce accommodation and student accommodation. Benefiting from the experience of the CIMC Group in areas such as project development, design, construction and operation, CIMC MBS works with its clients’ teams to ensure designs are constructed safely,

Construction & Civil Engineering 49

PROFILE: CIMC Modular Building Systems

efficiently and cost-effectively. To strengthen its foothold in the construction of modular buildings, CIMC MBS established regional offices in Europe in 2014 and Australia in 2009. CIMC MBS UK, located in London, UK, is responsible for all projects in the UK and Europe and also has technical input into V system projects across the globe. With the knowledge and experience to take clients from A to Z during a project, CIMC MBS UK assists with everything from design to delivery. Furthermore, the team works with architects that need assistance and welcomes close and open discussions with architects, engineers, developers and contractors to help deliver successful projects. Meanwhile, CIMC MBS Australia is responsible for all projects throughout Australia and New Zealand. The team is capable

50 Construction & Civil Engineering

of delivering products into all major ports and also provides a holding yards service if needed. Retaining its values to provide performance-driven results on time, to budget and with optimum safety,

CIMC MBS consistently delivers and exceeds expectations. Moreover, the company can support projects thanks to its extensive funding resources either via internal funds, through strategic partnerships with international banks, legal firms and accounting and leasing consultants across the globe. Available to customers is a onestop-shop package of debt finance, which covers modular purchase, construction costs and project costs. Focused on volumetric modular construction, CIMC MBS constructs a building off-site in controlled plant conditions; although it uses the same materials and designs to the same standards as conventionally built facilities, CIMC MBS’s way of creating modular buildings offers a number of benefits to clients. These include a high level of quality and repeatability, up to 60 per cent reduction in construction times and a 70 per cent reduction in onsite labour; furthermore, modular construction reduces overall capital costs by ten per cent to 30 per cent as a result of greater design, delivery and onsite management efficiencies. The company’s product range includes the V system, which is perfectly suited for hotels, student accommodation and departments. The V system can be stacked up to 16 levels without the need for

additional structures, is designed to be shipped anywhere and have superior acoustic and fire isolation as each module is separated by an air gap and internal linings are fire rated. Benefiting from container technology, each module is tailor made to meet the clients’ needs in terms of room size and internal specification. Meanwhile, the T system is a singular module that is supplied complete with external façade and roofing. The modules are typically supplied with a single point of entry for services and come commissioned with air-conditioned rooms and hot water systems. CIMC MBS also provides customers with the flat pack option, which can be used in a number of ways, such as a temporary office, accommodation and or sanitary room. Four units can be packed as 1x20 metre containers for convenience and cost saving. Having provided modular buildings to customers such as InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton, Travelodge and Premier Inn, CIMC MBS is currently working on a £15 million contract that uses its converted container system to create a new on-site hotel at Bristol airport. As the company’s modular system is still relatively new to the UK, this contract gives it ample opportunity to show the benefits of using this system. As CIMC MBS continues to showcase the advantages of modular construction to the conservative UK market, the company naturally anticipates increased demand from UK customers over the coming years. However, as an organisation that doesn’t rest on its laurels, CIMC MBS is also looking to establish itself in other markets that show opportunities for growth. m

CIMC Modular Building Systems Services: Modular building construction specialists Construction & Civil Engineering 51

PROFILE: Joseph Ash Group

to A Zinc W The son of a renowned chemist, Joseph Ash established the business to provide steel finishing services to UK industries, with initial expansion through the railway sector leading to a dominating position in the construction industry

52 Construction & Civil Engineering

ith sister companies in France and the US, Joseph Ash Group is part of one of the world’s largest galvanizing companies. The galvanizing process is a must have for corrosion protection on steel items, and after 158 years of trading, the company has secured a wellearned standing. “As a business we are heavily dependant on the construction industry, an industry that was hit hard by the recession. However, it is definitely a reviving market, and there are positive signs

that it is picking up,” says marketing manager Mick Jackson. In line with the expectancy of a buoyant future, 2014 proved to be far busier than 2013, boosted by predictions of a 19 per cent increase in structural steelwork market levels by 2018. “First and foremost we are a hot dip galvanizer offering corrosion protection, but also shot blasting and powder coating facilities. We provide an additional shipping service using our own transport fleet of both rigid and articulated vehicles, based at our numerous plants across the UK,” Mick points out. With clients operating on a countrywide basis, the

undertaking projects that can range from pipe work and tubing to lighting columns, motorway barriers and street furniture. Second to that is a healthy interest in the agricultural industry, both buildings and equipment such as gates and troughs. Beyond its

standard options, if customers have a special requirement such as marking, stenciling, bundling, export packing, containerisation, or simply room to trial erect its products before site, then Joseph Ash endeavours to offer it. “It is a combination of these added services that provides our strength,” says Mick. From a compliance perspective, certification is of key importance to customers today. As well as holding vital British and ISO Standards, the company is the only steel finisher in the UK to be granted approved galvanizer status by Akzo Nobel. The plant that holds this status, in Sittingbourne, Kent, was acquired in 2013, and as Mick highlights: “Being able to quote and highlight such awards puts us in a great

location of the businesses facilities provides the ideal spread to reach its customers. “Since the outset, we have been driven to become a company that offers more than the normal galvanizer, going that extra mile to help our customers in what they require. We are able to coat anything that is made of, or fabricated in steel, which opens up a large market, and as one sector becomes quiet, another sector may be slightly on the rise, be that agricultural, infrastructure, transport, or general engineering,” adds Mick. Construction and infrastructure are the company’s biggest markets,

Construction & Civil Engineering 53

PROFILE: Joseph Ash Group

position that is further supported by our RoSPA Gold Award for Health and Safety, as well as holding the international occupational health and safety management system specification OHSAS18001, a first for the UK galvanizing industry.” The acquisition of the southernbased Medway plant enabled the business to close its operation in Poplar, which had suffered since the migration of its main customer base to areas outside of the main M25 conurbation. “The majority of customers that were trading with the London division have been retained, but furthermore, we have been able to make large savings on transport costs. Relationships to any business are the Holy Grail, we don’t look at our customers as just a revenue stream, we actively want to engage with them, and build up a trading relationship, whether through a multi million pound contract or a £150 minimum charge order,” says Mick. From its head office the business provides a technical support division, which is manned by technically experienced personnel, positioning it ahead of the many businesses relying on the Galvanizers Association

54 Construction & Civil Engineering


for answers to the most complex questions. “We are able to answer any queries or provide technical information that customers require on galvanizing or specification, with just one call. We want people to be happy with the service that we offer, and we want our name to spread across the market place, building on the reputation that Joseph Ash is the must go to galvanizer in the UK,” Mick explains. Conforming to the latest environmental conditions such as emission and control, investment into plant and equipment is ongoing, working to ensure it operates in line with the integrated pollution prevention control (IPPC) directive. The process of galvanizing is completed using Zinc – a naturally sourced product, but importantly for the environment, Mick highlights: “Depending on the application, once an item of steel has been galvanized, it can be forgotten for the next six

decades in regards to maintenance.” The growth of volumes and margins, and the provision of unbeatable quality and service remain the underlying focus for the business. Capital projects are expected to provide opportunity for expansion, with new services and facilities being added to a number of the company’s sites. “Investment into capital projects will continue with the expected recovery of the UK economy, particularly within the steel sector. Our fixed plants provide ample coverage of the bulk of the UK, and capital projects will ensure that we have the capacity to continue winning new business and going after new business,” concludes Mick. m

Joseph Ash Group Services: Steel finishing services

PROFILE: Martin Grant Homes


Penrose Park

Since its inception in 1978, privately run family business Martin Grant Homes has developed a strong reputation as one of the major house building firms in the South of England thanks to its ability to create premium specification homes in prime locations


pon founding Martin Grant Homes nearly 40 years ago, Martin Grant focused on making the firm a leading developer in the South East by maintaining strong family ethics and close working relationships with his staff. Dedicated to not just building houses but building homes, Martin and his team set a standard for delivering meticulously planned and constructed properties alongside lasting connections with both those that built them and the customers who live in them. Today the company is still under the leadership of a Grant family member, who ensures the

Chris Hamilton

great work and exceptional standards of Martin Grant continues through the provision of sustainable homes that ensure customers expectations for lifestyle, opportunities and safety are fully met. “Martin Grant Homes (MGH) predominantly operates in the South East of England from its head office location in Abinger Hammer, Surrey. The company prides itself on its strong family beliefs and close involvement with the operations team and external supply chain. Developments, past and present, extend from Chichester on the South Coast to Northampton in the Midlands and from Newbury

in the West to Chelmsford in the East. With our well-appointed apartments and starter homes in the home counties we capture the first-time buyer market; we also create executive family homes in and around the London commuter belt,” begins Chris Hamilton, managing director at Martin Grant Homes. “As a premium housing brand we plan our homes to meet client expectation. We spend a lot of time reviewing the interior design and specification for each development schemes to ensure our homes are appointed to the customers’ needs, taking full consideration of quality,

Construction & Civil Engineering 55

PROFILE: Martin Grant Homes

fashion trends, functionality and practicality, sustainability and security.” Boasting a broad portfolio of projects that reflect the needs of its clients, MGH is proud to combine well thought out designs with classic touches, which results in extraordinary homes. However, this is only one segment of MGH’s strategy for success; the long process actually starts with the Strategic Land team identifying and acquiring suitable land to develop from the planning phase to construction, development and beyond. The small team strives to deliver a personal, tailor-made service of superior quality to landowners, which thus gives them confidence to put their sites in the hands of a known and trusted experts that are available at all stages of development.

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Meeting market needs As the government continues to find solutions to the UK housing crisis, which will not only provide new homes but will also boost the economy, MGH, with its solid record of building homes in popular developments that are attractive, high quality and spacious, is fully

capable of meeting this need in the market. “MGH are currently involved in two major housing development schemes, one in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire and one in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. These are both significant housing schemes and carry with them huge contributions to the local community including primary and secondary education schools, train stations, major trunk road and distributor road improvements, community centres, commercial centres, district parks and open spaces and employment areas,” confirms Chris. Located on the outskirts of Aylesbury, MGH is a member of the Berryfields MDA Consortium and over the course of the development will be creating in excess of 500. new homes. Just one hour away from London by

Penrose Park

train, within the 181-acre area of leafy parkland MGH is delivering a mix of two, three, four and five bedroom high-specification homes that are in close proximity to three schools and a gym. There are also recreation areas nearby, with cycleways, bridleways and footpaths. Known as Berryfields, the new community incorporates local independent shops and services and is at the foot of the Chiltern Hills, an idyllic beauty spot with a number of country pubs and grand country houses.

MGH is committed to working with local people and local community groups as well as councils and local planning authorities to ensure that the development of any new housing area is beneficial for all

involved. For example, houses will be created with optimum care to ensure they are energy efficient and incorporate environmental performance schemes such as BRE EcoHomes and the ‘Code for

The best specifictions Meanwhile, Biggleswade’s new Penrose Park community, which forms part of the new King’s Reach development, boasts a collection of elegantly presented two, three, four and five bedroom family homes. Offering the very best specifications, the homes have perfectly planned kitchens that are complemented with stainless steel appliances, while the carefully presented bathrooms and ensuites offer a sophisticated feel. Strategically located within close proximity to three schools and a gym as well as recreation areas, Penrose Park is also within 35 minutes of Kings Cross, London, for commuters. Sensitive to the fact that new housing developments can be a controversial issue for communities,

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PROFILE: Martin Grant Homes

Sustainable Homes’; furthermore, homes will be created in a way that protects, preserves and enhances the features of the natural site through close working relationships with organisations such as the Environment Agency and Natural England as well as local wildlife groups. In fact, the company has worked on particularly sensitive development areas with great success, as Chris notes: “For these kinds of projects we have been required to place particular emphasis on local features because of local conservation restrictions. The designs have been out-sourced to architects that have local connections to ensure that the development briefs are adhered to in order to create a development that blends in with the surroundings.” As either the owner or controller

58 Construction & Civil Engineering

of land that is capable of providing 10,000 potential homes over the next ten to 15 years, the financially strong MGH is in a coveted position to meet the demand for homes in the UK, as Chris concludes: “The MGH land bank affords the business a fantastic opportunity over the next five years. If the market stays consistent over the period with modest inflationary growth then

the business is superbly placed to expand from the current base of a £75 million annual turnover on the delivery of 150 new homes to £150 million from 350 new homes. “The long term investment in strategic land over several decades has started to materialise with substantial planning gains in recent times providing MGH with sizable sites in excellent locations. Sites such as these will allow the company to organically expand its development portfolio in areas where sites are difficult to find and secure. This places the company at a significant advantage over its peer group of similar developers.” m

Martin Grant Homes Services: House builder





wood Part of the Robertson Construction Group, Robertson Timber Engineering has been providing precision engineered timber frame solutions for more than 25 years


s Barry Armstrong, technical sales manager, explained, the Robertson Group is comprised of several different divisions, including construction, property, facilities management, civil engineering, mechanical and electrical, and house building, and as such offers a multidisciplinary service to clients. Focusing on the Timber Engineering side, Barry noted that the factory was originally created to feed timber and joinery solutions into the house building division of

Robertson, but it soon expanded and evolved into a specialist in providing precision-engineered timber frame solutions for clients from a variety of sectors. “We are now one of the market leaders, and have a very strong brand and name within the industry,” Barry confirmed. “We not only supply our own in-house products to our construction and house building divisions, but we also do a lot of work with external contractors, large construction companies and national house builders as well.” These blue-chip clients turn to

Robertson Timber Engineering because its products offer a range of benefits, one of which is particularly topical at the moment, as Barry noted: “If you look at our competition in brick and block, there is a huge demand for materials and not enough capacity to handle it, so house builders are looking for alternatives to bricks. A lot of builders have also been forced to go down the route of timber frame due to the lack of bricklayers and labour available, and what we are finding is that once they have used our solutions,

Construction & Civil Engineering 59


they embrace it and wonder why they didn’t do it years ago. “These clients can also now appreciate the further benefits of timber framed solutions, such as the fact they are made off-site, under controlled factory conditions, and are therefore extremely accurate and can be erected very quickly. They offer a very low CO2 footprint, better air tightness, better insulation, and there are lesser defects on a timber frame house as well. “Our timber buildings also have the same life span of masonry buildings, but they have lower running costs over that time,” he added. “So while there is still an element of reluctance in England about timber frames, especially when you compare it to the world market where 75 per cent of all houses are timber framed, I think it is a bit of a mind set and a fear

60 Construction & Civil Engineering

of change, and with our superior products we are starting to transform this.” As Barry highlighted, many of the benefits of Robertson’s timber solutions stem from the fact that they are created in a state-of-theart factory. “Our facilities utilise a lot of automation, and this saves both time and increases accuracy – in

fact, our factory manager is a real stickler for quality and detail.” Robertson controls the process from sale to production, and the company is keen to partner with clients at the early design stage: “The earlier we are involved, the longer we have to plan out the job, iron out any problems and that makes everyone’s life easier,” said Barry. “Our process has been carefully created to ensure that our products are of the highest quality and our clients and installers frequently comment that they are the best in the industry.” Indeed, such has been the recent success of the products that the company is planning on extending its capacity, through the re-opening of another factory. Said Barry: “This was purpose-built by us around four years ago, but we had to cease production for a couple of years while the construction market recovered from the recession. It was a huge investment for us at the time and it is still one of the most state-of-the-art factories in the UK, featuring some very sophisticated equipment. It covers an area of around 40,000 sq ft and is located in a position that has excellent access to the motorway and distribution network. The reopening of this factory will bring numerous new jobs to the north east of England, so we anticipate our workforce significantly increasing from its current level of 42.” The impetus to re-open this factory has been partially based

on the success Robertson Timber Engineering has seen in the hotels sector. “Over the last year or so we have worked on 14 or 15 hotels, for a range of clients,” said Barry. “The advantage for these projects is our speed of build – for example a 100 bed hotel can be ready to accept guests in just six months from first putting a spade in the ground using our solutions, compared to nearly double that with traditional, masonry, steel or concrete techniques. We just supply the timber frame, and work in partnership with other companies on these projects.” m

Robertson Timber Engineering Services: Engineering timber frame solutions

Construction & Civil Engineering 61


FromstarttoFinnish In a market that has seen the rise and demise of many businesses throughout the years, BMSE has been born from a recycled strength and expertise, providing comprehensive precast construction solutions to businesses on a global scale


etonimestarit Oy was established in 1988, trading as a pre-cast manufacturer with just ten employees. During the first decade of its operation the company invested in new factories, machines and devices, and through the employment of professional

62 Construction & Civil Engineering

and qualified personnel, utilised its advantages to grow into one of the biggest in Scandinavia. This business, which continues to trade in the region, delivers pre-cast elements and finished construction solutions to clients throughout the local markets of Finland, Sweden and Norway. In 2009 Betonimestarit Oy established BMSE, producing and delivering comprehensive precast construction solutions. As a service concept, the company has been responsible for the establishment of pre-cast factories and the training of personnel far beyond the market in which its roots are still planted. “BM Group has established in total 11 precast factories and at

the moment it owns four of those totally and partly a fifth one, from the factory placed in the West of India. As a result the organisation has been able to develop an in depth knowhow of the processes, methods and techniques,” says Juha Soilu, director, continuing: “We don’t just develop and deliver solutions or machinery, but since 2009 we have been using that knowledge to generate a profitable business for third parties. Our full-service solutions include profitability analysis for production and factories, planning, production planning, organising equipment procurements and logistics as well as precast installation at construction sites.” The popularity of precast construction within Finland has been high for a number of decades, and as a result, it is not only businesses but also society as a whole that has developed a thorough understanding of the construction method. By placing high value on education and training the region has ensured such a skill set remains in trend, and

this backbone has proven to be behind BMSE’s success. “We begin by analysing the clients needs and addressing the specific elements so that we may draw up a production plan, ensuring that the correct degree of precast machinery is included in order to generate the most profitability for the client. Every factory has a different purpose and a market to which they are supplying, so ultimately the process is always different. “We design factories with consideration for engineering, architecture, and production machinery, calling upon our years of experience. Once infrastructure and production systems have been installed, we are able to provide factory management, enabling the business to get the best start,” says Juha. As the construction market picks up pace on a global level, BMSE has made this service available to both new and existing factories that seek to enhance profitability as well as introducing new product lines. It is the experience of manufacturing large quantities of precast products in Scandinavia that has given the business the capacity to teach it to people in emerging markets. “In respect to ongoing business support, we have developed programmes dedicated to business management training and running a complex factory, as well as focusing on operatives and production staff,” he adds. The business is also a key provider of safety training in precast production, valuable to the industry. A successful contract close to Mumbai, India has led to involvement in contracts in Africa and the Middle East. “The speed of development within these countries is fast moving, and there is a need to be able to provide comprehensive solutions and services. The focus is to be able to equip business and employees with the skills to grow successful precast businesses,” points out Juha. The varied scope of services provided by the business has resulted in it working with a

number constructors, developers, and factory owners. “From solutions for large residential areas to developing systems that will speed up smaller scale projects, for years we have been heavily involved in the production and delivery of all concrete build elements. It is easy to assume there is little variation, but solutions depend greatly on factors such as the building type and length of span, it depends on the type of machinery, the design of products, as well as the design of the projects,” he continues. As the fourth biggest company of its type in Finland, outsized only by two major inter-global players and one other Finnish business, innovation has of course played a very important role, as Juha explains: “We have been responsible for some key innovations, particularly with

pre-stressed columns and slabs. Development of our methods/ molds has resulted in quicker production time, and with greater productivity.” Targeting the next few years, Juha explains his immediate focus is the successful completion of the two large, and concurrently running projects in the Middle East and Africa, concluding: “Improvement in turnover is something we are working towards, and specifically I am aiming to take the BMSE division and the global interests of the business to be greater than what we are currently achieving in Scandinavia.” m

BMSE Services: Pre-cast manufacturer and total business service provider

Construction & Civil Engineering 63



elly Formwork (UK) Ltd is a wellestablished civil engineering and construction company with a wealth of proven experience and expertise. Established in 2005, the company owes its success to a combination of both the 25 years industry experience of its managing director and founder Daryll Kelly, as well as its hand selected, skilled employees. The leading contractor in the field of civil engineering projects has undertaken some of the biggest and most prestigious works in the UK, whilst maintaining a health and safety record second to none, introducing value engineering, and always achieving programme goals. Promoting a `hands-on’ style of leadership, the company ensures the highest level of workmanship and the attention to detail, which its clients have come to expect. Concentrating on formwork, steelfixing and concrete, it services cover a variety of substructure activity from groundwork and bridges to substations and top down construction. Beyond that, a heavy involvement in superstructures has seen the business develop an expertise in reinforced concrete frames, office blocks and high-rise apartments to name just a few. To successfully operate a business in the industry today, recognition must be paid to a number of sensitive factors such as the environment and the wellbeing of its employees and the public. As such the company maintains a full commitment to sustainability, deploying the highest standards of health and safety, corporate responsibility and reducing environmental impact. Local communities surrounding any site are important to Kelly Formwork and there is a strong focus on corporate and social responsibility. Health and safety compliance is regarded as a top priority within the company, which has become

64 Construction & Civil Engineering

Crossrail Thames Tunnels: The works comprise of pouring 1st stage concrete track bed to the floor of the installed tunnel rings in the four tunnels. Kelly has managed to pump a record 1.4km distance using only a single pump

Delivering promises As a family owned business, Kelly Formwork has grown from relatively small beginnings to its position today, boasting an enviable client list renowned for its extremely safety conscious approach, deploying the highest standards of health and safety across the entire business. By operating a continuous training programme in-house, it ensures that the workforce fully understands and implements the principles of safe working practices. Maximum compliance with existing and planned legislation is achieved through the constant review of methods and procedures. Not only are operatives trained to the highest

standard, but also all are CSCS / CPCS NVQ assessed. The value the business places on training is further supported in its commitment to the ever-developing supply chain sustainability school. Diligently striving to maintain the highest health and safety standards, Kelly Formwork has achieved one million ‘man hours worked’ without a reportable incident at its Crossrail Bond Street project to-date. The contract, which forms part of Europe’s largest construction project,

Crossrail Bond Street – Falsework: A view of the falsework in operation casting the decks within the station incorporates two new ticket halls at Bond Street. The first of the two to be completed was the western ticket hall, which saw the business utilising top down construction techniques to achieve a 25 metre deep reinforced concrete structure. Despite the numerous challenges encountered due to the site’s location, requiring careful planning of all material deliveries and the constraints on formwork design due to craneage not able to be utilised in the top down mode of construction; the phase of the project was delivered six weeks ahead of programme, within budget, to specification and satisfaction. This substantial reinforced concrete substructure comprises five floor levels deep, with floor heights of 4.5 metres and floorplates of 30 metres by 60 metres enclosing a floor area of 1800 square metres per floor level, with the basement levels finished to a high specification concrete finish.

The scale and complexity of this project offered Kelly Formwork a fantastic opportunity to innovate, develop job specific techniques, and to record the lessons learned and experience gained during

its construction. This was in line with the company philosophy of self-delivery and ensuring that it maintains the highest level of expertise in-house, allowing it to always be able to offer its clients‘ unrivalled knowledge and innovation on projects. Resulting from its reputation of providing innovation on complex sites, the business has already seen itself engaged by other contractors to consult on best practice and add value to the client offering. With a growing market share and reputation, Kelly Formwork has excelled at a time when market conditions have been at their toughest. The delivery of works for a new eastern ticket hall consisted of the construction of a capping beam to the perimeter of the site plus two shafts going down five

Paddington New Yard - New Agggregate Bins

Construction & Civil Engineering 65


on the 1.2km Thames Tunnel from Plumstead to North Woolwich. Appointed by HMJV to complete the 1st Stage Concrete works in two phases spread over four tunnels, the first phase of the project required Kelly Formwork to complete all first stage concrete works in tunnels one and two. This consisted of installing compliant UTX and Drainage ducts within very strict tolerances, installing reinforcement and pouring concrete and upstands with a single line pump over one of the longest distances recorded in the UK. Kelly Civils Ltd received a lot of media attention with both Crossrail, the client, Schwing Stetter and NCE Magazine. This was the first ever first stage concrete works Kelly Civils undertook for Crossrail and was a complete success. m

Crossrail Paddington New Yard – Deck Pour: This is the first of 12 elevated deck pours varying from 600m2 to 800m2. The concrete is up to 850mm deep with 600mm void formers fitted below for future noise attenuation

storeys using top down construction. Much of the works were constructed on a 24/7 programme basis, dramatically fluctuating labour requirements to suit the needs of the programme and availability of work. Despite works commencing late, the contract achieved completion early. Another significant project underway for Kelly Formwork is for its client Costain and required a different approach. The £5m Paddington New Yard contract consists of two separate jobs with two separate clients, the first of which is the new tarmac concrete batching plant, consisting of 16m high aggregate bins and various different one off structures in order to support the conveyor. The conveyor starts from a top down structure called a Bottom Discharge unit, which is being constructed under the bus deck. The second stage to the scope of works is a seven metre high level 8000 sq/m bus deck. The deck is set up on all different levels of ground including a cobbled ramp, the soffit of the slab is on a longitudinal and cross fall. This is made up of longitudinal beams sitting across primary beams. The deck is supported by high-level

66 Construction & Civil Engineering

Crossrail Bond Street: A shot demonstrating the ‘top down’ method of construction the new station

radius columns, which sit on top of three metre high walls. On top of the deck Kelly Formwork will be installing 30t pre cast parapets units, which stitch in to the slab. Whilst work commences across this very narrow but long site, access has to be maintained to Tarmac’s concrete plant. KeKelly Formwork is also working

Kelly Formwork Services: Civil engineering and construction contractor

PROFILE: Stirnimann


powerfulpartner Stirnimann offers crane hire, sales and service on a wide range of cranes and related equipment


elebrating a century of business in 2015, Stirnimann operates from three sites in Switzerland, which cover the Swiss market, as well as a relatively new office in Austria that was opened in 2013. As Fritz Oschwald, CEO, explained Stirnimann AG is active throughout Switzerland and its customers include big-name companies from areas such as the building trades, transport, industry and the public sector. “We have a wide variety of customers ranging from small family-operated companies to the most important construction companies in Switzerland,” he said. “With our dedicated staff, we offer a full-service package of the highest quality that is tailored precisely to our customers’ needs. Whether sales, rentals or service – as a general agent for leading global brands we are a strong and competent partner for our customers,” he added, continuing: “We foster long-term relationships with internationally well-known construction equipment manufacturers such as Grove (since 1969) and Potain (since 1986), both part of the Manitowoc Group, as well as JLG (since 2004). Today we are a leading provider for construction cranes in Switzerland.” The range of products available from Stirnimann is extremely wide – its rental fleet comprises 400 units, to give some idea of scale. Fritz gave some more details on what the company can offer: “With our technically competent and well-trained personnel as well as a modern infrastructure, we can provide a comprehensive and fast service. We live our slogan ‘Power at your service’ by offering a full-service to our customers

Construction & Civil Engineering 67

PROFILE: Stirnimann

including: after-sales, erection, crane inspections, maintenance, equipment revisions, repair work and so on. “Potain offers a range of more than 60 different models of tower cranes from ten tonne-meters up to 3600 tonne-meters. The Grove line of mobile telescopic cranes ranges in capacity from eight tonnes to 450 tonnes (8.5 USt - 550 USt),

68 Construction & Civil Engineering

with patented technologies like the MEGATRAK suspension system, the TWINLOCK boom pinning system and the MEGAFORM boom design - all to keep Grove cranes at the top of the market. “When it comes to lifting platforms we offer a wide variety of scissor lifts, boom lifts, telehandlers and telescopic work platforms together with JLG and other partners.” In fact, Stirnimann’s relationship with Manitowoc, the manufacturer of Potain and Grove equipment, has remained close and fruitful over the quarter of a century, and a contract undertaken in September 2014 highlighted the complicated projects in which the company’s cranes are used. Stirnimann rented three Potain MD 560 B tower cranes to main contractor Implenia, for use in the construction of an office complex in Geneva, Switzerland. The 25 tonne

capacity Potain MD 560 B cranes were erected on custom-made ten metre wide bases to allow easy access for other equipment within the congested jobsite, saving time and expense on the 200 million euro project. Stirnimann said the highcapacity crane was surprisingly

JLG Industries Through dedication and commitment, Stirnimann is a successful distributor in Switzerland for JLG access equipment and telehandlers. Over the past decade, Stirnimann has earned an excellent reputation in the market for its after sales, service and technical knowhow on JLG’s products. The company has also been at the forefront in terms of adapting to JLG’s new products in Europe amongst which are the 1500SJ and 1850SJ telescopic boom lifts. JLG congratulates Stirnimann on its 100th anniversary and wishes the company many successful years to come.


Telescopic Boom Lift


WITH CONFIDENCE AT 56.6M NIMANN IR T S S E T A L U T A R G N O JLG C RSARY E IV N N A H T 0 10 S IT ON INTRODUCING THE WORLD’S TALLEST SELF-PROPELLED BOOM LIFT. The new 1850SJ has more reach, better stability and a larger work envelope than any lift in its class. Get up to 19 stories of working height and an innovative chassis that can be extended front and back. Featuring 450/230 kgs platform capacity, the 1850SJ is the most powerful boom in the industry. Transport with ease in a regular size trailer - no oversized load permit needed. Learn more at JLG International | Polaris Avenue 63 | 2132 JH | Hoofddorp | The Netherlands |

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26/02/15 17:10

PROFILE: Stirnimann

compact for its size, as Fritz explained: “We worked in central Geneva near the United Nations, where space was limited and the project had a demanding schedule,” he said. “We needed a crane with a compact footprint that could handle demanding loads. We designed the portal base to ensure site traffic could flow freely, so the crane gave us optimal reach and capacity without an encumbering size.” The three Potain MD 560 B arrived in April 2013 and worked at the site for 18 months. They were fitted with portal bases at Stirnimann’s workshop in Olten before being erected at the congested jobsite. The tower cranes, which stood at heights of 48 metres, 68 metres and 88 metres, were building the new headquarters of an international company. The cranes worked 11 hours a

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day, six days a week. They were predominantly used to lift formwork and pre-cast concrete structures. As the project progressed, the cranes placed much of the 5600 t of steel and 16,500 m2 of glass needed for the structure and façade of the nine-story building. This project illustrates the technical capabilities of the products that Stirnimann is able to supply, and as Fritz noted, this is enhanced by its relationship with Potain, Grove and JLG: “We have

long-term relationships with all three companies,” he confirmed. “These are leading brands in their sector, internationally successful and with wide networks. They are offering top quality products that keep pace with technical innovation for a good value.” Having operated successfully in Switzerland for several decades, Stirnimann made the decision in 2013 to open an Austrian division, Stirnimann GmbH, which offers sales and rentals as well as assembly

Manitowoc Cranes

Setting the global standard for lifting solutions For almost a century, Manitowoc Cranes has been a premier crane manufacturer. We pride ourselves in providing the most complete range of lifting solutions and services to our customers. Manitowoc Cranes offer the most innovative and highest quality products in the market, with the best dealer and service network to support them. Manitowoc Cranes product lineup:

Support services:

• Grove all-terrain cranes

• Manitowoc Crane Care

• Grove rough-terrain cranes

• Manitowoc Finance

• Manitowoc lattice boom crawler cranes • Potain Top-slewing cranes • Potain self-erecting cranes

Learn more about the complete line of Manitowoc products:

PROFILE: Stirnimann

/ disassembly and service of construction cranes under the Potain brand in close co-operation with Stirnimann AG. This new division allowed the company to reinforce its co-operation with Austrian clients and to strengthen its position with suppliers. “We started with our expansion into Austria by being a distributor for a part of the country,” said Fritz. “Since January 2015 we have been a general distributor for Potain cranes in the whole of Austria and thanks to this subsidiary and a stable international network, we can offer flexibility and reliability in a fast-moving market. We haven’t planned any more new divisions, as we are continuing to focus on the sustainable growth of our existing locations.” In all areas of its operations, Stirnimann strives to be the best. As it moves into the future, Fritz has a firm strategy in place to maintain its success: “We are going to focus on keeping our market position in Switzerland,” he concluded. “We are also continuously developing our service and ensuring comprehensive occupational health and safety for all our employees. Furthermore, we will also be strengthening and developing our market position in Austria.” Whether clients require a tower crane or scissor lift, a mobile crane or container solution, the organisation can draw on years of practical experience and continuous development in order to be able to deliver whatever its customers might be looking for. m

Stirnimann Services: Crane hire 72 Construction & Civil Engineering

PROFILE: Active Tunnelling


Founded in 1994, Active Tunnelling has earned a reputation as the UK’s leading and most experienced independent tunnelling contractor specialising in micro-tunnelling, auger boring, shaft sinking, pipe jacking and traditional methods


aving celebrated 20 years in operation during 2014, Active Tunnelling is able to demonstrate a proven track record of delivering specialised trenchless tunnelling solutions and shaft sinking. The company was founded by John Doherty who had

previously been involved in the tunnelling industry since he was only 17 years old and was subsequently involved in the Channel Tunnel as a leading miner and tunnel boss. The level of experience present within the business has enabled Active Tunnelling to complete over 500 major projects over two decades within the industry.

Installation of a 28x24m deep shaft including vac flush

Construction & Civil Engineering 73

PROFILE: Active Tunnelling

TBM machine called Hannah being placed on rails prior to launch out of 15m shaft and received into a 3.05 dia shaft

Active Tunnelling’s expertise in delivering a range of tunnelling and associated services, is backed by one of the UK’s largest selections of specialist plant, including a fleet of micro-tunnelling, auger boring and pipe jacking equipment and machines in various sizes that are capable of traversing through any ground condition; hydraulic rams capable of pushing from 250-500 tonnes each; vertical hydraulic grabs capable of reaching a depth up to 25 metres; excavators ranging from three tonnes to 30 tonnes; crawler cranes ranging from 5t to 90 tonnes as well as many smaller items. Active Tunnelling provides a turnkey solution through its proprietary fleet of vans to low loaders that ensure that clients can rely on efficient mobilisation. To ensure that the quality and level of service offered by the company is never compromised, Active Tunnelling continually invests in new plant and machinery. Its plant yard employs 12 permanent members of staff and is testimony to the company’s strict maintenance programme and fast response time in the event that its site teams should encounter any problems.

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With a broad scope of services and its extensive portfolio of plant equipment, Active Tunnelling has carried out hundreds of successful projects throughout the UK and Ireland. These have included shaft sinking operations during the construction of a detention tank as part of works at the Blackburn Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) during 2013 / 2014. The client for the project was KMI+ Limited, working in partnership with United Utilities plc, while the purpose of the work was to resolve two unsatisfactory intermittent discharges located at the site. Active Tunnelling was employed as specialist contractors to install a 28 metre diameter shaft at some 24 metres deep. The concrete base of the shaft was cast incorporating 106no ground anchors with the quantity of concrete in the base being 915m3 with a further 710m3 of benching being installed afterwards, with a central flushing column also being constructed, utilising a bespoke external column shutter designed and fabricated by its Specialist Plant Division. The company’s Laser Guided Auger Boring techniques have

also been applied to high-profile projects, including the use of laser guided auger boring during the M25 widening scheme between junctions 16-23, which began during May 2009 and ended in May 2012. Active Tunnelling was awarded a contract to install cross carriageway drainage as part of the works and was initially expected to construct 16 crossings. However, the client, Skanska-Balfour Beatty, was so impressed by the benefits of trenchless technology that Active Tunnelling finally constructed 150 crossings between 300mm and 600mm in diameter, that necessitated an impressive 1.49 miles of auger boring. Auger boring is one of the oldest methods of trenchless construction and has been in use since before the term ‘trenchless technology’ was introduced and is an essential technique when accuracy is required (within 25mm Line and Level). The adoption of trenchless technology saved vast quantities of materials and did not require huge earth movements to be carried

FP McCann FP McCann is a leading manufacture and supplier of precast concrete smoothbore tunnel and shaft segments, cover and landing slabs, caisson rings and jacking pipes. All products are BSI accredited to BS EN 9001 and comply with the British Tunnelling Society Specification and the Civil Engineering Specification for the Water Industry (CESWI). As a key supply partner to Active Tunnelling the company has delivered precast concrete shaft and tunnelling products to a number of recent high profile schemes, including caissons and jacking pipe to Canary Wharf and smoothbore shaft segments to two 15 metre shaft builds in Ivybridge and Liskeard in Cornwall. FP McCann has developed its range of front and back-bolted smoothbore shaft segments to incorporate the requirements of all the current design and material codes in addition to paying detailed attention to the needs of health and safety on site when considering the handling and installation details.

Precast Tunnel and Shaft Solutions -7 4J*HUU VɈLYZ H JVTWSL[L YHUNL VM ;\UULS HUK :OHM[ ZVS\[PVUZ PUJS\KPUN V\Y :TVV[OIVYL :OHM[Z MYVT T T KPHTL[LY ILZWVRL JV]LY ZSHIZ THKL [V ZWLJPĂ„JH[PVU M\SS YHUNL VM 1HJRPUN 7PWLZ MYVT +5 +5 HUK *HPZZVU 9PUNZ MYVT +5 +5 Contact Stuart Carson on 07850 234136 or 01455 290780 or email:

FP McCann is a growing company. The diversity of our people, their skills and abilities is the strength that helps us achieve our best. If you are interested in a career with us, please visit our website to view the latest career opportunities at We also welcome speculative applications.

Precast Concrete Solutions. Construction & Civil Engineering 39

PROFILE: Active Tunnelling

Underneath a wet dock using a 2.1 ID Herrenknecht slurry machine 9m deep x 45m long tunnel

out, whereas traditional open-cut pipe installation would have had a negative impact on the environment. Active Tunnelling saved the client the procurement of materials amounting to 7,500 tonnes, 26,000 tonnes of Type 1 and muck away of 7813m3, weighing a combined total of 173,000 tonnes, which equates to 9611 loads; and 660m2 of tarmac. Auger boring is becoming increasingly popular with Active Tunnelling clients and the company maintains a fleet of auger-boring machines ranging from 150mm to 725mm in diameter. Active Tunnelling is able to provide micro-tunnelling from 600mm diameter upwards using Iseki and Herrenknecht Slurry machines, as recently completed on a scheme in Ipswich for Balfour Beatty Construction Services on behalf of the Environment Agency. ATL sunk a 6mID and an 8.2m ID shaft with a 250mm fibre reinforced concrete jacket underwater to a depth of 26m and installed a 3m deep concrete plug underwater. It then carried out a 2.1m ID tunnel to link the 2 shafts underneath a Wet Dock using a Herrenknecht AVND2000AB Slurry Machine with a compressed air cushion to successfully install a 45m long tunnel. Active Tunnelling also carries an impressive fleet of 1200, 1500 and

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1800 Full Faced TBM’s that are used extensively throughout the UK and do not require the slurry process allowing it to work in tighter working areas with a fraction of the setup charges incurred with the slurry machines. ATL recently completed a scheme for Interserve on the Bathing Waters Projects in Ivybridge Devon. ATL sunk a 15m ID segmental shaft 12m deep and a 3.05 segmental shaft 9m deep and then pipejacked 150m underneath an access road and the A38 Dual Carriageway in a moderately strong slate. The contract was completed on programme and

to Line and level. ATL recently completed the Royal Leamington Spa Phase 3 works for NMC Nomenca on behalf of Severn Trent. ATL successfully completed over 300m of 1200mm ID and 310m of 1500mm ID pipejacking in sandstone with our Full Faced TBM’s. There was also a 9m ID shaft 15m deep and various sheeted cofferdams with the largest 11m x 8m x 9m deep for the CSO structure. Active Tunnelling has used its 1800 Full Faced TBM on several projects, including during shaft construction and tunnelling works for Wessex Water in Western Super Mare. The scheme was required as part of improvement works to Bleadon Sewage Treatment Works for Wessex Water. Active Tunnelling’s part of the project involved the construction of three segmental shafts, varying in size from 6.5 metres diameter at 14 metres deep, 7.5 metres diameter at 23 metres and 10.5 metres diameter with a depth of 21 metres. Further to this the company created a 1.8 metre link tunnel between the 7.5 metre and the 10.5 metre shaft over 50m long with our 1800 TBM and designed and fabricated a 3.3 metre ID disposable Handshield to tunnel between the 7.5 metre shaft and an existing wet well. ATL also carried out extensive

1500 Dia pipejack x 200m long through Rock on the West East Link Main

concrete finishing works along with reinforced concrete baffle walls and complicated benching works within the shafts. Active Tunnelling installed all three of the segmental shafts using the caisson sinking method, through the use of its own vertical jacking rams. The company also used its own excavators and grabs which excavated the bulk of the shafts, through the soft clays & running sand into the soft limestone, down to the mudstone, approx 20m deep. The hard mudstone, was then broken out via excavator & breaker, lowered into the shafts via 50 ton crawler crane. ATL also organised specialist dewatering prior to the works, mainly to deal with the water in the running sands. With an extensive portfolio of completed projects, a well maintained fleet of plant equipment

Ivy Bridge - 1200 dia x 150 long Drive through Hard Slate and Quartz Veins. Called Hannah by client and an expert core of personnel, Active Tunnelling has a proven track record of effective project provision. Its trenchless tunnelling technology enables Active Tunnelling to protect the environment and save its clients capital on costly materials, making it the go-to partner in

micro-tunnelling, auger boring, shaft sinking, pipe jacking and traditional tunnelling methods. m

Active Tunnelling Services: Tunnelling contractor

Vac Flush Self Climbing steel shutter and working platform innovatively designed and fabricated by ATL

Construction & Civil Engineering 77

PROFILE: Ab A. HÄggblom Häggblom backhoe bucket for Hitachi EX3600

Ground breaking service From its humble foundation in a garage in Kokkola, Finland, 60 years ago, Ab A. Häggblom Oy has developed its expertise and services to become Northern Europe’s leading manufacturer of undercarriages for earthmoving systems


n expert in track and undercarriage technology for earth moving machinery and heavy-duty transport systems, Häggblom today is also one of the few European bucket and track application manufacturers capable

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of providing a full package to its customers. Certified under ISO 9001, the company not only delivers a turnkey service, with the skills to provide any service from design to reliability maintenance, it also stocks the widest range of wearparts in Northern Europe. Committed to constant innovation and continuous improvement, Häggblom’s buckets and undercarriages are designed to handle the most challenging and rough environments. In fact, the company’s design service is able to prepare structural drawings for the most complex steel structures and machine components through a fast and efficient design process that offers flexibility and quality

Komatsu PC5500 Häggblom bucket assembly

thanks to its well-qualified design team and the utilisation of the most up-to-date design software. Hightech equipment used by Häggblom includes SolidWorks with Simulation (FEM) add-in for 3D design and IGRIP UltraArc for remote programming of welding robots. Within Häggblom’s workshops expert personnel strive to deliver a wide range of high quality services, such as flame cutting, welding, edging, machining and assembly. The flame cutting line specialises in the processing of high-strength steel grade workpieces and the manufacture of wearparts for earth-moving machinery, which is done through flame-cutting the parts from wear-resistant Weldox,

Häggblom track frames Hardox and AR steel. Flame cutting equipment includes CNC-operated, state-of-the-art units, which have six-piece nozzles or four-piece plus a plasma arch torch. This equipment enables Häggblom to cut the thickest and longest steel plates with absolute precision. The edging line works to turn steel into bucket bottoms and sections for use in challenging structural applications through

the utilisation of a CNC-operated 800 tonne edging press. Taking up a working area of six metres, the edging press bends steel into bucket bottoms and other sections for a number of uses; the business segment also boasts special tools for Hardox and other wear-resistant steels. Meanwhile, Häggblom’s machining department handles large workpieces with small tolerances and boasts a number of CNC column milling machines, a CNC lathe, a reamer, lathe and two radial drills. Furthermore, the company boasts five modern and efficient assembly lines that can turn small and large sub-assemblies

that have been constructed from in-house components as well as second-sourced parts into wholly completed products in a timely manner. Using high-tech expertise, the company leads the way in manufacturing the largest and complex of buckets, with each product made to precise customer specifications according to the machine and its intended use. Using its exceptional design and dimensioning skills and a complete knowledge of boom geometry, the company confidently makes backhoe and face showel buckets with capacities of five to 30 m3 and

Italtractor ITM Italtractor ITM is the Undercarriage Division of Titan International Inc. Since 1982 ITM has been not only a supplier but a strategic partner to Häggblom. Together they have developed important projects in the mining, construction and special application machinery field. Well-known for the high quality and performance of its products, Häggblom is certainly a reference player in the Scandinavian region. Thanks to Italtractor ITM’s extensive expertise in the industry and its commitment to constantly focus on its customers’ needs, this partnership will lead to further growth in the market.

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PROFILE: Ab A. HÄggblom

Häggblom track system in a giant conveyor

wheel loader buckets with capacities of five to 20 m3. Moreover, through sturdy construction, efficient safeguards and replaceable Esco wearparts, Häggblom can offer significant service life extension to these expensive buckets, thus delivering both quality and cost efficiency. On top of this, buckets exposed to heavy-duty use are returned as good-as-new thanks to Häggblom’s highly efficient and effective maintenance services. Benefiting from six decades of experience, the company has succeeded in creating a production and service system that offers vast improvements to the productivity of machine manufacturers and earthmoving operators. Furthermore, by generating long-term relationships with leading manufacturers of earth moving machinery across Europe, Häggblom has been able to develop innovations and gain advanced technical expertise, benefits that are then passed on to its customers. The company’s impressive client base includes firms such as Metso Minerals, Junttan Oy, Mantsinen, Allu Finland; it also boasts a coveted list of first-rate parts suppliers such as Berco SPA, ESCO, SSAB and Bosch Rexroth. These complementary partnerships strengthen Häggblom’s own skills and major investments to ensure a high standard of quality as well as a superior level of customer service that is delivered across the globe. To further strengthen its service to customers, the company has carried top-of-the-range tyre protection chains in its product

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range; manufactured by Erlau AG of Germany, the chains significantly increase the service life of tyres used on wheel loaders that operate in mines. With these protection chains and large buckets required by the same operators, Häggblom is in an enviable position to increase its market share in the mining industry. A recent major development for

the firm took place in 2014, when John Hagnas, CEO of Häggblom, retired from his role in June to become a senior advisor for the company, while Jukka Karhula was appointed the new CEO. Previously responsible for spare part and wear part sales at Haggblom, Jukka has the knowledge and expertise to move the company forward by focusing on strong customer relationships, close co-operation with suppliers and through retaining highly skilled, motivated and dedicated personnel.” m

Ab A. Häggblom Oy www.haggblom. fi Services: Designs and manufactures complex steel structures and machine components

PROFILE: Ship Shape Construction



With a string of successful projects bolstering its reputation, Ship Shape Construction has become renowned for its unparalleled levels of service, flawless finishes and absolute integrity


s a trading division of Ship Shape Resources, the practical construction arm benefits from a bloodline that is well established within the construction industry. “We started trading in 2005, from very humble beginnings, with our first project a £5000 bathroom refurbishment. Now we are doing anything up to £6 million grade II listed property refurbishments and restorations. It has been ten years of really good business,” begins Paul Longega, managing director. “During that time

we have expanded rapidly, obtaining The Sunday Times ‘Fast Track 100’ status for two years running, as well as being accredited with the London Stock Exchange 1000 companies to inspire Britain,” he adds. Whilst portraying a professional attitude, it combines a client friendly, personal approach, working collaboratively to embrace change and ensure that clients’ demanding requirements are more than catered for. “Market conditions remain fairly tough at the moment, with a lot of inflationary pressures in terms of labour and material costs. This combined with a very competitive

tender environment is resulting in margin pressure. It is a competitive market, architects and clients have become more savvy, pushing down contract prices with tactics such as two stage tendering, and with many businesses competing for the contracts the market can be challenging,” explains Paul. Belonging to part of a larger company equips the business with a robustness, and financial strength that inspires confidence in its clients. It also allows it to provide quality training and more sophisticated operations, which helps it to attract and recruit good people.

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PROFILE: Ship Shape Construction

Commenting on the focus that has ensured the company’s success, even when faced with the difficulties of the economic downturn, Paul points out: “We have a strong, three-strand mantra; keeping our

Green Monkey AV Ltd Green Monkey AV specialize in complete audio visual solutions for all types of commercial projects and are trusted supplier of Ship Shape Construction. From a simple set of whiteboards for your boardroom wall (check out their excellent range of magnetic and dry erase walls…) to fully bespoke systems, GMAV offer a comprehensive range of audio visual products, combined with excellent advice and customer support. And with genuine expertise in cutting-edge touchscreen technology and tablet control integration, GMAV have the knowledge and experience to deliver a complete design, project-management and installation service, on time and on budget.

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Hampstead end product flawless to provide an exemplary finish, providing an unparalleled service in our sector, and operating with utmost integrity.” Working within the high-end residential sector inevitably equipped the business with an experience and knowledge that encouraged the evolutionary

transition into the commercial sector, as Paul explains: “It really prepared us for the quality levels that were needed to step into the commercial arena. The commercial sector can be even more challenging because the time frames are often shorter and there are higher requirements in terms of health and safety, particularly when working in very public spaces. We are very proud to hold both the SAFE Constructor and CHAS health and safety accreditations, and hold an unblemished health and safety record. As well as being NICEIC commercially accredited we also belong to Constructionline, the ‘procurement framework’ for many public sector and commercial projects. Both commercially and within residential, we have had some fantastic projects that we are

Hampstead Heath Dye Architects


very proud of.” A recent project completed in Hampstead, London won the Daily Telegraph ‘Home Building and Renovation Award for Residential Design’, an award which represents the quality and magnitude of the contracts in which Ship Shape is involved. Discussing the company’s strong public profile, Paul highlights: “When one of our projects wins an important architectural award, it provides us with halo credibility and

instils confidence in the architects and designers. Not only those we currently work with but also those that we would like to work with in the future. We are very proud of the positive media coverage that we have received throughout our history.” Working with a number of very talented architects and interior designers, projects invariably involve some high quality, premium materials, equipping the workforce

with the skill of working with expensive resources. “Because of the material expense, you can’t afford to make mistakes. We have very high standards so that we achieve a flawless end product. When you’re working with architects and designers that are putting together very challenging designs, they need to have the confidence in their construction partner that they are able to realise their ideas and vision,” says Paul. Through its experience as a main contractor, it became apparent that the intricate nature of AV installation led to a number of companies over-speccing solutions to clients. “We found that by providing an honest spec and demystifying the area, we could provide a lot of value to our clients,” points out Paul, adding: “Today we provide a turnkey AV solution; we can do most things outside of purely basic audio visual, such as CCTV and security, data networks and fire alarms. Another advantage beyond cost is that we are in control of everything, from electrical all the way through to AV installation. It means that we can provide a seamless solution.” With a busy schedule of work lined up as the company moves forward, it looks to continue expansion within the commercial sector, as well as concentrating on interior design focused projects in the near future. “We are certainly looking to become more of a property developer in our own right too. We love buildings and turning them into something special. From a financial point of view we feel that this quite a profitable area to be in, where we are less susceptible to the margin squeeze which the industry has experienced over the last few years,” concludes Paul. m

Ship Shape Construction Services: Residential and commercial construction solutions Construction & Civil Engineering 83


Generating growth

Sutton Power Engineering has used its extensive knowledge and experience to gain a significant reputation within the industry, but it is its current focus on green energy that will help it continue its success in the future


ith a wealth of industry experience, ten years ago Richard Sutton set up Sutton Power Engineering manufacturing generator and control systems. Since then the company has built up a small work force of 12 including a number of highly trained and experienced engineers, and has established itself as a worldwide supplier to a number of industries with an outstanding reputation. Industries using Sutton Power’s technology include plant and hire, worldwide telecommunications, construction and a number of home markets. The company manufactures diesel, petrol and LPG generators from two to 2200kVA which form its extensive core range serving a multitude of applications, but will

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work with customers to provide bespoke solutions if necessary. Sutton Power’s success comes from competitive pricing accompanied by excellent service. It isn’t the cheapest in the market but its customers speak to knowledgeable people who can offer them a personalised service and offer good solutions. When manufacturing generators the company puts safety and the environment at the forefront of its designs. It works in close partnership with a number of world class and trusted engine and alternator manufacturers and combines this with an ISO9000 based quality assurance system to ensure its generators are well made. The generator canopies are made using Zintex steel where

possible and design throughout the units is geared towards delivering reliable power with low-noise levels and fuel efficiency. This means that products are made with the view to minimising carbon emissions and maximising sustainability. The product range caters for a variety of needs and fills a number of niches. From the smaller Cabinmaster range which uses innovative acoustic canopies to reduce noise and vibration in welfare and site cabins, to diesel engines in the Centurion range providing smaller units and mobility without sacrificing power output and control options. For events and hire businesses, the Sovereign range can provide high power outputs whilst putting noise reduction, efficiency and security at the foundation of its design. The Sitewarrior range places

security and theft protection as paramount where the application demands it, and the Conqueror range provides high power ratings of up to 250kVA. A detailed description of the range is available on the company’s website. Where the core range does not meet the needs of the customer, Richard and his team will work closely with the customer to create a bespoke solution. The company’s recent Cellmaster generators were manufactured in response to an African telecommunications company needing a reliable and secure source of power that could run off of natural and LPG gas in remote sites in Tanzania and Nigeria. The company designed a fleet of units with features that encompassed all these needs including GPRS telemetry control and GPS tracking to provide remote operation.

power. It can be used with any make and size of generator, is fully automated and extends the life of the generator whilst reducing service time and costs. The unit is a revolutionary system that can reduce running costs by up to 70 per cent and could make the purchaser eligible for a zero per cent Carbon Trust loan. This green ethos is not limited to its products as many customers comment on how green the company’s site is. It is no doubt that Sutton Power has a comprehensive product range to suit a variety of industries and needs, but it is its commitment to service and environmental responsibility which allows to compete successfully. A personable and professional service, a comprehensive service and maintenance plan for all

machines, and the willingness to develop bespoke units all contribute to this success. The future looks positive for Sutton Power and it is keen to take advantage of new potential opportunities it sees in other remote, off-grid sites in Africa and the Middle East, plus the emerging gas and fracking industries. The company appears to have responded well to a world becoming increasingly aware of its carbon footprint and as long as this record is maintained its success looks set to continue. m

Sutton Power Engineering Services: Manufacturer of generator systems

Environmentally responsible Part of Sutton Power’s current operations is a drive to become a more environmentally responsible company. It is keen to move towards greener forms of power and is investing in research and development to achieve this. The company has two products that currently exemplify this drive. The Ecommander generator range is particularly suited to applications where variable power outputs and conditions are demanded. The Ecommander units include control units that optimise energy efficiency by switching between generator and stored power according to demand, not only does this preserve the lifetime of the units and therefore maintenance costs, but also saves fuel. In a similar vein the company has also developed the Eco-Assist unit that can be retro-fitted to existing generator systems and are easily interchangeable. When running on light loads the unit switches off generator power and instead uses its own stored, silent

Construction & Civil Engineering 85

PROFILE: Adserballe & Knudsen

Home makers

Originally a carpentry company, Adserballe & Knudsen A/S has diversified its services to become a major contractor for construction, roofing, interior renovation, demolition and balconies projects across Europe

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ounded in 1962 by two experienced engineers, Georg Adserballe and Jens Preben Knudsen, Adserballe & Knudsen A/S was created to enable both men to improve quality in the construction industry. “In the beginning we were predominantly a carpentry company, however, over the last six years we have developed rapidly and doubled our turnover a number of times. Although we were originally based in Greenland, we are now based in the greater Copenhagen area,” explains

Frederik Spanning, development director at Adserballe & Knudsen. Acquired by Karsten Hjarsö and Mr Laursen in 2006, the company was relocated to Ryttermarken 6 north of Copenhagen in 2007 before it expanded with a department for building services and maintenance. In 2009, Morten L Hansen joined as a partner, a development that led to the establishment of A&K Engineering, PSN A/S, the same year, A&K Service and Maintenance in 2010 and Rudersdal Murerenterprise A/S in 2012. Today employing a total of 300 employees, the group is a powerful entity within

the construction industry, with competencies in total renovation, roofing, interior renovation, mechanical and electrical and new construction making it capable of taking on increasingly challenging contracts. Elaborating on Adserballe & Knudsen’s strengths, Frederik states: “What makes us competitive without a doubt is our ability to perform combined construction and production services as we have our own carpenters, bricklayers and mechanical and electrical in affiliated companies, who work in close co-operation with the building process. This means there is essentially close access between top management and building sites. I will also add that during refurbishment and renovation projects not all solutions are found at the start; we are very good at navigating around issues that may come up during a project so we can continue and complete a contract. Not only does this take knowledge, but also the ability to work with clients and consultants to find a solution quickly.” Due to its competitive edge in the market, the diverse firm was awarded its largest ever contract in March 2014 to expand

housing department Brunevang in Rödovre with a further 114 new homes. Representing $183 million, the contract, which includes construction and renovation, will involve increasing the four existing apartment buildings from two floors to four floors. Meanwhile, the existing blocks will be thoroughly renovated, with new balconies and galleries. On top of this, homes facing the highway have been promised strong noise-reducing windows, which will allow residents to let air out, without the noise

entering. Thanks to the façade being secured with 200-250 mm of mineral wool, the overall noise will be minimised to 58 dB. Known as facaderenovering, the used of mineral wool, new windows and new façade shelters protects the housing department from noise and energy waste and will provide residents with not only a modernised home, but also a reduction in indoor noise by 50 per cent, a reduction in energy consumption and cheap electricity via solar cells on the roof. The strong

Construction & Civil Engineering 87

PROFILE: Adserballe & Knudsen

sound absorbent windows, known as Russian windows, are double glazed and built together in two layers. The windows can be opened without the noise entering. Discussing the project, Frederik reveals the reason why Adserballe & Knudsen was awarded the contract by Boligselskabet Brunevang: “This is the largest contract in the history of our company; we are the main contractor on this project but we will be using sub contractors for the areas we don’t have our own production. Not only is it the largest contract for us, but it is also the biggest project we have won in a public tender bid. I would say 80 per cent of the reason we won was on price and the remaining 20 per cent was based on issues such as the business process, quality assurance and so on. This was the first project where we described how we would deal with the process and we won the contract as we offered the most advantages. You could say this is the beginning for us as a pusher for major renovation projects, a lot of which are in Denmark where housing needs to be renovated so people can live in improved homes with more comfort and enhanced energy performance.” Dedicated to finding ways to handle energy renovation that

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exceeds normal building standards, the company believes passive renovation is the way forward, as a passive house offers a range of benefits to homeowners; these include the implementation of a continuous airtight layer, which protects against weak spots such as connections outside and inside walls, outside woodwork and the connections for the sewage and ventilation systems. Moreover, passive housing supplies the home with fresh air via a ventilation system, which keeps out irritants such as dirt and pollen. By providing the best insulation, windows and equipment, passive housing and renovation delivers minimum energy costs with maximum comfort. Frederik states: “Passive housing is a way of building and renovating where we need very little heating in order for the house to be warm enough to live in. For this to be effective we combine the way the building is designed and positioned towards the sun; you also insulate the buildings and make them air tight in a way that is good for the living environment. This involves putting in ventilation systems that change the air. We like to go above and beyond the normal legislation and standards, which is important because in our part of the world the

majority of energy is used in our old or existing buildings.” As the renovation market continues to grow in Denmark thanks to the Danish government’s bold ambitions to become independent from fossil fuels by 2050, there is ample opportunity for organisations such as Adserballe & Knudsen to continue growing through the delivery of energy efficient, safe and comfortable social housing, as Frederik concludes: “The focus for Adserballe & Knudsen is to maintain our stronghold on renovation and existing building to the clients we have now, while also trying to find new projects so we can work with passive housing and more green ways of delivering renovation works. We also want to work on newbuild projects, so it is these three key areas that will lead to further growth. Although renovation is our bread and butter, there are certainly strong opportunities in these other areas of the market.” m

Adserballe & Knudsen A/S Services: Major contractor for a range of construction related services

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Construction & Civil Engineering 87

PROFILE: Geith International Ltd




Holding the patent to one of the most proven products in the excavator market, Geith International Ltd continues to build upon a history of engineering expertise


ounded in 1959, the recognised attachment specialists has over 50 years of engineering expertise in the development of excavator attachments and is a company that is both well-known and appreciated for its wide and safe range of quick hitches as well as its selection of buckets. The company’s range of quick hitches meet and exceed current safety EU norms thanks to patented pin locking systems and design to ensure the attachment is in a safe position in the event of a hydraulic power loss. These fully automatic hitches, with four independent safety components, ensure a safe changeover of attachments without the need for the operator to leave the excavator cab. “It is possibly the most mature and proven product available today on the market. Safety is our number one priority; it is in the Geith workforce and DNA,” says Gustavo Otero, general manager, on the company’s website, adding that the company aims to expand its quick hitch range and market: “We are close to introducing a new mechanical hitch

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with fast release features, having just launched the new Gen 3 hydraulic hitches and hybrid products that have been developed together with our partners, mainly for the Scandinavian and US markets. These new products, as well as the existing ones, will help us to further develop a sustainable growth in our mature markets and expand our business opportunities into new markets.” Throughout the years, Geith has become a bucket specialist offering a wide range of excavator buckets from one tonne to 75 tonne machines. The business offers a complete range of bucket quality to match the toughest jobs and applications, as well as specialising in customisation to ensure the best fit on the OEM excavator as well as meeting the customer’s requirements. Today, customers

can choose between ‘HD’ and ‘Rock Duty’ buckets depending on their application requirements, and with the wide selection of widths and capacities available, they are able to maximise productivity and efficiency. It is even possible for clients to select tooth options based on ground condition or preference. Feedback from sales manager Gerry Kealy, reports: “Geith holds a significant stock of buckets (and hitches) to rapidly address customer inquiries, especially for the UK and Irish market. It is a key reason for the exceptional growth experienced in the UK throughout 2013 and it is encouraging us to be closer to our customers and reduce our delivery time.” Geith also manufactures and promotes thumbs, angle tilt buckets, grading buckets, clamps, crushers, rippers and grapples.

The business exports its attachment range to a worldwide customer base, continuously focusing on developing a close working relationship with its customers, which includes dealers and equipment rental companies. With the majority of its products sold in the UK, France and the US, it has also made significant progress in expanding into South America, Italy, Australia and Eastern Europe, with the development of new markets forming part of its longterm strategy. Previously referred to by Gustavo, one of the areas of expertise that the company is continuously developing is the manufacturing of quick hitches. It has put three robots into operation, significantly increasing its capabilities for quick hitch production. The recently launched Gen 3 quick hitches, are

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PROFILE: Geith International Ltd

designed for robotic welding, which means they have fewer parts and enough clearance to allow for robotic welding. Adding robotic welding has increased the Geith factory’s capacity for production and made the factory much more adaptable to changing demands, as the construction industry changes. Manufacture of the new quick hitch is much easier and faster than previous generations of quick hitches. In addition to making the quick hitches easier to manufacture, an additional locking feature has been added to increase safety. A firm belief within the company is that standing still as a business is equal to travelling backwards, and that drive continues to push it forward today. Based on over 50 years of experience and knowledge with a continued product development and innovative spirit,

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the business looks to the future with the desire to truly understand the customer’s needs. To successfully ensure that it continues to build lasting and trusting relationships with clients, the business has focused on the importance of learning and

adapting to those changing needs, furthermore securing its position as a brand of choice. Through that commitment, the company will be in attendance at Intermat Paris in April 2015. The exhibition is recognised across the industry as one of the most appropriate places for new product launches, and provides great opportunity for Geith to demonstrate its wide selection of attachments, as well as highlighting its new products. The continued introduction of new applications, which are both emerging and being developed is indication of the future expansion of expertise, and the dominance of the company in the attachment sector. m

Geith International Ltd Services: Excavator attachment specialist

PROFILE: Hasslacher Norica Timber

Football Stadium Sachsenburg Austria

Strongroots Innovation, sustainability and quality are at the heart of Hasslacher’s vision to be a leader in the timber industry


he roots of Hasslacher Norica Timber can be traced back over a hundred years to a small rural wood processing company started by Jakob Hasslacher. Today the company has grown to be one of Austria’s largest specialists in wood engineering, operating across seven locations and providing jobs to over 900 people. People are central to the business for Hasslacher and this can be attributed to the fact that it is still owned and managed by the founding family. The company specialises in the production, preparation and processing of sawn, planed and glued timber, as well as

pellets, panels, and pallets for the global market. A commitment to environmental sustainability also sits at the heart of the business, majorly informing the company’s approach to its operations. The company is also a producer of green energy – combined heat and power, solar, photovoltaic and hydropower. Looking forward, Hasslacher aims to maintain its position as a leader in the timber industry through continuous development of innovative approaches to wood usage and construction techniques. A major part of Hasslacher’s operations is its timber construction systems. It is able to utilise its extensive range of expertise, experience and a diverse product portfolio to develop unique and

innovative solutions to any design. So far these systems have been successfully applied in bridges, hotels, warehouses, sports halls and residential housing. Notable projects include building the world’s biggest chair in partnership with furniture manufacture XXXLutz, the iconic wave structure at the Austria Center in Vienna and the distinctive Mountain Hotel in Malta. As well as these, the company has also helped manufacture timber systems for passive houses, office buildings and a number of industrial facilities including warehouses, retail centres and sports halls. In addition to expertise, part of how Hasslacher is able to achieve this diversity in systems is its continuous commitment to

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PROFILE: Hasslacher Norica Timber

innovation. The company is always looking for new processes and technologies it can use to develop and produce some of the world’s most advanced timber products and systems. In order to achieve this its research and development team works closely with a number of experts and organisations. Of significant note with regards to innovation is the company’s development of cross-laminated timber (CLT) systems. Investment in a Kallesoe CLT press means that Hasslacher has access to the most efficient machine on the market for the production of prefabricated wall elements. Hasslacher’s product, CLT NORITEC X-LAM, consists of solid, multilayered panels that can be used to produce prefabricated wall sections, particularly applicable to the residential industry. The unique physical and mechanical

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Tribune Samorin Slovakia

characteristics of CLT means it has exceptional thermal insulation properties, can transfer forces in several directions, and provides good sound installation as well

as earthquake and fire safety. These properties make it ideal for fast construction. With the rise in demand for environmentally friendly buildings and timber

Renewable Energ y pla role in the compan ys an important y’s philosoyphy

One Production Hall of Hasslacher Norica Timber located in Sachsengburg

designs, the use of CLT is a rapidly growing area in the timber industry at the moment. For Hasslacher, the efficiency supplied by Kallesoe’s press and the ability to deliver CLT, glued laminated timber, structural frames and cladding make the company a very strong player in this emerging market. This strength is represented by a number of large contracts to supply the vast European housing market in 2015. At the heart of Hasslacher’s innovative vision is a focus on the sustainable use of wood as a renewable building source. The company prides itself on its sustainability policy making sure it uses 100 per cent of the raw wood material it takes from fully managed forests in Austria. All sawn timber is used, either turned into one of the company’s products, or integrated into a construction system. Bark is burnt in biomass power plants and converted into organic heat and green electricity that is used both in the company’s own facilities for drying processes and also to heat nearby homes. Sawdust waste is processed into pellets that can then be sold on for industrial use,

and photovoltaic power provides electricity for 750 households. In addition to its responsible approach to the processing of wood, Hasslacher has two biomass CHP plants that turn 180,000 tonnes of biomass into green energy a year in an environmentally friendly way. Heat produced from these plants is used in the natural drying process of timber, and excess is supplied to the surrounding area to provide green heat to local residences. Maintaining a relationship with the local area appears to be a big part of what Hasslacher aims to do, this is not a surprise considering the nature of the family owned company that holds employees in high regard. As part of its core values Hasslacher commits itself to providing a comfortable and supportive working environment, rewarding high performance and providing training and career progression opportunities. With 900 employees the company is a large part of the local economy and targets its own economic success not only for the company’s long-term existence but also for the prosperity of the region. Hasslacher’s future vision places

it as the leading complete supplier to the timber construction industry. It aims to get there through constant innovation and adherence to exceptionally high quality standards. To date, the company has used this approach to develop a comprehensive and sturdy product range. A strong year in 2015 in the European housing market will allow it to develop its project portfolio, and a confident hold of the CLT market looks set to provide it with more opportunities. Ultimately, a strong integrity and commitment to its values will put Hasslacher in a strong position to achieve its vision. m

Sports Hall Prague

Sawn timber 600,000 m³ per year Glue laminated timber 150,000 m³ Cross laminated timber NORITEC X-LAM 30,000 m³ Finger jointed structural timber 70,000 m³ Planed timber 60,000 m³ Pellets 100,000 per year Shuttering boards 1,000,000 m² per year Pallets 800,000 pieces per year

Hasslacher Norica Timber Services: Wood products and timber construction systems Construction & Civil Engineering 95

PROFILE: Norsk Stein

Quick to


Operating the world’s largest quarries of its kind, Norsk Stein A/S boasts a rapid production of 3000 tonnes each hour


ounded in 1987, Norsk Stein (Norwegian Stone) began production in 1988, extracting 500,000 tonnes of material in its first year. Whilst initial plans were relatively modest, the following two years saw the site develop into a fullscale aggregate quarry, capable of up to five million tonnes production annually. With business booming, in

96 Construction & Civil Engineering

2009 it undertook a substantial extension project within the quarry, as managing director Oliver Patsch explains: “We decided to renew the primary and secondary stages of the process, lifting our capacity to 3000 tonnes per hour, utilising one of the biggest crushers in the aggregate industry. “We also employed Metso, the world’s leading crusher manufacturer, to build a new tertiary plant, adding to our existing system, and providing us with a high quality, final grade aggregate.” Despite not yet running at full capacity, production at its site in Jelsa is close to ten million tonnes each year, which when compared to an average 300,000 tonne capacity from an

average aggregate quarry signifies its importance to the industry. Its mother company, Stema-Mibau, provides a turnkey service through terminals, shipping, and its quarries. With production units in Jelsa, and Larvik, it quarries high quality aggregate that is distributed by Stema-Shipping, which owns a fleet of specialized self-unloading vessels. Its trade is supported through that shipping capacity, responsible for the 95 per cent of the material that enters the European market. “The provision of an all inclusive solution is a unique approach in a market that holds a lot of competition,” says Oliver. With terminals located across the whole of Europe, the product is shipped to location, stocked, and then

transported to the final customers. In addition to the production works, a new ship-loading quay was also constructed. “We had the capacity to generate substantial amounts of material, so it was important that

we were able to have an efficient logistic solution in place too. The expense of these vessels means it is important to keep them in operation, and the second loading quay minimises loading times, and optimises the costs for shipping,” he adds. When the financial crisis hit the construction industry it created reverberations that were enough to rock any boat, least of all a business supplying rock by boat. “Our strengths really come when supplying coastal infrastructure projects with huge volumes, since we can offer the whole package

Metso Norsk Stein and Metso have had an excellent relationship for many years and together they continuously strive for the same targets; plant optimisation, energy saving and many more. That Norsk Stein’s Jelsa quarry, in addition to a higher capacity, now saves 500MWh per year as a result of the crushing chamber optimisation on their primary gyratory is in the first place thanks to the close collaboration between experts from both companies.

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PROFILE: Norsk Stein

of products and provide the logistic solution as well. Thankfully, governments across the UK and other European markets realised that one of the best stimulus to propel the market forward was through investment into infrastructure. “As these projects are realised, more opportunities for growth and development mature, and already our markets are showing signs of growth, albeit some more than others,” explains Oliver. With large infrastructure projects such as the Fehmarn Belt tunnel being constructed between Denmark and Germany, Green Port Hull, in the UK and the Elbe River deepening project in Germany there is a long pipeline of infrastructure projects ahead. “The biggest growth in the business will be through these type of infrastructure projects, which have been on hold for a number of years,” he adds. Growth of infrastructure on land and along the coastline has been bolstered by construction relating to growth in the energy sector, such as wind farms, port terminals or power stations. Many of these projects require direct supply from ships. “Some of our largest costs are logistical, which emphasises our standing beyond just an aggregate producing business. Our vessels are big enough to supply large quantities of product, but small enough to enter most harbours and locations. “Over the past year stone for offshore pipe bedding has generated a lot of business, with stone required for pipe work protection, although

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the drop in oil price has slowed this down. Wind farms however are a growing segment, with ambitious plans in the UK, Germany and Denmark to further development these sites,” explains Oliver. Geographically, Jelsa is very much in the centre of Europe, and with good trade route links to the extremities of its market in France and Russia, its positioning allows it to promote flexibility, as Oliver continues: “When one market is down, another is generally booming, or at least blossoming, so we are able to take advantage of that leverage.” Geology demonstrates that in the

southern part of the UK, and the whole of Northern Europe there is very little good hard rock, which further highlights the advantages of Norsk Stein’s location and excellent quality of stone. Asphalt, concrete and pre-cast companies and the road and rail construction industry continue to be some of the biggest users of its product, and with a number of new developments across both segments the business can remain optimistic. “We have an advantage in Norway that we have a very good reserve base, and as more quarries close on a global scale, the more opportunity that we have to supply that material. For us, growth is possible without additional investment. Last year we produced about nine million tonnes, and I feel we can reach 11.5 million tonnes without the addition of further cost. Strategically we seek to become even closer to the customer, developing complete packages and solutions whilst maintaining our focus on health and safety, and importantly, quality throughout the production process,” concludes Oliver. m

Norsk Stein Services: Aggregate quarrying

PROFILE: Marldon

Falkes House

Falkes House - all flats in Phase 1 sold within 2.5 months - Phase 2 goes onto the market in the summer


Marldon is an award winning, specialist design and build partnership that has built up an impressive portfolio of both traditional and contemporary properties across central London


stablished in 1968, the firm has a long and distinguished track record in developing residential and commercial properties for sale and for rent. “The business was started by my father Anthony [now the senior partner] and his close friend Mervyn Jefferson, undertaking small-scale building jobs,” says Henry Bartlett, construction partner. Over two decades from the 1980’s the company gradually became more focused on planning, design and renovation at the high end of the property market, equipping it with an experience that continues to hold it in good stead today.

“At the turn of the millennium we began to push forward with developing and refurbishing properties that we either already owned, or through acquiring new sites,” says Henry. One of the company’s objectives is to build and maintain an engine of highly skilled and loyal building staff, with which it is able to design and build good quality, bespoke properties, which attract potential guests, tenants, buyers and investors. “We believe in loyalty to our people, investment in our properties and the value of high quality design, high quality building and high quality service. We have an

excellent level of skill sets within the business, from design right through the construction process and beyond. Everybody that we have got now has learnt their skills within our company, and we are constantly looking for people to bring through,” he points out. As the property market continues its recovery, a strong pipeline of young talent and skills is essential to making sure that it continues to flourish. Today the business has a team that consists of over 100 people, in whom it has instilled a philosophy of encouraging apprenticeships and training at all levels, to create a well-managed and

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PROFILE: Marldon

India Street

loyal workforce that is dedicated to quality. “Because we are a very family minded company from the top level of the business, through to the ground floor, everybody works to a common goal,” says Henry. Its ten most senior site personnel have been with the firm for a combined 227 years, reflecting the experience within the organisation, which is further supported by a range of skills that cover all trades, including reinforced concrete framework, second fixed joinery, bricklayers and decorators, as well as mechanical and electrical services. With design supervised by architect Simon Smith, and working

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closely with its in-house joinery department, the company is able to take on extremely complex and unique projects. “We are backed up by long term architectural partners Simon Smith and Michael Brooke Architects, the engineers Heyne Tillett Steel, the Costs and CDM and Health and Safety advisors Stace, and the services engineers, Environmental Engineering Partnership,” says Henry. With its established team of professional consultants, the firm is able to offer a wide range of expertise that includes architectural design, construction, project management, lettings, property acquisition, sales

and management. A long and highly structured relationship with the North West business team at RBS, led by David Salisbury, has ensured seamless financing of projects, which are fully supported. Marldon has grown organically to become a bespoke development business, with the engine that drives it all being the construction team. “Charlie Markes, our Property Partner, drives through our acquisitions and sales on this basis,” Henry says. “Charlie is my uncle, and his brother Eddie - also an uncle - runs our Joinery Department,” he added, emphasising Marldon’s truly familybased approach. “My mother Rosie, who trained under Barabra Hulanicki of Biba, does all our interior design schemes, while my brother Fred is involved in the hotel and all managing and marketing for our serviced apartments and lettings. And this is just the tip of the iceberg – there are many more families involved than just ours! Marldon really does interweave family and business - personal involvement at all levels is key.” Extending its hold on the property market, the business is also active within the hotel and serviced apartment arena, utilising its position as a well-connected firm with expertise in all areas of central London property. Its ambitions within the hotel sector have seen the business buy and develop an independent hotel,

Doughty Sreet

with an emphasis on understated contemporary style, impeccable levels of personal service, and attention to detail. Each of the 40 rooms has been crafted to create a relaxed atmosphere, whilst retaining an individual character, which combines English tradition with contemporary styling, an essence that the business is comfortable bringing into all its projects. The combined degree of experience and ability to undertake projects completely in-house ensures that the company is equally at home with a listed building conversion and a contemporary residential or commercial new build. Extending from interests in design and construction, Marldon owns a number of offices within central London, which it lets to a diverse range of commercial tenants, and with further positive rental growth anticipated against a backdrop of limited supply, the assets held by the company certainly indicate a positive future for the growing firm. Taking opportunities as they arise has seen the business develop an expertise in the marketing, management and operation of its own brand of serviced apartments, which offer a fresh approach to central London short stay accommodation. Mervyn Jefferson’s son John, who holds the position of Property Management Partner, runs this large property portfolio. A strong collection such as this requires the support of a tough

sales strategy to ensure it is able to maximise revenue across the group, and as Henry concludes: “We have become very proactive in our sales team over all areas of our business, and this has become more important as we expand into more commercial areas of the industry. We are getting

stronger and stronger in the hotel sector, and constantly learning new skills on bespoke and unique projects that other developers would shy away from. “We recently became an associate member of the Considerate Constructors Scheme, of which I am a great supporter. The attitude of the scheme towards professionalism in construction from the ground up is really where the industry is headed and I am very excited about the opportunities which that affords our business as we expand through these next two or three years.” m

Marldon Services: Property renovation and development

Construction & Civil Engineering 101


A remarkable

Center Parcs Longleat Dome


Specialising in unique and obscure construction projects, putting quality, service and people first has rewarded SDC with an exceptional reputation with a world-class client list


ounded in 1972, SDC Builders has taken small but smart steps to become the company it is today one that is projected to turn over £160 million this year. Specialising in unique and challenging projects, and being a forerunner for design and build services in the seventies, the company hasn’t changed drastically in terms of the service it provides. What has changed over that time, however, is the structure of the company as in 2007, the now managing director, Francis Shiner led a team which negotiated a change of ownership. Francis’ team transformed the company from a traditionally owned business to an employee benefit trust (EBT), and this reflects itself in the level of service and personable

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commitment the company ensures it delivers to its clients, employees and local area. SDC takes on projects ranging in value from £5000 to £80 million and its portfolio of clients includes leading companies predominantly from the automotive, education, science, leisure, retail and medical industries. The company prides itself on taking challenging and complicated projects that require its team of directors to work closely with the clients to find the best solution. “The jobs we find more interesting are the ones that are a bit challenging and a bit different,” says Francis. “If a client brings along something difficult and complicated we would involve the board to work out how we’re

going to solve it, and how we are going to use the skills of our people.” What makes SDC stand out from other contractors is that every board member works on projects. Every job that the company works on will involve a member of the board who works closely with the client to understand the full requirements and makes sure these requirements are delivered. Currently, the company is halfway through a two-year project at Longleat Center Parcs. The work involves reroofing the dome that forms the central plaza on the resort. “We have developed a system that involved going in over night and erecting a camouflaged platform so that the guests don’t know we’re there. We are reroofing

UoC Sports Centre

Trinity New Court

the whole roof; bringing it up to date with repairs and alterations. That’s the sort of thing that when it comes in we have to sit down and work out a way of doing it.” Other recent work for the leisure and tourism company includes building the already iconic tropical cyclone water ride at the Elveden resort. Francis makes it clear that this commitment to service and quality is an attitude that permeates throughout SDC. The company is ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, and CHAS accredited and takes working to these compliances very seriously, but beyond this Francis believes that: “Quality isn’t all about accreditations, it’s about a desire to deliver quality. The client never forgets quality; if it’s not there then it’s an irritation that lives with them

forever. It is something we have to deliver and therefore have the systems in place to control it, but also having the pride to deliver it is critical.” One ongoing contract at Cambridge University’s Trinity College New Court building is a particular project that is exemplary of SDC’s commitment to quality and desire to take on a challenge. The project involves renovating the nineteenth century building to modern day standards. “It’s a very complicated job but the result is going to be amazing for the college,” explains Francis. “We are using materials that are in-keeping with how the college was originally built, or lovingly restoring existing windows, joinery, floor boards and window boxes, in order to reincorporate them into the building. The end result will be like a new building, but very much preserving the old one, while giving it a facelift at the same time. It’s very exciting.” The company has worked on a number of projects for Cambridge University having supplied its services building laboratories and sports centres, and refurbishing old college buildings. The same is true for Oxford University, and to have both world-class institutions on its client list is an exceptional commendation that stands to prove the level of

quality and service Francis and his team are able to deliver. Cambridge represents an important market for SDC. “The city is very hot at the moment, it’s second only to London. We have done a significant amount of work there and we are well ingrained there and with this comes a lot of opportunities,” explains Francis. Operating predominantly within 80 miles of its Bedford office, the company is well placed to take advantage of the growth currently happening in Cambridge. Recent projects in and around the area include laboratories for the Babraham research institute, a major set of projects for The Welding Institute at Granta Park in Cambridge involving one building covered in terracotta baguettes, and an advanced smart-lab for GlaxoSmithKline. It is clear that SDC has a client portfolio including some very high profile names. Of similar high regard is the company’s experience within the automotive and motor racing industries. Throughout its history it has worked with British Leyland and Rover, and continues to work with BMW, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin constructing a combination of office, manufacturing and retail sites. It is currently working on an exciting project with the Red Bull Formula

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One team, and over the years has constructed sites for Mercedes, Honda and Lotus, plus a virtual wind tunnel for Renault. The distinctive British Racing Drivers Club award winning headquarters trackside at Silverstone is another example of SDC’s high profile projects. The current market for SDC is very strong with demand and opportunity exceeding the company’s capabilities and resources. It was also able to remain active throughout the recent recession winning a number of awards including ‘Supplier of the Year’ for building a new office block in Newport for Admiral. Francis puts this strength down to the service it provides and the client relationships it has formed. He emphasises: “We try really hard to understand what the client wants and to deliver it. We always work collaboratively and are able to negotiate accounts if we have any problems without being confrontational. What really matters for us is that our clients like us and that we have repeat business. We’re never happier than when a client says they’re really happy with what we’ve done.” In addition to this is SDC’s responsibility to its employees, as Francis notes: “About half of our staff have been with us more than ten years. We have

Aston Martin

104 Construction & Civil Engineering

Cambrian Centre low staff turnover. We buy tickets and hampers for the staff that form part of a free company prize draw, and they all get a share of the EBT bonus when the profits are split up.” What results from this ethos is a very honest, people-focused organisation, both towards its clients and its staff. With high employee retention and high levels of repeat business from leading companies, the integrity, strength and reputation of SDC is undeniable. Throughout its history, SDC has been careful not to specialise. Its success and reputation is driven from its diversity as it strives to take on the most challenging and unique projects that come its way. Its core values of service and quality remain as strong as ever as the company looks to the future. “In terms of opportunities there are lot,” adds Francis. “We are trying to be very careful about what we take because as soon as we slip on quality the sooner we will get in trouble.” Strategically, the company is very realistic. Francis remains completely aware that the construction industry can be hit hard by economic downturns so strategic plans are being put in place so that the company is strong enough to

face any upcoming challenges. “We have a site with all our plant that we supply to ourselves, which has everything up from forklifts to a couple of cranes. As well as this, we have a seven-acre site in Caxton, which we use to serve the Cambridge market with, for example, a joinery shop.” SDC is a unique company, it has steadily grown to where it is today because it has secured and retained an exceptional portfolio of clients and a highly skilled and loyal work force. Honesty, passion and pride permeate throughout the company’s attitude, and this manifests itself in a level of service and quality that enables the company to stand out from other contractors in the commercial sector. With a smart strategy in place focused more on survival and continued diversity, rather than on fast and progressive growth, SDC looks set to enjoy a strong and successful future. m

SDC Builders Services: Commercial construction specialists





Since its foundation in 1974, the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) has encouraged the economic, environmental and social benefits of utilising underground space and provided support to the tunnelling industry across the globe


ormed through the initiative of 19 nations in 1974, the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) has considerably developed over the last four decades to provide a platform for its 71 member nations, allowing them to work together in a way that promote advances in the planning, design, construction, maintenance and safety of tunnels and underground space. Any independent nation, many through the medium of a national organisation, can become an ITA

member nation, while corporations and individuals can participate in association activities by becoming an affiliate member. So far ITA has gathered 300 corporate or individual affiliate members, some of which are prime sponsors or supporters. Meanwhile, ITA’s general assembly meet annually to resolve any questions regarding the organisation and also conducts the affairs of ITA through approving the budget of expenditure and receipts as well as appointing and organising every committee within the association. The general assembly also decides on the admission of

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34 Construction & Civil Engineering



ormet strives to provide complete underground construction and mining technical solutions that create maximum value, through saving costs and shortening the process cycle time in a way that also improves safety, and reduces uncertainty. From production all the way through to application, its solutions are fundamentally developed on the welfare of people and on the care of the environment. To do this, Normet encourages a strong partnership with its customers from the beginning to understand their issues, and then evaluate how to attain the highest benefit to them. Its approach is centred on packaging technical solutions comprising a range of tough underground construction equipment, high performance construction chemicals, and delivering it through the most competent and attentive technical support team in the business. Normet brings process expertise to bear that has been amassed over thousands of mines and projects all over (and under) the globe. This broad perspective means that it has seen, and learned, a lot about what should and should not be done to achieve the optimum results. It improves underground mining and tunnelling processes with knowledge and technology. It translates process expertise into actions and results that you can measure financially.

Concrete spraying simulator

Normet has a broad underground offering: l Underground equipment for concrete spraying and transport, explosives charging, scaling, lifting and installation works underground and for underground logistics l Construction chemicals for sprayed concrete, admixtures for all types and grades of pumped, poured and sprayed concrete, injection systems for rock improvement, reinforcement systems for high deformation conditions, spray applied waterproofing systems and needed chemicals for TBM technology covering hard rock, EPB, open face and slurry type machines l The new generation energy absorbing rock bolting system; the D-Bolt system specially designed for efficient and reliable rock reinforcement, in both squeezing and burstprone strata conditions Normet, more importantly, has a wealth of expertise and experience (over 50 years) in customers’ pertinent, specialised processes underground. This boils down to understanding their processes in which its technologies are employed, and improving the overall processes to customers’ benefit. Over Normet’s lifetime, it has delivered over 10,000 built-for-purpose underground machines. It also services machines and supports the rest of its offering with Life Time Care. For many processes, it is a ‘one stop shop’. Normet currently employs over 900 business professionals. It nurtures inspiration in its employees and they have a passion for doing ‘big’ things for Normet and for the industries it serves. It travels; it goes to your project wherever it may be; it goes underground; it gets its hands dirty. It spends the time with its customers and it invites its customers to be an integral part of its Research and Development processes. Normet is a Finnish based company that operates on a global basis with over 43 locations in 27 countries worldwide. This spread allows it to respond rapidly and reliably to all of its customers’ technical needs, whenever and wherever in the world they may be.

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any new national organisation and any new affiliate member. “As a federation of countries each member represents their country as a whole, which has been the case since our inception. Since the renewal in tunnel construction in 1974, the goal of ITA has been to share knowledge so newcomers to the tunnelling industry can benefit. Some of our associations, such as the UK, Italy, the US and China are large, while other countries have a smaller association that may have less expertise; the countries will work together to share information on different topics. Meanwhile, our affiliate members tend to work in the tunnelling industry around the world; they participate to benefit from different opportunities in education, training and technology development. It is expected of us to develop the use of underground space and promote new

technologies,” explains Soren Degn Eskesen, president of the ITA. One example of a new technology is spray applied waterproofing membranes, a technique that offers a strong alternative to the use of sheet membrane waterproofing systems as well as significant cost and timesavings. Other key subjects that will be discussed with delegates at the WTC in Croatia In May are on the use of rebuild tunnelling machines and of fibre reinforced concrete segments,” adds Olivier Vion, ITA executive director. Organised by the Croatian Association for Tunnels and Underground Structures –ITA Croatia and the ITA AITES, the World Tunnel Congress and General Assembly (WTC2015) in Dubrovnik is running from May 22nd to May 28th 2015 with the theme of developing the use of underground space in South Eastern Europe (SEE).

As urban underground space rapidly increases across the globe, WTC2015 aims to further develop underground infrastructure in SEE while also providing the opportunity for professionals from other countries to network and exchange information. “This year reports on site investigation, and good working practice in high pressure compressed air as a new annex to the Immersed Tunnels Owners Guide will also be presented to the audience,” Soren noted. Supported by ITA, as well as ITA member nations such as Austria, Slovenia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, Croatia’s is the first SEE country to host a World Tunnel Congress; it is therefore of great significance for Dubrovnik to host the major international event, which is anticipated to receive around 1500-2000 participants.

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Deep beneath the earth surface system costs are particularly high. Adding ETONIS® polymer modifiers changes the behavior of fresh concrete and improves the qualities of hardened concrete. As a result you save time, material and costs.

Tests in several tunnel projects have proved the extraordinary efficiency of ETONIS®. Top: unmodified sprayed concrete. Bottom: polymer-modified sprayed concrete with 10% ETONIS®. It is clearly visible that less rebound is accumulated. And the facts speak for themselves: a small amount of material reduces the rebound by approximately 50% as well as the amount of material required and the work hours.

What ETONIS® can do for your application? Our experts will be happy to provide you with comprehensive information: and Wacker Chemicals Ltd., Orchard Lea, Drift Road, Winkfield, Windsor SL4 4RP, UK Tel. +44 1344 887-676, Fax +44 1344 887-664,,

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26.03.15 12:18


ETONIS® – multifunctional polymers for modification of sprayed concrete set new standards in tunneling

Application of sprayed concrete with polymeric admixtures (left) and without (right) Pictures taken with a highspeed camera (6000 images/s) at Hagerbach Mine Test Gallery, Switzerland


hree aspects play a major role in tunneling: efficiency, cost assurance and sustainability. Concrete is actually a rather brittle material. Which makes it even more surprising to see how much can be done with modified concrete. The innovative ETONIS® polymeric modifiers from WACKER open up new possibilities in construction technology – especially in tunneling. ETONIS® is particularly suitable for modifying sprayed concrete, such as that used in tunneling applications. Thanks to modifiers, the amount of material required and construction time are reduced measurably. The longer service life of this concrete also lessens the subsequent expenses.

Clever site logistics due to less rebound “Rebound is a decisive fact within the system costs in all shot concrete applications for construction and renovation of tunnels. More rebound means more time, material and costs. This is exactly where ETONIS® comes in“, says Scott Challoner, WACKER UK Sales Manager. The innovative polymeric modifiers improve adhesion and cohesion. Usually shot concrete is used in tunneling. But this requires not only a higher amount of material, but also additional costs for application time, disposal and transport of waste material. More rebound also means more work hours. Modification with ETONIS® changes the behavior of fresh concrete for better product characteristics and improves the qualities of hardened concrete. This reduces the rebound and provides excellent adhesion – even on critical substrates. The outstanding adhesion and less dust formation coupled with good pumpability and machine processability provide optimum workability.

ETONIS® at a glance ETONIS® is particularly suitable for modifying sprayed concrete, such as that used in tunneling applications. Benefits in fresh concrete: l Improved pumpability l Improved adhesion, even on smooth surfaces such as metals and damp substrates l Significantly reduced rebound Benefits in hardened concrete: l Greater ductility for accommodating thermal

stress, vibration and pressure l Excellent compaction reduces cracking l Highly durable, even under mechanical stress

(pressure tunnels) l Resists aggressive groundwater

Overall benefits l Less material and a shorter application time l Less waste material and lower disposal costs l Longer intervals between maintenance for

machinery l Less of an impact on the environment

The facts speak for themselves In 2009, water loss was registered in the pressure water tunnel of the Hintermuhr pumped storage power plant in the Hohe Tauern region of Austria. A quick renovation was necessary – and as inexpensive as possible. For this purpose, the pressure water tunnel was drained dry. Due to the confined conditions in the tunnel, dry sprayed concrete was the only feasible option. Because the seal neaded to be water-tight, the decision was made to modify the concrete with 7.5% ETONIS®. This also had the advantage of reducing the rebound by approximately 50%. As far as saving goes, 156 metric tons of concrete less than calculated was actually required. For transporting waste, only 152 hours were needed instead of the expected 308. Thanks to that, the renovation was in time and cost-efficient.

Contact Person: Scott Challoner email: Web special Waterproofing

You can reach both web sites through URLs Brand site ETONIS® Construction & Civil Engineering 111

In addition to the development of underground space in SEE, ITA is also working on a number of other agendas, depending on social, economical and environmental needs on both a national and global scale. ITA handles new technologies through its committee on technology, ITATech, which for example has produced guidelines in 2013 on sprayed waterproofing membranes, and there have been others produced on monitoring procedures and TBM backfilling. “The priorities of ITA is dependant on our different member types; we are both promoting state-of-the-art

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technologies and promoting space for underground development. We are currently working with the UN on finding a solution to an issue that is of importance to everyone: urbanisation. In South East Asia currently and over the next 20 years in Africa there are plans in place to use underground space as a solution to mega cities,� highlights Soren. As increasingly large concentrations of people continue to live in a limited capacity, it has become integral to use the subsurface as an area to place a range of services in urban environments. These utilities include

pneumatic waste systems for the transportation and collection of garbage, water supply and storage, sewerage management, flood control systems, urban heating/ urban cooling and the distribution of electrical and communication cables. “The operations of ITA are a continuous process, as we work with groups in the UN such as UN ISDR we will be focused on improving awareness with regards to how underground space can help reduce the risk of disasters. For example, using the underground can result in flood protection; a smart tunnel in Kuala Lumpur is used every day as a


Ban Ki Moon in October 2014. During the historic meeting many governments and organisations pledged to combat climate change, while the announcement of a Global Geothermal Alliance in the field of energy made it clear that ITA’s goals of developing underground space must continue. The association can also help deliver solutions through the utilisation of underground transportation and cities, which reduces carbon emissions and lowers carbon economy. Another key growth area for the tunnelling industry is China, which has become a hot spot for tunnel construction over the last 20 years. There are even plans in the pipeline for the country to create the world’s longest undersea tunnel, which, at 124 km in length, will be more than twice the length of the Channel Tunnel. Running between the northern cities of Dalian and Yantai, on the east coast, the new tunnel will cut an impressive 1300 km off the current route. “China has become the world’s largest tunnelling market, with about 50 per cent of tunnels worldwide being built in the country,” confirms Olivier. “Tunnels are planned in every city, as the vastly populated city needs underground space for metro systems, high speed lines, power plants and highway tunnels.

China has a massive population and requires efficient infrastructure to cope with this.” As demand for underground space continues to soar, the members of ITA will continue working together to improve solutions for its customers and the public across the world. In line with this ever-growing market need, ITA is looking to resource young people into the tunnelling industry, which will ensure projects can continue in the long-term, as Soren concludes: “The education and training of young people is imperative to meeting the future demands for tunnels and underground space. For example, over the next 20 years Africa will have the largest increasing population in the world. The development of Africa is a longterm issue for us as there are plans in place for mega cities, which will require a lot of tunnels to be built at a lower cost to ones in Europe; this too requires some progress in technology over the next years.” m

ITA Services: Supports and encourages the tunnelling industry and promotes the use of underground space

road tunnel, however, should the risk of flooding arise, it can also be used as flood control. Meanwhile, our work with UN Habitat, which strives for a better urban future, means we are also committed to participating at Habitat three, a bi-decennial UN conference on housing and sustainable urban development that is next due to take place in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016,” highlights Soren. ITA also works with the UN on issues such as climate change, with the ITA president and ITACUS chair invited to attend the Climate Summit 2014 by UN secretary General

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PROFILE: Franki Foundations

As it looks to expand further into the UK market, experienced piling and foundations specialist Franki Foundations puts its clients at the forefront of its attention



n 1909 Belgian engineer Edgard Frankignoul applied for a patent for the execution of the ‘Franki pile’, a major technical innovation within the field of driven piles technology. In 1911, he founded the company, which is today known as Franki Foundations, in order to exploit that patent. The system was so successful that during the interwar years the company had already become the parent company of 34 subsidiaries or licenses in 75 countries across five continents. The innovation and growth that existed in the company’s foundation has defined its continued success throughout its history. Today, as part of major Belgian construction group Besix, it has become the market leader in the foundations industry completing 450 projects a year at home and abroad. Exemplifying its expansion Franki Foundations

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Wim Claesen

now exists in the UK, Luxembourg, Holland, Belgium, France, the UAE and Qatar. The company offers geotechnical solutions in deep foundations and civil engineering, with experience in applications within the residential, commercial, industrial, energy, marine, road and rail infrastructure industries to name a few. Speaking to Construction and Civil Engineering, managing director Wim Claesen says: “Adaptation, diversification, continuous improvement and technical know-how are the keywords in the history of the company, resulting in our slogan: ‘Franki has a foundation to suit every structure.’” By working closely with its clients, the company’s team of highly experienced engineers can come up with the best solution for any building need. “The total solutions are tailored to site

specific challenges,” Wim continues. “Incorporating consultancy, design and calculation into the expert execution of diverse methods for pile foundations, retaining walls, soil improvement, injection works, renovation of existing foundations and the co-ordination of related activities.” The strengths of the business lay in its experience and ability to offer the full service of foundation solutions. It normally works as a subcontractor on projects, but has the knowledge and contacts to work as a main contractor or partner. Its in-house design team can develop bespoke design and construct solutions to overcome challenges faced with unique and innovative building projects. Wim also explains that clients can benefit from Franki Foundation’s involvement in a project from a financial point of view: “Generally the earlier we are involved

in the overall design process the more substantial the savings we can offer. We offer a non-contractual collaborative approach and offer efficiencies to our clients through the strategic partnerships we have built within our supply chain.” Alongside these strengths is the company’s approach to health and safety, which is bolstered by an excellent reputation. Testament to Franki Foundation’s continued commitment to innovation and expansion are a number of recent examples. In 2013, the company embarked on a joint venture with West Construct to focus on the installation of foundations for wind farms. Labelled, BEWind, the project has already supplied contracts for 45 new wind turbines in Belgium. In August 2014, the

business developed its BEInject arm, which focuses on the repair and stabilisation of cracks and defects within concrete structures and foundations. These types of projects enable Franki Foundations to expand its footprint across new industries and markets as it

grows. Supporting its expanding operations is a continual focus on investment into new equipment and piling rigs. Recent projects with great significance for Franki Foundations include a spate of turnkey projects for the Belgian

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PROFILE: Franki Foundations

market including Brussels’ shopping centres Toison d’or and Dockx. Wim highlights: “We also worked on the huge Rive Gauche project in Charleroi where we acted as the general contractor for the developer. Franki designed and executed the secants piles, the anchors, micropiles and the excavation works.” In 2006, Franki Foundations acquired UK based Able Piling in Southampton as part of an effort to enter into the UK market. By combining the two companies’ expertise the company was not only able to offer its traditional minipiling and construction services to the UK market, but also had access to expertise in more specialist auger displacement piling systems. “Franki Foundations UK is the entrance ticket for Franki Foundations Group to introduce its different techniques

to the UK market,” emphasises Wim. “As part of the Besix Group, the parent company is also looking for opportunities within the UK that will lead to our UK operations moving into the major projects sector, which is more in line with the global Franki model.”

Success, however, has not been absent in what is approaching a decade of UK operations. With a client list including the major names of Vinci, McCarthy and Stone, Network Rail, Taylor Wimpey, Morgan Sindall and Galliford Try, amongst others, Franki Foundations has developed a strong reputation in the UK. An increasing number of high value projects in London and the Home Counties have also prompted the company to accompany the existing office in Southampton with a new one in Dartford, which recently opened. A drive for growth has very much manifested itself in Franki’s UK operations with the company turning over £7 million in 2014, and the next goal set at £10 million. “Within the next year we are looking to build upon the solid foundation our UK director Craig Macklin has put in place, to support our key clients in higher value projects and invest in our UK plant and equipment,” highlights Wim, adhering to its historic culture of innovation to encourage growth. “Over the next three to five years, we want to move our UK operations into the major projects sector to provide all products offered within the Franki Group to the UK market, and to continue supporting our key clients to be efficient and profitable as they look for success, offering them competitive advantages over their competitors.” It is clear that when it comes to Franki Foundation’s attitude and approach to its work, commitment to its clients is key. Its wealth of experience and knowledge within the industry allows it to add real value to its clients and partners, not only making itself competitive but also for those it works for. With over a century of success riding on this commitment, growth looks set to continue for the business as it looks to become successful on a global scale. m

Franki Foundations Services: Foundation construction 116 Construction & Civil Engineering


Originalthinking Quality, service and a strong team is central to Origin’s offerings, but it is the company’s ability to respond to the market that has provided the driving force


hen cousins Neil Ginger and Victoria Brocklesby couldn’t find the doors they wanted for family building projects in 2002, they recognised a gap in the market for high quality bi-folding doors. Deciding to act upon the recognition the two set about designing and manufacturing the doors to the highest quality in the UK, with a defined focus on customer service. Success ensued with extraordinary levels of growth throughout the recession and in December last year the company manufactured its

100,000th bi-folding door. With a commitment to growth and expansion the company now offers windows and blinds, has a sales operation in Dubai and has moved into the United States. Achieving ISO 9001 in 2014, quality sits at the heart of everything Origin does. Spot that this is married to an unparalleled level of service and it is clear to see why the company has achieved the rapid success it has. Commenting upon what has warranted the business such success, managing director Andy Halsall explains: “We were fortunate to start at a time when the products was just becoming noticed, and we have benefitted from the market growth. We were also able to find some good people in the key areas of sales, marketing, production, IT and accounts to help make the business a success. Ultimately, we have

an edge on customer service and supply chain management, as well as a huge ongoing commitment to the quality of the product and the fabrication.” The company operates according to a ‘your lead time, not ours’ philosophy that allows the customer to specify their own lead time. As a result, Origin recently set a record lead time within the glass and glazing industry, of 48 hours from order to delivery for its most popular colours. Part of being able to achieve this is its approach to continuous improvement and lean manufacturing. Within its manufacturing sites at High Wycombe, the company operates a flow line manufacturing system, which designates each factory worker a defined role in the production process. The aim of the system is to streamline work and improve efficiency levels by breaking

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down each task. The result is a high quality product with extraordinary lead times. With a strong team, excellent service and quality product Origin has demonstrated its refined ability

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to respond positively to market conditions. “With a lot of high quality home improvement going on the product is ideally suited for helping people with their dreams of a happier home,” highlights Andy.

“The market for these products is currently enjoying a strong growth as the product is extremely popular. As a result of this responsiveness, the company has been able to expand into new, related products. A particular example of this is its range of window solutions, which launched last year. “Our customers wanted a window supplied with the same service and attention to quality as we supply our doors. Therefore, we were pressured externally to provide a window solution,” he adds. A similar approach has been applied to its electric blinds to dress the doors and windows to offer a more complete range of fenestration products. Using aluminium in the construction of its products has many benefits. The strength of aluminium combined with its light weight, allows for greater freedom

in the creation of frames, thus facilitating the bespoke service Origin offers to its customers. The strength of aluminium also allows for slimmer frames, increasing the window surface and therefore improving aesthetics and view – resulting in Origin’s goal of providing a happier home. Using 100 per cent recycled aluminium with durable powder coatings in a range of colours means that the frames have guaranteed longevity and are thermally efficient. Making the most of the benefits provided by the materials, Origin implements a stringent quality process to assure the highest quality frames. Such is this quality the company is able to offer a 20-year guarantee, something that is unprecedented within the UK market.

Middle Eastern market

continues, its ability to respond to the market is the key and the company is fully aware of this. By remaining so, Origin looks set to enjoy a long and successful future as it grows into new markets. m

Origin Manufacturing: Bespoke aluminium bi-fold doors, windows and blinds

With the view to becoming a global company, Origin has set up a sales operation in Dubai to serve the Middle Eastern market, and in 2014 set up a factory in Florida to break into the US market. Andy outlines the company’s strategy: “Our vision is to become the first choice brand for customers when considering aluminium fenestration products. This will involve a serious commitment to investing in our staff, our continuous manufacturing process and our products. Essentially, giving all our customers and their customers a more pleasant and simple experiences is the core.” Remaining focused and reactive to the market conditions is also essential to the company’s continued success: “Our main challenges are to keep pace with the potential in the market and to keep our products ‘vital’ in changing and demanding markets,” he concludes. Only 12 years into existence, Origin has experienced extraordinary growth to get to where it is today. Whilst maintaining quality standards and service ensures this growth

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etic Fibre s

Aheadof thegame Spurred on by a need to stay ahead of thieves, AMI Group continues to push the asset protection industry forward with a number of innovative products


ince formation in 2004, AMI Group has been at the forefront of asset tracking and security solutions, bringing innovative solutions and advanced technology to the UK market. Specialising in developing systems tuned specifically for clients needs, AMI has a large market in the form of plant and construction industries but also applies its technology to public service, domestic and personnel sectors. Speaking to Construction and Civil Engineering, managing director Gary Stockton emphasises: “AMI has always been an expert in asset tracking and security making every effort to offer the very best technology to meet the needs of a diverse customer base.” Recent market conditions have made clear to AMI where particular opportunities in its market are. Gary

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explains: “We have noticed with the economic downturn that theft statistics have increased in certain sectors of the construction and agricultural industry where plant and machinery are easily rebranded and disguised for selling quickly.” This means that potential clients for AMI are becoming more aware of how important its products and services are. He points out that: “As the economy

has picked up and building projects are seeing a lot of investment in new plant and machinery, our telemetry and tracking solutions are being employed to not only protect this new round of investment but also to supply important operational data.” Over the last year AMI Group has launched a number of innovative products that testify to the company’s leading position in the industry. “Technology is always advancing extremely fast within our business because thieves are getting smarter. Therefore all devices need to be as small as possible and last as long as possible, in order to be installed and operated covertly,” discusses Gary. A significant demonstration of this attitude can be seen in the new AMI Nexis Asset Tracker (AT5), a self-contained, battery operated GPS/GSM/ RF tracking device, which, under optimum battery management configuration, can last up to 15 years. “The AT5 is the very latest asset tracking and after theft recovery solution exclusively available from AMI. The small size (a third of the original), design and the fact that is has no external connections combined with IP67 (waterproof) rating means it can be placed or concealed almost anywhere on any asset required to track. This makes the AT5 ideally suited to most types of covert operation where the utmost discretion is essential.” Other innovations are the AMI Nexis Fuel Pro and Personal Tracking and Lone Worker solutions. Fuel Pro allows the client to monitor fuel levels and consumption, and can alert in the event of any loss of fuel and likely theft. Advantages of this system also extend to fuel efficiency. Gary explains: “With fuel being the major expense of all companies operating mobile or static fleets, business owners are looking to reduce this phenomenal expense.” The system creates the potential to save 30-40 per cent fuel costs, which translate into a return on investment within two to three months of installation. Soon to be released is an advanced

version, which will be available as a standalone battery powered solution. The personal tracking solutions form a very small unit that can be attached to a watch or belt, or carried in a pocket with a red centre button to immediately call for assistance if the operator is in a difficult situation or in immediate danger. Gary highlights the diverse market of the product. “AMI Nexis Personal is ideal for surveillance, control and monitoring of lone workers, registration and protection of employees, protection and surveillance of elderly people, and as a safety alarm for children and disabled people.” Exemplifying the company’s reactions to current market conditions is AMI Vehicle Secure, which has just finished testing. “It is an innovative solution that addresses recent issues highlighted in the press whereby thieves are bypassing a vehicle OBD port and reprogramming keys to steal high value cars,” says Gary. “Our solution using RF identification will immobilise the vehicle even if the keys are stolen or reprogrammed.” Supporting all of AMI’s products is its AMI Nexis Platform, a software system developed in-house, which offers complete software solutions for tracking management. The map-centric software can display location, status and recent activity, as well as providing features such as journey playback, point of interest and fully customisable geo-fencing management, and optimal route tools. Testament to AMI’s understanding of the market and innovative software solutions is its partnership with leading tracker manufacturer Flextrack. “They are the most technologically advanced manufacturer in the market whose products are always overengineered rather than falling short on quality and reliability,” adds Gary. “It is the advanced features of our Nexis software platform and the confidence in AMI’s ability

in offering the best technology solutions that motivated Flextrack to appoint AMI as its UK distributor for all current and future releases.” In terms of the future, AMI look to build upon its current success. “We feel that with recent commitment from our existing customer base

and considerable demand from new customers for our solutions stands the company in a healthy position for the future,” Gary concludes. By continuing to stay focused on product development and technology advancement AMI hopes to be able to enter new market sectors, as well as creating channels across to Europe. As a result of the company’s growing profile within the industry, the BBC will soon be running a documentary called Thief Takers, which highlights AMI’s recent successes in recovering clients’ stolen assets. m

AMI Group Manufacturers: Asset tracking and security systems

Flextrack Flextrack has appointed one of the UKs leading telematics companies - AMI Group, who will be responsible for the UK sales channel structure.
The company will distribute its entire portfolio of GPS tracking, telemetry, and M2M solutions. A thorough appreciation has been developed, because of the fact, that each and every client has their own set of unique requirements. To galvanise the partnership with the AMI Group, Flextrack has carefully analyzed the company’s needs and worked closely with representatives to develop a mutually beneficial strategy that delivers on experience and innovation.

Construction & Civil Engineering 121


Changing perceptions KLH UK is at the forefront of driving the construction industry into a new age, and by building up a strong reputation across new markets, it looks set to achieve a future defined by growth and success


perating as a subsidiary of Austrian KLH Massivholz GmBH, KLH UK was founded in 2005 and specialises in offering a full design, supply and installation service for cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction. When Construction

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and Civil Engineering last featured the company back in June 2014, it was enjoying success in the educational industry having built up a strong portfolio of schools and colleges across the country. Looking forward it saw potential growth opportunities in student accommodation and residential markets. KLH UK is a unique company

within the UK CLT industry, and this is where its strengths lay. “We are the only CLT provider in the UK who is actually a manufacturer as well,” managing director, Nic Clark explains. “We have the ability to liaise with the factory, which brings financial benefits, and the ability to create specific sizes with increased efficiency.” In addition to this, by being a one-stop-shop in terms of the services it provides, a client has the ability to reduce the number of contracts it takes on within the construction process. Today, business for KLH UK is looking up. Nic tells Construction and Civil Engineering: “The market is improving from an enquiry point of view. We’re not too dependent upon labour because it’s an offsite-manufactured product, so the squeeze on labour within the industry isn’t really affecting us. We have a well established supply

chain and we’ve briefed it on how the year is looking so that we have some commitments on labour and resources.” With markets in multi-family residential and student accommodation bringing an increasing amount of enquiries, there is a positive outlook for the future of the company. However, moving into new markets can pose challenges to any business. Most significantly for KHL UK is the current perception of using timber as the main construction component. The perception is that timber poses a potential fire risk, particularly during the construction process. As Nic points out: “The reality is that whilst we acknowledge the risk, it can be managed and mitigated. Ultimately, by using timber neighbouring areas would end up with a much quicker, quieter, less dusty and disruptive build process.” The perception can also cause problems when it comes to mortgage providers, insurers and NHBC’s, so bringing these stakeholders on board is crucial to changing the perception. Building a reputation within the markets will also help change perceptions; a successful and strong portfolio of builds within the education sector has proved that this is possible. Having mitigated perceived risks, the benefits of using CLT are in great in number. Timber is a more sustainable and ecologically friendly building material. It has a

greater freedom for architectural implementation and can reduce on-site building time and therefore costs. As well as this, being manufactured off-site can make building sites much more

manageable where traditional building methods are highly susceptible to a number of variables. KHL UK stands by its assertion that CLT is the future of construction, with the flexibility, adaptability and quality it provides, and serves to prove this through pioneering high-profile projects. Most notably is Stadthus apartments in Hackney, a nine storey high-rise building consisting of 29 apartments, which was completed in 2009 after a build period of only seven weeks. The building stands as a pioneer for timber residential towers building across the world. The company’s reputation is very important to its success and future growth. As part of this it recently completed a project for Kier Eastern to build the

Construction & Civil Engineering 123


Peterborough University Technical College. The project was completed within programme, and delivered to a high standard for a happy client. “It was a very successful project,” expresses Nic, and demonstrated the company’s ability to overcome major construction challenges, as it had to install a 6.5 tonne mega-truss requiring the use of 200 tonne crane. Looking forward, Nic is positive about the company’s growth, yet remains aware of some of the potential challenges it will face. “I think we will naturally see revenues lift because of the amount of enquiries we are getting, and where our focus needs to be is on trying to lift our margins as this happens,” he says. “Additionally, as space in London is becoming less and less, the logistical challenges facing CLT construction in the city are increasing, so we have to be on top of the work we do in tight spaces. Also, as the industry begins to pick up, trying to get hold of good staff as we grow is going to be a challenge, particularly from a professional point of view.” By remaining aware of the potential challenges in the industry, KLH UK is in a good position to put procedures in place to manage them. Crucially with more and more markets turning towards CLT, maintaining a strong reputation and adaptable service is central to the company making the most of new opportunities in order to achieve growth. m

KLH UK Services: Timber construction 124 Construction & Civil Engineering

PROFILE: Taylor and Braithwaite


Plant distributor, Taylor and Braithwaite, proves that organic growth and solid service can be a winning formula to expand in today’s markets


aylor and Braithwaite can trace its roots back to the 1970’s when Harold Taylor and Trevor Braithwaite started buying and selling second hand agricultural equipment to local farmers. Since then the company has grown to take on new machinery, and now 90 per cent of the company serves the construction industry as a major UK franchise of Hyundai excavators. Working from its site in Cumbria, the company employs around 20 people at present with operations split across sales and aftermarket services. Organic growth sits at the heart of the company’s strategy as it focuses on making the most of opportunities that open up.

This steady and natural expansion means that whilst Hyundai remains the core business, the company has started to develop a diversified range of products to serve a large section of the market. The current portfolio consists of Hyundai, Maximus,

Wacker Neuson, ProDem, Yamaha ATV, Viking, Stihl and Kranzle allowing Taylor and Braithwaite to offer products to a broadening range of construction, demolition and quarry industries among others.

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PROFILE: Taylor and Braithwaite

Taylor and Braithwaite’s relationship with Hyundai is an integral part of the business. “We are building a very strong longterm relationship,” sales director, Ian Burton, tells Construction and Civil Engineering. “It’s a considerable part of the sales volume for the company.” During the recent UK recession companies were not looking at taking on new brands or expanding their product ranges. Taylor and Braithwaite had the vision to see the potential in the Hyundai brand and the lack of any other distributor in the area meant that the opportunity was there to establish this relationship. Since then the company’s sales of Hyundai products has helped to establish them as one of the top distributors in Europe. Last year saw the business sell 140 new Hyundai machines in what Ian referred to as

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“an exceptional year.” When it took the brand on Hyundai had 1.2 per cent market share in the UK, today this is at ten per cent where the market leaders occupy 16-17 per

cent. As Ian explains: “Hyundai is starting to come onto the radar of some of the major players. The market is becoming more competitive as Hyundai are now being seen as a threat.” Commenting upon what gives Taylor and Braithwaite its competitive edge within the market, Ian says: “I’m fully aware that anyone can go anywhere and buy a machine. Our strengths are in customer service and decisionmaking. If a customer has a problem they can speak directly to a director within the company seven days a week, and we can make decisions there and then to get it sorted.” Riding the success of its relationship with Hyundai, the company is currently focused on expansion, and the diversification of the product range is central to this strategy. “A lot of the customers we are selling excavators to are dealing with a lot of other products. I felt that if we’ve already got this relationship with the customer who knows how good our service is, why don’t we try and offer them more. It was a natural progression to move towards a ‘one-stop-shop’ business. We’re not there yet, but it’s part of trying to grow long-term relationships with customers who know and trust us. We’re trying to

make it as easy for our customers to do business,” highlights Ian. Now Taylor and Braithwaite has a product range that includes demolition and recycling attachments from ProDem, site dumpers, telehandlers, compaction equipment, lighting towers and water pumps from Wacker Nueson, and crushers and screeners from Maximus. In the last financial year, which starts in November for the company, it saw an increase in sales from £10 million to £14 million with excavator sales up by 40 per cent, suggesting that diversifying the range is having a positive effect. As it experiences this growth the company is expanding its facilities and work force, it has recently built one additional building on site and has planning permission to extend its workshop. It is also looking to

recruit additional sales people as demand grows. “I would like to say we are organically growing,” Ian expresses. “We are not working towards recruitment targets, as needs must we are taking on more people.” The same strategy can be applied to its approach to entering new markets, taking them on as opportunities arise. For example, by selling excavators to quarry sites it was encountering customers who also use crushers and screeners, thus prompting a move to set up a Maximus franchise. “Additionally,

Miller With almost 40 years’ expertise in the earthmoving industry, Miller is a world leader in the design and manufacture of a range of buckets, quick couplers, hydraulic breakers and custom built solutions to suit specific applications, machines and environments. Miller has made significant investments in its manufacturing facilities to improve production efficiency, whilst its skilled in-house engineering department constantly develops new product initiatives to ensure its customers have the latest and safest technology to maximise the productivity of their machines. Miller products are trusted and relied upon around the world for safety, strength, durability and value for money.

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PROFILE: Taylor and Braithwaite

forestry is definitely looking like an avenue that we would like to expand into. We do a lot of forestry adaptations for machines, which is picking up at the moment,” explains Ian. This year, sales are continuing to steadily grow for Taylor and Braithwaite, although sales aren’t at the same level they were this time last year. Ian believes this is down to a shortage in qualified operators in the industry. “If we could grow drivers we would sell more machines. I personally put the labour shortage in the industry down to the recession when companies stopped employing apprentices. If they had continued to do so those guys would have three or four years experience and there would be a higher level of qualified operatives on site. The problem in the industry is that it’s lost five years

worth of training, and this is now starting to have an impact on sales.” Despite this challenge, however, the company is positive about the

future and growth levels are still increasing. “We’re expanding quite nicely here and there,” concludes Ian. “In the next 12 months I’d be looking to establish the crushing and screening part of the business to get that up and running and bringing in some volume. In the next three to five years we’re looking at a 30-35 per cent increase in sales.” In terms of market share for the Hyundai brand the aim is to maintain the current position in the market, next generation ranges that are being launched later this year should help the company to do this. Ultimately, with a continued commitment to natural growth and providing high standards of service and aftermarket care, Taylor and Braithwaite looks set up to achieve success over the coming years. m

Taylor and Braithwaite Services: Plant sales 128 Construction & Civil Engineering

PROFILE: speedy services


speedysuccess Well-established tool and plant hire provider Speedy has taken large steps to return to growth and a major reinvigoration programme is now in place to ensure future success


ast featured in Construction and Civil Engineering in October 2014, Speedy has had a significant five months as it undergoes a phase of reinvigoration. CEO, Mark Rogerson, has now completed his first full financial year at the head of the company and is pleased to have returned growth to the business for the first time in four years. In the last feature Mark highlighted his goal for the company: “The real prize is to truly optimise Speedy as a business engine, whether that is our own back office processing, our logistics capability or the way that we manage and optimise our assets. That is the first journey for us, and one that we are already progressing

with.” From speaking to him five months on it is clear that this is still very much the drive behind Speedy at the moment and one that is clearly starting to have an effect. One significant achievement that puts Speedy on a strong course towards achieving this goal is the improved, streamlined infrastructure network within the business. “We have completed the strategic reprofiling of our network ahead of schedule,” highlights Mark. “We have created a 160,000 square foot National Distribution Centre in the Midlands, which will be the heart of our business operations. We now have in our network eight regionalised engineering centres, and 38 very modern, regionalised Superstores across the UK.” The

distribution centre is well placed to serve the engineering centres, which in turn are able to feed the superstores. The Superstores are placed such that individual coverage areas overlap each other ensuring no part of the UK is untouched by Speedy’s services. Mark continues: “In our express network we have over 150 express depots. These have now been aligned to an individual Superstore so they have a network of support rather than operating autonomously, so the network has come on massively.” The implementation of this improved network has been a crucial part of breathing new life into the company Mark took over in early 2014. “Effectively Speedy is not a hire company. Hire for me

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PROFILE: speedy services

is an outcome of what we do. We are an asset management company, and unless we have the DNA and the infrastructure to manage assets and optimise our asset management effectively, we will not be successful. Therefore, our new network gives us the space and the ergonomics to much more effectively manage and distribute our asset base,” he notes. “What I adopted was an asset portfolio which was 20 years in the making, and, as such, some of that holding was redundant to need. We were holding too much of the wrong equipment and not enough of the right equipment, so we are now going through a period of rebalancing that. It is also about making sure each of our depots have the stock they actually need to service its individual customer demand.” Other significant developments since the last feature include resolving the issues in Speedy’s Middle East business. However, Mark outlines the possibility of

Mark Rogerson

selling off the remaining Oil & Gas business as it is too far removed from the UK business both in terms of location and strategy. Central to the company’s commitment to improving health and safety, Mark was pleased to exclusively announce

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PROFILE: speedy services

Hi-Force Hi-Force is a leading British manufacturer of hydraulic tools, and the exclusive supplier of hydraulic lifting cylinders, jacks and hydraulic pumps to Speedy Services. Hi-Force’s latest manufacturing investment, the purchase of the Mori Seiki CNC SL603 lathe, has further improved the company’s impressive manufacturing capabilities and stock holdings. The SL603’s spindle power and specialised tooling features has allowed for a reduced delivery time for high tonnage and special design cylinders, including the HFL and HFG range of failsafe lock ring cylinders, which offer all the versatility and efficiency of hydraulic power with the safety of mechanical load support. Hi-Force claims to be committed to manufacturing products of the highest quality, and its investment in state-of-the-art manufacturing machinery certainly supports this claim.

that: “We have achieved for the first time in Speedy’s history a full quarter without any major reported incidents, which is fantastic news. It is down to a lot of hard work in leadership safety days, behavioural safety training and major campaigns across the company.” In addition, a new IT system for managing the company’s assets in much finer detail has been implemented and is maturing to help streamline the business operations. Following on from these developments, Speedy is now embarking on a journey to improve three core areas within the business. “These are our asset utilisation and availability, our engineering productivity (how fast we return our assets back into the system), and optimising our logistics network, so this is what we are focusing on now,” explains Mark. It is clear that Speedy is taking sure steps towards reinvigorating its business, and there are three

factors that Mark believes is driving this. “Firstly, the enhanced relationships I believe we now have with our strategic account customers – the feedback I am getting about our service and quality improvements is outstanding, and we are seeing the impact of that through the growth of these accounts,” he outlines. “The second manifestation of reinvigoration is around our brand. The new network of properties we have created is such a transformational event that it really demonstrates a dramatic improvement. Thirdly, a lot of energy and invigoration has come from the people, in that we have attracted a really great, diverse range of business leaders both from inside and outside of the industry. We’ve got people in from Hyder Consulting, G4S, BAE Systems and Hilti – all of them bringing a very different methodology about how to create a world-class organisation.” Achieving growth for the first

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We never compromise on performance. That’s why JCB give you all the power you need. For example, our 85Z and 86C excavators are equipped with innovative JCB Diesel by Kohler engines, which meet Tier 4 legislation without a DPF. You won’t, therefore, have to worry about wasting time and money replacing a DPF; you’ll also benefit from best-in-class safety, fuel consumption and 500-hour greasing intervals. To experience unrivalled performance for yourself, request a demo today.

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PROFILE: speedy services

time in four years is a significant milestone for Speedy and it has been predominantly down to a focused commitment on the higher end of the business’s client base. “Where we are seeing growth is in our strategic and major customer relationships. We are seeing our customers in this area

increasing their trade with us, and we have significant market share in this sector,” says Mark. “This is because we are able to provide an end-toend service for our customers, not just through hire, but with things like fuel management training, and also our strong safety record and culture.” Mark highlights that the major strengths of the business come from a concept he brought in to the company referred to as CQI, customer thinking, quality and innovation. “It is about thinking all the time about what the customer wants and how they feel, ensuring the customer gets the quality of service and of product, and constantly pushing the edge of innovation to enable customers to deliver in some of the most complex and difficult infrastructure environments.” Mark sees innovation as a key

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PROFILE: speedy services

Kärcher Kärcher has worked closely with Speedy to develop a core range of products, and is proud that nine of its machines – including some brand new solutions for Speedy – have been awarded GO ratings for green products. Kärcher has worked with Speedy and the Partnership Excellence Programme for a number of years and will be looking to further this relationship through the programme in 2015 and beyond. Kärcher will continue to support and work closely with Speedy at all levels.

strength to maintaining successful growth in the industry: “It is at the heart of everything we do, particularly surrounding innovations in technology application and safety products. In October this year we will be running and hosting the largest private plant, tools and equipment innovation exhibition in Europe at the Telford International Convention Centre. We’ll have hundreds of manufacturers and service providers to our industry coming and showing the latest innovations of their equipment and technology to our people and customers.” The company’s new National Distribution Centre in Tamworth is also equipped with an innovation area, used to display and demonstrate innovations and has been very well received by customers. Despite recent success the company remains keenly aware that it has a long way to go to get to where it wants. One specific challenge that Mark is committed to turning into an opportunity is the lower end of its customer base. “At this end the maturity of our marketing capability is not as optimised as it needs to be to connect, focus on, attract and retain the local end of the market,” he emphasises. “We have got to transform the business to address that. For me this is really going to be about whether we have got the right Express stores in the right

place, whether we have got the right e-commerce connectivity and the right offerings at the local level without disturbing the support network for our strategic and major customers.” This is one of the key things Speedy will be focusing on as it enters into the new financial year. Alongside is a focus on continuing to grow core hire revenues with strategic customers and leveraging those relationships, as well as improving asset utilisation, logistics and costs within the business to serve customers. Looking further ahead Mark is focused on the successful growth of the company: “I have said all along that my goal is to build a business that offers our shareholders sustainable profit growth over the medium to long term. To do this we need to ensure

that we maximise our opportunity to offer and provide to our customer greater levels of service in other areas, and really build on the opportunity we have with our strategic customers to be seen and recognised as a true excellence based services company.” In summing up the general attitude at Speedy at the moment, Mark concludes: “We have had a good year, but a very hard year as well. A lot of us are new here and a lot of challenges were a lot deeper than I expected them to be. However, we have come out stronger, and are looking forward to the future.” m

Speedy Services Services: The UK’s largest tools equipment and plant hire provider

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PROFILE: Kodumaja

Strong&steady With a proven reputation in Norway, Kodumaja looks to Sweden in order to expand its success


ver the last 20 years Kodumaja AS has risen to become a major Estonian manufacturer of prefabricated modular construction units operating across Scandinavia, having produced close to 5500 units in that time. With about 95 per cent of construction occurring outside of Estonia, it has established itself as a major exporter in the Estonian economy. Of this, 88 per cent of all activity occurs in Norway. Under the trademark of Kodumaja, the business’s group of companies specialise in construction, design

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and real estate development. The company’s mission is to create userfriendly living environments with high-quality construction products and services, and uses its strengths in prefabricated construction to meet individual customer needs with minimal on-site construction times. Kodumaja’s manufacturing process takes place at its factories in Estonia. Within this environment, variables like weather conditions, which can cause timing and material issues on traditional construction sites, are eliminated. As a result the manufacture of modules is done in a controlled way by an experienced

work force. Thus, the construction process is a much more time, and therefore cost, efficient process. As its prefabricated modules are closed elements, most work on the units can be completed in-house. All doors and windows are fitted in the facility, and 95 per cent of the interior finish is completed including all internal plumbing and electrics. The nature of this construction process allows the units to be shipped straight to site upon completion. Once there, they can be immediately unloaded onto pre-constructed foundations in quick succession. In general it takes between 20-60 minutes to install

one individual module, translating to 15-30 modules per day, making the onsite construction quick and efficient. Other advantages to the modular building strategy is its versatility in terms of size; a building can consist of anything from two to four modules for individual houses, whilst multi-storey building can have ten or more, theoretically being unlimited. Quality and customer satisfaction sit at the heart of the company’s operations, and the market reputation it has built up in Norway alone testifies to this. A long-term goal for the company is to be leader in its field across Europe. Since Construction and Civil Engineering last featured Kodumaja back in September 2014, the company has taken two significant steps towards achieving this goal. Firstly, is its involvement in building

the world’s tallest timber building in Bergen, Norway, which is its completion phase, and secondly its expansion into the Swedish market. The building, named Treet, will be 14 floors and 51 metres high and will include 62 apartments built by Kodumaja. The project, ordered by

BOB Eiendomsutvikling AS, has been undertaken in partnership with a number of Norwegian company and, as chairman of Kodumaja, Lembit Lump, explained: “We consider working with partners from a very early point as the best way in order to get the most efficient and best possible final result.” The project represents a move towards future green building regulations using sustainable materials to build in urban environments. Apartments and facilities are framed in a load bearing structure made from glue-laminated wood. The recordbreaking innovation of the project puts Kodumaja at the forefront of the construction industry, and

Arens Arens is a leading kitchen manufacturer in Estonia, in co-operation with Kodumaja thousands kitchens have been furnished.

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PROFILE: Kodumaja

will stand as a significant testament to the quality and applicability of its products. Furthermore, it serves to demonstrate the speed advantage of prefabricated modules, which can reduce onsite construction times and therefore production costs.

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This reputation is key to the future success of Kodumaja. Looking towards expansion into Sweden Lembit emphasises: “We are trying to proceed step-by-step, to get and build projects that we can use as references to win the trust of new

customers. We understand that this can be relatively slow, but it is firm at the same time. From our experience we know that it is better to be able to show good examples, which can be trusted, rather than talking too much.� To facilitate the move into Sweden,

the company has set up a daughter company, KM Sverige AB. “This should be ready to take responsibility as a main contractor or project manager for Swedish developers/ local authorities who want to develop living areas,” says Lembit. The company’s considered approach to steadily build a strong portfolio is illustrated by recent activities. In 2013, assembly of a 54 apartment assisted living home in Norrtalje represented Kodumaja’s first project of its kind in the country. Resulting from this was the signing of a contract to build a similar building in Handen, Sweden, late last year. The top three floors of the building will be made up of Kodumaja modules, which consist of apartments, kitchenettes and bathrooms. Whilst these early projects in Sweden are within the nursing home sector, they establish a solid precedent for the future of Kodumaja in Sweden. Lembit discusses that: “We are equally interested to build apartments for local authorities,

student as well as individual residential customers.” Looking ahead at the company’s long-term existence in Sweden, Lembit aims towards the Swedish share of turnover amounting to a minimum of 25 per cent of Kodumaja’s business. Whilst the Swedish market occupies a significant portion of Kodumaja’s current expansion plans, the company is committed to even greater expansion within the next five years. “Kodumaja companies will continue with deep specialisation in their field and all of them are united by a common ambition – to make Kodumaja a leader in its field of operations in Europe,” Lembit expresses. Putting a financial lens on this objective he continues: “Consolidated yearly turnover of Kodumaja companies should exceed 100 million euros, and this turnover will be more evenly divided between

our strategic markets.” Kodumaja has worked hard to build up a successful group of companies over the last two decades, and its significant presence in Norway is a sturdy product of this. By remaining focused on quality and customer satisfaction the company will be able to develop the strong and reputable portfolio it needs to win the trust of more customers in new markets. In doing so the company looks set to mirror its Norwegian success in Sweden, and future expansion across Europe looks equally promising. m

Kodumaja AS Services: Prefabricated modular construction

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Innovativeaggregate engineering Spadeoak has been supplying innovative aggregate solutions to the private commercial construction market for four decades, having earned a reputation for being a forward-facing company, which operates above and beyond industry best practice


ere, John Lewis, Commercial Director for Spadeoak, explains what has made this familyrun company the go-to contractor of choice for many household names across the sports, retail and academic sectors, to name but a few. Established in 1976 by the Wellington family, Spadeoak is now owned by market-leading manufacturer and supplier of construction materials, Aggregate Industries. Working alongside the main contracting arm of its parent company, Spadeoak continues to

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focus its expertise on the private commercial markets, which it has long served, backed by the security and well-established business functions of a much larger organisation.

The Spadeoak way Spadeoak is proud to say that it directly employs a dedicated and experienced workforce, so that it can deliver consistently high quality customer service and an unrivalled on-site skill set. This is often challenging to achieve when relying on third-party labour from sub-contracted companies.

Not only does this improve quality of workmanship, but also it enables the company to react quickly to customer enquiries – often completing a site visit and comprehensive quotation on the same day. In fact, there have been a number of occasions where the Spadeoak team has started work on site, just 24 hours after the initial customer enquiry. The importance of quality control and customer satisfaction is also echoed in the team’s purchase of its own engineering plant equipment, which not only allows the company to better manage the laying of

asphalt, but often means Spadeoak can start a job quicker than its competitors, who may be at the peril of plant hire and delivery delays. In addition to quality, the company also places great emphasis on health and safety, which is of paramount concern across each and every job. With an admirable safety record spanning its 40-year history, Spadeoak sets a precedent for safe and responsible working practices. Spadeoak performs in both a sub-contracted and main contractor capacity, with a dedicated division for each. Under its ‘civils’ division, the team operates as main-contractor for a variety of private commercial construction clients, providing a complete package of services. From site clearance and initial design concepts, through to total build and project completion, Spadeoak’s civils department provides a one-

stop solution for even the most demanding of specifications. Alongside the civils offering, is the company’s ‘surfacing’ operation, which typically sees the team operating in a sub-contracting role, providing unrivalled asphalt laying services to a wide range of companies nationwide. Known as one of the UK’s leading contractors for quality and service in this industry, Spadeoak has worked on some of the most prestigious addresses in the UK, from the Millennium Dome to Buckingham Palace.

Sports With a dedicated sports division, Spadeoak has tailored its innovative engineering solutions to suit this highly competitive sector – becoming a Sport England recognised contractor in 2012 in recognition of its high-quality product and

service offering. The sports surface construction market is dominated by a host of smaller companies competing for business, from some of the UK’s top sports stadia and clubs. But Spadeoak’s strong pedigree and financial stability as part of Aggregate Industries means it is best placed to meet the needs of lucrative high-specification contracts. In recent years, Spadeoak has completed work on some of the most recognisable sports venues in the UK. From the Olympic Park and Commonwealth Games to the Emirates Stadium and Battersea Park. Some of the team’s latest projects include the redevelopment of the Olympic Stadium, the new home of West Ham United, for which the company is responsible for re-surfacing around the

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Trackside Safety Barrier, which meets strict Formula 1 standards.

The Future of Spadeoak

stadium concourse. Further work has been secured across a number of significant contracts with Formula E Operations Ltd, which in addition to re-surfacing works, will also see Spadeoak constructing 1.8km of

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As we move through the second quarter of 2015, the industry is beginning to see some clear signs of strong economic recovery. With additional revenue and a renewed confidence in spending driving an upturn in the market, Spadeoak is currently securing an average of 6080 contracts per month, ranging in value from £5k to £5m, with further growth forecast. Dedicated to remaining flexible to customer demand, the company works hard to identify and react to market trends – adapting its product and service offering accordingly. Having gained an untarnished reputation in the Southeast for its work with the supermarket giants, Spadeoak continues to engage with

a stream of retail work focusing on out-of-town and ring-road stores, from chains including Tesco Express, LIDL, Aldi and Waitrose Locals. In addition to this, the company has identified an upturn in the subcontract surfacing market, which is set to continue into the summer months. With a positive change in market conditions, the team is looking forward to a profitable year, working alongside its sister companies within Aggregate Industries, as one of the most renowned aggregate engineering contractors in the UK. m

Spadeoak Services: Aggregate solutions

PROFILE: Lee Garth Tools

Qualityproduct Qualityservice Well established tool supplier Lee Garth Tools, has developed a strong reputation for quality and service within the local area, but now it has its sights set on the wider market


ounded over 35 years ago, Doncaster based tool and equipment supplier Lee Garth Tools has established itself as the go to place for the local area’s specialist equipment needs. Originally set up to serve the large engineering industry in the area, the company has had to evolve over the years to keep up with the changing market. “The demise of the engineering industry coincided with

the rise of the construction and civil engineering industry,” explains MD, David Bowker. “This means we have had to shift our focus.” Specialising in power tools and associated products to a variety of trade industries, quality is paramount for the company with the vast majority of its stock being of good, reliable quality. Much of Lee Garth’s small team have been with the company for over 25 years, building up an extensive knowledge base. As a result Lee Garth Tools is

known for its strong service and problem solving ability. It is in this staff base that David sees the strength of the business. “I think our strengths are product knowledge, the quality of the product and the service that we provide. Between the eight of us here, somebody will know what the customer needs, and its rare if they don’t,” he notes. The core of the company’s business is in the engineering,

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PROFILE: Lee Garth Tools

building, civil engineering and shop fitting sectors, but it also has a particular ability to serve the rail industry, which has a strong presence in Doncaster. “This is a more specialist industry,” outlines David. “Fortunately for us with the knowledge and experience the staff have, we know where to obtain these more specialist products. We know which wholesalers or manufacturers to go to in order to get the products we need. We also understand the different health and safety rules within the rail industry that can affect what we are supplying. We’re known in the area as a solution provider – a problem solver – our customers know that if we haven’t got it, we can get it,” says David. Serving such a broad and varied market obviously throws up problems for Lee Garth Tools. “Managing the diverse customer base, and wide ranging supply demands is one of the challenges for the business,” notes David. “We’ve got about 4000 product, stocking everything from toilet roll to heavy duty sledge hammers.

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The internet has made managing this a lot easier, as we can now promote special offers and specialist items.” However, in operating within such a market, it is critical that Lee Garth Tools can manage its supply chain effectively, building strong relationships with suppliers and customers alike. David emphasises: “We work very closely with our suppliers. With service as such a major part of our business it is about meeting the customers expectation every time. Strong supplier relationships are important because we need a quality service from them too, we need to know that we can trust our suppliers to provide us with the right quality products at the right time.” Yet as Lee Garth Tools experiences strong levels of growth in the current market, managing

this supply chain is becoming a significant challenge. In the first three months of this year the company has experienced turnover up 15-16 per cent on last year. With a strengthening of the economy, and the subsequent upsurge within the construction market David notes how contractors within the house building, engineering and shop fitting markets all seem to be very busy at the moment. “One of the problems with the increasing trade is that some of the suppliers run out of stock,” he says. “With a lot of their products being imported, it means if they haven’t got it today, they may not have it for a month which is no good for us and our customers. In most areas we make sure we have duplicate suppliers, so we have some back up. With a lot of large customers in the area needing stock at short notice we

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PROFILE: Lee Garth Tools

have to manage our supply chain to ensure that we have what we know is needed, so that when it is needed we can provide it straight away.” Illustrating the current positivity within the company, David highlights: “The business is extremely strong at the moment.” It is a positivity that is evident in the company’s plans for the future. “We’ve just launched our website,

and we are continuing to develop that online presence,” he continues. “We currently have a few customers nationwide, and we are very pleased with the efficient delivery services available to deliver products across the country in good time. With the website we are trying to expand outside of the Doncaster area. As I look into the future I am sticking to quality products and focusing on

expanding outside of the immediate area, there is only so much business in Doncaster.” Over the last 35 years, Lee Garth Tools has remained committed to the service it delivers, and this is what has made it such a strong player in the Doncaster market. The move online represents a new age for the company as it looks beyond the borders of Doncaster to establish itself within the UK industry. Offering quality product, and quality service supported by strong supply chains will define the company as it moves into a highly competitive UK market, but as long as it remains committed to these values the future looks bright for Lee Garth Tools. m

Lee Garth Tools Services: Tool and equipment supplier 148 Construction & Civil Engineering


Groupeffort With over a century’s experience, Jarvis Group has developed a robust, fully integrated service offering to ensure it remains successful in an ever-changing market


ounded in 1905 by Ernest Charles Jarvis, Harpenden based Jarvis Group is a privately owned multidisciplined construction group offering a one-stop-shop service from development contracting, through mechanical and engineering (M&E), and environmental services to bespoke joinery. Today the company approaches a turnover of over £60 million, consistently delivering in excess of 250 private and affordable dwellings per annum in the last ten years. As well as this it has constructed new schools, healthcare facilities and community projects along with lower value projects delivered by its special works department. With its services spread

across Jarvis Contracting, Jarvis M&E, Jarvis Commercial and Jarvis Homes, the company has grown to become a well-established and well-respected construction business within the UK

industry. The company also has a strong retail offering, building new stores and internal fit-outs for some of the UK’s largest retailers. Mark Doyle, CEO of Jarvis,

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comments on the market’s current supply demands: “With supply not currently meeting demand, supply costs are spiralling, and this has sadly resulted in casualties in the construction market where contractors have secured contracts on historic rates that they simply cannot deliver on.” He goes on to explain what has enabled Jarvis to thrive in the current market. “We are fortunate that we are not as exposed to the chronic shortages that are being experienced, as we have the ability to self-deliver much of our work using our direct labour force and in-house service offerings, providing some insulation from the volatility of market pricing. Our strategy was also not to secure lengthy contracts and we therefore do not have the legacy issues that some of our peers are burdened with. This places Jarvis in a very positive position to service the client base and with our breadth of expertise, we believe that we can provide our clients with a truly holistic experience.” Beyond this, the strengths of Jarvis lay in quality, its people and the service it provides. “Every contractor boasts about the level of quality it achieves,” notes Mark. “But Jarvis genuinely delivers time and time again and it is the biggest area of feedback that we receive commenting on the high standards that our site teams deliver and this is largely a result of the high levels of control that we can achieve using in-house resources, coupled with a stable and high quality supply chain.” This focus on quality also translates into a focus on people, as Jarvis places significant value on its highly trained and loyal workforce. Importantly, it has developed a tried and tested supplier network, which is vetted for its health and safety, and quality performance, to draw on supplier skills to supplement its own trade staff. The result of this is a keen and trusted workforce, which allows

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excellent service standards to permeate throughout the company at every level. “People like working with Jarvis,” adds Mark. “During the very testing times of the downturn, the business did not change its personality and remains extremely ‘user-friendly’. This has meant that both our clients and supply chain have continued to work with us, providing strong business relationships and a real understanding which results in the high levels of quality that are consistently achieved by our teams.” Testament to Jarvis’ strengths and ability to offer a fully integrated, one-stop service is a number of projects in and around the company’s home Harpenden area. “The Gleneagle Manor project is a great example of what the company can achieve by utilising

Zero carbon house all parts of the group,” highlights Mark. “The client is Jarvis’ own development business and the works are being delivered by its independent construction division.

The project is to build 26 stunning apartments across two separate blocks and will create a beautiful landmark in Harpenden. This is an extremely ‘high end’ development

MPW Insurance Brokers MPW Insurance Brokers work in close partnership with Jarvis Contracting having acted as their ‘In House’ insurance team for 30 years. During this period there have been many developments at Jarvis Contracting and within the construction sector. MPW meet these challenges by offering knowledgeable, specialist advice and drawing upon exclusive facilities with leading insurers and bespoke schemes developed for specialist construction trade bodies. Jarvis are a highly valued and most prestigious client. We are delighted to be associated with them and look forward to contributing to their continued success.

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with all of the new apartments sold early in the construction process and each being bespokely constructed to individual customer’s requirements. Using our in-house M&E services division, Jarvis have been able to respond quickly to changes in our customer requirements, which have largely been around enhancements to lighting and intelligent electrical installations as well as personalisation of kitchens and bathrooms.” Further illustrating Jarvis’ strong current position, it has recently secured contracts such as the new Phase II facility for local children’s charity, The Pace Centre, a commercial-to-residential conversion in Hemel Hempstead, and the new Richmond Hill SEN School in Luton. An initial appointment to design and build a very unique five bedroom zero carbon home in Bovingdon also serves to prove the company’s competency in environmental construction. Something that Mark is keen to express: “We have a separate green energy division providing cost-effective propositions within our M&E services,” he emphasises. “With the green agenda in most organisations’ strategies, our experts can provide practical propositions to help not only make our clients more environmentally

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efficient by reduction in carbon but this generally provides significant commercial benefits because of the government support that is often available and our teams can provide guidance on access to finance and funding.” Despite a challenging market with the supply shortage, the company is positive about the future. Mark also points out that the company has market leading experience in the retail sector and its ability to react to change puts it in a good position as the retail market evolves. The approaching general election also looks set to open up a number of opportunities for Jarvis. “The leading parties are committing to address the much publicised housing shortage, as well as improving healthcare and education provision. These are all core markets for Jarvis,” he says. Looking forward, the next 12 months are very much defined

by investment. “It is important that we do not become complacent and continually strive to better our service,” Mark explains. Investment plans will contribute to M&E expansion, enhanced by IT systems and expanding BIM (Building Information Modelling) capability. Staff also occupy a position of investment focus as Jarvis is keen to provide opportunities for the next generation of construction professionals through staff development, apprenticeships and training opportunities. Long term, Jarvis’s strategy is to build on what it has already achieved. “We will do this through careful expansion of our regular client base and our traditional geographical area,” concludes Mark. By remaining committed to quality and service, Jarvis sets its sights on steady but meaningful expansion, and its ability to respond positively to challenging market conditions puts it in a strong position to secure success as it moves forward. m

Jarvis Group Services: Construction group specialising in residential and commercial/ industrial builds

Editor Libbie Hammond Sales Team

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