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DEC 2016

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FLEET IN FOCUS Guest commentator Neil McIntee on the evolution of the humble pick-up.

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BIM: A YEAR IN REVIEW One more step along the UK BIM journey.

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FACILITIES MANAGEMENT An in-depth look at the UK’s flourishing FM industry.


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WELCOME to the latest edition of UK Construction Excellence - celebrating the very best in British building. And so, 2016 draws to a close. No year in recent memory has defied expectation quite so consistently as 2016. This was the year of the Brexit - once a mere formality, now a fundamental game-changer. Across the Atlantic, it was the year of the Trump - the bouffant billionaire underdog, now Leader of the Free World. In stark contrast, David Cameron resigned - taking with him his ill-fated cabinet mid-Parliament.

So long, George Osborne. Today, certainties remain uncertain and the UK construction industry is no exception. In this, the final edition of the year, UK Construction Excellence takes a retrospective look at the UK BIM journey post-mandate. Mark Bew, Chairman of the BIM Task Group, is again on-hand to offer his insights, while representatives from the UK BIM Alliance map out the rocky road ahead. FM is this month’s spotlight, and we recap our exclusive interviews with Julie Kortens - Chairman of the British

30 Iceberg Ahead RRS Sir David Attenborough on course for 2019.

Institute of Facilities Management and Geoff Prudence, Chair of BIM4FM. Elsewhere, Neil McIntee of VansA2Z lends a hand to discuss the evolution of the humble pick-up, while we profile the RRS Sir David Attenborough - a state-of-the-art polar research vessel. All this and more can be found inside, along with contributions from guest commentators and breaking news from Great Britain and beyond. Robert Atherton Publications Editor

48 Standard School Buildings Can pre-designed schools solve a shortage of places?

90 Breaking New Ground Menai Science Park on-site following groundbreaking ceremony.

Publications Editor Robert Atherton

General Manager Ian Parker

Designer James Ormerod

Production Manager Gareth Trevor-Jones

Publications Officer Abigail Burr Sales Administrator Sarah Livesley Sarah Heaton

Creative Digital Seamus Norton

ISSN 1461-1279

Display Advertising Sales T: 01257 231900 admin@ukconstructionmedia.co.uk

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UK Construction Media, Stirling House, Ackhurst Business Park, Chorley, PR7 1NY 01257 231900 • admin@ukconstructionmedia.co.uk • www.ukconstructionmedia.co.uk © Copyright Pro-Mark. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced or transmitted in any form without the prior permission of Pro-Mark. Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.

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University of Hertfordshire opens new £120M accommodation A redevelopment plan three years in the making has come to an end with the opening of £120M of student accommodation at the University of Hertfordshire’s College Lane Campus. The project - developed by Uliving and built by Bouygues UK - houses 3,000 beds, and marks a significant milestone for both the University’s Estates 2020 Vision and the transformation of the wider College Lane Campus. Four ex-university students were chosen to open the new accommodation, each with an area named after them. Professor Quintin McKellar, ViceChancellor at the University, said: “Our architects have done an absolutely magnificent job. I am delighted that we now have space for so many more students yet have managed to keep our wonderful green space on campus. We have a truly fantastic campus here and I’m delighted we have four of our most prestigious alumni here to open the buildings which have been named after them.” Dr Julia Schofield MBE - a leading technology consultant, renowned for using innovation to meet the needs

of those with disabilities - opened the Schofield accommodation. Julia was the first blind female to study Computer Science at the University in the 1970s. Julia said: “I am lucky because my time here enabled me to get into a field I really wanted to work in. I was surprised to be asked and I am extremely honoured.” Diane Maclean, sculptor and environmental artist, opened the Maclean accommodation. Diane studied Art and Design during the 1980s and is a long-standing supporter of the University. Her stainless steel creation 'The Mountain', commissioned for the Natural History Museum, sits outside the main reception. Mike Newton, a Computer Science graduate who has contributed greatly to the development of the computing industry, opened the Newton accommodation. Mike has worked with well-known tech giants Apple and Dell. The residences were officially unveiled on the same day as the opening of The Oval - a specialist centre to provide sports and social facilities as well as an information point for students - and

the Hutton Hub, which brings together all student services under one roof. Included is the student centre, careers service, campus pharmacy and medical centre, student union and a branch of Santander. The Oval will be named the 'Sir Stuart Matthews Centre' in recognition of alumnus Sir Stuart Matthews and his long-standing contribution to the aviation industry, which began at Hatfield Technical College. Sir Stuart Matthews helped build the Comet, the world’s first jet airline. Sir Stuart Matthews said: “I want to take the opportunity to say how proud I am to have graduated from Hertfordshire and to have this building named after me. I was one of the very first students here sixty years ago when it was Hatfield Technical College and it’s hard to believe that the University has become what it is today.” The Hutton Hub takes its name from the Hutton building, which was built in 1948 and named for Dr Hutton - the first Headteacher of Hatfield School.

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Permission granted for Milburngate development THE development consortium behind the regeneration of Durham City’s Riverside has been given the green light for the next step it its masterplan, after Durham County Council granted permission for the development of Milburngate.

Leading businesses unveiled as Northern Powerhouse partners MAJOR businesses such as Peel Ports and Leeds Bradford Airport have given the thumbs up to the Northern Powerhouse. With a raft of firms signing up to the scheme, and many more in the pipeline, the number of Northern Powerhouse partners has reached 32. The companies that have agreed to become Powerhouse partners have committed to working with the Government to help the North achieve its full potential, and attract new jobs and investment to the region. Prime Minister Theresa May has supported the Northern Powerhouse, with record investments in transport, backing for science and infrastructure schemes, and cultural and sports funding. The businesses taking part in the Northern Powerhouse partnership range from infrastructure specialists and PR agencies to banks and universities, and will join a network of enthusiastic and motivated leaders who strongly believe in the potential to grow the northern economy, with the commitment to making it happen. By pledging their support, this network will now champion the North’s strengths, as well as promote new and exciting local developments on four key priorities: connectivity and transport; skills, science and innovation; quality of life and culture;

and devolution. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said: “We are determined to create a Northern Powerhouse and are clear we must work closely with businesses to pool the abundance of talent across the North to make this a reality. “Today dozens of bold businesses are sending a clear message by joining us in this quest to make the Northern Powerhouse an even better place to live, work and invest in. “But this is just the start, and I would encourage other leading companies to sign up to our new scheme, so we can continue to work together to unleash the full potential of our great northern towns and cities.”   Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy added: “We are determined to create an economy that works for everyone, which is why we’re backing the Northern Powerhouse with the investment and powers it needs to unleash its huge untapped potential. “And with 187,000 jobs created in the North in the past year alone and billions invested through devolution deals, northern businesses signed up to our new partner programme can be a catalyst for economic growth, not just in the North but throughout the country.”

The development will have multiple uses, featuring an Everyman Cinema as the cornerstone of its leisure offering, and a range of premium restaurants and bars. Milburngate will also include high specification apartments and first class, energy efficient office space. The mixed-use development provides an opportunity for around £160M of inward investment, and may lead to the creation of more than 1,000 full time jobs. Redevelopment of the site will commence in spring 2017, once the existing building is demolished. Developers Arlington Real Estate, Carillion and Richardson Capital LLP are also in the process of concluding lease agreements with a number of leisure operators. Formal announcements are expected shortly. Redevelopment of the Milburngate House site - formerly home to HM Passport Office and National Savings & Investments (NS&I) - is the second key element in the regeneration of Durham’s Riverside. The consortium also delivered the regeneration of Freemans Reach on the opposite bank of the River Wear, which created new sustainable offices for HM Passport Office and NS&I - helping to retain more than 1,000 jobs in the city. Zone One of the Milburngate project, which includes the cinema, commercial and leisure units and 291 high quality new homes, has already had planning permission granted. The project also received outline planning permission for Zone's Two and Three of the development.

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Savills: Rent to rise faster than house prices over next five years PROPERTY agent Savills has predicted that rent will rise significantly over the next five years, forecasting an increase of 19% between now and 2021. House prices will rise only 13%. The gap between house prices and rent will be most prominent in London, where it is predicted that rent will rise by 24.5% and house prices by 10.9%. The reason is “post-referendum economic uncertainty” and weaker consumer sentiment. Savills predict that next year average house prices will not increase at all, with falls of up to 2.5% in Scotland and the North East.

However, prices in the North will start to “outperform” by the end of the five year period. At the same time demand for rental properties will increase, it said, as firsttime buyers struggle with affordability. Lucian Cook, Director of Residential Research, said: “The rental growth is largely driven by the mismatch between supply and demand.” Savills said the number of mortgaged buyto-let investors purchasing new homes was set to drop by a third to 80,000 by 2018, recovering slightly to 90,000 by 2021. Cash buyers, many of whom are investors, will fall by 18% by 2018.

According to the National Office for Statistics, on an annual basis house prices were up 8% in August across the country and 12.1% in London. JLL, another estate agency group, predicted a 17.6% increase across the UK by 2021, with London rents rising 19.9% - far outstripping predicted rates of inflation. Neil Chegwidden, Head of Residential Research at JLL, said: “The five year outlook for the UK is almost wholly dependent on the terms of the exit from the EU, and the agreements we manage to put in place.”

£1Bn Trafford Waters development given go-ahead HOUSING Minister Gavin Barwell has announced £18M of funding to help speed up house building on large sites, which will provide thousands of new homes on priority sites. The capacity fund aims to tackle planning issues that cause costly delays, preventing builders from getting access to sites and starting work quickly. Councils can now bid for a share of the fund, which will help accelerate delivery of up to 800,000 homes and infrastructure across large sites in England. Capacity funding prevents long-term pauses on large-scale developments, and provides local authorities with the capacity to take

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projects forward and obtain additional resources and expertise. The fund is part of a wider package of measures to increase the number of homes that are desperately needed in local areas. Additional measures include the creation of six new Housing Zones that will support development on brownfield sites to provide 10,000 homes, and Government support and funding for a new locally-led Garden Town at Otterpool Park Shepway in Kent, which will deliver up to 12,000 new homes. Housing Minister Gavin Barwell said: “We want to turbo-charge house building on large sites to get the

homes built in the places people want to live, so that this country works for everyone, not just the privileged few. These sites offer enormous potential to transform brownfield land into new homes and our £18M funding will help get them built much sooner. “Furthermore, we are getting behind plans for a new Garden Town which offers a unique opportunity to boost the local economy, jobs and provide new homes in Shepway, Kent.” There are now more than 26 Housing Zones across the country which will help deliver 44,000 homes, with an additional 31 designated within London.


Gender pay gap in construction industry lowest on record

Small scale infrastructure projects vital to economy BALFOUR Beatty has published a report highlighting the importance of small and medium scale infrastructure schemes on the wider UK economy. The paper - ‘Small Scale, Big Impact: Infrastructure and Economic Regeneration’ - looks at how small-scale projects, implemented quickly, can play a key role in boosting the UK’s economic growth in the short to medium term. The report states: ‘The Government could take advantage of the current ultra-low government borrowing costs to finance spending on infrastructure, such as roads, railways, schools and hospitals. We believe that this should be spent on the kind of local infrastructure spending that would result in economic activity nationwide, ideally on ‘shovel ready’ projects that can demonstrate they will deliver homes and jobs over the next four or five years.’ These projects would give value for money to taxpayers, tackling such problems as traffic congestion by spending on roads and rail or improving energy and communications infrastructure for businesses. The report suggests these smaller to medium sized projects will give the construction industry a solid enough platform to plan ahead in terms of training the next generation

of construction experts who will be required on larger-scale, long-term projects such as HS2 and Heathrow. The paper makes key recommendations that include the need for a solid project pipeline and also examining alternative economic modelling, which will help support the prospect of further infrastructure investment more broadly across the country. Furthermore, there should also be an integrated strategy to dealing with the skill shortage. Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive, said: “Whilst major infrastructure investment will be vital to the strength of the UK over the midterm, we believe there is also a way for the government’s industrial strategy to drive rapid economic stimulus, with considerable geographic precision. “As of today a number of road, rail, public realm, flood defence and construction projects exist which meet the Chancellor’s tests, in many cases have been approved, but are stalled by lack of funding. Taking advantage of current low borrowing costs to select and implement those with potential to bring maximum impact on a localised basis would quickly disperse uncertainty and set the country on the path to an economic growth that works for everyone.”

INEQUALITY in pay between men and women working in the construction industry is now less than the industry average, with the gap now resting at 16.3%. According to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings - published by the ONS - this figure is 1.8% below the national average. The Government is taking action to tackle the gender pay gap by requiring all employers with more than 250 members of staff to publish their gender pay and gender bonus information. In doing so, it should become clear what barriers prevent women from reaching a higher wage. Minister for Women and Equalities, Justine Greening said: “It is fantastic to see we now have the lowest gender pay gap on record. No woman should be held back just because of her gender. “The changes we’ve made so that men and women can share their parental leave, the support we’re giving to get more women into the top jobs at our biggest companies and our drive to get more girls taking STEM subjects at school are all helping to reduce this gap. “We’ve achieved amazing things but there’s more to do - that’s why we are pushing ahead with plans to require businesses to publish their gender pay and gender bonus gap for the first time ever from April next year.” The benefits of helping women to unlock their talents are huge tackling the UK gender gap could add £150Bn to the annual GDP in 2025. The survey on the gender pay gap began in 1997, when the gap for employees sat at 27.5%.

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Construction industry remains resilient in face of Brexit THE construction industry grew for a fourteenth consecutive quarter in Q3 of 2016, according to the latest Construction Trade Survey from the Construction Products Association (CPA). However, mounting costs resulting from inflationary pressures caused by rising wages and imported raw materials present a risk to future growth. Companies across all sectors of the construction industry - including building contractors, SMEs, specialists, civil engineers and product manufacturers - noted a rise in activity. Performance was mixed throughout the supply chain however. Product manufacturers said that sales had improved compared to last year, with 68% of heavy side companies and 60% of light side companies reporting an increase. Output also rose for a third of main contractors in Q3, up from a zero balance during the second quarter of 2016. Overall, 33% of main contractors reported that construction output had

risen during the third quarter of 2016 in comparison to the same period last year. Compared to Q2, 18% of SMEs reported increased workloads in the third quarter. However, only 6% of SMEs and no specialist contractors cited an increase in enquiries over the same period. Main contractors’ output was driven by orders in private housing but noted a decrease in all other sectors. For civil engineers the picture was one of virtual stagnation, with only 1% reporting an increase in workloads during the third quarter. In terms of new orders, 3% of civil engineering companies noted a rise. The construction supply chain has been under increasing pressure, raising the price of imported raw material due to a 15.6% year-on-year depreciation of the Sterling/Euro exchange rate in the third quarter. This was felt most keenly amongst product manufacturers and main contractors. Total costs increased for 59% of civil

engineers contractors, whilst 66% of main contractors said the cost of raw materials had increased in the third quarter compared to Q2. The skills shortage again caused problems for the industry, with over half (54%) of main contractors reported difficulties recruiting bricklayers, 47% for carpenters and 43% for plasterers in Q3. Rebecca Larkin, Senior Economist at the CPA, commented: “Following the EU referendum, the entire construction supply chain reported favourable conditions and growth in activity in Q3. Forward-looking expectations for Q4 and the year ahead were more pessimistic, with the majority of orders and enquiries balances the lowest in two years, or driven by a single sector: private housing. “A further factor that stood out as a downside risk to activity in the nearterm is the sharp rise in the cost of imported raw materials due to the recent depreciation in the Sterling, which is providing a dual hit to construction costs alongside existing wage inflation pressures.”

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New West Coast rail franchise to operate HS2 The contract will span the first three to five years of HS2’s operation. The West Coach franchise is currently managed by Virgin Trains as a joint venture between Stagecoach and Virgin. The Government will invite tenders for the new franchise in autumn of next year, setting out what it wants from the winning bidder.

THE Government has announced a new rail franchise combining the current InterCity West Coast main line with HS2 high-speed services. The new alliance will be called the West Coast Partnership. It will cover services on the West Coast route from 2019 and run the initial highspeed trains between London and Birmingham from 2026.

Construction of the £56Bn HS2 line is scheduled to begin next year, despite opposition from communities in its path. There is also concern amongst a group of MPs who have warned that the construction timetable is overly ambitious. Recently, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the Government intended to press ahead with the project, which is hoped to reduce overcrowding on the existing network and generate economic growth across the country. It is planned that HS2 will eventually

link London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester. Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “We are embarking on a new chapter in our modernisation of the railways and we need world-class expertise to deliver it. “HS2 will be the backbone of Britain’s railways, creating more seats for passengers on the West Coast and increasing capacity on the rest of the network. “By combining the franchise we are ensuring we get the right people on board at an early stage to design and manage the running of both services in the transition stage.” Virgin Trains will be awarded a new short-term contract of approximately 12 months to continue operating West Coast services following the end of the current franchise in 2018.

£4Bn to support Britain’s forces and their families DEFENCE Secretary Michael Fallon has announced that over £4Bn will be invested though the “Better Defence Estate” strategy, a review of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) land, which aims to deliver a more efficient, modern and capability-focused defence estate. The money will support Britain’s modern forces and their families, creating areas of military expertise in specific locations across the country. A total of 91 sites owned or managed by the MOD will go up for sale, with each penny raised reinvested back into defence. Eight of the sites that will be sold are in Scotland, including Fort George - an 18th century stronghold which currently accommodates soldiers from The Black Watch and was used for personnel training during the D-Day landings in the Second World War. Three will also close in Wales and a further three in Northern Ireland, with the rest in England, including two barracks in York. More than 32,500

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acres of excess defence land is being released, counting ten surplus airfields and five golf courses.

between different bases providing greater long-term stability and certainty for our Armed Forces and their families.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “We have been spending billions maintaining a defence estate that doesn’t meet the needs of our Armed Forces. This plan delivers an estate fit for our forces and their families. By putting money where it is needed, we will provide better facilities to train our Armed Forces and deliver more stability for military families.”

The moving of sites and bases to better locations will mean increased employment prospects for partners and spouses, helping them to integrate into communities, buy their own homes and have their children benefit from more stable schooling.

The changes will reduce the number of personnel being regularly moved

The Better Defence Estates strategy will reduce the size of the built estate by 30% before 2040 and will meet our SDSR (Strategic Defence and Security Review) commitment.


Government tells Nissan it wants tariff-free trading for motor industry BUSINESS Secretary Greg Clark has revealed within a statement of government objectives that the UK has told Nissan it wants tariff-free trading for the motoring industry - a point that has helped persuade Nissan to boost its investment in the UK, securing thousands of jobs. Ministers have been under pressure to clarify the “support and assurances” Nissan has claimed to receive however. The Government has had calls from opposition parties to clarify in Parliament what it wants to achieve from its Brexit talks before they formally begin. Labour representatives said Nissan had been told more about the Government’s Brexit strategy than MPs had. The Japanese Company’s commitment to Britain’s biggest car plant had been in doubt following the outcome of the EU referendum, but it has now confirmed major investment in its Sunderland site. There, the Manufacturer will build the next-generation Qashqai and add production of its new X-Trail model.

The investment will secure more than 7,000 jobs and 28,000 more in the supply chain. Speculation began in late October, after Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn said the Company’s decision was driven by Government “support and assurances”. Mr Clark denied there had been any compensation deal, which would not be possible under World Trade Organisation rules if Britain relinquishes membership of the single market. He said: “For the continental European car manufacturers, they export a lot to us, we export a lot to them, components go backwards and forwards. “If you conduct the negotiations in a serious, constructive and civilised way there is a lot in common that we can establish. “I was able to reassure Nissan - and other manufacturers - that that is the

way we are going to approach it.” Mr Clark wrote a letter to Mr Ghosn in which he set out four key points regarding the Government’s approach three about the car industry in general and the fourth about Brexit. He said the Government was committed to having competitive and independently-assessed funds available to all companies for skills and training. He also said it was committed to regenerating UK sites for small and medium-sized businesses who supply parts for carmakers and who have been based overseas by “bringing them home”. The third point was about “the future” and how the Government was committed to “being at the leading edge” of research and development in the industry. The fourth and final point was to “be clear about what we want in negotiations to find that common ground”.

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CBI urge Government to act on UK housing crisis THE CBI say the Government must introduce incentives for older people to move from large houses, expand the rental sector and build more if they are to tackle the UK housing shortage. A total of ten recommendations were set of by the CBI to get more people into suitable housing, ahead of the publication of a white paper by the Department for Communities and Local Government on tackling the housing crisis. The employers’ lobby group called for a “step change” in housebuilding, including the creation of more rental homes, if the Government is to meet its ambition of a million new homes by 2020. The Group called on Theresa May’s Government to set out “a clear and credible plan which is strategic,

integrated and joined-up” to help buyers get on to the property ladder and help renters find suitable properties. “Home ownership will remain an aspiration for many, but is not the only answer. While there is great value in giving those who aspire to buy their own home the opportunity to do so, it is important that Government is also encouraging a wide range of new housing tenures to be delivered that will be of benefit for all,” the CBI said. “Furthermore, the nation’s vote to leave the European Union could serve to reinforce the sense of urgency with which this significant challenge must be met,” the CBI said in its report. The Brexit vote “shone a light on the divisions within our society and left

us facing an uncertain economic future” and provided an opportunity to “get Britain building in order to drive economic growth and create a housing market that works for all parts of society and the country”. Chancellor Philip Hammond recently said there would be a package worth £3Bn, which will be made available to speed up homebuilding by using surplus public land and brownfield sites, and employing builders who can develop properties more traditional firms. Josh Hardie, Deputy Director General of the CBI said: “If we are going to more than double the number of homes built each year, we need a step-change - not just in delivery, but in mind-set. Business-as-usual isn’t an option.”

£300M proposal submitted for Sheffield’s Meadowhall A £300M Leisure Hall at the South Yorkshire Meadowhall shopping centre has been proposed by property owner, British Land. The 330,000sq ft extension would include a new cinema to replace the current facility, new restaurants and an open air terrace, a new cafe court, a gym, and a flexible leisure space which could be used for indoor golf or ten-pin bowling. The cinema will have solar panels on the roof to provide around 10% of the extension’s energy consumption. The new Leisure Hall will be covered with an “elegant glazed roof structure”, allowing the developer to increase the entertainment and dining offerings to the shopping centre as it seeks to become an experience-led destination. Parking facilities are also to be improved, with investment in electric car charging points, pedestrian walkways, and a new multi-storey car park with “green walls” to aid biodiversity. The revamp would create up to 1,400 jobs once the Leisure Hall in complete.

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If the proposals are approved, British Land hopes to start on-site during 2018, creating over 500 construction jobs. Joint owner British Land said the extension would “continue Meadowhall’s evolution”, and follow a £60M refurbishment which is underway and due to be complete at the end of 2017. Charles Maudsley, Head of Retail and Leisure for British Land, said: “Understanding and anticipating our customers’ needs is a key strategic focus area and the Meadowhall Leisure Hall proposals respond to the changing way people live their lives. “The exciting £60M refurbishment

completing next year, the continued leasing success and Leisure Hall plans combined reinforce our commitment to ensuring Meadowhall remains an outstanding place for modern consumer lifestyles.” Richard Wright, Executive Director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Leisure Hall will be a jewel in the Sheffield City Region’s crown, set amongst other equally important investments in this great city. “We therefore welcome British Land’s exciting plans and lend them our wholehearted support. They will reinvigorate Meadowhall and serve as a catalyst for further investment in the region.”


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Education Washrooms: What Are Your Options? CHOOSING the most appropriate washroom facilities for your school is essential. The considerations vary depending on the age group of the pupils and a professional supplier and fitter will be able to advise you on the guidelines that need to be followed. The ranges at Interplan cover many different looks, grades of materials and age ranges. Below we will discuss some of the requirements for washrooms in education environments and give you an opportunity to see some of Interplan’s solutions. FUN AND BRIGHT Firstly, the age group you are looking to provide washroom facilities for will impact the colours, design, and size of the cubicles you require. For Nursery age and EYFS children there are fun, bright, colours and patterns to make toilet time less scary. Many children aren’t used to going to the washroom alone, so providing a fun and friendly environment is very important. The Skittles and Arches pilaster options in the ‘Playtime’ range can accommodate differing door heights for supervision and privacy requirements as well as the all-important anti-finger trap hinges and emergency release locks. PRACTICALITY IS THE KEY For middle / secondary school children

the focus is taken away from bright patterns, to a sleeker look. Whether there is a requirement for floor to ceiling units (offering complete privacy) or with ceiling level space (to avoid antisocial behaviour and offering emergency access), all Interplan’s options allow safety and practicality to reign King on your needs. Often utilising hard wearing, anti-impact and waterproof materials, you can choose the colour, door height and type of locks that meet your requirements. There are finishes that can also deter graffiti and vandalism which can help maintain the integrity of the design. Interplan’s Acorn and Splash ranges are ideal for this age group as all colours in these ranges can be coordinated to your school colours to maintain the sense of belonging and reinforce the school’s culture of family.

children over the age of eight remain as a lockable cubicle configuration; however, provision only needs to be one cubicle for every twenty pupils. SPECIAL SCHOOL WASHROOMS Considerations need to be made to allow access for disabled pupils in an education environment. Doors need to open outwards into a circulation space and ideally should contain a washbasin and a lavatory. Interplan are able to provide a variety of cubicle configurations and accessories to accommodate all needs. Just talk to us about your requirements and we will be able to advise you on the best options available. If you’d like to find out more about Interplan’s products and services you can contact us on Tel: 0141 336 4040, email contact@interplansystems.co.uk or visit www.interplanpanelsystems.com

GENDER DIVISION Depending on your available space, for children under the age of five the guidelines suggest one cubicle for every ten children. Mixed gender facilities are acceptable for all children below the age of eight. In similar fashion, it is recommended that toilet facilities in schools for

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A HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO MEDIATION Search the web for long enough and you will be sure to find many scholarly articles and books on the subject of mediation. So why produce another one? Well, firstly, I wouldn’t describe this article as scholarly. Secondly, too many articles I have read, whilst being laudable academic pieces of work, are not targeted at the user. This article is, I hope, targeted at users of the process rather than academics and lawyers. I hope it will encourage parties to try mediation, prepare well and hopefully have some success in the process. I struggled to find the right title. I hope it doesn’t put people off reading it and that it proves to be of assistance.

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[1] WHY TRY? British industry employs a significant number of people in dispute resolution. Why would that be? Is it because there are large amounts of money to be earned from parties who can be persuaded to try their luck in the casino worlds of litigation, arbitration or adjudication? Try asking anybody you know who has been involved in a dispute about his or her experiences. They are likely to tell you four things. One, it cost a fortune. Two, if he or she had known how painful the experience would be they would not have bothered. Three, he or she wants to avoid a repeat of the experience in the future. Four, when legal costs are taken into account, “winning” may not actually mean that you are financially better off. But who says you are going to win in any event? So is Mediation an answer to this problem? I say it can be and I am not on my own. Even the judiciary is in on the act. Litigation in this country is governed by “Pre-Action Protocols” or rules of engagement to you and me. Within these rules, which came into force as long ago as April 2006, is the following stark warning. “The Courts take the view that litigation should be a last resort, and that claims should not be issued prematurely when a settlement is still being actively explored. Parties are warned that if the protocol is not followed (including this paragraph) then the Court must have regard to such conduct when determining costs”.

What this statement is doing is to warn Parties that if they do not try mediation, painful cost orders may be imposed by the Court at the end of a trial. In other words, the courts are sending a clear message that parties would be better advised to try something other than litigation to resolve their differences. That something else is mediation. Statistics indicate that 80-90% of mediations are successful. Not bad odds when compared with the casino approach. Let’s face the facts. How many lawyers do you know that can guarantee the outcome of a reference to a legal tribunal? Not many I suspect. I won’t. If thirty years’ experience of dispute resolution has taught me one thing, it is that there can only be one “winner”. There are so many variables that can have a bearing on the outcome of a reference to legal proceedings that I will never do more than speculate on a range of possible outcomes and warn clients that adjudicators, arbitrators and yes, even judges get things wrong from time to time. We have a Court of Appeal and The House of Lords in this country, some would say, to allow parties to spend even more of their money on dispute resolution advisers. At least in mediation it is the Parties that decide the outcome, on terms they are happy with. So stop gambling and try mediation!


[2] AN OVERVIEW The process of Mediation is one of the most common forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR. The ‘Alternative’ referred to is the alternative to a trial or an arbitral hearing and the process leading up to a trial. Some may be unaware of exactly what is meant by ‘a Mediation’. The following is a simple guide to a process which is a lot less harrowing and expensive than a trial. Mediation can take place at any time but is better done when all the relevant facts are out in the open. Nobody is going to feel comfortable discussing settlement terms when they are uncertain about some important aspects of the case. When both sides have their respective positions clear in their own minds, it might be sensible to consider Mediation. A cost/benefit analysis might show how Mediation would compare with a trial and how both might compare with settling through solicitors. A

trial should be the last resort of a litigant so it is unlikely that the cost/benefit projection will show this as a fruitful route to follow. Trying to settle by negotiation can take a lot of time and can be nerve-racking and works best only when both Parties have decided that dialogue and negotiation through a trusted third party is a sensible way forward. It can take some time for this synchronisation to take place. By opting for Mediation, the Parties agree to meet with a readiness to try to find a mutually agreed settlement. The Mediator is sent all the relevant papers by one or both/ all of the Parties’ solicitors, so that he/she can understand the background to the dispute. The Mediator sees the case summaries of the respective legal teams and might make some initial approaches to the Parties (or their lawyers, before the Mediation) so as to clear up any misunderstandings, obvious queries or inconsistencies.

The Mediator should take the opportunity of enquiring as to the Parties’ experience of Mediation, to gauge the amount of help that might be necessary to overcome any anxiety. Before the Mediation, each side decides who shall be present and who shall lead the negotiations. The leader might be one of the Party members or might be a lawyer. The team must include someone with the necessary authority to settle the dispute at the Mediation. Before the meeting, the Mediator will agree the format of the Mediation with both/all Parties so that each knows who is going to be present and who has authority to settle. On the day of the Mediation, the Parties meet at the appointed venue in their own rooms and the Mediator introduces himself. The room is a private one and available to the Party for the duration of the Mediation. To commence the Mediation, it is customary for the Mediator


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to call the Parties together in a third room. The Mediator will then emphasise the two senses in which the Mediation is confidential. It is confidential as between the Mediator and each of the Parties and also confidential as regards the outside world. (At some point later in the Mediation, the Mediator might ask that the confidential views or information of one Party be divulged to the other, so as to make progress in the Mediation. Only with the tacit approval of the Party will the Mediator so divulge this ‘confidential’ information.) The Mediator will ask the Parties to confirm their respective powers to settle the dispute. The Mediator will emphasise that all discussion is without prejudice - meaning that nothing said is binding on the Parties until they want it to be, when it is then committed to writing. Up until that time, any offer made can be withdrawn or varied.

The Parties are then invited to state their cases briefly opening statements - and many believe it preferable that this should be done by the Parties themselves rather than their legal representatives, as the effect on the opposition can be greater. Some discussion might continue after the opening statements but it is usual for the Mediator to break up the joint meeting and hold private meetings - caucuses - with each Party in turn. The Mediator uses his skills to steer the Parties towards settlement during the course of the allotted period. The time available might be agreed in advance or be open-ended. At any time that a Party chooses, it can leave the Mediation. The Mediator will do all in his/her power to prevent this, but this option is always available in any Mediation process.

When the Parties have agreed a settlement (and, surprisingly, between 70% and 80% of all Mediations do reach a settlement), an agreement is drawn up, usually by the legal representatives, for the Parties’ signature. The agreement may call for certain actions to be taken, such as payment of an amount from one Party to another, but it should settle the matter once and for all without further ado and not least remove the uncertainty of taking the matter to a trial, perhaps winning the case, but then possibly having to fight the whole matter again if the opposing Party were to lodge an Appeal. The mediator is usually paid in advance by both Parties and his fee will either be in the form of a lump sum or on an hourly rate depending on the size and complexity of the dispute.


Amending the Payment Provisions under JCT D&B - Fair Enough? 20 


THE recent Court of Appeal judgment in Grove Developments Limited v Balfour Beatty Regional Construction Limited highlighted the risks of amending the payment provisions under the JCT D&B 2011 Contract; specifically in obtaining interim payments after practical completion. Now, with the advent of the new JCT D&B 2016, parties need to consider just how extensive their amendments can be without sacrificing the payment protections they would otherwise receive. THE FACTS Grove Developments Limited (“Grove”) engaged Balfour Beatty Regional Construction Limited (“Balfour Beatty”) in 2013 to design and construct a hotel and serviced apartments at Greenwich Peninsular in South East London. The form of contract was the JCT D&B 2011, to which the parties negotiated a number of specific amendments. In particular, whilst they had originally intended to adopt the standard JCT Alternative A (stage payments) rather than Alternative B (periodic payments), they ultimately negotiated their own Schedule of interim payments. This provided for 23 monthly payment dates up to July 2015 when practical completion was due to take place. The works were not complete by July 2015 and overran to 2016. On 21 August 2015 Balfour Beatty issued Application for Payment number 24. Grove then issued a Payment Notice and Pay Less Notice. As no agreement was reached between the parties as to the interim payment process after July 2015, the matter went before the Technology and Construction Court (“TCC”).

Grove for the following reasons: • The parties had specifically amended the contract and abandoned Alternative A, agreeing instead that there would be 23 interim payments; • The contract as amended did not make any express provision for further interim payments after valuation 23 in July 2015; • There was no implied term for providing interim payments after valuation 23; • The contract, as amended by the parties, satisfied the requirements of Sections 109 and 110 of the Construction Act 1996 and therefore the Scheme (providing for monthly interim payments) would not apply to fill the gap. Balfour Beatty challenged the TCC’s judgment in the Court of Appeal. The appeal was dismissed. In particular, the Court found that the intervals between interim payments and the amounts of such interim payments were a matter for the parties to agree. The express words here showed that Grove and Balfour Beatty had only agreed a regime of interim payments up to a completion date of July 2015. The case was one of a party making a bad bargain, which the Court would not rescue it from.

These include: 1 The establishment of Interim Valuation Dates operating along the supply chain - at main contract, subcontract and sub-subcontract levels; and 2 Provision for monthly payment cycles to continue to run after practical completion (in place of the previous two monthly intervals) up to the date of final payment. This change is consistent not only with fair payment purposes but also the new procedure for a swift assessment by the employer of loss and expense claims. The safeguards brought by such provisions should be welcomed. But would Balfour Beatty’s position have been any different under this 2016 form of Contract? Probably not as the clear wording of the parties’ amendment and compliance with the Construction Act would still have meant the Court would be reluctant to intervene. CONCLUSION

For Balfour Beatty, this must have seemed an unfair result. But a clear message that, when departing from standard payment provisions, parties must think through the consequences. Here, bespoke payment schedules must provide for the eventuality of contract overruns. If not, there will be no further entitlement to interim payments until the date for final payment. For some contractors, the cash flow pressures this will pose may prove too great. THE NEW JCT D&B 2016

When faced with negotiating the new JCT D&B 2016 contract, parties should remember that they can’t rely on the Court or the Construction Act and Scheme to rescue them from a bad bargain. It is important to be clear about what the new standard payment provisions mean. The precise wording of any amendments should be approached with extreme care. Otherwise, for at least one party, the result may not be as fair as they had expected.

The timing of the Court of Appeal’s decision coincides with the advent of the JCT D&B 2016. This new contract

By Sarah Evans, Senior Associate in Irwin Mitchell’s Construction Department.

THE JUDGMENT Was Balfour Beatty entitled to further interim payments in respect of work carried out after July 2015? “No” said Mr Justice Stuart-Smith, finding in favour of

embodies a revision and simplification of payment procedures, as well as a focus on fairness. Section 4 contains a number of new payment provisions, designed specifically for “Fair Payment” purposes.

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Common Sense Prevails: What the latest legal ruling means for construction project payments MOST of us in the construction industry consider it standard practice to obtain monthly or regular payments as work progresses. To ensure that contractors are not starved of cash during construction, Parliament previously ruled that cash flow must be assured. Following a case in 2014 (ISG Construction Limited v Seevic College [2014]) it has also become the norm that if the paying party fails to issue a timely ‘payment notice’ or a ‘pay less notice’, then they must pay the amount in the payment application, even if they consider it excessive - with no legal right to rectify any overpayment through adjudication proceedings. Of course, the issue is that the failure to serve a notice can lead to the payer paying more than the contract price for the work. Despite a number of cases about payments, there has been little clarification of the law. But this is set to change following a court decision last month. WAYS TO PAY The case, Kilker Projects Limited v Purton (Richmond Projects) [2016], involved a specialist joinery works where the contract between the two parties was purely oral. Purton completed the works and submitted his final account application. Kilker failed to serve either a payment notice

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or a pay less notice and did not pay the amount in the application. Purton referred the dispute to adjudication and the adjudicator decided that, because no valid payment notice or pay less notice had been served, Kilker had to pay Purton the final amount, totalling £147,223, in full - a large sum that did not reflect the true value of the work. Kilker paid after Purton enforced the decision at Court. However, Kilker subsequently referred the true valuation of the final account to adjudication. Purton maintained that the ISG principle (see earlier case) applied and that Kilker was deemed to have agreed the valuation of the final account by not serving a payment notice or pay less notice. The adjudicator disagreed and decided that the final account was over valued by £55,676.84 plus VAT. Purton was ordered to pay that sum back to Kilker, plus the adjudicator's costs. Kilker asked the Court to enforce the decision, arguing that legislation was only concerned with cash flow, and not with the true value of the account. JUSTICE FOR ALL The judge confirmed that when it comes to the final account (an account when the works are completed in accordance with the contract), the law will not require a paying party to

pay more than the sum agreed in the contract. Despite having previously lost an adjudication for failing to serve the payment notice and/or pay less notice, the Court said that Kilker may nonetheless establish the true valuation of the final account at the final payment stage. The result was that Kilker recovered part of the final payment previously made. So what does this mean for contractors and suppliers moving forward? It means that common sense has prevailed. No contractor or project owner should have to pay more than was detailed in the contract, but without the right clauses in the contract, this will not apply for interim payments – it will only apply at the final account stage. This means that if project teams want to have the right to revalue an account at a later interim valuation date, a contract should include an express clause to do so and include the right to issue a negative valuation. Agreeing this contract change with contractors may be challenging, but it would be strange if a contractor said he wanted to be paid more than he is due, wouldn’t it? By Roger Allsup, Head of Construction & Engineering team at SAS Daniels


What’s this “Connected Home” and “Internet of Things” all about? TECHNOLOGY has transformed our world. Construction companies aren’t exempt from the impact although they may be a little removed from it. Construction is effected when it comes to high-tech gas and electrical installations, and when a build is going to be for a “Connected Home”. Recent headlines have been full of talk about the “Internet of Things” as an attack on the internet is claimed to have been run from thousands of innocent looking home devices. While this is probably the case and there are certainly big issues that need addressing, the most important point is how this technology is already everywhere, and how cheap it has become. MINIMAL COST, MAXIMUM POWER The truth is that most of us now carry around in our pocket what would have been considered a super computer a few years ago. And intelligent devices connected to the internet now cost a few pounds. It means they can be added all over the place for minimal cost. The reduced cost of computing devices has driven the electronic revolution over the last few years, whether that’s the arrival of the iPhone or smart thermostats. It’s all the same trend. Bluetooth or WiFi connected devices can now be connected for so little that it is now economic to connect just about anything electrical to the internet. The reason that this is called the “Internet of Things” (IoT) is based on the idea that “things” (that is, anything) can now be connected. THE CONNECTED HOME Most of us are probably familiar with products such as Hive, promoted by British Gas or NEST, owned by Google

and doing something similar. These products allow a smartphone, tablet or PC to control the water and central heating system through a “smart” connected thermostat. But there is much, much more potential and all of the following exist, even if they aren’t yet widespread: • IoT doorbells, answer your door, see people and speak to them on your smartphone from wherever you are. • Automatically lock the doors, switch on the alarm and start recording CCTV whenever your smartphone leaves your home. • Automatically send readings from gas, water and electricity meters to the supplier, and cut off the water if a leak is detected. • Control the lighting, for instance to always come on when the sun sets. This is all on top of the appliances that self-diagnose themselves and call an engineer when they are about to fail. The scope for connectivity is huge and this is only scratching the surface. WHO ARE THE LEADERS? A huge amount of money is being poured into the “Internet of Things” (IoT) led by the technology behemoths from America such as Apple, Google and Amazon. The Amazon Echo, recently released in the UK, started off in the USA in 2015 and is already a best seller. This sits in your home and listens all of the time. It responds to voice commands such as “play me A Rush of Blood to the Head by Coldplay” or “turn up the heating in the kitchen”. Asking “Who is Humpty Dumpty” also gets a surprisingly intelligent response.

Other products include Google Home and Apple HomeKit which both compete with both Echo. The problem for established companies like Honeywell is that the new entrants are software experts, and its software that will dominate this new world. Kodak went out of business due to the digital camera and the smartphone even though they invented the technology. THE IMPACT ON CONSTRUCTION Obviously there is an impact on builders when new builds want to be “connected”. Although this is a minority today, if the adoption of this technology follows the normal path, in a few years everyone will want it. However, it can be argued that this is the sparks problem. Where there is likely to be a big impact however, is in the administration of on-site paperwork. Suddenly mobile devices are hugely powerful and connected. Undoubtedly health and safety paperwork, checking CSCS cards, recording hours and much more will be done on mobile devices. What may take a little longer are devices that can look at work, compare it with the drawings and tell you whether it’s been done right. Whether that day will be welcome remains to be seen, but undoubtedly it is coming. By Benjamin Dyer, CEO and co-founder of Powered Now


Darker nights call for more stringent security measures WITH the winter months and extended hours of darkness now upon us, it is essential that robust security solutions are implemented at construction sites. Both metal and plant theft are still very real issues within the United Kingdom and can have detrimental effects on a construction business, resulting in loss of equipment, financial burdens and project delays that can ultimately result in reputational damage. Here, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) discusses the importance of asset and property marking in keeping equipment safe.

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Marking equipment with a forensic coding solution, which can leave either a covert or overt marking, also renders the goods worthless if stolen, thus lessening their appeal to thieves.

While metal theft is reportedly down on recent years, plant theft is still a large issue in the United Kingdom. Reports from recent years suggest that plant theft costs the “UK construction industry over £800M a year” with equipment such as excavators, compressors and cranes being stolen from construction sites. As such, it is extremely important that such equipment, along with metal and other valuable construction materials, are kept safe and secure, not just during winter, but year round.

Although metal theft has been said to have decreased since the implementation of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act in 2013, organised theft and the unlawful trade of metal does still exist. As such, the fight against metal and plant theft still remains, with new initiatives being employed in order to tackle the problem. One such initiative is the launch of ‘Operation Crucible’, which has seen police forces across the country joined by experts from Historic England in order to carry out checks on scrap metal dealers. The checks were aimed at identifying “a range of illegal activity” amongst dealers, including theft and handling of stolen scrap metal, operating without or outside of their licence and making or accepting cash payments in return for scrap metal. The initiative hopes to bring to justice those who are gaining from sales of stolen metals and act as a warning to those who continue to steal.

One particularly effective way to achieve this is through the use of asset and property marking, the permanent identification of items in order to deter thieves. Property can be uniquely marked with a corresponding number or code being registered to a master database, meaning that if something is stolen, it can be returned to its rightful owner. Such markings can act as a powerful deterrent to thieves, as it means criminals can be directly linked to the crime and consequently convicted.

Recently, BSIA Asset and Property Marking (APM) Section members SelectaMark Security Systems and SmartWater Technology, along with BSIA Technical Manager Paul Phillips, attended a Heritage Crime Workshop hosted by Leicestershire Police, which coincided with the launch of Operation Crucible. The workshop set out to gather insight from experts into the ways in which heritage sites, which also often fall victim to metal theft, could counteract these crimes, with

property marking through the use of forensic markers being notable as a strong deterrent to thieves. BSIA APM members have been using their solutions to deter thieves at a multitude of sites including churches, schools, railways, homes, construction sites and heritage properties, with much success. When choosing a property marking solution, however, it is important to be aware of certain specifications that will ensure you are using a good quality marking solution suitable to your needs. Typically, forensic codes are mixed with other materials including adhesives, dyes, solvents, anti-fungicides and/or fluorescent markers. The combination of codes with these materials results in a forensic marking product. Codes are also tested using simulated artificial weathering, such as exposure to UV light and water spray, for products intended for outdoor use. For construction equipment that is left outdoors and susceptible to changing environmental factors, it is therefore important to choose a solution that clearly states the suitable environmental conditions the product is intended for. As always, quality is the most important aspect of choosing any type of security solution to protect your construction business. Members of the BSIA’s APM Section are all inspected to high quality standards and have been making their mark in the fight against theft. To find out more about the section and their success stories, visit: www.bsia.co.uk/sections/asset-andproperty-marking.aspx


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ACRYPOL+ can be applied during damp weather conditions and at the same time provide a long term solution to the problem. The all-weather application properties, combined with the simplicity of application, makes this product a particularly attractive proposition to those employing their own labour for general property maintenance. The versatility of ACRYPOL+ is acknowledged widely by Municipal Authorities and Maintenance Contractors throughout the United Kingdom.

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‘Tis the season to be canny IT’S not the best time of the year to be a specialist subcontractor.

Uncertified Applications for Payment or invoices were settled straight away?

Most companies only work two to three weeks in December and then don’t get going again until the first week of the New Year is through.

It would quickly ease the pressure; and the process is easier than you may think.

While this is great if you want to wind down and relax at the end of the year, it can play havoc with cashflow. It not only puts you behind schedule with the work, it also gives your customers an opportunity to delay payment by a few more weeks. In the meantime your overheads and wages have to be paid. It gets worse if you add a covering of snow or torrential rain which causes the build programme to fall further behind, adding to your money woes. While everyone else is enjoying themselves over the Christmas period there is no reason why subcontractors should be stressing out or muttering ‘Bah Humbug’ under their breath. After all, the customer is solid and trustworthy, the contract is safe, you know there is a good margin in the job and ‘eventually’ you will get paid. So how would you feel if your outstanding billing, whether it be

By arranging a construction finance facility, funding can be provided against both outstanding and new billing, thereby closing the gap between the work being done, supplier bills being paid and your customer actually paying the invoice. And it’s not just when there is a slowdown in the market that construction finance comes into its own. It can also help when you are really busy too. In fact I have met quite a few subcontractors who told me that they would have turned a number of large contracts away if they did not have the construction finance facility in place, as they could not have afforded to take them on. It seems ludicrous but understandable. By accepting the contract, they know that in the short term it may well cause significant cashflow problems for the firm, which could have a detrimental effect on the business. That’s because while they wait to get paid by their

customer, there is no way they can put off paying the workforce for a few months, or even extend their credit terms with their materials suppliers. And sadly, in the construction business you do have to wait. In fact the sector is second only to manufacturing in having the most outstanding billing. According to research by the Asset Based Finance Association, it takes a staggering 107 days on average before payment is made. So if the company doesn’t have the cash reserves to cover the period between paying out and getting paid, and the bank is not able to act quickly enough or be willing to provide an increased facility, they believe they have no option but to reluctantly walk away from it. It is very rewarding, therefore, to have helped so many subcontractors grow their businesses or get them through Christmas shutdowns and/ or bad weather by providing them with a cashflow solution that fits their business. By Tim Wilkinson, Sales Director of Ultimate Construction Finance

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Iceberg Ahead: RRS Sir David Attenborough on course for 2019 A newly-commissioned state-ofthe-art polar research vessel has cruised through its first construction milestone, following the ceremonial laying of the keel in October. Once operational, the RRS Sir David Attenborough - so named after the world-renowned naturalist and broadcaster - is set to transform the country’s polar research capabilities, providing scientists with a sophisticated purpose-built research platform. Here, leading thinkers will contend with some of the fundamental issues facing humankind - climate change, rising sea levels, and the impact of environmental instability on marine biodiversity, to name but a few. Commissioned by NERC, the Natural Environment Research Council, the RRS Sir David Attenborough is being manufactured by marine specialist Cammell Laird from a Rolls Royce

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blueprint. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS), an institute of NERC, will operate the vessel from 2019 onwards. Measuring 128 metres long by 24 metres wide, the RRS Sir David Attenborough is a considerable but necessary undertaking. In the very near future, Britain’s existing polar research vessels - the RRS Ernest Shackleton and the RRS James Clark Ross - will be retired, having reached the end of their 25 year lifespan. And so, if the UK is to remain at the forefront of polar exploration worldwide, an up-to-date research platform will be required. The RRS Sir David Attenborough is more than up to the task however. It will be able to spend up to 60 days at sea without resupply, and traverse more than 35,000 kilometres distance enough for a return trip to Rothera Research Station or a circle of

the entire Antarctic continent twice over. Inside, high-tech facilities and robotic technology, specially designed to cope with the Antarctic’s extreme temperatures, will be housed. One such innovation is the National Oceanography Centre’s (NOC) Autosub Long Range (ALR) Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, christened Boaty McBoatface in reference to a recent high profile public naming contest. Crucially, Boaty McBoatface is central to an ambitious Government-funded Polar Explorer Programme, intended to nurture the next generation of scientists and engineers by engaging young people in the process. Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson had this to say: “The RRS Sir David Attenborough, with Boaty McBoatface operated from her as a


robotic underwater vehicle, will be one of the most advanced research ships in the world. It will help inspire the next generation of scientists in the UK and build on our status as one of the world’s leading nations in polar science, engineering and technology. “With Merseyside’s proud history and expertise in ship building, this project will support over 460 local jobs and apprenticeships, and provide a boost to the region and the whole Northern Powerhouse.” Sir David Attenborough was himself on-hand to take part in the prestigious keel-laying ceremony. The laying of the keel is a long-established maritime tradition said to bring luck during the vessel’s construction and later on, as her captain and crew take to open water. Sir David commenced the lifting by crane of the first hull unit, weighing a hefty 100 tonnes, onto

the construction berth. This initial unit spans part of the ship’s keel and bottom shell plating, and is the first of 97 such units to be assembled. Sir David Attenborough commented: “It was an honour to be invited to take part in the keel-laying ceremony. The Polar Regions are not only critical for understanding the natural world but they also have an enormous appeal for journalists, broadcasters and the public. “I have had several opportunities to experience the power of these places first hand. This new ship will ensure that scientists have access to these enigmatic regions to uncover secrets that we can only imagine at this point. Scientists working on this new ship will inform everyone about our changing world for generations to come."

to manufacture the RRS Sir David Attenborough with a further £50M earmarked for associated polar infrastructure projects - a new wharf at Rothera Research Station, for instance. Professor Jane Francis, Director of BAS, concluded: “This ceremony is a very exciting moment for our scientists, engineers and operational support teams. It is particularly exciting for our ships’ officers and crew because the new ship will not only be their place of work but it will also be their home for several months each year. This £200M Government investment in the new research ship, and a suite of infrastructure projects that will support it, will be a huge transformation in the way that BAS delivers its science programmes and its provision of operational support to the UK science community.”

In total, £150M has been set aside

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Pick-ups come of age GO back in time two or three decades and the humble 4x4 pick-up was regarded as a basic utility vehicle in the UK, with very few refinements. It would more than likely have a normally aspirated diesel under the bonnet and there would be manual locking front hubs; it might have had a radio if you were lucky. How things have changed in the intervening years. The modern pick-up is a very different proposition. It bristles with the latest tech, including a state-of-the-art electronic four-wheel drive system, and has become a fashionable lifestyle statement, especially in five-seater, double cab configuration which account for almost 95% of sales. Kudos must go to Mitsubishi’s UK importer, the Colt Car Company, for kick-starting this transition; it began marketing special edition versions of its L200,

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alongside a wide range of accessories to enable individual customisation, long before other manufacturers. It proved to be a successful move. Pick-ups haven’t gone all soft, however; far from it. They are still capable of hauling in excess of a tonne, are built to take a vast amount of punishment without complaining and in some cases can tow up to 3.5 tonnes. A ladder chassis frame is de rigueur and the majority have a leaf-sprung rear live axle. They can be worked hard during the week and then used for playtime at the weekend. One reason double cab pick-ups have become popular as company cars with business users in the UK is the tax benefit. Registered as light goods vehicles, just like a van, road tax (or Vehicle Excise Duty as it’s known

officially) is currently fixed at £230, 100% of VAT can be reclaimed and the benefit-in-kind rate is £3,170 for the 2016/17 tax year. That equates to £634 for a base rate taxpayer. Include free fuel and it rises to £753; not bad, eh? Buyers in the market for a new 4x4 pick-up couldn’t have timed it better. Brand new versions of just about all the major players have just been, or are about to be launched in the UK. On top of that there are two manufacturers entering the pick-up market for the first time by the end of 2016. Fiat and Renault are about to join the fray respectively with the Fullback (a rebadged Mitsubishi L200) and Alaskan (rebadged Nissan NP300 Navara). Mercedes-Benz is even joining the fun in late 2017 with a re-bodied, Navara-based offering, called X-Class.


the Fullback, is available as a threestrong double cab model line-up in the UK, starting with the entry level 150hp/380Nm SX fitted with a sixspeed manual transmission. Based on the latest generation Mitsubishi L200, all Fullbacks are powered by a 2.4-litre diesel and feature electronically selectable fourwheel drive. The lower powered SX provides three drive settings, but move up to the more powerful and better specced 180hp/430Nm LX and there are four, including a locking centre differential. LX is available with either a manual or auto transmission. Only unveiled as a ‘concept’ so far, X-Class will be aimed fairly and squarely at the premium end of the pick-up spectrum with a powerful 3.0-litre V6 diesel under the bonnet and using Merc’s 4MATIC permanent four-wheel drive system that has two locking differentials and a low-range transfer ’box. An alternative 4x4 system switchable between four- and rearwheel drive will also be available and we would expect to see it mated to the 2.3-litre Nissan/Renault four-cylinder diesel in the more entry level versions. The PSA Group has also announced recently that as part of its new fiveyear development plan it intends to introduce Citroën and Peugeot badged one tonne pick-ups by the end of the decade. With the recent demise of the iconic, but agricultural, Land Rover Defender there are currently nine manufacturers offering one tonne pick-up ranges. They are the Fiat Fullback, Ford Ranger, Great Wall Steed, Isuzu D-Max, Mitsubishi L200, Nissan Navara, SsangYong Musso, Toyota Hilux and Volkswagen Amarok.

There’s the option of a six-speed auto box - with steering wheel-mounted flippers for manual shifting - and the dual range four-wheel drive system is controlled electronically via a turn wheel. As with the previous generation, higher spec models get Mitsubishi’s excellent Super Select system. Not only does this mean that it can be driven in 4x4 mode on all surfaces, including dry tarmac, without any transmission wind-up, it also provides a low range setting which locks the centre diff. Slightly bigger than its predecessors the new L200 is an impressive bit of kit. It remains an exceptionally competent off-roader, even outgunning the Shogun when the going gets really tough. The big difference, however, is the on-road manners. Refinement levels have increased dramatically and the ride quality is a vast improvement. From basic workhorses to fully loaded bling machines Mitsubishi has the marketplace covered and the icing on the cake is a dealer network that really understands pick-up customers, whatever their ilk.

MITSUBISHI L200

FIAT FULLBACK

Mitsubishi was the first of the pickup manufacturers to bring its next generation models to the UK when it launched the all-new L200 range in autumn 2015. Featuring a redesigned exterior - including rear hinged half doors for the extended club cab for the first time - with an all-new front-end and a brand new cab interior the big news lies under the bonnet.

Fiat Professional’s new 4x4 pick-up,

SX specification comes as standard with a stop/start system, 16in alloy wheels, cruise control and variable speed limiter, remote central locking, electric windows and mirrors, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio, leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear knob, steering wheel-mounted remote audio controls, air conditioning (including rear vents), front fog lamps and LED DRLs, a tubular side step and a host of safety features including seven airbags. Safety is augmented by the fitment of a full ESP system which includes Trailer Stability Assist and Hill Start Assist. Standard equipment on the LX brings with it a keyless dash-mounted start button, leather upholstery, electrically adjusted and heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, bi-xenon headlamps with washers, enhanced body styling, 17in alloy wheels, privacy glass and a 6.1in touchscreen infotainment system with DAB, Bluetooth connectivity and sat nav. Fullback gives Fiat a strong foothold in the pick-up sector, albeit it at the high specification end of the spectrum; and there’s no extended or single cab variants. As a result of being based on the L200 it performs well both on- and off-road and benefits from the tightest turning circle in the sector.

It gets a re-worked 178hp, 430Nm 2.4-litre version of the diesel found in the ASX and Outlander mated to a manual six-speed transmission. The five-speed box fitted to the outgoing models was one of the main criticisms in the latter years of their lifespan.

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FORD RANGER Available as a single, super (extended) and double cab, Ford’s butch-looking Ranger has just undergone a midlife makeover. There have been detail changes to the front end and dashboard, refinement levels have improved and there’s good news for the current diesel engines. They offer up to 17% better fuel consumption than the ones in the previous models. Fuel economy figures on the combined cycle range from 31.7mpg to 43.5mpg. Ford offers two diesel engine choices; a 2.2-litre four-cylinder unit pumping out maximum power of 160hp and peak torque of 385Nm, and a 3.2-litre five-pot unit capable of 200hp and 470Nm. Both are Euro 5 compliant at present, but as every light commercial vehicle built after 1 September 2016 has to be fitted with a Euro 6-compliant engine, Ford will be upgrading these power plants as the year progresses. Four specification levels are up for grabs (XL, XLT, Limited and Wildtrak) and electronically selectable dualrange four-wheel drive is standard on all double cabs. A six-speed manual gearbox is fitted as standard, with an auto six-speeder available as an option on Limited and Wildtrak variants. Ranger is wider than the traditional Japanese one tonne pick-up and is only matched in this department by the VW Amarok. It feels big to drive, but is a real powerhouse off-road. It has a best in class wading depth of 800mm and comes with both Hill

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Descent Control and Hill Hold Control as standard. On-road ride and handling have improved in leaps and bounds for pick-ups in recent years and Ranger is no exception. While not quite reaching the standards set by the current crop of large off-roaders, it’s not far behind; especially if there’s some weight in the back to help settle the rear axle. GREAT WALL STEED Great Wall may not be a well-known brand in this country, but it’s a hugely successful manufacturer in its homeland; China. International Motors is the UK importer – it’s also responsible for Isuzu and Subaru – and the first model to reach these shores is the Steed pick-up. Available solely as a double cab with electronically selectable, dual-range four-wheel drive, Steed is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel, complete with variable geometry turbo. Capable of producing maximum power of 143hp it develops 305Nm of peak torque

between 1,800rpm and 2,800rpm. A six-speed manual gearbox comes as standard; currently there is no auto option. While not exactly bristling with cutting edge technology, Steed offers extremely good value for money. Where the Steed really scores highly is the specification. Even the base ‘S’ comes with remote central locking, twin front airbags, daytime running lights, air conditioning, heated leather seats, alloy wheels, twin airbags, electric windows front and back and an Alpine radio/CD player with remote steering wheel controls, USB input and Bluetooth connectivity. Steed feels well put together, there’s no problem with the driving position and the gear change has a surprisingly short-throw. Refinement levels are acceptable, as is the on-road ride quality and it performs well off-road, despite the lack of a lockable rear diff. It’s not going to turn any heads, so is unlikely to appeal to the lifestyle market, but on price alone the Steed is hard to beat as a civilised workhorse.


ISUZU D-MAX When Isuzu replaced the ageing Rodeo in 2012 it made quite a splash when it made its debut at the Commercial Vehicle Show. Here was a stylish newcomer from a manufacturer with a reputation for building ’em tough; and it didn’t disappoint. There’s a full complement of body style choice and power comes from a 2.5-litre 163hp twin-turbo diesel. Maximum power bites at 3,600rpm while peak torque of 400Nm makes its presence felt across a 1,400rpmto-2,000rpm plateau. In general use of diesel is little short of exceptional, with a seemingly endless supply of smoothly delivered torque. The electronically selectable dual-range drive system comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but a five-speed auto option can be specified on higher spec models. Speaking of specification, even entry-level models come with airconditioning, electric windows and front, side and curtain airbags as standard. Isuzu has also taken a leaf out of the Mitsubishi playbook by coming up with a slew of high-value limited edition models over the years, the latest being the Centurion, released

to mark 100 years since the company set up operations in Tokyo, Japan. Off-road, D-Max is a surprisingly effective performer, romping up and down muddy farm tracks and across sodden paddocks with ease. Show it some really rough terrain and it doesn’t disappoint, with the ESP system taking care of business effortlessly. On-road it has fallen a little behind the next generation newcomers in terms of refinement, but it’s due a round of revisions by the end of the year. These will include an all-new 150hp (350Nm) 1.9-litre Euro 6 diesel which is claimed to be much smoother and up to 19% more economical than the current unit. NISSAN NP300 NAVARA Mitsubishi is not the only manufacturer with a brand new pick-up range; Nissan introduced the NP300 Navara at the beginning of this year and it’s a bit of a game-changer. The reason is the rear suspension set-up. It’s the first in its class to offer an independent five-link rear coil/damper suspension system on double cab versions. All the mainstream contenders use more traditional leaf spring systems.

There are also big changes under the bonnet. Out go the old 144/190hp 2.5-litre Euro 5 diesels – and the awesome 3.0-litre V6 for that matter – replaced by 160hp and 190hp 2.3-litre Euro 6 dCi power plants capable of developing peak torque of 400Nm and 450Nm respectively. The more powerful of the two features twin turbochargers and Nissan is claiming an up to 24% improvement in fuel consumption over the old diesels. Transmission choice is a standard six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic gearbox. New Navara can more than hold its own in the off-road stakes, fitted out as it is with the latest generation electronic control systems, but its on-road that the independent rear suspension really makes a difference. It’s the most un-pick-up like pick-up when it comes to ride and handling. No more bouncing at the rear end and for all intents and purposes it feels like a big car from behind the wheel. Quite an achievement and Nissan should be congratulated.

Extended king cab models – there are no plans for a single cab – retain a reworked version of the leaf spring arrangement found on the predecessors; the difference is that the leafs now sit above the rear axle (over slung), rather than being underneath (under slung).

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VOLKSWAGEN AMAROK VW’s Amarok is the most car-like of all the pick-ups to drive. Like the Ford Ranger, it’s a big beast and feels like it from the driver’s seat. Introduced to the UK market in 2011 it marked VW’s return to the one tonne pick-up sector after an absence of 15 years; it used to sell a rebadged Hilux as the Taro. Later this year will see the introduction of revised models as part of a mid-life facelift and a shift to Euro 6 engines. Amarok is available solely as a 4MOTION double cab, with a choice of three specification levels; Startline, Trendline and Highline. Electronically selectable four-wheel drive, complete with a set of low range ratios, can be had in combination with all three trim levels. A permanent 4x4 option, minus low range, can be had as a Highline model only, along with a ‘softer’ onroad rear suspension set-up.

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Currently, power comes from a choice of two 2.0-litre Euro 5 turbodiesels, derived from the units found in the previous generation T5 Transporter van. The single turbo TDI produces 122hp/340Nm and comes solely in Startline trim. A 180hp/420Nm twin turbo BiTDI is available in all three specs. A six-speed manual gearbox features across the range. On-road ride is impressive for a rear leaf-sprung pick-up and there’s bags of torque available under the right foot. It’s no slouch off-road either and thanks to all the ESP system components, even amateur mudplugging drivers can make good progress. It’s all about to change before the end of the year, however, with the arrival of a revised line-up. And the big news is that the updated Amarok will be powered solely by 3.0-litre V6 Euro 6

diesels, derived from the power plant in the Touareg SUV. Choice of power outputs is 163hp, 204hp or a rangetopping 224hp. Peak torque figures are equally impressive at 450Nm, 500Nm and 550 Nm respectively. At the same time VW has taken the opportunity to rework the interior and raise the infotainment stakes. The choice of 4x4 pick-ups has never been so good, and it’s only going to get better. The latest generation models are available with all the latest safety-related tech from the passenger car market, not to mention the home comforts we have all become accustomed to in our vehicles. The real beauty of the 4x4 pick-up, however, is its schizophrenic nature. On the one hand it’s capable of tackling a hard day’s work while on the other it’s a very civilised means of transport for adventure-loving families; the best of both worlds.


SSANGYONG MUSSO

TOYOTA HILUX

Bit of an oddity in the marketplace, this one. Nissan wasn’t the first to bring independent rear suspension to the pick-up market; South Korean manufacturer SsangYong was with the Korando Sports, recently re-badged as the Musso. Sold solely as a five-seater double cab it has a much smaller load bed than the competition. Although it boasts a one tonne payload, it falls a bit short in the towing stakes with a maximum 2.7 tonne capability.

Considered by many as the daddy of them all, Toyota’s Hilux has recently undergone a complete transformation. Eighth generation models have been on sale in the Far East and Australasia since last year and it recently made its UK debut at the 2016 Commercial Vehicle Show and customer deliveries began recently.

Musso has a commendable on-road ride quality and is no slouch in the muddy stuff thanks to a dual-range 4x4 system, but it can be a bit limited by ground clearance compared with the opposition. There are two specification levels – SX and EX – and power comes from a 155hp 2.0-litre Euro 6 diesel with a peak torque figure of 360Nm. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but an auto six-speeder is an option on the higher spec EX.

As with the current generation, new Hilux is available as a single, extended and double cab with a choice of rear- and electronic four-wheel drive. Suspension remains leaf springs and dampers at the back, but the former are longer than on the outgoing models in an effort to raise comfort levels, particularly on-road. Under the bonnet of the new generation Hilux there’s a new Euro 6 diesel power plant; a 160hp 2.4-litre

which develops 400Nm of peak torque. It looks unlikely that the 178hp Cummins 2.8-litre unit – the same one that's in the revised Land Cruiser – developing 450Nm will be offered in the UK, unfortunately. There’s a choice of six-speed manual or auto gearboxes and for the first time in a pick-up the former features what Toyota refers to as Intelligent Manual Transmission (i-MT) which blips the throttle on downshifts for smoother changes. New Hilux is a completely different beast to its predecessor. It’s grown slightly in size, the cab is much more car-like and refinement levels are much improved. The on road ride quality is much smoother and controlled, especially on the motorway, but Hilux has lost none of its legendary off-road credentials. All in all a massive step forwards. By Neil McIntee, Editor, VansA2Z

This is a value for money package, a bit like the Great Wall Steed. Go for the entry-level SX and it comes with 16in alloy wheels, manual air conditioning, leather covered steering wheel, remote central locking, Kenwood MP3/CD player with USB and 3.5mm sockets and Bluetooth connectivity. Move up to the EX and it includes leather upholstery with heated front seats, powered driver’s seat, heated, electrically adjustable and power folding door mirrors, and rear parking sensors.

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Isuzu D-Max Blade: A pick-up with the edge on the competition THE top-of-the-range Isuzu D-Max Blade pick-up boasts a long list of unique style enhancements and technology upgrades to help it stand out from the crowd. Exclusive to the UK market, the 4x4 Isuzu D-Max Blade Double cab is available from £26,499 (CVOTR) for the six-speed manual and £27,499 (CVOTR) for the five-speed automatic. The Blade is available in Cosmic Black as standard with the option of a Pearlescent White paint finish. Enhancements include a Shadow grey front grille and matching garnish, and a distinctive Cosmic Black finish to door mirror caps, door handles and tailgate handles. For added practicality, a soft-close tail-gate damper is fitted as standard. Other standard features unique to the Isuzu D-Max Blade include 18-inch,

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six-spoke Shadow alloy wheels with 255/60 R18 Pirelli Scorpion Zero tyres, and customers can also choose either an Aeroklas leisure canopy or a Black Mountain Top roller cover with rear sports bar, both at no extra cost. The interior boasts premium, heated leather seats and a Shadow grey headlining; bespoke side-sill scuff plates and unique carpet mats featuring ‘Blade’ graphics combined with Piano Black interior highlights to give occupants a premium welcome when they step into this top-spec Isuzu D-Max. Once seated inside, occupants will be greeted with a superior eight speaker audio and state-of-the-art Pioneer 6.1-inch touchscreen navigation system – complete with integrated rear safety camera technology – to provide premium infotainment, as well as greater driver convenience.

Under the bonnet, the Isuzu D-Max Blade sports the same highly-efficient 2.5-litre twin-turbo diesel engine that powers every Isuzu D-Max in the range. Producing 163 PS and 400 Nm of torque, this unit enables the D-Max Blade to combine a classleading towing capability of 3.5-tonnes (braked), while also returning an official fuel economy of 38.7 mpg (combined NEDC). Like all new Isuzu D-Max models sold in the UK, the Isuzu D-Max Blade comes with the company’s class leading five-year / 125,000-mile warranty. Full details of the Isuzu D-Max Blade and Isuzu dealers can be found at isuzu.co.uk


ISUZU D-MAX BLADE

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PERSONAL CONTRACT HIRE: Initial rental £3,320.01. 35 monthly rentals of £368.89. Excess mileage charge of 16.74p per mile and return conditions apply. Provided by Isuzu Contract Hire.

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ALSO AVAILABLE IN PEARL WHITE

KEY FEATURES • 5 x 18-inch shadow alloys with Pirelli Scorpion ZERO tyres • Heavy duty side steps • Tinted windows • Automatic climate control • Heated front seats • Dark grey front grille • Colour coded Aeroklas leisure canopy or black Mountain Top roller cover with rear sports bar

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#ISUZU D-MAX BLADE MANUAL Fuel consumption in mpg (l/100km): Urban 31.7 (8.9). Extra Urban 44.1 (6.4). Combined 38.7 (7.3). CO2 emissions 192g/km. BLADE AUTO: Urban 26.9 (10.5). Extra Urban 39.2 (7.2). Combined 33.6 (8.4). CO2 Emissions 220g/km. MPG figures are official EU test figures for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. For model specific figures please contact us directly or visit www.isuzu.co.uk †Important Information. Personal users only. Rental amounts shown are for a Cosmic Black Isuzu Blade Double Cab Commercial Vehicle On The Road with manual transmission. Contract based on 10,000 miles per annum, non-maintained. Vehicle must be returned in good condition to avoid further charges. Applicants must be aged 18 or over, subject to status. Provided by Lex Autolease Ltd trading as Isuzu Contract Hire, Heathside Park, Heathside Park Road, Stockport SK3 0RB. You will not own the vehicle. Available at participating dealers only. Excludes motability and fleet sales, not available in conjunction with any other offers or with a BASC member discount. Available until 31st December 2016. *3.5 tonne towing capacity applies to all 4x4 models. **125,000 mile/5 year (whichever comes first) warranty applies to all new Isuzu D-Max models.


Company car sector unite to oppose Government tax hike THE British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has combined forces with a coalition of distinguished fleet sector stakeholders to jointly oppose the Government’s recent tax raid on the UK company car market. Anxious over rising costs, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has revealed its intention to re-evaluate the way in which employee benefits are taxed. The newly-announced measures could impact up to 650,000 workers who have opted for a salary sacrifice vehicle or received an automobile as part of a ‘cash or car’ benefit initiative. HMRC is proposing that the higher amount - be it the taxable benefit or salary sacrifice/car allowance sum - be specified as the taxable value. According to the BVRLA, this would hit adopters of low emission vehicles hardest as theirs is the widest margin between taxable benefit-in-kind and salary sacrifice. In response, the BVRLA and its member companies have banded together with the ACFO (Association of Car Fleet Operators) and a varied cross-section of public and private sector clients to voice their concerns to ministers, MPs and policymakers. Research conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of the BVRLA indicates that the employer-provided car sector accounts for an approximate 217,000 new registrations each year,

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of which 37% are built in the UK or contain UK-made engines or parts. Collectively, this purchasing power supports upwards of 37,000 jobs nationwide. During a HMRC consultation last October, the BVRLA fired an initial shot across the bow - calling on the Government to excuse employerprovided automobiles from the proposed amendments. In stark contrast to other as yet untaxed employee benefits, company cars are already subject to a robust tax scheme, they explained. Perhaps justifiably, the BVRLA feel that the HMRC tax revision would introduce widespread confusion and inequity. Employers would be obligated to alter or increased their reporting requirements, while employees with cash alternatives to their company car would be taxed differently to those with the very same vehicle but no cash alternative - a move which, on the surface at least, seems difficult to swallow. According to the BVRLA: “The present tax system works for businesses, is fair for employees and has proven successful in helping the Government meet its policy goal of increasing uptake of low emission vehicles. “Company cars are the dominant source of ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) registrations in the UK, partly

because the Government incentivises employees to select the greenest car by reducing their tax bill. “Under these proposals the Government will end up punishing those drivers who have done the right thing by choosing the greenest car. These drivers could be left hundreds of pounds a year worse-off. ULEV registrations are likely to plummet as drivers choose cheaper, high emission company cars, use their cash allowances to fund second-hand vehicles, or opt out of their employer’s benefit scheme altogether.” Discussing salary sacrifice schemes, the BVRLA maintained that the proposed measures would end up punishing motorists who might otherwise struggle to afford a new low emission vehicle. Three quarters of salary sacrifice recipients are basicrate taxpayers, many of whom work in areas poorly served by public transport. BVRLA Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney surmised: “Our analysis suggests that HMRC’s proposals could have a negligible impact on tax revenues as some drivers give up their company cars and stop paying benefit-in-kind tax entirely. “At the same time, the Government risks stifling the uptake of ultra-low emission cars and piling more misery on cash-strapped public sector employers.”


® © 2015 TomTom Telematics B.V. TomTom ® and the logo are among the trademarks or registered trademarks owned by TomTom N.V. and its affiliates. Our limited warranty applies to this product. You can review it at www.business.tomtom.com/legal

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Driver shortage report underscores importance of EU nationals

ACCORDING to a newly-published report commissioned by the Freight Transport Association (FTA), the UK logistics sector has experienced an encouraging drop in driver shortages - thanks in part to the contributions of workers from the European Union (EU).

pool of qualified drivers from which clients can draw. This is of particular relevance now, in the run-up to the busy Christmas period. With Britain at risk of becoming more isolationist, who will be left to pick up the slack if not our EU nationals?

‘The Driver Shortage: Issues and Trends’ offers in-depth analysis on the sector’s much-publicised driver crisis. Inside, report author RepGraph Ltd calculates that the shortfall between registered heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and qualified drivers has fallen to 34,567 - a welcome return to the precrisis levels of 2012.

Elsewhere, Brexit woes, poor roadside facilities, and the costs associated with licence acquisition weigh heavily on the sector.

The FTA attribute this renaissance to rising salaries - on average twice the rate of inflation through overtime and bonuses - and a continued dependence on EU nationals. There’s cause for concern however only 530 unemployed drivers claimed benefits during August 2016. Low unemployment is of course no bad thing, but it does point towards a wider issue. The logistics sector still lacks a

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FTA Deputy Chief Executive James Hookham outlined: “The report highlights the industry’s reliance on EU nationals, with more than 30,000 - 10% of the entire driver workforce currently employed in the UK. “The uncertainty about their employment rights and status once Britain leaves the EU is a major concern for businesses. We urge the Government to ensure its Brexit negotiations afford special status to logistics and allow for this employment to continue so that the industry is not hit by another driver shortage crisis. “We also need better roadside facilities

- especially if we are going to attract more women into the industry - and more help from Government with the cost of acquiring a vocational licence, which is often cited as a barrier to recruitment.” Somewhat surprisingly, research indicates that the average age of newly qualified drivers is now 34 - compared to 48 for driver population overall meaning that more than half of those who took their HGV driving test last year were under the age of 35. What’s more, women who take the test are still more likely to pass than men. In closing, the Association announced its intention to publish up-to-date statistics on a six monthly basis. By providing a clear and consistent baseline, the FTA hopes to better clarify the state of logistics nationwide. To read their initial impressions in full please visit: www.fta.co.uk/export/ sites/fta/_galleries/downloads/ campaigns/the-driver-shortagereport.pdf


Our business is Your business Whether your vehicles are large or small, bulk standard or highly specialist, you need a partner who understands the direct link between the reliability of your fleet and your company’s profitability. At Enterprise Flex-E-Rent, we believe this means more than simply having the scale and resources to deliver the vehicles you need, when and where you need them. After all, that’s no more than you’d expect and is really nothing out of the ordinary (or at least it shouldn’t be). Making a real difference to your business is all about taking the time to understand how you operate, what’s important to you right now, and how this might change in the future. Then by combining our specialist knowledge with a clear understanding of your business needs, we can deliver a service that’s based on flexibility, expertise and a total commitment to customer service at every level.

To find out more about the difference we can make to your business, call 0800 328 9001 or visit flexerent.co.uk

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AdBlue® FAQ’s What is AdBlue and SCR? AdBlue is a high purity, synthetically manufactured urea solution used with diesel engines which have selective catalyst reduction (SCR) technology. SCR uses after treatment to reduce the harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from exhaust gasses. If you have an SCR machine that requires AdBlue you will need to dispense AdBlue into an existing separate tank already fitted into your vehicle. AdBlue is not a fuel nor is it mixed with fuel. Why do I need AdBlue? Since 1996 exhaust emission limits have been lowered to help reduce the amount of harmful toxic gas, including nitrogen oxide (NOx) that is released into the air. A new technology called SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) is a proven system at reducing NOx emissions from exhaust gasses to harmless steam and nitrogen. AdBlue is safe to handle and use; it is not explosive, flammable, toxic, or subject to any hazardous product regulations. What is Air1®? Air1 is AdBlue commercialised by Yara, the world’s largest prime producer. It’s also the world’s leading brand of AdBlue, used since 2006 by millions of heavy duty vehicles around the world. You may recognise the Yara name from the quality fertilizer it sells to the Agricultural Market. Air1 is the quality product which has been selected by OEMs to help guarantee engine performance as well as low emission level. By selecting Air1 wherever you are located in Europe, your dealer will be able to provide you with a reliable source of quality AdBlue. How much AdBlue does a vehicle need? Drivers will not need to replenish AdBlue every time they refill with diesel. The AdBlue consumption will be about 4%, by volume, of diesel consumption for Euro IV vehicles, and about 6% for Euro V vehicles. Is AdBlue harmful or flammable? No, AdBlue is not flammable or harmful for humans. AdBlue does not burn and will not aid combustion. AdBlue is not explosive. See the safety data sheet available at www.yara. co.uk/safety-data-sheets/ What is the shelf life of AdBlue? Minimum is 12 months under normal conditions. After this period product will need to be tested to confirm quality. Will AdBlue freeze? Yes, freezing point is between -11 and -15 degrees centigrade. If this happens AdBlue expands like ice, however there is more than enough space reserved in the vehicles tank and pipes to accommodate this. When the vehicle starts it heats up and melts the product. Once thawed AdBlue will retain its ISO22241 standard. In the unlikely event that AdBlue freezes let it thaw naturally, the product will remain unchanged.

Will using AdBlue reduce vehicle running costs? Implementing SCR technology with AdBlue from Air1 is certain to yield a significant cost cutting effect in terms of fuel consumption. Diesel consumption can be cut down by up to 6 %. In addition, in some countries there are lower toll charges for vehicles equipped with SCR technology. AdBlue should never be dispensed using non-approved equipment. What makes Air1’s AdBlue so special? Heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers demand a level of purity to honour the warranty they give on their vehicles. Yara is a primary source AdBlue supplier, this guarantees that Air1 will be protected from impurities and thus will not harm your vehicle’s catalyst. Other less pure AdBlue or nonlicensed urea solutions can potentially damage SCR catalysts irreversibly, forcing owners to replace catalyst at considerable cost if this happens. Choosing Air1 brings you reliability and reassurance! What effect will spilling AdBlue on vehicle paintwork have? If washed immediately with lots of water, none. If left to crystallise then surface corrosion may occur. AdBlue is corrosive after long term contact with metal. This is why all Air1 equipment uses materials that are specifically designed for use with AdBlue. What is Crystallisation and what does it do? This can happen when AdBlue is exposed to the air, for more than 30 minutes; solid white crystals appear because the water evaporates from the AdBlue solution. Crystals dissolve when cleaned with water. What happens if you drive a Euro IV, V or VI vehicle without AdBlue? The vehicle will continue to operate until the catalyst breaks down because of the lack of AdBlue. Some engine control units will restrict the vehicle to limp home mode. How do I store AdBlue? You’ll be able to store AdBlue using the standard delivery packaging. It includes different sized containers from 10 litre cans, 210 litre drums, up to 1000 litre containers on a pallet. Or if you are equipped with a large AdBlue storage tank, bulk delivery is available. Packaged AdBlue should ideally be stored indoors, between 0-30 degrees, out of direct sunlight and properly sealed when not in use. The storage are must be clean from dust or any other product to keep AdBlue away from any contamination especially during operations such as machine refill which should be direct from storage to vehicle using AdBlue dedicated pumps. For further information please contact our customer service team, 01472 803725, air1uk@yara.com

Air1® is a registered trademark of Yara International ASA. AdBlue® is a registered trademark of the Verband der Automobilindustrie e.V (VDA)


Can pre-designed schools solve a shortage of places? UK CONSTRUCTION’S MATT BROWN SPEAKS TO TIM CAREY ABOUT HOW SUNESIS - A JOINT VENTURE BETWEEN CONTRACTOR WILMOTT DIXON AND PUBLIC SECTOR ORGANISATION, SCAPE GROUP - CAN SOLVE PLACEMENT ISSUES THROUGH THE USE OF PRE-DESIGNED NEW SCHOOLS. TIM IS PRODUCT DIRECTOR FOR SUNESIS. WHAT WOULD BE THE PROCESS FROM A SCHOOL OR BODY APPROACHING SUNESIS WITH AN ENQUIRY? We offer a free feasibility service - once we’ve met with you to understand your brief we will analyse your site and its constraints before then producing a Feasibility Report identifying which models are suitable for your site, together with an indication of costs. Sunesis provides a range of new school designs which are innovative, forwardthinking and provide inspirational teaching and learning environments for current and future generations. Even at this early feasibility stage the cost of the building itself is fixed under the guarantee. Key to success is listening carefully to prospective and current clients at a time when many continue to face unprecedented challenges to their budgets. This includes public sector clients across the education sector throughout the UK and private sector clients - particularly housebuilders

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delivering new schools in areas where they are carrying out developments. Providing certainties for clients with fixed costs and specific delivery dates, so clients know their projects won’t be delivered late or over budget, ensures we can give them the guarantees they are looking for. We will work with you to determine what site-specific abnormalities are present - for example contamination - and will agree any cost and time impact with you. Once you’re happy we then ask for a small fee to cover our consultant’s cost to produce and submit a planning application, plus the cost of the actual planning fee itself and any surveys required - for which we will obtain quotations to prove best value. During the planning approval period, we will quantify and market test any abnormalities before agreeing a final contract sum and programme with you. As soon as planning approval is received, we will mobilise (four to six

weeks depending upon the Sunesis model) before starting on-site. We can deliver a 1FE 210 place new school from as little as 26 weeks, and have recently delivered a 3FEN 630 place school in just 39 weeks. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ATTRACTION FOR CLIENTS IN BUILDING IN THIS FASHION? Cost, programme and performance certainty are the cornerstones of the Sunesis guarantee - each design has a defined layout, an upfront specification, with a fixed cost and known time to construct. Our model schools are proven, and unlike bespoke buildings, where outcomes are often unknown and design decisions are made in-situ, every Sunesis school offers certainty engineered into every metre. Sunesis models have been tested and proven to ensure clients will not face any obstacles, delays or problems associated with their design.


Recognised by regulatory bodies, insurers and Building Regulations the design and construction is preapproved and certified to: BB103/99, BB93, BB101 and BREEAM. There are many key elements to the designs of the schools. These include: • Light, bright, well proportioned and well ventilated spaces that are big enough to accommodate 30 children comfortably; • Classrooms that have enough electrical and computer points, water and storage to allow them to be self-sustaining; • Break out areas and group rooms that are well located and facilitate a wide range of small group activities; • Well located, flexible shared spaces that can be fitted to deliver specialist subjects according to each school’s needs; • Halls and other large spaces that can be used in a number of ways to deliver assemblies, PE, drama, meals and other large group activities; • A secure boundary and security features that provide effective but unobtrusive protection for site users. IS IT POSSIBLE FOR TWO SCHOOLS TO HAVE THE SAME CORE DESIGN BUT STILL LOOK VERY DIFFERENT? Absolutely. Each model can be ‘personalised’ by selecting optional extras, each with the same cost guarantee. These include alternative cladding treatments such as timber or brickwork, standing seam roofing, internal finishes and even items such as loose furniture and ICT. We are also happy to incorporate further ‘customisation’ of the designs if required - for example to respond to customer preference or planning requirements. DOES THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS INVOLVE OFF-SITE MANUFACTURING / MODULAR BUILDING? Our models are not modular, or ‘flat pack’. Instead they each offer a 60-year lifespan no different to any bespoke design, incorporating elements of Off-Site Manufacturing (OSM) where appropriate. For example, the Dewey model is constructed using factory manufactured light-gauge steel framing panels and cassette floors in conjunction with our OSM partner Fusion.

HOW CAN THE BIM MODEL OF THE BUILDING CONTINUE TO BE A BENEFIT EVEN AFTER CONSTRUCTION? Each model has been developed on a Level 2 BIM platform to help our customers to efficiently operate their new facilities in a cost effective manner. At the heart of our strategy is the recognition that for BIM to be successful it must deliver ‘Better Information Management’ - providing our customers with the complete property asset information they require to efficiently manage their property assets post-handover. At handover we commit to deliver an asset data rich Building Information Model, PDF drawings, a COBie asset register and a tailored training programme to our customer’s estate team to ensure they understand and can fully utilise the supplied information. We have also developed a bespoke BIM plugin application to enable us to compare actual BMS operational data across several completed schools. The standardised nature of Sunesis enables energy use trend baselines to be accurately established, and any anomalies identified against the same to determine if a particular school is not operating as efficiently as possible. In such instances we visit the schools in question, to educate the users and ensure the schools quickly return to their optimal energy use. HOW DO THE BUILDINGS RATE IN TERMS OF SUSTAINABILITY REQUIREMENTS? Each of our models are EPC ‘A’ rated and offer excellent performance in use, leading us to be recently shortlisted for a CIBSE Building Performance Award. We have also achieved BREEAM certification up to ‘Excellent’- although certain credits are by their nature sitespecific. DOES PRE-DESIGNING MAKE THE PLANNING PROCESS ANY EASIER? From our experience, yes. Our ability to use our full Level 2 BIM models in conjunction with Virtual Reality viewing have proved to be extremely useful in helping all stakeholders involved in the planning process to visualise what their new school will look like. In addition, we have the ability for interested parties to visit completed Sunesis projects across the country to

fully immerse themselves into Sunesis and see the outstanding teaching and learning environments created. IS ONE DESIGN MORE POPULAR THAN THE OTHERS OR DOES SPACE DICTATE CHOICE? We currently offer three models - the Keynes2, Dewey and Paxton2 - each offers a different aesthetic and layout to ensure we can deliver across any site and urban context. Of these, our Keynes2 and Paxton2 models have been most popular - the single-storey Keynes2 because of its centralised ‘learning street’ and cost-effective pricing point, and the multi-storey Dewey due to its ability to deliver a leading educational environment on tightly constrained urban sites. ARE THERE PLANS FOR SUNESIS TO EXPAND INTO OTHER SECTORS BEYOND SCHOOLS? In the short term, we plan to concentrate on our core market, which is education to ensure we offer the best solution possible to our customers. However, the Sunesis approach can bring significant benefits to all major sectors so in the longer term watch this space! DOES SUNESIS OPERATE NATIONWIDE? Sunesis operates across the UK. To date we have completed projects from Bradford to the Isle of Wight, and from Lincoln to Plymouth. Sunesis is a Joint Venture between public sector owned built environment specialist Scape Group and contractor Willmott Dixon, built on the combined experience of public sector know-how and private expertise. We can deliver through the Scape National Major Works Framework, any other OJEU-compliant Framework, or direct to the Public Sector - our most recent project was delivered directly to Berkeley. Sunesis was started in 2010 and since then it has delivered 25 new schools creating more than 9,500 new school places across the UK. Sunesis currently has a further 15 schools in development.

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BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING: A YEAR IN REVIEW IT has been a monumental year for those following the UK BIM trail. On 4 April, the Government’s muchpublicised BIM Level 2 mandate came into effect, making fully collaborative 3D BIM a requirement for all centrally procured public sector projects.

But Raj Chawla - Transition Team Member of the UK BIM Alliance, and Leadership Member of BIM4SMEs - says different: “About 90% of the industry still needs reaching and engaging with. There is sufficient evidence to reflect this.

In the months since, a cavalcade of Tier 1 and Tier 2 contractors – including McLaughlin & Harvey, John Sisk & Son, and The McAvoy Group – have attained Level 2 certification, joining the likes of early adopters Balfour Beatty, Interserve and Skanska.

“For a project like BIM Level 2 a specialist PR company should have been in tow from the start. This is basic awareness practice - the consistency of the message would have been tested and the reach would have been more prolific. However, we are where we are.”

Five years in the making, the BIM Level 2 mandate has been a considerable undertaking for both the Cabinet-led BIM Task Group and the various sectorspecific “BIM4” organisations. How do you engage an entire industry in the process? If the cost is prohibitive, case studies will only get you so far. The question remains, has the mandate truly succeeded in encouraging BIM uptake?

There’s still work to be done then, and that work will now be carried out by the newly-minted UK BIM Alliance. Launched in October, the UK BIM Alliance has corralled 50 or more organisations – from the BIM4s to Women in BIM and RICS – to continue the agenda of the BIM Task Group, aid in the industry’s ongoing transition, and make BIM “business-as-usual”.

For Mark Bew, Chairman of the BIM Task Group, the answer is a resounding yes: “BIM is now very much businessas-usual. Our Level 2 programme is driving efficiency and creating a competitive supply sector with our businesses in demand internationally.”

According to Anne Kemp, Director of BIM Strategy and Development at Atkins and Vice Chair of buildingSMART: “The UK BIM Alliance will provide clear, guiding leadership for industry on BIM Level 2 which makes the true benefits – the cost and waste

-------------------AS 2016 DRAWS TO A CLOSE, UK CONSTRUCTION EXCELLENCE CONSIDERS THE COURSE OF BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING (BIM) OVER THE PAST 12 MONTHS. --------------------

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reductions; the increased productivity and competitiveness – easily understandable and obtainable for all.” Meanwhile, Digital Built Britain – the next phase of digitisation in the construction sector – has also begun, with Mark Bew again at the helm. Through the programme, the Government’s digital transformation objectives will be delivered and the foundation for BIM Level 3 laid. As Peter Caplehorn, Deputy CEO and Policy Director of the Construction Products Association, explained: “The digitalisation of the construction sector is revolutionising every aspect of the industry, as it has done in other areas. Driving up performance, reliability, and efficiency in construction is vital on an industry and national level. The DNA of construction is products, and ensuring they are fully connected to this sea change is crucial in making digital everyday business." All of which paves the way for an exciting time to come. Both the UK BIM Alliance and Digital Built Britain have their work cut out for them, but their efforts are essential if the industry is to progress towards a more efficient and collaborative way of working.


BIMevoke Ltd is a specialist Digital Engineering consultancy delivering 3D design and Building Information Modelling to clients. In addition to new build detail design, we offer our DEA process, (Digitising of Existing Assets), providing data rich models for improved asset lifecycle management through bespoke software navigation packages.

A BIMevoke Limited, Oakland House, 21 Hope Carr Road, Leigh, Greater Manchester. WN7 3ET T 01942 265876 E bim@bimevoke.co.uk W www.bimevoke.co.uk


REDEFINING BEST PRACTICE: AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MARK BEW MBE, BIM TASK GROUP

WHETHER we realise it or not, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is redefining industry best practice. Decades of entrenched process is being streamlined to create a more collaborative and efficient way of working, though the transition itself has been anything but easy. In a UK Construction Excellence exclusive, Mark Bew - Chairman of the BIM Task Group - offers a retrospective look at the Government’s BIM Level 2 mandate, his thoughts on Level 3 and beyond, and an appraisal of the industry’s current progression towards digitalisation. HOW DO YOU FEEL THE INDUSTRY IS PROGRESSING IN TERMS OF ITS BIM ADOPTION? HAS THE BIM LEVEL 2 MANDATE HELPED TO KICKSTART THE PROCESS? It’s very easy for those in the UK to look at what we’ve achieved, forgetting where we started from four years ago. I’ve spent a fair amount of time out of the country looking at other nations – in Europe and Australia, for example – and it’s only when you go elsewhere that you realise just how far we’ve come.

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Bill Gates once said: “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten”. That very much applies to BIM, I think. We’ve made a staggering improvement – a step change – but the more you look around, the more you realise that BIM and the digital transformation is happening and that we’re taking it for granted.

are going join into BIM in our career lifetime because there are no barriers to entry. If, in the future, we start to see planning regulations change as they have done in Singapore – where you now have to submit a model to receive planning permission – things will move even further.

The Government’s intervention, the technology becoming ubiquitous, the younger generations coming out of universities with an iPad underneath each arm – each of these factors have come together to form a perfect moment.

WITH THE MANDATE NOW FIRMLY BEHIND US, WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE INDUSTRY IN TERMS OF BIM IMPLEMENTATION? DO YOU THINK LEVEL 3 WILL BE MANDATED AS LEVEL 2 WAS, FOR INSTANCE?

If you look at our BIM journey and the mandate intervention, most surveys reckon that we’re 40% to 60% through the process. If those surveys are to be believed, we’ve moved across all of the public sector plus a lot of the private sector market.

We’re committed to setting a date at some point in the future, though we can’t mandate something without knowing what it is. Once I have that clarity in my own mind, along with the support of the public sector, we can make another intervention.

We know that there’s a massive tail in construction, from Tier 1 contractors to smaller companies, but the reality is that it’s unlikely that jobbing builders

Right now, our focus is on driving benefit from Level 2, increasing market capacity and growing exports, while also ramping up the Level 3 Digital

Where we are right now is pretty much where I’d like to be however; probably better than I had hoped in many ways.


Built Britain team. We’ve started to put that team into place and I’m hopeful that the contract for the first piece of feasibility design will be out fairly soon. Level 3 is a quantum of scale larger than Level 2. It’s going to be a lot more complex but we’ll also have five times more budget per year to ensure that it’s done professionally, as Level 2 was. Contractors often risk falling into the trap of thinking “I’m here to build this” rather than “I’m building an environment for people to thrive in”. It’s an idea that the industry has yet to get its head around. It’s not good enough to just throw buildings up. You need to build something that adds lasting value to businesses and lives. The social impact is much more critical than the cost of the building itself. I think the construction industry will have a Volkswagen moment in the next decade. The public will suddenly realise that the things we’re building don’t work very well, and there will be enough data available publically for someone to create an app and hold the industry accountable. That data will drive the bad practice out.

BROADLY SPEAKING, ARE THE ‘BIM4’ ORGANISATIONS – BIM4SMES FOR INSTANCE – SUCCEEDING IN ENGAGING WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE SECTORS? The supply chain coming together to create the BIM4s is, in my view, essential – though it’s a shame that the big Tier 1 contractors haven’t been able to find a bit of money to engage the public and the supply chain in the process. A little investment would drive massive amounts of goodwill, I think. The BIM Task Group has spent a lot of time kick-starting and supporting the BIM4s, but it would be wrong for a public client or government to actually fund them. I’m currently working with two or three groups including the UK BIM Alliance to find out what things might look like when the market takes ownership of Level 2. At that point, there needs to be some sort of coalition inside the supply chain that can help bring together responses and messaging. Using what we’ve learnt over the last four years, this should be possible.

ARE SMES IN DANGER OF BEING LEFT BEHIND? WHAT HAS THE BIM TASK GROUP DONE TO BOLSTER THEIR UPTAKE? We’ve spoken to people in businesses with 1 to 100 employees and their feedback is that the Government doesn’t listen, provide access or pay on time. In truth, the same is true of most clients or organisations, whether you’re a Tier 1 or a one-man band. The problem we’ve got is the impact of those behaviours on smaller businesses. Ultimately, BIM isn’t going to help with that but if we can use BIM as a Trojan Horse to articulate the problem further up the tree, we may start to see some traction. Project bank accounts have made sure that SMEs are paid on time, for example, while free access to the BIM4s has improved SME inclusion and diversity. It’s never perfect for everyone but we’ve tried to break down any barriers where possible. HOW IMPORTANT IS EDUCATION IN MAKING BIM STANDARD PRACTICE? There are two parts to this, the first

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being ‘is Level 2 possible?’ In 2011, we set the standard and established our perspective on how the industry might get there. The challenge is now ‘how can we get everyone doing it?’ The major role of education is to grow capacity so that we can follow through with what we’ve set out and consistently deliver on those 15% to 20% savings. The fact that we have a clear methodology around strategy, process, training, delivery and support has given us an edge over other nations. There is another role around education, which is research. Universities are already investigating Level 3 which is absolutely crucial. We need those brains because they will be the ones improving capacity at the bottom of the pile. We’re also on what is now our third iteration of the Learning Outcomes Framework. We’ve given complete clarity to the market as to what our expectations are for learning, and we

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have engaged the education sector to chair and run that piece of work with our help and support. Finally, we are looking at an accreditation programme for all training and delivery services to maintain quality and consistency. TO DATE, BIM UPTAKE HAS BEEN DRIVEN BY THE PUBLIC SECTOR. ENGAGING PRIVATE SECTOR CLIENTS IS CRUCIAL HOWEVER. IS THE PRIVATE SECTOR AMENABLE TO CHANGE? ARE CLIENTS BEGINNING TO SPECIFY BIM LEVEL 2 FOR THEIR PROJECTS? For sure. We’ve worked with a lot of developers – in London especially – and, as we all know, they’re a hardnosed and financially focused bunch. They wouldn’t specify BIM without reason. According to Great Portland Estates, for every pound spent they have received two in return. That kind of commitment to BIM shows what’s possible.

It’s the same with the Tier 1’s – some of them are doing spectacular things with BIM. I was with a Tier 1 the other day and over half of their projects are now Level 2 compliant from a portfolio some three or four hundred strong. No-one – including the Government or client – is perfect at this at the moment, but we’re much better than we were four years ago and we’re going to be even better in four years’ time. That is the nature of the journey we’re on. I recently chaired a session at an ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) event. The room was full of government clients, designers, consultants and contractors. It was amazing. That cohort of individuals would never have entertained a conversation about data two or three years ago and yet, all of a sudden, it’s at the top of their agenda. That shift has come about so quickly. It’s hugely exciting, and the fact that the UK is leading the way is a real opportunity for us all.


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UK BIM ALLIANCE:

AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE TRANSITION TEAM AHEAD of its October launch, UK Construction Excellence’s Matt Brown spoke with Adrien Guillemet and Raj Chawla about the role of the newlyminted UK BIM Alliance. Raj is the Chief Technology Officer and Projects Director at NUNELAH, Transition Team Member of UK BIM Alliance, Vice Chair of BIM4SMEs and an Executive of digital2all. Raj advises World Bank on disruptive engineering technologies and is the chair of DART (Disruption Assessment & Risk Targeting Group). He has 35 years’ experience in specialised construction management and construction engineering consultancy to companies worldwide acquired in the aerospace, defence, telecommunications, nuclear and petrochemical sectors. Adrien Guillemet is the BIM and Information Manager at Henry Riley LLP. He joined the Company in 2014 as the KTP Associate attached to the University of Reading with a goal to implement BIM Level 2 as ‘businessas-usual’ practice in the Company’s processes. He is responsible for all BIM projects the Company delivers, in terms of both information management and technological delivery. As well as being responsible for the BIM development of the Business, he is also leading the Digital Strategy stream of Henry Riley LLP.

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Adrien is part of the Transition Team currently leading the UK BIM Alliance and his primary focus is the longterm strategy of the Organisation. He developed the Strategy Plan of the Alliance that was unveiled at ICE BIM Conference 2016 and will continue to ensure its implementation in the future. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE ROLE OF THE UK BIM ALLIANCE? The UK BIM Alliance is a cross-industry organisation formed to lead BIM Level 2 and the digital formation of the construction and infrastructure sectors. The UK Government has called for the wider industry to adopt BIM Level 2 from spring 2016. In response, we have formed an industry alliance to fulfil this role. At its core, it is an alliance of industry, professional institutes, communities and academia all coming together to found the digitisation of the construction and infrastructure sectors. Following the success of the last five years in defining BIM Level 2, the Government has stated that it should now be the responsibility of the industry to lead the adoption and implementation of BIM Level 2 to be ‘business-as-usual’ - not just for centrally procured public sector projects. WHAT ARE ITS OBJECTIVES?

Upon its launch in October 2016, the UK BIM Alliance will start to provide clear guidance for the industry. This includes identifying and realising the actual benefits - cost and waste reductions, increased productivity and competitiveness - and making sure that these are easily understandable and obtainable for all. Our focus will be the implementation of BIM Level 2 across the wider industry over the next four years to 2020, which will establish the essential digital foundations for BIM Level 3 as we move to 2025 and beyond. WHO WILL BE INVOLVED IN THE UK BIM ALLIANCE? The UK BIM Alliance is formed from the BIM4 communities and regions originally set up by the UK BIM Task Group. There is an elected transition team who have shaped the strategy and objectives of the Alliance. A strategy document is available on the UK BIM Alliance website: www. ukbimalliance.org A further process will lead to the longer term structure and governance of the Alliance once formally launched. Coordination, common messaging and understanding are key across a growing coalition of organisations represented by industry, communities, academia and professional institutes.


WILL THE UK BIM ALLIANCE HAVE A PRESENCE AT ANY UPCOMING EVENTS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF ITS LAUNCH? There was an official launch at the ICE BIM Conference and this will continue to a wider audience at Digital Construction Week (DCW). The formal handover from the BIM Task Group to the UK BIM Alliance will take place at the DCW’s Westminster Reception at the Irish Embassy on 25th October. Over the next few months, the Alliance will start to build a calendar to be present at key events and may also support other similar events. It is indeed about awareness; and we are here to entice and enrol new entrants to BIM Level 2 as well as support those who have already embarked on their journey.

Adoption of BIM Level 2 will start to create the digital formation of the sector. This is an important factor that is usually overlooked. The outcomes being cost and waste reductions, increased productivity and competitiveness. A further challenge is around explaining the value proposition to business and industry. In order for the industry to buy-in, clear messaging and guidance is required. This is something that remains at the forefront of the Alliance’s strategy. DO YOU THINK THERE IS NOW MORE AWARENESS OF BIM SIX MONTHS ON FROM APRIL’S LEVEL 2 MANDATE?

WHAT WILL BE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE UK BIM ALLIANCE AND THE BIM TASK GROUP?

There is more awareness since the mandate, but a lot more needs to be done to get critical mass. The awareness strategy is high on the agenda for the Alliance. As seen in this video, the estimates are that some 90% of the industry still need reaching.

The BIM Task Group isn’t going away this October when the UK BIM Alliance launches. It will transform to the leading the Digital Built Britain agenda and start the leadership on BIM Level 3. The mission of the UK BIM Alliance is wholly different from the BIM Task Group with regards to BIM Level 2.

For industry to take up BIM Level 2 process, the value proposition has to be explained. There are early adopters who have understood the value proposition of implementing these processes within their businesses, and case studies have successfully shown how value is added to their businesses.

The BIM Task Group was in charge of writing the standards that regulate BIM Level 2. This task now complete, the UK BIM Alliance will take over to help make BIM Level 2 ‘business-as-usual’ in the industry by 2020. The Alliance’s role is to ensure that the industry takes up new ways of working established by the BIM Level 2 mandate, so that the sector stands ready for the next milestone.

DO YOU GET A SENSE OF A MOMENTUM NOW BUILDING BEHIND THE ADOPTION OF BIM LEVEL 2?

HAS THE BIM LEVEL 2 MANDATE THROWN UP ANY DIFFICULTIES THAT HADN’T BEEN CONSIDERED PREVIOUSLY?

THE BENEFITS OF BIM LEVEL 2 HAVE BEEN WELL DOCUMENTED. IS THERE STILL AN ISSUE OF STUBBORNNESS HOLDING UP THE INDUSTRY'S TRANSITION?

There are challenges, but with clear vision and direction nothing is unsurmountable. The key is the awareness around BIM Level 2.

There is a sense of momentum, but it is now up to us at the Alliance to provide the final kick to make sure the industry passes the col de l’adoption and gets down the mountain smoothly on the other side.

draw out lessons learned, as well as provide guidance from case studies and business cases for the adoption of BIM Level 2. We recognize that some good work has already been done to demonstrate the benefits of BIM Level 2. However, we feel that there is plenty left to explore in this space, including highlighting tangible savings from design all the way into facility management and life cycle costing. We aim to demonstrate that every stakeholder stands to gain from adopting BIM Level 2, including the client. If there is any stubbornness in adopting BIM Level 2, it is without a doubt because we need to rationalize its impact on ‘the bottom line’. We need to speak the language that businesses speak and the bottom line is usually the final arbiter of change. DOES THE UK BIM ALLIANCE HAVE A DATE IN MIND WHEN IT WILL TRANSITION TO ANOTHER BODY OR WILL THAT BE DEPENDENT ON HOW THE INDUSTRY REACTS? There is absolutely no plan for the Alliance to be anything other than the Alliance. We are here to help the industry adopt BIM Level 2 because we wholeheartedly believe that it is the best chance the industry has to revolutionise itself and become leaner and more efficient, whilst attracting the young talent the industry so desperately needs. The governance of the Alliance will be on our radar very quickly after the launch, after which there will be no ulterior motives - we simply believe in the future of the industry as a new foyer of innovation.

One of the main missions of the UK BIM Alliance will be to celebrate successful BIM Level 2 projects and

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When The UK BIM Alliance took up the reigns from the BIM Task Group, in June 2016, to help the industry transition fully to BIM level 2, eyebrows were raised as to why progress was slow despite the April 2016 mandate. Among the most frequently cited reasons for slower adoption of BIM is a lack of context and practical information about the exact benefits it offers small and medium sized businesses. Here, Chris Quirk of Trimble MEP, explains how BIM can be combined with scanning and field positioning technologies in refurbishment and new build projects In recent years there’s been a good deal of discussion about Building Information Modelling (BIM) but there’s a tendency for many to still see BIM as all about software. In fact, BIM is far more about people and processes. It is also about complementary technologies that can be used alongside BIM, to deliver tangible benefits to MEP contractors – even when refurbishing existing buildings. Refurbishment is an important source of work for contractors, as so much of the UK’s existing building stock is here to stay for a long while yet. There may be a perception, though, that BIM is confined to new build projects. Thanks to advanced laser scanning techniques, this is not the case. Whether working on a newbuild or a refurb, 3D scanning enables contractors to make

significant savings in both time and manpower expenditure while guaranteeing an incredibly high standard of accuracy. Data can be captured at a speed of up to 4,000 points per second and only one engineer is required to do the job where, traditionally, the task may have required two or even three. Remarkably easy to use and simple to setup, the scanners feature integrated self-levelling and positioning technology. Crucially, the point cloud data can also be exported to CAD or BIM packages for estimating, detailing and collaboration with other disciplines. To ensure outstanding accuracy scanners utilise on-board inclinometers to automatically level the instrument before scanning, while an integrated altimeter assigns elevation to each scan. Coupled with savings in time and manpower, this means that scanner converts typically see a very rapid return on their hardware investment.

BIM TO FIELD Once the contractor has an accurate model to work with, either created through scanning or supplied by the project design team, it makes sense to gain maximum benefits from it. One obvious area is in the layout of electrical and other services, again by combining BIM with other technologies. In this case a robotic total station (RTS). Traditional layout of mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) services requires a crew armed with the building drawings, a tape

measure and sometimes a piece of string. Height or elevation is measured with a level, and a theodolite is used to measure angles. Errors are common with this traditional approach and can prove to be very costly. Another benefit of layout with an RTS is that it can make working in awkward or tight spaces immeasurably easier – which is a blessing for MEP contractors in particular! Furthermore, because an RTS uses the same drawings or models as other trades remedial working, due to clashes, can be avoided. The RTS tablet is loaded with a 2D or 3D building model. Site survey points generated in the model are used to easily locate the RTS on the project site. Once located the operator can select the points to be marked, such as hangar locations. The RTS will guide the user to the point (if using a stake) or using visual layout the RTS will mark the point with a highlyvisible green laser. Each point is marked within a few millimetres of accuracy. Another key feature of the RTS and BIM to Field is ‘Roundtrip capability’. The information of staked points is collected by the tablet software. This as-built data can be imported back into the original model ensuring it is kept up to date. All in all, both scanners and robotic total stations bring remarkable benefits to MEP businesses in time, cost and accuracy. They also make winning and running BIM projects infinitely easier, as well as facilitating rapid ROI.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT 3D SCANNERS DOWNLOAD OUR FREE GUIDE, SCANNING AT A GLANCE, HERE: HTTP://MEP.TRIMBLE.CO.UK/3D-SCANNING


3D Laser Scanning Services Trimble’s 3D Laser Scanning Services mean you can reap the rewards of pin-point accuracy without the need to invest in scanning hardware or training.

3D Laser Scanning

3D Point Cloud

Using Trimble’s 3D Laser Scanning technology, a physical scan of your project will be conducted. Depending on the size of the project, the scan could take a few hours to several days.

A fully registered “point cloud” of the existing environment that can be used as an export into your 3D Modelling solution as an as-built comparison to modelled components.

mep.trimble.co.uk 0800 028 28 28


And there’s an app for that:

The opportunity exists for geometrically and geographically accurate 3D mapping to transform any mobile device into a pocket-sized construction control centre. ENSURING the construction industry has the right digital foundations continues to present an exciting challenge for the technology industry at large. The UK Government mandate for Building Information Modelling (BIM) is making its way through different stages, from task-force to meeting the required accreditation milestones. BIM has changed the face of many public sector infrastructure projects, but at other levels of large scale projects, there is still a substantial opportunity to support sites where traditional methods prevail. That’s where innovative and cost-effective mobile solutions can accelerate change. DEVELOPMENTS IN PLANNING, VISUALISATION AND MODELLING The ability to map 3D structures onto

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a site-friendly device, like a tablet or mobile represents a wide open door for construction teams, surveyors and civil engineers. At the start of the process, visualising the building within a 3D geospatially accurate context means a range of options can be set out before work starts. This has very practical realisations and ultimately reduces the risk of the inevitable scope-creep. With a malleable and fully programmable 3D mapping tool there is great flexibility in its application. For some, it is vital to be able to track which products and materials are going to be used where, so cost savings can be realised. For others, perhaps in large urban settings, site safety and the flow of heavy construction traffic will be a concern and consideration, and this can be accurately mapped and planned.

Future-proofing is also a benefit. Having a robust and accurate tool that can integrate extensive data on electrics and plumbing into the plans, at an early stage, is an important investment that can be used throughout the build. Overlaying relevant digital content on the visualisation of a building or site offers a powerful connection between the desired end result and the data. Perhaps most importantly it provides an easy check for any building project, as it ensures all components of the build are easily, clearly and costeffectively remembered and recorded for later on. COMMUNICATION FLOWS The communication flows linked to urban and building planning continue to be disrupted by technology. Endlesscommittees, hand drawn diagrams,


processes have previously made it a hard, and ultimately frustrating experience to get involved with. Here, digitisation has been an extremely positive force as it means that more automated intelligence can be applied to the planning process. From the point of view of the construction industry, shared 3D mapping data means planners will be able to get hold of more real-time content to inform their decision making. The broader communications piece is naturally around the bigger impact of significant changes caused by urban developments. As an example, ARUP, the architectural practice responsible for Manchester’s inward regeneration and building development, recently used 3D mapping to showcase its development plans for the city.

This made it easy to help a range of interested parties visualise new buildings, and developments, as well as allow ARUP to deliver real information about the transport implications and how proposed developments works layered in over the existing infrastructure. ARUP created its own app, which resulted in a cost effective way of engaging both clients and the public. PROVIDING ADDED VALUE What’s particularly interesting in this space is the capabilities for accurate interior modelling. This goes beyond the design aesthetics and extends to integrating the data and content generated through the lifetime of a build. A first stage of any project is a digital representation, or models, of how things would look to the prospective buyer. With 3D mapping it is possible to take this much further. In a diverse global

economy potential buyers are often internationally based, and as well as showing off a building, it is increasingly important to be able to provide an convenient, easy to view summary of the entire build – and all its data. With this in mind, the world of 3D mapping offers the construction industry a powerful tool that can be adapted for numerous situations and projects. Complex data sets on efficiency, compliance and resource usage can be built up over time, and presented in easy to read charts or graphs. Digitisation using 3D mapping on the construction site goes beyond the build itself. The future is for it to be integrated into the life of the building, enabling all interested parties to work quickly and effectively together on site, from planning through to sale. By Ian Hetherington, CEO, eeGeo

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BIFM: An exclusive interview with Julie Kortens JULIE KORTENS, CHAIRMAN OF THE BRITISH INSTITUTE OF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT (BIFM), SPEAKS TO UK CONSTRUCTION MEDIA ABOUT HER ASPIRATIONS FOR THE INSTITUTE AND THE FUTURE OF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY. FOR THE UNINITIATED, WHAT WOULD YOU IDENTIFY AS BEING THE CORE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE BIFM? At our heart is working with Facilities Management (FM) professionals to equip them with all they need to deliver exceptional FM for their organisation. But hand-in-hand with that is to raise the profile of FM as a profession and educate business leaders and other professions about the value and impact that FM can make to operational performance, for the benefit of business, the economy and society. WHAT IS YOUR OWN PROFESSIONAL HISTORY? HOW DID YOU BECOME CHAIRMAN OF THE BIFM? Having spent several years working in HR, I took up my first role in facilities management in 1998 and have

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never looked back. It is an amazing profession, accessible to people from all cultures, all levels of experience and all academic backgrounds and I have been proud to play an active role in the development of the profession. I have volunteered in many capacities for BIFM, chaired the Women in FM special interest group, acted as a NonExecutive Director and have had the privilege of being Chairman since 2014. HOW IS THE BIFM ABLE TO SUPPORT MEMBER COMPANIES? We work with employers to develop their facilities management people. The FM professional standards framework maps out the competences required for FM professionals at every stage of their career and through membership, qualifications and training employers can build up true staff development programmes to help develop the skills and expertise of their employees.

We have many group members and are working closely to develop true strategic partnerships, helping them tailor and adapt our framework to provide the professional rigour of our standards but also adapt to their corporate goals and priorities. We also work with businesses operating in the FM space to raise the profile of key issues, conduct research and, as corporate members, they can work with our communities and share specialist knowledge through our special interest groups. THE BIFM’S CORPORATE MEMBERSHIP SPANS A WIDE RANGE OF SECTORS. ARE THE FUNDAMENTALS OF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT THE SAME IRRESPECTIVE OF THE INDUSTRY? We have in our membership both the client and supply side of the profession.


For instance, the FM professionals operating in businesses across the economy where the core purpose of the organisation might be anything from educating pupils, to discovering a cure for cancer or producing best in class products. On the supply side we also work with FM service providers and a range of specialist organisations that supply into the FM market, with organisations from interior design, maintenance and waste management. From my experience I can see that the core of successful FM is management expertise (financial, people and project) and as such many of these skills are transferable across sectors and specialisms. Similarly because of the range of responsibilities FM’s invariably have, there is an inherent need for excellent communication and interpersonal skills to be able to manage the expectations and needs of a range of different stakeholders. In different sectors there are always different skills and challenges and, as with any profession, you take your core professional skills and adapt them to the environment you are operating in. FM is no different. For example a soft service, customer facing FM role will have different skills requirement than someone who has a building engineering based role. With the support of an amazing volunteer network we are also able to support a range of specialisms and sector specific professionals. We have special interest groups focusing on core FM specialisms such as Health and Safety, Workplace or Risk and Business Continuity and also sector based communities for example in Retail and Education. WHAT DO YOU SEE AS BEING THE CURRENT ISSUES WITHIN FACILITIES MANAGEMENT? WHAT STRATEGIES ARE IN PLACE TO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES? I prefer to describe these as challenges rather than issues because facilities management has come such a long way in recent years. We are valued business partners in most organisations and our impact on overall business performance is increasingly recognised by the C-Suite. However, it is still apparent that in some sectors there continues to be a focus on costbased procurement processes which do not recognise that it is people, strong partnering relationships and knowledge that deliver the value. Collaboration with our colleagues in

human resources, IT and finance is still a priority for us all. Working together to embed values and business imperatives is essential and FM has a key role to play in this arena. Our BIFM annual conference, ThinkFM, has focused on collaboration and productivity over the past few years to emphasise the role that we can play to create competitive advantage in business and add impact on society. IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, DO PEOPLE FULLY UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT AND THE INFLUENCE IT HAS ON WORK ENVIRONMENT AND EFFICIENCY? I think understanding has improved significantly over the past few years. People talk about FM being a young industry, but the understanding of the impact and value that FM can have on organisational performance and productivity, ultimately delivering value to the bottom line, has increased. However, as with any profession this varies across organisations depending on their understanding of how to leverage FM as part of their strategy. For example we see pioneering companies creating work environments built, sustained and managed with the sole purpose of helping create happy, healthy, empowered individuals. These environments have great workspaces fostering appropriate cultures and collaboration within their business. However, for others this is not on top of their priority list – perhaps due to other struggles or due to a lack of understanding of the difference FM can make. In businesses where the customer experience is fundamental to the organisations’ success you often see far more buy-in to the role and importance of FM. Obviously, there is still work to be done recognising the full remit and opportunities that FM provides. But, as well as the institute engaging in cross industry groups, I think it’s so important that BIFM also helps equip FM professionals with the skills and knowledge to be able to champion the value of their teams and the services they provide within their own organisations. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR COMPANIES LOOKING TO IMPLEMENT A FACILITIES MANAGEMENT STRATEGY?

underpin the strategy of the business. Understanding the values and needs of the business is essential. I think that it’s sometimes forgotten that the facilities management team is often the voice and face of the business, meeting and greeting clients and the public and providing the working environment which is the embodiment of the culture and values of the business. HOW IS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING (BIM) IMPACTING FACILITIES MANAGEMENT? WHAT ADVANTAGES DOES BIM AFFORD FACILITIES MANAGERS INDUSTRYWIDE? Although the BIM agenda has been driven by the public sector in recent years, in my experience there is also an awareness and understanding across the private sector. I believe that many feel that the working practices promoted by BIM already exist, particularly on new build projects. That said it will be interesting to see how this pans out. The good news is that it will continue to raise the profile and understanding of FM as a profession with other construction professionals across the built environment. Many believe that long-term increased usage of BIM will provide better opportunities for FMs to maintain and engage with asset data which will potentially help expand a building’s lifecycle and increase operational efficiencies. This should also provide metrics that can help record and demonstrate the value that FM offers. HOW DO YOU SEE THE BIFM CONTINUING TO DEVELOP IN THE MONTHS AND YEARS TO COME? In the immediate future we will be continuing our work with FM employers to develop strategic partnerships through the institute’s learning and development opportunities, and look at ways in which we can progress and advance the skills–base across the sector using our professional standards. We’re also delighted to have been contacted by an increasing number of international FM professionals and employers, all seeking to take up training and development for their teams, raising standards across the globe and taking full advantage of the BIFM offering.

A facilities management strategy must link directly to and generally

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BIM4FM:

An exclusive interview with Geoff Prudence IN an exclusive interview, UK Construction Excellence speaks to Geoff Prudence - Chair of CIBSE Facilities Management, the BIM4FM cross industry workgroup and BIFM Building Services - about Building Information Modelling, its implementation and the ramifications for facilities managers industry-wide. COULD YOU PROVIDE OUR READERS WITH AN INTRODUCTION TO BIM4FM? WHAT WOULD YOU IDENTIFY AS BEING THE ORGANISATION’S REMIT?

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institutions and associations - around the table. These include CIBSE FM, RICS, RIBA, BIFM, CIOB, BSA, BSRIA and B&ES, (formerly HVCA). Everybody interested in BIM from an FM perspective is collaborating, which is quite unique. Ordinarily, when bringing any organisations or areas together, there are always tensions and varied views, but it’s been very good so far. HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK WITH BIM4FM?

BIM4FM is one of several ‘BIM4’ organisations feeding into the BIM Task Group, with a view to delivering on the Government’s drive to implement Building Information Modelling.

There was a need for a built environment approach for FM and, because of my passion for driving things forward in the industry and my views on impartiality, I was asked to get BIM4FM off the ground and lead the Group for a couple of years.

What’s really unique about BIM4FM is that we have all the interested parties in the industry - the established

My professional background is as a Chartered Engineer in building services. I have progressed FM in a number of

areas and more recently the private and public sector, but my heart is still in engineering and building related design, risk and operations. This was an ideal opportunity to bring together a view for the industry. WHEN DID YOU FIRST BECOME AWARE OF THE CONCEPT OF BIM? I’d heard of BIM previously - people had told me that it was about information - but the first real detail came from Tim Dwyer, a forward thinking academic in the building services industry. I saw a presentation of Tim’s in 2011 and, by coincidence, he was one of the first people I heard


process rather than ‘buying into BIM’, but there’s certainly mixed feelings and a lot of my colleagues are saying the same. BIM Level 2 is now a requirement for all government contracts but, with respect, how much is the Government actually going to be building? There are lots more public and private sector contracts, and BIM is only going to stick when the intelligent clients ask for it, specify it and be exact on what they’re after. That’s what will really drive it. DOES BIM IMPLEMENTATION REQUIRE A CHANGE IN BUSINESS CULTURE? On the FM side, certainly. At the end of the day, it’s about driving cost. As I said; who’s going to pay for it? But a lot of the bigger FM companies - certainly those with a construction arm - are seeing BIM as the smart move and are altering their business models accordingly. They are the minority rather than the majority however. Many are still in denial, which is why BIM4FM is trying to explain the opportunities, where the impact is, and why facilities managers need to get involved sooner rather than later. There’s a lot of uncertainty and people are afraid to ask, but these sessions will hopefully engage with them. People have to realise it is an opportunity, not a threat. talk about how BIM could really benefit the industry. HOW IS BIM UPTAKE IN THE FM INDUSTRY PROGRESSING CURRENTLY? It’s interesting. A lot of the leading design consultants and construction practices are embracing it. Last December however, the BIM4FM Group hosted a breakfast seminar - ‘BIM Level 2 - ready, willing and able?’ - in the City of London, which was very well attended. We found mixed views. During a straw pole at the end of event, only a handful of people openly felt that were ‘ready’ for BIM. Generally, there hasn’t been a great uptake in most sectors. There are those who see it as a market opportunity, but there’s also a feeling of ‘who’s going to pay for it?’ Really, it’s about effective management right the way through the

HOW IS BIM ADOPTION ABLE TO BENEFIT FM? Looking at it end to end; it really is the opportunity to be there from the beginning, to influence the design, and to hold and capture the right information. There are key elements that facilities managers need to be asking for - the asset list and the types of maintenance, equipment and communication - and, if built into the design, these will make handover much easier and more effective. That’s the benefit from an FM perspective. Life cycle considerations are more evident and BIM can only enhance that area. I have continued to promote that ’a building is for life - not just for commissioning’. HOW IS BIM4FM ENGAGING WITH FACILITIES MANAGERS TO DEMONSTRATE THAT BENEFIT?

It’s been about four years since BIM4FM’s inception. We’ve held events, web communication and published guidance to help get the message out there. That message has remained consistent throughout each separate institution and association involved, which is something that I’m really proud of. We’re all pushing a single unified message to our own member companies. We have to make people aware however. At the event in December, it was a common light-hearted point but, even now, if we went around a room and asked ‘what does BIM mean to you?’, 3D modelling and software would always come up. There are certain reoccurring themes but no consistent approach. BIM isn’t the physical building information; it’s about building information through the process rather than handholding or baton changing. That’s where the real opportunity is. WHERE HAVE THE GREATEST CHALLENGES FOR BIM4FM COME FROM? For us as BIM4FM, there’s an obvious design/operation gap which has always been an issue in practice. BIM4FM was also set up to engage impartial institutions and associations, but we agreed under the terms of reference that we would allow specific manufactures to be brought in for a meeting or to get a view for a paper. The challenge then has been keeping BIM4FM impartial. A lot of the people who really have a story to tell naturally have a commercial interest as well be they a consultant, software or FM provider. That doesn’t mean they want something out of it commercially; but it does mean that naturally they sense an opportunity through their own lens - whereas we’re trying to remain impartial and to say what’s best for FM in the construction, design and operation loop. For more information on BIM4FM please visit: www.bimtaskgroup.org/bim4fmgroup/

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Intelligence and Innovation: Fire safety in the UK construction industry THE construction industry faces a unique set of challenges when it comes to fire safety. Construction sites play host to a range of potentially hazardous machinery, materials and situations which, if improperly tended, could lead to a costly disaster. It’s a high-risk environment - almost 65,000 construction workers in the UK sustained an injury at work in 2014/15. The risk is two-fold - a fire in an active build project can cost constructors millions, or even the loss of the entire project, but far more important is the risk to contractors’ lives. A thorough and intelligent fire monitoring and prevention system is essential to keep employees and investments safe. To increase the difficulty of this process, site managers must ensure that a fire risk assessment has been carried out and a fire safety strategy put in place for both the contractors’ village, made up of modular offices and facilities, and the building under construction. These measures must cover several important considerations. First of all, a temporary and dynamic means of sounding an alarm within the building under construction depending on contractors’ location within the build, ideally through manual call point and sounder combinations which can be moved as required. Then, a more static and complex FDA system must be implemented for the village. On top of this, support including emergency lighting, extinguishers, evacuation

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assembly points, staff training and a fire warden programme must be put in place.

relations with the local community, as well as putting victims of real fires at risk.

There are technological solutions to many of these problems. For example, radio-enabled fire safety devices, which can transmit alerts across a large site. Given the evolving nature of a construction site, a connected capability is essential to increase the efficiency and accuracy of fire safety programmes, and such systems can be easily removed and re-installed multiple times. In sites which have the capacity to carry IP cables, it’s also worth considering the benefit of intelligent connected fire detection and alarm systems which can collect and analyse data to better determine the true state of a fire incident, reject false and unwanted alarms and help site managers improve accuracy and overall safety without a large hike in outlay.

REDUCING INTERRUPTIONS

The minimisation of false and unwanted alarms is also a key issue to consider when it comes to fire safety. Construction companies have a responsibility to protect not only their own employees, but also the lives and interests of the communities around them, and it’s essential to avoid any unnecessary risk or disruption to either group. Repeated false alarms could result in a genuine alert being missed. False alarms can also cause unneeded fire brigade callouts, which will only damage corporate reputations and

Clearly, whatever the project, any site installed with a fire detection system must ensure it reduces false or unwanted alarms. Should a construction site be evacuated, crucial deadlines could be missed. If a project using costly hired plant experiences a false alarm, highly pressurised decisions will have to be made about whether to extend the rental period. Even worse, should a large number of false alarms occur, it could result in the unfortunate consequence of those onsite becoming complacent to the sound of an alarm and failing to respond to the warning of a real fire. More broadly, false alarms are an incredible drain on public resources. According to the London Fire Brigade (LFB), around a third of all calls attended to are false alarms, leading to many fire brigades reviewing their policies repeat offences increase the risk that the response to a genuine incident will be delayed. Some site managers could be unaware that the local fire brigade might not respond to an alarm activated by an automatic fire detector due to their policy of not answering false alarms. Automatic alarms are hard to verify. As such, site management needs to ensure either


that fire wardens are well-trained in correct reporting procedure, or that fire detection equipment is capable of discerning between, say, dust and smoke. Furthermore, since January 2014, the LFB charges companies if it has to attend more than ten false alarms in a 12-month period. This is to ensure fire-fighters are available to attend in a real emergency rather than held up at the scene of a false alarm. IMPLEMENTING A MODERN TECHNOLOGICAL STRATEGY For construction companies looking to improve safety and reduce false and unwanted alarms, it is clearly advisable to implement a well thought-out fire safety strategy that takes into account the necessary risk assessments across each of these possible triggers and situations. This is crucial in order to identify and wherever possible eliminate the potential scenarios in which false and unwanted alarms could occur. If an existing system has been prone to false alarms, it is advisable to look at incorporating intelligent fire alarm detection devices. By using interactively-adjusted algorithms these can establish if the detected properties of carbon monoxide, heat, smoke or particles correspond to those held in memory for real fire events. By utilising this type of detection technology, dust from an angle-grinder will not trigger

an alarm, for instance. It can also be incredibly beneficial to have a wireless radio-enabled system in place to ensure that detectors across the site are integrated, to aid the early detection and verification of fires. Once a fire detection and alarm system is in place, although it might sound very basic, site teams must ensure that absolutely all staff tasked with using the fire controls are trained to do so - a mis-chosen fire extinguisher or illadvised escape route could mean the difference between life and death. CONSTANT VIGILANCE With an appropriate fire detection and alarm system installed, there must be a programme of planned, preventative maintenance in place to support it. In England and Wales this is a legal requirement under Article 17 of the Fire Safety Order (FSO), and its equivalent in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The advisory engineering best practices as to how maintenance should be carried out can be found in British Standard, BS 5839-1:2013.

ensure the compliance of their devices at the point of installation. The number of maintenance visits required is determined by the fire risk assessment and should take into account the level of risk (to life, property and construction continuity), complexity and size of the system. Such maintenance visits will allow the servicing engineer to work with the site team to identify any persistent causes of false alarms. All construction sites must be protected by a well-designed, installed and regularly maintained fire detection and alarm system. Throughout this process, reducing false and unwanted alarms has to be high on the agenda as not only will this help to ensure the highest levels of safety, but it will help to reduce the amount of resources teams have to dedicate in order to manage the time-consuming and potentially costly repercussions. By Lee Jasper, Head of Product and Solutions Group, Tyco

Site managers should ensure that their fire detection and alarm system is maintained by a competent servicing organisation. Where the construction period is too short to merit a regular testing programme, those responsible for installation of battery-operated temporary units should nevertheless

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CONSTRUCTION PAYMENT PROCESS

WHAT CAN THE UK LEARN FROM AUSTRALIA Can the UK construction industry learn from new Australian legislation on application for payment proccses?

Australia’s got a lot to answer for. Jason Donovan’s music career. Ruining every Ashes summer of the 90s. Walkabout. But it turns out that when it comes to application for payment (or as the Aussies call it, “payment claims”) our Commonwealth cousins have got a few ideas that’ll make life run far more smoothly for the British construction industry. Less time waiting for payment, fewer disputes, a massive decrease in people swearing at your account staff. That sort of thing. The Western Australian government’ introduced payment reforms that have won fans here in the UK. And as our infographic shows, you could well be better off if the industry adopts a few working practices from Down Under. According to the SEC, UK construction is ‘the worst performing sector for payment’ – a fact that won’t surprise anyone currently chasing applications for payment. But this isn’t a universal problem. In Australia, construction payment processes run a lot more smoothly than they do here. So we’d all stand to bene t if we copied a few lessons from Down Under. Let’s start with our problems and their solutions:

THE UK PROBLEM

THE AUSTRALIAN ANSWER

Payments don’t trickle down the supply chain fast enough.

Project Bank Accounts (PBAs) – Progress payments go into a ring- fenced pot, then on to everyone who’s owed simultaneously.

Smaller suppliers are left carrying the bill for construction costs.

A code of conduct to bar bad payers – and on repeat tenders.

Tenderers abusing their supply chains with late payment and disputes.

Give everyone a clear and simple process to follow.

Improperly administered contracts are the biggest cause of construction disputes.

Detailed legislation ensures payments are made within 30 days.

Disputes last an average of 10 months – during which nobody gets paid and projects grind to a halt.

Again, encourage simple, transparent processes with no room for dispute, and ring-fenced funds so that suppliers are paid what they’re owed.

REDUCE APPLICATION FOR PAYMENT PROCESSING BY 50% WITH WWW.PROGRESSCLAIM.COM - THE TRUSTED PLATFORM FOR THE APPLICATION AND PAYMENT PROCESS


How Can UK Businesses Be More Like Australians? Forget about the cork hats. We’re being serious. The best way to copy the Australians is to start making use of their key methods: >> Start using PBAs to quickly get suppliers paid all down the supply chain >> Implement a streamlined application for payment software solution to keep everything transparent, simple and quick >> Ditch the paper trail and start using online modern methods to speed everything up >> Spread the word about people who don’t pay – until Aussie-style legislation officially blacklists them

So Should We Adopt the Australian Model? Of course we’re going to say yes. Just look at the benefits: >> Everyone knows where they stand with simple, transparent processes >> Everyone is paid on time, at the same time >> Straightforward contracts lead to fewer disputes and less litigation >> By blacklisting poor payers, even informally, everyone’s motivated to be fair and honest

>>

Western Australia has introduced new legislation that the UK construction industry wants Britain to adopt.

>>

Takeaways

By introducing Project Bank Accounts (PBAs), the construction industry will ensure smaller suppliers are paid on time.

>> >>

Payment disputes cost an average of £21m. Reducing that will save businesses.

It takes an average of ten months to solve a dispute. Clearer legislation will reduce that time.

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Switching paper trails for automated processes will speed up the whole payment process.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OUR SOLUTION, CALL US ON 0191 280 5076 OR VISIT OUR WEBSITE – WWW.PROGRESSCLAIM.COM


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Field Service Operations: Rugged is best GONE are the days of manual, paper based processes. While some of these methods still remain, there’s no denying that mobile technology has become a major player in business today. The rise of the smartphone has seen a wealth of applications and services like email, job rostering and cloud collaboration tools, easily accessed right in the palm of a worker’s hand. As a result of this, companies have become increasingly dependent on the technology for all aspects of business, including improving communication and productivity and reducing costs within their workforces. Field services operations are no exception to this. In the last decade, field service managers, across the construction, maintenance and utilities industries, have become more reliant on the mobile platform for managing everything from suppliers and assets to staff and customers. Mobile has become part of the tool kit and the need for a device that delivers everything you might possibly need from field communications to remote asset management and automated workflow efficiency - has never been greater. RUGGED INSIDE AND OUT Unfortunately most consumer smartphones are not built with field service workers in mind. Although the latest Apple and Samsung devices are attractive and now boast IP ratings, these are not durable enough for the typical outdoor, sometimes remote, working environment of a field worker. Professionals in the field require a device that can withstand the most rugged working environment and all that comes with it - potential drops and spillages, working with heavy machinery and the great outdoors, all without the worry of a water damaged phone, a cracked screen, loss of signal or drained battery. These workers, who must get the job done whatever the weather, need a device that can both perform in and survive the elements,

one that is robust, reliable and rugged. ALWAYS CONNECTED Often workers and their managers are entirely dependent on their phones for essential services such as orders, invoicing and job rostering. If a device is broken or has a dead battery, the communication between employee and manager is lost and the device is rendered useless - hindering productivity and potentially halting critical business operations. According to research conducted by Vodafone, the potential loss of revenue for a UK small business of not having access to mobile phones for even one day could be as much as £12,000. The standardised features offered by a rugged smartphone can help workforces stay connected, reducing the risk of loss of communication between workers and their managers. A rugged device with dual SIM capabilities would allow businesses to manage workers in areas with poor cellular coverage, often geographically rural and remote. The saying ‘two is better than one’ comes into its own here. Dual SIM not only means a worker’s delicate personal phone is safely left at home but also gives a user an increased chance of signal coverage, even in the most isolated areas, as well as supporting voice over data networks such as Wi-Fi. Other functions, such as push-to-talk, allow instantaneous communication between managers and their teams. Likewise, push-to-message enables managers to send a message to a large amount of employees at once, and push-to-locate can verify a worker’s location out in the field at the touch of a button. NFC capabilities can be used to provide field service professionals with the real-time visibility that is often essential for mobile resource management in their industries. Employees can provide proof of attendance, job progression and completion, whereas managers can roster jobs or re-appropriate

resources efficiently if a worker is unable to complete a task or is behind schedule. LONE WORKERS According to the 1974 Health and Safety Work Act, employers have a legal requirement to ensure the safety of lone workers. Today’s latest rugged smartphones can be installed with a lone worker app, allowing managers to comply with legislation. This can be done by setting one of the device’s main and easily reached buttons with panic alarm functionality. Should a worker get into trouble working alone, their GPS location will be sent to their manager instantly. An accelerometer function can also be pre-configured to trigger an alarm if the employee suffers a fall. RELIANT ON RUGGED Many of us can’t imagine life without a mobile, and today this rings true for many businesses, including field service organisations. Research by Vodafone found that two thirds of small business owners and employees surveyed claim their mobile phone is vital to the running of their organisation. Mobile technology has the potential to extend office efficiency to the field and support all operational needs; ensure workforce connectivity, streamline businesses processes and even provide managers with a tool for verifying lone worker safety. Yet for field service workers, the latest technology cannot be truly harnessed unless a phone is rugged enough and robust enough. A device that is easily water-damaged, has a short battery life or fails to support a lone worker in an emergency situation, is inadequate for today’s field operative. A rugged handset is merely a small investment compared to the potential cost for businesses caused by broken or damaged devices. By Stephen Westley, Director at Global Mobile Communications

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AMP6 kicked off in March 2015, with the utility companies moving into the sixth phase of asset management following a long period of tendering and negotiations. This phase of investment has seen a shift in focus from short term investment, replacing the ageing structures and systems to improve efficiency, to a ‘totex’ - or total expenditure investment - looking to improve and upgrade the systems for future benefits and in the long-term. The realignment was set out in an Ofwat report, published in 2013, which showed the methodology Ofwat would use to assess water companies’ business plans for AMP6. The new methodology, which relates to water supply and sewerage in England and Wales, made it clear that the water industry’s emphasis was shifting from the ‘ticking regulatory boxes’ approach of previous AMPs to focusing on value for money for customers. For the first five AMP periods, water companies’ business plans were dominated by the need to meet tough European Union legislation covering issues like wastewater quality and wildlife habitats. This period will see water companies trying to get the most out of their existing assets and finding ways to minimise cost of operation. The Ofwat document declared that water companies should be focusing on what it called ‘longterm outcomes’, which it hopes will encourage innovative ways of working that will deliver services for less money, and with less impact on the environment. As a result, the regulator expects to see substantial efficiency savings being delivered during the five year AMP6 period. At the same time, Ofwat wants to encourage companies to manage water supplies more sustainably. It believes this will happen because the

companies will no longer have a bias toward capital intensive and resource intensive solutions, and because it is introducing incentives to encourage the water companies to trade water and to source it form areas that do not damage the natural environment. This shift in emphasis is leading to water companies looking for different skill-sets from their supply chains expertise that will help make more of existing assets. The focus on long-term thinking is also being reflected in the way some water companies are looking to procure the firms that will deliver work during AMP6, with many opting for alliances, or for frameworks that run beyond the traditional five year AMP period. Ofwat gave final approval to a £44Bn spend by water firms over the next period at the end of 2014, saying that the deals struck with the water companies will lead to 5% average fall in bills across England and Wales. Jonson Cox, Ofwat Chairman, said: “This is an important step in maintaining customers’ trust and confidence in the water sector. We set out to deliver a challenging but fair outcome. We are requiring companies to meet higher service standards and deliver on their promises to customers. “We are bringing down bills so customers can expect value for money, while investors can earn a fair return. Companies will need to stretch themselves to deliver much more with the same level of funding as in previous years. We will achieve more resilient infrastructure and better service as a result.” Alongside the asset investment and upgrade, major projects set to take place include Severn Trent Water’s Birmingham Resilience project, Wessex Water’s integrated supply grid, and modernisation of United Utilities’ Davyhulme wastewater treatment works, with the Thames Tideway Tunnel to be financed and delivered by an independent provider.

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Scottish strategy for STEM announced THE Scottish Government has published it plans for the future of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for consultation. Minister for Further and Higher Education and Science, ShirleyAnne Somerville, officially launched the consultation document during a visit to Cargenbridge Primary School in Dumfries. The strategy outlines future plans for the subjects which, for the first time, co-ordinates all of the work already underway to promote STEM skills across all age ranges and settings in one strategy. The Government are seeking views from those interested in promoting STEM. Education providers, employers and parents will be consulted and asked for their opinion on how STEM skills and education could be improved and developed. Ms Somerville commented: “STEM knowledge and capability doesn’t just provide significant career opportunities for individuals, it ignites a passion for learning that helps our young people to develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed in whatever field they choose. “The draft strategy published today sets out the steps we believe must be taken to improve current levels of enthusiasm for STEM subjects and encourage uptake of the specialist skills necessary to work in the ever-increasing STEM sectors of the economy.” The Minister said that the strategy would “enhance opportunities” for adults and demands of the labour market would be taken into account, with work also done to reduce gender gaps and improve attainment. Professor Sheila Rowan, Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland said: “Knowledge of STEM can make a huge difference to numeracy and digital skills. These are fundamental life skills that are increasingly important in today’s economy.”

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First Minister recognises vital role of manufacturing AMID a backdrop of uncertainty, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has again acknowledged manufacturing as an industry critical to Scotland’s sustained economic wellbeing. In recent weeks, Mrs Sturgeon reaffirmed her commitment to establish a National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS), ahead of a visit to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield. The First Minister also addressed the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute to discuss economic policy in the wake of the EU referendum. In a keynote speech, Mrs Sturgeon claimed that communities across the country would be given more reasons to be cheerful following an end to the UK Government’s austerity agenda and real investment in jobs and public services. Speaking ahead of her visit, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The Scottish Government is looking at ways to grow manufacturing and invest in skilled jobs for the future. “190,000 people are currently employed in manufacturing, which accounts for 52% of all of Scotland’s international exports.

“Yet we know manufacturing and export industries will suffer if they are outside the single market. Research published by the NIESR economic think-tank last week highlights that a hard Brexit could hit goods exports to the tune of around £3Bn. “So we must keep supporting the sector and guard against the possible impact of leaving the single market. “Our Manufacturing Action Plan commits us to establish a National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland, to promote continuous innovation, improve productivity and increase investment. “With the revitalisation of Scotland’s steel industry and the enormous potential of our low carbon industry, this is the right time to invest in opportunities in our manufacturing sector. “The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield is a world leading research facility that researches and resolves advanced manufacturing problems, and it is one potential model that we can learn from in developing Scotland’s National Institute of Manufacturing.”


Edinburgh Airport expansion Masterplan unveiled EDINBURGH Airport has released plans to expand Scotland’s busiest airport over the next 25 years, with a public consultation launched by investment firm, Global Infrastructure Partners.

main runway only.”

The airport’s consultation on its proposals is open for six weeks. The Masterplan is centred around the growth of operations on the ground, rather than routes or planned changes to flight paths above the capital.

The consultation will cover plans from now until 2040. A more speculative plan has also been released which shows proposals going as far as 2050. Questions have been raised by environment campaigners regarding the need for further expansion.

There are also suggestions of a new road linking to the Gogar Roundabout to improve access to the airport.

The plans also include an enlarged terminal building, cargo storage facilities and an aircraft parking area, with proposals to scrap an existing contingency runway and continued “safeguarding” of land for a new second runway.

Over the last decade, the number of passengers travelling through Edinburgh Airport has increased by 20%, with passenger numbers expected to rise a further 18% - from 11.1 million last year to 13.1 million in 2020.

The document says: “This safeguarding is a long-term precaution only, as we believe that the future growth of the airport can be sustained by the current

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport Chief Executive, said: “At Edinburgh Airport our passenger numbers have grown more in the past three years than they

did in the ten years previous. We believe that this growth is good for Scotland. “This masterplan document sets out how we think we’ll grow in the decades to come and we’re asking some questions around that. Your views are important in making sure that our thinking is correct and that it fits with wider plans.” Director of Transform Scotland, Colin Howden, said: “Aviation is the most polluting form of transport and one that threatens Scotland’s ability to meet its climate change commitments. “The aviation industry thinks it should be allowed to expand without restraint and without regard for Scotland’s international commitments, instead expecting that other parts of the economy should bear the responsibility for cutting emissions while its growth is allowed to continue unfettered.”

Grandhome Trust commence with 600 home development THE Grandhome Trust is to build more than 600 new residential properties following £7.9M of Scottish Government funding. The loan will go towards the first phase of the sizable Grandhome development, which has provisional planning permission for 4,700 homes, alongside commercial, retail, leisure and public spaces. During 2016/2017, the Scottish Government is making up to £50M of grant and loan financing available via its Housing Infrastructure Fund - a means of unlocking strategically important housing sites across the country, with a view to meeting future demand.

Reassuringly, Aberdeen is already feeling the benefit. The Scottish Government has raised the City’s Affordable Housing Programme allocation to £10.9M - a 70% increase on the previous year. Touring the Grandhome site, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “I am really pleased the first loan from this important Scottish Government fund is being used to unlock a key housing site. The first phase of 600 homes will include at least 90 affordable homes. “We have committed to deliver 50,000 more affordable homes, with 35,000 available for social rent, over the next five years, backed up with investment of more than £3Bn. Projects such as this one mark another step on road to

delivering that pledge.” Bruce Smith, a Trustee of The Grandhome Trust, added: “The new community of Grandhome has been more than ten years in the planning and the delivery of the first phase of enabling infrastructure, supported by the Scottish Government’s loan, is an important milestone for us. "Grandhome will meet a large proportion of the city’s future housing needs and be a community that sets new standards for place making in Aberdeen. The quality of place that we are creating here is shaped by a strong vision and will contribute to the attractiveness of the city as place to live, work and invest.”

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Marischal Square tops out in Aberdeen EARLIER in the month, Aberdeen City Council celebrated the topping out of Marischal Square - a prestigious new development intended to revitalise the east-end of the City’s centre.

Crucially, the development is integral to the Council’s 25 year City Centre Masterplan, which aims to kick-start public and private sector regeneration in the region.

For Muse Developments, Marischal Square is envisioned as a “vibrant new mixed-use quarter for Aberdeen”. As such, it’s Swiss Army Knife in nature, comprising 173,500sq ft of Grade A office accommodation across two highly sustainable BREEAM ‘Excellent’ buildings, each with secure parking.

Aberdeen City Council Leader, Councillor Jenny Laing commented: “I’m delighted the Marischal Square development is at the topping out stage as the project is a firm commitment to Aberdeen’s city-centre regeneration programme, the City Centre Masterplan.

Up to seven restaurants and cafe bars will occupy the ground floor, while a 126-bed Residence Inn is to be operated by international hotelier Marriott.

“The development, and the leading businesses which have signed up so far, are testament to the confidence in the area and the strategic value the City Council places in our economy as we’re in an exciting phase of transforming the city.

Outside, an additional 14,500sq ft of contemporary civic space will revitalise the area surrounding the historic 16th century Provost Skene’s House. Though Muse was previously appointed by landowner Aberdeen City Council, the development itself is being wholly funded by Aviva Investments. At £107M, there’s no denying that it is something of a gamble. Aberdeen City Council remain hopeful however that Marischal Square will deliver lasting economic benefit and bolster consumer footfall.

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“It is genuinely wonderful to see the City Council’s part in investing in the infrastructure of the city and the topping out will be a sign of even greater things to come as the Marischal Square development goes from strength to strength.” The development, which has created 300 construction jobs and has the potential for 1,500 more once Marischal Square is complete, commenced in April 2015 and is on

course for a summer 2017 opening. Main contractor Morgan Sindall remains at the helm. Muse Developments’ Regional Director for Scotland, Stephen Turner added: “This is another significant day for Marischal Square. This is a major city centre transformational project which fully supports the long-term ambitions for Aberdeen and delivers a vibrant new mixed-use development in keeping with the city’s justifiable position as one of the UK’s leading business destinations. “The fact we have already attracted leading business including Aberdeen Journals, Marriott International, All Bar One, Mackie’s and Prezzo to Marischal Square is a testament to the new destination we are delivering in the heart of the city. Local businesses have also benefitted significantly through the support contracts associated with building a project of this scale. “Marischal Square has the potential to make a long-term impact on the local economy, especially as it is vital the city has the right mix of office and commercial space to respond to the new challenges and opportunities it faces from the changes within the oil and gas sector.”


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Wales tops new Construction Pay Trends index ACCORDING to the UK’s first ever construction pay trends index, Wales has seen the biggest (5.3%) year-onyear increase in earnings among selfemployed tradesmen – compared to a modest 1.8% increase across England. Developed by Hudson Contract, the new ‘Construction Pay Trends’ index harnesses payroll data from over 2,000 building firms across England and Wales. The interactive tool categorises weekly pay differences by region, age and such sub-sectors as bricklaying, joinery, roofing and surfacing. In addition to providing tradespeople, building apprentices and industry analysts with a singular insight into pay levels, it also reveals the impact of weather, location and economic factors on earning potential. To date, the North East has experienced

the biggest decline in average weekly pay – a 2.1% decrease in earnings yearto-date compared to 2015. This was followed closely by a 0.4% reduction in London. The top ten went as follows:

1 Wales (+5.3%) 2 Yorkshire and the Humber (+4.2%) 3 East of England (+1.8%) 4 North West (+1.7%) 5 East Midlands (+1.7%) 6 West Midlands (+1.5%) 7 South East (+1.3%) 8 South West (+1.1%) 9 London (-0.4%) 10 North East (-2.1%)

Intriguingly, the highest increase in earnings year-on-year was within the roofing sector, which enjoyed 6.1% of growth, followed by 4.8% in plastering and 4.2% in scaffolding. Elsewhere, those working in the

equipment and operator hire industry witnessed a surprising 4.1% average reduction in earnings year-to-date compared to 2015, while bricklayers experienced a noteworthy 1% yearly pay decrease. Ian Anfield, Managing Director at Hudson Contract, said: “We’ve developed the Construction Pay Trends index to provide the most comprehensive insight into pay levels across the industry. It has revealed some fascinating trends on both a national and regional level, with tradesman in Wales experiencing the sharpest annual growth in earnings. “The index will update monthly to reveal the latest pay trends - providing the perfect online career resource for building apprentices through to industry analysts assessing the ongoing health of the construction sector.”

Welsh Government progress with Colwyn Bay redevelopment CARWYN Jones, First Minister of Wales, has announced his intention to progress with the transformation of Colwyn Bay’s prized waterfront in a bid to bolster the Welsh tourism trade. While touring Colwyn Bay’s new waterfront project, the First Minister confirmed additional financial backing, courtesy of the European Union. In total, close to one kilometre of promenade will be redeveloped by summer 2017. For Colwyn Bay the project is something of a catalyst. It signifies the town’s resurgence as a major tourism and watersports destination along the North Wales coast. Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world, recently

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described North Wales as one of the best places to visit in 2017. Special mention was made of the way in which the region had reinvented itself in recent years.

market. With North Wales having a growing and global reputation for tourism, now is the right time to invest more in the area.

Phase I, which included the Porth Eirias Watersports Centre, the Bryn Williams@ Porth Eirias bistro and a new family beach, completed in 2014. This next phase will enhance beach access, improve parking provision and incorporate new landscaping.

“The tourism industry is in good shape and has enjoyed two record breaking years with visitor numbers crossing the ten million mark for the first time in 2014 and record spend from domestic and overseas visitors in 2015. In 2016 we’ve seen a 15% increase in the number of overseas visitors during the first six months of the year.

The First Minister said: “Colwyn Bay and nearby areas are already well-loved by locals and visitors alike, but this project could put rocket boosters on the local tourist industry. By focusing efforts and investment on key projects in each region we can have a real impact on Wales’ profile in this globally competitive

“North Wales’ fantastic recognition by the Lonely Planet is testimony to the commitment and partnership working between public and private sector to deliver a world class visitor experience.”


£350M Specialist and Critical Care Centre gets go-ahead THE Welsh Government has given the go-ahead for the construction of a new Specialist and Critical Care Centre (SCCC) after confirming it will invest £350M in the project. Although final tender costs are yet to be confirmed, the centre in Llanfrechfa Grange, Cwmbran will see a £350M investment from the Welsh Government. The Specialist and Critical Care Centre will play a key role in the Clinical Futures strategy, launched in 2004, which seeks to modernise health services in Gwent.

Severn Tunnel reopens to rail-goers THE Severn Tunnel has reopened to rail-goers following a six week enhancement to ready the historic structure for electrification. Network Rail’s famed ‘orange army’ was out in force to install more than eight miles of conductor rail in preparation for a new fleet of electric trains. During the closure, preparatory works to the nearby Patchway Tunnel were also undertaken as part of Network Rail’s hugely ambitious Railway Upgrade Plan. The programme itself accounts for around two thirds of Network Rail’s £40Bn spending priorities for the five years preceding 2019, and represents the largest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victorian era. All of this is being done with the future in mind. Passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25, meaning that a robust rail network is all the more important. Andy Thomas, Network Rail Wales Route Managing Director, had this to say: “We are delighted to have delivered this vital milestone in the project to electrify

the South Wales Mainline as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan to give passengers a bigger and better railway. We would like to thank passengers for their patience – without this six week closure it would have taken engineers up to five years to complete this vital upgrade, delaying electrification to South Wales. “Electrification of the South Wales Mainline will transform the railway, bringing significant long-term benefits for passengers including faster, more frequent trains as well as a boost to economic growth for towns and cities across South Wales thanks to better connectivity to and from London.” Dan Tipper, Project Director at Network Rail Wales added: “It has been a phenomenal team effort, involving over 250 engineers and close working with our principal contractors ABC Electrification and Babcock as well as numerous suppliers, designers and subcontractors including Amco, Keltbray and Arup, to deliver this essential stage of the electrification project. I would like to thank every single member of the team that has worked on this iconic project for their hard work and dedication to deliver this upgrade successfully and on time.”

The SCCC will be purpose-built to cater for those who need complex specialist or critical care. It will include a 24 hour assessment unit, dealing with all major emergencies and resuscitation cases; intensive care facilities, comprehensive diagnostic services, theatres and a consultant-led Obstetric Unit. The Welsh Government also hope that the new 470-bed hospital will play a significant role in South Wales. The SCCC will work alongside other major acute hospitals to provide high quality services to the catchment area of over 600,000 people. Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said: “I know there has been a high level of public and political interest in this project and after careful consideration I’m delighted to have approved the full business case for the SCCC. I will now release capital funding from 2016/17 to 2021/22 to build what will be a state-of-the-art hospital in Gwent. “The SCCC has had strong support locally and through public consultation on the South Wales Programme. I am confident that bringing together complex and more acute services on one hospital site will allow the local health board to secure a range of benefits which will improve the quality of care for patients.”

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Sewer infrastructure for the 21st century

LAST month, Welsh Water made public its partnership with a pioneering infrastructure initiative to ensure an efficient, environmentally and economically sustainable sewerage system for generations to come. Chaired by Welsh Water’s Director of Environment, Tony Harrington, the innovative ‘21st Century Drainage Programme’ brings forth more than 40 organisations - from government bodies and water regulators to academics, local authorities and environmental experts. Together, each organisation has a mandate to safeguard health concerns, support local communities, and preserve the wider environment - both in the immediate and long-term future. With climate change and population growth an ever-present concern, the ‘21st Century Drainage Programme’ will work to cultivate a scientifically robust plan of action to better meet the infrastructure needs of an increasingly pressurised society. Tony Harrington, Director of Environment at Welsh Water and Chairman of the ‘21st Century Drainage Programme’, was on-hand to explain: “Welsh Water is proud to be playing its part in this innovative programme, and it’s a privilege to be chairing the partners. Without adequate drainage, communities and businesses cannot grow, and we cannot properly support our environment. Today’s report aims to set out the successes and challenges of the past and the scale of ambition for the future. This includes how we should design our sewers in the future

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and tackle issues such as long-term sewer deterioration and potential ownership models for all drainage assets.” Tony continued: “We operate an extensive network of pipes and sites, with over 800 wastewater treatment works and 36,000km of sewers enough to stretch to Australia and back if laid end-to-end - and ensuring the longterm sustainability of our network is a huge challenge. We also face the daily problems of sewer blockages caused by the wrong things being flushed down the toilet or poured down the kitchen sink. These cost our business around £7M every year and can flood homes and pollute local streams. “Welsh Water’s unique model with no shareholders means we’ve already been able to make innovative steps to future proofing our network, including the RainScape project - which reduces the risk of local sewer flooding by removing surface water from our sewers - and implementing our largest ever science and innovation programme that will play a part in helping us all secure a healthy and vibrant environment for years to come. We’re also working with customers and communities through our awardwinning behavioural change campaign ‘Let’s Stop the Block’ to challenge customers to think before they flush.” Sewer blockages are a persistent and costly nuisance. Each year, hundreds of homes and businesses are swamped, while fresh watercourses and pristine beachfronts are contaminated, thanks to the improper disposal of waste. On

average, 28,000 such blockages occur each year, all of which are completely avoidable. Imogen Brown, Head of Waste Water Networks for Welsh Water, had this to say: “We deal with over 2,000 sewer blockages every month and the majority of these blockages are caused by everyday items put down the toilet such as wet wipes, sanitary towels and cotton buds, as well as fat, oil and grease that people put down their drains. Some packaging wrongly labels things like wet wipes and sanitary products as ‘flushable’ when in fact they will cause blockages further down the pipe. A lot of people aren’t even aware that these items can cause sewer flooding and pollution in their homes and communities.” The ‘Let’s Stop the Block’ campaign is Welsh Water’s solution to the problem. The initiative is an earnest attempt to engage with and educate frequent flushers on what not to flush. If consumers can be given a consistent message, perhaps that will make all the difference. Imogen concluded: “Anyone who has suffered a flood in their home because of a blocked drain or sewer will know the damage and personal upset that it causes. With the collective support of enough people, we will be able to reduce the blockages, floods and pollution that cause so much distress. Reducing these blockages will also mean that our not-for-profit company will also be able to invest more in other improvements on behalf of our customers.”


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M-SParc a step closer following groundbreaking ceremony KEN Skates, Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, has attended a landmark groundbreaking ceremony in Gaerwen, Anglesey, to formally kick-start construction of a high-tech £21M Science Park. The first such facility in Wales, Menai Science Park (M-SParc) will provide business owners and entrepreneurs with state-of-the-art office and laboratory space. In doing so, M-SParc - a wholly owned subsidiary of Bangor University - hopes to funnel economic, scientific and technological talent into the wider North Wales region. This reimagining of North Wales as a hub for innovation is hugely ambitious and carries with it a considerable price tag. In total, £10.8M is to be invested by the Welsh Government, while a further £10.2M has been acquired via the European Regional Development Fund. With the formalities at an end, responsibility for M-SParc now rests with renowned contractor Willmott Dixon and architectural practice FaulknerBrowns. The Pwllheli-based Trawscoed Studio will also assist, rendering 3D representations of the Science Park’s initial phase. To begin with, a 5,000sq m threestorey structure - built to BREEAM

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‘Excellent’ standards - will be erected. This will house enough office, laboratory and workshop space to accommodate 300 people – from start-ups to larger corporate entities. Furthermore, the 20 acre site will be painstakingly landscaped to complement the surrounding parkland. Anthony Dillon, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon in the North, said: “We are pleased to begin construction on the M-SParc building that will house up to 300 people. In addition we will be providing community benefits during the construction, including internships, apprenticeships, and workshops for local supply chain and people who want to develop their skills in the industry. This project is a first for Wales, and should have a positive impact on this region for generations to come.” Executive Director Ieuan Wyn Jones added: “It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this point, and we’re pleased to see the work beginning on site. Behind the scenes, work has been ongoing to secure tenants, and we already have a number of companies signed up as virtual tenants. We are also working closely with potential anchor tenants who we hope to attract to the Park. We are proud to be offering a range of business support services

to these companies, most of who are already based in the region, and can state that the demand is there for a Science Park in the region.” A seminar, entitled ‘An Introduction to Building Information Modeling’, was also held in Bangor to ready the local supply chain for some of the exciting new skills and techniques used during construction. Economy Minister Ken Skates concluded: “It is great to see the progress being made at the Menai Science Park, which is being supported by over £20M of Welsh Government and EU funding. “Once up and running the Science Park will offer huge benefits to the North Wales region. I am confident that its focus on low carbon and renewable energy sectors will complement the work being undertaken by the Energy Island Initiative and the Anglesey Enterprise Zone and will help local businesses more widely to create jobs and achieve sustainable economic growth.” Menai Science Park will open its doors in 2017/18, and UK Construction Excellence will update you on its progress in the New Year.


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Greenways initiative given the go-ahead CHRIS Hazzard – Infrastructure Minister at the Northern Ireland Executive – has given the go-ahead to 1,000km of greenways in accordance with his strategic plan to help shape and develop a network of nature trails across the North, including several cross-border connections.

network that walkers, runners and cyclists can share. The greenway paths will connect towns and cities to the villages and countryside from east to west and north to south, and will also be integrated with other modes of transport, making it easier for people to leave the car behind.

Each path will provide walkers, runners and cyclists of all ages with a traffic-free alternative to the norm. Disused railways, riverside routes, abandoned canal towpaths, and flood embankments will all be reintegrated for future use as part of the proposals.

“Many of the proposed schemes are located on disused railways, riverside paths, abandoned canal towpaths or flood embankments. This will breathe new life in to this redundant infrastructure and create public spaces where people can meet, relax, play or enjoy nature, improving the quality of life for local communities and enhancing the experience for visitors.

During a visit to a potential greenway site, Minister Hazzard stated: “This plan is the pathway to help deliver those opportunities for people across the North, focusing on the development of a 400km primary and 600km secondary greenways

“One of my key priorities as outlined in the Programme for Government is to help transform how we travel by increasing the number of people

walking, cycling and using public transport which will enhance the region as a place where people want to live and work, to visit and invest.” Minister Hazzard went on to confirm which local authorities have secured Government funding to support greenway initiatives in their regions. Jonathan Hobbs from the NI Greenways Campaign concluded: “It's encouraging to see so many councils proposing visionary greenway projects across the country, with support from the Department for Infrastructure to realise their vision. This is an exciting first step towards creating a worldclass greenway network, which will be a welcome investment in rural development and active travel, enhancing our tourism offering and creating long-term employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.”

Irish construction activity on the increase THE Irish construction sector has experienced an encouraging start to the final quarter of the year. Activity, new orders and employment have all risen at faster rates than in previous months. According to the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a seasonally adjusted indicator designed to track changes in construction activity, contractors have also increased their purchasing activity, leading to longer supplier delivery times and an impact on input costs. Furthermore, confidence regarding future output also improved in comparison to September. In total, construction activity rose for the second successive month in October to 62.3, up from 58.7 in September. Promisingly, this increase represents a sharp monthly rise in construction activity – the fastest in seven months.

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Overall construction output has increased continuously since September 2013. Commenting on the survey, Simon Barry, Chief Economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, noted that: “The latest results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey show another sharp increase in Irish construction activity, with the pace of expansion accelerating to a seven-month high in October. Importantly, construction firms are continuing to benefit from robust increases in new business levels, with the New Orders index rising to its highest level since February following a fifth consecutive monthly acceleration in October. Firms continue to report a strengthening in client demand amid a general improvement in economic conditions as an important contributor to the ongoing uplift in new business volumes. In turn, the healthy expansion of new orders continues to underpin increased demand for construction

workers. The Employment index rose sharply last month, with the pace of hiring accelerating to its fastest in eight months as almost one-third of firms noted a rise in employment. “Overall, the October results paint an encouraging picture of recent developments at Irish construction firms. Solid readings across the headline, new orders and employment indicators highlight that momentum behind the sector’s recovery continues to look strong. Indeed, the headline PMI index reading of 62.3 for October marks the second month in a row of construction outperformance relative to both the services and manufacturing equivalents (which stand at 54.6 and 52.1 respectively), with the mainly domestic-facing construction sector less directly exposed to adverse Brexit impacts than more heavily tradedependent areas of the economy.”


New £5.2M housing scheme for Ballyclare COMMUNITIES Minister, Paul Givan, has announced a new £5.2M housing scheme in Ballyclare. The development at the ‘The Square’ has been designed by RPP Architects and will provide 39 new homes for active older people and space for a social enterprise.

HS2 conference highlights Irish opportunity ON Wednesday 9th November, Enterprise Ireland played host to representatives from the High Speed Two (HS2) supply chain team to discuss opportunities for the Irish market. Their visit formed the basis of a conference in Dublin to engage enterprising Irish suppliers and subcontractors in Europe’s largest transport infrastructure scheme. For those unaware, HS2 involves the construction of a new high speed rail network linking London with the North of England and further afield. Thousands of supply chain positions will be made available to assist in its construction, from engineering opportunities to manufacturing roles. Crucially, this represents an intriguing proposition for Irish contractors looking to diversify their operations. Conference attendees heard about the work packages available and the ways in which they can get involved. The supply chain team was also on-hand to outline their spending and explain how they will procure works, materials and services in the run-up to construction. Beth West, HS2 Ltd Commercial Director, said: “To deliver HS2 we will use new ways of working and draw

on the expertise and skills from across all industry – not just the rail sector. It will demand that we employ new techniques like off-site manufacturing and make greater use of technology and data. We expect our potential partners to take a collaborative approach, working across contract boundaries to deliver HS2. The Enterprise Ireland event provides an opportunity to meet with many people from across the Irish business community as we prepare to deliver HS2.”

The scheme will be located on the site of a former department store and will be funded by £3.2M from the Northern Ireland Executive, with Choice Housing Association providing an additional £2M through private finance. Visiting Ballyclare to mark the announcement, the Communities Minister commented: “This year the NI Executive, through the Department for Communities, will deliver 1,600 homes for the people of Northern Ireland. This programme aims to provide housing to meet the needs of many in our society – from families with young children to our older population. “This scheme at The Square in Ballyclare will help meet the demand in this area for accommodation for the active elderly and provide 39 homes for people on the social housing waiting list.”

During the afternoon, Enterprise Ireland also held a Building Information Modelling (BIM) knowledge event on “What BIM Level 2 requirements will mean for your organisation”.

Mr Givan added that the housing development would give the older residents the chance to live independently and play an active role in community life.

Dr Tom Kelly, Head of Division, Industrial, Lifesciences and Consumer, Enterprise Ireland said: “The BIM Level 2 mandate in England took effect from April 2016 and will be a key supplier requirement for HS2. The construction of HS2 is a long-term project which offers considerable and secure opportunities to Irish companies in the UK. Enterprise Ireland conducts a number of BIM capability programmes and provides practical supports to our client companies which will put them in the best position to bid for, and win, contracts.”

He commented: “There are many demands for housing in today’s society and it is important that we get more homes underway. In Choice, we have an extensive new-build programme in place and are determined to do what we can to meet considerable need.

Chief Executive of Choice Housing, Michael McDonnell, said the homes have been specifically designed to meet the demands of older residents due to their energy efficiency, accessibility and adaptability.

“We’re working in close partnership with local communities to deliver ambitious targets and meaningful change.” The scheme should be complete in August 2018.

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Greenways initiative given the go-ahead DESPITE Heathrow dominating headlines across the UK and Ireland, Dublin Airport has its own share of exciting developments in the works – including a new terminal-linked four star hotel, to be built adjacent to Terminal 2. This is no ordinary hotel however. Upon completion, the 402-bed property will be the fourth largest building of its kind in Ireland. Planning permission for the sizeable 11-storey structure has already been secured, with construction due to commence in October 2017. The new hotel will not open its doors until

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2019 however, following an 18 month programme of works. It will occupy a prime 0.81 acre site, sandwiched between Terminal 2 and the T2 multistorey car park. Spanning 22,840sq m, the property will also encompass an extensive and fullystocked bar, together with restaurant, cafe and conference facilities, and a fitness suite. Dublin Airport Authority (daa) has now appointed property consultant Savills Hotels & Leisure to seek “expressions of interest” for the development and operation of the new hotel, which will be built under a Finance, Build Operate

and Transfer (FBOT) model. The successful bidder will be wholly responsible for the construction and operation of the hotel over a specified period of time. This responsibility will transfer back to the daa once the agreed term is at an end. Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison said: “There is significant demand for a new terminallinked hotel at Dublin Airport and this development will benefit not just the airport but the city and region as a whole as Dublin needs more hotel beds.


“It will also provide employment for 250 people, as well as a further 150 construction jobs during the building programme, which is expected to last about 18 months. “We’re constantly striving to improve the product that we provide to our customers and this new hotel will offer extra choice and convenience to passengers and to the many companies that are based on the Dublin Airport campus. It will also provide much needed additional hotel capacity for the entire Dublin region.” Between 2010 and 2015, only four hotels – comprising 594 bedrooms in

total – were built in Dublin. For many, this is cause for concern. Last year, the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) warned that Dublin requires a further 5,000 hotel bedrooms by 2020 to meet rising demand. Savills Ireland Director of Hotels & Leisure Tom Barrett added: “This is a hugely exciting project. If this hotel was trading today, it would be one of the strongest performing hotels in Ireland. Given the unique high profile location and the quality of the offering we anticipate strong interest from developers, investors, hoteliers and brands.”

Somewhat surprisingly, terminallinked hotels consistently outperform non terminal-linked airport properties in both room rate and occupancy. In 2015, a sample of seven branded European terminal-linked hotels achieved a combined revenue rate 47% higher than seven branded hotels positioned close by the same airports. Dublin Airport set new standards for passenger numbers last year, welcoming more than 25 million people over a 12 month period. Traffic has increased by a further 12% in 2016, making Dublin Airport the fastest growing major airport in Europe today.

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PEAK CONTRACTORS recently moved to ConQuest Estimating. They currently price tenders for refurbishment projects in London worth between around £100k & £5Million, typically education, healthcare, office accommodation, residential and some specialist projects. Jacob Read has been an estimator for 9 years ever since completing his quantity surveying degree and joining a large regional contractor. He has used a number of other estimating systems over the last 9 years but when he came to Peak Contractors he was very clear that he wanted their system of choice to be ConQuest. Peak contractors reviewed the market and also decided ConQuest was the one for them.

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON - RAYNE BUILDING - VALUE £2,700,00 – 19 WEEKS The works comprised of the complete refurbishment of the first floor of the Rayne Building to create new laboratories, offices and open plan write up areas within an occupied building.

Good estimators are increasingly difficult to find, at ConQuest we are hearing more & more that having the ConQuest system attracts a high calibre of estimator. People want to use something they know and something they can rely on. They want to use the best tool for the job! We had some time with Jacob to ask some questions, get some feedback and discuss the ConQuest System. How do you think ConQuest has changed since you first used it? ‘’I think it has become more user friendly, even though it wasn’t very difficult to use to start with. I have never actually been for formal training at your training centre, I taught myself. The

chaps in the office at my last company showed me around the software and If I have any questions I just call ConQuest support and they help me’’ What do you think makes it user friendly? ‘’Having used other estimating systems everything with ConQuest is where you want it to be. I like this because you spend less time worrying about the system and more time focusing

of statistics that are instantly available and the way it all ties together from module to module. The job to enquires to comparisons and back to updating the job. It just saves so much time and you can price more tenders’’ How do you find the Support offered By ConQuest? ‘’Faultless. You ring up, they answer. You nearly always get through first time and you never have to chase anyone’’

What features in particular do you like about the ConQuest Software?

How would you feel if you had to stop using ConQuest?

‘’Everything is just so accessible. If other people look at your jobs or take them over it is easy for them to find the information they need. I like the amount

‘’It would be horrendous! There are just so many negatives to think about. It would cost so much more money and tenders would take much longer’’

ConQuest Ltd Derwent Suite, Paragon House, Paragon Business Park Chorley New Road, Horwich, Bolton BL6 6HG T 01204 669689 • F 01204 667689 • E sales@conquest.ltd.uk

www.conquest.ltd.uk


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