December 2023 www.construction-update.co.uk
Advanced Knee Protection on site from Snickers Workwear [click here]
Featured This Month:
ADVANCED KNEE PROTECTION ON SITE
LABOUR SHORTAGE FORECAST WORSE THAN THOUGHT
@ConstructionUpd Construction Update
DIGITAL TWINS IN CONSTRUCTION: WHAT DO THEY MEAN FOR THE FUTURE
FIRST INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP AND STELLAR GROWTH FOR SAFER SCOTLAND
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GILBERTS SCREENS LOW-CARBON STUDENT ACCOMMODATION Air movement specialist Gilberts is playing a discreet role in helping University of Birmingham develop its first ever net zero carbon student accommodation. The Pritchatts Park Residence Project sees refurbishment of existing and building of new sustainable residences for students, to enhance their experience and help establish the University as one of the top 50 in the world. Central to the Project is Pritchatts House, a five-storey block of 21 flats for 163 students, with its building services provided via rooftop air source heat pumps and solar panels, the latter generating energy for the whole complex. To minimise visual and acoustic impact on the environment, the plant is concealed behind a 2m high x 35m long acoustic louvre screen. Designed, manufactured and supplied by Gilberts Blackpool, the screen has been installed by Steane Ltd as part of its M&E contract with Project manager Equans. Gilberts worked closely with Steane Ltd to develop the most effective solution, advising its ALS/15 single bank louvre, produced in sections up to 3m long to enable craning onto the roof. Only 150mm deep, the ALS/15 still attains a visual free ventilation area of 50% with weighted SRI (sound reduction index) of 10dBA. To facilitate access to the plant behind for service & maintenance, a single louvre door, also acoustically treated, was included in the design.
Commented Jeremy Hall, Steane Ltd Director, “Pritchatts Park as a whole is intended to enhance the student experience and give students some of the best living spaces possible. The height of Pritchatts House meant that plant noise could potentially travel across the complex so we needed an aesthetically pleasing way to minimise that. Gilberts delivered, enabling us to achieve the desired result on time and on budget.”
Gilberts is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of louvre screening, developed over the years to provide a comprehensive package to keep pace with the evolution of building design and structural interfaces, initially and as/if the building structure is altered. In addition to the acoustic options, Gilberts produces standard and high performance, factory- and site- assembled variants. The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (aka Wimbledon), Papworth Hospital, the former home of Saga Record The Gramophone Works and Manchester’s iconic PrintWorks are among the venues to benefit from Gilberts’ louvres. Founded over half a century ago, and still family-owned, Gilberts is the UK’s leading independent air movement engineer. It is unique in its ability to design, manufacture and test all products- including bespoke fabrications- in-house, to the extent it even designs and manufactures its own tools at its 140,000 sq ft head office and production facility.
LABOUR SHORTAGE FORECAST WORSE THAN THOUGHT: ECITB’S NEW LABOUR FORECASTING TOOL PREDICTS 40,000 EXTRA WORKERS NEEDED BY 2028
The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) estimated last year that around 25,000 additional workers would be needed for major projects, including those related to net zero by 2026. New research reaffirms this but then reveals the labour demand gap will get wider with an estimated shortfall of 40,000 workers by 2028. The ECITB’s new Labour Forecasting Tool (LFT), launched today, predicts the demand for new workers needed in the engineering construction industry by 2028 is much higher than previously thought. This includes mechanical and electrical engineers, scaffolders, process engineers, project managers, pipefitters, welders, and instrument and control technicians. The “first of its kind” tool specifically focuses on the engineering construction industry (ECI) which is responsible for the delivery, maintenance and decommissioning of much of the UK’s critical infrastructure. Developed by the ECITB and Whole Life Consultants with the support of a technical reference group comprising key industry stakeholders, the LFT provides insights into workforce numbers across regions and sectors up to 2035, predicting trends and potential future demand for workers. The tool has been created using insights from the ECITB 2021 workforce census and data from 1,500 active and future ECI projects.
Among its initial findings, the LFT shows there could be a 28% increase in demand for workers in the industry between 2023 and 2028, with nearly 8,000 additional workers potentially needed to meet demand in 2024 alone if planned projects go ahead on time. ECITB Chief Executive Andrew Hockey said: “The Labour Forecasting Tool is a first of its kind. Using data on this scale has not been done before in the ECI and will enable us to build a much better picture of future labour needs. “Our Leading Industry Learning Strategy 2023-25 focuses on tackling the critical challenges and helping industry to prepare for a boom in project activity for engineering construction employers. >>> Continue reading this story on our website by clicking here.
DGS implements Smart Construction digital solutions to boost project efficiency
DGS (Dynamic Ground Solutions) has initiated the use of digital technology and services from Smart Construction to accurately track work progress at its job sites across the country, in a move to optimise its profitability and establish a robust foundation for future digital advancements.
The soil engineering specialist’s objective is to utilise technology throughout every step in the earthmoving process to gain earth movement information, allowing for effortless daily cut-and-fill checkup and quick reactions and recovery, pre-empting any financial overruns.
Smart Construction is a digital transformation strategy developed by Komatsu, Sony Semiconductors, NTT Communication, under the name of EARTHBRAIN Ltd. Smart Construction offers a suite of software, hardware solutions, and services to enhance efficiency and profitability by optimising job site processes.
Alex Pilchowski, Senior Site Engineer at DGS shared his experience with Smart Construction: “The Dashboard has enabled us to take accurate measurements of work areas. The as-built data collected has proven to be invaluable, resulting in significant time and cost savings, along with an increase in safety on site.”
Operating on a national scale, DGS has always been at the forefront of technological integration. This is demonstrated by their early adoption of Komatsu’s Intelligent Machine Control (iMC) technology in the UK a decade ago. Currently, DGS is incorporating the latest feature of the iMC technology - autonomous as-built data capture. This innovative functionality enables machines, irrespective of their model or age, to autonomously collect location and elevation data from dozer tracks and bucket edges. The gathered information is then automatically processed and displayed on the Smart Construction Dashboard. This allows customers to effortlessly monitor their volume-based work progress straight from their offices, providing daily updates on cut-andfill operations for maximum efficiency.
It was this distinctive interconnectivity between the iMC technology and the Smart Construction Dashboard that influenced DGS’s decision to utilise this solution as a key part of their jobsite monitoring solutions.
Richard Clement, Deputy General Manager at Smart Construction added: “It’s a pleasure to work with DGS again. The company was one of the first Smart Construction users in the UK and we have previously worked together on different projects and job sites. Dashboard has enabled DGS to secure daily precise cut-and-fill measurements and accurately understand how much material is being moved. “At Smart Construction, we utilise digital solutions to assist clients in the earthmoving and quarry industries to optimise their processes, and in turn enhance productivity, accelerate project completion and ensure cost savings.” For more information about Smart Construction and the range of solutions, please visit smartconstruction.io/
BUILDING BRIDGES DURING MAJOR A1 UPGRADE, WITH MABEY HIRE’S PROPPING EXPERTISE When it came to installing the new Allerdene bridge as part of a multimillion-pound National Highways upgrade to the A1 network, temporary works was a critical element given the poor ground conditions on site. Costain turned to Mabey Hire for its expertise. The A1 is a critical part of the UK’s highway network, with the Newcastle Gateshead Western Bypass in particularly being one of the most congested sections in the North East. With traffic levels expected to only increase, National Highways planned improvements to the A1 via the Birtley to Coal House scheme, including widening the north and southbound carriageway and replacing the existing Allerdene railway bridge which carries the highway over the East Coast Mainline. The new bridge structure consists of 16 central girders, installed as braced pairs, comprising over 3000 tonnes of structural steel and decking. Understandably, the assembly and installation of the bridge presented project teams with a considerable logistical challenge, requiring a bespoke series of temporary works. Ben Adcock, Lead Temporary Works Co-ordinator at Costain, principal contractor on the project, said: “Due to the poor ground conditions experienced in the local area, the geotechnical team anticipated a significant movement could occur at the back-span embankment and abutments during the construction of the embankment. As a result, we were unable to land the new bridge deck directly onto the new abutments, as the bridge bearings would be unable to cope with the movement and loads experienced. “Due to this, the temporary works proved critical to continuing to meet the programme requirements. We needed a temporary propping and trestle scheme that would provide additional support to the back span beams of the bridge deck at both the east and west abutment locations during the initial install, before we could remove gradually and transfer the deck loads to the permanent abutment. “We turned to Mabey Hire for the temporary works aspect of the project, as it’s widely known that propping is an area they really excel in. We knew that Mabey Hire and its wider teams could be relied upon to deliver a good service at the right time.” Mabey Hire designed and supplied the temporary propping and jacking scheme for the project, which included a combination of its Mat 125 and Mass 50 props, along with Hymat jacks.
Andrew Gascoine, Mabey Hire’s Digital Engineering Manager added: “Our engineering team had significant loads to consider, with the self-weight of the individual bridge components and a dead load in excess of 700kN underneath each girder. We were tasked with developing a significant propping and jacking system that was capable of supporting approximately 11,000kN on the west abutment. As well as the dead loads, it was also important to consider the significant imposed loads, including wind.” Given the scheme complexity and in order to facilitate the installation of the new bridge’s large steel main girder, Mabey Hire also developed a stability restraint system to ensure a safe and efficient assembly process on site. Ben explained “As the bridge is in the process of being erected, it is important that its components are restrained from moving transversely, allowing only longitudinal movements as it expands and contracts naturally. Mabey Hire’s bespoke stability restraint system mimicked this behaviour, safely supporting the main steel girder as our Costain site teams erected the rest of the bridge structure and decking around it.” Mabey Hire was recently able to remove the four propping systems on site, following completion of the bridge decks and it being opened to traffic. Allerdene Bridge is expected to fully open to traffic in late 2023. With over 60 years’ experience in the temporary works sector, Mabey Hire has an extensive range of propping, jacking, groundworks and bridging solutions available, with full support across equipment supply, design, installation and monitoring. For more information, please visit: www.mabeyhire.co.uk
Advanced Knee Protection on site. Peter Dumigan, managing director of the Hultafors Group UK, which owns Snickers Workwear, Hultafors Tools, Solid Gear and Toe Guard safety footwear writes: Hard-working craftsmen and women put more pressure on their knees than many top athletes. That’s why the risk of knee injuries is far higher among trade professionals and manual workers than other occupations.1 Knee injuries are common in the workplace. Sore and swollen knee joints are something that most tradesmen and women suffer from at one time or another and bumps to the knee can be innocuous but troublesome. They’re a perennial problem and can be highly aggravating, but prevention is far easier than cure by taking the proper steps to look after your knees. The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body and there are different types of injuries that are of particular concern to anyone who works on their knees for any length of time. The most common ailment is Housemaid’s Knee or Bursitis, which is caused by kneeling for long periods of time and by repetitive knee movements such as crouching down and standing up. Fluid builds up in the Bursa - which is the sack of fluid that cushions the knee joints – causing swelling, soreness and stiffness in the joint.2 So what’s the answer? The most effective knee protection in the workplace is, as you might expect, covered by legislation and PPE certification standards. The EN 14404 Knee Protection Standard deals with the size, forcedistribution and penetration-resistance of kneepads. Type 2, Level 1 protection ensures reliable knee protection for workers in a mobile working environment that involves regular kneeling to perform their job. This protection level is designed to protect the knees in all types of working environments where you find rough, hard and damp surfaces as well as ground debris up to 1 cm thick. The Type 2, Level 0 standard designates effective knee protection for those people who need to work on their knees indoors – but only occasionally.3 There have been various types of knee protectors available over the years such as inflexible strap-on pads that cut into the back of your knees, causing bruising and potentially impeding blood circulation.
Effective protection really only comes from combining properly designed Work Trousers that
use market-leading fabric technology with a knee protection system that has been thoroughly tested, manufactured and certified using materials that perform to the highest standard day in, day out. The most effective kneepads are those that work efficiently and in tandem with the design of the Work Trousers they’re used with - staying in precisely the right position all the time to ensure reliable and comfortable knee protection. Effective kneepads should also feature hardwearing materials on the outside edges and softer materials in the centre to combine efficient pressure distribution and protection against sharp and rough objects with maximum comfort. The design should also feature high sides to prevent your knees from sliding off the kneepads. This design approach will also ensure the kneepads extremely flexible when you walk, while closing around your knees when you kneel down. Kneepads that stay in position around the knee is crucial and that’s exactly what you get with the patented Snickers Workwear KneeGuard™ and KneeGuard Pro positioning systems which are complimented by 8 types of kneepads designed for a variety of trades and the demands of different working environments. Properly designed and certified Trousers and Kneepads will have a pocket design that has special seams which allow the wearer to adjust the kneepads for individualised comfort and protection. Such a design makes the kneepads ‘flex’ when you walk, which also ensures they automatically mould around your knees when you kneel down. Most workwear manufacturers supply kneepads for their Work Trousers and they vary in price, quality and effectiveness. It will come as no surprise to most that some have no guarantee of comfort or protection. However, the more discerning professional tradesmen and women – those particularly concerned with their health and welfare on site – will invest in ‘active’ kneepads that are proven to last and protect. The top-performing ‘active’ kneepads take cutting-edge knee protection to a completely new level with materials like the revolutionary D3O® compound.
1) Hultafors Group UK, https://www.snickersworkwear.com/list/stories/save-your-knees , accessed 11th February 2023. 2) Dr Colin Tidy and Dr Laurence Knott, https://patient.info/bones-joints-muscles/knee-pain-patellofemoral-pain/housemaids-knee-prepatellar-bursitis#nav-0 , www.patient.info, accessed 11th February 2023. 3) Hultafors Group UK, https://www.snickersworkwear.com/list/protective-standards/en-14404-knee-protection, accessed 11th February 2023.
D3O® is the world’s best impact protection material with a variety of sports and outdoor activity applications.4 It’s an active and specially engineered rubbery material comprising intelligent molecules which ‘flow’ with you as you move. On shock they lock together to absorb the impact energy which provides high-frequency protection. The durable D3O® material also features an extremely slow compression rate, ensuring that the kneepads keep their shape during hard work and for long periods of time. What’s more, given that knees are not flat, the ergonomics of D3O® kneepads is important in providing continuous comfort around the profile of your knee. So when you work a lot on your knees, the marketleading D3O® Kneepads will give you by far the best, long lasting knee protection available. So when you’re buying Work Trousers and especially the Kneepads, look for the ones that are tested and certified for performance, efficiency and protection to deliver market-leading comfort and wellbeing day in day out. Getting more information on the Snickers Workwear clothing range is easy. You can call the Helpline on 01484 854788; check out www.snickersworkwear.co.uk and download a digital catalogue or email email@example.com 4) D3O®, https://www.d3o.com, accessed 11th February 2023.
CONCERN OVER FUTURE DEMAND The Construction Products Association Autumn forecasts reports states that construction output remains on forecast to fall by 6.8% during 2023. The two largest construction sectors contributing to this fall is private new housing and private house repair (r&mi), maintenance and improvement. In 2024 the forecast is for a further drop of 0.3% in construction output. The reasons given for the slowdown is the UK’s slower economic growth and high interest rates. A recovery in private housing and new build and r&mi is not due until 2025. Meanwhile the CAB Q3 State of Trade Survey (SoT) demonstrates that aluminium fenestration seems to have remained reasonably buoyant during 2023 with members remaining busy and positive about historic sales and future demand. This can be attributed to at least two factors. Firstly, some projects already out of the ground will continue to be built with fenestration requirements lagging from starts by eighteen months to two years. Secondly, the growth in aluminium in the home improvement market continues apace as households with greater disposable income improve using aluminium based products as opposed to the use of other materials. Reviewing any fenestration trade magazine today emphasises the interest in aluminium. Commercial and Industrial output remains strong which is where aluminium fenestration products are traditionally used. ‘Historic Sales Volume’s have dipped for Members of CAB, for the first time in the last twelve months. This follows the wider construction output reporting a drop of -47% on net balance in the Q2 2023. The annual drop in historic sales for Members is just -5% on net balance, but nevertheless, indicates a crucial drop in demand. CAB Members remain much more positive about trade than the wider construction supply chain. ‘Expected Sales Volumes’ reported by Members has decreased significantly from a high of 77% on net balance in Q1 2023 to -6% on net balance forecast for the last quarter in 2023. Important to note that the Membership still see the full year ahead as a positive growth with 39% on net balance indicating sales growth into 2024. This is favourable against the slight drop in forecasted sales from the construction supply chain of just -6% on net balance.
‘Sales Volumes - Quarter-on-Quarter’ views are mixed with 37% of Members reporting no change between Q2 and Q3, 47% stating a drop in sales and only 16% reporting growth between the two quarters. ‘Sales
Volumes - Year-on-Year’ are a little more polarised with just 11% of members stating no change, 48% stating a drop in sales and 43% reporting growth between the two years. With the years previous three quarters results showing growth in sales, the sales volumes again indicate a slowdown in demand. ‘Historic Unit Costs’, whilst softening during the last twelve months have risen in Q3 showing on net balance a greater increase than the wider construction supply chain for both quarterly and annual costs. Whilst aluminium costs have remained fairly level in the last six months, increases in labour costs will increase unit costs at the gate. There remains a crucial skills shortage in the fenestration industry as it carries an older demographic compared to other construction industries. As expected, ‘Cost Factors’ indicate that 84% of Members on net balance report this as the greatest cost factor. This has remained constant throughout 2023 only superseded in Q4 2022 by ‘Energy Costs’. The rise in living costs and mortgages coupled with a skill shortage puts experienced people at a premium who can negotiate increases in salary. It comes as no surprise that when we look to ‘Likely Constraints on Activity Over the Next twelve Months’ that we see 89% of respondents claiming that demand is the likely constraint on business moving forward. Whilst demand has always been at a high level over the last twelve months, this is its highest report figure to date. Reported ‘Labour Costs’ remain high on net balance from Members, over twice that of the wider Construction supply chain, reinforcing the lack of an experienced labour pool. Members ‘Capital Investment’ on net balance has reduced in the year ahead compared to the previous year. Only Customer Research’ shows an increase in spend for the year ahead. The full report is available to CAB Members. Please contact me at CAB if you are considering joining CAB.
ROBOTS at Sellafield are delivering breakthroughs at the site with learnings shared with the wider nuclear industry. The use of robots is increasingly commonplace at the west Cumbrian site, helping to make work safer, faster, and cheaper, and delivering valuable lessons for other nuclear sites in the UK. Adopting new and innovative ways of using these developing technologies continues to change the way we think about clean-up and decommissioning. Sellafield’s remote operated vehicles (ROV) department based at the Engineering Centre of Excellence in Cleator Moor are at the forefront of taking standard equipment and software and adapting it for a range of on-site needs. They recently became the first in the world to use a LiDAR laser scanning device on a ROV in a high radiation environment, allowing the robot to navigate and build a 3D image of the hazardous area and removing the need for humans to enter. Calvin Smye, ROV equipment engineer, said: “Everything we are using is off the shelf but by adding different payloads, like a LiDAR senor and a radiation monitor, we are adapting them to deliver for our business. “Since the introduction of this technology we’ve really been at the forefront of testing it and adjusting it to our needs and are now leaders in the nuclear industry for applying it.
and how best to clean it up. The same robots are now being used across other NDA sites in the UK, including at Dounreay in Scotland, demonstrating how learning is being shared to deliver better outcomes. But it’s not all robot dogs, the team has also used an IPEK crawler robot – commonly used for sewer pipe inspections – to inspect the structural integrity of pipework from up to 250 meters away. Sellafield is also exploring the use of ROVs to detect potentially dangerous gases in work areas before humans are sent in, much like the canaries used in coal mines over 200 years ago. They’ve recently conducted their first trial using a dosimeter designed by the Radiometrics Systems Group.
“We’ve seen supply chain colleagues deploying Deon Bulman, ROV equipment programme lead, said: “The adoption of new technology is progressing at pace at Sellafield the same technology at other nuclear sites as people start to see the benefits. “ following our success.” The robot in question was Spot the robot dog, now a familiar sight on many jobs at Sellafield, from inspections of buildings and equipment to the sorting and segregation of wastes. Spot’s capabilities were shared with industry colleagues during a live demonstration at one of the site’s oldest buildings, Calder Hall. Like many buildings built in the 1950s, Calder Hall has areas where asbestos is a known hazard, making them inaccessible for humans and difficult to decommission. AtkinsRéalis, supported with some of the ROV team’s equipment and documentation, recently utilised Spot to conduct a livestreamed inspection – via the robot’s on-board camera – and build an accurate understanding of the condition of the area
“The technology is here to support people, not replace them, and those that embrace it soon see the advantages.” “If we can do one task that removes the need for a person to enter a hazardous area, that’s a win.” As well as improving safety, ROVs also bring advantages in delivering significant cost savings while improving operational efficiency. Rav Chunilal, head of robotics and artificial intelligence, said: “The use of ROVs at Sellafield marks a significant milestone in our commitment to safety and efficiency. “These cutting-edge robots allow us to access dangerous and challenging areas remotely, removing humans from harm’s way and saving time and costs for maintenance and inspections. “By embracing remote technologies, Sellafield is pioneering a new era in the nuclear industry and setting a standard for excellence in decommissioning operations worldwide.”
2024 PREDICTIONS: COST OF RAW MATERIALS SET TO FINALLY COME DOWN NEXT YEAR • •
Supply chain improvements and reduction in demand is leading to lower costs Largest online metal supplier, metals4U, provides industry predictions for 2024
Having recently seen the first drop in raw materials costs since September 2020, experts at the UK’s largest online metal supplier are offering their predictions for the industry in 2024. 2023 saw the first signs of a fall in the cost of metals. A decrease in demand has seen the forecasted price deflation come to fruition, meanwhile, the ongoing unsteady economic situation in the UK has solidified this. Paul McFadyen, Chairman at metals4U, has provided his commentary on each of the predictions for 2024 and how he sees them affecting those within the industry next year. 1) Raw materials to go down in price With supply chain disruptions and increased demand hitting the industry after the pandemic, a steadier supply of raw materials should now start to consistently drive prices down. “We’ve already seen green shoots in the cost of materials. The period between June and August 2023 saw an average drop of 1.6% in the cost of raw materials compared to the previous year, and this trend looks likely to continue into 2024. Prior to this drop in June, it had been 21 months, in September 2020, when prices last dropped across the board.” 2) The skills gap will only worsen The government has promised to invest in major construction developments by 2027, but the Construction Industry Training Board estimates that an additional 225,000 workers will be needed by this time. “There are genuine concerns about the future of the workforce when it comes to tradespeople and those within construction. Despite some real positives in government-supported developments, not enough young people are seeing construction trades as a career. Additionally, the fact that one-third of the current trade workforce is over 50 and expected to retire within the next ten years, there won’t be enough staff to meet the need.” 3) The north is set to prosper In 2024 and 2025, construction markets in the north of England look set to outperform London and the south. This is all as a result of the government Levelling Up Fund, with £2.3 billion being shared amongst schemes in the second round of investment.
“As a northern company, it’s great to see the potential, for the north of England, to really benefit from Levelling Up. There are some very exciting projects lined up, including Eden Project North in Morecambe, a new AI campus in Blackpool and regeneration in Gateshead, amongst others. Altogether, this signals a promising boom for northern construction.” 4) Residential construction to slow, industrial to speed up The housing market is in a difficult position and housing prices are dropping, meaning workload in the residential sector is suffering. However, changes to the National Planning Policy Framework could see volume housebuilders hit the hardest. This means that the supply of development land for residential homeownership could be reduced over the medium term. However, reform of property regulations and improved post-Grenfell safety may increase the appetite for build-to-rent developers for city centre high-rises. “A general slowdown of the housing market, affected by high interest rates and new planning rules, has naturally reduced the demand for out-of-town developments. This means that industrial construction, such as that supported by the Levelling Up Fund, and city centre developments could thrive.” For more information on metals4U, as well as aluminium, mild and stainless steel and more construction materials, visit metals4U.co.uk.
The best panel for the project?
West Fraser’s new guide for builders has all the answers For builders today, there is a plethora of different engineered wood panels to choose from when looking at a new project. West Fraser UK, which operates two factories in the UK, has produced a guide which makes the selection process simple and speedy uk.westfraser.com/housebuilders With imports from Eastern Europe, China and South America muddying the water somewhat, the builder can be sure that West Fraser’s products carry the necessary standards and quality marks for the UK and so comply with UK building specifications. In addition, the transport and environmental costs are minimised. The product portfolios comprise SterlingOSB Zero OSB3, SterlingOSB Zero T&G, CaberFloor P5, CaberDek, CaberShieldPlus, CaberMDF and the newest addition to the range, SterlingOSB Zero PrimedPlus, and all are net carbon negative while the SterlingOSB Zero range contains no formaldehyde. SterlingOSB Zero – is a versatile panel product which is popular for its loadbearing credentials and fashionable visual appearance; be it for hoarding, café walls or SIPs. Caberfloor – is the most popular P5 flooring range in the UK and comes with a choice of plain, protected, peelable or permanent finishes. CaberDek and CaberShieldPlus – are BBA-approved and the flooring can be exposed to the elements or 60 days when used with CaberFix.
CaberMDF is the original and best brand of MDF in the UK; it’s over 50 years old and there are different grades to choose from depending on the project. All products are available nationally in builders’ merchants and distributors which are supported by West Fraser’s technical teams. For further information, call 01786 812 921 or visit uk.westfraser.com
Is adaptative reuse the future of regenerating our towns and cities? By Jamey Bowles, CEO at Your Home Property Across the UK, over 100 towns and cities are undergoing regeneration following significant investment from the government. Historically, regeneration meant demolishing what had been there to rebuild ‘new’ - but across the construction industry, we are seeing a massive drive for ‘adaptative reuse’ – with experts predicting that by 2035, 90% of property developments will focus on renovating and reusing existing structures. Towns and cities are more than buildings, roundabouts, shop fronts and schools. They are places where lives are shared, strangers become friends, and families find their place of belonging. Memories are formed in cinema halls, theatres, and our childhood homes. Adaptative reuse honours and keeps alive the history of a building and the community whilst breathing fresh air into something that was left unfit for purpose for today’s lifestyles. The construction industry is very much at the forefront of regenerating the UK. Ethical property developers, like Your Home Property, are fully aware of their responsibility for the future success of each town and city being revived. Our role is to ensure we preserve the heritage of our communities and focus on what can be saved and repurposed. Nothing excites me more than working with creative architects who envision developments where building traditions are preserved, and contemporary architecture introduced. Property values are increased by breathing new life into derelict and abandoned buildings, primarily as projects are faster, more sustainable, and costeffective. Businesses and further investments are drawn to the areas with a sense of new hope and aspiration for the community. The best communities have roots - a sense of belonging and pride. After all, every person’s home is their castle. As a property developer, I am fully aware of my responsibility to enable a community to grow and flourish – adaptive reuse allows communities to be part of their history whilst building their own stories for future generations.
Jamey Bowles is a 29-year-old entrepreneur of multiple successful businesses. Founding his first business at 17, it grew into a reputable and well-known construction company. Jamey now concentrates on helping others build wealth through property investing via his company, Your Home Group, utilising his skills in construction, property sourcing, finance, and lettings through his successful portfolio.
Precision, Power, Efficiency: Yanmar C excavators. The unit stands out with its variable undercarriage, which can be narrowed to just 955mm and extended to 1,280mm, offering unparallelled stability and adaptability to different working conditions. As a zero-tail machine, the ViO17 is particularly a perfect choice when working in tight areas such as urban renewal, grading or landscaping. The machine’s upper frame slews within its track width, and is combined with a digging depth of 2,160 to 2,310 mm to allow you to fully bring you’re a-game to any task.
In the ever-evolving landscape of compact equipment, there are three product features that are remain non-negotiable: precision, power, and efficiency. Yanmar CE EMEA (Yanmar CE)’s 1-2 tonne equipment range perfectly balances the trifecta; with a zero and conventional tail excavators to not only meet, but exceed, these demands. Yanmar CE’s 1-2 tonne precision instruments are designed to elevate agricultural, civil engineering, construction and landscaping projects to new heights; all the while benefiting from class-leading cabin technologies to boost operator productivity and prioritise comfort. Introducing to you, the ViO12 and ViO17 zero tail excavators, as well as the SV15VT, SV17VT, and SV19VT conventional tail excavators.
Under the hood you’ll find a 3TNV70XBV diesel engine, delivering a net power of 10.1 kW and a gross power of 10.34 kW at 2200 rpm. The ViO17 further leads in power generation thanks to its innovative design, including its monobloc chassis for enhanced robustness, and three pumps to allow it to generate the most power of any comparable machine. Its design ensures a balance between size and performance, offering travel speeds of 2.1 to 4.3 km/h and a rotation speed of 9.5 rpm. CONVENTIONAL TAIL EXCAVATORS
SV15VT (OW 1,595 – 1,685kg): Dependable, reliable and rental tough, the SV15VT delivers class-leading productivity in a highly compact ZERO TAIL EXCAVATORS package. Yanmar SV15VT conventional tail excavator represents a masterclass ViO12-2A: (Operating Weight (OW) 1,240kg): On the lighter side of Yanmar CE’s 1-2 tonne spectrum is the ViO12-2A Zero Tail Excavator: a in compact construction machinery, compact dynamo that redefines what is possible in tight spaces. With blending high efficiency with a useran OW of 1,240kg and a powerful 10.3 horsepower engine, the ViO12 friendly design. Its operating weight stands at 1,595 kg (canopy) and 1685 ensures that its size doesn’t compromise performance. This is a true kg (cabin), coupled with a transport zero tail machine – when its undercarriage is extended (1,000mm), weight of 1465 kg (canopy) and 1555 neither the counterweight nor the front part of the upper frame exceeds the width of the crawlers. This makes it safer, more versatile, kg (cabin). The SV15VT is renowned for its durability and reliability, making it and easy to use in confined areas. When retracted the undercarriage an ideal choice for challenging job sites measures to just 830mm, reducing the width and further increasing where space is a premium. manoeuvrability. At the heart of this machine is a powerful diesel 3TNV70-WBVB engine with a 15.5 kW output and 3,600 rpm; while an efficient hydraulic system, with a maximum pressure of 210 bars and a 7.4-liter tank, complements its performance. Travel speeds up to 4 km/h and a rotation speed of 10 rpm, along with a digging force of 5.68 kN (arm) and 13.63 kN (bucket), make it a formidable tool for any agriculture, civil engineering, construction and landscaping task. The unit’s commitment to operational excellence, precision, and power ensures every job is not just completed, but mastered. ViO17 (OW 1,830kg): Yanmar CE’s ViO17 is a compact powerhouse that redefines versability and efficiency in the world of zero tail
Its design prioritises power and performance, featuring a 3TNV70-MBVA diesel engine, delivering a net power of 12.2 kW at 2600 rpm. Its hydraulic system is equally remarkable, with a maximum pressure of 205 bars and a maximum flow rate of 2 x 14.3 l/min. The SV15VT’s performance is further enhanced by its digging force of 12.9 kN for the bucket and a travel speed of up to 3.7 km/h. With a spacious cabin and ergonomic design, operator comfort is
CE EMEA’s 1-2 tonne equipment range further maximised. The SV15VT is an exemplary partner for a wide range of construction, civil engineering, agriculture and landscaping tasks. SV17VT (OW 1,700 – 1,790 kg): The SV17VT is designed to offer efficiency, power, and adaptability in a compact package, with a narrow width of 980 - 1320 mm thanks to its extendable undercarriage. Despite its compact dimensions and lower weight classification – with an OW of 1,700 kg (canopy) / 1,790 kg (cabin) – the SV17VT packs a punch. Powered by a 3TNV70PBVA diesel engine, it offers a net power of 11.3 kW at 2400 rpm and a gross power of 11.5 kW at the same rpm; striking a perfect balance between low fuel consumption and high productivity. Perfect for trenching and landscaping work in tight urban areas or at residential properties, operators benefit from a short turning radius at the front and rear, combined with a wide boom swing amplitude to the left, and impressive digging depths of 2,470 – 2,620 mm. And the model boasts a transport weight of just 1,570kg/1,660kg (canopy/cabin), meaning it can be easily towed between work sites, along with buckets or a light work tool, on a standard 2.5 tonnes GVW trailer.
SV19VT (OW 1,880 – 1,970 kg): Yanmar CE’s SV19VT mini excavator, a robust and versatile machine, is engineered for speed, smoothness, power, and performance. Featuring an OW of 1,880 kg (canopy) or 1,970 kg (cabin), a narrow width of 9,80 – 1,320 mm, and digging forces of 11.4/16.7kN (short arm/ bucket), the dynamic machine is perfectly suited to earthmoving applications in tight urban job sites or residential properties. Designed to excel, the SV19VT benefits from numerous features to optimize productivity and guarantee a low total cost of ownership. From the upper positioning of the boom cylinder and hydraulic hoses routed inside the boom itself, to bucket/arm cylinder guards fitted as standard, operators are guaranteed class-leading protection to minimize unnecessary downtime. And with its a 3TNV76-QBVA diesel engine that provides a net power of 13.1 kW at 2100 rpm, along with class-leading in-cab technologies, the unit enhances operator productivity while ensuring economical fuel consumption and long service life.
Like with all Yanmar CE excavators, the cab provides outstanding 360° visibility of the working area, while being ergonomically designed control pedals, levers, switch boards and an LCD control interface ensure maximum practicality. 0% Finance Offer Yanmar CE EMEA also has a range of easy and affordable deals for owning or leasing its machines, providing a great opportunity for those looking to invest in quality construction equipment. Across the UK, many of Yanmar CE’s licenced dealers are currently offering an exclusive 0% finance deal, applicable to the entire equipment range. The finance option is available over a period of 36 months, making it a feasible choice for long-term planning. But the attractive offer is only available until the 30th of November, so make sure you don’t miss out!
For further on Yanmar CE’s products and financing offers, please fill out the form here. Yanmar CE will automatically notify your local dealer, and a representative will contact you soon!
Digital twins in construction: what do they mean for the future of the industry? The construction industry is changing. With modern technology comes digital solutions that improve processes at the job site. In line with this, experts are seeing huge popularity for digital twins within the construction industry. But how does this new must-have benefit contractors and site managers who want to keep a close eye on the data? What is a digital twin? A digital twin is a virtual model that accurately recreates a physical object. They are highly detailed for the purposes of integration, testing and maintenance, allowing the user to apply hypothetical simulations to the model to examine the outcome. Digital twins have become critical in a number of industries as a method of trial before physical changes are made to a project. These industries include the likes of engineering, aircraft and railway design and production, power utilities and also construction. How do digital twins benefit the construction industry? Introducing a digital twin to the construction process in the early phases of a contract can bring huge benefits that outweigh the impacts of historical 2D or static 3D modelling. Digital twins can be analysed at all stages of the construction process, meaning they are a versatile tool which offers a unique opportunity to optimise and streamline processes as the build happens in real time. Because of the interactive nature of a digital twin, these tools can be used to predict bottlenecks for fleet machinery, groundworks challenges and more. They can also help to manage the resource at the site itself to ensure each machine is optimised, helping projects keep to schedule and potentially lowering costs. How to build a digital twin As the industry looks to improve digital processes and onboard tech solutions to age-old problems, opportunities to build digital twins are growing.
At Smart Construction, experts work with partners on an ongoing basis to build digital twins that offer bespoke solutions. Deputy General Manager Richard Clement explains: “We want to understand every job site we work with in order to build a solution that answers their questions. Data must be clear in order to offer benefits to the user: by offering insights which
are valuable to the customer, they can make changes to optimise the way they run their business.” Using a range of tools, Smart Construction solutions build digital twins, harnessing drone technology, retrofit equipment to track fleet movements and payload, and more. For more information on Smart Construction and the solutions available, please visit smartconstruction.io
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STRUCTEMP INNOVATIONS® WINS ENVIRONMENT & SUSTAINABILITY AWARD AT CONSTRUCT DAY 2023 Structemp Innovations®, the global trademark owner of the Buddy Range products, is delighted to announce its recent award with Selkent at the prestigious Construct Day 2023 awards in London. They were honoured with the coveted Environment & Sustainability Award, for their outstanding commitment to advancing environmentally conscious solutions in the construction industry. In the category, the Buddy Range of products stood out as the most environmentally friendly and innovative solutions. Notably, they can withstand extreme conditions, including high temperatures, UV rays, solvents, impacts, and shocks, while remaining firmly secured on rebar in all weather conditions. Structemp Innovations®’ Buddy Range of products, including the Linear Buddy® and Rebar Buddy®, have revolutionised temporary works in construction. These innovative products are crafted from thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), a material known for its durability, reliability, recyclability, reusability, and non-toxic properties. They have been recognised for their exceptional ability to cover exposed rebars, preventing contact injuries during construction processes. These revolutionary products have found widespread adoption on construction sites throughout the UK and Ireland, including high-profile projects such as HS2 and Hinkley Point. They are applied to exposed rebars on piles, starter bars (both horizontal and vertical), post-tensioning bars, scaffold bolts, and various other critical applications.
Works at Balfour Beatty Major Projects, expressed his delight at receiving the award. He said: “We are delighted to receive this award, which validates our vision of providing innovative and sustainable The awards jury commended Structemp Innovations® solutions for temporary works. We are proud of our for the cradle-to-cradle feature of their products, making products, which are backed by the British Design them fully recyclable and reusable to create new products Fund. We are also grateful to our sole distributor and new buddies, thus contributing significantly to a Selkent, one of the UK’s most prestigious and circular economy. The Buddy Range products were also longstanding construction suppliers.” praised for their high visibility, perfect fit, easy installation and removal, and their minimal environmental impact. For more information about Structemp Innovations® and its groundbreaking Buddy Shiraz Dudhia, the founder of Structemp Innovations® Range products, please visit: and a former Director of Engineering and Temporary www.structempinnovations.com
Isuzu 3.5T Euro 6 Isuzu trucks are robust and adaptable enough to suit any number of different applications. The 3.5T Grafter chassis cab is available with either single or twin rear wheels. The standard ‘Driveaway’ vehicle body options include Dropside, Tipper and Utilitruck.
FUTURE Designs redoubles its environmental efforts FUTURE Designs, the UK-based lighting designer & manufacturer, is redoubling its environmental efforts with the expansion of the carbon careful™ initiative and the commitment to supplying Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for its core product range. Sustainability has been central to FUTURE Designs manufacturing processes for many years, and it continues to lead the way in the circular economy for the lighting sector. It does this through the highly praised carbon carefulTM initiative, which ensures a second life for pre-used luminaires, in keeping with the mantra to ‘reuse rather than recycle.’ Within the carbon careful™ initiative, FUTURE Designs renews luminaires with the latest LED technology transforming them into highly energy efficient, carbon saving products, prolonging the lifespan, and drastically reducing carbon usage and overall costs. FUTURE Designs is now excited to bring carbon careful™ to the wider market. With a shift in attitudes within the construction industry towards the circular economy, there is greater interest and demand for re-use and repurposing as opposed to recycling. FUTURE Designs is now expanding its reach and actively offering the service to other lighting manufacturers who have the desire to act responsibly but may not have the facilities and expertise for this process. Future Designs is dedicated to supplying Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) FUTURE Designs has already completed the Carbon Trust for its core product range. As one of the accreditation and representation on its Energy Technology List. pinnacle lighting manufacturers for the UK and UAE it is leading the way in providing EPD David Clements, FUTURE Designs’ Chief Executive said: analysis for its product portfolio. “This is yet another chapter in the story of our commitment. As the world is faced with a growing necessity to Refurbish, Reuse FUTURE Designs has committed time and and Restore, FUTURE Designs is leading the way with the hope budget over the long term to the EPD certification process. As well as procuring BRE that more organisations will follow suit.” EPD software, FUTURE Designs is completing “We continue the environmental drive that links our investment EPDs for its core product range, working in the EPD software and the carbon carefulTM initiative, looking with BRE to have them completed by the end beyond the compliance requirements to develop meaningful, of Q4 2023, with the rest of the company’s positive impact on our environment and protecting the earth’s product offer due to be submitted for scarce resources.” certification in due course. FUTURE Designs can also now complete a life cycle analysis for www.futuredesigns.co.uk bespoke or retrofit products.
FIRST INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP AND STELLAR GROWTH FOR SAFER SCOTLAND •
Inverclyde-based site security scale-up increases annual turnover from £5m to £12m
Rapid growth trajectory set to continue, as business rebrands after signing European partnership with international security giant, VPS Group
Expansion confirmed into second 6,000 sq ft unit to accommodate new building and testing facility and growing team
Port Glasgow-based site security firm Safer Scotland has secured its first international partnership deal amid substantial business growth, and rebranded as Safer Group. Founded in 2016 by Greenock entrepreneur Ryan Clark, the business specialises in protecting construction sites, infrastructure and assets with its high-tech intruder detection system, known as Safer Pod. The business has grown strongly since inception – roughly doubling in size every 18 months. It has recorded its best year to date, which saw annual turnover soar from £5m to £12m and staff headcount exceed 60. “Our growth over the past year has been largely due to the launch of our Safer Pod S1 intruder detection system,” said CEO Ryan Clark. “We’ve built and deployed 1000 units in the past 12 months. In all my years working in security, I’ve never known a product to be adopted so quickly. “This success led us directly to our first international partnership, with VPS Group, which will bring our pods to new markets in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands, as well as the rest of the UK.
“In addition, our framework deal with infrastructure group Balfour Beatty, agreed in June 2022, has also contributed to this year’s achievements.” The company’s rapid growth trajectory has seen it outgrow its current HQ at Kelburn Business Park, Port Glasgow, and sales and marketing office in Paisley. Clark recently doubled the firm’s footprint by signing a lease on a second 6,000 sq ft unit at the Inverclyde industrial estate. “This additional property will become a home for our support staff, allowing our current unit to become a dedicated research and testing facility for our new products,” he explained. “As the team grows further, I hope to be able to recruit locally wherever possible to give the Inverclyde jobs market a boost.” A Greenock resident, Clark is passionate about improving opportunities for local people and sponsors several young sportspeople and clubs, including MMA fighter Reece McEwan, Greenock Boxing Club, Greenock Juniors FC and the local Jiu-Jitzu club. Clark has further ambitions for the company, which prompted the rebrand to Safer Group. “When we started out seven years ago as a small security equipment hire business, ‘Safer Scotland’ reflected our local emphasis,” he explained. “But as we branch out into new markets across the UK and internationally via our new partnership with VPS Group, it is time to change our focus. “Our next goal is to partner with more organisations internationally and keep growing – the USA would be the dream market for us to crack next.” Find out more at www.safer-group.com
MAKITA POWERS UP THE HEAT
In addition to powering the expanding line-up of cordless tools and accessories, Makita has introduced two new heated base layers to its range of job site apparel. Powered either with Makita’s 18V LXT battery or the 12Vmax CXT battery, professionals can stay warm when working in cold, harsh job site conditions with the new DCX200 and DCX201 heated base layer shirts.
With four dedicated heat zones (front waist, both forearms and back) for optimum heat distribution and three heat settings to adjust to changing weather conditions, these new garments can provide continuous heat for up to 33 hours (when used on the low setting with the BL1860B 6Ah LXT battery – sold separately). Both base layers are made from elasticated fabric to allow unrestricted movement, are machine washable and have a simple switch on/off button that is easily accessible at the front. The key difference between the two products is the style – the DCX200 is a simple pullover style shirt with a round neck, while the slip on DCX201 features a half zip with a stand-up collar.
centre of the back and both forearms, providing effective and welcome warmth that will enable users to more comfortably carry out their work, all year round.” The unisex DCX200 and DCX201 heated base layer shirts are available in a range of sizes, from XS to 3XL and join a growing line up of heated jackets and vests from the manufacturer that are ideal for the colder months. To find out more about Makita and its range of products visit: www.makitauk.com
The new long-sleeved base layers can be powered by Makita’s 18V LXT or 12Vmax CXT batteries which can be placed in a battery holder attached to the waist belt. Kevin Brannigan, Marketing Manager at Makita UK commented: “Our heated base layers are perfect for anyone who works in cold conditions – whether outdoors or indoors. The four heat zones cover the front waist, top
Collaborating for safety and success in construction
Harwood is delighted to showcase our long-standing partnership with Quinn Estates. This family-owned property developer has a rich history of building homes and communities that enrich the lives of occupants and employees.
Harwood was invited to provide building control services for the £10 million project, which went on to be recognised at the 2020 Property Awards, with Quinn Estates and their CEO Mark Quinn being awarded the prestigious Property Week/Irvine Sellar Award.
Our relationship with Quinn Estates has been one of mutual respect, collaboration, and a shared passion for delivering exceptional outcomes. We are excited about continuing our work with them in the future.
We also collaborated with Quinn Estates on the Albert Road project in Deal, Kent. This exciting project involved the development of a mixed-use community in the heart of Deal, featuring a range of homes, including apartments, townhouses, and family properties.
Quinn Estates is a leading independent developer in East Kent that was established in 2004 and specialises in residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects. They are committed to sustainability, environmental protection, education, local employment, and green infrastructure and always strive to meet or exceed industry standards for energy efficiency, comfort, and land use potential. Collaborative: Our joint ventures The project at Herne Bay Sports Pavilion in Kent was a game-changing community sports project for the north Kent coast. The brief was to redevelop the redundant 19th-century golf club site at Herne Bay on Kent’s north coast, with the aim of providing a mixeduse venue with state-of-the-art sports facilities at its heart.
Both our firms have a shared commitment to delivering high-quality developments, and this was no exception. We worked together to ensure that the resulting complex was attractive and sustainable and met all necessary building regulations. Harwood’s expertise in helping clients navigate building regulations was invaluable when it came to providing guidance on the various aspects of construction. With Harwood’s help, Quinn Estates was steered through the complex regulations and legislation involved in delivering a property development of this scale. Quinn Estates also chose to work with us on the Newtown Project in Ashford, Kent. This fouryear project aims to realise a new hub for TV, film production, and related industries, not to mention several hundred residential units.
December 2023 “It’s vital to have the correct strategies in place to mitigate or maintain the risk of fire hazard and the spread of smoke and heat. We were pleased to be able to provide Quinn Estates with guidance in this area.” Why Harwood? Andy Miles, Project Director at Quinn Estates, explains why he enjoys working with us: “Harwood provides expert building control guidance in many essential areas, including the relatively new issue of safety for electric vehicle (EV) charging. “They are very knowledgeable about the new Approved Document S of the Building Regulations and on the Newtown project were able to advise on the fire safety aspect of EV charging within enclosed car parks. Harwood helped us engage with the fire service to ensure that the EV charging points were installed in a safe and secure manner. “Harwood have demonstrated their extensive knowledge and expertise throughout the various projects we’ve worked on together. The knowledge and guidance we’ve received from Harwood has cut projects’ bureaucracy, saved us on build time, and proved cost-effective, too. “We’ve always found Harwood to be proactive and approachable, with a deep understanding of our objectives. They’re always available on the phone and willing to go above and beyond in providing building control advice. Having Harwood on board from the start of a project means that any issues can be rectified at the earliest opportunity. “We would absolutely recommend Harwood and look forward to continuing our successful partnership.” Ashford Borough Council received £14.7 million from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund to support the project, which will regenerate a 4.8-hectare brownfield site in the heart of Ashford town into a dynamic film studio with commercial and residential development. We were brought on board by Quinn Estates in the early stages of the Newtown project and included in initial discussions with Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS). As a result of the early collaboration, we were able to contribute and flag up any risks through regular meetings and communication as Stage 3 progressed.
Looking confidently to the future Our mutual respect and shared passion for delivering exceptional outcomes have created a successful partnership with Quinn Estates, and we look forward to many more years of collaboration and success. At Harwood, we partner with our clients to offer bespoke guidance on building regulations, safety, and overall building control. For proactive, expert advice on your building control requirements, contact Harwood today.
Martin Reavey, Harwood Building Control Manager, explains more: “In the absence of national standard guidance for EV charging points in covered car parking, we worked alongside the current published fire brigade and insurer standards to provide guidance on the fire strategy at Newtown. “To mitigate potential risk, a Qualitative Design Review (QDR) was submitted ahead of the planned Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling which we were able to comment on and return to the design team, recommending measures that included enhanced sprinkler systems and localised detection, mechanical smoke extraction, and increased spacings between cars.
Structural warranty’s critical role in the green agenda
As Britain marches towards its Net Zero targets, it’s perhaps inevitable that sustainable housing should have quickly taken such a prominent role on the construction agenda. BuildSafe believes that there is both an environmental and economic argument in favour of sustainable housing. It’s clear that as developers and homeowners increasingly gravitate towards green homes, the narrative around green housing is assuming a positive, welcome tone. Sustainable housing makes solid sense For many developers and homeowners, venturing into sustainable housing is accompanied by the dread of perceived elevated initial expenses. The integration of stateof-the-art materials and technologies often translates to steeper upfront costs, causing some hesitation in embracing green homes. Yet, this concern is not insurmountable. Structural warranties have emerged as a strategic tool in allaying such financial reservations. Serving as a shield, these warranties provide protection against unexpected structural issues, ensuring that any monetary setbacks encountered during the construction or post-construction phase are adeptly managed. BuildSafe enhances the effectiveness of this protection with its tailored structural warranties. Our approach is carefully designed to strengthen the financial viability of green housing projects. By providing a strong safety net, we ensure that the investment made in sustainable projects is safe, and that it will deliver significant long-term benefits. Such reassurance dramatically enhances the appeal of sustainable housing, positioning it as not only an environmentally responsible choice but also a sound financial one, attracting a wider range of investors and potential homeowners.
Don’t forget that obtaining a structural warranty is a critical prerequisite for securing finance before initiating a construction project, all the more so given that lenders are more sceptical over new ideas.
Green construction often involves innovative materials and construction techniques that, while environmentally friendly, may be less familiar to contractors and inspectors. A structural warranty offers a safety net, providing both the lender and the homeowner with confidence that the building meets requisite quality and durability standards. This warranty is especially valuable in green housing projects, as it ensures that the eco-friendly materials and technologies implemented function as intended, safeguarding the investment made in sustainable living solutions. BuildSafe safeguarding sustainable constructions This burgeoning momentum in the sustainable housing sector has put a spotlight on the indispensable role of structural warranties. With a growing recognition of the importance of sustainable living, BuildSafe has grown to become a key player in curating structural warranty insurance services tailored to the distinct demands of green construction. Through our services, developers and homeowners gain peace of mind knowing that their financial commitments to these forward-looking designs are protected from unforeseen challenges or setbacks. The value of BuildSafe’s contribution stretches beyond financial security. At the heart of our mission is a desire to build confidence in the sustainable building sector. By endorsing the durability and reliability of pioneering green materials and renewable technologies through our warranties, we help provide that much needed confidence. As the UK forges ahead confidently towards its intended sustainable goals, the importance of building warranties will only increase. By delivering warranties that are a byword for security, BuildSafe ensures that every eco-friendly home is an expression of environmental responsibility alongside robust construction and economic prudence. Contact us today for a discussion on how we can secure you bespoke structural warranty insurance that meets the exacting demands of your project.
BRIDGING THE GAP THE FORUM BRIDGE LIFTS INTO PLACE A significant milestone in Gloucester city centre’s transformation took place today (23 November 2023), with cranes lifting The Forum’s connecting bridge into position. The Forum is part of the £200m Kings Quarter regeneration being delivered by Gloucester City Council with Reef Group and the University of Gloucestershire at the heart of Gloucester City Centre. Kier Construction is the main construction team on site, with Novum providing engineering and design support to ensure the bridge is built to the highest design and safety standards. The Forum site has developed at pace over recent months, with the installation of the facades this autumn, inspired by Gloucester Cathedral cloisters. The bridge weighs 44,000 kg and measures 18.5m in length. It connects the two Forum buildings – the 4-star Indigo Hotel, offices and multi-storey car park on Plot 2, with the offices and gym space on Plot 4. Development director for Reef Group, Peter Langly-Smith, said: “This is a proud moment and marks a major milestone in the construction to date. Not only does the bridge ensure a seamless experience across The Forum, connecting work and leisure space, it draws the eye to the centre of the site, and Gloucester itself. “Now it is lifted into place, we hope it draws passers-by to look up and appreciate the new Gloucester that is rapidly emerging, of which The Forum forms a core part.
Councillor Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “This is an important moment for The Forum and the regeneration of Gloucester as a whole. “The site is really taking shape and we’re excited to see how it will help to transform the city centre as part of the multi-million-pound programme of investment we are driving forward to make Gloucester a city fit for the future. “The Forum is a flag ship scheme for that regeneration, and along other key projects including the redevelopment of Kings Square, the new city centre University Campus, the refurbishment of Kings Walk and Westgate Street, and recently announced Greyfriars scheme, we are delivering for Gloucester.” Andy Bolas, regional director at Kier Construction Western & Wales, said: “We’ve been really pleased with the rate of progress on site this year and we are delighted to be see the year out with the bridge being lifted into position. It’s the (crucial) icing on the cake. “The bridge is an impressive piece of engineering, constructed and delivered with quality and efficiency in mind. It was constructed off site using modern methods of construction. “The MMC process focuses on off-site construction techniques to maximise the efficiency of material and human resources. By reducing waste and energy usage, the construction of The Forum has supported its overriding ethos of sustainability and innovation.”
“The Forum is set to become the tech and leisure hub of Gloucester.”
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