Construction Update - July 2024

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Panasonic partners with Together sustainable heating solutions

Panasonic has partnered with social housing provider, Together Housing, to deliver sustainable heating solutions to over 1,200 properties across the North of England. To date, Together Housing has switched hundreds of homes from gas boilers to Panasonic J Series Aquarea Monobloc air-to-water heat pumps. This year, the team is scheduled to retrofit a further 750 homes with many more to follow.

Panasonic is providing 5, 7 or 9 kW units to a range of 1 to 3 bedroom properties, primarily located in Yorkshire and Lancashire. Together Housing is one of the North’s largest social landlords, owning and managing over 39,000 homes. Working in collaboration for over two years, Together Housing and Panasonic’s shared net zero goals are the foundations for this partnership.

A holistic approach

With a holistic approach, each home has an initial survey and ventilation assessment to check the home is suitable and if any additional insulation is required. This ensures that the homes gain maximum benefit from the energy efficiency of the Panasonic heat pump once installed.

Commenting on the advantages of switching to a Panasonic heat pump, one tenant, Eva, commented, “After only 6 weeks, I can already see a reduction in my energy bills.”

Another tenant, Shannon, spoke on the ease of fitting and operating the new heat pump. She said “The communication from the installers was very good as they kept me in the loop and explained each bit as they fitted it. When it was all finished, they showed me how to use it very clearly. The system is very easy to manage. There’s a Panasonic controller on the wall that has a timer, it’s much easier to set the temperature than my old gas boiler and the pump outside isn’t noisy at all.” Shannon recommends other residents have an air source heat pump fitted if it’s offered. She added, “I’ve already told my neighbours.”

Go Green Together

Ensuring support throughout this transition period, Panasonic is working with Together Housing on an education initiative, ‘Go Green Together’, a portal

providing learning resources for residents. Guidebooks explaining energy bills, meter readings, available tariffs, smart meters, setting tenants’ heating, and financial support are available online. Tenant Liaison Officer’s (TLO’s) are on hand to help with any questions and support with the behavioural change required for the transition. All residents are offered a standard thermostat and programmer for easy-to-understand controllability of their heating system, in addition to the support team’s remote smart diagnostic tool.

Jose Alves, Regional Director for Panasonic UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands said, “Panasonic and Together Housing are setting the roadmap to net zero, but we are also building it as we go. As leaders in this commitment, we recognise the importance of a holistic approach to deliver energy efficient buildings and to provide residents with a collaborative solution for improved comfort and performance.”

Forward-thinking Executive Director of Property at Together Housing, Patrick Berry, initiated this approach, recognising the change that is required in housing to reduce carbon emissions from heating consumption. The project is entirely supported by a top-to-bottom system, with Board Members and Leadership alike determined to demonstrate the transformation this project can achieve to the entire housing sector.

Patrick Berry, said, “Moving towards energy efficient and greener social housing is vital to ensure we can provide a sustainable future for all our residents. As well as improving the energy performance of our existing housing stock and helping our most vulnerable residents to live in warmer, more comfortable homes, we’re also leading the way to deliver more environmentally friendly communities across the north of England. Panasonic’s support and response

Together Housing to deliver solutions

to challenges has been second to none. We plan to share our lessons learnt with other housing associations so they can follow in our example.”

Delivery Manager at Together Housing, Gemma Voaden, added, “We are moving everything towards net zero as an everyday action, not simply a one-off principle, and Panasonic is helping make this transition much easier. The newly installed Panasonic heat pumps are providing evidence of healthy homes, with lower energy costs and proving to be more energy efficient when compared to other heat pumps available currently on the market.”

Lobbying to improve efficiency

One of the biggest stumbling blocks preventing fast progression is the need to gain approval for heat pump installation from the area’s Distribution Network Operators (DNO). This process slows down installs not pre-approved on the DNO database. Together Housing has been lobbying the government to improve this process to ensure each installation can be delivered effectively. The Panasonic Aquarea J Series 5, 7 and 9kW are pre-approved for Connect & Notify, allowing for a faster and more straightforward installation process.

Panasonic Aquarea heat pump

The Panasonic J Series High Performance heat pump boasts an A+++ Energy Class, achieving average water outlet temperatures of 35°C and maximum output temperatures of 60°C. Bespoke software for maximum efficiency delivers low output temperatures. Panasonic cloud control and service with an easy-to-use remote controller for end user accessibility enables a holistic solution to heating. The Panasonic units are available in a range of sizes from 5, 7 and 9 kW, with an internal domestic hot water tank and external unit for ease of installation.

To find out more, please visit

Low-carbon heating systems mandatory in new-build homes from 2025: Where does copper piping fit in?

In a bid to drive a greener future for prospective homeowners, the UK Government introduced the Future Homes Standard in 2019, which ensures newly built homes have low-carbon, energyefficient heating systems from 2025 onwards.

The heating and powering of buildings consumes 30% of the UK’s total energy use; therefore, it’s clear that homes play a significant role in the UK’s effort towards reducing energy consumption.

The shift in how we heat our homes from 2025

To meet the Government’s target of net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050, our homes must become more sustainable. By implementing alternative energy systems and using recyclable materials like copper piping in heating, we can make strides towards increasing the longevity and versatility of our homes.

There are a range of low-carbon installations that developers and homeowners can embrace – including heat pumps, electric and biomass boilers, hybrid systems, solar water heating and insulation – to increase sustainability in homes while continuing to generate heat.

Copper’s role in low-carbon heating systems

As an excellent conductor of heat, copper allows for rapid and efficient heat transfer, making it the standout choice for supplying the heat generated by low-carbon heating systems.

Copper pipes can be integrated with air-source heat pumps, transporting the heat extracted from outside air to radiators, electric heaters and other outlets. As well as improving efficiency, copper pipes are also infinitely recyclable, helping to reduce carbon emissions associated with the design of air-source heat pumps.

Copper is also the driving force in solar thermal panels and other water heaters, which harness the sun’s energy to warm homes. Copper piping is useful here due to its ability to withstand high temperatures and pressures over alternative plastic materials, such as multilayer composite (MLCP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyethylene (PEX), which have a low melting point and can crack easily.

The integration of infinitely recyclable materials like copper piping into our homes will play a transformative role in the future sustainability of the residential sector. With a typical life expectancy between 70 and 80 years, copper possesses reliability over materials like plastic, retaining up to 95% of its value over time.

With low-carbon heating systems being phased into homes from 2025, infinitely recyclable materials like copper have a significant role to play in sustainability improvements. To


HiB is thrilled to announce the results of its first year of partnership with Corporate Charity Partner, Home-Start UK. The recently received impact report highlights the significant contributions HiB employees have made towards supporting families in need.

From creating cherished moments for 489 families, to raising an impressive £25,872, HiB’s collaboration with Home-Start UK has gotten off to a flying start.

Emma Cuggy, HiB’s Director of People and ESG, expressed her delight at the partnership’s achievements. She said: “We are incredibly pleased with our first year working alongside Home-Start UK. The engagement and commitment from our team has been extraordinary. We look forward to building on this success and making an even greater impact in 2024 and beyond.”

Through the year, HiB volunteers have taken part in a number of challenges and volunteer activities to support the worthy cause. From three HiB employees showcasing their dedication and stamina by participating in this iconic London Landmarks ½ Marathon race, to teams volunteering their time with local Home-Start branches, directly assisting families in their communities through renovations and donations.

Though these activities are just the beginning, as throughout the year, HiB colleagues have continuously engaged in numerous small yet significant moments, celebrating and contributing to the partnership’s success.

The impact of these efforts has helped fund the recruitment and training of 539 additional HomeStart volunteers through 2023 and 2024. Each volunteer typically assists six families during their service, which means that over 3,000 families could receive the crucial support they need thanks to funding from HiB. This support is vital, as Home-Start UK aims to ensure that every child has

the best possible start in life.

Talking about the future of the partnership, Emma Cuggy said: “Our team’s passion for making a difference is inspiring. We are excited to see how our partnership with Home-Start UK will evolve and continue to make a positive impact on families across the UK. Together, we are committed to helping ensure that no child’s potential is limited by their circumstances.”

HiB remains dedicated to its partnership with Home-Start UK and looks forward to another year of meaningful engagement and support. The company is confident that with continued efforts, they can help even more families thrive and create brighter futures.

Thea Karavasili-Campbell, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Home-Start UK said: “We are so proud of our partnership with HiB Ltd, which has gone from strength to strength. It has been fantastic to work with HiB colleagues across the country to ensure that we can support families when they need us most. Looking ahead, we are excited about the future of our partnership with HiB Ltd. We anticipate another fantastic year of collaboration, filled with new opportunities to make a positive impact on the Home-Start communities we support.”

For more information about HiB’s partnership with Home-Start UK and to see the full impact report, visit

To find out more about Home-Start UK visit




International Timber, the UK’s leading importer and distributor of bespoke, sustainable timber and panel products, has collaborated with specialist joinery manufacturers Runciman & Redpath on internal modifications to homes across Scotland, providing high-quality timber to be used for staircases and bespoke benches.

Runciman & Redpath is a specialist joinery manufacturer who undertake interior renovation projects across Scotland, creating bespoke features from timber. Having recently completed five stunning projects, the team have worked alongside International Timber to provide staircases, benches, shelving and panelling for large estates and new build properties.

Working together for over a decade, Runciman & Redpath utilised Laminated Oak supplied by International Timber for the construction of its joinery projects. The strong relationship between both companies has resulted in high-quality home interior improvements to be achieved as well as the mutual sharing of expert advice within the timber and joinery industry.

Laminated Oak is a type of engineered timber that consists of layers of wood veneers glued together to create a strong and durable material. It provides huge benefits, such as strength, durability and design flexibility.

With the high traffic volume that stairs and benches experience, Laminated Oak’s strong and flexible qualities make it the perfect material for any such projects. One of the key advantages of Laminated Oak is its flexibility; the layers of wood veneers can be bonded together in different directions, making it the ideal material for use in curved structures or traditionally difficult, uneven surfaces.

Laminated Oak


This flexibility also means Laminated Oak can be cut and shaped to fit any design, giving architects, designers and joiners greater creative freedom to create innovative and bespoke designs.

Colour Consistency

Initially, one of the main challenges for Runciman & Redpath was choosing a timber product that would create a consistent colour to ensure its clients’ desired aesthetic was achieved when manufactured into staircases, benches, shelves and panelling.

International Timber chose to supply American White Laminated Oak to create a consistent wood effect across the internal modifications of each home. Laminated timber is just as aesthetically pleasing as solid wood, and is a great alternative for exposed beams, shelving and panelling interiors compared to steel or concrete.

Kevin Anderton, Senior External Sales Representative at International Timber, said: “It was great to work with our longstanding customer Runciman & Redpath on these projects, continuing our strong working partnership. The team continues to buy from International Timber based on the added value services that we offer.”

Ewan Redpath, Managing Director at Runciman & Redpath, said: “International Timber provide an excellent and reliable service for each and every job. I have been working alongside Kevin for over 10 years and he always provides expert advice regarding the recommended timber solution for any joinery project.”

International Timber is a leading specialist in laminated and modified timber products, including a variety of different options that are suitable for a whole host of projects. For more information, visit


Taking place Friday 27th of September at the Novotel London West, the awards will be hosted by comedian, actor, and presenter Tom Davis. The London Construction Awards celebrates the major achievements, developments, and innovations that have shaped the UK’s booming construction landscape over the past year.

The entries will be judged by an independent panel of industry leaders from all across the AEC industry, with the winners announced at the glittering gala dinner this September.

London Construction Awards 2024 Finalists: Apprenticeship Initiative of the Year

• Berkeley Group


• Mates in Mind

• On The Tools

• UK Power Networks

Architectural Design of the Year

• Carey Jones Chapman Tolcher - Hove Gardens

• Foster + Partners - Apple Battersea

• Foster + Partners - Battersea Roof Gardens & Fifty Electric Boulevard

• Glenn Cavill Architecture - The Shippon

• Holland Harvey and GAIL’s Bakery

• Studio Arkell Ltd - Shearwater

• Windsor Patania Architectures - XR Lab, Anglia Ruskin University

Commercial Project of the Year

• AIS - Stellar

• Casia Robinson - Enigma Pan-Asia and Grill

• Equans

• GAIL’s Bakery

• Haworth Tompkins

• L&P Group

• Lorenc Design - Providence Equity Partners

• OMO & Focus

• Quadrum Global - 11 Belgrave

• ReCreation & Piperhill - Rainham Leisure Centre

• Rolfe Judd - 33 Kingsway

• Skanska UK & British Land - Norton Folgate

Construction Software of the Year

• 4PS Construct


• ALICE Technologies

• Buildots

• DMRC Technologies - allo

• Ethical Power Connections - Smartsheet

• Foresight


• Houzz - Houzz Pro

• innDex

• Lattice Build Technology

• Lbox Communications - tellthem

• LiveCosts

• PlanRadar

Consultant of the Year

• Arcadis

• Deecon Consulting

• Graham Kinnear Property Consultant

• Harley Haddow

• Procur3d Consulting

• Quartz Project Services

Contractor of the Year

• Abbey Extensions & Renovations

• Advance Facilities Group

• Kilnbridge

• SB3 JV

• T&T Facades

• Twenty Four Hour Engineering

• United Living Property Services

Digital Construction Team of the Year


• Chetwoods

• John Sisk and Son

• ODGroup

Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year

• Balfour Beatty

• Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA

• Building Heroes

• Chartered Surveyors Training Trust

• Cisco Systems

• Cosy Hauz

• Danny Sullivan Group

• Direct Access Consultancy

• Gensler

• Mentoring Circle

• Morrison Design

• Skanska Costain Strabag Joint Venture / SCS Railways

• Transport for London

Excellence in Community Engagement

• 2-3 Degrees, Landsec & B|D Landscape Architects

• Align JV

• Barnet Council

• British Land - Norton Folgate Project Charter

• Curl la Tourelle Head Architecture - Your Bruce Grove

• Danny Sullivan Group

• KBH Haus

• Multiplex Construction Europe

• Olli Group

• Poplar HARCA

• Quinn London

• Reliable Contractors

• Residential Energy Services


• Willmott Dixon - Gascoigne East Estate Regeneration

Excellence in Sustainability - Product

• 540 World

• Amorim Cork Composites - Acousticork by Amorim U38

• Demand Logic

• Dumarey Green Power

• Earth4Earth

• eLstar Dynamics

• GAIL’s Bakery & Shoplight

• Gentian

• HAHN Plastics

• Madaster UK

• Roseview Windows - ThermoVFlex

• Sapphire Balconies

• The Bike Storage Company

• Troldtekt

• YardLink

Excellence in Sustainability - Project

• Bouygues UK & Westminster City Council - Ebury Bridge Estate

• Chetwood Architects and Baytree Logistics Properties - Baytree Nuneaton

• CNG Fuels

• Connor Ferris Architects - Eco5 Home Development

• Eight Versa and Molyneux Architects - Elmara Passive House Plus

• FM Conway & Westminster City Council - Elmfield Way

• GRAHAM - Reardon Court

• Knightsbridge Development Corporation

• Low Carbon Materials - County Durham Net Zero Asphalt Scheme

• McAleer & Rushe - Canada Water

• ODGroup - The Avebury

• Osborn Associates - Spelthorne Leisure Centre

• Quadrum Global - 11 Belgrave

• RDM Electrical & Mechanical Services - Cross Hands East

• Woodalls Design - Axa Workplace

Fire Safety Solution of the Year

• CLM Fireproofing

• Eurotech Fire Systems

• Fire Door Maintenance

• Fire Protection Association

• Fire Stop Products

• Hyfire Wireless Fire Solutions

• MyDek

• PlanRadar

• Ramtech

• Securo

• T&T Facades

Marketing Team of the Year

• Aggreko

• BM Steel

• Ecosafe Group

• Eleven

• Guardtech Group

• Inner City Scaffolding

• On The Tools

• UAP Ltd

Click here to view the complete list of finalists

Congratulations to all who are shortlisted! Now it’s time to book your tickets and get ready to celebrate. Good luck, and see you at the ceremony on September 27th, at the Novotel London West.

For more information and to buy tickets, please visit:

We speak to Head of R&D

Jess Fox is a seasoned software professional with over 23 years of experience in delivering she has been an integral part of the development team for the Asta suite of products overseeing the Asta brand. Jess excels in uniting teams, problem solving and bridging her strong belief in servant leadership. Outside of her professional life, Jess is a musician Shropshire with her youngest daughter and their German Shepherd, Lilah.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I grew up very humbly and we moved around a lot because of my Dad’s job, including stints in the US and 4 years in Kenya. I think these experiences gave me an older head and despite flying through school, I decided not to go to university. Instead, at 18 I got the first job I could get in a call centre – and amazingly, this decision later led to a career in software.

What inspired you to pursue a career in this industry?

Probably like many people, I didn’t aim for Contech, or even tech at all. I fell in to the world of software after being seconded from an admin role to help test some new systems. Immediately I had an aptitude for the analytical problem solving that was needed and I excelled at it. That particular company actually created a job in the Development department especially for me. After being made redundant, I took a job in what was then a reasonably small, local software development team called Asta Development and the rest is history.

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement so far?

Definitely the creation of Asta Vision. My colleague, Chris Ray, had come up with an idea to solve a problem for a particularly large US customer who needed a way to manage thousands of projects. From that

idea, we wrote a bespoke, on-prem solution for them to manage and control their planning process and files.

We knew we were on to something, but we didn’t have enough to build something generic. I travelled around and met up with a number of our larger customers. I asked them about their pain points and problems and got told stories of losing contract baselines and not knowing which file was the latest one.

I took all this information back to our amazing dev team, and together we designed and wrote what is now Asta Vision. The product continues to grow and improve and I am incredibly proud to have had ownership of such a game-changing product from day one.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your construction career, and how did you overcome them?

In software, we face challenges constantly. We are always negotiating that triangle of scope, time and resources. Something almost always has to give, and you have to compromise..

However, we pride ourselves on being close and listening to our user base and always trying to help solve their problems. This, for me, requires pragmatism.. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and be pragmatic about whatever it is that’s in front of you.

at Elecosoft UK Ltd Jess Fox.

delivering high-quality software solutions. For the past 19 years, products and currently serves as the Head of R&D at Elecosoft UK Ltd, bridging the gap between users and developers, underpinned by musician at heart and a dedicated mother of three. She resides in

Can you describe a typical day in your role?

I have regular meetings with the dev and test teams, to look at the current active work –where we are, what we’re doing. The Product Manager and I may then sit down and look at roadmaps and plans, or go through and review incoming customer requests. I write a lot of our requirements documents for features we implement, so there is often that to do.

Later, there will likely be a 1-2-1 with a member of my team. Elecosoft has been awarded a Great Place to Work Award for the third year running and a big part of the reason for that is because of the people. We have so many great people at Elecosoft, who care deeply about what they do and take pride in their work. I honestly feel privileged to work with such great people.

The rest of the day might involve customer meetings to solve a technical problem or discuss a new feature, or a conversation with a stakeholder in the business to ensure we’re aligned on things. There is always plenty of variety.

What advice would you give to someone aspiring to enter the world of con-tech?

It’s a tricky one because I never set out to be in this world, but funnily enough, I now feel more part of Contech than I do standard “tech” if that makes any sense. I’ve worked in banking and life assurance software previously, and the fun part about being involved in Contech is you feel part of something bigger, and when one of our customers completes a great big new stadium, or record-beating bridge, you feel a part of that. It’s a great industry to be a part of.

Can you shed any light as to what Eleco is working on next?

In the Asta Powerproject world, we are working hard right now on improving our 4D offering with a new graphics engine and streamlined workflows to really bring more power to our users’ hands and make their lives easier.

We’re also investing in AI and Machine Learning. We recently introduced AstaGPT to the market, which is our innovative AI help system nominated for Best Product Innovation at the Digital Construction Awards. The exciting thing for us is that in partnership with our customers, we have access to a wealth of planning data. Combining this with our capabilities and experience, we can help organisations make sense of that data and harness it to drive more efficient processes and lock-in reliable outcomes. It’s creating certainty for the built environment, which is what we’re all about!

Workspace Design Show triumphs two spectacular 2025 shows in

Workspace Design Show continues to innovate, expanding its diverse portfolio of exhibitors for the London and Amsterdam 2025 shows, and will feature Umbrella Furniture as the lead partner for the talks areas at the 2025 London edition, designed by Gensler and Ryder Architecture.

Launched in 2021, Workspace Design Show is a firmly established highlight of the global workplace event calendar. Bringing together world-class design and manufacturing industry excellence, the 2025 editions, which take place in London (26 - 27 Feb) and Amsterdam (5 - 6 Nov), feature a stunning line-up of brands, including König + Neurath, Ahrend, Interface, Tarkett, Kettal, Bisley, and Interstuhl.

With 65% of the floorplan sold out with a little over eight months until showtime, brands at the London Show include Swiss design heritage brand USM, global office furniture manufacturer Spacestor, leading contract furniture manufacturer Brunner, renowned Spanish brand Expormin and British manufacturer, Bisley, who has recently launched three new shades to complement their

existing colour range of 37 finishes; a demonstration of their evolving diversity and commitment to offering choice.

As a platform leader in design knowledge exchange, Workspace Design Show is working with select industry leaders to form an exemplary expert advisory group. Bringing unique knowledge and expertise, the panel consists of Clare Bacchus, Global Lead at The Design House, Barclays; Collin Burry, Design Principal at Gensler; Allison English, Deputy CEO at Leesman; Gurvinder Khurana, Director at M Moser Associates; Matt Jackson, CEO at BDG architecture + design; Mark Simpson, Principal and Board Director at BDP; Dharshini Singh; Neil Usher, VP Places at Sage; and, Dominic Williams, Interior Director, Ryder Interiors.

Workspace Design Show in London 2024 welcomed over 4,500 workplace professionals from over 40 countries at the Business Design Centre between 27-28 February. Attendees explored the latest trends in office specification from furniture, lighting, flooring, and more, totalling over 500 different products.

Esha & Charlie Bark-Jones, Workspace Design Show founders, said, ‘We are proud to work with such an exemplary community of international design brands and industry experts across both our London and Amsterdam shows. Providing a world-class platform that brings industry experts together to exchange knowledge and connect, with the goal of transforming the employee experience in our workplaces. We are excited to see the 2025 content developing so well with such amazing partners and design content—watch this space!’


A Bridgnorth architect is celebrating 20 years of service by supporting his company to a record year.

Matt Spinks, who joined Johnson Design Partnership (JDP) founder Vic Johnson in 2004, is enjoying the perfect birthday present, after the practice’s ten-strong team sealed a string of new instructions that will see turnover pass £600,000 for the first time.

The Station Lane-based business has built a strong reputation for delivering innovative projects in healthcare, education and in grand designs, helping tens of owners bring their dream homes to life through the power of creative design.

In the last twelve months alone, JDP has been instructed on 150 jobs, with a total project value of more than £50m.

“It has been a fantastic two decades with Johnson Design Partnership – I have no idea where the time has gone,” explained Matt, who owes the opportunity to his dad, who saw the job advert in the local paper.

“I had just finished my Post Grad Diploma (part two of the architecture course) and had the choice of three different practices. There was something about working in Bridgnorth and the chance to learn from Vic and shape the business going forward that really appealed to me.

“My first project was one to remember – Upton Meadows Primary School. This was partly funded by the Prince’s Foundation and King Charles opened the school when it was completed. Not a bad one to add to your fledgling CV.

“There was just the three of us at the start, but we have now grown into one of Shropshire’s leading independent architects, employing ten people. The skills, experience and personalities we have now really drive the culture of our business and I’m very proud to be part of this team.”

Johnson Design Partnership, which has recently been named on the NHS Shared Business Services Framework for the West Midlands, offers a complete project management service from feasibility work and planning to detailed design, project monitoring and contract administration.

As part of its ongoing expansion, the company has launched its new corporate identity that represents the wider range of roles it supports, from design assurance and project monitoring to specialist planning applications and design and architecture.

The brand features bolder colours and has been created in the same way JDP designs for its clients with lots of iteration and trial designs.

Vic Johnson, who founded the practice in 2001, went on to add: “Little did I know when I took a fresh-faced budding architect on in 2004 that he would become such a massive part of the business.

“Like the other members of the JDP team, we all share a passion for taking on complex projects that other architects have turned down.”

He concluded: “Two of the next big pushes will be looking at more opportunities in the educational and industrial sectors, whilst exploring projects outside of the UK. We’ll also be putting forward some of our more ambitious work for national Architecture Awards.”

For further information, please visit or follow the company on its social media channels



Aver, a joint venture between NFU Mutual and Ergo Real Estate is delighted to announce the letting of its 354,000 sq ft facility at Fradley Park Lichfield to CIRRO Fulfillment, trading as Super Smart Service, a leading global e-commerce fulfilment service provider. This will be 15th facility of CIRRO Fulfillment in the UK.

Ergo Fradley 354, developed in conjunction with Prologis, is a top tier facility built to the highest standards, achieving EPC A, BREEAM Excellent and Planet Mark Certification, to allow for sustainable, reliable, and efficient operations.

“We are thrilled to announce the opening of our new fulfilment centre in the UK,” said Charles Lu, Head of Business Development at CIRRO Fulfillment Europe. “This expansion enhances our warehousing capacities, alleviates regional storage capacity pressures, and better serves the growing demands of the e-commerce market.”

James Jepson, Investment Director at Ergo Real Estate said:

“We are delighted that CIRRO Fulfillment has selected Ergo Fradley 354 to expand its UK operations. Ergo 354 is a best in class facility, reflective of the

quality of logistics floor space delivered within the Aver portfolio. Following the completion of Fradley the fund has successfully completed over 750,000 sq ft of letting transactions since the start of 2024.”

JLL, Cushman & Wakefield and DTRE acted for Aver Property in this transaction and Avison Young represented CIRRO Fulfillment.


A fast-growing principal contractor has completed its own refurbishment project after moving into its new Headquarters in Cannock.

Inco Contracts has spent more than £77,000 fitting-out Crestwood House to meet its ambitious growth plans, delivering a 2,000 sq ft office space split across two floors and just three-miles from Junction 11 of the M6.

The detached building, which is 20% bigger than its previous location, provides solar photovoltaics, electric car charging points and superior IT provision with triple internet speeds and a move to a new cloud-based server system.

As well as boosting operational performance and reducing its carbon footprint, the company has also created enhanced facilities for staff, with larger break-out areas, private parking and state-of-the-art conference call capabilities, including the introduction of virtual dartboards to allow regional office tournaments.

David Cotterill, Managing Director of Inco Contracts, commented: “This is an important move for the business and will give us the additional space and high-quality facilities we need to maximise new opportunities.

“Our HQ is a real nerve centre and provides administrative functions for our Stevenage and Warrington offices, as well as a logistically perfect location for serving contracts across the Midlands.”

He went on to add: “When Sam Norton and I completed the MBO in 2020, we employed 13 people and revenues had just touched £12m. Fast forward four years, and the office move is part of a journey that should see us hit £40m sales by the close of 2024 with staff levels hitting around 40.”

Inco Contracts is a specialist in industrial and commercial refurbishment schemes across the UK, completing hundreds of projects every year.

These often tend to be turnkey in nature and involve the company working alongside architects, designers, and landlords to bring warehouse and office space back to life or to the required modern-day standards.

Services provided range from industrial roof and cladding, dilapidation schemes, building services, M&E installations, and soft strip-outs, not to mention heritage and conservation work.


£14.6m of jobs have been instructed in the first four months of 2024, as well as the successful formation of new partnerships with six new building consultancy clients. This follows the Cannock firm’s best trading month in February, with £8.6m instructed in a single month.

Sam Norton, Operations Director at Inco Contracts, said: “Our track record for delivering on time and to budget, overcoming some complex issues along the way, is really starting to pay off. This approach is resulting in growth across all our offices in the Midlands, the North West, and the South East.

“We’re also in the processing of expanding into the South West and Wales, with the appointment of a new Regional Director, followed by a new office in this area.”

He concluded: “There has been a lot of recruitment this year, not just to meet the needs of existing projects, but to ensure we have the capacity to support ongoing and future tenders.

“We’ve introduced some extremely talented and specialist individuals to the business in recent months, who are having a huge impact on our tender success rates and project delivery.”

For further information, please visit or follow the company on LinkedIn.



Video technologies are emerging as critical tools for overcoming cultural latency in the digital workplace in today’s fast-paced business landscape.

The robustness and reliability of video technology, particularly internet protocol television (IPTV), creates unique opportunities to deliver consistent messages and shared experiences across global facilities, bridging the gap between remote and inoffice employees through improved communication and collaboration.

IP video technology is increasingly recognized as important in facilitating remote training and development sessions for employees, enabling efficient recruitment processes through remote interviews, and enhancing employee communication with live streaming and on-demand corporate programming.

Additionally, it supports performance management by allowing personalized feedback sessions and promoting employee engagement through virtual events and on-premises activities promoted through digital signage.

Here, Colin Farquhar, senior vice president of enterprise IP video, and Kerry Lindsay, vice president of human resources at IPTV specialist: VITEC, offer their insights on video and its impact on talent recruitment, management and retention.

Why “cultural latency” is essential to modern enterprise

Cultural latency refers to the speed at which an organization’s culture evolves in response to internal and external forces. Understanding cultural latency can help assess how well companies keep up with changes in market demands, workplace expectations — and even the introduction of new disruptive technologies.

It is about ensuring that the workplace culture aligns with the values and experiences of the employees.

In today’s dynamic business environment, where technology and remote work are prevalent, reducing cultural latency becomes crucial for organizations to create an inclusive and cohesive team. It helps employees feel connected, valued, and part of a team, regardless of location.

Maintaining and developing a cohesive culture can be challenging in any



environment, but especially in remote work environments, where the opportunities for organic connections and interactions are limited.

Managing cultural latency effectively is important for recruiting and retaining top talent, as employees seek organizations that align with their values and promote a sustainable and inclusive team.

Enterprise technologies can help to influence organizational culture

Enterprise technologies, especially video communications technologies like IPTV, are playing an increasingly important role play in influencing organizational cultures. By leveraging video technology, organizations can bridge the gap and foster employee collaboration, communication, and a sense of belonging.

IPTV offers a critical tool to leaders who want to convey cultural consistency across their organizations.

This is especially important for organizations with multiple facilities spread across geographies and for leaders who want to support today’s hybrid workforce. Digital signage systems, for instance, can display information about meetings and visiting clients or colleagues. They can also alert staff about exciting developments in regional offices or deliver corporate news from around the world.

With IPTV leveraging existing information technology infrastructures, leaders can deliver a common experience to employees, regardless of location.

Centrally managed IPTV systems make it possible to develop effective global communication strategies in which messages can be delivered to the growing variety of screens – mobile devices, tablets, computers and wall displays – to keep everybody on the same page. (..cont)

Video technologies can significantly impact recruitment and retention

Video technology can showcase the company culture and work environment to potential candidates. Through video presentations, virtual tours, or employee testimonials, organizations can provide a more immersive and authentic experience, helping candidates better understand the company’s values and atmosphere. This can attract candidates who align with the company culture and increase the likelihood of finding the right fit.

Video technology can support remote onboarding and training processes, especially in a hybrid or remote work environment. It allows new hires to connect virtually with their colleagues, managers, and mentors, fostering a sense of belonging and integration into the company. Video communication tools also facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration, enabling employees to learn and grow more effectively.

In terms of retention, video technology can enhance employee engagement and satisfaction. It enables remote or distributed teams to stay connected and collaborate seamlessly, fostering a sense of teamwork and camaraderie. Video meetings and conferences can also provide opportunities for employees to share their ideas, contribute to decision-making, and feel valued within the organization.

Finally, video technology can support ongoing professional development and training initiatives. Organizations can provide virtual training sessions, webinars, or access to online learning platforms, allowing employees to upskill and stay updated with industry trends. Investing in employee growth and development increases job satisfaction and loyalty.

Video plays an important role in supporting people in the office

It is interesting how the habits formed to support the shelter-in-place workforce continue today. This is especially true because most people are now familiar and comfortable with video platforms.

We see office workers use video for face-toface communication on-site but in different locations within a facility. Video enables realtime collaboration, making it easier to discuss and solve problems, hold team meetings, and have one-on-one conversations. This helps to foster a sense of connection and teamwork among employees.

Video is also used to display important information and updates on large screens throughout the facility. This includes those related to fostering organizational culture — like key messages, mission statements, and even personal celebrations like birthdays. It keeps employees informed and engaged with what’s happening in the organization.

Even when employees are right next to each other, video technology is used to share screens, collaborate on projects, share ideas, and brainstorm solutions.

The variety of video applications — and fluency with which video is used — is made possible with IPTV because it uses a common infrastructure that ensures a consistent experience within and across different facilities.



With the UK government setting the net zero target of decarbonisation by 2050 for all sectors, many industries are seeking a replacement for traditional fossil fuels to help meet these requirements. One such option is renewable diesel and Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO fuel) as alternatives, which seem to be gathering speed in popularity, with Zemo estimating that as many as 4000 HGVs are now running on renewable diesel.

Despite this growing use, many myths circulate about the fuel and how well it can perform compared to other alternative fuels and traditional fossil fuels. Niki Holt, Head of Commercial at Certas Energy, a leading provider of HVO fuel, has offered expert insight into renewable diesel options like HVO and debunks several of the most common myths surrounding it as a fuel.

Myth #1 – Electricity is the only choice for net zero

Integrating more electrification into vehicles and machinery will be vital to meeting net zero targets, but concerns are holding it back in the commercial space. These key concerns tend to focus on insufficient battery range and a lack of robust and accessible charging infrastructure. Plus, while the vehicles and equipment don’t directly produce emissions while running, there will always be byproducts when generating the power, and establishing charging networks can still rely on fossil fuels.

This is where alternatives can provide a solution, as HVO offers significantly lower emissions than traditional fossil fuels and can act as an intermediary between traditional fossil fuels and emissionfree electric. While it isn’t completely net zero, it’s an important step click here to read the full article >>>


Trusted by generations of architects and installers, Aruba is specified throughout the UK almost every single day. With impressive sound properties, and a range of colours available it is an incredibly versatile range that can be found everywhere from hotels and offices to classrooms and retail environments.

The range has been named after the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean due to the finely sanded finish of the tile’s surface. The Aruba tile also reflects the vibrancy and colourful nature of the Caribbean, as it is available in 35 colours, the largest option of standard colours available on the UK market. For further design creativity, the Aruba family can be specified in alternative shapes such as the Aruba Triangle.

Additional tiles with enhanced performances are available within the Aruba family including Aruba hH, Aruba Max and Aruba dB, each bringing unique performance capabilities.


The Aruba tile is incredibly versatile, with a number of attributes that deliver a thorough solution. Combining Class C sound absorption with a sound attenuation level of 34dB, the tile controls background noise levels whilst allowing sound to travel, creating an acoustically comfortable setting. It contains up to 44% recycled content, is 100% recyclable and is scratch resistant.

Recently specified for an industrial site in one of the UK’s most important manufacturing areas, the coloured Aruba tile was able to meet the aesthetic, functional and acoustic requirements set out for the project. Ceiling installer, Barry Deane, Director at East Midlands Ceilings commented on the Aruba family: “It’s always exciting when the customer

wants a change from the standard types of suspended ceiling designs. It made the project extremely interesting to be involved with, and the Aruba coloured tiles look amazing, giving a modern and visual twist over the standard install. The quality of the materials was also fantastic, with everything being manufactured and delivered to suit the project requirements perfectly.”

Aruba hH

The Aruba hH tile offers enhanced high humidity resistance, making it ideal for areas such as changing rooms. It also has the same acoustic qualities as the Aruba tile; but can remain stable in conditions of up to 99% Relative Humidity (RH).

Aruba Max

The Aruba Max is a more robust variation of the standard Aruba tile, designed for interiors that require a higher technical performance. With an increased tile thickness, it offers higher sound attenuation levels of 35dB, and is perfect for settings such as classrooms where sound still has to travel but in a controlled manner.

Aruba dB

For internal settings that require extra levels of privacy such as meeting rooms and small offices, the Aruba dB tile offers the highest sound absorption rating at 39dB and reduces sound transmission through the ceiling void.


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