Construction Update - November 2023

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November 2023

Green Innovator Artus Air Secures Significant Investment To Drive Next Phase Of Growth [click here]

November 2023

Featured This Month:

9 19

Poor Quality Workwear the new Fast Fashion?

Try before you buy with West Fraser

@ConstructionUpd Construction Update


Is adaptative reuse the future of regenerating our towns and cities?


Gilberts energises the workplace environment for global property company

Get in touch with a member of the team today on 020 805 09659 or email

Dealing with waste water onsite? We provide CONCRETE WASHOUT AND WATER TREATMENT SOLUTIONS so that you can easily re-use or safely discharge your onsite wastewater

November 2023


The Thomas Crapper team has successfully cycled 250 miles to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK and to spread the word about the importance of early diagnosis. The team took time out of their busy schedules to take part in a static bike ride at the Huddersfield HQ. So far, £1,410 has been raised for the charity and the JustGiving page is still open so there is time to donate. Managing Director (and cyclist!), Paul Dwyer, comments: “We were eager to start raising money for Bowel Cancer UK and, as the Thomas Crapper team is small and mighty, we decided on a static bike ride as our first fundraising event. The date was set, bikes were sourced, social team was briefed, PR and marketing content was in place…and we were off!” All-in-all, the event was a huge success with the Thomas Crapper team reaching 250 miles way faster than anticipated. It was agreed that the next event will have to be more of a challenge. Stay tuned!


Bowel Cancer UK is the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity. The team is on a mission to save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by bowel cancer. Every year, nearly 43,000 people in the UK are told that they have bowel cancer. It is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer – over 16,500 people die from the disease each year. However, bowel cancer is treatable and curable if caught early and around 90% of people will survive for five years or more. Together we can work towards a world where no one dies of bowel cancer. For more information on Thomas Crapper, please visit For more information on Bowel Cancer UK, please visit

November 2023

KEON HOMES CELEBRATES 5TH BIRTHDAY WITH RECORD £40M PRESENT One of the fastest growing developers of affordable housing and Extra Care schemes is celebrating its 5th birthday in style after announcing a record year. Keon Homes, which was founded in 2018 by Richard Williams, Warren Bolton and Noel Sweeney, is on course to hit £40m in revenue by the end of 2023, a £12m increase on the previous twelve months. The company’s growth has also resulted in a major recruitment drive, with more than twelve new people employed, taking the total workforce to 50 and more than 90 indirect employees in the supply chain. Its rapid expansion was celebrated last week at a birthday party for all members of staff and representatives from parent organisation The Tara Group, including the daughter and wife of the late founder Noel Sweeney. More than 100 people gathered in Birmingham to mark the big anniversary, learn about future plans for the business and to hear about the firm’s new CSR concept that will see employees split into teams to raise money for five chosen charities. “We’ve come a long way since our first year when we arrived on the scene and were turning over £400,000,” explained Richard Williams, Managing Director of Keon Homes. “Despite this massive growth, the core ethos we started the business on still remains today…forging strong relationships with housing associations and other building companies to unlock disused sites and contribute to solving the chronic shortage of affordable housing.” He continued: “A lot of the time we’ll take on projects that require an extra level of innovation to overcome complexities, projects that many of our rivals will not touch. This has made the sector sit up and take notice and we are currently dealing with ten of the largest housing associations in the Midlands, including Bromford, Green Square Accord and Midlands Heart. “It was fantastic to get everyone together and celebrate our achievements over the last five years. I know our business is about bricks and mortar, but it’s the people we employ that continue to be our heartbeat and ensure we continue to ‘do the right thing’.” 2023 has been a transformational year for Keon Homes, with the company securing its first two Extra Care schemes. It started the year by announcing a £15m deal with Wrekin Housing Group to deliver a scheme of 70

(l-r) Warren Bolton and Richard Williams (both Keon Homes)

properties and a host of communal facilities. Situated just a ten-minute walk into Newport, Queenswood will provide high quality living space and wraparound care and support for people over the age of 55, offering a mix of one and two-bed apartments, private gardens and a café. This was quickly followed by the £28m ‘Streethay’ development in Lichfield with Sanctuary Group, the largest project in Keon Homes’ 5-year history. The Burntwood-based company is building 138 plots in total, comprising 60 bungalows and a 78-bed Extra Care scheme located on the Roman Heights. Superstructure works have begun on the first timber frame bungalows, with the Extra Care village set to provide communal facilities including a café, gym/ wellbeing room, salon, library and resident’s lounge. Warren Bolton, Founding Director at Keon Homes, went on to add: “The Extra Care market is a major opportunity for our business and to seal two high-profile deals, in such a short space of time, will give us the platform we need to increase market share. “Both projects are extremely ambitious and require strong partnerships between us and Wrekin Housing Group and Sanctuary Group. Importantly, they are also delivering much-needed homes and accommodation for the people of Newport and Lichfield, creating thriving communities in the process.” Keon Homes, which was ranked 33rd in the Small Business Great Places to Work competition, has a £100m pipeline of secured and unsecured developments. If this materialises, alongside existing projects, it is expecting to pass the £50m turnover mark in 2024. For further information, please visit


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A company is only as good as its support staff so at the Magicman head office in Brighton, there are dedicated teams of technical experts and call handlers ready to help customers 6 days a week. Magicman have repair technicians available nationwide so there is always someone ready to help customers in their local area. However the story doesn’t begin or end there, they are supported by dedicated teams of friendly call handlers and technical experts at Magicman’s head office and call centre in Sussex. There are specialists in every department ready to help with General Enquiries, Desktop Analyses, Insurance Claims, Bookings and After Care, six days a week. Customers can upload photos and a few details about their damaged items through Magicman’s ‘Get an Estimate’ form on our website, company Facebook page or FREE APP for iPhone and Android devices. Technical experts with years of experience in the field, carry out a Desktop Analysis to determine whether a successful and lasting repair can be carried out. An estimate is then dispatched based on time needed to carry out works. This means that for most customers a site visit is not necessary, speeding up the bookings process and avoiding call out charges. Suppliers of Specialist Repairs to Chips Wood Cracks Laminates Dents Veneer Scratches Ceramics Holes Marble Burns uPVC Stains Glass ....and much more, just ask! For a free estimate visit or get our FREE app available for Apple and Android smart phones

November 2023

3 Steps To Controlling Thermal Transfer Effectively In Facades Farrat’s Commercial Manager for STRUKTRA® Chris Lister discusses the role of structural thermal breaks in facades. “It is already understood in the industry that facades serve multiple functions in the building envelope, making the integration of thermal breaks crucial for several reasons including- enhanced energy performance maintaining the integrity of the thermal envelope, controlling condensation and fulfilling fire performance criteria. All whilst offering architectural flexibility, contributing to sustainability targets and meeting the required building codes and standards.” Lister continues. “Building facades are a complex part of any building construction. The assured thermal, structural and fire performance of components within this highly visible and exposed element is critical to the safety and longevity of any project.” Farrat, a UK engineering company, were established in 1959 and have a pedigree in R&D developing new solutions designed to control both vibration and thermal energy for designers, specifiers and contractors. Their work on improving the performance of structural thermal breaks has recently been studied by both the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP and the University of Salford resulting in reports available online in the Farrat Knowledge-Hub. Chris Lister comments. “We commissioned research at the Fraunhofer IBP (Test report P7-081e-1/2023 Calculation of the Point Thermal Transmittance and the Temperature Factor of Steel Structure Connections.) which can be downloaded in full via our website. Plus, a 4-year PhD project was conducted both on-site and at the “Energy House” located at the University of Salford in Manchester, United Kingdom. Using a specialist temperature and climate-controlled building to conduct full-scale testing of a typical steel-to-steel connection passing through the building envelope.” Lister claims “As a result of over 15 years of research including commissioned independent studies at scale, 3D thermal modelling and a PhD project we can confidently conclude that our STRUKTRA® connections perform equally or better thermally than alternative solutions making it the best performing thermal break both structurally and thermally in the market. We provide architects, designers and contractors with 3 easy steps to take when controlling thermal transfer effectively in facades.” Step 1. Narrower connections reduce both material and costs: many solutions on the market require you to design connections larger than necessary (both the length, width and thickness of the steel end plates). This creates an unnecessary increase in the size of the connection and more material required. Instead, check to see if you can map the same or better static performance (i.e.

compressive strength, rotational stiffness) with a more compact thermal break. In many cases, the thickness of the connection can be reduced from 80mm or 120mm down to 25mm using STRUKTRA®. Step 2. Easy and efficient design: Often cumbersome design processes or external planning tools are necessary to design thermal separations in load-bearing connections. This costs important time. STRUKTRA® can be integrated into all common Euro Code 3 connections without the need for special design tools. This simplifies the process and saves you valuable time. Step 3. Superior and certified materials: the thermal breaks in load-bearing connections must withstand the highest loads and reliably deliver their thermal insulation performance. Therefore, look for certifications and quality seals, such as the ETA CE mark or Passivhaus. In addition, research any available studies that have been conducted by independent organisations.” Mr. Lister closes with a clear message. “Remember if it’s not certified, it’s not the right product.”


November 2023

Poor Quality Workwear the new Fast Fashion? Avoid poor quality workwear and invest in good quality, sustainable working clothes to help protect the environment. The BBC reported that one of the dumping grounds for our unwanted clothing is the rapidly growing Fast Fashion graveyard in Chile’s Atacama desert1. Traders in Chile import unwanted clothes of all types mainly from Europe and the US, to resell both locally and to other Latin American nations. But more than half of the 60,000 tonnes of clothes imported into Chile each year ends up in illegal desert landfills, with dire consequences for the environment and the local communities. Sadly, it’s typical of an all too familiar story in our throw-away culture how the demand for Fast Fashion is contributing to long-term waste and seriously impacting the environment. As the Daily Mirror has more recently reported, Britain’s love of Fast Fashion is fuelling an environmental catastrophe in Ghana’s capital which has a toxic mountain of ditched clothing rotting on a beach. The Mirror identified that unsold used clothing in the UK is sold to textile merchants, going on to say that while some of the lowest quality items may be recycled for mattress stuffing, underlay or cleaning rags, large numbers of garments pass through international networks and are dumped as waste.2 While it’s a relatively new buzzword to some, Fast Fashion is certainly at the heart of the sustainability debate in the clothing industry. As far as protective wear is concerned and, especially given its short lifecycle, poorer quality and throwaway


working clothes are effectively becoming a new kind of Fast Workwear.

fibres into their fabric and garment materials technology thereby reducing our carbon footprint.

Fast Fashion is cheap clothing produced to satisfy a short-term mass-market demand. That’s precisely what Fast Workwear – cheap, poorer quality protective wear - does. It fulfils a demand for low-cost workwear satisfying a conscious buying decision and a desire for cheaper products. Consumers believe they are investing in a cost-effective solution and saving themselves money. But cheap protective wear comes with a hidden cost – because of its short life cycle it’s not sustainable and our environment is starting to pay the price.

For the likes of the Hultafors Group, and in particular its protective wear brand Snickers Workwear, the transition to adopting sustainable business practices and product development is a priority.4 Sadly, the linear business principle followed by some cheaper workwear brands is a ‘take, make, dispose’ practice for producing cheap clothing. Once those garments have reached the end of their useful life, wearers dispose of them – without any real consideration for environmental impact.

So just how big is the throw-away clothing problem in the UK? It’s said that each Briton owns an average of 115 garments and that the UK is the fourth largest textile-waster in Europe. In 2018, £12.5 billion worth of the UK’s clothes went to landfill. Sadly, most consumers are blissfully unaware that the clothing industry is resource intensive. Globally, the Fast Fashion industry uses 1.5 trillion tonnes of water each year and, given the volume of chemicals used in the manufacturing processes, it is the second biggest polluter of water supplies and also responsible for 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions. What’s more, these figures are not about to start decreasing given that the demand for raw materials in the industry is expected to triple by 2050.3 Pioneering sustainable practices. The leading protective wear brands are beginning to think carefully about sustainability by considering the processes and resources required to make clothing. They are also advocating buying better-quality garments that will last longer, as well as incorporating recycled

Snickers Workwear’s philosophy is to ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’. This approach involves reducing the resources used during a garment’s production; turning waste into workwear by incorporating recycled fibres into its garment materials technology; and developing harderwearing workwear using sustainable fabrics to keep the garments in effective use for as long as possible. Also: •

Prioritising the use of materials of the highest quality to make garments last longer, replacing conventional materials with more sustainable alternatives.

Prioritising Preferred Fibres5 - such as REPREVE® and SORONA®6 those that have more sustainable properties in comparison to conventional options.

Recycling man-made materials such as nylon and polyester fabrics to create new, Preferred Fibres.

Ensuring that Preferred Fibres deliver high levels of durability and comfort to ensure a long product lifetime- the key to reducing waste.

Using materials that can easily be recycled to create new raw material with the same performance level as the original virgin material.

1 BBC News, 2 Nada Farhoud, Environmental Editor, The Real Cost of Our Throwaway Fashion, Daily Mirror, July 28th 2023, 1,4,5,8. 3 Hazel Needham, AAiDXUHG2u3DurUAVDmKaPNqtFWXgKyyuFXRUK2MSww_vGcaAkFYEALw_wcB 4 Hultafors Group, Sustainability Report 2022,, 41-45

November 2023 •

Driving demand for Better Cotton, an initiative which also positively impacts farmers and the environment.7

Committing to conscious cotton choices - in 2022 an impressive 65% (846 Metric Tonnes), of Snickers Workwear’s total cotton uptake was sourced as Better Cotton.

Using more sustainable colouring processes that significantly reduces water, chemicals and energy use – commonly referred to as dope dye.

Using ‘Mulesing-Free’ Merino Wool to prevent animal cruelty

Snickers Workwear’s objective is to ensure that by 2030, 70% of the fabrics it uses are Preferred Fibres – those with sustainable properties and a lower environmental footprint. The target for 2023 - that the company will be at 40% has already been reached - a significant achievement by any measure. It’s a process that will deliver full manufacturing transparency and garment lifecycle traceability, thus reducing our climate impact and preventing Fast Workwear from going into landfill.8 Sustainable garment manufacturing aligned with well-informed buying decisions will play a significant part in helping us to achieve our climate

goals and securing the health of the planet for future generations. But we must make conscious decisions to be successful in accelerating positive change. As the Voice of the Daily Mirror recently said, ‘We are what we wear to some extent and paying a little more - even in a cost of living crisis - for clothes we’ll keep longer and wear more often would be a cultural change that would benefit the earth’.9 Peter Dumigan is managing director of the Hultafors Group UK, which owns Snickers Workwear, Solid Gear safety footwear as well as Hellberg Safety PPE.

How can you make a difference? As workwear manufacturers navigate the complex and challenging transition to more sustainable business models, you can support them by asking how sustainable the garments that you’re buying actually are? Also, by choosing those brands that are committed to improving sustainability. Things you can do include: Avoid Fast Workwear and cheap protective wear products. Invest in better quality workwear select products that are built to last that can be kept in use as long as possible Identify workwear brands who are extending the lifespan of their workwear. Finally… Increasing levels of awareness about the impact of waste on our environment will surely have an impact on the clothes people choose for working on site in years to come. For Snickers Workwear, sustainable product development and the initiative for turning Waste into Workwear is being applied to every new product in the Snickers Workwear collection. It brings additional assurance that the Snickers Workwear Hallmarks of design, comfort, functionality, durability and now sustainability will not be compromised in any way.

Getting more information on the Snickers Workwear clothing range is easy. You can call the Helpline on 01484 854788; check out or email

5 * A ‘Preferred fibre’ is defined as fibres with documented improved environmental and/or social sustainability outcomes and impacts compared to conventional production. 6 Hultafors Group, Sustainability Report 2022,, 42. 7 Better Cotton, 8 Hultafors Group, Sustainability Report 2022,, 41-45. 9 The Voice of the Daily Mirror, Stop this Eco Crime. Daily Mirror, July 28th 2028, 8.


November 2023

How Schools Can Future Proof Their Health and Safety? Here’s the reality check: over 1,500 school buildings in the UK catch fire yearly. That’s not just a number – that’s lives disrupted, dreams dashed, and property turned to ashes. Fire safety is critical to any school’s safety plan, yet it’s often overlooked until it’s too late. A fire can cause substantial damage to a school, disrupting learning, traumatising students and teachers, and costing communities money. This article explores the regulations that apply to schools and how, using new digital tools, can improve their fire safety management, identify and resolve potential fire hazards, and ensure a safe environment for students and faculty alike. Navigating Fire Safety Regulations for Schools School fire safety regulations are set out in the Fire Safety Act 2006 and the Fire Safety Order 2005. These regulations require schools to have a fire risk assessment, which identifies the fire hazards and measures to be taken to reduce the fire risk. Schools must also have a fire emergency plan, which sets out how the school will be evacuated in the event of a fire. In addition to the Fire Safety Act 2006 and the Fire Safety Regulations 2005, several other fire safety regulations apply to schools in the UK. These include: • •

The Building Regulations, which set out the minimum fire safety standards for all buildings in the UK The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH), which is a set of rules that schools must follow to ensure the safe handling of hazardous substances The Electricity at Work Regulations, which set out the requirements for the safe use of electricity in schools to avoid fires caused by electric short circuits

Compliance with Fire Safety Regulations Compliance with fire safety regulations is vital as it mitigates fire risks and safeguards lives within schools. These regulations ensure thorough risk assessments, proper building design, fire detection systems, emergency exits, and effective training. Non-compliance to fire safety regulations can lead to dire consequences. It can cause an increased fire risk, delayed detection, inadequate evacuation, legal ramifications, financial penalties, and, worst of all, potential loss of life. Crafting Effective Evacuation Plans To create an effective evacuation plan, schools should identify the fire hazards in the school and determine the evacuation routes. A fire evacuation plan should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. The plan should include the following information: • • • •

Storage and Maintenance of Flammable Materials Flammable materials, such as cleaning products, aerosols, laboratory chemicals, and paper, are commonly found in schools. It is important to store these materials safely and never leave them unattended to prevent fire hazards. Here are some tips for storing flammable materials safely: • • • •


The location of fire alarms and fire extinguishers The designated evacuation routes The meeting location for students and staff after the evacuation The responsibilities of staff during an evacuation

Store flammable materials in a safe place, away from heat sources. Store them in a fire-resistant cabinet or container. Label all flammable materials clearly so that everyone knows they are flammable. Make sure all fire extinguishers are easily accessible in the event of a fire.

November 2023 Conducting Regular Fire Drills

A fire drill is a planned exercise to test the school’s fire safety plan and ensure that everyone knows how to evacuate the building safely in the event of a fire. Fire drills should be conducted at least once per term and announced in advance so everyone knows what to do.

During a fire drill, the students and the teachers should evacuate the premises in an orderly manner and assemble at a safe distance from the building.

From Paper to Cloud: The Role of Digital Logbooks In this digital age, traditional paper-based recordkeeping is no longer sufficient. Digital fire safety log books can track fire safety inspections, monitor maintenance records, record training records, and generate reports. Additionally, digital logbooks can improve communication between staff and students, track progress, identify areas where improvement is needed, and keep records of all health and safetyrelated activities.

Efficiency and precision: Digital logbooks enable easy health and safety data recording and tracking, saving time and minimising errors. Accessible collaboration: All staff members can access shared digital logbooks, fostering awareness and uniform understanding of fire safety procedures. Informed decision-making: Digital logbooks provide data-driven insights and reports, facilitating proactive measures to enhance fire safety protocols. Data security: Cloud-based storage reduces data loss risks, ensuring reliable records for audits, compliance, and emergency preparedness.

Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing Digital Logbooks Implementing digital logbooks for fire safety involves a structured approach to ensure a seamless transition from paper-based record-keeping. Tio is the free award-winning app that gives you everything you need to manage and prove fire safety compliance anytime, anywhere. Track fire safety measures, maintenance, stay organised and comply with fire safety regulations automatically.

The Benefits of Digital Logbooks Digital logbooks are increasingly important in futureproofing schools’ health and safety. They offer various advantages over traditional paper logbooks, including: Follow these steps to successfully implement digital logbooks in your school: Step


Key Actions

Step 1

Assessment of Needs

Identify safety and documentation needs, focusing on fire safety, maintenance, and incident reporting.

Step 2

Platform selection

Research and choose a user-friendly fire safety logbook, such as Tio, with real-time updates and necessary features.

Step 3


Follow built-in tutorials for training staff on data entry, checks, and reminders usage.

Step 4


Tailor the logbook to school requirements by setting up categories and checklists.

Step 5

Initial Data Entry

Populate the logbook with existing safety records, maintenance schedules, and contacts.

Step 6

Testing Phase

Run a trial to verify features and address any issues.

Step 7

Rollout and Integration

Launch the logbook, conduct a digital fire safety training for your staff, and promote its advantages.

Step 8

Regular Updates and Maintenance

Assign updating responsibility, add new protocols, and schedules.

Step 9

Auditing and Review

Conduct periodic audits for accuracy and system performance.

The Endnote: How to Cultivate a Fire-Safe Culture in Schools? Schools are responsible for protecting the health and safety of their students, staff, and visitors. Following the afore-mentioned tips, schools can future-proof their health and safety and reduce the risk of fires and other accidents. One way to future-proof your school’s health and safety is to use a digital fire and safety compliance app like Tio. If you want to future-proof your school’s health and safety, learn more at and start free today.


November 2023

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.


November 2023

Gilberts energises the workplace environment for global property company

The expansion, reconfiguration and refurbishment of the London headquarters of a global real estate company has created a workplace fit for the future with wellbeing for people and planet at its heart. The 1990s office block re-work has attained BREEAM Excellent and WELL Platinum- being the UK’s largest fully fitted project to achieve the latter certification for the quality of air, water and light within a building. The accreditations have been won in part through the building services devised by engineering consultants Troup Bywaters + Anders and delivered by MALA Engineering. DBA Air Solutions supplied Gilberts’ grilles and diffusers for use across the 10 floors of the 144,500 sq ft that form the workspace. Throughout the spaces, Gilberts GSL linear slot diffusers, predominantly in four-slot configuration, have been installed in bulkheads to deliver fresh air, directing the airflow horizontally or vertically as required by each location. Gilberts’ GECA eggcrate grilles extract the used air. Gilberts’ GSFE circular swirl diffusers provide fresh air and extract stale air through the exposed ceilingmounted building services into the office areas. The high air change

rates achieved by the GSFE’s are integral to maintaining the indoor air quality and to the attainment of the WELL Platinum categorisation. Gilberts’ GHV double deflection grilles complement the air distribution, providing both supply and extraction. Commented Martin Ingram, Associate Partner @ Troup Bywaters + Anders: “The over-arching aim was to create an inspiring and energising workplace for the future whilst leaving the smallest environmental footprint possible. A doubleheight entrance and central stairwell rising the full height of the building alongside open plan work and breakout spaces presented challenges in designing airpaths and ventilation levels. I knew Gilberts will always support with technical expertise, work with you to achieve the best end result, and the products are good. I was therefore confident to specify them on such a prestigious project.” The refubishment is the latest in Gilberts’ portfolio of office environments, including hybrid ventilation for BREEAM Excellentrated Oceansgate in Plymouth, smoke dampers for Fletton Quays Peterborough, diffusers for

Birmingham’s 103 Colmore Row and Liverpool’s Merseyside Police HQ, and plant louvres at the former site of Saga Records The Gramophone Works. That portfolio validates Gilberts’ position as the UK’s leading independent air movement specialist, demonstrating its diversity of advanced technology that enhances the design, installation, energy efficiency and occupier comfort of non- domestic buildings. Founded 60 years ago and still family-owned and directed, Gilberts Blackpool is unique in its ability to develop components, be it ‘mainstream’ or bespoke- entirely in-house, from initial design through tooling, production, testing and supply. Its state of the art test centre, designed and built in-house, is one of the most technically advanced in the country. All Gilberts’ products- standard lines and bespoke solutions- are designed, developed, manufactured and tested in accordance with BS EN ISO 9001:2015 quality standard in the company’s state of the art 140,000 ft2 facility in Blackpool.

Gilberts T: 01253 766911 E: W:


November 2023

Improving Safety for Your On-Site Workers There are many concerns for a site manager, among them steering the project so that it is finished on time and on budget. A bigger concern than both of these, however, is ensuring that everyone who is present on the site is safe and goes home (or to their lodgings) at the end of the day as healthy as they came in that morning. This is not easy, especially on long projects where several different trades are involved in the construction process. Despite all of this, you can help to improve the safety of that workforce by looking into key areas.

Carry out full briefings and training Equipment maintenance The fastest and most effective way to ensure everyone knows all of the possible hazards, both general and It may seem like common sense, but for longthose specific to the site or project they are working term projects, this is often overlooked. In short, on, is to give a full briefing each day. New workers an effective maintenance programme will make wandering around unaware of these hazards can be a machinery and equipment used on-site more risk to others as well as themselves, so gather everybody reliable. Less chance of breakdown means that together each morning before anyone starts work. fewer accidents are likely to occur due to faulty Training sessions also need to take place before anyone equipment, and there is also the fact that better working machinery means better productivity. is allowed to start their job, and while they don’t need to be overly long, they need to cover what will keep them safe while they are on-site. This will also include a breakdown of any hazardous materials on-site (even if they are not using them) and the PPE that needs to be worn as a result.

A maintenance program can spot problems early and reduce the number of hazards, and corrective action can take place to make sure nobody comes to harm. This must be scheduled correctly, as rapidly carried out maintenance can cause more problems than it solves. All maintenance should be documented in a Ensure they have somewhere to stay log so everyone is aware of what has been done and While all of this is useful, its effectiveness can be dented when. if the workers arrive on-site tired or with low morale because where they are staying is less than ideal. If it is To wrap everything up a long project, the workers will not want to be living in a Improving safety on-site needs to be the top priority hotel room that could change from day to day. Instead, of whoever is running the project. This needs to they would be looking for a dedicated base that they can go a little further than the essential safety briefing treat as a home. for everyone in the workforce and should include ensuring all of the equipment and machinery used is By looking at a website like Comfy Workers, you can also maintained regularly. It should also include the find a house for them to stay in for the duration of correct accommodation for workers who are staying the project, including in big areas like Liverpool. That locally long term so they can take care of themselves way, you know they have their own space where they properly while away from home. can relax and prepare meals, and if they have an early


start or are working nights, the other guests won’t be disrupting their sleep patterns.

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.

November 2023

Prioritising Employees:

Safety & Welfare in Construction

workers on health and safety guidelines. This training should cover particular topics that are appropriate for each role, from manual handling guidelines to slips and trips. The construction industry is anything but simple. To work on a site, employees are required to have an in-depth knowledge of their surroundings. This encompasses anything from the density of materials to the operating of machinery. The Construction Industry Training Board is available to assist employers in ensuring training standards amongst employees.

Steps to improve wellbeing

Everyone should find enjoyment in their job. Whether that comes from We all want to feel safe in the workplace, both physically and mentally. Whether professional fulfilment, friendships, you manage a site or own your own construction business, both the safety and or a generous payment scheme, is welfare of your team is paramount. After all, manual labourers build the world irrelevant. Your employees’ welfare around us, so the least we can do is ensure they are able to work safely. should never decline while at work. This article will explore some of the ways you can make sure your workplace is If you provide a friendly work environment, their wellbeing can an inviting space. improve. Here are three simple steps to achieve this. Mental health support In order to maintain workers’ wellbeing, it is important for businesses to Provide a safe space to relax in provide mental health support. This can be something as simple as ensuring In the UK, employees who work that employees have someone to talk to, such as a mental health first aider. more than 6 hours are entitled to a In comparison to a physical first aider, it is not a legal requirement to have break of at least 20 minutes. This can a mental health first aider in the workplace. However, this is a good idea increase depending on the length if employers are looking for ways to improve emotional welfare standards of the shift worked. Regardless amongst their workers. of whether the work is physically A positive working environment is beneficial in more ways than one. According or mentally demanding, rest is to research by Warwick University, happy workers can be 12% more productive imperative to employee welfare. than those who are unhappy. This is not the main benefit of employee welfare, With that in mind, it is important for but it is another reason to train mental health first aiders. businesses to provide a space where workers can gather during their Steps to ensure health and safety breaks. If you manage a construction Maintaining standards of health and safety is one of the most important responsibilities in any construction site. Here are three key ways you can create site, this might be a storage container that can be transported a safe workplace for your staff. to a new location when necessary. This can provide employees with soft Perform necessary risk assessments furnishings and amenities, such as To ensure employees are safe in the workplace, businesses are required to a kettle and microwave, to facilitate perform risk assessments. This covers a number of concerns, from electrical relaxation. safety to manual handling. If conducted properly, workers can be confident when completing their tasks that every effort has been made to ensure that These are some of the simple steps they do not come into harm’s way. you can take to provide a safe space for your employees – and why stop In the construction sector, risk assessments should be conducted thoroughly. here? There are lots of other safety There are a lot of duties to be overseen on a building site, including planning, precautions to take, and many more demolition, and construction. One of the most important risk assessments may be structural stability, whereby trained personnel survey buildings during welfare boosters to create. Have an open conversation with the team alterations. to find out how you can make your Every construction site is unique, although there are similarities between each workplace stand out from the rest. one. This includes the use of heavy machinery and equipment. Site managers What will be your first step? should ensure each piece of mobile equipment is assessed, including dumper trucks, excavators, and mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs).


Supply adequate training Risk assessments are imperative, but this is only the first step in employee safety. It is a legal requirement for every business to thoroughly train its





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See us on stand 3 E/40 25-27 April 2023, NEC Birmingham UK

Tilsatec | +44 (0)1924 375742 | | TILSATEC LIMITED, Flanshaw Lane, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF2 9ND, ENGLAND


November 2023

SOIL INSTRUMENTS LIMITED UNVEILS SENSLY: A Revolutionary Data Monitoring Software for Enhanced Geotechnical Insights Soil Instruments Limited, a global leader in geotechnical instrumentation and monitoring solutions, proudly announces the launch of Sensly, its cutting-edge Data Monitoring Software. This innovative software, designed to replace the existing Argus platform, represents a significant leap forward in geotechnical data management. Sensly operates on a secure cloud technology platform, offering a host of unparalleled features that cater to the evolving needs of geotechnical professionals. The software provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface, ensuring a seamless and efficient experience for users at all levels of expertise.

Key features of Sensly include:


User-Friendly Interface: Sensly boasts an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it accessible for professionals at all skill levels. The streamlined design enhances user experience and facilitates efficient data management.

Secure Login and User Access Levels: Ensuring the utmost security, Sensly offers a robust login system with customizable user access levels. This feature enhances data protection and privacy, allowing organizations to control access based on specific roles and responsibilities.

Customisable Dashboards: Geotechnical professionals can tailor their monitoring experience with customizable dashboards, providing a personalized and efficient overview of critical data. This flexibility empowers users to focus on the information most relevant to their projects.

Email Alerts: Sensly’s real-time email alert system enables users to stay informed about crucial developments in their monitored data. Instant notifications allow for swift responses to any anomalies or noteworthy events.

Data Editing and Export: With Sensly, users can easily edit and export data, facilitating a dynamic and interactive data management process. The software’s advanced capabilities empower professionals to derive meaningful insights from their geotechnical data.

Map Image Layers: Sensly integrates map image layers, providing a comprehensive and visually rich representation of geotechnical data. This feature enhances spatial analysis and enables users to visualize and interpret data in a geospatial context.

Sensly is available immediately for clients seeking to transition from their existing data monitoring software to this groundbreaking platform. Additionally, it is readily deployable for use with new projects, offering a future-ready solution for geotechnical monitoring needs. Speaking about the launch, David Welch, Global Sales & Marketing Manager, at Soil Instruments Limited, said, “Sensly marks a significant milestone in our commitment to delivering innovative solutions to the geotechnical community. With its advanced features and secure cloud technology, Sensly empowers professionals to make informed decisions based on accurate and real-time data. We are confident that Sensly will set a new standard in geotechnical data monitoring.” For more information about Sensly, contact: David Welch, Global Sales and Marketing Manager on T.+44 (0) 1825 765044, e: or website :

November 2023

Try before you buy with West Fraser

It's simple to select the perfect panel for projects with West Fraser's free samples

Specifying the perfect panel products for a project is a key part of the planning process. West Fraser manufactures the leading building panel ranges in the UK and, to help in the selection process, the company has introduced A5-size samples, individually wrapped in a cover containing product information. Customers can select from SterlingOSB Zero OSB3, SterlingOSB Zero T&G, CaberFloor P5, CaberDek, CaberShieldPlus, CaberWood MDF or the newest addition to the range, SterlingOSB Zero PrimedPlus, by visiting the West Fraser website at The website has designated pages for architects and housebuilders offering downloadable checklists, fact sheets, DoPs, safety datasheets and an interactive product guide to ensure

that the customers have everything they need to choose the right panels for every projects application. A selection of case studies showcasing West Fraser products and instruction videos provide inspiration and know-how! So, whether it’s a solution for roofing, flooring, walling, timber frames, hoarding or shopfitting needed, the West Fraser website has the information and the wood-based panels for a perfect job. All West Fraser UK panel products are manufactured in mills that have obtained the coveted environmental ISO 14001 accreditation. Responsibly sourced, the panels are produced from locally grown timber, cutting embodied carbon from transportation. For further information, call 01786 812 921.


November 2023

FABRIC FREEDOM HUMANSCALE LAUNCHES GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP WITH KVADRAT Humanscale the leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance ergonomic products introduces its global partnership through the offering of nine Kvadrat textiles– the renowned textile designer and manufacturer. The collaboration begins with Humanscale’s award winning Freedom family seating solutions, available from 16th October with the partnership then expanding further across Humanscale’s planet positive seating solutions, including Smart Ocean, Liberty Ocean and the Trea Chair launching in November, and further to Summa, Smart Conference and Path available early 2024. Aligned through shared values of design innovation, longevity and sustainability, the new partnership aims to merge purposeful expression of colour, texture and pattern with an industrial design ethos born of ergonomic wellness and engineered inclusivity. A perfect fit for both commercial and residential settings, Kvadrat’s versatile upholstery collections reflect its commitment to colour, simplicity and innovation by constantly pushing the aesthetic, technological and functional properties of textiles. The textiles are made using only the best raw materials so that they last a lifetime and have the least possible impact on the environment. The seating solutions will be available in nine captivating Kvadrat textiles, giving a compelling assortment to choose from:


Vanir by Raf Simons

Remix 3

Steelcut Quartet

Elle from SAHCO


Steelcut Trio 3

Arda from Kvadrat Febrik

Hallingdal 65

Coda 2

November 2023 Introduced in 1999, Freedom is a Humanscale classic that proves that ergonomics can be beautiful. The Freedom range was designed to eliminate the need for any manual controls or knobs and levers, Freedom automatically adjusts to every user via their body weight by using the simple laws of physics. Like all Humanscale products, the Freedom was designed to function and look like new for years, creating a positive consumer and environmental impact. The Freedom collection also includes the Saddle and Pony seats – the perfect companion to the Freedom task chairs, doubling as a guest seat for in-office meetings and an ottoman for when you’re ready to kick back and relax. Both seats are designed to support via a saddle shape, promoting upright and ergonomic sitting positions, aiming and encouraging movement and active sitting. “Humanscale’s collaboration with Kvadrat marks an exciting creative journey to ignite meaningful change on an industrial scale,” says Todd Bracher, Creative Director of Humanscale. “Our shared values of design innovation, longevity, and sustainability make this partnership a perfect fit.” The global partnership merges Humanscale’s sophisticated ergonomics, simplicity and function with Kvadrat’s expressive interplay of colour and texture invigorating hybrid work culture wherever it occurs: in today’s office, at home or in third places.

“Humanscale shares values with us and both companies wish to rethink and explore how we live and work” added Anders Byriel, Kvadrat CEO “We are looking forward to developing our collaboration with Humanscale in promoting wellbeing and connectivity and building this truly global partnership.” These two companies bring together the best in their expertise’s to create innovative and stylish solutions for workplaces worldwide. Merging design expressions of colour, texture and pattern with a design ethos of ergonomic wellness to energise both office and hybrid work culture. The partnership between Humanscale and Kvadrat goes beyond just product design by also promoting sustainable practises and environmental responsibility within their products and design practices. Humanscale and Kvadrat steadfastly uphold their commitment to planet positive manufacturing and materials sourcing, minimising each manufacturers environmental footprint to leave the world better off than they have found it. Both companies are taking important steps to contain their influence on global temperature rise within 1.5°C by utilising new manufacturing systems that decrease carbon emissions from both on-and-off site fuel use. Together, Humanscale and Kvadrat are weaving a sustainable and innovative future for design.


November 2023

FIRST SPADE IN THE GROUND AT £37M NEWCASTLE HOUSING REGENERATION PROJECT Work has started on site at Keepmoat’s £37m Heaton Quarter development in Newcastle upon Tyne. The scheme, being delivered by the top 10 UK housebuilder, with support from Newcastle City Council and Network Rail, represents a £37 million investment to create new energy-efficient homes that will feature PV panels, electric vehicle charging points and bike storage to promote sustainable travel. Network Rail will also be delivering trackside biodiversity initiatives adjacent to the scheme. Of the 143 new homes to be built, seven will provide affordable rent homes via Bernicia Housing, and a further 41 will provide rent to buy and other tenures in partnership with Karbon Homes. Fourteen of the homes will also be available to buy through discount market sale. Teams from Keepmoat, Network Rail and Newcastle City Council created a biodiversity strategy that ensures there will be a number of unique biodiversity features on site. This includes a biodiversity mosaic corridor between the development and the main East Coast rail line to be maintained by Network Rail for at least 30 years. The strategy also features a noise attenuation bund that will reduce noise pollution whilst also creating a series of ecological habitats to ensure that local wildlife is able to thrive within the development. A series of swales and SUDS basins will be installed throughout the site to accommodate surface water at times of high rainfall. Key public figures including Nick Kemp, Leader of Newcastle City Council; and Group Property Director at Network Rail, Robin Dobson; met with Keepmoat’s Regional Managing Director, Ian Worgan at the former railway yard.

the land into a new, mixed tenure housing development, to be named Heaton Quarter. Ian Worgan, Regional Managing Director at Keepmoat, North East, commented: “We’re thrilled to see work start on site at this key regeneration project in this area of the city. Heaton Quarter is the ninth scheme in Newcastle upon Tyne that Keepmoat has undertaken in recent years in partnership with the City Council producing around 1,000 new homes and we are looking forward to working with our partners to breathe new life into the disused railway yard and deliver much needed new, energy-efficient homes to local people.” Robin Dobson, Group Property Director at Network Rail, said: “Heaton Quarter is a great example of how Network Rail can successfully work with public and private partners to unlock railway land and secure planning to enable the delivery of much needed new homes. Working with Newcastle City Council and Keepmoat we can transform this brownfield land, create a new community and introduce additional biodiversity across Network Rail’s estate. This represents an innovative development for Network Rail and a recognition that rail line corridors play a key in biodiversity provision across the UK.” Nick Kemp, Leader of Newcastle City Council added: Councillor Nick Kemp, Leader of Newcastle City Council, added: “The council is committed to working with developers and social housing providers to encourage the delivery of good quality homes. This development, which will also help us meet our net zero goals, will see a significant investment to the area and the regeneration of a brownfield site. The mixed tenure of the new homes will provide a range of housing options to meet the diverse needs of residents in our city and I look forward to seeing the finished result.”

Keepmoat is a top 10 UK partnership homebuilder with a track-record of delivering quality new homes across the UK at prices people can afford. To date, almost 70% of its current developments are on brownfield sites and over 70% of its customers are first time buyers. In the last They spoke about the importance of survey year, Keepmoat achieved HBF five star builder status, receiving a regenerating brownfield land and how rating of at least 90% in the National New Homes Customer Satisfaction this latest investment will transform Survey.


To find out more about Heaton Quarter, please visit:

November 2023

Sunbelt Rentals collaborates with America’s leader in floor removal equipment

National Flooring Equipment to embark on transatlantic relationship with the UK’s largest equipment rental provider Industry leading surface preparation expert, National Flooring Equipment, has collaborated with Sunbelt Rentals to supply floor removal equipment in the UK. Sunbelt Rentals is a global leader in equipment rental, but has not branched out into floor removal until now. The business, which has over 200 depots nationwide, will offer National Flooring Equipment’s full range of scraper technology and tooling and is currently the only place in the UK where you can rent a Rogue Walk-Behind Scraper. The Rogue is designed to combine the features of a heavy-duty ride-on scraper with the compact size of a walk-behind. Offering precision steering and fully adjustable blade angles means that the Rogue is suitable for both hard and soft floor removal and is the first of its kind. The partnership with Sunbelt Rentals means that there are now nine Rogue’s available for UK customers to rent across its three sites. Other walk behind scrapers that will be available include the 550 and 5280, both of which are perfect for tight, confined spaces and residential work due to their more compact designs. The 5280 is CE marked and great at removing soft flooring such as glueddown floors, gummy commercial carpet, and sheet vinyl.

where in the world they are. The partnership with Sunbelt Rentals means that we can rest easy knowing that the UK market is getting the technical advice it needs when choosing one of our machines.” “We’re delighted to be partnering with National Flooring Equipment as we introduce this new range of products into our extensive rental fleet,” said Neil Shakespeare, director of flooring solutions at Sunbelt Rentals. “We’re passionate about providing new routes to market for customers to access the specialist equipment and solutions they need, with the most flexible rental options. By working with carefully selected industry-leading manufacturers, including National Flooring Equipment, we’re able to guarantee that our customers receive the most reliable and advanced solutions available.”

To ensure that customers have access to machines suitable for a range of applications, Sunbelt Rentals will also offer the 5700 and 8000 ride on scrapers. As National Flooring Equipment’s best seller in the US, due to its versatility from residential to commercial applications, the 5700 will be a valued addition to the UK market. The 8000 is a propane fuelled ride on scraper and is the largest of the fleet.

National Flooring Equipment is an innovative market leader in floor removal and surface preparation, holding over twelve patents ranging from blades to floor stripping machines.

“Without guided support, it can be difficult for users to select the right machine for their job,” commented Jake Sinna, president of National Flooring Equipment. “As a business that puts service and quality first, it’s important that we can provide our customers with the support needed throughout this process, no matter

Alternatively, enquire with Sunbelt about National Flooring Equipment rentals in the UK here:

To find out more about the models on offer from National Flooring Equipment visit the company’s website:


November 2023

GREEN INNOVATOR ARTUS AIR SECURES SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT TO DRIVE NEXT PHASE OF GROWTH Funding from BGF and Par Equity will be deployed to bring carbon-saving air conditioning solution to more top-tier customers BGF, one of the largest and most experienced investors in the UK and Ireland, has completed a multi-million-pound investment in Artus Air Limited (“Artus”), as part of a wider funding round alongside leading venture capital firm, Par Equity. Artus designs and sells game-changing HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) units for buildings, with its innovative, elegant design significantly reducing carbon emissions both by using fewer materials and being more efficient to operate.

need upgrading to meet future energy efficiency standards, and 6% of the UK’s emissions coming from heating and cooling commercial and public buildings, Artus can play a key role in retrofitting more carbon efficient HVAC systems.

Spun out of global sustainable development consultancy Arup in 2021, the company has offices in Edinburgh and London, serving an HVAC market estimated to be worth over $100bn globally.

The investment will enable the company to rapidly scale its sales function, expand its product range and establish new international export partnerships, ultimately allowing Artus to deliver its transformational product to more clients.

There are already several thousand Artus units deployed, including significant installations at a number of landmark new build and refurbished building developments in cities across the UK and Europe. With Deloitte estimating that 80% of London’s offices


The wider HVAC sector is highly acquisitive as increasingly stringent regulatory requirements drive urgent technical innovation. Artus is one such innovator, and its climate efficient technology achieves more than 80% fan energy savings compared to other fan coil units.

November 2023 Rebecca Stewart, CEO of Artus Air, said: “This investment marks a transformative moment in Artus Air’s growth journey. Our track record of delivery shows why we are the future of air conditioning – our solution delivers significant carbon savings, is demonstrably faster to install and is easier to maintain. It also has the added benefit of being super compact, meaning that sometimes it’s the only solution to the upgrade of tricky spaces. “BGF’s investment alongside the continuing support of Par Equity is warmly welcomed as we expand our offering into high potential markets in Europe and the US. We look forward to reducing our impact on the environment and setting new standards within the industry.” Dennis Atkinson, Investor at BGF, said: “Artus Air is pioneering and delivering energy efficient climate control technology that can make a real difference at a time when building emissions are under close scrutiny. We are pleased that our investment, as part of the wider fundraise, will help scale up the company’s sales function and expand within this opportunity-rich sector. A combination of rising demand, a strong management team and evolving efficiency requirements means Artus Air is perfectly placed to drive the green revolution in heating and cooling technologies.” Paul Munn, Managing Partner at Par Equity, said: “Artus Air is leading the charge in the air conditioning technology space, which is evident from its energy saving credentials to date. Its commitment to innovating and retrofitting units that are functionally advanced, smart and sustainable sets them apart, and it’s great to see it already being implemented in well-known buildings across the UK. This is why at Par Equity, we are delighted to play a part in its investment journey. Having initially invested in 2021, we’re thrilled to continue our support in this round, enabling Artus Air to take the next step and expand its offering to more buildings across the UK and beyond.”


November 2023

UK CONSTRUCTION WEEK BIRMINGHAM MAKES WELCOME RETURN WITH RECORD VISITORS The UK’s largest event for the built environment, UK Construction Week (UKCW) Birmingham, made a welcome return to the NEC last week, with attendance up 8% year on year, attracting 24,377 visitors to the three-day show.

Opened by Channel 4 presenter George Clarke, UKCW Birmingham attracted visitors and exhibitors from across the globe, including China, Czech Republic, India, Latvia and Turkey. The multi award-winning show featured over 6,000 products and services, and over 150 CPD hours during sessions led by 400 thought leaders and keynote speakers. This year’s high profile speakers and seminar agenda featured industry leaders including Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Borough Council and Lead Member of Business and the Economy for Solihull, and Marsha Ramroop, Executive Director – Equity, Diversity & Inclusion – Building People. Topics discussed included culture change, sustainability, mental health and HS2. Across a range of dedicated sectors, visitors were able to discover the latest innovations


November 2023 and technologies in robotics, digital construction, Net Zero, offsite construction and infrastructure. Alongside UKCW Birmingham, the co-located event Timber Expo, the UK’s largest showcase event for wood and timber in construction, brought together award-winning architects, clients and contractors to show all that timber has to offer. Barbara Akinkunmi, founder of Girls Under Construction, was named UKCW Role Model 2023; as a young black woman in construction, Barbara strives to be a visible leader who actively helps other young women to navigate their career journeys in the construction industry. The winning exhibitors of this year’s Stand Awards included: Sustainability Initiative – Munro EV; Best Shell Scheme Stand – KBI; Most Interactive Stand – Easy Trim; Construction Start-Up of the Year – Cavity Tray Cleaner; Best Marketing Campaign – NEBOSH; Best Space Only – Biffa. Jamie Govier, Managing Director, Easy Trim commented: “Absolutely outstanding. We’ve exhibited at UK Construction Week since it began, and this is the best footfall I’ve seen in five years. It’s a credit to the organisers.”

Fiona Macdonald, Impact Manager, BE-ST, said: “We attended Birmingham with The National Robotarium to demonstrate to the wider construction industry the benefits of robotics and AI; we chose UKCW because of its scale, and its reputation to attract people who have a curiosity about what the future might look like.” Nick Morris, Commercial Business Development Manager, Fischer Future Heat UK, added: “It’s been a really good show and we’ve had some great leads that could turn into major contracts for us, including some university and larger council projects. It’s our first UKCW and we’ve been happy with the amount of enquiries so far, so we’d absolutely come back again.” Sam Patel, UKCW incoming event director, commented after the show: “It’s been another fantastic year for us here in Birmingham. With so much going on within the industry at the moment, it’s great that we can offer the opportunity for visitors of the show to get ahead of the game and we feel privileged that our visitors see the show as the place to do that.” Dates for next year’s two shows have already been announced: UKCW London will take place from 7-9 May 2024 at ExCeL; UKCW Birmingham will run from 1-3 October 2024 at the NEC. Follow us on social media @uk_cw #UKCW2024


November 2023

McGinley extends NIS partnership as HS2 apprentice milestone reached in the Midlands

One of the UK’s leading recruitment and support services for the infrastructure markets has extended its longterm partnership with National Infrastructure Solutions (NIS). McGinley Support Services, which sits on three labour desks on HS2, has successfully used the Wolverhamptonbased training provider to train 50 apprentices in the Midlands and is planning to double this figure over the next twelve months. The two companies have developed bespoke rail engineering operative and rail engineering technician apprenticeships that lead on to specialist training to help the individual develop and grow throughout the duration of the landmark project. Matt Wright (Operations Director at NIS) with four of the

Importantly, the wraparound support provided McGinley apprentices by both organisations has successfully helped attract people who traditionally do not work in the sector, with the latest intake made up of 14% females (compared to 3% nationally), 51% from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds (BAME) and 6% prison leavers. “We are determined to use HS2 to change lives for the better and are passionate about opening up new opportunities for individuals who may need a second chance or may never have considered a possible career in the rail and civil engineering sector,” explained Fiona Burke, HR Director at McGinley.


November 2023 “This vision is fast becoming a reality, especially in the Midlands where we are maximising the strategic relationship with National Infrastructure Solutions to successfully recruit over 50 apprentices and upskill 100 existing workers.” She continued: “They share our social values and have been instrumental in helping us deliver what we have so far. Before we engaged, we were really struggling to find a training provider that offered us the pathways to get individuals ready for the apprenticeships and, importantly, the content in the courses that would give them work-ready skills.” NIS was already running employability courses to help people to move into rail and civil engineering when it was approached by McGinley Support Services to help it with the flexi-apprenticeship agency arm of its business. The initial focus was on getting the balance right between theory and practical hands-on training, so crucial to ensuring candidates pass their NVQ Level 2 and that they are ready to work on the project.

apprentices coming through the programme and about to start. It’s especially pleasing that we have been able to use our relationships in the Midlands to get individuals from care, prison and those who have suffered mental health issues engaged and looking forward to a more positive future.” McGinley, which has recently been named as a Top 100 Apprentice Employer, will need to recruit a further 100 apprentices over the next twelve months in the Midlands as HS2 moves into the next phase. There is also a strong focus on developing specialist training for the apprentices once they have gained their NVQ Level 2, with NIS finalising an offer around signalling and telecoms. Fiona continued: “We don’t just want a training provider that delivers the same course for everyone, we want creativity and a willingness to come up with solutions.

Bespoke training pathways have been created, whilst National Infrastructure Solutions has been able to maximise its dedicated rail training centre in the Black Country.

“That’s what NIS does in abundance, whether that is helping us complete job-ready sessions in prisons, delivering confidence building sessions to help with interviews or coming up with unique content for advanced skills.

Davie Carns, founder of NIS, added his support: “Our sector is at a tipping point when it comes to labour, with the workforce getting older and in urgent need of new blood. That’s why the apprenticeship scheme is so important and why we need to attract people that may never have considered working in our industry.

“HS2 in instrumental in providing jobs in the Midlands and, when it is complete, we want to look back at the role McGinley and NIS played, and say we’ve helped positively change the lives of hundreds of people through expert training and sustainable employment opportunities.”

“The relationship with McGinley is really starting to pay dividends and we’ve got a strong pipeline of

For further information, please visit www.mcginley. or

(l-r) Zahid Stevens, Julius Condison, Louie Baggott and Salihou Sillah (all apprentices at McGinley)


November 2023

Schöck thermal breaks and new dowels for major Swansea office development A major new high-tech office development in Swansea city centre is fast taking shape. The five-storey building, known as 71/72 Kingsway, is a carbon-zero development with two underground levels. It is part of a major transformation of the area and will provide 114,000 square feet of flexible co-working and networking office opportunities for 600 jobs in the innovative tech, digital and creative sector businesses. The offices will feature state-ofthe-art digital connectivity and integration with smart city technology, conference and meeting facilities. Balconies, a green rooftop terrace and atriums are also incorporated. The building detail required thermal insulation of the highest standard, along with high-performance expansion joints. With its comprehensive range of structural thermal breaks and the new Stacon dowel product, Schöck was ideally placed to meet the necessary requirements. There were technical challenges though The main issue was the retaining wall in the basement and ground floor area, which put axial pressure onto the structural Isokorb thermal break elements. As a result, it was necessary to calculate both the compression from this force and the moment resistance based on the residual capacity of the in-situ thermal breaks. At the second and third floors, the placement of the column grid was unconventional and converse to the usual externalto-internal arrangement. So the elements were in effect installed in the opposite direction to what would normally be anticipated. To combat any effects of thermal bridging throughout the RC construction, namely heat loss, damp and mould formation, a variety of Isokorb thermal break types were incorporated.

The 7172 Kingsway project street view. Courtesy of Architecture 00

Those most extensively used though are the T type K and the XT type K. Both are load-bearing thermal break elements for concrete cantilevered balcony construction, transferring moments and shear forces. They have 80mm and 120mm insulation thickness The Stacon SLD in position respectively.

The Isokorb T type K and XT type K in position

New Stacon dowels used for the first time


There were a number of large beam forces to transfer on the upper levels and the newly launched Schöck Stacon dowels were used for the first time in the UK. This new dowel, the type SLD, is really compact and as the anchoring bodies have been reduced in size, it has the advantage of enabling higher loads to be installed in thinner slabs and walls, optimising on-site reinforcement. Stacon has been awarded UK Technical Assessment (UKTA) along with fire protection classification R 120. It is fully supported with Scalix design software too, the first web-based application for the design of shear dowels.

A dependable and fully compliant product range The Schöck Isokorb range of structural thermal break solutions is the largest in Europe and in the UK helps projects meet full compliance with the necessary Building Regulations. In addition to the Isokorb type used on this project, there are also solutions for concrete-to-steel; steel-to-steel, renovation projects – and even a maintenance free alternative to wrapped parapets. All products have the security of independent BBA Certification, which provides NHBC approval. Contact Schöck on 01865 290 890; or for full details of the Isokorb and Stacon products visit the solutions page on the website at

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No matter what job you do, it is our duty to protect you. Choose from our extensive line of personal protection equipment for the highest quality safety wear.

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