Refurb & Developer Update - April 2024

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Refurb & Developer Update REFURBISHMENT - ARCHITECTURE - DEVELOPMENT APRIL 2024 The Plaza Pinnacle Penthouses For Sale - World’s Most Famous Hotel. 020 805 09659 | Schöck Isokorb certainly fit for purpose at new NHS Health Centre Another resounding success at the Workspace Design Show 2024 [click here]
Construction Update 3 8 Contents New Job, New Journey to Work: Figuring Out The Best Commute For You Tele Radio, Crane, Construction Controls at Intermat. Another resounding success, the Workspace Design Show 2024, held at the Business Design Centre from February 27th to 28th, yet again gathered widespread acclaim. 14 4 BDA Expands It’s Membership With Four New Members 22 APRIL 2024 To feature in the next edition of Refurb & Developer Update. Call 020 805 09659 or email

Another resounding success, Show 2024, held at the Business February 27th to 28th, yet acclaim.

Now a firmly established part of the global workplace event calendar, Workspace Design Show made a triumphant return to London at the end of February with a record number of visitors, breathtaking features and an events programme across the two days that really packed a punch.

Over 4,500 workplace professionals from over 40 countries around the world congregated at the Business Design Centre between 27-28 February, taking in the latest trends in office specification from furniture, lighting, flooring and more, totalling over 500 different products.

Given the exceptional lineup of speakers, it came as no surprise that the talks were immensely popular. The beautiful stage, designed by Gensler, was packed out from start to finish, buzzing with architects, designers and workplace professionals, eager to hear

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success, the Workspace Design Business Design Centre from yet again gathered widespread

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from industry leaders. Day one in the Workspace Design Talks kicked off with an insightful talk on ‘Insights and perspectives on the convergent future of workplace’ with panellists Yasmin Al-Ani Spence, Director, WilkinsonEyre, Ewan Jones, Partner, Grimshaw and Nicola Gillen, Head of Total Workplace EMEA, Cushman & Wakefield. Other key workplace leaders sharing their insights on workplace strategy, design & culture across the two days were Helen Berresford, Head of ID:SR Sheppard Robson, Alan Bainbridge, Director of Workplace BBC, Sarah-Jane Osbourne, Head of Workplace UK and Europe, Avison Young, Linzi Cassels, Principal Design Director, Perkins&Will, Laurie Goodman, Strategy Director, IA Interior Architects, Neil Usher, VP Places, Sage, Naomi Sakamoto, Principal Studio Director, Gensler, Mary-Louise Gray, VP Workplace, Real Estate & Facilities, GSK.

Sustainability Works, curated by Mick Jordan, Editor of Works magazine, returned for 2024 and did not disappoint. Once again, the talks brought together a selection of key figures from firms such as Perkins&Will, Scott Brownrigg, BDG architecture and design, M Moser Associates, BDP and Resonate Interiors who are behind the workplace market’s leading sustainable initiatives and projects.

Pernille Bonser, CEO of Resonate Interiors said, “Workspace Design Show is not only the perfect place for discovering new products, but also brings designers and architects together. It’s about meeting and connecting with friends in the same community, these shared conversations are so important “

The Occupiers Forum, provided unique insights from occupiers such as BT Group, HSBC, Clifford Chance,, Visa, Salesforce, HMRC, and Barclays into what employers are doing to create an engaging workplace experience. The FIS Conference explored productivity, quality, compliance and sustainability issues in the fit-out sector.

Mario Vieira, Scott Brownrigg, Head of Sustainability, commented, “The Workspace Design Show showcases all the upcoming innovative products and trends. In my role and practice, I aim to assist our teams by giving advice, this show allow us to gauge a much stronger understanding of the market, making that a lot easier.”

2024 had a vast array of spectacular features, inspired by the overarching show theme ‘Bloom – Exploring the Thriving Ecosystem of Work Life’. Captivating stages included the Design Talks Lounge by Gensler and the Insights Lounge by BDP, and other features included the immersive Entrance by tp bennett, a Living Workplace lighting installation by Jason Bruges Studio, the Mood Board Contest by MF Design Studio, and the calming Recharge Lounge by M Moser Associates. The show’s stunning exhibition floor hosted exhibitors from over 20 countries, and it was wonderful to see some of the stunning stand designs showcasing the products. The best stand design competition was won by Spain’s Kettal and the UK’s AllSfär, judged by a panel of leading specifiers.

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As day one came to a close, the Workspace Design Show party commenced. The buzzing atmosphere allowed people to socialise and network over a glass of wine, transforming the venue into a vibrant hub of creativity and connection.

Esha & Charlie Bark-Jones, Workspace Design Show founders, said “We’re absolutely thrilled that so many of the UK’s workplace interiors community came together to experience the fantastic speakers sharing their insights, transformative products from our exhibitors and stunning features experiences from our partners. We are delighted to see specifiers from Asia, The Americas, The Middle East, Africa and Europe also attending to join the celebration of the future of work in London. The spirit of collaboration at the Show was evident for all to see, as people formed partnerships to transform the employee experience in these disruptive times for workplaces.”

The next UK edition will be on 26th – 27th February 2025. The Amsterdam edition of Workspace Design Show takes place on 5th – 6th November 2025.

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Tele Radio will show a full range of radio remote controls for cranes and construction equipment at Intermat, which takes place 24-27 April, 2024 at Paris-Nord Villepinte, France.

Tele Radio will share a 40 m2 exhibit (stand D 094) with sister company Åkerströms in Hall 5B. The location was specifically chosen because of its proximity to the area of the expo where cranes and hoists are showcased.

“Cranes, lifting, and hoisting is a big industry for us; we hope to see many interested customers for a wireless solution to tower, mobile, and other crane applications. However, besides cranes and winches, there are many more construction applications that we can offer remote controls for, including shovels, concrete trucks, water pumps, drilling equipment, aggregates, etc.”

Tele Radio and Åkerströms are both headquartered in Sweden and are part of the Allgon Group, having been acquired in 2018 and 2015 respectively. This will be the first time that the business will have such an international presence at Intermat. Organisers report that one in three visitors attend from abroad; 160 countries are represented in the aisles; and 70% of the 1,000 exhibitors are from outside France.

Remote control systems

The full Tele Radio range will be on display during the show. Also on display will be the

latest Panther T29-12 handheld transmitter, which was launched last year. The 12-step PLd-certified push-button hand transmitter can control a total of 24 different functions at a high security level.

Also on show will be the TEQ waist transmitters. The TEQ line is available in two versions—Basic or Custom—and is targeted at the mobile vehicle sector, including recovery; concrete pumping trucks; drilling, excavators, and earthmovers; lawn mowers; and truck cranes.

The Basic line is equipped with standard components and specifications to serve a large portion of the market, at an attractive price; for more exceptional applications, the line can be customised (Custom) to suit special requirements at the point of use.

As Intermat visitors will discover, several Tele Radio facilities in Europe now sell Åkerströms systems, including the Sesam 800 product line in Benelux, France, Ireland, and the UK. Sesam transmitters and receivers complement Tele Radio’s own T20 / T60 products.

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The Suprateq waist transmitter is available in a Basic standard version or a Custom version that is tailored to the specific wishes of customers.
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Transformers are vital parts of urban electrical systems, working as the main elements that facilitate the proper distribution of current from power stations to housing and business premises. These gadgets, typically placed on electric posts within the city, step down the high voltage in the electrical system to levels appropriate for normal use, reducing power loss and enhancing safety.

You can find everything you want to know about these transformers in this article.

The Backbone of Urban Electricity

Although they do not attract direct attention, pole transformers have a fundamental role in the functioning of cities. They supply many important services and structures, from street lighting to high-rise buildings, and ensure the dynamism and vitality of city life. Their operation, based on electromagnetic induction, allows the safe and efficient transmission of electricity over long distances, making them indispensable in densely populated areas.

Pole transformers, which form the backbone of the energy infrastructure of cities, convert electricity into different voltage levels and deliver it to every point of the city. In this way, the energy needs of every place, from industrial facilities to homes, are met. Additionally, the ability of a power pole transformer to deploy backup power sources during emergencies or outages ensures continuity of critical services.

Pole transformers have become more efficient and environmentally friendly with technological developments. With higher efficiency and lower

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energy losses, modern transformers contribute to energy saving and sustainability. Additionally, by integrating with smart grid technologies, their ability to monitor and manage energy flow has been increased.

Ensuring Reliability

Direct transformers in cities are made of durable materials to withstand various weather conditions and environmental influences. They operate reliably, protected from moisture, temperature changes and other external factors by their oil-filled housings and protective coatings. However, they need regular maintenance and updates due to natural wear and use over time.

Regular maintenance optimizes the performance of direct transformers and extends their life. These maintenance operations include checking oil levels, insulation tests, parts replacement and general system inspection. Periodic updates and modernizations are also required to comply with technological advances and security standards.

Transformer Technology and Urban Development

Ongoing research and development efforts in transformer technology are vital for sustainable urban development. Progress in this sphere can help in the integration of renewable energy sources and in the development and evolution of cities, by improving the quality and stability of the power grid.

Transformer technology improvements allow for the flexibility, reliability and environmental friendliness of the electricity infrastructure in cities. It also makes significant contributions to urban sustainability by reducing energy costs and reducing carbon emissions.

Maintenance and Servicing

In essence, pole transformers are the backbone of cities` electrical systems hence providing the traditional low voltage electricity to high voltage to enable its distribution to customers for balance demand and management of complex power leaks. These processes will facilitate the success of cities and should be implemented to provide them with non-stop power. As cities continue to grow and evolve, the role of these transformers, and the expertise of companies like Wilken Service Pty Ltd in maintaining them, will only become more crucial.

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Overlooking Central Park, The Plaza is New York City’s iconic luxury hotel, ranked by many experts as the most famous hotel in the world. Designed by “master of the skyscraper” Henry Janeway Hardenburg, the French Renaissance-inspired chateau-style building was constructed in 1907 for a then-astronomical price tag of $12.5 million. Numerous materials were imported from Europe, including history’s single-largest order of goldencrusted crystal chandeliers.

For over 100 years, it has hosted foreign monarchs, titans of industry, and Hollywood royalty, and was declared a National Historic Monument in 1986. In 1988, The Plaza was purchased for $407.5 million by Donald Trump, who said, “it isn’t just a building, it’s the ultimate work of art.” Now one of NY’s most popular film locations, it was first featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest and has appeared in dozens of notable movies from Funny Girl to Crocodile Dundee and Home Alone. At the top of the famous hotel are double penthouses, now offered for sale at $70 million.

The 6,316-square-foot main residence is a triplex with its

own elevator, four bedrooms, and four-and-a-half baths. A sumptuous terrace with spectacular Central Park and New York skyline views connects the apartment to its twin, a 3,974-square-foot duplex with three bedrooms and three baths set up as a guest house. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide lots of natural light, while the angled ceilings of the top-floor location offer a unique aesthetic. Premium materials, including marble and hardwood, make for an atmosphere of utmost luxury.

Click here to read the full article >>

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Designing your layout

Contact us Call now on +44 (0)1603 788 833 or email Book a site visit Manufacturing
the easy route to hygienic room design and enquire about our comprehensive design service. We will work with you to design bespoke room designs and help integrate Teknomek’s high-quality furniture and equipment into your hygiene critical build projects. Teknomek are the UK’s premiere specialist supplier and manufacturer of hygienic stainless steel furniture and equipment. Make hygienic room design easy with Teknomek.


With the average time spent commuting in the UK coming out to approximately between 15 and 29 minutes, according to a survey from Statista, a lot of our time is spent going to and from our workplace. That’s nearly an hour each day spent navigating through traffic, waiting for public transportation, or braving the elements on foot or bicycle.

It’s no wonder that commuting to and from work significantly affects our overall well-being. As you embark on a new job, it’s essential to carefully consider your commute and how it might impact various aspects of your life.

Accounting for distance

When deciding which transport method is best for your commute, the first consideration is the distance you’ll be travelling. If your workplace is closer to your home or neighbourhood, then hopping on a road bike or simply walking is likely your best bet. Longer distances could require public transport or even driving, especially if you want to get there directly and cut out the hassle of where the public transport stops in relation to your workplace.

Does the route accommodate a variety of transport options?

Following on from the previous point, many travel options may not be as accessible as others when it comes to commuting. For example, while a bus might take you directly to the front door of your workplace, it may not stop near your home or even in your neighbourhood. Similarly, your workplace could have very limited parking options, making driving much more difficult or pricey.

Ben Mercer, mountain bike enthusiast and director at Leisure Lakes Bikes has commented on the positives of combining two transport options into one: “There will be some instances where public transport routes don’t have stops near enough to your workplace for it to feel like the best option. However, if you can find a way to link them together, you can cut the journey up somewhat.

“For example, if your bus stops both from your home and to your workplace are distance where walking is tiresome, why not cycle and bring your bike on the bus with you. That way, you’re not having to cycle distances that unmanageable but still get the physical benefits of a cycle.”

How much will it cost?

As conversations and considerations around the cost-of-living crisis become more prevalent, personal cost is a huge factor in commute choice. For drivers, this comes in the form of fuel costs, parking fees, and the price of maintaining your vehicle, while for public transport users, it equates to bus, train, and metro fares. While some options may seem more affordable, it’s important to consider how it can add up over time.

Cost isn’t just financial but physical and mental as well. Longer or more intricate commutes can have a huge impact on workers’ stress levels and

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fatigue, leading to much more serious health issues. This is why, before deciding on commute options, you should consider how it could impact your well-being in the long run and choose what’s best for you.

Making the most of your commute

Depending on the length of your journey and your chosen option, it can be used as personal downtime to maintain a healthier work/life balance. When using public transport, bring a book or any other portable interest to make good use of your time. If you’re in a car or on a bike, getting the most out of the variety of audio options, from audiobooks to podcasts to new music, can help to keep you inspired and your mood boosted on your way to and from work.

Do your research – try your journey out beforehand

There are plenty of modern tools that exist to help break down your journey in terms of distance and time it would take to cover various routes and transport options. Google and Apple Maps are the most popular options and can be used on smartphones as a makeshift satnav, with live updates on congestion and traffic, meaning you can make on-the-fly adjustments to your journey.

One thing that can also help before you start your new job is doing a trial run of your journey to and from your workplace. This will give you a better idea of what you’ll be dealing with and allow you to make a more informed decision rather than doing mostly guesswork.

Figuring out the best commute to your new job comes with several considerations that must be made. From the distance from where you live to your new workplace to the personal cost, there’s plenty to outline before you make your first journey in. This is why we strongly recommend taking on trial runs beforehand to make sure you’re travelling with the method that’s the most optimal for you.


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Modular specialist utilising SterlingOSB Zero to produce high performance SIPs system

A manufacturer of modular buildings utilising its own high performance Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) is providing a value-added service to contractors and self-builders across the UK, with the use of SterlingOSB Zero boards from West Fraser being a key component in the precision production process.

PROSIPS® is based on Deeside and serves a growing market where private customers, as well as experienced builders are seeking project specific kits comprising SIPs able to meet the highest energy requirements, while offering technical support and still remaining affordable.

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The company’s Elysian Home Extensions packages accordingly not only encompass full structural calculations and assistance in meeting Building Control requirements, but also include the ground-screw piles as requiredwhile an erection service for the panels is also available.

The founder and MD of PROSIPS®, Paul Deen commented: “I spent ten years in the modular sector, but as an installer, before deciding to set up my own manufacturing business; and now supply garden rooms, building extensions and other modular structures to contractors and end users across the whole of the country. It’s a highly streamlined business model with just half a dozen people working on contract in our premises near Chester, producing high quality bespoke kits.

“In the UK demand outweighs supply, especially when you look at traditional construction with its labour shortages, and the modular world is still at the start of the curve. My approach is to offer people who understand the system, high U-value kits at an affordable price, that they can erect and have watertight in

less than two weeks. And at the heart of that is the SIPs panels we produce ourselves using SterlingOSB Zero – it’s a very strong and well proven product – more durable than its competitors and has never caused us a problem.”

Looking to the future, Paul Dean concluded: “We are currently producing a dozen or more kits per month – having floor areas around 50m2 - and we see the volume trebling this year, with plans for further expansion over the next five years.”

SterlingOSB Zero is available in a range of sizes and thicknesses up to 22mm as well as a T&G version ideal for flooring and decking applications. The highperformance panel product, free of added formaldehyde, has also earned BBA approval and meets other industry technical requirements.

For further information, call 01786 812 921 or visit

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Leading construction firm Thomas & Adamson (T&A) has helped one of the country’s best known energy providers step further into a greener future by delivering a sustainable workplace project that forms its new co-located Scottish headquarters.

The £6M Cat A fit-out at OVO’s Scottish offices in the heart of Glasgow is expected to achieve BREEAM Excellent accreditation, highlighting OVO’s commitment to the environment. The new space, spread across three floors and covering 33,905 sq. ft, is located within Cadworks, Scotland’s first Net Zero Carbon operational office building.

T&A provided project management and cost management services for the new facility alongside Linear Design & Construct, Michael Laird Architects, Wallace Whittle and Woolgar Hunter Engineers. To support OVO’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2035, sustainable building products and systems were used throughout,

creating a vibrant and collaborative workplace. Paul Mackintosh, Regional Director at Thomas & Adamson, said: “Projects such as OVO’s Scottish headquarters are a pleasure to work on. It allows us to showcase our ESG credentials and range of services, whilst collaborating with both a client who has a real vision of what they require, as well as worldleading design and engineering teams.

“OVO’s new premises offers the best-in-class environmentally aware workspace and is a welcome boost to the city.”

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George Waite, Head of Property at OVO, said: “A big thankyou to the team at T&A for helping to successfully deliver our new home in Scotland. They have worked tirelessly and collaboratively to keep the project on track and on budget. Under T&A’s stewardship the wider project team have worked really well together to overcome challenges and changes along the way. We are extremely happy with our new office and the feedback from our people has been phenomenal.”

The OVO fit-out completion comes as Thomas & Adamson begins work on another Cat A fit-out for

the global energy business EDP at Exchange Crescent in central Edinburgh. T&A are providing project management, cost management and Principal Designer services on the project, which is due for completion mid-2024.

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Schöck Isokorb certainly fit for purpose at new NHS Health Centre

A new Chiswick Health Centre is being built in Fishers Lane, West London. This is an NHS upgrade on the site of the previous building. The new facility, designed by architect Allies and Morrison and under construction with Willmott Dixon, will be a key hub for 60,000 patients and provide GP consulting and examination rooms, district nurse facilities and community rooms. In a separate but associated building, sited around a landscaped central courtyard, the project will also deliver 55 affordable homes for key health workers such as nurses and physiotherapists. Balconies inevitably feature throughout the accommodation areas and to avoid any risk of thermal bridging at the various connectivity points, the design detailing required a structural thermal break with total reliability proven performance.

Specification required standard and bespoke Isokorb solutions

At the low and intermediate levels of the structure, the choice was the Schöck Isokorb T type K for concrete-to-concrete. It is probably the best-selling European thermal break solution for this type of application and is manufactured using stainless steel and HTE (High Thermal Efficiency) modules with steel fibre reinforced UHPC (Ultra High-Performance Concrete). This guarantees the highest

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A typical installation using the Isokorb T type K

quality thermal separation of balconies and floor slabs, due to its low thermal conductivity and integral load-bearing capacity. At the top of the building, bespoke Isokorb units had to be provided for the roof level colonnade beams, which needed to be thermally broken. These ‘specials’ involved thermal break units with point shear-load capacity for restricted wall-over and wall-under conditions, fitting within a narrow RC ring-beam feature.

Due to differential thermal movement between internal and external slabs in the walkways on the project, Schöck have also provided structural steel dowels to transfer loads over the joints.

A fully compliant and dependable product range

Schöck offers the widest range of structural thermal break solutions from any European supplier and in the UK enables projects to meet full compliance with the necessary Building Regulations (and the impending Future Homes Standard criteria where relevant). In addition to the Isokorb type used on this project, there are also solutions for concrete-tosteel, 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. The

temperature factor requirement (fRSI) used to indicate condensation risk, which must be equal to, or greater than 0.75 for residential buildings, is also easily met by incorporating the Isokorb.

Contact Schöck on 01865 290 890; or for full details of the Isokorb range of solutions visit:

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The accommodation building with the new health centre in the background Courtesy of architects Allies and Morrison The roof level colonnade beams under construction


The British Drilling Association (BDA) is pleased to announce the addition of four companies to its growing roster of members. Dynamic Sampling UK, Geocore Site Investigations Ltd, Endeavour Drilling and Demolition & Geotechnical Ltd have all joined the BDA, further enhancing the Association’s representation across the drilling sector. In alignment with its commitment to maintaining the highest standards of practice within the drilling industry, the BDA has introduced a new rule requiring all members to successfully complete the BDA Audit as a prerequisite for membership. This pivotal move underscores the BDA’s dedication to promoting safety and upholding rigorous standards across all facets of drilling operations. The BDA Audit is designed to ensure that each member company adheres to the best practices and safety protocols that are central to our industry’s success and sustainability.

Commenting on the new members joining the Association, BDA Chair, Paul McMann, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dynamic Sampling UK, Geocore Site Investigations, Endeavour Drilling, and Demolition & Geotechnical, as the newest members of the British Drilling Association. Their diverse experiences and perspectives from across the drilling sector will be invaluable in shaping the direction of the Association for the benefit of all.”

The BDA’s growing membership is fostering a comprehensive view of the drilling industry. By pooling the real-world experiences and expertise of all its members, from suppliers to contractors and

end clients, the BDA aims to drive positive change and innovation within the sector.

BDA membership is open to a range of enterprises, including companies, partnerships, sole traders, contractors with NVQ Land Drilling, Level 2 certified operatives, non-contracting suppliers, clients, and consultants.

For more information about the BDA and its membership opportunities, please visit:

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Cut level F


Cut level C


Cut level A

Tilsatec | +44 (0)1924 375742 | | TILSATEC LIMITED, Flanshaw Lane, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF2 9ND, ENGLAND
See us on stand 3 E/40 25-27 April 2023, NEC Birmingham UK COVER STORY


The demand for firewood has seen a noticeable growth in recent years, with sales increasing by as much as 20 to 25% in 2022, according to industry experts. This can be for anything from wood-burning stoves to firepits and shows how popular home burning has become. However, many may not know what wood is best for burning sustainably and efficiently.

Stephen Talbot, sales director of Logs Direct, one of the leading suppliers of kiln-dried firewood in the UK, has provided this guide into the best woods for home burning for the perfect blend of heat output and long burning. This way, you can make informed and knowledgeable decisions on the woods you’re buying.

The basics of hardwoods vs softwoods

When learning about different types of wood, the first big lesson is the difference between hardwood and softwood. Some common examples of hardwoods are oak, beech, and ash, and they’re characterised by their denser structure, which causes them to burn more slowly. This means that their heat output lasts longer and provides more consistent heat.

Softwoods, meanwhile, are better for kindling, as they ignite easier and burn faster than hardwoods, such as pine or spruce. This is why when you’re building an efficient fire, using a mix of both styles of wood is best for getting it started burning and then maintaining it. Use softwoods as a base for kindling and catching light, and then stack hardwoods on top in a teepee position to ensure they light properly.

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Dried wood means better burns

While wood you can buy from your chosen supplier means it’ll be dried, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t burn any wood you have or even find. For the most efficient burning and avoiding a surplus of smoke

that can cause a buildup of soot and creosote in your chimney, it’s best to use wood that has a moisture content of between 10 and 20%.

Oak – the standard bearer of hardwoods

If you were to establish the standard bearer among hardwoods, few come close to oak. Slow burning with a high heat output (but only if you have a good draw on your fire), it’s an ideal choice to warm through a living room from a wood-burning stove or a group around a firepit. It takes longer to season than other woods, but it’s more than worth it. It is a reliable source of fuel for home fires.

Beech – consistent and clean

Another hardwood for a consistent and steady heat output is beech, which benefits from not as much crackling or popping as others. It’s also a wood that results in less creosote buildup than other choice hardwoods, meaning less of a chimney fire risk. For those looking for an efficient wood with less fireplace cleanup, beech might be the wood for you.

Ash – the perfect preparation wood

For veteran log burners who may prefer to break down and season their wood, ash is a fantastic choice. It splits well and is incredibly fast seasoning, and once burning, it offers a steady flame with consistent output. It’s also available seasoned like other hardwoods on this list and is just as practical as the version you season yourself.

Birch – perfect for an easy fire

Birch wood, or other members of the birch family like alder wood, are perfect for a quick fire. They catch quickly and give you lots of pleasant dancing flames with plenty of heat to get the fire going, but it won’t last anywhere as long as harder woods.

But in Britain today, birch and alder have proved to be favourites for the pizza oven. Whether it’s for a commercial operation or domestic pizza oven party they can give you the speed of lighting with the length of flame to the middle of the dome and heat to get the pizza cooked perfectly.

Choosing sustainability and responsibility

It’s not just about the heat output or how quickly the wood burns, but considering the sustainability of your chosen fuel is an important factor. Buying firewood that’s been locally sourced cuts down on emissions from transporting it and helps sustain local businesses. Plus, to ensure that it’s coming from forests that are being maintained and overseen responsibly, look for certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

Finding the right balance between your use of softwoods and hardwoods builds the best home-burning fire. On top of this guide, it’s important to correctly store your fuel so that it’s not tainted by weather conditions that you can’t control, leading to the moisture content rising or any moss or mould forming. This can be done by storing it in a cool, dry area or even building a log shed to keep it covered.

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An opportunity to be bold

From addressing the housing shortage to reigniting enthusiasm and attracting investment in our inadequate infrastructure, the government has an opportunity to be bold and produce a budget that addresses the needs of its people, while prioritising economic growth.

This is even more important in light of recent news that UK GDP was down 0.3% in 4Q 2023 and that the economy went into recession. Construction performed the worst out of all sectors. All eyes will be on the government to see what difference, if any, they could make.

We continue to call for clarity on infrastructure

Construction investment is a lever of growth, given the multiplier effect. At the end of last year construction activity went into negative territory, with a 1.3% decrease in 4Q 2023, driven by significant falls in both housing and infrastructure output. Therefore, it’s vital the chancellor introduces some measures that will stimulate the economy and give the industry renewed hope and optimism.

We have continually called for ‘clarity and consistency of policy and regulation’ in the government’s approach to overseeing infrastructure investment and its delivery. As the recent publication of the long-awaited Infrastructure Pipeline showed current plans are patchy and inadequate.

It failed to nail down the detail that would give more certainty to a sector still reeling from the repercussions of costly financing, budget erosion and super inflation.

An action plan for investment that will stimulate growth across energy, water, transport and communications is essential.

This should include the recommendations, as set out by the National Infrastructure Commission: investing in public transport; improving underperforming parts of the national road network; developing a long-term rail plan; reducing the number of properties at risk of flooding; adding low carbon technologies to the electricity system, to create a new strategic energy reserve.

It’s been a year since the Shortage Occupation List

(SOL) was introduced to help resolve labour issues in construction. But we’re yet to see if the additions to the list six months ago concerning the extra construction roles can make a difference.

Meanwhile, the government still lacks a clear strategy for ensuring we have the additional 224,900 workers required to meet UK construction output between 2023 and 2027, especially the green-collar workforce we so desperately need to help the UK achieve its net zero targets.

The housing shortage and vital repair and maintenance

The government could give a much-needed boost to housing by investing in a significant programme of social housing as a part of a wider joined-up housing policy.

From safeguarding vulnerable residents in social housing to ensuring our schools and hospitals are habitable, we also ask that the government prioritises vital repair and maintenance (R&M) work, across the public and private sectors.

Switching the focus to embodied carbon

We continue to advocate for the mandatory reporting of whole life embodied carbon, as the missing vital step towards decarbonisation.

And although we’re encouraged to see the government invest in improving energy efficiency in homes and buildings, through the allocation of funds that include the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, operational carbon is just one part of the picture.

A recent report, Carbon Blind Spots, from the MMC (Modern Methods of Construction) consultant Akerlof, has found that Scope 3 emissions (embodied carbon) are responsible for an enormous 94-98% of emissions from the UK’s top contractors.

The government needs to support the industry in its efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the built environment, through incentivising data sharing and subsidising the costs that manufacturers incur to produce verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) on their materials and components.

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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.

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