Refurb & Developer Update - June 2024

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Construction Update 3 8 Contents Thompson & Adamson Complete CAT a Fit-Out For OVO Panasonic partners with Scottish Colleges to help prepare the next generation of heating & plumbing installers Grant Westfield Announces Launch Of Naturepanel New Nature-Inspired Panel Brand 18 4 The Best Woods For Efficient Home Burning In The UK. 24 JUNE 2024 To feature in the next edition of Refurb & Developer Update. Call 020 805 09659 or email



Grant Westfield has announced the launch of a new panel brand, Naturepanel. Naturepanel wall panels serve as a modern, easy to maintain alternative to traditional slat walls that are currently on trend. Naturepanel can be used throughout the home and even in high-moisture areas like the bathroom or shower. Grant Westfield are also the manufacturers of the leading UK bathroom wall panel brand, Multipanel.

Inspired by natural materials and Scandinavian style, Naturepanel boasts an appealing aesthetic but also ensures effortless maintenance making it the ideal choice for multiple spaces throughout the home, but also commercial spaces such as, hotels, gyms and, bars. Naturepanel wall panels provide a 100% waterproof surface, unlike traditional wood slat walls, whilst also being quick to install.

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John Mortimer, Managing Director, Grant Westfield, said:

“We are thrilled to introduce Naturepanel to the market, offering a unique blend of elegance and simplicity. Naturepanel combines aesthetic appeal, sustainability and durability, providing a unique solution for tradespeople, architects and designers.

Naturepanel shares Grant Westfields unique Hydrolock joint with sister brand Multipanel. This provides the option to combine Naturepanel with a wide selection of colours, stones and material finishes to create truly bespoke designs”

Michael Dobson, Sales Director, Grant Westfield, added:

“The collection is designed to offer a contemporary alternative to the traditional slat wall, complementing a range of interiors, from the home to hospitality spaces.

The 6.4mm shadow gap which has been precision etched is complemented by a graphite grey adhesive that has been developed specifically to match the shadow gap. Combined with the gorgeous range of natural decor laminates, this makes this collection the perfect choice for any interior space.”

Key features of Naturepanel include:

• FSC ® (Forest Stewardship Council FSC 128180)

• Easy to clean

• 30 Year warranty

• 100% waterproof

• Quick and easy to install

• Almost-seamless Hydrolock joint

Grant Westfield is the UK’s leading manufacturer of wall panels, offering a sustainable and modern alternative to traditional interior surfaces. Grant Westfield believes that sustainability should complement performance, in turn creating an easy-to-install, high quality, grout-free product that lasts for years.

Over 8,000 wall panels are manufactured each week at the company’s factory in Edinburgh, which are distributed throughout the UK and Northern Europe through merchants, bathroom showrooms and leading online retailers.

Naturepanel is also available on Virtual Worlds, which offers an immersive virtual reality system to help create a visualisation of KBB design.

Naturepanel wall panels are available in a range of natural surface designs. To view Naturepanel’s new brochure please head to:

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Panasonic partners with Scottish the next generation of heating

Panasonic has announced a new partnership with three of Scotland’s leading colleges to upskill the next generation of heating and plumbing installers with relevant heat pump training. This initiative aims to help decarbonise heating and future-proof homes across Scotland.

An official launch event took place at the Skills Centre at Glasgow Clyde College on May 29. Key representatives from ESP, Dumfries and Galloway College, UHI Inverness, Glasgow Clyde College and Panasonic were present to launch this new and exciting partnership officially.

Dumfries and Galloway College, UHI Inverness, and Glasgow Clyde College offer -BPEC accredited heat pump courses. In addition to these courses, leading heat pump manufacturer Panasonic will provide additional product-specific air-to-water

training for the trainers, apprentices and installers working with these three colleges. The product training will use the latest Panasonic Aquarea L Series outdoor unit, All-in-One indoor unit, and Wiser controls, providing students handson experience with some of the industry’s latest sustainable heating solutions.

Designed to address the skills shortage in the Scottish region by increasing training opportunities and enhancing employability, Panasonic is not only helping today’s workforce but also aims to bolster future Scottish installers and apprentices by providing this additional air-to-water heat pump training.

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Scottish Colleges to help prepare heating & plumbing installers

Working with Panasonic and the colleges to get this project off the ground, the college sector agency, ESP (Energy Skills Partnership) has helped create this partnership in a collective effort to meet net zero requirements and target the current skills shortage crisis in Scotland aligned with emerging technologies.

Jim Brown, Director at ESP, said, “ESP is delighted to work with Panasonic and our college members to establish a partnership to deliver a sustainable future through training in renewable solutions. This will establish partner colleges as centres of excellence for upskilling industry and enhancing Modern Apprenticeship programmes.”

Jennifer Brickwood, Assistant Principal for the Faculty of Future Technologies and Design at Glasgow Clyde College, commented, “We’re dedicated to equipping our students with the essential skills to meet the challenge of achieving net zero. Together, we’re shaping future professionals to drive sustainability forward, creating a brighter, greener tomorrow.”

Joanna Campbell, Principal of Dumfries and Galloway College added, “Dumfries and Galloway College are delighted to be working in conjunction with Panasonic to install a new Panasonic air source heat pump (ASHP) system in our Green Energy Centre. ASHPs are the leading technology in decarbonising the heating requirements of the housing sector, and the demand for heating professionals with the appropriate skills is substantial. Working alongside Panasonic, we are proud to be a leading provider of net zero skills in Scotland.”

As Scotland develops its decarbonisation plan, Panasonic sees the importance of upskilling installers through air-to-water heat pump training. Jose Alves, UK Country Manager for Panasonic Heating & Cooling Solutions, added, “Interest in heat pumps has never been higher – and there has to be an expansion of the skilled installer base for the net zero and decarbonisation of home heating to be met. We are pleased to work with these three colleges, thanks to

ESP. There has never been a better time to get trained, with the availability of government training grants plus this additional reward from Panasonic. The sooner installers, fitters and gas boiler engineers get trained, the quicker they can take advantage of these market opportunities.”

Iain King, Curriculum Leader of Construction and Engineering at UHI Inverness, said, “In this dynamic time of moving towards green-based heating, UHI Inverness is currently updating our renewables centre to allow us to upskill existing practitioners and train apprentices in the emerging technologies required to achieve net zero carbon emissions. Our partnership with Panasonic will provide valuable access to these technologies, ensuring that our services remain at the forefront of the industry, advancing standards and sustainability, and creating a new generation of qualified practitioners.”

With the increasing availability and affordability of air-source heat pump technology, now is the time for engineers to explore this alternative and capitalise on the growing demand for eco-friendly heating solutions. By embracing air-source heat pumps, engineers can position themselves as industry leaders and contribute to a greener, more sustainable future for all.

For more information, please visit

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Embarking on your dream housing project? Your builder is the key to turning those dreams into a reality. Whether you are renovating, rebuilding or embarking on a new build project, your home is a substantial financial commitment, making the journey to choosing your builder all the more important.

Damian Barker, founder and CEO of luxury building specialist, Verus Construction, shares his top tips and go-to questions to ask your builder to guarantee a smooth renovation or new build project.

1. Nail down multiple quotes

One quote isn’t enough, do your research and gather multiple quotes from recommended and well researched builders. Ensure that each quote is all encompassing and covers every aspect of the project, including material costs, labour expenses and any additional tasks required to create your dream home.

2. Reviewing the financial viability of the builder

Before breaking ground, it’s crucial to ensure that your builder is robust enough to complete your project. Make sure to check their financial background, accreditation and portfolio thoroughly to ensure they have the solid foundations necessary to successfully see your project through to completion.

3. Cheap isn’t necessarily the best

Remember, the lowest price isn’t always the best and may not reflect the true quality or the

correct budget. Scrutinise the costs and ask for a breakdown, a builder who can articulate and explain the reasoning behind each aspect understands the true scope of the project.

4. Do your research

Review all the work in your potential builder’s portfolio. Confirm and view at least three projects that have been successfully completed from beginning to end. Visit these projects, and chat with the architects and homeowners to find out more about their experience before signing on the dotted line.

5. Don’t just focus on the bricks and mortar –do you and your builder fit together?

It’s about more than just the build, this is a partnership and an effective working relationship between all parties is essential to a successful build. It’s important to establish strong communication channels, schedule regular meetings, and finalise payment plans to ensure the smooth running and completion of your project.

For more information and to see further projects from Verus Construction, please visit:

With accessibility to the site of the new Kirkwall Care Facility on Orkney being almost as challenging as the weather the island’s inhabitants endure, a rapid assembly panelised timber frame presented itself as an ideal build solution for the project, with the main contractor’s own joinery workshops utilising West Fraser’s SterlingOSB Zero as the sheathing to the roof, walls and floors.

R. Clouston Ltd. was established by Bob Clouston 34 years ago and has been involved in constructing many of the island’s major buildings, as well as being one of its biggest employers. In fact, the highly skilled craftsmen in its Kirkwall workshops are normally kept busy producing fitted furniture and other joinery items, as well as fabricating timber frame panels for customers and its own projects.

The 40-bed facility, which will replace the ageing St Rognvald’s House, is on a sloping green field site on the outskirts of Kirkwall, with the topography having required thousands of tonnes of hardcore to be brought in and compacted over an eight-week period, prior to the casting of a heavily reinforced concrete raft foundation. The project team then hired a crane to install the panels, which were brought to site in a carefully scheduled sequence to avoid unnecessary site storage.

The Contracts Manager for R. Clouston, Andy Smith, comments: “We currently employ some 50 people on the books as well as having a lot of regular subcontractors working for the company, with our workshops producing most of the windows and doors we fit, along with staircases and other commissions. The machinists and joiners produced all the roof and floor cassettes as well as the wall panels for the care home; with 9mm

SterlingOSB sheaths solution for new

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sheaths off-site new Orkney care home

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SterlingOSB Zero on the top and underside of factory insulated, warm roof cassettes, while the floor cassettes have an upper layer of 18mm SterlingOSB Zero. The material in multiple thicknesses was supplied to us by Jewson Builders Merchant.”

Each of the roof trusses comprises four of the 4.8 x 2.4m cassettes, which then form a monopitch structure with a 25-degree slope, supported by the exterior walls and intermediate steel stanchions. Then to withstand the high wind speeds common in Orkney, the build-up is being completed with the installation of zinc standing seam profiles.

Andy Smith concludes: “The home is being built to very high energy standards, with the Sterling board contributing to an airtightness design figure of 5, though we are expecting the tests to give us a score nearer to 2. We’ve used the SterlingOSB product for many years, with the quality and durability of the boards being a main factor, while from the sustainability point of view we try and buy locally wherever we can, so the Inverness factory is the nearest of the big manufacturers to us.”

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 high performance panel product, free of added formaldehyde, has also earned BBA approval and meets other industry technical standards.

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For further information, call 01786 812 921 or visit


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

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

Keepmoat invests £11.3 million into brownfield land in Scotland

Top 10 UK housebuilder, Keepmoat, has invested more than £11.3 million into the regeneration of former brownfield land at its The Castings development, located near Ravenscraig.

The second phase of the scheme will provide 59 two and three-bedroom homes, replacing a disused field and adding to the 111 new homes already delivered in Phase One of the development, that included multitenure properties in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council.

During this phase of the transformation, the housebuilder has created additional new,

environmentally-friendly and sustainable homes to add to the vibrant community now flourishing. The project has also created a raft of new local jobs, training and apprenticeship opportunities, further boosting the local economy across both phases.

Tim Metcalfe, Regional Managing Director at Keepmoat, Scotland, said: “We’re thrilled to be continuing our regeneration work at The

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into regeneration project at former

Castings after all properties available in the first phase were successfully sold.

“It’s extremely rewarding to hear positive feedback from residents and breathe new life into Ravenscraig. The development has created accessible linkages to the wider Ravenscraig area and a green open space with play area for residents.”

The homes at The Castings are due to be completed by 2025 as it recently launched the showhome

for the development, opened by Scottish property influencer, Ashley Gray, who has more than 450,000 followers on Instagram.

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 percent of its current developments are on brownfield sites.

To find out more about The Castings visit:

^ The Castings Phase Two Refurb & Developer Update 17
^ The Castings Ribbon Cutting


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 AR75 is physically larger at 730 x 730 x 300h and provides over 4kW of sensible cooling. Both products use the same industry-leading low energy design revolutionised by Artus Air, enabled by a fully variable speed fan with specific fan powers as low as 0.05 W/l/s. All of this is achieved under the same noise conditions as the existing AR60 units.

The AR75 is available in two and four pipe variants and can provide heating and cooling separately, or heating and cooling with electric heating optional, if required. Like the smaller AR60, the AR75 is fitted with a coil, air filters, condensate pump, BMS controller and Pressure Independent Control (PICV) valves which are pre-wired for a plug-and-play ease of use. BMS connections are by BACnet MSTP or BACnet IP, with standard and enhanced controller options.

Artus Air, the company revolutionising heating and cooling air conditioning, has today added its AR75 model to its range. The new larger unit has been launched to meet customer demand and represents a significant milestone in Artus’ strategic development strategy. Together with the AR60, the AR75 is being targeted at the commercial office, retail, industrial and hotel development and retrofit markets. They offer a significant reduction in operational energy consumption and carbon emissions when compared to industry standards. The AR60 has already delivered 1000tCO2e carbon saving and 4.7ys installation saving. With the greater flexbility afforded by the two products these savings will accelerate.

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Installation photographs of Artusair at Arup 80 Charlotte Street 14th February 2024 Photo by Phil Hutchinson.

The two products give building designers the choice of two sizes to best meet the needs of CAT A to B fit outs. The AR60 is perfect for small cellular offices, and projects with restricted head heights. The larger AR75 can serve typically 40 sqm or more of open plan office.

The system has the option of internally mounted isolation valves, a flushing bypass, flow measuring device and drain and air vents on the majority of models. This will reduce programme time and costs. Artus believes that incorporating these features inside its products is an industry first.

Ed Sayce, Sales Director of Artus Air comments:

“This is a hugely exciting milestone delivered by our strategic development program. Demand from the construction industry for a system of this size and capacity has been significant since we brought the AR60 to market and we already have a strong pipeline of interest.

“If the construction and development industries are to meet 2050 net zero targets innovation in design is essential – the AR75 hand in hand with the AR60 unit can support this and we are excited to see the impact it will have.”

Roger Olsen, CTO and inventor of Artus Air comments:

“Our development strategy is based on carefully thought out, highly refined and innovative products in two main product families. They are tailored to meet customer requests, and factor in the growing requirements of heat pumps and low energy cooling sources.

The units minimise both operational and embodied carbon to meet needs of our customers while remaining committed to our core business purpose of addressing sustainability necessities in our industry.”

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Artusair Team Roger Olsen


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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