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Light of day

Lightweight polycarbonate sheeting from Brett Martin has helped create what is claimed to be the largest gravity supported cantilevered roof in the world, at the newly refurbished Olympic Stadium in London. Building Products reports.

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Herz introduces new dual fuel biomass boiler

Herz Biomass UK has launched a new flexible, dual-fuel boiler for the domestic and light commercial sector. The new Herz Pelletfire boiler is able to burn both logs and wood pellets and is MCS approved. Designed to provide a space efficient solution, the compact Pelletfire range of boilers come in a range of output options from 20 kW to 40 kW and offer flexible heating with separate combustion chambers. The two fuels can be switched between easily and the operation can be set up to automatically transition to wood pellets if all logs are burnt out. The Pelletfire is compatible with various types of pellet stores, including the traditional V profile and modular pellet silos. It also incorporates the modern T-CONTROL touch system, to make operation of the boiler simple and user-friendly. In addition, the Pelletfire range features a double vortex combustion chamber, which is designed to assist maximum efficiency in ...

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Efficient way of thinking

Jon Bootland, chief executive at the Passivhaus Trust, looks at why increasing numbers of housebuilders are embracing Passivhaus – widely considered as the ‘gold standard’ of energy efficient design.

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New homes reach highest annual increase for 28 years

The number of new homes in England has risen by 25% over the past year, the highest annual percentage increase in 28 years, according to figures released today. The net supply of housing report, released by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), revealed that annual housing supply in England amounted to 170,690 net additional dwellings in 2014-15, a 25% increase in net additional dwellings from 2013-14. The DCLG said there has been a significant increase in the amount of new homes delivered by converting buildings into residential properties. More than 20,600 of these homes were built in 2014-15, a rise of 65% on the year before. The Government recently announced it would extend permitted development rights that enable offices to be converted into new homes without having to submit a planning application. Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “We’ve brought the housebuilding industry back from the brink, giving them ...

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Stair manufacturer confidence on the rise

A new survey among UK timber stair companies has revealed ambitions for significant staff increases in the year ahead. In a poll of British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Stair Scheme members, 81% of respondents are expecting to create jobs within the next 12 months, and of those expecting to create jobs, 55% are aiming to make 10-50 employment opportunities within their company. The survey suggests that members are feeling positive about the industry and are motivated to plan investments. However, some these hopes have been suppressed by the current construction climate, with the skills shortage identified by 73% of respondents as a major constraint to the UK timber stairs market. Other factors causing concern were cost increases and economic uncertainty. Hannah Mansell, BWF schemes and technical manager, said: “Our members seem to be very optimistic about the future of the market but obviously they have concerns. Price is continuing to be a large factor ...

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Light fantastic

Manufacturer Rodeca showcases its product offering with a number of high-profile case studies where its translucent building materials have been utilised to great effect.

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London office construction hits seven year high

Office construction in central London has grown by 18% in six months and hit a seven year high according to a survey by Deloitte Real Estate. The London Office Crane Survey recorded 26 new office schemes, with total space under construction in central London now at 11.1m sq ft, spread across 77 schemes. Will Matthews, head of research at Deloitte Real Estate, said: “We expect that just 3.3m sq ft of space will complete in 2015, the lowest amount for three years. “Looking ahead though, the development pipeline for 2017-19 is filling up as work commences on new schemes. We have also recorded a further 24% upsurge in sites being demolished and readied for construction, meaning early indications are that space completed in these years will exceed the long-run average. Developers will be mindful of the fact that this rise in office construction comes at the same time as high ...

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Diverse workplace

Lisa Jane Risk, national chairman at The Association of Women in Property, argues that although diversity in construction is gradually improving, support networks still have vital role to play in ensuring skilled staff remain within the sector.

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