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North West leads new build residential sector in Q3

The North West residential sector saw a significant boost in the number of new build properties commissioned in Q3 this year, leading all regions with 5,275 units. According to Barbour ABI’s latest Market Insight report, £621m worth of property development was commissioned in Q3, with £608m from the private sector. Greater Manchester had the leading amount of residential investment in Q3 within the North West, with major projects commissioned including two city centre £40m projects, the New Union Street and Axis Tower developments, constructing 302 and 172 apartments respectively. Six of the top ten largest residential projects commissioned in the region in Q3 were private developments for flats, which has been a major area of residential growth within the region. Commenting on the figures, Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said: “With a lack of housing across the North West heavily publicised, it’s welcoming news that the region leads ...

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Balancing act

Simple precautions, such as the installation of a thermostatic mixing valve (TMV), can cut the risk of injuries from scalding and infection from legionella, argues Roger Crabb, marketing manager at Mira Showers.

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Reynaers launches slim profile aluminium system

Reynaers has launched the Slim Line 38 series aluminium window and door system. SL 38 and SL 38-HI are now available and are designed to offer slim profiles and improved energy efficiency. The thermally-insulated Slim Line 38 has been created to have the look and feel of steel with the performance of aluminium. It is aimed at both new-build constructions and the replacement of steel-framed windows and doors. Rebecca Cope, marketing manager, Reynaers, said: “The SL 38 is a really versatile product. It is perfectly suited for the retention of existing structures, allowing our customers to preserve a vintage look, or for renovation projects where steel frames have to be replaced. However, its high performance properties combined with a sleek new look make it a good choice for new builds too.” The minimalistic frame is reinforced by an invisible drainage system, avoiding the use of drainage caps on the exterior ...

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Spreading roots

John Bosworth, partner and head of planning at Ashfords LLP, examines some of the current issues surrounding planning requirements for basement extensions.

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Shaping behaviour

Richard Brown, category marketing manager for wall products at Wienerberger, dispels perceptions surrounding special-shaped bricks, and argues that incorporating them into a build is not as complicated and costly as one might think.

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Nottingham Trent University building awarded carbon-negative rating

Nottingham Trent University has reduced its estate’s carbon footprint with the construction of a new Pavilion building that generates more energy than it consumes. The Pavilion, which opened in September and is part of a multi-million pound development of the Clifton campus, is the university’s first building to be given a carbon-negative Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A+. The building has energy efficient glazing and a huge 94 kW array of solar panels on the roof. It was also designed to retain heat to keep the building warm in the winter whilst keeping it cool in the summer months. The university’s environmental manager, Grant Anderson, said: “We have been working hard to improve our sustainability credentials and receiving an EPC rating of A+ for the new Pavilion building is an excellent achievement for the university. “The Pavilion has been built with lots of natural light and LED lights that ...

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Waste not, want not

To drive further uptake of energy efficient bathroom products, consumers must be better educated about the true costs of water consumption and wastage, argues Barbara Osborne, product manager at Methven UK.

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BSRIA backs Australian performance gap solution study

BSRIA is backing a four-month feasibility study to develop a prototype UK scheme which it says has the potential to deliver the energy performance specified in client briefs. The concept embraces the ‘design for performance’ approach pioneered in Australia, where very energy efficient new office buildings are routinely achieved and verified by investment-grade energy ratings, using its ‘NABERS’ scheme. The study is being funded and overseen by leading players in the UK prime office market: British Land, Legal & General Property, Stanhope, TH Real Estate, Laing O’Rourke and the energy simulation company EDSL. It also has the support of DECC, BCO, BPF and UK-GBC. In addition to providing technical assistance, UBT is funding expert input on the Australian scheme from Paul Bannister of Energy Action, Canberra, who helped to develop NABERS Energy. The scheme also has the backing of the Better Buildings Partnership, a team led by Verco which includes BSRIA, Arup ...

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Positive living

Joe Dart speaks to window fabricator Vellacine about its involvement on Solcer House, a purpose-built ‘energy positive’ house in Wales, built to demonstrate that low carbon homes can be constructed under tight budgetary constraints.

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Government to ‘level playing field’ for UK steel firms

Contractors will be required to reveal where they source steelwork from when bidding on major public sector contracts under new guidelines on steel procurement published by the Government. The new instructions are designed to help steel suppliers “compete on a level playing field with international suppliers for major government projects,” according to the Cabinet Office. Government departments will be encouraged to take into account the social impacts of competing suppliers. This includes the impact on jobs, protecting the health and safety of staff and the social integration of disadvantaged workers as well as placing a responsibility on firms to upskill the workforce. The guidance encourages departments to assess the carbon footprint of bids and requires contractors to advertise their requirements for steel so that UK steel firms can compete. This will improve visibility of opportunities on major projects such as HS2 and Network Rail, so that UK steel suppliers will be able to bid. ...

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