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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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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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