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Lift Directive explained

The new Lift Directive 2014/33/EU (95/16/EC recast) comes into force on 20 April 2016, and with no transition period, specifiers must be ready, says Nick Mellor, director of the Lift & Escalator Industry Association (LEIA) and LIFTEX 2016.

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Reduced timeframe

Andrew Carpenter, chief executive at the Structural Timber Association, examines the benefits of building with timber frame and how it can offer a viable resolution to the UK housing crisis.

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475,000 homes with planning permission yet to be built

New research published today reveals there are a record 475,647 homes in England which have been given planning permission but have yet to be built. The study, commissioned by the Local Government Association and carried out by industry experts Glenigan, shows this backlog has grown at a rapid pace over the past few years. In 2012/13, the total of unimplemented planning permissions was 381,390 and in 2013/14 it was 443,265. The LGA said that the figures underline the need for councils to be able to invest in building more homes and also for the skills shortage affecting the construction industry to be addressed. Council leaders also want powers to charge developers full council tax for every unbuilt development from the point that the original planning permission expires. The LGA, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, also said: Developers are taking longer to complete work on site. It ...

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UK-GBC launches building performance research project

The UK Green Building Council is launching a new research project examining the way industry currently designs, constructs and operates non-domestic buildings. Examining industry approaches, tools and behaviours, the group will focus on how to maximise building performance, not just in energy terms, but also other aspects of performance that impact both the building user and the wider environment. The research team will work with UK-GBC members to explore what companies are already doing to address the issue of building performance, seek out best practice, and to identify gaps and barriers that need to be overcome across the whole industry. The Delivering Building Performance project is sponsored by BuroHappold, Saint-Gobain and Tarmac Group. Julie Hirigoyen, CEO of the UK-GBC said: “I am delighted that UK-GBC members are supporting this important piece of work. Huge cost, carbon and productivity benefits can be gained through a closer focus on the performance of ...

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Saint-Gobain to invest £20m in new Celotex production facility

Saint-Gobain UK and Ireland is to invest £20m in a new production facility for insulation specialist Celotex. Saint-Gobain has submitted a planning application for the production facility, which will be located next to Saint-Gobain’s Glass manufacturing facility in Eggborough, with production due to begin in Spring of 2017 if plans are approved by Selby District Council. Celotex has been operating for 90 years and making PIR in the UK since 1980. The company now employs 220 people at its only production site in Suffolk, where there are two similar production lines to the one that will be constructed at the new facility in Eggborough. Saint-Gobain says the investment will enable Celotex to “ensure it continues to meet the needs of the developing market for insulation products in the UK, while also meeting the future needs of its customers.” The development will create up to 50 skilled, high-quality jobs in the ...

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Safe and sound

With security a key concern throughout the dark winter months, Martin Smith, product manager at IronmongeryDirect, examines a selection of products aimed at maximising the security of public buildings.

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London build costs soar to second most expensive in world

Building in London costs more than any city in Europe and is the second most expensive city for new buildings in the world, according to cost consultant Arcadis. The latest International Construction Costs Index published by Arcadis analysed the relative costs of construction across 44 major cities and ranked New York as the world’s most expensive place to build closely followed by London, while Bangalore and Taipei are the cheapest. The Index revealed that the cost for the construction of a five star hotel in London is 20% above that in Paris and 50% higher than in Dubai. The rising costs are said to be driven by a combination of limited bidding resource and supplier opportunism. Simon Light, UK client development director, Arcadis, said: “In London, the recovery is losing momentum. With inflated construction costs and high land values threatening the viability of commercial and residential development, workloads look to ...

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Contractor insolvency

Edward Lamport, solicitor in the construction team at Winckworth Sherwood, provides advice for developers concerned about the solvency of contractors in their supply chain.

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Government to directly commission building of homes

In a radical new policy shift, the Government is to start directly commissioning the building of homes on publicly owned land. The first wave of up to 13,000 will start on four sites outside of London in 2016 and up to 40% of these will be affordable ‘starter’ homes. This approach will also be used at the Old Oak Common site in north west London. The Government is also today announcing a £1.2bn starter home fund to prepare brownfield sites for new homes. This will fast-track the creation of at least 30,000 new starter homes and up to 30,000 market homes on 500 new sites by 2020 – helping deliver the commitment to create 200,000 starter homes over the next five years. The new investment will help kick-start regeneration and secure planning permission in urban areas – renovating disused or under-occupied urban sites so builders can get to work without any delays. ...

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Making better use of daylight

Brett Martin details a recent project where its polycarbonate panels were specified to form part of the vertical glazing element for a new sailing HQ in Portsmouth.

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