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Brick Development Association rebuts brick shortage accusations

The Brick Development Association (BDA) has responded to what it sees as “highly misleading and unhelpful” comment from the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS). Market research data released on 2 February indicated several areas of concern for the construction sector, amongst which was a lengthening of delivery times for building materials. The BDA has made this statement in order to “make it completely clear that brick production has risen significantly over the last two years.” Department for Business, Innovation and Skills figures, also released yesterday, point to brick production in December 2015 being 16% higher than in December 2014. The BDA challenged CIPS on its comment citing brick shortages as a particular issue, asking to see statistical evidence to support the claim. In response, the BDA was told: “We used the term bricks as generally representative of building materials as a sector. We see a shortage of various building materials ...

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Bad weather impacts winter construction starts

The construction sector is suffering from its worst winter since 2013, according to the latest figures released today by Glenigan. The value of new work starting on site fell by a marked 20% in the three month period to the end of January, compared to the same period of 2014/15. Office construction was the only sector of the industry to edge higher, with starts declining across residential, non-residential and civil engineering work. Glenigan’s monthly barometer of project starts has been in negative territory for eight out of the last 10 months. However, the latest figures give the strongest evidence yet that construction’s prospects have weakened markedly since this stage a year ago. Commenting on this month’s figures, Allan Wilén, Glenigan’s economics director, said: “The atrocious weather has clearly halted project starts.” “This has exacerbated an already evident softening in workloads, with new construction activity now in the worst period of decline ...

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Dispute resolution

Sarah Nolan, head of commercial law at QualitySolicitors Jackson Canter, discusses the problems that arise with contractors, how they can be remedied and why a good site or project manager is worth their weight in gold.

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Inta launches new heat interface unit

Inta has introduced its ‘HIPER’ high performance heat interface unit (HIU), designed to deliver heating and hot water whilst improving energy efficiency and minimising costs in multi-dwelling developments. Installed in shared residential buildings, the HIU distributes heating and domestic hot water from a central plant system to individual properties. By removing the need for each area to have a conventional boiler, gas flue and hot water cylinder, the interface units dramatically reduce build costs for developers. HIPER HIU boasts a factory-set, non-electric temperature control valve which prevents risk of scalding in the event of a power supply failure, as well as features the an advanced dual-speed PID control (patent pending), intelligently controlling the heat into the plate heat exchangers by electronic modulation of a PICV (pressure independent control valve). A PICV is three valves in one: a differential pressure control valve, two-port flow regulating valve and a flow regulation valve. One ...

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‘Healthier’ stores could improve profits, report finds

Retailers can improve the shopping experience for their customers and potentially increase their profits by providing greener, healthier stores, according to a major report from the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC). The report, ‘Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Retail: The Impact of Green Buildings on People and Profit’, says that although there is a surge in interest in health and wellbeing in the property sector, most retailers are currently missing a key opportunity to better understand how the physical retail environment can affect staff and customers – including the retail experience – and therefore the impact on overall business performance. These findings come despite emerging evidence which shows that greener, healthier retail stores – those which typically have good levels of daylight, fresh air and greenery – are becoming more attractive to consumers and potentially more profitable for retailers. This report breaks new ground by presenting ways in which retailers can measure the impact ...

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Plan to succeed

To ensure the shelf-life and efficient running of M&E equipment, Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) is essential, says Chris Wollen, chairman at Ergro.

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Energy seminars take centre stage at Ecobuild

Ecobuild 2016 is set feature an ‘energy’ learning hub, featuring a series of case study-led seminars. The CPD-accredited programme is designed to provide exhibitors and visitors with practical knowhow to perform their jobs better, and the business case to help installers make more informed decisions to address these challenges. The programme will be hosted by leading industry figures and organisations, with a focus on ways of reducing carbon emissions in buildings and providing low or zero carbon energy power. The seminars look at everything from ‘life after the Green Deal’ to delivering efficient and reliable low carbon heat. Among those making their compelling case will be representatives from some of the most powerful and influential voices in the building, engineering and energy sectors, including CIBSE, BRE and Sweett Group. Sessions include: ‘Future energy’ – chaired by Gavin Thompson, head of Energy Consulting at BuroHappold Engineering ‘Navigating the energy policy maze’ – chaired by Rob ...

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Flood preparation

When constructing new homes in areas that may become prone to flooding, it’s important to build in flood resistance and flood resilience, says Hudson Lambert, director at Safeguard Europe.

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GAF acquires Icopal for €1bn

GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, has purchased roofing and waterproofing specialist Icopal from Investcorp for an enterprise value of approximately €1bn. Miguel Kohlmann, CEO of Icopal, said: “GAF’s long tradition of innovation, commitment to top quality and customer focus will complement Icopal’s strengths and values. Our customers will benefit from enhanced scale, greater breadth of products and services, improved product innovation and an unparalleled global distribution network. Our employees will be able to enjoy the additional opportunities that come with working in an exciting business, which is becoming truly global. I would like to thank Investcorp for the tremendous support it has provided to Icopal during its transformation into a leading multi-material provider of waterproofing solutions. We are very positive about the opportunities that lie ahead of us.” Bob Tafaro, president and CEO of GAF, said: “We have tremendous respect for Icopal’s talented management team, and we welcome all of Icopal’s employees ...

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Designing out crime

With new homes now subject to security standard regulation, Jon Cole, national operations manager of Police initiative Secured by Design, reviews the steps that need to be taken to reduce neighbourhood crime and ensuring legislative compliance.

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