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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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NHBC predicts rise in ‘smart homes’

Research by the NHBC Foundation has found that smart home technology is set to rise from 11% today to 27% by 2020. Smart technologies identified in the Connected Home report include: Door entry and security systems that are controlled by face recognition and alert parents when their children return home. Real time medical monitoring of the elderly – such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and sleep patterns – with a function to call an ambulance or alert the GP. Ovens with cameras that notify homeowners when their cake has risen. Toothbrushes that monitor oral hygiene and send alerts directly to the dentist if medical conditions are detected. Floors or stairs that can weigh homeowners, track activity and automatically ‘lock the biscuit cupboard’ if they are watching their waistline. Neil Smith, head of research & innovation at NHBC, said: “Continual developments in technology over recent decades have transformed the way ...

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Part of the community

Drainage pipe and inspection chambers from Wavin are helping to make a difference at a community project in Dorset. Building Products reports.

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Construction product sales slow in Q4 2015

The Construction Product Association’s latest State of Trade Survey has reported a slowdown in growth in sales of construction products in the fourth quarter of 2015, owing to domestic weakness and a fall in export sales. More positively, however, sales achieved their 11th consecutive quarter of growth and were still higher on an annual basis. Manufacturers also remain optimistic about domestic and overseas prospects for 2016. 5% of heavy side firms and 38% of light side firms reported that sales rose during the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to respective balances of 13% and 29% in Q3. In addition, 29% of heavy side firms and 23% of light side firms reported an annual increase in sales, however exports decreased for 9% of heavy side firms and 20% of light side firms compared to a year earlier. In regards in 2016, 43% of heavy side product manufacturers and 42% of light side ...

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Ecobuild 2016 announces housing conference lineup

Some of the most influential and outspoken names in the UK housing industry will present their visionary and powerful opinions in the housing-themed sessions on Day 1 at Ecobuild. Supported by BRE, the conference covers property issues ranging from the need for high quality volume housing and commercial viability of ultra-low cost and low energy homes, to the challenges of refurb and retrofit. The programme, being hosted by broadcaster Cathy Newman, will look at design and construction practices in order to establish what our future housing needs are and what can be done to deliver it. Some of the key speakers include Tony Pidgley, chairman of Berkeley Group, David Sheridan, chief executive of Keepmoat, and Rowan Moore, architecture critic for the Observer. Professor Phil Jones, Chairman of Architectural Science at Cardiff University, is another of the day’s speakers. Prof Jones led the team which developed SOLCER, the UK’s first purpose-built, low-cost energy ...

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‘Mega projects’ see 2015 construction value hit £74bn

The value of total construction contracts awarded in the UK reached £74bn in 2015, a year-on-year increase of 16%, according to the latest Economic & Construction Market Review from Barbour ABI. The amount of projects commissioned in 2015 actually decreased year-on-year to under 12,000, however the total value was not negatively affected thanks to the increased number of mega projects, says Barbour. This resulted in the average construction project value increasing by 18% to £6.2m for the year. An example of some of the large scale commissioned projects in 2015 include the £1.3bn Rampion offshore wind farm, the £1bn Thames Tideway Tunnel and a £330m extension of Walney offshore wind farm. Many of the large scale projects commissioned in 2015 were within the renewable energy sector, resulting in the infrastructure industry having a bumper year, increasing its total contract value by 47% to £18.9bn. Commenting on the figures, Michael Dall, lead ...

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Housebuilding surge creates over 100,000 jobs in 2015

Over 100,000 new jobs were created in England alone last year as a result of the big increase in housebuilding, a report released today reveals. Analysis by the Home Builders Federation shows that the housebuilding industry is now supporting around 667,000 jobs, and details how local economies the length and breadth of the country are benefitting from the thousands of additional homes now being built. The ‘Building Communities, Boosting Employment’ report has outlined that: Housebuilding in London now employs over 100,000 people. Outside London, Greater Manchester saw the biggest increase in housebuilding employment with an additional 5,418 people recruited last year. North Yorkshire experienced the biggest proportional growth, with employment numbers doubling. Outside the capital, housebuilding activity in the West Midlands supports most employment with 27,907 jobs supported by housebuilding. The report also found that improvements to the planning system and the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme have helped housebuilders increase ...

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Cradle to cradle

Steve Hemmings, head of EHS & Sustainability at Siniat, explains why the construction industry must be at the forefront of making the potentially difficult transition to a circular economy.

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Medite – SmartPly to sponsor Ecobuild DISCOVER feature

Medite – SmartPly has been announced as stand sponsor for a major new feature at Ecobuild 2016. DISCOVER will be a social hub showcasing one of the UK’s premier architectural awards shortlist, a national initiative to find the next eco-innovator and a platform for future materials. To reinforce the event’s new focus on design and next generation solutions, DISCOVER will be staging a competition with Medite – SmartPly. It will challenge students from architecture school The Bartlett to create a highly engaging design for the area. The winning design will maximise the use of sustainable materials, including Medite MDF and SmartPly OSB, whilst minimising environmental impact and demonstrating how materials will be disposed of responsibly after the event. As a showcase for forward-thinking construction, DISCOVER will also be displaying shortlisted entries from the BD Architect of the Year awards. It will also provide a platform for the Big Innovation Pitch ...

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