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Building Products March 2018

BUILDING PRODUCTS | NEWS NEWS Snow disruption contributes to weak construction output The collapse of Carillion and bad weather are said to have contributed to a weak first quarter for construction output in 2018. ONS figures published recently show that construction output fell by 3.4% in January, its worst monthly performance since June 2012. On a less volatile threemonth basis, output declined 1.0%, led by falls in commercial, industrial, public non-housing, and repair and maintenance. Data also showed that new orders in 2017 Q4 fell 25.0% over the quarter and were 1.3% lower on an annual basis. Rebecca Larkin, senior economist at the Construction Products Association (pictured right), commented: “After three quarters of decline last year, it appears that 2018 is unlikely to herald a resurgence in industry growth. The fall in activity in January is likely to have been worsened by any pause on projects due to the liquidation of Carillion in the middle of the month. The snow disruption in February and March adds to the downside forces on construction during the opening quarter of the new year.” Support for high-rise ‘Ultra Site’ scheme combustibles ban officially launched The Considerate Constructors Scheme has officially launched Ultra Site registration, following a 24- month pilot. According to the Considerate Constructors Scheme, which was established to improve the image of construction, the most committed contractors and their supply chains across the UK and Ireland can now achieve Ultra Site status – the highest level of attainment within the scheme. Ultra Sites are said to ‘herald a new era in raising the considerate credentials of construction sites and their supply chains, with the ultimate objective to achieve integration of a contractor’s supply chain to meet and exceed the scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice’. Considerate Constructors Scheme chief executive, Edward Hardy, said: “Achieving exceptional performance through greater collaboration with the supply chain is at the very core of being an Ultra Site.” www.ccscheme.org.uk Almost three-quarters (74%) of construction industry professionals believe that using combustible materials on mid, high-rise and sensitive buildings should be banned, according to a new survey by research consultancy, Populus. The survey, commissioned by Rockwool, reportedly polled senior staff working in the construction, civil engineering and architectural industries, who have responsibility for specifying or detailing construction materials. Its findings come as Dame Judith Hackitt prepares to publish the full 8 BUILDING PRODUCTS | MARCH 2018 recommendations of her post- Grenfell review of the building and fire regulatory system. Of the 250 professionals surveyed, more than 70% are reported to have said that following the Grenfell tragedy, they would be less likely to use combustible materials on new build and retrofit residential projects. According to 60% of respondents, the government, rather than the construction industry, should be responsible for defining fire safety in buildings and nearly two-thirds (63%) also think a ‘major overhaul’ of fire safety regulations in England is necessary. In addition, 93% of those surveyed support publicly disclosing all test results and data used to secure approval of building materials, while 62% want the Hackitt Review to recommend banning desktop studies as a route to compliance. Rockwool Group senior vice president, Gilles Maria (pictured left), commented: “It’s encouraging to see the UK construction industry advocating so strongly for banning combustible materials on mid, high-rise, and sensitive buildings.” AMA reports reveal latest market data Recent reports from AMA Research have revealed market data for the social housing, pipes and fittings and window and door fittings markets in the UK. According to AMA’s ‘Social Housing Construction and Maintenance Market Report – UK 2018-2022’, the social housing construction market was estimated to be worth around £11.4bn in 2017, including both new build and repair, maintenance & improvement (RMI) activity. According to AMA, housing associations account for around 60% of social housing stock and also form the largest not-forprofit group in the UK, working closely with both private and public organisations. AMA’s ‘Pipes and Fittings Market Report – UK 2018-2022’, reveals that the UK pipes and fittings market has achieved ‘good levels of growth’ over the last five years, and although growth has slowed more recently, the market has achieved overall value growth of 21% since 2012. According to the report, key factors influencing pipes and fittings market growth in recent years include increasing levels of demand from key end-use sectors, principally in new housebuilding and nondomestic construction, and rises in raw material prices such as copper and plastic over the last two years. AMA’s ‘Door and Window Fittings Market Report – UK 2018-2022’, reveals that the UK market for door and window fittings grew by around 3% in 2017. According to AMA, this is lower than in 2016, in line with slowing growth rates for the construction market as a whole and stimulated by greater demand for higher specification products. The door and window fittings market is closely linked to the fabrication and installation markets as well as the overall glazing industry, which is relatively mature but has reportedly seen steady growth in recent years. Rebecca Larkin Rockwool’s Gilles Maria says he is encouraged by the industry’s support for banning combustible materials on high-rise buildings


Building Products March 2018
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