Thursday, 25 May 2017


The importance and usefulness of evidence cannot be underestimated. Without it, we can have no confidence in the effectiveness of our past activities or future strategies. Used correctly, however, evidence can be used as a solid bedrock on which to build all our plans upon.

As a product of the BRE, it comes as no surprise that independent research and sound scientific evidence are fundamental ingredients of the BREEAM Standard. What’s possibly less commonly recognised is the ongoing role cutting-edge research plays in the continual development of BREEAM, keeping the Standard at the very forefront of the latest green building thinking and helping to drive excellence in sustainability across the globe.

Since its launch in 1990, BREEAM has expanded its reach to 78 countries with 2,626,873 registered buildings and 561,191 certificates issued worldwide to date. With an 80% market share, BREEAM dominates the European green building market. And with the recent launch of BREEAM USA, we’re hoping to replicate this success in North America.

We believe one of the main keys to the growth of BREEAM is in its flexibility and ongoing development. BREEAM has been adapted for individual markets across the globe to enable the assessment and certification of various built environment projects, including new builds, refurbishments, wider masterplanning projects, infrastructure and even the current operational sustainability of a functional building.

The methodology is constantly adapted to stay ahead of best practice within the industry, meaning those undertaking the Standard can always be sure their asset is certified against the most rigorous sustainability criteria. In-depth research – freely available through our website – is central to this endeavour.

The second factor driving BREEAM’s uptake both in the UK and overseas is the ever-deeper understanding of the business case for green buildings.

Earlier this month, in a report by, the Chief Executive of the US Green Building Council Mahesh Ramanujam urged European businesses to invest in certifications such as BREEAM stating “there is value in certification and it is important to pursue to generate validation from the external markets”.

A recent study found the global market will respond accordingly. The World Green Building Trends predicts a near 100% rise in the number of green buildings by 2018 – at which time it estimates that 37% of companies will have the majority of their estate certified sustainable, up from 18% when the report was published last year.

By generating the latest, leading thinking on all aspects of sustainable development and incorporating it into the Standard, BRE is focused on ensuring BREEAM is able to meet this demand. Using the latest research to continuously amend and adapt the BREEAM criteria, companies and communities utilising the Standard worldwide will be able achieve the very best green results possible.

We understand the importance of evidence and the effect it can have on a person or organisation’s thinking and the strategies they put in place. This is why we take such care with the evidence we publish in our research, such as included in our recent Value of BREEAM to Retail in the UK report.

Through the publication of such research, we hope to give companies across the globe the confidence to invest further in sustainable development and assurance that BREEAM can help them on their journey to a greener way of working.

For more information on BREEAM visit:

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Future Of London’s Skyline

Over the next few years, London’s skyline will change dramatically, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the new buildings that are about to pop up in the nation’s capital as well as showing you where exactly they’ll be developed and outline some of the concerns made by locals who are keen to keep the skyline as it is.


The Future Of London’s Skyline by Rubber Bond.

from The UK Construction Blog

Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Survey Association Bursary builds bright future for Geomatics students

The Survey Association’s £2000 bursary award is set to boost the career prospects of two exceptional Geomatics students at Newcastle University.

The winners, Connor Foxall and Oliver Smith, received their cash prize at a TSA conference where they also had the opportunity to network with industry professionals and guest speakers.

These included Matt Shaw of ScanLAB Projects Ltd., whose laser scanning expertise was recently featured in the BBC series, Italy’s Invisible Cities.

Following the conference, Connor was offered a week-long work placement at ScanLAB’s London office and used some of the bursary money to fund his travel and accommodation costs.

Connor commented on his time at ScanLAB. ‘’Talking to the different members of the team, exploring new software and equipment and practising the industrial processes needed to produce a deliverable was invaluable experience.’’

‘’I intend to use most of the remaining money to fund a second work placement during the summer,’’ he added.

TSA has awarded a bursary to second year students at Newcastle since 2011. This year, applicants were invited to submit a paper on ‘Building for the Future,’ focussing on ideas of their choice, such as BIM, Smart Cities, and advances in mapping and measurement technology.

TSA President, Adam Bradley, said, ‘’The judging panel comprises three TSA Council members, the Secretary General and myself and we were all impressed by the quality of this year’s winning entries, the interpretation of the Building for the Future brief, and the relevance of the submissions to the geospatial context.’’

‘It is very encouraging to hear how the TSA Bursary helps graduate entrants to the profession access the right contacts and opportunities to help them develop and progress their careers.’’

A proportion of Oliver Smith’s award will be used to fund research tools needed to create new analytical techniques for his dissertation project.

Oliver Smith explains, ‘’My project uses telecom network data to map and analyse the influences on pedestrian movements in city centres. The TSA Bursary will be used to purchase data and subscribe to online software used to visualise the flows over time.’’

‘’I’m aiming to produce innovative research that will interest telecom providers, showing them how the analysis of big data can lead to profitable opportunities,’’ he added.

The TSA Bursary will also support Oliver’s attendance at the International Geodetic Student Meeting (IGSM), a major event offering networking and learning opportunities in geodesy, cartography, photogrammetry and GIS to students from 34 different countries.

For further information on The Survey Association visit    Tel: 01636 642840 Email:  

from The UK Construction Blog

Friday, 19 May 2017

UK Construction Week General Election Survey


from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Sir Richard Branson tops poll in General Election survey

UK Construction Week, the UK’s largest gathering and community of construction professionals, has conducted a survey to uncover and tackle issues facing construction, housebuilding and skills in the run up to the General Election. With over 1,000 responses from a cross section of professionals working in the sector, key points from the survey include:


Sir Richard Branson is named as ‘the best person’ to head up new UK infrastructure projects

77% believe state intervention is needed for more housing

38% want Gavin Barwell to retain his position as Housing Minister

54% call for more housebuilding on brownfield sites


One of the most significant results from the survey was for Sir Richard Branson, who was voted as the best person to spearhead new UK infrastructure projects, such as HS2 and Heathrow Airport, signalling a need for more entrepreneurial vision in tackling large scale projects.


On the result, Sir Richard Branson said: “I’m very flattered by the survey. The only danger is that if I oversaw these key infrastructure projects then by the time I’ve finished there would only be room for one airline and one train company, both beginning with the letter V! The key thing one needs to get right is to plan these major projects with the customer’s needs in mind. Too often these are planned by engineers for engineers and fail to meet the user’s demand. This means they are underused and fail to have the major impact they should do.”


Further results show a three way split on the government’s current housing policy with a third of those polled voting both for and against current policies, and a third not convinced either way.


Over half of those surveyed (54%) called for the next elected government to be more aggressive with planning permissions on brownfield sites to enable house building. Only 11% voted to loosen Green Belt restrictions, dispelling the myth that the construction industry wants to build on protected land.


Although the industry isn’t wholly satisfied with current housing policy, Gavin Barwell was voted overwhelmingly in favour as the best man for the job of Housing Minister, with the next name suggested, Boris Johnson, only receiving a quarter of the number of nominations. Labour’s John Healey, previous Housing Minister under the Labour government, was the third suggestion.

77% of those surveyed believe the only way to reach 1 million homes by 2020 is by state intervention, and for a council house building programme to begin.


For infrastructure, there was a two way split between Vince Cable and Sir Richard Branson who were both voted as the best people to lead UK infrastructure projects, followed by Sir Alan Sugar and Sir James Dyson. A clear indication the industry feels it needs entrepreneurial visionaries to successfully take projects forward to 2021.


In terms of major projects the industry is generally positive about these going ahead with a Conservative government, with HS2 and Heathrow seen as the safest projects followed by Hinkley point, Crossrail 2, Thames Tideway and the road renewal building programme.


However, there is a real concern that major projects will stall if the Conservative government is not re-elected, with a majority of those surveyed believing all projects will stall with HS2 coming out on top (44%) followed by Crossrail 2 (40%) followed by the road renewal building programme (40%), Hinkley Point (30%), Thames Tideway (30%) and Heathrow third runway (26%).


Nathan Garnett, Event Director at Media 10, which runs UKCW, said: “We have seen a great deal of talk around housing and infrastructure in this general election campaign so far, so I think that the main political parties should take note of this industry wide survey. It shows that there are still a lot more assurances and interventions needed to build the homes we need and the infrastructure we have been promised. We will be using these results to make sure the main political parties know what the industry wants, and one clear message is that innovation and entrepreneurial endeavour cannot happen without government assistance.”

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 11 May 2017




By Martin Townsend, Director of Sustainability at BRE Global

When Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap General Election last month she made it clear that Brexit – and in particular her attempt to strengthen her hand ahead of potentially UK prosperity-defining trade negotiations with the European Union – was central to her decision. Brexit has dominated the early pre-election political exchanges and with less than five weeks to go until the electorate heads to the polls, we expect the issue to remain at the very top of the agenda for all the main parties. As such, we feel that housing and construction, as high-value commodities and significant contributors to UK export figures, should be given due consideration by all the main parties in their election manifestos. Furthermore, the debate should be extended beyond mere number-based targets to factor in wider issues such as quality and the sector’s post-Brexit significance.

The UK construction industry is currently seen as being at the leading edge of sustainable design and construction, as exemplified by the major roles played by UK companies in the success of a broad range of high-performance projects in both the UK and abroad.

As a result, the UK’s sustainable design and construction capabilities – including its knowledge and expertise as well as its focus on innovation, driven by standards such as BREEAM – have become significant contributors to UK exports.

Given that the campaign manifestos currently being finalised will span a period when UK prosperity will be heavily dependent on our position to negotiate favourable trade deals with Europe, ensuring we protect and nurture these assets is essential.

This requires active debate and investment on a level much deeper than just numbers – both in terms of targets and budgets.

By way of example, the Labour Party has recently pledged to build one million new homes during the next five years. All well and good, but there has been no commitment given to the quality of these homes and the viability of delivering quality homes and communities.

If we are not to create any “dead weight” (cost) to the treasury for UK PLC, one area that the political parties could give some thought to is evolving existing mechanisms to be more effective to new challenges. With increasing demands placed on Planning Authorities, and reduced funding to be as much of a mantra post-election as it is pre-election, it is essential that the parties give local authorities space and capacity to look at development and the wider context of what we need to achieve at a neighbourhood/community scale.

This should be focused on seeking positive improvements in the quality of the built, natural and historic environment, as well as in people’s quality of life:

  • Making it easier for jobs to be created in cities, towns and villages;
  • Moving from a net loss of bio-diversity to achieving net gains for nature;
  • Replacing poor design with better design;
  • Improving the conditions in which people live, work, travel and take leisure; and
  • Widening the choice of high quality homes;

I therefore hope that the parties, as they look to an agenda of growth, ensure this wider perspective is taken. We have already heard much talk about the police and the NHS, but to ensure that we don’t put the pressure on these important services in time of crisis, we need to build better communities to reduce crime and promote healthier living.

With all the necessary elements already in place, there is just the need to take the long-term view on the viability of development – the avowed purpose of the planning system but sometimes only looked at as the viability of the individual site and not the wider community. I would therefore hope that the parties look to recast how we consider development.

A number of keen eyed readers will perhaps already noticed increased amount of column inches given to land value capture as a concept. But one thing is for sure we need to:

  • Take a long-term view, to ensure that issues such as inter-generational equity or climate change mitigation and adaptation are taken adequately into account
  • Address the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development “jointly and simultaneously”
  • Consider the likely success of any proposal in achieving positive improvements in the quality of the built, natural and historic environment, as well as in people’s quality of life

I hope the debate on quality as a base to demonstrate what the UK can achieve and to drive the quality of our buildings and communities is one that will not get passed by in the various manifestos that will land on our desk in the coming days.

To make BREXIT work, we need to show what we can achieve and make the UK a success. Quality is a key to much that we need to achieve to drive this success.

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 3 May 2017


The 2016 Farmer Review, or ‘Modernise or Die’ report, by the Construction Leadership Council provided much food for thought in terms of adapting and reorganising traditional onsite business processes in order for firms to remain viable in future. What the report doesn’t consider so explicitly however, are the numerous efficiencies to be gained by adapting processes in the back-office, writes Matthew Jones, CEO at Open ECX.

The Review suggests that ‘business as usual’ is not an option while the industry faces an uncertain post-Brexit future. Instead, rigorous thinking and planning, moving to more efficient ways of working on site, and employing the right quality and quantity of skill are important.

As such, the Farmer Review highlights ways to be more effective in the built environment, for example through use of pre-manufacture. Finding ways to streamline processes for improved efficiency; to better manage and communicate matters; to budget in a smarter way; and to handle subcontractor relationships more effectively are also key to reducing workload, ensuring a more healthy cash flow and improving supply chain effectiveness.

So it’s not just onsite activity that needs to change. By moving away from traditional, often administratively time-consuming methods in the back-office, forward-thinking construction firms are adopting modern technologies to streamline their entire business, making the lives of those who run them considerably easier.

For instance, the receiving and sending of paper documents, while still prevalent in some UK Construction firms, is fast becoming less popular particularly across Europe as modern businesses strive to shift to construction e-Invoicing; a paperless construction supply chain with automated workflows.

Similarly, contractors looking to strengthen subcontractor relationships and avoid unnecessary payment disputes are looking to new solutions to allow them to more easily track and manage subcontractor applications.

Many construction firms are discovering that using the right software tools in the back-office can dramatically improve existing low margins and save time. For example there are lots of companies that are no longer creating error-prone estimates or managing expenses through traditional manipulation of spreadsheets but instead are using tailored industry-specific software to improve the speed, control and accuracy of these every day processes.

Cloud-based construction ERP solutions are also becoming more popular to enhance a business’ control and real-time reporting ability right across operational, commercial and finance departments. Even chasing late payments can be more quickly managed and in greater volumes by using dedicated credit control software solutions.

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

What Should You Know About Boiler Servicing?

When you are hiring the services of boiler company, make sure that you are choosing a reliable one who possesses the qualifications to perform it. If you thought a plumber would be able to deal with all the repairs of the boiler, then you need to think again as they might not have the qualification or knowledge to handle major issues which would lead to severe damages. If you thought that the process of boiler service is a long one, then you would be amazed to know that they take just 30 to 45 minutes to complete it. However, the time might extend if the type of the boiler is different one or has major issues.


Maintaining the standards:

The engineering team would inspect to check whether it is connected adhering to all the standards of the building, electrical safety and gas safety. This is because they want to make sure that you are not facing any legal issues on the placement of the boiler. As the laws of the state tend to change now and then, these services would let you know if there is a wrong placement of the boiler and would offer free advice to place it in the correct position.


Inspection at home:

When you approach the boiler servicing company and order for their services, they would first conduct a spot inspection to know the condition of your boiler and arrive at an estimate of the service charges. This estimate would be highly helpful for you as you will be bale to arrange for the money and then ask them to drop in for the service to save you from the embarrassment. This estimate would also consist of the rate of the spares that are much needed for replacement in case if it is worn out after prolonged use.


Free advice and tips:

As soon as your boiler service is over, the team of professionals would tell you what you must do to avoid and to save yourself from the trouble of facing any mishaps, the way to operate it safely and how to handle kids or pets at home when you have a boiler. These tips or advice are offered for free and can be highly useful for you. They will also let you know how to take care of your boiler now and then, which would help it to function well and keeps repairs at bay!


Regular check-ups:

As soon as you have sought the help of boiler servicing Wimbledon, they maintain periodical check ups to make sure whether there are any leakages or damages to the boiler and would make sure that you do not face any repairs all of a sudden. You might be busy with your hectic life, and hence such periodical check ups by the services would be a boon in disguise as you need not be worried about the condition of your boiler.


When so many benefits are obtained through boiler servicing company, what more could you ask for?

The post What Should You Know About Boiler Servicing? appeared first on Econ Construction LTD.

from Econ Construction LTD

Sunday, 2 April 2017

BOSCH GCL 2-50 C + GCL 2-50 CG Professional

BOSCH GCL 2-50 C + GCL 2-50 CG Professional – for more fun on construction sites!

Measuring with an inch ruler, a guideline or hand drafted lines is dreadful and not always precise. But this is a thing of the past – thanks to modern laser technology. The up-to-date pro uses a handy combi laser, which is not only easier to use but relieves day-to-day work immensely. And because laser measurements are done in a matter of minutes, if not seconds, there is always enough time for some fun on site.


For professional craftsmen of any trade the GCL 2-50 CG and the GCL 2-50 C are a real treat! They support you and your work in so many efficient ways. Both lasers are operated with a wireless bluetooth connection in combination with an app – connectivity reaching an impressive distance of up to 50 meters. The GCL 2-50 CG is able to project a green laser line – one which is visible even in the most difficult light situations. The green laser lines are up to four times more visible than the red lines of comparable equipment. By the way: The perfect companion for your combi laser is the RM 3 Professional multifunctional mount, which can also be operated wireless with the app, ensuring flexible positioning and attachment options.

Both combi lasers are ideal for levelling and setting plumb points in areas such as:

  • Hanging ceilings
  • Levelling drywalls with vertical laser lines
  • Electronic installations
  • Lighting grids

and many more…

Find out more about the #boschcombilaser right here:

from The UK Construction Blog

Friday, 31 March 2017

O’Rourke fined £800,000 for Heathrow dumper truck death

Laing O’Rourke has been fined £800,000 after a worker was killed by a dumper truck driven by his brother at Heathrow Airport.

Southwark Crown Court heard how Philip Griffiths died in October 2014.

His brother Paul accidentally reversed into his 38-year-old sibling when the pair were trying to move a broken down scissor lift on a service road, while working for Laing O’Rourke.

Paul Griffiths tried to tow the scissor lift away using a dumper truck under the direction of managers.

During the attempt his foot got stuck between the brake and the accelerator and the truck reversed.

Philip, who was standing between the two vehicles, suffered crush injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An HSE investigation found that neither worker was authorised with the appropriate certificate to use the dumper truck, and that the operation was not properly overseen or managed.

Laing O’Rourke Construction Limited of Dartford pleaded guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations and was fined £800,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

Speaking after sentence, HSE Inspector Jack Wilby said: “This incident was a tragedy for all concerned and, as revealed by our investigation, entirely avoidable.

“Laing O’Rourke did nothing to address the trend of these workers carrying out tasks they weren’t trained or authorised for.

“These dedicated staff, including Philip and his brother, needed appropriate supervision.

“Had there been appropriate supervision, then better segregation between Philip and these two vehicles could have been established and maintained.

“This case should act as a reminder of the dangers of using workplace transport without proper planning, management or monitoring of the risks involved.”

A Laing O’Rourke spokesperson said: “Laing O’Rourke fully accepts the findings of the court following the tragic events in October 2014.

“Our deepest sympathy and thoughts remain with Philip Griffiths’ family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.

“The company is committed to continually reviewing and improving its health and safety systems.”

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The growth of construction industry and property investment in UK

The Property Investment Companies UK has started investing towards the construction industry in the present situation as the property investment in this area has gained a lot of momentum. The construction industry in the UK have seen a lot of improvement and growth since the year 2007 as the government itself has given the permission to build multipurpose domestic buildings for the citizens in many cities. This has attracted many property investors and has benefited them to invest in the construction industry as well.

The UK companies have recently undergone a survey that suggested the growth in the year 2013. The constructions units showed that the Property Investment Companies UK had done greater activity in the third quarter of the year. The growth in the construction sector was seen in the housing and domestic sector as stated above which is due to the reason of permitted number of constructions allowed by the British government. The director at CPA, Francis declared that the growth in the construction industry was seen to be immense while a decline was seen in the repair and maintenance workings of the houses.

The boost in the construction industry can be verified through the fact that the largest number of homes were built by the construction companies are highest. The numbers have shown that the total number of houses built in the year 2013 were 133,670, which is said to increase by the year 2014. The biggest kind of construction companies and the Property Investment Companies UK have stated that the 250,000 houses will be required this year to compete for the desired number of credential buildings required in the country. This state for a huge investment opportunity for the construction companies and property investment companies. The construction companies have matched a high level of expectancy from the other kind of businesses. Thus, the newer trends have shown growth and investment opportunities.

The city of London alone needed to have the right kind of investment opportunities by the investors. The city of London needed the biggest amount of homes in the sector previous years. The number of new houses built in the year 2013 was 26,230 in this city. The number was found to be 26 percent which is the highest in the history. The history showed that the trend would be increasing positively in the days to come as well. The increase in the industry is a very prominent fact for the Property Investment Companies UK has.

This also calls attention for the foreign investors as well. The investors from all over the world are known to be attracted towards this region for the most positive results in the sector. This can be proven better for the future for the industry again. The boost in the industry, which is the highest one after the year 2007, shows that the region of Europe has considerable amount of chances for the investors.

The post The growth of construction industry and property investment in UK appeared first on Econ Construction LTD.

from Econ Construction LTD

Redrow abandons Bovis merger talks

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The Classic Barn Company

The Classic Barn Company

Our Background

Our family business specializes in crafted English oak framed buildings, our business has grown from a small acorn to a grand old oak tree by simply sticking to good business ethics. Our ethos is simple. To create beautifully detailed oak framed barns that become renowned for their superior quality. Support this with a service that is both transparent and efficient to ensure each client receives excellent overall value, enabling our good name to be passed on.

This ethos has won us numerous awards, appearances on TV and various publications.


“The Best of British, facing Brexit”. So Brexit is on its way and apparently we all have a challenge. No one knows what effects are on the horizon but one things for sure we all share a common denominator, we own one of the best brands on the planet – Great Britain ! So we’ve decided to play to our strengths by encouraging others to stop devoting time to Brexit ‘what if’s’, ignore those who have a self-vested interest in forecasting about Brexit and instead start focusing on starting your own campaign by showcase your #BestOfBritish product, be proud and switch your mind set to being proactive. Lets show them what were made off !

We’ve kicked this off by launching our new video to the world – British Craftsmanship At It Best !

If, like us you feel inspired to support this campaign then go ahead and show others.


Facebook: @oakframedgarages


Google +:

Andrew Guppy
The Classic Barn Company

from The UK Construction Blog

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Construction Industry has much to learn on building resilience from flooding

The chairman of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Select Committee, Neil Parish MP, has been on a fact-finding mission to a damage restoration depot in his own constituency.

Mr Parish was shown Richfords Fire & Flood’s facility at Cullompton on 17th February 2017 where he saw the equipment used to dry out buildings after an escape of water or flooding. The EFRA chair was also shown a training mock-up of a stud-wall which had been rigged up for injection drying and remote monitoring.

After his tour, the Tiverton & Honiton MP said:

“I applaud the work of Richfords in allowing people back into their homes much more quickly and then, in the future, increase the resilience of that property. That’s great news because people don’t want to be out of their homes for a very long time. I chair the EFRA select committee and we recently published a report on floods and flooding. The report stressed how important it is to improve properties if they have flooded and make them more resilient afterwards.

I’m very interested in Richfords’ work because it will put in very good stead some future programmes. There is a lot that the Government and local authorities can learn through the planning process and the building control process as well. It is up to Government and local authorities to work with companies like Richfords so we can make life easier for people, get a better construction and better building in the first place so that hopefully, if it floods or has a fire, then it is more resilient.”

Among the other topics discussed was the new British Standard for Damage Management (BS12999) and the importance of getting this embedded in industry across the country.

Richfords’ Business Development Director, Michael Cooper, said:

“It is important that we make our knowledge available to politicians who are shaping future policies because the buildings being constructed now will have an impact on how we deal with the potential increase in flooding events in the future. We want to make getting people’s lives back as fast and effective as possible. However, we need to know that the housing being built can be restored. Our fear is that some of the new stock is NOT resilient. This fear is based on recent experience of dealing with a water damage incidents in new timber-frame homes.”

Richfords Fire & Flood’s campaign to educate includes more meetings with politicians in the coming months and a series of CPD sessions for constructors and architects across the south west.

Images and Video from the visit.

from The UK Construction Blog

Friday, 17 February 2017

The Survey Association launches smart new website

The Survey Association launches smart new website

New features give clients a fast route to TSA’s expertise  

The Survey Association (TSA), the UK’s trade body for commercial survey companies, has redeveloped its website, following a year of exceptional growth in visitor numbers and applications for membership.

During 2016, TSA’s website logged more than 142,000 visits from 100 different countries, an increase of 153% on 2014. TSA also received 19 applications for membership, the highest ever in one year.

TSA President Adam Bradley said, ‘’Improvements to the website’s functionality and refreshed design has been essential to align with the growth of the profession in a number of sectors. With a clearer, easy to navigate listing, clients can now quickly contact a trusted industry professional from our growing list of Member companies.’’

‘’The Job Opportunities section, the most visited page on the site, has been improved too, with a cleaner layout, showing vacancies within a range of survey specialisms,’’ he added.

TSA’s free Client Guides and Guidance Notes on specific survey topics are authored by industry specialist Members. Construction professionals and international organisations regularly consult these documents.

TSA Manager, Rachel Tyrrell explains, ‘’During 2016 there were almost 8,000 (7,961) downloads by engineers, local government, educational establishments and surveyors from all over the world.  The new site makes it simpler for these users to review and download from our growing library.’’

To complement the Client Guides and Guidance Notes, TSA plans to establish a new library of Work Samples, illustrating the standard and quality of work expected from a trusted survey company.

TSA’s website also carries information about professional training courses as they become available. For specific information on the TSA Surveying Course and shorter technical courses offered at The Survey School visit

For further information on The Survey Association visit    Tel: 01636 642840  Email:  

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Participants from the 2016 GBS programme

Find out more about ‘green’ construction summer university programme at Ecobuild

Visitors to Ecobuild can find out more about a pioneering Austrian summer university programme, which provides world-leading insight into sustainable architecture and the built environment.

Green.Building.Solutions. (GBS) takes place in Vienna, the capital of energy efficient construction in the summer.

Representatives from the OeAD-Housing Office will be on hand at Ecobuild from the 7 to 9 March to discuss the course, from their base located within the Advantage Austria pavilion, on stand number A189.

The programme provides a unique opportunity for professionals and students in the fields of architecture and construction to strengthen their knowledge and gain a career advantage in the field of sustainability – an area of increasing global significance.

Organised by the OeAD-Housing Office, which offers passive house accommodation for students across Austria, together with the BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, the course advocates the use of natural resources by connecting natural, engineering and economic sciences.

The three-week programme’s lectures and all associated social activities are carried out in English and the course is of appeal to – but not limited to – those working in and studying architecture, construction management, project management, building and energy engineering and surveying.

It concludes with a collaborative project, where participants work together to bring their learning and experiences from the course to design a ‘green’ building. Student participants are entitled to seven ECTS points after successful completion.

The GBS summer university takes place from July 22 to August 13, 2017.

The cost of the course is €2,490 for professionals and €2,000 for students. This price includes all social activities as well as accommodation in OeAD’s passive house student properties in Vienna. The cost also includes accommodation for participants for almost a week after the programme, enabling them to explore the city at leisure.

Günther Jedliczka, CEO of the OeAD-Housing Office, said: “Austria is world-renowned as a pioneer in sustainable construction and GBS offers professionals and students from the UK and Ireland the opportunity to broaden their perspective and build a network of useful contacts across Europe and beyond.

“We offer a truly international atmosphere, with 38 participants from 20 nations successfully completing the programme last year covering topics including Sustainability in Building and Urban Planning, Principles of Passive House Planning and Renewable Energies and Business Concepts.

“Everyone wanting to find out more is warmly welcomed to come to our stand at Ecobuild, where we will be able to provide more details.”

The OeAD-Housing Office – which won the Austrian Climate Protection Award in 2013 and the Environmental Award of the City of Vienna in March 2015 – operates the Green Building Solutions course under a not-for-profit arrangement.

As well as GBS, OeAD also runs the Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems programme (AEMS), which analyses how economic, political, monetary and environmental factors need to change to be more sustainable – from the 26 July   July until 11 August, 2017.

More details about GBS and AEMS can be found at

from The UK Construction Blog

New Wear Crossing giant pylon raised in single lift

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Letting fee ban: a round-up

Unfair letting fees have long been a problematic issue and it wasn’t until the the late 2016 Autumn Statement produced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, that the problem was tackled head-on at last.

The statement was given on the 23rd of November 2016 last year in the Parliament (the full version can be found here, on the official government’s website) and the news spread rapidly like wildfire and raised numerous questions among tenants, landlords, letting agents and property portfolio managers alike all across the country.

Will tenants really save hundreds?

In recent years, fees had become so out of control that when the Autumn Statement was publicly released, it resulted in a 13pc share prices drop for Foxtons, one of the most high-market estate agencies in London. On average, tenants pay around £337 so savings could indeed be quite substantial.

What the ban means for letting agents

Some experts believe the fee ban might drive landlords to self-manage their property, potentially signifying great financial loss for letting agents. Are landlords really ready to take the plunge and go solo?

Will renting cost go up?

The ban was probably intended to shift the costs from tenants to landlords. Many people firmly believe that the unintentional consequence of this letting ban might be rising rent costs, as landlords will be looking to make up for the financial loss. Admin fees and commissions might go up but landlords shouldn’t be charged for it without trying to re-negotiate. According to conservative party member Mike Freer, this is exactly what happened in Scotland in 2012 when the ban was implemented. There is another side to the story though, as an independent research commissioned by Shelter actually found that the rise was small and short-lived. Another recent survey conducted by online letting agent Upad (and published on their blog) showed that around forty percent of landlords intend to rise up prices if extra fees are passed onto them to pay. But those numbers don’t reveal facts, only intentions: tenants and landlords will have to wait and see.

In recent years, fees had become so out of control that when the Autumn Statement was publicly released, it resulted in a 13pc share prices drop for Foxtons, one of the most high-market estate agencies in London.

When is the letting fee ban going to be implemented?

A few months after the Autumn Statement, tenants are now growing worried that the government will drop the ban as consultation for the projects has not began yet. It is however due to be held in the Spring, so everything suggest that the ban is indeed going forward even if it might take a little while to be implemented.

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 25 January 2017


TIMco, one of the UK’s largest independent wholesale suppliers of screws, fixings and power tools accessories, has introduced the innovative cavity wall fixing, Zip-Fix, to its newly extended range of products.  The fixing is an ideal heavy duty hollow wall anchor that’s suitable for use in plasterboard, concrete block, cavity walls and ceilings.

The new product, one of more than 700 new items in the latest TIMco brochure, is available in bags of ten and provides the ideal anchor for hanging radiators, TV brackets and cabinets.  The Zip-Fix anchor can be used on a number of substrates including plasterboard (12.5 and 25mm thick) as well as 15mm dense board and block and, with safety factors applied, is capable of holding weights between 30 and 60kg.

Simon Midwood, Managing Director of TIMco, comments; “This is an exciting new addition to our range and illustrates the increasing depth of products we now offer.  This product has been developed to provide merchants and their customers with a quality and easy to use fixing that’s capable of acting as a plasterboard fixing in home, office or industrial spaces.  We’re excited to offer it to our customers and to be continuing to build the range in the future.”

Zip-Fix is designed to be used in four easy steps:

  1. Drill – make a 13mm hole in the substrate (with a 50mm cavity clearance behind the substrate)
  2. Push – face the thumb tab upwards, insert the metal toggle through the hole so it pivots down behind the substrate.
  3. Zip – Zip the nylon collar towards the wall so that it sits into the drilled hole, then snap off the nylon arms.
  4. Fix – Secure the fixing with an m6 screw into the threaded part of the Zip-Fix and tighten until secure.

Earlier in 2017, TIMco released details of its new biggest ever catalogue that contains more than 5,500 products including; advanced wood, multi-purpose, self -drilling and self-tapping screws as well as roofing and construction screws.  This is in addition to an extended range of fixings and fastenings as well as a comprehensive range of supplementary products such as industrial tapes, protective films as well as security solutions.

TIMco is head quartered in Nantwich, Cheshire, imports and supplies product lines from around the world to distributors throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe.  The company was established in 1970 and now employs 110 members of staff from it offices in the UK, Ireland and Taiwan.  For more information, visit

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

A brief guide to industrial doors, from sliding tents to high speed doors

The field of industrial doors includes many different models, and each one is conceived for specific uses and have special features.

Let’s see some of the main types of industrial doors, their peculiarities and their most common applications!

  • Sectional doors: one of the main peculiarities of these types of doors, which are also used in residential contexts, is their vertical opening. The fact that they open vertically brings a big advantage, since this permits to save space both in front and behind the door itself. Also for this reason sectional doors are very versatile and can be used in various different contexts.

Sectional doors can be both manual and motorized (in this case they can be equipped with remote automatic control) and the safety of the lifting system is guaranteed through special safety devices.

  • High speed doors: this model is used in those spaces where it in necessary to open and close the door very quickly. The quickness of the system that characterizes the opening of high speed doors brings many advantages: first of all, it permits to save energy and maintain the temperature inside a given space; moreover, using this type of doors you can separate different processes inside the same building, which helps improving productivity.

High speed doors are also appreciated because they do not require special maintenance and are easy to install.

  • Strip curtains: these inexpensive doors are made of PVC and are very durable and versatile. Perfect for cold store areas, strip curtains are used for the opening of large warehouse. They reduce temperature loss and allow the passage of people and machines.
  • Folding doors: the perfect model if you need robust and wide closures, folding doors can be personalized and equipped with windows to improve visibility.
  • Sliding tends: this model is notably appreciated because it is a cheap solution for both large and small spaces.
  • Fire doors: it is necessary to use this type of doors in all of those spaces where there is a high fire risk. Fire doors are an important protection for both people and goods and need to be certified and built in accordance to specific norms.
  • Flap doors: a cheap solution that you can use when you need to isolate various rooms inside the same building but you do not want to prevent people and machines to move easily from one room to the other. Made of PVC, flap doors are resistant and flexible.

These are some of the types of industrial doors that you can find on the market. Choose the one you prefer according to your needs and to the field of application!

from The UK Construction Blog

Sunday, 22 January 2017

New national Vulnerable Road Users course for construction industry

CLOCS commends new national Vulnerable Road Users course for construction industry

Considerate Constructors Scheme creates e-learning course on Best Practice Hub to achieve greater awareness of vulnerable road users

London, United Kingdom, 18 January 2016: The Best Practice Hub – the construction industry’s free to access online platform for sharing best practice – has produced an e-learning course about Vulnerable road users.

Launched on 9 January, the course is designed to increase knowledge and understanding of the risks construction activity can pose to vulnerable road users and provides practical methods which can be adopted to minimise these risks. It is available to all registered Best Practice Hub users.

A fundamental part of the course is to provide participants with an understanding of CLOCS – the national standard for Construction Logistics and Community Safety – and how it can be adapted for any type of construction activity across the UK.

Other learning sections include current road safety legislation, the Highway Code and details of other important road safety programmes including FORS – the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme.

The course, which is eligible for CPD, has already received a huge uptake, with hundreds of individuals from Scheme-registered sites, companies and suppliers completing it.

To drive higher standards nationally, the Scheme has also introduced a dedicated section about the CLOCS Standard on the Best Practice Hub as well as additional questions about CLOCS in the 2017 Monitors’ Checklist.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy said: “All types of construction activity can involve potential risks to vulnerable road users. It is, therefore, essential that the industry knows and understands these risks and does all it can to minimise them, both for the general public and the workforce.

“The Vulnerable road users e-learning course and section about the CLOCS Standard on our Best Practice Hub provides an easily accessible and practical way for everyone within the industry – including site managers, contractors, suppliers and clients – to raise safety standards for every road user and pedestrian affected by construction vehicles.”

CLOCS Project Director Derek Rees commented: “The CLOCS team commends the Considerate Constructors Scheme for creating the Vulnerable road users e-learning course and providing a dedicated CLOCS section on the Best Practice Hub. Both resources provide an invaluable way to help raise awareness of the daily risks presented to pedestrians and cyclists and how the industry can effectively manage the impact vehicles accessing sites have on the local community and workforce.”

Click here to visit the Best Practice Hub.

Click here to take the Vulnerable road users e-learning course.

Click here to view the CLOCS section.

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 19 January 2017

5 tips for tackling a listed property restoration in 2017

5 tips for tackling a listed property restoration in 2017

If you have been thinking of getting your listed property spruced up, whether it’s an extension or re-structuring the foundations, there are fundamental things that you will need to consider before.

Sarah Khan, a member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) and Jonathan Clark who is a member of the RIBA conservation group share their top tips on approaching a listed building restoration.

  1. Be particular with restoration scale

According to RIBA accredited Conservation Architect Sarah Khan if you plan on doing work to both the interior and exterior of the building, you’ll need to apply for listed building consent and planning permission. If your listed building is in a conservation area, you’ll need to take this into account.

  1. Restore for reasons of practicality not trends

Late last year it was announced that the Buckingham Palace will undergo a 10 year refit. Work will start in April 2017 and will focus on replacing 33-year-old boilers, electrical cables and pipework. The most common misconception people have is that just the façade of a property is listed says Sarah, find out everything you need to know about your property from your local council.

  1. Materials will shape how far you can restore

The restoration projects of the Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) includes using original gold paint for the face of the clock, prepare yourself for the fact that the use of cheap, modern materials will often not be possible, advises Sarah.

  1. Surround yourself with the right craftsmen and architects

The biggest challenge we faced was undoubtedly dealing with the conservation officer. It was a process of negotiation and convincing them that our proposals would materially enhance the building and bring it into the 21st century in a sympathetic way – says Jonathan Clarke, founder of Jonathan Clark Architects.

  1. Strike a balance between replica and restoration

Your restoration plans should clearly highlight how you will be preserving your listed building, it could be anything from not chopping down an old tree in your garden to using 10,000 bricks from original building (part of Battersea Arts Centre restoration plan.)

Sarah and John share their experiences working with listed building restorations as part of the Hiscox cover stories campaign, read their full interview here.

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Construction firms’ risk losing custom by playing generic music on hold

January 17, 2017 – Construction firms’ call handling standards have come into question as the result of a major new study into telephone practice.

The research conducted by audio branding specialist PHMG, which audited 185 firms in the construction industry, discovered the large majority risk losing custom by subjecting customers to generic music and audio while on hold.

Typically, waiting on hold is seen as a major bugbear but 54 per cent of construction companies still leave customers listening to nothing but generic music. A further 26 per cent subject them to beeps, while 16 per cent leave callers in silence and four per cent force them to listen to ringing.

No companies were found to employ brand-consistent voice and music messaging – viewed as the best practice approach to handling calls – less than the national average of two per cent.

Mark Williamson, Sales and Marketing Director at PHMG, said: “Call handling remains a critically undervalued element of customer service and marketing. A previous study of 1,000 UK consumers found 73 per cent will not do business with a company again if their first call isn’t handled satisfactorily.

“Therefore, it is important companies do their utmost to improve the experience. The research shows there is still work to be done in providing an experience that keeps callers engaged and entertained.

“Generic music, beeps, ringing or silence convey a message that the customer is not valued, which will only serve to compound any annoyance felt as a result of being made to wait on hold.”

The research also found 92 per cent of construction firms do not even use auto attendant messaging to greet customers who call up outside of normal working hours.

It also seems call handling standards have not significantly improved when comparing the results to a similar study conducted in 2013. The number of companies playing repetitive music has increased by 23 per cent during that period while the number using brand-consistent voice and music has stayed the same.

“The trends over the past three years suggest construction firms believe generic music is enough to keep callers entertained but this can actually have the opposite effect,” added Williamson.

“An existing, generic piece of music should not be repurposed to convey a message it was never intended to, as its characteristics may not match those of the company.

Hearing is one of our most powerful emotional senses so the sounds customers hear when they call a business will create a long-lasting impression. Every element of a music track, whether tempo, pitch or instrumentation, will stir different emotions so traders should ensure they convey the appropriate brand image.”

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 16 January 2017

Government awards £1.2bn roads funding to councils

Councils across England are today finding out their share of £1.2bn local roads funding for the next financial year.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones announced funding to improve roads, cut congestion and improve journey times includes money from the new National Productivity Investment Fund, announced in the Autumn Statement and the Pothole Action Fund.

It also includes £75m which councils can bid for to repair and maintain local infrastructure such as bridges, street lighting and rural roads.

The government has today also published further information about what the funding will be spent on – the latest step in the economic plan to stimulate the economy and build a country that works for everyone.

A key part of this is putting in place improved transport links including better roads, to help people access work, school and services.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “The funding we have allocated today is focused on relieving congestion and providing important upgrades to ensure our roads are fit for the future – helping to build an economy that works for everyone.

In a further effort to reduce the number of potholes the Department for Transport will begin a new innovative trial, in partnership with Thurrock and York Councils which could revolutionise the way potholes are identified and managed.

A pothole-spotter system, mounted to refuse collection vehicles, comprising of high-definition cameras, integrated navigation system and intelligent software will be deployed to identify road surface problems before they become potholes.

The DfT will also support plans for a new motorway junction on the M11, near Harlow in Essex. This will help to ensure the delivery of 15,000 homes and support continued growth in the local economy.
M11 junction 7a

The new junction, to be known as Junction 7A, will sit to the north of Harlow, and will cut several minutes from journeys to Stansted and Cambridge.

The scheme will provide better access to the motorway both for new residents and for the existing inhabitants of Harlow and Sawbridgeworth; plus less congestion on the existing junction 7. The project will be part-funded by Essex County Council, and could begin construction in 2019.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 9 January 2017

Considerate Constructors Scheme announces 2017 monitoring Checklist

Considerate Constructors Scheme announces 2017 monitoring Checklist

New Checklist brings greater focus on key issues of:

  • tackling illegal workers
  • encouraging an improved road safety culture


London, United Kingdom, 6 January 2017: The Considerate Constructors Scheme – the national Scheme to improve the image of the construction industry – has announced a new Monitors’ Checklist.

The Checklist, which came into effect on 1 January 2017, is the key method which Scheme Monitors use to assess and score sites, companies and suppliers’ performance against the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice.

The Scheme has identified two pressing issues requiring a more concerted effort from the construction industry – tackling illegal working and improving road safety.

Although the 2017 Checklist has undergone minor changes in all five sections, there are new questions within the Specific Data section – which captures key information and identifies trends within the industry. The first set of questions have been introduced to encourage sites, companies and supply chains to examine how they are ensuring the legitimacy of their workforce:

  • Are there processes in place to ensure subcontractors (and subsequent subcontractors) are conducting right to work checks?
  • Are physical spot checks conducted to ensure minimum standards of right to work checks are taking place within the supply chain?

Two questions have also been added to encourage greater adoption of a more considerate road safety culture. The questions assess the extent to which CLOCS – the national standard for Construction Logistics and Community Safety – is embedded across Scheme-registered sites, companies and suppliers.

  • Is the company a CLOCS Champion?
  • Is this site operating to the requirements of the CLOCS Standard?

This enhancement to the Checklist will gauge the level to which those registered with the Scheme are helping to raise safety standards for every road user and pedestrian affected by construction vehicles. Recognising this important industry standard for the protection of vulnerable road users has been part of the Scheme’s monitoring Checklist for a number of years. In October, the Scheme became a partner in delivering the CLOCS Standard, further strengthening its support of this important initiative.

Commenting on the new Checklist, Chief Executive of the Scheme, Edward Hardy said: “With over 18,000 monitoring visits to sites, companies, and suppliers every year, the Scheme is the central part of instigating change to help raise standards and improve the image of the construction industry.

“The Scheme’s monitoring Checklists are the backbone to effecting this change, and we are pleased to be introducing greater focus on helping to address the critical issues of tackling illegal working in construction and helping to embed a culture of safety through greater adoption of the CLOCS Standard.”

Click here to read the new Checklist.

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 5 January 2017

How to grow your construction company in 2017

How to grow your construction company in 2017

When you look at some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs – we’re talking about the likes of Richard Branson and Steve Jobs here – the one thing they have in common is relentless ambition.

They turned small startups into giant multinational corporations with eye-watering turnovers and profit margins by embracing a winning mindset that privileges innovation and development.

Adopting a similar approach will also help you grow your construction company into an even more successful operation in 2017 – despite the shaky political and economic future the industry is facing.

So your business doesn’t get stuck in a profit-destroying rut next year, we’re sharing a few top tips for careful expansion. Take a look.

#1: project the right image

To chase – and win – bigger contracts and projects, you need to project the right image of yourself as a capable and experienced construction expert.

Part of that means setting yourself up with the necessary infrastructure, like creating new headquarters from which to push business development. Instead of working from a makeshift onsite base, look at finding an office or shop to let that’ll impress future clients.

But you also need to build a strong brand identity that instantly communicates the ethics and quality you constantly provide in your work. Your first step should be hiring a graphic designer to revamp your logo.

#2: invest in up-to-date technology

The construction industry has been teetering on the edge of a digital revolution for the past few years but looks set to become much more heavily reliant on technology in 2017. To beat the competition, you’re going to have to stay on top of all the latest advancements.

Software to manage scheduling, pay, inspections and safety records is definitely worth an investment, purely for the amount of otherwise wasted admin time it can save you.

One of the most useful digital tools to consider buying is Building Information Modelling (BIM). Essentially, it creates 3D models of building plans, and its benefits – from reducing errors to attracting new business – are transforming worksites around the UK.

#3: build a strong team of employees

Up until now, you’ve probably kept your company ticking over by taking on a lot of the key responsibilities yourself, but it’s not a healthy approach to uphold as your workload expands.

You need to build a team of trustworthy employees who can help manage the important tasks, so that you can keep standards high even as you get busier – and the trick to accomplishing exactly that is hiring people smarter than you.

Complement your own skill set by employing staff who’ll provide expertise in a variety of different areas – accounting, law, marketing – and there’ll be nothing your business can’t handle.

Do you have any other top tips on how to successfully grow a business? Have an insight into the future of the construction industry in 2017 you’d like to share? Leave a comment and let us know.

from The UK Construction Blog