Sunday, 19 November 2017


The UK construction industry as a whole tends to cling on to outmoded and inefficient payment practices even when presented with more effective ways of working – a point that is particularly valid when it comes to working capital management and payment processing, writes John Vasili, Director of Business Development at Invapay.

The construction industry has a long-standing problem when it comes to B2B payments. The NSCC & FMB Payment Survey revealed that 40 per cent of businesses are not paid within contracted terms, a third of payments due are late – representing 4.4 per cent of turnover on average – and that subcontractors write off £200 million in late payments and retentions.

Clearly, there’s a need for a more efficient way of processing and making payments – one that will benefit businesses of all shapes and sizes and at all stages in the construction lifecycle, from major contractors right down to specialist subcontractors and general suppliers.

Through our partnership with Open ECX and their WebContractor offer we have developed a combined full-service payment solution, providing construction businesses with a quick and effortless way to manage their payment processes and maximise working capital benefits. The direct and indirect benefits to businesses and their suppliers are multiple.

We find that one of the biggest barriers to the adoption of ePayment processing solutions for many businesses is supplier acceptance – with businesses concerned that the implementation of a revised payment processing approach will have a negative knock-on effect for their suppliers. In our experience, this fear is misguided. Our customers tell us they want to maximise their working capital and to get best use of available credit lines but are concerned about the impact on suppliers.

We solve this issue by simply making payments to the suppliers standard bank account– the supplier doesn’t need to know they are being settled via your working capital or available credit lines; all the while operating in the FCA regulated environment and the assurance that brings.

Our customers benefit considerably and are able to maximise the return on working Capital & to fully utilise any credit lines buyers may have available. They can also make accelerated payments to suppliers, whatever the size, thereby securitising the entire construction supply chain.

Our Open ECX colleagues have also faced concerns over supplier acceptance. Their e-invoicing solution automatically converts and validates PDF invoices received from suppliers, completely removing the need for time-consuming manual entry and eliminating human error.

For suppliers it provides them with the benefit of a reduction in payment delays often caused by traditional processes.

Open ECX has found that supplier adoption is often rapid. One builders’ merchant that stocks more than 13,000 product lines across 13 branches, saw the percentage of e-documents being processed rise from around 25-30 per cent to 60 per cent in a matter of months; this led to huge time and efficiency gains, allowing them to redeploy staff to focus on higher value tasks.

There is absolutely no reason for businesses to continue to operate an outmoded payment approach. There is a tried, tested and regulated alternative delivering major efficiency and cashflow benefits for both sides of the construction supply chain.

And unless we as an industry are willing to adapt, then we are resigned to not achieving the best payment practices, return on working capital and suppliers hindered by late and delayed payments for many years to come.

For more on Invapay’s partnership with Open ECX visit

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 16 November 2017

360 x 360: Autodesk BIM 360’s Data and Collaboration to become immersive through HoloBuilder

HoloBuilder announces partnership with Autodesk’s Connect & Construct Exchange, BIM 360 integration program

SAN FRANCISCO, California – November , 2017 – HoloBuilder Inc., the leading provider of digital construction sites for general contractors and owners, is proud to announce a new partnership with Autodesk, the leader in 3D design, engineering and construction software. The partnership allows customers to seamlessly move between Autodesk’s BIM 360 construction management platform and HoloBuilder’s Construction Solution. This closes the gap between the workflow for 360 reality capturing and virtual walkthroughs as well as document and issue management. The partnership is based on the commitment of both companies to serve professionals in the field and in the office to accelerate delivery, save money and reduce risk. The cross-platform integration is implemented utilizing Autodesk Forge technology. The announcement was made at Autodesk University, the company’s flagship user conference in Las Vegas, which welcomes more than 10,000 Autodesk customers annually.

The integration allows users to add issues to the BIM 360 platform from within their HoloBuilder project. The connection between immersive 360-degree construction documentation and issue management also allows users to virtually walk the construction site and create issues at the same time, without ever needing to leave their desks. Created issues are also linked to their position within HoloBuilder’s documentation so that users can easily find the affected area and understand the context.

HoloBuilder’s integration with BIM 360 eliminates data silos. Users can add documents, like sheets and floor plans, from BIM 360 to the HoloBuilder environment. This ensures that any documents used within HoloBuilder are always up to date. Further functionality which allows customers to link additional information between BIM 360 and HoloBuilder will be released shortly.

“I am excited for this partnership as it allows us to connect and streamline construction project workflows,” Mostafa Akbari, CEO of HoloBuilder. “We have built HoloBuilder from the ground up to save time for our construction customers around the world when capturing reality and sharing this with stakeholders. As we now provide access and a connection to the BIM 360 construction management platform, this eliminates duplicate work and interruptions in the overall workflow, resulting in further efficiency gains.”

“We are thrilled to have HoloBuilder, a leader in 360-degree reality capture, serve as an inaugural member of the Connect & Construct Exchange,” said Sarah Hodges, Director of Autodesk’s Construction Business Line. “HoloBuilder’s seamless integration with Autodesk’s BIM 360 construction management platform is another example of how partnerships like these will make construction safer, simpler, and smarter.”

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Construction Industry’s Charity Contributions

Homer, the Greek poet, famously said, “The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others”. Statistics, as of 2005, estimated that at least 100 million people worldwide were homeless and in the 12 years since, the number has only risen, with over 300,000 homeless in The UK and 1.6 billion worldwide.

The global construction market is currently valued at £6.5 trillion, with an expected growth to £8 trillion in 2020. In the UK alone, over £136 million was spent on construction in 2016, 2.4% up on 2015.

Considering what we just told you about homelessness and the construction industry, it is indeed a contradictory picture that emerges. If construction is one of the largest industries, then how is it that so many people haven’t got a roof over their heads? Poverty, increasing population, and inadequate facilities have led to homelessness even in first world nations such as the United States of America, with New York, Los Angeles and Phoenix all featuring in the list of top 15 cities based on homelessness; a highly ironic fact given that the US’ construction industry contributes $78.4 billion dollars per annum to the country’s GDP. Even more astounding is that fact that about 25% of all homeless people in the world are children. That means every fourth homeless person is a child!

So where do we draw a connection between these two completely opposite yet related aspects of humanity? And where do the deeds of giving and charity come into play, in all of this? Well, charity isn’t only restricted to food and clothing.

Charity and the Construction Industry

The role of charity in the construction industry isn’t a recent development. In fact, substantial evidence of charity in the construction industry can be traced back to the “First Houses” project, a public housing project by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) in 1935. Labor was donated to the project by the Emergency Relief Fund and financed by philanthropist Bernard Baruch. The NYCHA also sold salvaged material from its other clearance projects to raise funding for “First Houses”

Today, many organizations exist worldwide that donate labor and material to various housing and school projects around the world. Construction giants such as Windover Construction and Skanska in the USA conduct independent campaigns and drives to build homes, apartment complexes and educational outreach programs for homeless veterans, the elderly and children. Whilst in the UK, the construction industry’s charity CRASH works with volunteers and patron companies to deliver much needed support to homeless and hospice charities across the country.

How Companies Can Get Involved

Construction companies undertake projects of massive proportions. It’s, therefore, an easily deducible fact that more often than not, there will be excesses of construction material, which is paid for by the consumer but not often utilized. Be it paint, tiles, or any of the other commonly used materials, these can be donated to non-profit organizations. A tiling company could easily donate tiles for the roofing and flooring of children’s homes and orphanages. A company that produces sanitary equipment could donate leftover materials from projects to schools or housing complexes.

Another way that companies can make a difference is by tying up with organizations such as CRASH or  Habitat for Humanity International, a not-for-profit organization that helps end homelessness around the world through its many branches. The organization accepts professional services as well as materials such as lumber, paint, equipment, trucks, tools, appliances, and fixed furnishing towards its campaigns, either as a donation or at a discounted amount in return for tax deductions.

For example, donors have the option of donating “gifts-in-kind”, a tax-deductible gift of services, labor, or materials of value to the organization. These could include shingles, plumbing services or tools, or even a donation of land.

Also, it’s not merely housing projects that can be undertaken by construction companies. Creativity can lead, with children’s playgrounds, donated land with simple recreational facilities or even skating rinks, all requiring the most basic construction materials. Building schools and libraries for communities that lack these facilities can go a long way in the realm of literacy for the poor.

The simplicity of charity in relation to construction industries lies in their architectural efficiency.  For example, building apartments can minimize the materials and space required to relocate a community. When it comes to orphanages, hospices and other organizations, an association with a company committed to bettering the society and fulfilling its corporate social responsibility is desirable. Therefore, construction companies could fulfill their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) by donating to organizations such as Mellon Educate to help further several housing projects.

With frequent news of hurricanes, earthquakes and the like, another important aspect of charity in construction is the building of safer houses in high-impact regions. Further, the materials that once supported a structure can be reused to the best of its ability, especially under the experienced eye of an architectural company. Sustainable housing and development fall within the same realm, as simpler housing complexes imply cheaper livelihoods. This would mean that people living below the poverty line or who are homeless would be able to gain a roof over their heads, at almost zero cost.

To quickly recap, these are the ways in which construction companies could lend a charitable hand:

  • Donating excess or leftover material from previous projects, such as wood, tiles, sanitary equipment, concrete, cement, and so on.
  • Donating land to build houses and schools and even recreational spaces for children.
  • Fulfilling their CSR by donating monetarily or in-kind.
  • Provide assistance during disasters.
  • Provide expert services and labor in the form of employees and volunteers.

Make a Difference

As Thomas Fuller said, “Charity begins at home, but shouldn’t end there”. The possibilities of giving are endless if only the opportunities are recognized. Given the state of homelessness on a global level, every small step counts towards bettering lives, whether it’s a donation of your time or resources. Charity isn’t exclusive to any field; every field has something to give or can find something to give! Construction companies make a difference with the many projects they undertake, be it historical buildings, modern work spaces or grand establishments. However, at a very basic level, all of humanity needs a roof over its head. Be a part of a bigger difference.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 13 November 2017

Home Hosting: One Third Of British Homeowners Inspired To Rent Out Their Homes After Rise In Airbnb Popularity

A brand new study looking into ‘home hosting’ has revealed that as many as one third of British homeowners have been inspired to rent out their homes to paying customers thanks to the growing popularity of sites like Airbnb, & HomeAway.


Homeowners living in the South East, North West and Wales are the most likely to be intrigued by the potential financial opportunities associated with becoming a home host and renting out their properties or rooms to tourists, with the average homeowner expecting to receive £250 per week from visitors staying at their residence during peak periods of the year.


As part of the study, the team at polled 2,983 adults aged 25 and over, all of whom owned at least one property in the UK, in a bid to uncover how much Britons understand about  home hosting, and how many might be looking to take advantage of the growing industry in the coming years. All those taking part were split evenly across each of the UK regions.


All participants were initially asked to disclose if they currently had a property or rooms they owned listed on a site such as Airbnb for travellers to stay in, with less than one in ten (7%) claiming that they did. A further 28% of respondents admitted that, although their homes weren’t yet listed on a home hosting site, it’s something that they were planning on doing in the future after seeing others do so.


When asked to state their main motivation behind renting out their property, or rooms within a home, the majority (78%) admitted that they were financial and profit-focused.  12% admitted it was ‘in order to introduce family to new people from all around the world’, with 3% confessing that they’d be joining ‘in order to enjoy the company of others and feel less lonely at home’.


Relevant participants were then asked to disclose their approach to using home hosting sites, with just over a fifth (21%) stating they’d be advertising their property on a hosting site year-round, with the remaining 79% doing so during peak periods when a local city or town has an event that tourists are likely to flock to.


Next, those already renting out a property or rooms, as well as looking to rent out their homes, on a hosting site were asked to state how much money they’d be hoping to make through renting out their home, per week, during peak periods. The average amount emerged as £250.


In order to uncover the areas of the UK with homeowners most likely to be using, or planning to use, a home hosting website in the future, researchers analysed answers to reveal the geographical breakdown of participants, with the number of those interested in home hosting revealed as follows:


  • South East – 16% (of those using or looking to list their property on a home hosting site lived here)
  • North West -14%
  • Wales – 12%
  • London – 11%
  • Scotland – 10%
  • South West  – 7%
  • West Midlands – 6%
  • Northern Ireland – 6%
  • Yorkshire and Humberside -6%
  • East Midlands -5%
  • East of England – 5%
  • North East – 2%

Finally, all relevant participants were asked if the thought of visitors damaging or causing harm to their property had put them off renting out homes or rooms on hosting sites, with the vast majority (68%) admitting that it had done. Furthermore, just 18% had either purchased or looked into specialist home insurance required to protect those using home-sharing services.


Rob Rushton, Head of said:


“Tourists are increasingly looking to sites like Airbnb in order to experience a more cultural trip and avoid bland or overpriced hotels, and as a result British homeowners living in areas that regularly attract tourism can financially benefit from renting out properties through sites.


“Those looking to take advantage of the industry mightn’t be aware, but it’s important to look into specialist insurance for home hosting, as failure to inform your home insurer that you have paying guests occasionally staying at your house could result in them refusing to pay out on an insurance claim you make, even if the claim has nothing to do with a guest.”

from The UK Construction Blog

Friday, 10 November 2017

UK’s most considerate construction companies and suppliers to be honoured at National Awards

Considerate Constructors Scheme’s soon to reveal winners at prestigious ceremony


London, United Kingdom: The Considerate Constructors Scheme – the national scheme established by the construction industry to improve its image – is getting ready to reveal the UK’s highest performing registered companies and suppliers of 2017.


The Scheme will be hosting the much-anticipated 2017 National Awards on 2 and 3 November at the renowned Four Seasons Hotel in London.


All registered companies and suppliers had their considerate performance assessed against the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017, as part of the awards selection process.

This year’s ceremonies mark the second year suppliers have been eligible to win National Awards, after Supplier Registration was introduced by the Scheme in 2014.


Steve Radley, Policy Director of CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) and Clare Watson, Chair of the NFB (National Federation of Builders) will be announcing whether each winning company has received a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award for their achievements. Runners-up for the coveted ‘Most Considerate Company’ and ‘Most Considerate Supplier’ Awards will also be announced.


Considerate Constructors Scheme Executive Chairman Isabel Martinson said: “The Scheme is very excited to be hosting its Company and Supplier Awards 2017 in recognition of the persistent and increasingly innovative efforts being made by registered companies to improve their image as well as the image and reputation of our industry.


“From all of the registered companies and suppliers eligible, 115 companies and nine suppliers will be crowned as award-winners for their outstanding commitment to the Scheme and respectful consideration towards the public, their workforce and the environment.


“With many more companies and suppliers registering with the Scheme and raising the bar of considerate construction, competition is extremely fierce. As always, the Scheme is delighted to recognise those who have pushed their performance to the highest levels.


“We hope their achievements will serve as an inspiration and motivation for other companies across our industry, as well as encouraging increased collaboration and truly considerate working practices throughout the sector.”


Follow the awards on Twitter at @CCScheme #ccsawards.

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 8 November 2017


Architects maber celebrated the tenth anniversary of their Leicester office with a VIP tour of one of their latest projects in the city – the restoration and refurbishment of the Great Hall of Leicester Castle.

The firm’s roots go back more than 30 years, and it employs 70 people across five offices in the Midlands and London. Since the Leicester office opened in 2007, it has grown to employ ten people in the city and has been responsible for some of Leicester’s best known buildings and architectural projects.

Ian Harris, a director of maber who heads the Leicester office, said: “Two huge reasons for our success are long-term relationships with clients and the talent of our people, so it was great to bring everyone together to celebrate in an amazing space.”

Guests at the tenth birthday party toured the newly-refurbished Great Hall, thought to be the largest medieval hall of its kind in Europe. Converting it into a new Business School for De Montfort University brought together a wide range of the practice’s skills, including architecture, interior design, landscape design and conservation.

Part of the hall, once used as a Crown Court, retains the gothic Victorian furniture, including the judge’s chair, dock and jury benches, which must rank it as one of the most unusual university teaching spaces in the world.

Some of maber’s other major Leicester projects include:

  • The King Richard III Visitor Centre in the city centre, a £4 million project designed to tell the story of “the king in the car park”.
  • The Summit, a £13 million, 12,200 sq m student residential space with a 22-storey tower that has created a new landmark at the western gateway to the city.
  • New Walk Museum’s stunning new entrance and spiral staircase, featuring a design inspired by ammonites
  • Charnwood Primary School for Leicester City Council, an award-winning design that complements the traditional architecture of the existing Victorian school buildings.

Originally formed in 1983 in Nottingham, maber now also has offices in Birmingham, Derby and London as well as Leicester. A multi-award-winning architectural practice, it specialises in education, sport, industrial, leisure, culture, residential, workplace, commercial and health.

As well as touring the Great Hall, birthday celebration guests also experienced some of maber’s latest technology, including virtual reality, 3D design and 3D printing as well as Indian snacks and a slice of birthday cake.


About Maber


Maber is an architectural practice with bases in the Midlands (in Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and Birmingham) and London. Founded in 1983, it has a growing team of 70 qualified professionals, specialising in architecture, landscaping and interior design. The firm has an established reputation in the education, sport, industrial, leisure, retail, culture, residential, workplace, commercial and health sectors.


  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • Landscape Design
  • Sustainability
  • BIM
  • Masterplanning and Urban Design
  • Contractor Collaboration
  • Conservation

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 6 November 2017



How guaranteed are product guarantees? The answer, unfortunately, is not as simple and clear cut as perhaps they should be, with a wide range of caveats and get-out clauses often hidden among pages of complicated T&Cs.

At Sika UK, our mission statement is ‘Building Trust’ and as part of this endeavour we believe in giving meaning to the guarantees we place on each of the various products we manufacture.

That starts with taking care of everything within our control at our Sika sites; investing in our research and development, production and delivery processes and teams to ensure our products are always the best that they can be.

But it doesn’t stop there. To make sure our guarantees have the greatest value possible, we also take great care on ensuring our products are being specified and installed correctly.

That’s why we work closely with roofing contractors up and down the country to give them the training and support they need to carry out installations to a satisfactory standard.

In terms of training, we insist that anyone who wants to install our products comes to our sites for product training. We have a range of bespoke courses, including two-day courses for Sika Liquid Plastics and Sika-Trocal and four-day course for Sika Sarnafil, which, once completed, will see each operative issued a Sika ID competency card.

We train more than 600 people every year across our sites in Preston and Welwyn Garden City.

We also offer a number of management training courses to help contractors gain a better understanding of our products and their various advantages and applications to help simplify and improve specification.

Beyond this, we also have two training support vehicles, both equipped with TVs, roofing products and various tools, which we take out on the road to deliver refresher training and new product courses.

The final element in securing and validating our guarantees comes through inspection of installations and on-site support.

We have a team of 16 field technicians, all of whom have a minimum of five years’ experience in the roofing industry, who are based across the country.

These technicians go to sites on a regular basis to give their expertise and assistance where required and to carry out a number of checks, from product specification to installation – checking all layers within the system – and storage. Once the job is finished, they will carry out a final inspection and issue a guarantee only if every stage has been completed to a satisfactory level.

We carry out more than 6,000 site inspections every year.

All of this helps to give meaning to our guarantees and reassure our customers that the products they’re purchasing will deliver what they’re expecting them to.

And that helps to reduce the risks to the installing contractor and improve their efficiency.

It’s a time-consuming process but one that we’re happy to pursue in order to maintain our position as a leading manufacturer of products working across multiple industry sectors (see

To find out more about the impact Sika is making every day, visit

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 2 November 2017


One of the leading providers of apprenticeships for construction and utility firms has reacted with concern to news that two thirds of companies are failing to take up the Apprenticeship Levy offer.

Chris Wood, CEO of Develop Training Ltd (DTL), said with a two-year time limit on accessing funding, firms were facing a ticking time bomb after which the money they paid into the levy would be lost to the taxman.

He was responding to a survey by West London College that found only 32 per cent of employers who qualify have used the funding.

Mr Wood said: “At a time when the country is suffering from serious skills shortages, it is worrying that businesses are missing out on an opportunity to train new and existing staff.”

He pointed out that firms with a £3 million pay bill and above are legally required to pay into the levy via the PAYE scheme: “If they do not access funds to train people, they are choosing to be taxed instead.”

Mr Wood highlighted the two-year time limit within which firms have to use their Levy funding.

“There is evidence that employers don’t fully understand the Levy, so while some may have weighed up the pros and cons before making a decision, it’s likely that others will be out of pocket because they didn’t get to grips with it early enough,” said Mr Wood.

“They really need to get help to navigate their way through the options because this is a ticking time bomb.”

DTL already works on Levy-funded apprenticeships with major utility companies including Amey, SGN and South Staffordshire Water.

The firm also specialises in providing consultancy advice to help firms plan their use of the Levy and align that to meeting their training needs.

While DTL welcomed the announcement of the Apprenticeship Levy, it has consistently warned that both the government and the construction, utility and energy sector need to do more to address the sector’s chronic skills gap.

It runs an Industry Skills Forum where senior HR personnel discuss the issues and formulate strategies to jointly solve the problems posed by an ageing workforce and a young generation who don’t envisage a career in construction or the utilities sector.

DTL also supports clients to bring people into the industry by helping them to manage initiatives such as recruitment days.

The company has delivered more than 1,000 apprenticeship programmes. One of these is for dual fuel smart meter installation engineers, a shortage of whom means the government may miss its target for rolling out meters nationwide. Other apprenticeships include gas network team leader, utilities engineering technician, installation electrician and water process technician as well as supervisory and management roles.

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The future of IoT in manufacturing

The future of IoT in manufacturing

IoT is a common term used within the manufacturing industry. It stands for Internet of Things and can be referred to as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). If you haven’t already implemented it in your business, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about — is it really going to revolutionise manufacturing in the way that so many articles promise? The short answer is yes.

IoT is not limited to manufacturing however; you may have a smart TV sitting in the corner of your living room or a host of intelligent kitchen appliances. They all fall under the IoT umbrella terms — they’re interconnected devices with advanced features and capabilities that make our day-to-day lives more efficient.

Where is this technology heading? And is it worth getting amongst this trend as a manufacturer? Manufacturing software provider Datawright answers those questions here:

Should I be investing in IoT as a manufacturer?

The short answer to this question is yes. Any technology that promises greater efficiencies should be welcomed by manufacturers. The IIoT has transforming the traditional face of the factory through streamlining processes and maximising production yields. So, what are the main benefits that the IoT can bring to the manufacturing industry?

  • More intelligent machinery — by implementing the IoT in the traditional sphere of manufacturing, manufacturers can gain greater visibility of production performance, supporting the early detection of delays to minimise downtime and maximise productivity.
  • Better data collection and analysis — through collecting productivity and waste performance data, manufacturers are able to make more informed decisions to improve their company’s overall performance.
  • Improved resource management — by understanding how a machine performs and is being used, manufacturers can safeguard workers, boost productivity and reduce associated operating costs.

As with the introduction of any new operational change, manufacturers are naturally sceptical about introducing IIoT. If you’ve buried your head in the sand hoping that the IIoT wave will pass you by, you are very much mistaken.

IIoT is disruptive and there’s no way to avoid this, but it’s a negative worth considering. For some, this is a scary prospect, pushing them further towards their familiar working practices. Doing so puts your company at risk of being left behind, as your competitors embrace the technology and continue to march forward.

Ignoring the current trends and technologies can be detrimental to a business and could eventually lead to failure. Blockbuster is just one example; the video rental brand neglected the growing dominance of DVDs and video streaming services, which ultimately led to its failure. Ignoring the IoT places your company at risk of following a similar route.

Looking to the future

Connected devices are on the rise, and by the end of 2017 it is expected that there will be 8.4 billion connected things – up 31% on 2016s total. Fast-forward to 2020 and this figure will more than double to 20.4 billion. Clearly, the IoT is not a fad; it’s a trend that will completely revolutionise manufacturing.

As connected devices increase in popularity, the number of manufacturers accepting IoT will increase too. By the start of 2018, 60% of manufacturers will use connected products to capture and analyse data, delivering a 15% increase in productivity.

Telling a similar story is research conducted by Verizon. This suggests that IoT-enabled manufacturers will be 10% more profitable than those who aren’t. You can’t ignore these figures in a sector so heavily focused around productivity and performance.

Similar to the introduction of other advanced processes and technologies, there are security concerns. Estimates predict that by 2020, IoT connected devices will be the target of more than a quarter of all enterprise security attacks. To combat this, manufacturers will naturally have to increase their security spend to safeguard their IoT systems. Experts predict that the global security spend will reach $547.2 million by 2018.

Although manufacturers remain hesitant, it’s clear that the positives outweigh the negatives when examining IIoT. With the future of the IoT looking bright, manufacturers are faced with a choice: to adopt and move forward or ignore and stand still. Which path will you choose?

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 30 October 2017

One In Eight British Homeowners Are Planning To Buy A Second Property In The Next 10 Years

A new study has revealed that whilst 12% of homeowners polled in a new study are saving to invest in a second property within the next decade, the majority of these individuals admit they’ve not fully researched the costs associated with doing so, such as stamp duty surcharges and periods of unoccupancy.

Whilst undertaking new research into the future investment plans of homeowners, a UK insurance agency has uncovered that as many as two thirds of Britons want to add value to their homes through extensions, conversions or conservatories, whilst almost one in three plan to make overpayments on their mortgage product in order to pay off their loan before their agreed term length ends.

As part of the study, the team at polled 2,784 UK adults aged 25 and over, who’d all purchased a property within the last 10 years, in order to understand Britons financial plans for the future with regards to homeownership. All those taking part were from an even split of each of the UK regions.

When respondents were initially asked to state roughly how much longer they had left on their mortgage terms, the average length of time emerged as 14 years.

All homeowners were then given a list of potential options relating to their property and asked to reveal which, if any, they’d considered doing themselves during the next 10 years. The results emerged as follows:

  1. I plan to add extra rooms to my property (e.g. extensions/loft conversions/conservatories etc…) – 59%
  2. I plan to remodel rooms in my house – 47%
  3. I plan to take in lodgers/tenants to rent out spare rooms in my property  – 32%
  4. I plan to make overpayments on my mortgage in order to pay off my loan before the agreed term length ends – 28%
  5. I plan to save up and purchase a second ‘buy-to-let’ property – 13%

Next, those that stated that they were planning on owning a second property within the next decade were asked if they’d begun to fully research the costs associated with doing so, such as the stamp duty surcharge and the issues surrounding periods of unoccupancy. The majority of these individuals (71%) confessed to researchers that they’d not yet begun to look into the implications and potential drawbacks of owning a second property, but that they planned on doing so within the next year.

In order to uncover the areas of the UK with homeowners most likely to want to invest in a second property within the next 10 years, researchers analysed answers to reveal the geographical breakdown of participants, with the number of those looking to purchase another home as follows:

  • South East – 16% (of those looking to purchase a second property lived here)
  • South West  – 15%
  • Scotland – 12%
  • North East – 10%
  • London – 9%
  • West Midlands – 8%
  • East of England -6%
  • East Midlands – 6%
  • North West – 5%
  • Northern Ireland – 4%
  • Wales – 4%
  • Yorkshire and Humberside – 3%

Finally, the 87% of homeowners not planning to purchase a buy-to-let property in the future were asked if it was something they’d previously considered, with more than one fifth (21%) admitting they’d “considered it in the past but decided it was no longer something I wanted to pursue.” When asked to reveal why they’d come to this conclusion, “increasingly strict regulations and legal requirements for buy-to-let owners” (64%), “the hassle of on-going maintenance work on the property” (27%) and “the financial risks of not finding suitable tenants” (12%) emerged as the most common reasons Britons had been put off.

Rob Rushton, Head of says:

“To purchase a buy-to-let or not to purchase a buy-to-let, that is the question. In theory there are many benefits to owning a second property, but unless you are fully prepared for the reality of the additional financial costs, legal requirements and have a sufficient amount of funds to fall back on, then it might not be the best financial investment for you.

“In 2015, there were an estimated 700,000 empty properties in the UK, so there is also the potential risk of purchasing a home that ultimately won’t have an immediate tenant. This, combined with increasing regulations and rules surrounding a second property will have Britons questioning whether they are truly prepared for both the financial and administrative commitment.”

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 26 October 2017


As we drive the performance of our building stock, it is becoming clear that one of the key challenges we must address is narrowing the gap between design and actual performance. The industry needs support to ensure we use more accurate modelling and data in order to understand how the building will perform in operation. If we don’t, the gap in performance can be as big as 200-450% greater than predicted.

With project costs squeezed and ‘value engineered’, all too often performance suffers. By allowing design teams more time to spend on modelling and considering how the building will be used by its occupants, rather than being forced into ‘default values’ and specification, we will go some of the way to eliminating this performance gap.


Understanding the gap

The performance gap has two components: the compliance gap and the actual performance gap. The modellers estimate 50-70% is the compliance gap and can be solved by more realistic modelling mirroring the conditions more closely. The reasons for the second and larger actual performance gap are generally unknown. There’s speculation about this and assumptions, but little in the way of hard evidence.

When a building is managed effectively, property value is maximised. A high performing building will ultimately generate maximum profit via high and continuous rental income, low operating and maintenance costs and low depreciation.

Modelling tools are used for compliance, which means they use standard default values for the building design. All the operational plant which controls the building is then set at these ‘standardised driving’ conditions and the occupancy density (i.e people versus square metres) is based on industry averages.

As a result these standard default values underestimate the usage by up to 100%. Software is used to meet building regulations and energy performance certificates, as well as being used for ranking rather than the operation of the building. When you pass the design stage, it’s essential that real numbers are inputted and this can be done via modelling techniques such as the Green Deal software developed by BRE. This allows users to tailor the usage of the building to match real operating conditions in. It allows you to work out what it should and shouldn’t be.

But from that point onwards much depends on how well the building is commissioned; what maintenance strategies and schedules are put into place; and how the building is managed. If this doesn’t happen you begin to see divergence. Buildings need to be commissioned properly with particular attention made to control systems and the needs of the occupants.


The power of management

Building management systems (BMSs) and building energy management systems (BEMSs) are powerful tools in ensuring that buildings are run efficiently and provide the desired environment for the occupants. As technology becomes cheaper and advances more rapidly, control systems need to be flexible, upgradable and have the facility to easily communicate and integrate with other systems.

However, care needs to be taken in their operation, and staff using these systems need to be fully trained. Ongoing commissioning and preventative maintenance needs to be carried out to ensure the potentially large energy savings are realised, operational costs are controlled and expensive failures do not occur. End-user needs should be taken into account, while staff training and awareness-raising should be carried out to get the building’s occupants involved.

Ongoing commissioning is essentially a higher form of maintenance. Maintenance simply deals with faults. It’s also important to consider management issues. Is the right environment being provided? Is it being provided in the proper place? Is the building being turned off at the right times?

If it is not managed properly, the performance gap will only get worse. Modelling doesn’t help with the building in-use but baselines the building predicted performance. It starts by putting decent controls in so things are turned off when they are not occupied. Once you have control of the building, you can put the management systems in place so that building is optimised for energy usage.


Focus on people

One of the most important things to remember is that a building is built for the occupant. In terms of costs, staffing is around 95% and workplaces are key to productivity. Any reduction in productivity has a large effect on a business’s bottom line; after all 95% of operational costs are the staff. Buildings therefore need to be efficient, responsive and innovative, which is why it is so important to optimise the environment in first place.

It’s imperative that the industry treats the underlying causes not the symptoms. It’s like the heart problem analogy. A surgeon might repair a damaged heart with a stem cell but not treat the inherent diet and lifestyle issues.

One of the main problems is that architects are not bringing the design teams early enough in the design process. The later you do this, the more expensive it gets and reduces the benefits in the long term. By engaging with the performance gap, it’s possible to deliver the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

UK Construction Week 2017 provides a vital boost of optimism and record attendance

UK Construction Week closed its doors last week on its most successful outing in its three year history, with a record 33,697 construction professionals attending over three packed days of business, networking, discussion and celebration. The increased attendance represents an 11% increase year on year, proving that a large scale construction event for the whole sector is needed for this vital part of the UK economy.

UK Construction Week 2017 provided an opportunity for construction firms of all sizes to gain competitive advantage, as well as learn how to deal with BREXIT, seize the advantages offered by modern methods of construction and how we all tackle the skills shortage. These debates were held in front of the nation’s media including BBC Breakfast, ITN, Sky News and regional news outlets, bringing construction front and centre of national debate.

Nathan Garnett, Event Director for UK Construction week commented “This was a big year for UK Construction Week. It was only our third year, but to get an 11% uplift in attendees is a real stamp of approval that we are delivering the kind of innovative, forward thinking, national event that brings the whole sector together. It has proven itself as the place to meet and do business, and look at how we tackle the enormous challenges to come in the years ahead. It is also a massive celebration, with thousands of professionals attending a variety of awards over the three days.”

Mark Farmer, author of the landmark Modernise or Die report spoke at the event and said “UK Construction Week brings together a massive cross section of the construction industry so not to be here would be a lost opportunity”.

Visitor feedback has been phenomenally positive, with innovation and solutions provided by over 650 exhibitors: “Regulations are changing all the time, and a lot of the guys here have solutions we need to know about so, this is a one stop opportunity to meet all of those people” Russell Shellard, Managing Director of Bramdean Construction.

Key industry brands have commented on the events success, and a large number of them have already confirmed their return for 2018.

James Fairclough, Head of Marketing for CEMEX said “We have had another great year at UKCW talking to many new and existing customers. We felt it was a perfect event to launch our new ‘neogem’ aggregates range which received a massive amount of interest. We have already booked for 2018 and are looking forward to yet another successful event next year!”

“UK Construction Week is more than a trade show; it’s where you do business. First time exhibitor but what a successful week we had!” Katrina Gates, Client Engagement Director,

Companies who have already made their commitment to UK Construction Week 2018 and the 9 dedicated events within it include Rockwool, CAT, Velux, G2 Energy, Steico, Fundermax, and Lumineux. The number of companies stating their commitment to UKCW in the week after has quadrupled year on year

The amount of press surrounding this year’s event also meant the visitors were coming from further afield, shining a spotlight on UK companies. “The show brought a high quality, broad spectrum of customers from all areas including London, home counties, North East, Midlands, Ireland, Middle East and even the Seychelles.” commented Surfaces & Materials exhibitor, John Barham from Barham & Sons.

The plethora of partners to UK Construction Week gives it the ability to bring everyone together. Lead partner for Timber Expo, TRADA comments: “The Media 10 team are very passionate about Timber Expo, as they are for UK Construction Week and all their other shows. It was great to see plenty of engaging stands and features this year.  I encourage every company selling wood-based solutions and products to pull together, get involved and help make the ‘timber pie’ bigger.” Rupert Scott, Membership and Marketing Manager, TRADA.

Plans are already well underway for the 2018 event with a large amount of space already committed to by exhibitors and a number of new innovative features and events planned, next year promises to be even bigger and better for UK Construction Week.

UK Construction Week 2018 is set to take place from 9 – 11 October, please visit   for more information.

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 24 October 2017


It was recently announced that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is introducing a new Ultra Low Emission Zone in Central London from Monday 8th April 2019. Whilst this is a clear step towards reducing pollution within the City, the restrictions are the latest addition to a long list of challenges facing construction companies and suppliers that work and deliver in London. Carl Ghinn, Managing Director at Fixmart, discusses how suppliers like Fixmart, can help customers overcome these challenges by providing flexible delivery solutions.

In order to provide an effective solution that helps our customers, I believe it is important to understand the challenges they face. When we visit our clients on site, they frequently discuss the challenges of strict delivery timeslots. Failure to meet these can result in large penalties for the contractor, and to a company that is working to tight margins, this can result in a loss for the project. A good way of combating this is by finding a supplier that offers timed delivery slots and communicating with the site before the delivery is due. It enables workers to prepare for the delivery and be advised of any potential delays.

Health and safety is also a key consideration. There are specific rules that delivery companies must comply with before they are allowed on site, especially in London. Many require vehicles to be FORS accredited, which is a voluntary scheme that promotes best practice in terms of safety, efficiency and environmental protection. I have also known delivery drivers to be turned away if they are wearing shorts rather than trousers due to health & safety regulations. Similarly, if a product isn’t packaged properly it can become a safety risk and the site manager won’t accept the delivery. By being aware of the restrictions, and ensuring drivers and vehicles comply with regulations, you can help avoid a failed delivery.

Another key issue facing contractors is the lack of available space on site. With a variety of different trades operating within the same space, storage is at a premium, and as a result, many need products that cannot be delivered too far in advance. Whilst this may be a simple requirement, it poses a great challenge as workers need to trust that their supplier will have the right products in stock at short notice. On the other hand, this needs to be balanced with the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone which has resulted in many developers pushing for fewer deliveries. Consequently, workers are looking for increasingly flexible delivery options to support this. At Fixmart, we offer an order cut-off time for next day delivery of 5pm, as well as the option for customers to cancel an order up to 2 hours before the delivery is due, free of charge. This enables workers to react to changes on site without incurring extra costs.

In conclusion, as restrictions continue to tighten, it has never been more important for suppliers to fully understand the complexities of delivering in London and provide a flexible solution that helps customers to overcome these challenges.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 23 October 2017

APE Mobile sets sights on U.S. expansion

APE Mobile is expanding its global reach and setting up in the U.S following last quarter growth of 55%. The company, which already boasts a growing portfolio of U.S. customers, is announcing a series of initiatives in order to capitalize on sales within in its fastest growing market.


APE Mobile is a paperless site app that enables building and civil construction companies to replace their traditional paperwork with a single, low-cost, cloud-connected app.


Preparations to open a North American office are underway which will support sales and customer success teams. By establishing U.S operations, APE Mobile will be able to serve its existing customers better and work more closely with its key partners in the region.


APE Mobile is positioning itself as the best-of-breed paperless site app that sits within the cloud connected software ecosystem. Matt Edwards, CEO of APE Mobile, explains that, “We’ve integrated to the top three Construction ERP platforms in the U.S and connected to over 800 cloud solutions because we believe successful construction companies of the future will have to be data driven to win. Companies can use the best tool for their site paperwork as an extension of their existing project management and ERP systems.”


In an industry that has traditionally been very adverse to change, APE Mobile has taken a deep dive into site paperwork to solve the shortcomings that have seen previous mobility projects fail. Edwards says “The solution put in place had to be better than paper for the person in the field, with low risk to the business and high user acceptance. Instead of building a platform that imposes a certain way of doing things, we built a system that adapts to the processes of each customer.”


The app has had success in achieving an ROI for companies from day one. In a recent time and motion study from one of Australia’s largest construction and mining contractors, they found an ROI of 1500% in using the app solely on safety forms. The use in that company has now expanded to all other paperwork to double down on the benefits.


About APE Mobile

APE Mobile is a venture capital funded app that replaces paperwork on work sites enabling building & civil construction contractors, specialist subcontractors and mining companies to easily go paperless using their existing ISO accredited templates. APE Mobile supports all site paperwork, is quick to implement and practical onsite. As well as capturing data on site, you can also access and mark up all your site plans and documents to keep the team on the same page. APE Mobile integrates with over 800 cloud solutions including Spectrum by Dexter + Chaney, Vista by Viewpoint and Sage 300 CRE, extending the capabilities of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

from The UK Construction Blog

Friday, 20 October 2017

BREXIT WILL BE A BIG BOOST FOR BRITISH BUILDERS: New survey shows uplifts in skills, techniques and manufacturing levels

UK Construction Week opens on Tuesday, and will bring together a wide spectrum of the construction trade together over three days at the NEC Birmingham (10-12 October). Ahead of the event, UK Construction Week conducted a Brexit survey from over 2,500 industry leaders. The survey canvassed architects, contractors, SME builders, surveyors, engineers, local authorities and many more.

The survey clearly shows that the UK Construction industry wants to discuss the positive impacts of BREXIT, with the majority of respondents believing it will force us to solve the skills shortage once and for all by investing in younger generations and encouraging them into the sector. This places extra emphasis on making sure the CITB is fit for purpose, and also supports the Farmer Report, Modernise or Die. Mark Farmer will present his view on what needs to be done following on from the report at UK Construction Week on Wednesday 11th October.


It also points to resurgence in British building materials, as contractors and house builders protect themselves from any tariffs in future, but also to taking advantage of a blossoming UK manufacturing base. This week’s UK Construction Week is a perfect demonstration of this with major British firms taking centre stage, such as Easy-Trim (Roofing and sealants), Forterra (Bricks and Building Materials), Tufeco (Modular Housing), Potterton (Heating), Portakabin (Modular Buildings) and HG Matthews (Bricks).


Offsite and Modular construction are also cited as a solution to build quicker in post BREXIT Britain.  Event Director, Nathan Garnett said “Offsite and Modular Construction is a major theme of UK Construction week in 2017 with over 100 manufacturers and suppliers in the sector exhibiting, an increase of 65% on last year. This is a reflection of how Offsite construction has now become accepted as a mainstream method of construction, increasing speed and productivity in the sector.”


The best possible example of home grown manufacturing and skills can be exemplified by the stunning world premiere of a two-story modular house at the show. Jon Gunn, CEO of Tufeco and a partner at ATELIO, said: “We see tremendous opportunity in the next few years for us as British manufacturers of world class modular buildings. We have worked in collaboration with Grimshaw, so our project is a real testament to UK skills and knowledge, and are confident our product can be a real advantage in the challenge to build the homes we need in the next decade.”


One of UK Construction Week and Timber Expo’s partners, Dougal Driver, CEO of Grown in Britain, said:”It is great to hear the UK Construction Week survey indicates support for British made materials. British-grown timber returns social and economic value back to communities here in the UK, supporting rural jobs and local economies.”


Key survey findings:

  • 64% believe BREXIT will force us to solve the skills crisis and invest in younger generations
  • Over 50% said it will make us buy British Building Materials
  • 43% believe building material costs will stabilise and 10% think materials prices may actually go down
  • 53% said we will embrace offsite manufacturing as a solution to the challenges ahead


Whilst leaving the EU poses challenges, the construction industry is already looking ahead to the positives outcomes BREXIT could bring. The UKCW survey however has laid down a very clear mandate for the UK Government to invest more in apprenticeships and support British manufacturing.


All of these topics will be discussed at UK Construction Week in the Development and Regeneration Hub and the UKCW stage, from 10-12 October at the NEC Birmingham.


For more information and free registration visit

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

UK Construction Week opens with a bang!

UK Construction Week opened its doors this morning to thousands of visitors who are all here to see the largest free construction trade show in action. Nine separate events, over 650 exhibitors, hundreds of product launches, and hours of seminars from the biggest names in the industry will take place over the next few days.

The opening ceremony was hosted by architect and broadcaster, George Clarke, who was also on hand to welcome a group of cyclists who made the trip from London to Birmingham to raise more than £5,000 for Construction Youth Trust, a charity helping young people build better futures by giving them access to training, education and employment opportunities in the construction industry.


Boasting more UK-first new product launches than any other show, visitors to UK Construction Week can expect to see over 10,000 innovative product launches, while networking and participating in learning events. Here are some of the reasons to attend, and what to expect over the next few days.


  1. Post-Grenfell: The latest advice. Over 100 free CPD workshops will cover everything from safety legislation and product safety guidance to fire prevention strategies.


  1. A stellar speaker line-up. UKCW 2017 boasts an impressive line-up of speakers, including George Clarke, Tom Dyckhoff and Steph McGovern.


  1. Emerging trendsetters. Head to The Material Lab Hub to discover the rising stars and cutting-edge brands shaping the world of surfaces.


  1. Offsite. UKCW will contain hundreds of offsite innovations, with more exhibitors in this field than any other event.


  1. If you are looking to further your career or for a job change, UK Construction Week is a must attend event. Find out about career opportunities and roles with leading UK construction firms at the event where the whole industry gathers. Meet recruiters, recruitment agencies, gain invaluable career advice and take up free CPD accredited education


  1. UKCW recognises the brilliant work the industry is doing and wants to reward it. This year will see a number of new, specialist awards. These include: Construction Enquirer Awards, Low Carbon Vehicles Awards, BIM Awards, Offsite Awards and WAN Awards


  1. And finally, it’s not all just work. Why not take the chance to show off at the Dodgeball tournament, relax at the Beer and Ale festival or place your cards at the Casino night alongside key industry professionals?


Consisting of Build Show, sponsored by EasyTrim, Timber Expo, sponsored by Steico, Civils Expo, sponsored by Finning CAT, Plant & Machinery Live, sponsored by AutoTrader Plant, Energy 2017, sponsored by G2 Energy, Smart Buildings 2017, sponsored by KNX, Surface & Materials Show, sponsored by BLFA, HVAC 2017, sponsored by Flakt Group, and Grand Designs Live, UK Construction Week caters for the entire spectrum of the industry from builders, architects, innovators and consultants, each show provides exhibitors with the opportunity to network alongside decision makers and purchasers while showcasing their services and products to thousands of visitors.


For additional information on the full programme of events, please visit

from The UK Construction Blog

UK Construction Week offers insight into the rebirth in social housing

UK Construction Week returns next Tuesday to the NEC, uniting over 650 exhibitors with 30,000 trade visitors in what is set to be the largest gathering of the built environment community. This year’s event, running from 10-12 October, is more topical than ever and guests to the free trade show can expect to hear how the industry plans to foster the rebirth in social housing.

The show’s Development and Regeneration Hub offers the perfect antidote to those who want to tackle this key topic, which is especially relevant after the government announcement of an extra £2bn pledged towards social housing. Featuring guest speakers such as Mark Jones from the National House Building Council (NHBC), Ayo Allu, Chairman of The Chartered Institute of Building, Bristol & Bath Regional Capital CIC’s Edward Rowberry, Paul Smith from Bristol City Council, Angharad Palmer of Pocket Living, and Simon Underwood from Elements Europe, there is a wealth of experience and insight ready to be had at the growth session.


What’s more, in light of recent tragic events, UK Construction Week has put together a free and comprehensive CPD programme that will tackle issues surrounding building quality, safety and fire prevention. With the repercussions of Grenfell set to change the landscape for all of us in construction, key topics up for discussion will be: Flammable Building Materials, Building Regulations, Fire Prevention, Improving Safety through technology, as well as Health & Safety. These completely unbiased and factual workshops will give visitors the opportunity to both broaden and share their knowledge, whilst valuable questions are put to industry experts.


Full timetables of the CPD workshops taking place on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday can be viewed on the UK Construction Week website here:


If you’re interested in attending one of the CPD workshops, please note that places are extremely limited, and you should confirm your place as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

from The UK Construction Blog

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Next Generation Design Brum set to be showcased at UK Construction Week

The winning design from the Next Generation Design Brum competition by Scale Rule is set to be displayed at UK Construction Week’s Timber Expo from 10-12 October.


Scale Rule is a voluntary initiative that receives funding from the Institution of Structural Engineers and provides a unique insight into the engineering and architecture professions for the next generation of designers – school students. Over a two-day workshop, nine teams were asked to design a ‘fun outdoor pavilion’ which featured exclusively at Birmingham Weekender Festival last month, and is set to be showcased once again at UK Construction Week’s Timber Expo.


Led by a professional team made up of talented engineers, architects and designers from Arup, Curtins, Intervention Architecture and AKSward, the students developed a design concept that consisted of a dome like structure with a number of openings for access and light, while focusing on natural shapes and forms.


Nathan Garnett, Event Director at Media 10, which runs the show, said: “We’re proud to welcome Scale Rule to showcase a perfect example of collaboration by students, local authorities and the built environment profession. As a collective they are extremely passionate about inspiring the next generation of designers, something we support wholeheartedly and will be an area of focus at UK Construction Week. We hope that everyone gets an opportunity to see this remarkable structure in person at the Timber Expo.”


In line with supporting up and coming talent, UK Construction Week will also host Construction Careers Week. This is the perfect opportunity to explore career opportunities and roles with leading UK construction firms, including HS2, Thames Tideway, Morgan Sindall, Sir Robert McAlpine, Taylor Wimpey, Kier, as well as local authorities and housing associations and the UK’s leading architectural practices. Meanwhile, visitors can also participate in over a hundred CPD accredited workshops free of charge.


Consisting of Build Show, sponsored by EasyTrim, Timber Expo, sponsored by Steico, Civils Expo, sponsored by Finning CAT, Plant & Machinery Live, sponsored by AutoTrader Plant, Energy 2017, sponsored by G2 Energy, Smart Buildings 2017, sponsored by KNX, Surface & Materials Show, sponsored by BLFA, HVAC 2017, sponsored by Flakt Group, and Grand Designs Live, UK Construction Week caters for the entire spectrum of the industry from builders, architects, innovators and consultants, each show provides exhibitors with the opportunity to network alongside decision makers and purchasers while showcasing their services and products to thousands of visitors.


For additional information on the full programme of events, free registration, accommodation, and discounted Virgin train travel, please visit

from The UK Construction Blog

Friday, 6 October 2017

Health & Safety North is coming to Manchester for its biggest ever conference and exhibition

Health & Safety North is coming to Manchester for its biggest ever conference and exhibition

The Health & Safety North conference and exhibition will take place in Manchester for the first time on October 10th and 11th. The 2017 event has moved from Bolton to the larger EventCity venue in Manchester, where it is expected to attract 2,000 visitors and 200 exhibitors.

The move to the centrally-located EventCity, the second largest venue outside London, also enables the inaugural Fire Safety North event to run alongside Health & Safety North.


Running from 10 to 11th October 2017, the event, the biggest of its kind in the north of England, is set to attract professionals from across the region for two days of educational seminars, industry debates, networking opportunities and equipment displays.


The main conference programme, curated by the event’s educational partner the British Safety Council, promises invaluable presentations from a line-up of industry leaders. Highlights will include a session on the results of a new Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey and a legal update from legal firm Clyde & Co. Meanwhile, the Safety Dialogue Theatre, sponsored by 3M, provides a forum for panel debates on topics including fall protection, hearing and respiratory health.


Leading industry organisations will be represented at the event, including the National Examination Board for Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH), the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF), the Energy Institute and the International Institute of Risk & Safety Management (IIRSM).


Tim Else, event director at Western Business Exhibitions, which organises the event, said: “After 10 excellent years at the Bolton Arena, the growing volume of exhibitors wanting to participate and the growing need to satisfy the educational requirements for the visitors to the event was such that we had to seek a larger venue. By moving to Manchester we have more space to meet that demand.


“There is no other event in the north of England providing this level of education, debate and networking for professionals whose job involves health and safety. With thanks to our partners and sponsors, we’ve put together another great programme and look forward to welcoming the safety and health community to our new home in the north.”


Free registration is now open. To register and view the full educational programme online, visit:

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Welsh businesses raise thousands in aid of male suicide awareness with charity triathlon

More than 150 Welsh property professionals from across the country downed their tools and swapped their suits for swimming goggles, cycling shorts and running shoes to raise over £12,000 to tackle male suicide at this year’s Wales Property Triathlon.

The annual triathlon, now in its fifth year, organised by family firm Jehu Group, took place in aid of male suicide prevention charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), in a bid to help stop male suicide, the leading cause of death for men aged 20 to 49 across the UK.  Jehu has chosen to support the charity following the loss of a respected and popular co-worker in July of 2016

Staff from the Jehu Group and Waterstone Homes, together with many of their clients including Principality Building Society, Berry Smith and Coastal Housing Group took part in the sprint triathlon, which involved a 500m pool swim, 20k bike ride and 5k run.

Taking first prize was Jamie Best, from Melin Consultants while the fastest female was Sarah Smith. The fastest team was Spring Design, made up of Alun Brown, Ian Boobyer and Sion Evans.

Jehu has taken part in a number of fundraising activities throughout the year in support of CALM, its chosen charity for 2017, including a property band night held in Cardiff’s popular music venue, Tramshed.

Anna Jones, Fundraising Director at CALM, said: “We are extremely proud and thankful that Jehu Group have selected CALM as its charity of the year and will help us to raise awareness of the fact that suicide is single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.  It was great to see such a fantastic turnout today and the money raised will help make a difference to the lives of men who need support.”

This year’s event, hosted at Pencoed Pool and Rugby Club in Bridgend, included individual competitors as well as teams of three, with separate members swimming, cycling and running.

New to 2017, the property triathlon saw the introduction of a ‘Buddy Up’ scheme, designed by Jehu to partner up individuals looking to complete just one leg of the race with their very own team mates to form a full squad. The novel initiative meant that professionals could still take part even if they did not have a team ready or did not want to complete the full triathlon themselves.

The scheme saw individuals sign up and buddy up with others through social media by requesting which leg of the triathlon they would like to complete. Teams were created from companies such as Trivallis, TC Consult, Linc Cymru and the Building Engineering Services Association.

Lydia Jones of Working Word, is one of the people who chose to #BuddyUp for the triathlon, keen to help raise awareness for the charity after losing a close friend to suicide herself, the actor and singer Dafydd Dafis, in April this year.

Lydia said: “Dafydd sadly suffered with depression most of his life, and it breaks my heart on a daily basis that I’ve lost him, so I was very keen to join Jehu’s triathlon and help raise awareness for CALM’s good work and its helpline.”

Jehu’s original Property Triathlon was started in honour of former Jehu Group employee, Hugh Walker, who sadly lost his life aged 46, just four months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. The family-run construction and property firm has also supported Llamau the homeless charity prior to its support of CALM.

Managing Director of Development at Jehu Group, Simon Jehu, said: “It’s truly humbling to see our triathlon continue to grow and this year has been our biggest event to date. We are thankful to everyone that has shown their support for CALM, both those who took part in the race and those behind the scenes making valuable donations.

“As a family company, we have always tried to support charities that have a connection to our company in one way or another. Following the tragic loss of a colleague last year to suicide, for us, there was no question in supporting CALM as our charity of the year. As we have seen first-hand, suicide can affect anyone, and so it’s important to us that we can do all we can to support CALM in improving its services, raise awareness and promote understanding of the issues surrounding male suicide.

“The money we have raised is a real reflection of the hard work, dedication and generosity of people working across Wales’ property sector.”

Further donations:

CALM’s helpline is 0800 585858 with webchat available on

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 2 October 2017

Discover the unique Innovation Trail at UK Construction Week


UK Construction Week, the largest gathering of the UK’s built environment community, is set to return to Birmingham NEC from 10 – 12 October. The show promises to be the largest and most impressive yet, with an anticipated 35,000 visitors and more than 650 market-leading exhibitors aiming to showcase the most pioneering products, services and working practices.


The construction industry is one of the most innovative industries, with new ways of working, sustainable products, collaboration and continually evolving technologies. UK Construction Week is set to prove this once more with the Innovation Trail – a trail that will bring together the very latest products and services that are changing and will change the way we build.


The Innovation Trail will include the latest in Mobile Mapping from Central Alliance. Central Alliance is the first surveying company to offer the ground-breaking ROBIN LiDAR mapping system that provides three alternative mounting options rolled into one solution, allowing the user to map a variety of areas via walking, driving or flying.


Graphene will showcase its 3D printed graphene shoe with pressure sensor.  This is an example of how adding graphene to pre-existing materials can increase its functionality.  At the least, this demo needs a lap to count the step on the pressure sensor.


Texo Drone will introduce advanced UAV services for construction surveying – the world’s first UAV integrated survey-grade LiDAR system.


Solisco will showcase its innovative Solar EV-Port Systems that offer a balanced solution to power cars with renewable energy whilst helping to balance the grid.


On display at UK Construction Week is the Clevertouch Pro 4k interactive touchscreen, which is tantamount to having a large tablet on the wall encompassing a digital whiteboard, annotation app, browser, access to files and documents, as well as a save and email function. It produces a stunning image incorporating 955% more pixels than a data projector. It’s a display you won’t be able to miss.


Designer and manufacturer of heating and hot water systems, Ecovolt will be showcasing its JouleTherm CeP product, in which technology turns a standard plasterboard wall into a very efficient radiant heater using a special conductive paint. The company will also be exclusively launching its JouleTherm H20 Hybrid Hot Water System that can turn waste heat into stored hot water through mechanical ventilation. If that’s not enough, Ecovolt will also display its JouleTherm JTR Electric Ceramic Heating System with multizonal central control technology.


Potterton Commercial, division of Baxi Group Ltd, will showcase its new ‘Assure’ range of boilers for social housing. Visitors can learn about how the product was developed in partnership with landlords and contractors, which resulted in the boilers incorporating useful safety and energy-saving features, while remaining quick and easy to install.


Introducing the new living comfort control system LUXORliving is the new ?exible comfort control from Theben, offering all-round home comfort without the complexity of many smart home systems. Switching and dimming lights, regulating the heating and controlling shutters, blinds or curtains are just a few features.


ZIP panelling, a technical revolution in construction. The product is a lightweight composite panel board designed for use in building construction for external walls, party walls, internal walls, cladding and flooring.


And last but by no means least, 3THERMO will showcase the world’s first hybrid concealed heating system at HVAC 2017.


Other companies confirmed to participate in the Innovation Trail include Kirona, Durisol, PowerCem Technologies, Safety Point and Sound Impact.


Consisting of Build Show, sponsored by EasyTrim, Timber Expo, Civils Expo, Plant & Machinery Live, Energy 2017, Smart Buildings 2017, Surface & Materials Show (featuring Kitchens & Bathrooms Live), HVAC 2017 and Grand Designs Live, UK Construction Week caters for the entire spectrum of the industry from builders, architects, innovators and consultants, each show provides exhibitors with the opportunity to network alongside decision makers and purchasers while showcasing their services and products to thousands of visitors.


For more information and free registration visit

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Research Indicates Incorrect Home Insurance Could Be Costing Britons £125m A Year

A new analysis of government statistics undertaken by a specialist home insurance provider highlights the fact there could be over three million unoccupied homes in the UK at present, with 1.3m properties without the correct home insurance.


As of April 1st 2016, there were 23,928 properties recorded as vacant and owned by local authorities in England. This number has declined significantly since the turn of the millennium, where local authorities in England recorded owning 87,200 vacant dwellings.

Of the 24,000 empty buildings currently owned by Councils in England, 3,152 are properties within highly desirable London Boroughs, which have been vacant for over six months and are not currently available for letting on the property market.

Figures published in August 2017 by the Resolution Foundation have shown that between the years 2000 and 2014, the number of people with privately-owned, multiple properties in the UK, has risen from 1.6m to 5.2m. The analysis suggested that the majority of these owners were not landlords, with perhaps as many as 3.4m people having an empty property that was not being used to let.

During 2017, the team at specialist home insurance company, have noticed a large increase in the number of home insurance policies taken out for properties with no occupants and not intended to be sublet.

Rob Rushton, Head of CoverBuilder said:

‘‘In recent months we have seen a significant rise in the number of home insurance policies that require insurance for an unoccupied property. A second home can be acquired for various reasons: through inheritance, people working abroad, properties purchased for holiday homes, or purely used as an investment’’.

Insurance providers will define ‘unoccupied’ as a building that is vacant for over 30 days. Unoccupied properties are at much higher risk of damage, particularly as a result of vandals and thieves.

CoverBuilder surveyed 574 owners of unoccupied properties and were alarmed to find out that only 219 (38%) were protected with insurance that covered unoccupancy.

Damian Downey of CoverBuilder said:

“The number of properties incorrectly insured is concerning. With the statistics that we’ve been analysing, there could be 1.3m empty houses with insufficient home insurance across the United Kingdom. If 12% of UK houses are unoccupied for over 30 days, then in line with current, domestic house insurance claim statistics, £125m is potentially being dismissed due to insufficient insurance each year.

He continued

“As one in ten of the UK adult population is a multi-home owner, I would urge anyone with an unoccupied property to check their policy documents and make sure that they have the correct home insurance cover for their property’’.

For more information on unoccupied house insurance, visit

from The UK Construction Blog