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March 4, 2016

NLA Highlights Tenant Satisfaction

It has recently been reported that East Midlands based renters are happier with their landlord in contrast with any other location in England. The research, carried out by the NLA, highlighted that some 83% of renters in the area commented on their satisfaction with their present landlord, with those from

Read More »

Nominations Encouraged for BESA Awards

BESA has recently announced that it is now looking for nominations with regard to 2 of its management awards, set out to recognise the incredible work being done by many of the building engineering services sector’s present engineers, and future business leaders. The first award, dubbed the Alfred Manly Management

Read More »

Gentoo Tolent Confirms £2.5m Housing Project

Recently, Gentoo Tolent, a leading northern construction firm has successfully been able to confirm a £2.5m contract to develop fifteen residential properties in the Alnwick area, as appointed by Lindisfarne Homes. The project effectively looks to convert a site presently used by the former Thomas Percy School, which has been

Read More »

Bouygues Plans for the Future

With the recent decision for Bouygues’ Head of France to lay down the foundations of the next generation of the company, with the planned appointment of two new, more youthful members of the family to the board, it would appear that the company continue its position as a family-led, family-run

Read More »

HCM Projects Set For Lucrative Year

2016 is set to be a good year for the Yorkshire-based construction firm HCM Projects. The business, part of the multi-disciplinary HCM Group specialising in a variety of services including interiors and major projects, has won £20m worth of contracts this year alone. And we’re only just starting the third month.

Read More »

Positive Outlook Across UK Real Estate

The real estate sector is collectively upbeat for the next year but remains guarded beyond that. Indeed, while 88% of respondents to a survey carried out by the British Property Federation (BPF) said they were confident the market could bloom for the next 12 months, their confidence was less certain

Read More »

The Ideal Paints for Renovation Project Surfaces

You may be intimidated by getting out a paint brush and painting your home or workplace, many people are, and this is generally because people are unsure of what paints to use for what surface. But according to DIY Network, anyone can paint a room and get professional results by

Read More »

Industrial Energy Use – Are Your Doors & Shutters The Key?

We’ll start this post with a positive – across the whole, UK energy consumption in industry (and as a whole, including domestic use) is falling year on year. The latest report from the Department of Energy & Climate Change (which you can read in full here) paints a broadly positive

Read More »

Planning Review and What to Look Out for in 2016

As an organisation which is dedicated to keeping up to date with all the latest changes in planning, policy and regulatory requirements, Robinson & Hall has released a report on the key industry changes from 2015 which businesses, in 2016, need to be aware of as well as those to

Read More »

Industrial Energy Use – Are Your Doors & Shutters The Key?

We’ll start this post with a positive – across the whole, UK energy consumption in industry (and as a whole, including domestic use) is falling year on year. The latest report from the Department of Energy & Climate Change (which you can read in full here) paints a broadly positive

Read More »

Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

March 4, 2016

NLA Highlights Tenant Satisfaction

It has recently been reported that East Midlands based renters are happier with their landlord in contrast with any other location in England. The research, carried out by the NLA, highlighted that some 83% of renters in the area commented on their satisfaction with their present landlord, with those from the North West and South West coming in at a joint level of 82% satisfaction. The figures highlight some of the drastic differences in levels of satisfaction, with, in contrast to the North West, only 67% of those in the North East being satisfied with their landlord – this, in fact, heralding the lowest value of all those reported in the UK. This figure also falls short of the average level of satisfaction shown in the report, where approximately 79% commented on their satisfaction with their landlord. As for the rest of the results, 3rd Place in the report went to the South East, followed by the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, London, Eastern England and the North East which came in at 80%, 79%, 73%, 72%, 71% and 67% respectively. Commenting on the report, Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer of the NLA nodded to the sheer quantity of good landlords which are represented in the market and that, while often portrayed to be quite “uncertain and unhappy”, the private rent sector is actually far better than most people think it is. Landlords, of course, are not on their own in supporting the tenants, however, as the NLA does indeed also offer a range of training systems so that they can provide the best possible environment for their tenants. Richard Lambert also highlighted the importance of other parties, such as governmental departments, stepping up their involvement in this support, encouraging both national and local governmental parties to also chip in for the betterment of the sector.

Read More »

Nominations Encouraged for BESA Awards

BESA has recently announced that it is now looking for nominations with regard to 2 of its management awards, set out to recognise the incredible work being done by many of the building engineering services sector’s present engineers, and future business leaders. The first award, dubbed the Alfred Manly Management Award, sets out to congratulate the success and accomplishments of younger engineers, highlighting and judging them on a basis of their potential for future role development and responsibility within the wider building engineering services sector. And for the process by which candidates are selected, the award looks to highlight management-specific skill areas which are in need of development so as best to provide the training and support required for their professional development; successful candidates then being awarded an associated certificate or diploma as well as already have confirmed employment in a management position on some level. The second award, the Professional Engineer of the Year Award, is then for individuals who have already achieved suitable qualification and are working on membership for a relevant chartered professional body’s scheme. Then combined with the first award, this allows BESA to reward individuals at various levels of the scale, with varying and highly differential personal goals and ambitions. The awards, which are widely recognised throughout the industry, will, upon the finalisation of the judging process, be given at the BESA Specialist Groups’ Annual General Meetings event, to be held on the 19th of May this year at City of London’s Trinity House, with the deadline for nominations sitting at Friday the 1st of April for both of the different awards. More information on the awards is naturally available from the BESA, including details on the nomination process, however, given the industry repute associated with the awards, nomination could prove to be the next step in major career development.

Read More »

Gentoo Tolent Confirms £2.5m Housing Project

Recently, Gentoo Tolent, a leading northern construction firm has successfully been able to confirm a £2.5m contract to develop fifteen residential properties in the Alnwick area, as appointed by Lindisfarne Homes. The project effectively looks to convert a site presently used by the former Thomas Percy School, which has been out-of-use for a number of years now, and develop it into a combination of 2 and 3 storey properties, each with 3 and 4 bedrooms. Of those to be developed, one of the properties is to be developed using brick, primarily to sit in line with the existing aesthetics of the Blakelaw Road area, whilst the other fourteen will be developed utilising stone as the primary building material. As the first property development contract in the area for Lindisfarne Homes, expectations and hopes are expectedly high, with the organisation greatly anticipating working alongside Gentoo Tolent over the period in a bid to deliver a range of quality, high-standard properties suitable for residential family usage. Gentoo Tolent’s Managing Director, Paul Webster, also made comment, stating the contract to be a victory for the company and a good signal for the success it hopes to achieve this year, then adding that, with regard to working with new client, Lindisfarne: “We’re delighted to be working with them on this scheme.” As the project manager for the project, Silverstone Building Consultancy has been appointed and, as such, the organisation will be helping to arrange the various aspects of the project and its delivery, with the goal of then finishing the project at some point in November this year. Having already engaged in multiple meetings with Lindisfarne to discuss the arrangement of the project, Silverstone Building Consultancy is firmly prepared and ready to deliver on the project, with a keen eye on ensuring it is completed in time, and within the allocated budget.

Read More »

Bouygues Plans for the Future

With the recent decision for Bouygues’ Head of France to lay down the foundations of the next generation of the company, with the planned appointment of two new, more youthful members of the family to the board, it would appear that the company continue its position as a family-led, family-run and family-focused organisation. The proposal, to come from Martin Bouygues, the man behind the Bouygues name since 1989, will incorporate the appointment of his son, Edward and nephew, Cyril to the board after the close of an upcoming shareholder meeting. With the approval of the appointment this would see the board expand in size from fourteen to sixteen members which would help to rebalance the family to employer representative ratio; in total, this would split the board into four sets of family members and four of employee representatives. In total, the company’s workforce presently holds a 21.4% stake in Bouygues, with 28.6% of the voting rights also. On the other hand, SCDM, the family holding under the Bouygues name presently holds a 20.4% stake and approximately 27.9% of the voting rights.. And not only will the change see some movement in the balancing of the board, but it is also to see an increased amount of responsibility placed on the new members and prepare them for his eventual retirement. The plans also come at the same time as the company, which also holds ownership France’s TF1, the largest private broadcaster in France, is also looking to sell its telecoms division to Orange, reshaping the very landscape of the French landscape. Nodding to this, Martin Bouygues commented on the discussion looking to take a number of weeks, though there is also no guarantee of the deal having a successful outcome as of yet. Additionally, he commented that the deal would need for him to confirm a 10% stake in Orange for Bouygues, if it is to go ahead.

Read More »

HCM Projects Set For Lucrative Year

2016 is set to be a good year for the Yorkshire-based construction firm HCM Projects. The business, part of the multi-disciplinary HCM Group specialising in a variety of services including interiors and major projects, has won £20m worth of contracts this year alone. And we’re only just starting the third month. Working across the UK, HCM will kick-start four projects in the next few weeks including a £10m upgrade at Britvic Soft Drinks’ base at Beckton in East London – which includes production and warehousing facilities. The latest scheme follows HCM’s work on infrastructure and enabling works at Britvic’s plant as well as work for the company at one of its other sites. Britvic has become accustomed to HCM’s ability to develop long-lasting relationships with clients thanks to work that adds value and tackles the challenges clients face in a timely and cost-effective way. HCM Projects is also gearing up for an extension and remodel of Primark’s Grimsby store having been appointed by real estate specialists BMO. The £4m contract will take place at Freshney Place, a shopping centre in the town. Elsewhere, a £2m contract has been won with Henry Boot Developments to extend a B&M store in Derbyshire. This will be followed by a £1m job on a two-storey extension at Sandal’s MINI dealership in Wakefield. This will create a new showroom area and offices. Managing director Danny Mulqueen noted the record year experienced by HCM Projects in 2015 as indication of its blossoming success. To begin 2016 in such strong fashion is further indicative of the company’s reputation and ability. He also said it was important that HCM continued to win a diverse selection of work, tackling its team to challenge themselves. It’s “testimony to our versatility” he said, adding how HCM provides very “competitive pricing”. The success so far shows no signs of stopping. More tenders have been submitted for what Mulqueen describes as “exciting projects” with both “new and existing clients”. This will drive the company’s ambitious growth plans.

Read More »

Positive Outlook Across UK Real Estate

The real estate sector is collectively upbeat for the next year but remains guarded beyond that. Indeed, while 88% of respondents to a survey carried out by the British Property Federation (BPF) said they were confident the market could bloom for the next 12 months, their confidence was less certain going into 2017 and beyond. More than half of those surveyed said that 2016 would be a year where development activity would rise but 46% noted concerns as we move into 2017. The surveyed has highlighted barriers to development, namely developable land being made available in London. Respondents encouraged local government to do more to help the property sector grow while calls in London for the assembly and sale of developable land continued. Investment was encouraged in the blossoming “build to rent” market (a sector which allows developers to keep ownership of those houses newly built). London remains, unsurprisingly, the favoured location for planned investment. 53% said their business plans to grow investment levels while 23% planned to maintain levels over the next year. Elsewhere, in the Midlands for example, 60% expect to add to their investment portfolio while 23% would keep levels the same. The North West of England saw respondents less eager to increase investment with only 25% saying they would do so. It was even lower in Scotland with just 16% revealing they would be happy to increase investment. BPF chief executive Melanie Leech acknowledged the important contribution the real estate sector makes to the UK economy and said it was crucial that it remains buoyant because of what it can do for “regeneration” and “growth” across the country. The positivity across the sector was therefore “welcome”. She said there was a number of things that can be done to see that positivity continue into 2017 and beyond. While she admitted some things are out of their hands, the government should set out a clear mandate to “assemble and sell” public sector land. She also noted her enthusiasm at data revealing that investment and a positive outlook was not solely based in the capital city but across the UK.

Read More »

The Ideal Paints for Renovation Project Surfaces

You may be intimidated by getting out a paint brush and painting your home or workplace, many people are, and this is generally because people are unsure of what paints to use for what surface. But according to DIY Network, anyone can paint a room and get professional results by working efficiently, neatly and with careful preparation. Below we’ve created a handy guide to painting, listing the different types of paints, and what they are used for. Use anti mould paint in bathrooms This might seem quite obvious but, by using anti mould paint in your bathroom, you won’t have to redo the paint for a long period of time. This is because anti mould paint contains specialised additives in order to create barriers, and prevent mould from occurring. If mould has already started to grow, then use a cleaner to get rid of it first. Prime your radiator before painting Before painting your radiator, ensure it is turned off and cooled down! If you spot any sections that have rusted over the years then use sandpaper to remove the rust. Once clean and rust-free, you can use a primer before applying the top coat. Use solvent-based paints for your radiator, such as non-drip or satinwood which you can find in a range of colours. Satin for bedrooms is advisable Satin paint is usually the best for bedrooms, this is down to them being easy to clean, easy to maintain and durable. Machperson paint is popular, this is because of the quality finish it provides, the large range on offer, and how easily it dries. Matt Emulsion is recommended for ceilings The majority of people tend to use Matt Emulsion paints for ceilings due to their toughness, durability and the ability to be wiped down easily. Matt Emulsion paints are also non-reflective, which is exactly what you need for a ceiling. Undercoats and topcoats are perfect for woodwork For woodwork you’ll need both an undercoat and topcoat and you can choose from either oil-based or water based. The advantages of oil-based paints are that they are hard-wearing and cover well, however the disadvantages include; smelling until they dry and having to use white spirit to get the paint off your brushes. The advantages of water based paints are that they’re easy to apply, don’t smell much and you can clean your brushes with water. But the disadvantages are that you need more coats of paint to get a good finish and they don’t last as long as oil-based paints. Use exterior paint brands for the outside There are a variety of exterior-based paints that you can use for the outside of buildings, depending on what you require. For example Zinsser Perma-White Interior/Exterior Gloss and Satin Paint is great due to resisting cracking, peeling and blistering for up to 7 years before needing a fresh coat. Johnstones Solar Reflective Paint is ideal for roofs that are exposed to direct sunlight. Image source: www.flickr.com/photos/unitedsoybean/10481728754/in/photostream/

Read More »

Industrial Energy Use – Are Your Doors & Shutters The Key?

We’ll start this post with a positive – across the whole, UK energy consumption in industry (and as a whole, including domestic use) is falling year on year. The latest report from the Department of Energy & Climate Change (which you can read in full here) paints a broadly positive picture for overall industrial energy efficiency. We’re much less reliant on solid fuels, and bioenergy use has grown hugely over the past 10-15 years. On the flipside, though, things don’t necessarily look quite so good elsewhere – particularly electricity and gas. While gas use has fallen it’s still comparatively high, and electricity reliance is equally high but has seen a reduction since the mid-90s. (Source: Department of Energy & Climate Change – Data Tables) However, when we looking even wider at the last 45 years, electricity consumption has actually gone up; consumption has gone from 2.8m tonnes in 1970 to 5.9m tonnes at the end of 2014. With the exception of bioenergy and waste, it’s the only fuel type whose demand / consumption within the industrial sector that’s increased. While the ways in which this electricity is being generated has been improving (e.g. solar, hydroelectric), it’s also important to try and reduce overall consumption – so that, as a sector, we can pick up the downward trend in demand we had seen until the increases from 2010 onwards. How Can We Reduce The Consumption? Renewable forms of energy do mean that there is, from an ecological perspective, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ types of electricity usage; if a site has moved from grid electricity to self-sufficiency through solar or water, but consumption stays the same, then this has a positive impact on the environment. However, quite often (particularly at larger industrial scales) renewable solutions aren’t enough to provide a consistent or reliable impact; there will still need to be a reliance on fossil fuels, even if it’s just as a ‘backup’. So how can we, as businesses within the industrial sector, make an even more positive impact on both the environment and (from a commercial point of view) operating costs? It’s all in energy efficiency; changing where your electricity comes from is one step, but improving how much you use is a new level. Industrial Doors – How Big Can The Impact Be? There are some large-scale changes that can be made in the industrial sector to improve efficiency, such as updating equipment to more efficient machinery. However, as with domestic properties, energy lost through poor insulation can be a huge contributing factor – and improving this area can have a big impact. Industry specialists Attenborough Industrial Doors are one of a number of UK-based manufacturers and suppliers putting a huge emphasis on energy efficiency over the last ten years. This is efficiency in both the power used to operate industrial doors themselves, as well as the financial savings that can be made as a result. The impact that efficiency, modern industrial doors can have are typically two-fold. Firstly, you have the added insulation benefits; when closed, energy consumption will be less when it comes to heating or cooling buildings internally. Regardless of how this electricity or energy is generated (even if it’s 100% renewable) then the reduction in energy required allows for more efficient running, and reduces the risk of needing to fall back on non-renewable backups. The second benefit is similar, but is related to effectiveness and speed of operation. Faster and automatic industrial doors and roller shutters ensure that doors can’t be left open, and are only open for as long as necessary. This is particularly important when it comes to sectors such as medical or food production/distribution where temperature control is absolutely essential. To conclude, how successful are we as an industry in reducing energy consumption and improving the adoption of renewable resources? On the one hand, the use of bioenergy is up significantly – which is a huge achievement. Conversely, though, the overall consumption of electricity has remained high and needs consistent efforts for efficiency to ensure the trend of lower usage is picked up again – making for not just a financially beneficial end-result but also a positive impact on the environment.

Read More »

Planning Review and What to Look Out for in 2016

As an organisation which is dedicated to keeping up to date with all the latest changes in planning, policy and regulatory requirements, Robinson & Hall has released a report on the key industry changes from 2015 which businesses, in 2016, need to be aware of as well as those to look out for over the course of the year. Naturally, with policy and legislation being an ever-changing landscape, businesses are urged to take heed of these words. The following information has been provided by Robinson & Hall: The Happenings of 2015 Updates to the National Planning Practice Guidance including clarification on how permitted development rules for the conversion of agricultural buildings to residential should be interpreted. Requirements for developers to undertake community consultations on wind farms before submitting a planning application. Consultation on the National Planning Policy Framework issued in December 2015 relating to starter homes. One key issue relates to offering ‘starter homes’ at 80% of their market value to first time buyers. Amendments to the General Permitted Development Order since its introduction in 1995 were consolidated into one document in April 2015. Change of use from Class B1(a) offices to Class C3 residential; the conversion of agricultural buildings to Class C3 residential were included as permitted development highlighting the Government’s commitment to this type of development. The Housing and Planning Bill – reiterates increasing emphasis on the delivery of starter homes. The Government’s continued commitment to delivering Neighbourhood Plans has been reflected in appeal decisions for development in Neighbourhood Plan areas. Renewed commitments from the Government to infrastructure spending in the south east. Government seeking to require all Councils to have an adopted Local Plan in place by April 2017. The Government issued a consultation in the autumn about devolved planning powers to set planning application fees at a local level. The response has been mixed and no changes have been made as yet. Things to Look for in 2016 Changes to the National Planning Policy Framework with key issues of housing delivery, Green Belt erosion, a new approach for ‘starter homes’ and the delivery of strategic Local Plans. Outcomes and impact of the agreement made at the Paris Climate Change Summit in December 2015 relating to renewable energy support. The implications for resources at local authorities with the potential devolution of powers to set planning fees at the local level and the privatisation of planning services. Potential taxation penalties for developers of unimplemented planning permissions as a way to secure higher rates of housing delivery. Forthcoming adoption of Local Plans for Huntingdonshire, Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury Vale, and call for sites for Central Bedfordshire as they move towards a new Local Plan. We will continue to report on any changes to the planning system, and local and national policy. If you wish to discuss any of the above issues, then please get in contact with one of our planning experts.

Read More »

Industrial Energy Use – Are Your Doors & Shutters The Key?

We’ll start this post with a positive – across the whole, UK energy consumption in industry (and as a whole, including domestic use) is falling year on year. The latest report from the Department of Energy & Climate Change (which you can read in full here) paints a broadly positive picture for overall industrial energy efficiency. We’re much less reliant on solid fuels, and bioenergy use has grown hugely over the past 10-15 years. On the flipside, though, things don’t necessarily look quite so good elsewhere – particularly electricity and gas. While gas use has fallen it’s still comparatively high, and electricity reliance is equally high but has seen a reduction since the mid-90s. (Source: Department of Energy & Climate Change – Data Tables) However, when we looking even wider at the last 45 years, electricity consumption has actually gone up; consumption has gone from 2.8m tonnes in 1970 to 5.9m tonnes at the end of 2014. With the exception of bioenergy and waste, it’s the only fuel type whose demand / consumption within the industrial sector that’s increased. While the ways in which this electricity is being generated has been improving (e.g. solar, hydroelectric), it’s also important to try and reduce overall consumption – so that, as a sector, we can pick up the downward trend in demand we had seen until the increases from 2010 onwards. How Can We Reduce The Consumption? Renewable forms of energy do mean that there is, from an ecological perspective, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ types of electricity usage; if a site has moved from grid electricity to self-sufficiency through solar or water, but consumption stays the same, then this has a positive impact on the environment. However, quite often (particularly at larger industrial scales) renewable solutions aren’t enough to provide a consistent or reliable impact; there will still need to be a reliance on fossil fuels, even if it’s just as a ‘backup’. So how can we, as businesses within the industrial sector, make an even more positive impact on both the environment and (from a commercial point of view) operating costs? It’s all in energy efficiency; changing where your electricity comes from is one step, but improving how much you use is a new level. Industrial Doors – How Big Can The Impact Be? There are some large-scale changes that can be made in the industrial sector to improve efficiency, such as updating equipment to more efficient machinery. However, as with domestic properties, energy lost through poor insulation can be a huge contributing factor – and improving this area can have a big impact. Industry specialists Attenborough Industrial Doors are one of a number of UK-based manufacturers and suppliers putting a huge emphasis on energy efficiency over the last ten years. This is efficiency in both the power used to operate industrial doors themselves, as well as the financial savings that can be made as a result. The impact that efficiency, modern industrial doors can have are typically two-fold. Firstly, you have the added insulation benefits; when closed, energy consumption will be less when it comes to heating or cooling buildings internally. Regardless of how this electricity or energy is generated (even if it’s 100% renewable) then the reduction in energy required allows for more efficient running, and reduces the risk of needing to fall back on non-renewable backups. The second benefit is similar, but is related to effectiveness and speed of operation. Faster and automatic industrial doors and roller shutters ensure that doors can’t be left open, and are only open for as long as necessary. This is particularly important when it comes to sectors such as medical or food production/distribution where temperature control is absolutely essential. To conclude, how successful are we as an industry in reducing energy consumption and improving the adoption of renewable resources? On the one hand, the use of bioenergy is up significantly – which is a huge achievement. Conversely, though, the overall consumption of electricity has remained high and needs consistent efforts for efficiency to ensure the trend of lower usage is picked up again – making for not just a financially beneficial end-result but also a positive impact on the environment.

Read More »