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January 12, 2018

Irish FM industry could be set 'to gain from Brexit'

20 October 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal Ireland’s FM industry has a lot to gain after Brexit, says the managing director of an FM firm.  Denis Egan, MD of Weston Facilities Services and BIFM Ireland committee member said: “Predictions signal increased investment in Ireland as a number of British-domiciled companies consider

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Requirements of a valid payment application

Pamela Chan reports on the recent case of Jawaby Property Investment Limited v The Interiors Group Limited [2016] EWHC 577 (TCC). This decision provides some useful guidance on what constitutes a valid payment application and reflects the rather strict approach taken by the Technology & Construction Court.  Consistent with other

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Barratt/Segro JV wins role on £3.5bn Meridian Water

The JV was up against Berkeley Homes and a Balfour Beatty-led team, which joined up with Hong Kong-based developer Pacific Century Premium Development, as revealed by Construction News in February. Meridian Water represents one of the largest housing developments in London. Once finished, it will provide 10,000 homes as well as

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COMPETITIVE CREDIBILITY

Recent events have brought into sharp focus the issue of building regulations which some say are falling behind the scale and scope of what has been going on in the built environment.  The regulatory system can be a source of frequent misunderstanding and confusion, with many across the industry having

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RLB UK Announces New Partner

Rider Levett Bucknall UK (RLB UK), the leading independent construction, property and management consultant, has appointed David Litherland, the industry expert and previous Deloitte Real Estate Director, as its new Partner. He will be in charge of RLB Manchester’s cost management team, together with the existing Partner, Ilyas Patel. David

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BDC 319 : Aug 2024

January 12, 2018

Irish FM industry could be set 'to gain from Brexit'

20 October 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal Ireland’s FM industry has a lot to gain after Brexit, says the managing director of an FM firm.  Denis Egan, MD of Weston Facilities Services and BIFM Ireland committee member said: “Predictions signal increased investment in Ireland as a number of British-domiciled companies consider relocation here, translating into a higher demand for office space availability bringing an initial upswing to the growing construction and fit-out sector as well as long-term sustenance for both hard and soft FM services.” But he added that this is not to say that FM is immune to the Brexit-born barriers and potential legal restrictions that could arise from the decision.  Enterprises that currently operate across borders might find it becomes more difficult to recruit, retain or move employees from the UK to the EU and vice versa, which could give rise to skills gaps, an inability to service customers in relevant countries and a loss of talent. It is highly unlikely that legislation regarding health and safety, and energy performance will change significantly. Egan added: “We can’t conclude that Brexit will bring about positive outcomes in Ireland for all sectors in which FM operates.  “The Irish manufacturing industry, and the food sector in particular, which exports heavily to the UK, is likely to incur significant losses considering 40 per cent of indigenous manufacturing export is to the UK. The weaker sterling will also likely have a knock-on effect to the hotel and leisure industry as tourists look for better value for their euro or dollar, so the challenge for the FM teams in those sectors is quite different to those working in other industries that may benefit from Brexit.  “Combined with the release of the UK and Irish budgets, all industries, FM included, are poised in wait-and-see position post-Brexit.” The BIFM Ireland FM Summit – ‘Workplace partnerships – Rethinking FM’ is due to take place on Friday 25 November at Croke Park. Source link

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Award-winning leisure asset comes to market in popular Anglesey holiday location

Savills, on behalf of a private client, has brought to the market Blackthorn Farm in Anglesey, North Wales. The property is being sold from a guide price of £1.695 million. Set in circa 17 acres (7 hectares) of land, Blackthorn Farm is a family-operated leisure business  with a 4-star Wales Tourist Board rating. The property is located north west of Trearddur Bay on Holy Island, Anglesey, in an elevated rural setting with a south-westerly aspect overlooking the Irish Sea in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Accessed from the main A55 North Wales coast road, site facilities include 44 touring caravan pitches, a bed and breakfast farmhouse with eight-bedrooms, a two-bedroom holiday cottage and a two-bedroom owner’s accommodation with a private garden and an additional two-bedroom annexe. Richard Prestwich, associate director of leisure and trading at Savills, comments: “Blackthorn Farm presents an exceptional opportunity to purchase a well-established upmarket leisure retreat in a beautiful location. The business income is multi-faceted, deriving from the bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday cottage, caravan and camping pitches as well as catering and events, and offers potential for further growth.” Source link

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Requirements of a valid payment application

Pamela Chan reports on the recent case of Jawaby Property Investment Limited v The Interiors Group Limited [2016] EWHC 577 (TCC). This decision provides some useful guidance on what constitutes a valid payment application and reflects the rather strict approach taken by the Technology & Construction Court.  Consistent with other recent authorities[1], the court recognised that ‘draconian consequences’ that may arise from the employer’s failure to comply with the contractual payment mechanism and therefore required a contractor’s payment application to be clear and unambiguous in substance, form and intent. In this case, a contract was originally entered into between Tekxel Limited and the Interiors Group Ltd (‘TIG’) for refurbishment works carried out under a JCT Design & Build Contract, 2011 edition with amendments. Subsequently, the contract was novated to Jawaby Investments Ltd (‘Jawaby’), which became the new employer.  Jawaby sought declarations from the court concerning payment obligations under the contract and a related escrow agreement. Under the contract, the payment mechanism was out as follows: TIG was to make monthly an interim application for payment (on the 8th day of each month) The due date for payment was the later of the monthly ‘specified date’ (on the 8th day of each month) or the actual date of receipt of the interim application The final date for payment was 30 days after the due date Not later than five days after the due date, Jawaby was required to give a Payment Notice stating the sum that TIG considered to be due A pay less notice was to be given by Jawaby not later than five days before the final date for payment. TIG’s interim applications 1 to 6 were made under the following procedure.  TIG would submit a valuation to Jawaby by email with detailed back-up sheets followed by a statement of the final sum applied for (or total work done) at the conclusion.  From Valuation 5, TIG submitted a summary sheet followed by detailed back-up sheets. Each of these valuations 1 to 6 valued TIG’s works up to the due date of the 8th of each month and stated that the valuation was for ‘approval’ or ‘consideration’.  Jawaby’s agent would ‘walk the job’ with TIG and issue a certificate of payment accompanied by detailed spreadsheets showing how the assessment had been made.  Upon issue of a certificate of payment, TIG would proceed to issue an invoice for the relevant sum. The main issue in this case related to Interim Application 7.  The presentation of the 7th valuation did not follow the usual pattern and was materially different to that adopted on previous occasions.  On 7th January 2016, TIG submitted the 7th valuation in the sum of £2.35m under cover of an email which stated ‘Please see our initial assessment for Valuation 007, this is based upon progress update and onsite review carried out earlier this week.’ On 11th January 2016, Jawaby visited the site and proceeded to issue a certificate of payment on 15th January 2016 with a negative value of £124,604 based on a total gross valuation of £1,634,540.  This time, there was no breakdown of the figure, nor any accompanying back-up documentation. On 18th January 2016, further mark-up documentation explaining their valuation was submitted by Jawaby. Jawaby argued that the valuation was not a valid interim application as the email did not comply with requirements for service prescribed by the contract and the terms of the email were insufficient to constitute an interim payment application.  On the other hand, TIG submitted that there was no requirement for particular labelling to be an interim application. The court adopted a strict approach and held that TIG did not make a valid interim application within the meaning of the contract. Consequently, no default event had occurred under the escrow agreement.  Importantly, the court found that the valuation was described only as TIG’s initial assessment, which merely stated the sum that it considered might be due, subject to further consideration.  Such a statement by TIG, if construed objectively by a reasonable recipient, would not have been regarded as unambiguously notifying what was considered to be due, to comply with Clause 4.8.1 of the contract.   Further, this was not a situation which had arisen previously and the course of dealings between the parties did not extend to acceptance of an ‘initial’ assessment as a valid interim application. The valuation summary sheet was also incorrectly marked as Valuation 6 and unlike all previous applications, did not include valuation of the works up to the due date of 8th January.  However, the court found that email notification was permitted as Jawaby had waived any requirement for hard copy documents when it accepted email communication for all previous interim applications. While the court noted that this outcome may appear harsh for a contractor, there was ‘little scope for latitude’.  This case, therefore, serves as a reminder that if a contractor wishes to have the benefit of the interim payment regime such as that contained in the contract, its application for interim payment must be clear and free from ambiguity. The case also highlights that parties’ conduct throughout the course of the contract will be taken into account when assessing whether the strict contractual requirements have been waived.  If the parties choose to depart from the contractual procedure, the contractor is still required to act consistently with the procedure that the parties have adopted.   [1] Carr J referred to the judgment of Caledonian Modular Ltd v Mar City Developments Ltd [2015] EWHC 1855 (TCC) and Henia Investments Inc v Beck Interiors Ltd [2015] EWHC 2433 (TCC).   About the author: Pamela Chan is a solicitor at Irwin Mitchell     This article was published on 6 Oct 2016 (last updated on 7 Oct 2016). Source link

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BoE Chief Economist: investing in property is better than a pension

Bank of England Chief Economist, Andy Haldane has said that property is a better investment for retirement than a pension. Speaking to the Sunday Times, Haldane said: “It ought to be pension but it’s almost certainly property. “As long as we continue not to build anything like as many houses in this country as we need to… we will see what we’ve had for the better part of a generation, which is house prices relentlessly heading north.” Haldane has previously come under fire for stating that he can’t make “the remotest sense of pensions” and that experts and IFAs “have no clue either”. Former pensions minister Ros Altmann has described the remarks as “irresponsible” and “divorced from reality”. Tom McPhail, head of retirement policy at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented: “It’s probably quite easy for someone with a gold-plated final salary pension to dismiss the importance of saving in a pension for retirement. Andy Haldane’s pension benefits are estimated to be worth in excess of £3 million, which is not bad going for someone who professes not to even know how pensions work. Perhaps we should take away his final salary pension and just give him another house instead. “After his previous comments, we wrote to Mr Haldane, offering to explain how pensions work. After these latest revelations from him, we suggest his employers make a pension training course compulsory, given he has so much influence over the savings and investments of millions of ordinary savers and home-owners and so little apparent understanding of how they work.” McPhail stressed the benefits of saving into a pension, including tax relief and workplace pension top ups. He added that pensions are cheap to run, typically costing around 0.75% a year compared to the running costs of a property which “can easily be as much as 10% of the value”. He also highlighted that retirees can diversify their investments, spreading tax-free savings across a range of funds, stocks, asset classes and “even properties”. Source link

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Barratt/Segro JV wins role on £3.5bn Meridian Water

The JV was up against Berkeley Homes and a Balfour Beatty-led team, which joined up with Hong Kong-based developer Pacific Century Premium Development, as revealed by Construction News in February. Meridian Water represents one of the largest housing developments in London. Once finished, it will provide 10,000 homes as well as supporting infrastructure, a railway station and retail space. It is also expected to create 6,000 construction jobs. Enfield Council cabinet member for housing and regeneration Ahmet Oykener said: “Now we can start getting boots on the ground and proceed with this transformational project for Edmonton and the wider area and create a truly world-class development which will improve the quality of life for tens of thousands of people.” Source link

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Remortgaging in UK hits seven year high of £6.4 billion in April

The value of remortgage lending in the UK has increased 48% year on year and is the largest amount recorded since November 2008, the latest data shows. The figures from LMS also show that the number of borrowers remortgaging exceeded 39,300 and is the highest since July 2009 while affordably improved markedly with typical remortgage repayments falling to a record low. This represents a 36% increase from the £4.7 billion n recorded in March and a 48% uplift from April 2015’s figure of £4.3 billion. The number of remortgage loans also increased by 41% from 28,000 in March to 39,353 in April. This is 47% more than April 2015 when 26,700 borrowers remortgaged. This is the greatest number since July 2009 when 39,500 remortgaged. Low interest rate has resulted in mortgage affordability improving sharply. Now remortgage payments as a percentage of income are at 16.79%, a record low, down from 18.4% the previous month. Andy Knee, chief executive of LMS, pointed out that March saw the market overwhelmed by second home owners and buy to let investors looking to push through transactions before changes to stamp duty came in, but as April arrived, existing home owners were able to remortgage and capitalise on the great rates currently available. ‘The average amount people are withdrawing through remortgaging fell to a 13 month low, suggesting household budgets are not as constrained as previously. Home owners can also celebrate that as a result of such low mortgage rates and rising incomes repayments as a percentage of income have fallen to a record low, boosting family finances,’ he said. But he also pointed out that the forthcoming referendum on the UK’s place in the European Union will continue to dominate headlines until the vote on 23 June which could have an impact on the mortgage rates that banks offer as well as household finances if the result is to leave. The data also shows that mortgage interest rates fell to 2.49% in March, down from 2.51% in February and the sum of annual remortgage repayments fell from £8,593 in February to £8,344 in March as a result of lower interest rates, while average household income rose by 7% from £46,605 to £50,000 in the same period. This meant that annual remortgage repayments as a percentage of income fell from 18.4% to 16.7% month on month, a record low. Average mortgage payments as a percentage of income also fell, from 21.2% to 19.7% between February and March, but this remains 3% more than remortgage costs.  BOOKMARK THIS PAGE (What is this?)      Source link

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Construction Leaders Club Organises Workshops to Become ‘Brexit Ready’

The Construction Leaders Club, an organisation focused on business growth, is planning to run a series of workshops aimed at firms in the sector that wish to become more ‘Brexit ready’. It has created a framework to help businesses leave the fear of Brexit behind and plan for future growth and development. These workshops will take place in the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire area starting in February. “Small business owners don’t always have the time or resources to effectively lead and manage seismic changes in the marketplace and their business. We are heading into uncharted waters as the UK prepares to leave the European Union, and it’s vital that small and medium-sized businesses do what they can to prepare as much as possible for this,” said Terry O’Mahony who runs CLC. The organisation’s new mission is to help these business leaders and managers to be more confident and not focus on what the Brexit could or could not bring. Terry and Peter Jubb, a business development and marketing consultant, will run the workshops held at Risley HALL Hotel, Risley in Derbyshire, near junction 25 of the M1, starting on the 9th of February. “In just one workshop, we will be offering advice on how to re-engineer businesses, accelerate profitability, reduce exposure to commercial risk and to leveraging every opportunity open to business leaders,” explained Terry. “We welcome small business owners, senior decision makers and leaders who want to develop their business and teams.” The first half of the workshop will run from 9am to noon and it will focus on the importance of being Brexit ready. It will offer guidance to businesses on how to fully understand their situation, how to identify and evaluate the best way forward, and how to create an effective plan. The Construction Leaders Club is believed to be the only business of its kind to be awarded the new Chartered Building Consultancy status. Founded four years ago by Terry O’Mahony, it offers networking and business growth advice to businesses and individuals related to the UK construction industry.

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COMPETITIVE CREDIBILITY

Recent events have brought into sharp focus the issue of building regulations which some say are falling behind the scale and scope of what has been going on in the built environment.  The regulatory system can be a source of frequent misunderstanding and confusion, with many across the industry having a lack of understanding around materials and building regulations.  Put simply: what materials should go where and what should these materials be tested to?  But what does this mean for construction product manufacturers in terms of credibility and how can specifiers compare one tested and approved product over another? With the failure to fully adopt EN standards and adherence to old BS standards, we’ve ended up creating two systems – one which is modern and following the latest thinking and regulation and another  that harks back to the building regulations originally conceived in the 1960s when buildings were very different indeed.  The way we design and construct buildings, the materials that are used have all changed drastically over the past decades. We only have to see the prevalence of glass and alumunium in our cities instead of concrete, all of which gives rise to greater challenges in terms of acoustics and fire. From a competitive credibility point of view, it’s perfectly feasible that a company with cutting edge test data will find itself competing with a company which has a test certificate in line with outdated building regulations. The customer will think they are equally compliant because the regulations allow them to be so, but equally the one without the latest test data has the same access to the market than the one with the testing, but without the incumbent costs. For example, SIDERISE invests a considerable sum each year on testing its acoustic, fire and thermal insulation solutions. Specifiers will adopt the tick box approach to materials in the sense they will more often than not choose a product for an application, sometimes under time pressure, and one that they recognise to be the right thing.  They are easy prey for businesses, some of whom will do the minimum in terms of certification and testing, with very little evidence to back up their products. Four hour’s fire resistance for a product could have several interpretations. Regulations need to be more descriptive and prescriptive, not just because of time pressures, but also because there is a lack of training and education in matters related to fire.  If you look at the way buildings are constructed there will be an architect, a fire engineer and possibly a façade engineer.  There are sometimes grey areas in terms of who is responsible for what? Some in the chain may be looking to push liability down the line. In other words, who will sign this off? While most manufacturers will have product liability insurance, far fewer will have professional indemnity insurance. SIDERISE carries both, so both our physical product and where necessary, product specific design advice can be given with confidence. When we talk about professional credibility, it’s possible for companies to put products on the market, and because of the gaps in understanding on regulations, or the clever use of marketing words, these products can be completely acceptable and legal, but not fit-for-purpose.  While at SIDERISE, we get asked for our test data on a daily basis; specifiers need an explanation to ensure they come to the right conclusions about what they are reading. Do they want the data for the sake of compliance only to file away, or for the purpose of learning something about what they are using? There needs to be a checklist of questions about the products they are going to specify. Has the product got this rating? Are they understood?  Have they got the correct data and is it up to date? So when it comes to competitive credibility, if you want to make a fair comparison between products you need to look at whether the product has any provenance. What is the history of the product? What testing is behind the specific product? And is the testing current?  Only when a specifier looks beyond a checklist will they be able to specify products which are fit-for-purpose. For further information about SIDERISE or for specific technical advice visit: www.siderise.com, or call 01656 730833   **( by Chris Hall – Commercial Development Officer, SIDERISE)

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RLB UK Announces New Partner

Rider Levett Bucknall UK (RLB UK), the leading independent construction, property and management consultant, has appointed David Litherland, the industry expert and previous Deloitte Real Estate Director, as its new Partner. He will be in charge of RLB Manchester’s cost management team, together with the existing Partner, Ilyas Patel. David has an experience of over 38 years in the construction industry for both the public and the private capital investments. He has previously held a few senior management positions, such as being the director at Hargreaves Jones, EC Harris, Arcadis, AYH PLC, and Deloitte Real Estate. He commented on this new partnership that he is “delighted to be joining RLB in Manchester at such an exciting time. I’m looking forward to working with the team who are supporting some really innovative projects for clients including several significant Private Rental Sector schemes in Manchester and Liverpool as well as a number of landmark regional projects.” Russel Bolton, Managing Partner at RLB in Manchester, also said that the company is happy to welcome David into their team at Manchester. “David’s wealth of knowledge and experience across the commercial and residential sectors – particularly in the hotel market – will be a great asset to our customers and our business as a whole. As we head into 2018, our team here in Manchester is now double the size it was a year ago as we continue to grow our business across the region.” Rider Levett Bucknall is an independent construction, property, and management consultant, providing advice focused on the cost, quality, and sustainability of the built environment. Founded in 1962, the company currently has over 3,600 staff operating from more than 120 offices worldwide. It is a global leader in the market and due to its international reach it can provide services in accordance with the latest innovations and examples of best practice in sectors such as commercial, education, sport, infrastructure, retail, and residential.

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