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February 19, 2018

Haven Power slams government plans for early capacity market

Haven Power has slammed government plans to bring the next capacity auction forward, arguing that it could cost consumers around 7 per cent of their total bill. The capacity auction in January 2017 would provide supplemental balancing reserve (SBR) and demand-side balancing reserve (DSBR) for delivery in

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LED report casts light on its effects on humans

16 May 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal Human reaction to light sources should be a primary factor in deciding to deploy them, not just efficiency or cost, according to a report about people’s responses to LED lighting.   The report, commissioned by the Society of Light and Lighting (SLL), part

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Government confirms the end of subsidies for UK onshore wind

ClickGreen 8th October 2015 The Government is pushing ahead with its pledge to end public subsidies for onshore wind farms, by closing the Renewables Obligation scheme across Great Britain from the beginning of next April. In amendments to the Energy Bill the Government has set out the grace period criteria,

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Waterloo International rebuild set to start

Network Rail has revealed details of its £800m investment at London Waterloo station to bring the former Eurostar terminal back into use. London Waterloo is Britain’s busiest railway station. The number of passenger journeys has more than doubled in the last 20 years to 234 million per year, and further

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Residential: A modern modular solution

2 July 2016 – by Neil Tague Next-generation modular housing is on the march, but can its champions overcome the historic conservatism of insurers, funders and house buyers? Necessity is the mother of invention. With demand for homes far exceeding supply, rising costs and limited availability of land, the gauntlet

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RSS tests lifting beams at Crossrail

Rope and Sling Specialists Ltd. (RSS) has completed proof tests on three runway beams at the Durward Street shaft site, part of Contract C512, a main station contract worth £110m, awarded as part of Crossrail, Europe’s largest infrastructure scheme. RSS accepted a scope of work to test newly installed, temporary

Read More »

DHF produces comprehensive guide to benefits of complete Timber Doorsets

Door & Hardware Federation’s (DHF) Timber Doorset Group has produced a comprehensive guide to the benefits of ‘factory prepared complete timber doorsets’.  The group actively promotes the commercial and legal benefits of specifying complete timber doorsets, as opposed to purchasing individual components from various sources; they are then made up

Read More »

John Elliott on Land Banking

John Elliott, Managing Director of Millwood Designer Homes, has decided to share his views and discuss the recent Government claims on house builders land banking in the UK. He explains that land banking is usually associated “with the claim that house builders deliberately hold onto land after being granted planning

Read More »

Why Hire an Architect?

Your house is probably your biggest investment, so when you think about refurbishing it or brining a few changes to it, why not hire a professional to help you with it? An architect can make sure that your vision becomes reality and Lonsdale Patent Glazing & Rooflights is giving you

Read More »

Latest Issue

BDC 319 : Aug 2024

February 19, 2018

Haven Power slams government plans for early capacity market

Haven Power has slammed government plans to bring the next capacity auction forward, arguing that it could cost consumers around 7 per cent of their total bill. The capacity auction in January 2017 would provide supplemental balancing reserve (SBR) and demand-side balancing reserve (DSBR) for delivery in the same year as opposed to 2018/19. Haven Power said that energy customers must be made aware of the cost of the plans by the government and other suppliers. The business supplier’s chief executive Peter Bennell told Utility Week: “The costs of this [early capacity auction in January 2017] could fall on customers at 6 or 7 per cent of the whole bill. “We are trying to make customers aware of this, get them asking the right questions to avoid them getting a nasty shock. Other suppliers and the government should do the same, because at the moment it doesn’t seem like business or domestic customers are very aware.” The government announced that it was considering reforms to the capacity market this month to “guarantee our long-term energy security”, which included the start of the capacity market being brought forward one year to January 2017. Energy secretary Amber Rudd said: “The capacity market has driven down costs and secured energy at the lowest possible price for bill-payers, but I’m taking further action to tackle the legacy of under-investment and ensure our country’s long-term energy security. “By buying more capacity earlier we will protect consumers and businesses from avoidable spikes in energy costs.” Source link

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LED report casts light on its effects on humans

16 May 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal Human reaction to light sources should be a primary factor in deciding to deploy them, not just efficiency or cost, according to a report about people’s responses to LED lighting.   The report, commissioned by the Society of Light and Lighting (SLL), part of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), and produced by Public Health England, is intended to provide data on the positive and negative effects of exposure to LED light sources. It found that LED solutions are valid energy-efficient options compared with other available light sources because their stated performance is generally accurate, and that none of the LEDs tested presented a risk of retinal damage when used properly. Research also concluded that designers should consider the LED as part of the whole light fixture and the environment in which it is used to determine if it is suitable – a factor that is as important as the price of the LED or its efficiency.  Jeff Shaw, president-elect of the Society of Light and Lighting, said: “This report is a valuable collection of data that will be extremely useful in enabling both the public and private sector to make informed choices when looking to procure LED lighting solutions and promote energy efficiency.” He said LED technology had advanced enormously in the past 10 years, but there were still a lot of things to consider when deciding which solution is best in each case, and how to deliver it. “What this report highlights is the need to consult a properly trained and qualified designer or engineer using the latest guidance to get the most out of an LED solution, and to ensure it is the best choice for people and the environment,” he added. Cost was shown to have no significant impact on the flicker or colour rendering of the lamp, but there are potential issues surrounding LED lights that must be factored in when deciding where they should be used, and what kind of fixture is most appropriate for them. Human Responses To Lighting Based On LED Lighting Solutions can be found here.   Source link

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Government confirms the end of subsidies for UK onshore wind

ClickGreen 8th October 2015 The Government is pushing ahead with its pledge to end public subsidies for onshore wind farms, by closing the Renewables Obligation scheme across Great Britain from the beginning of next April. In amendments to the Energy Bill the Government has set out the grace period criteria, which it claims should provide some certainty for investors. It estimates that around 2.9GW of onshore wind capacity will be eligible for the grace periods. The projects that are eligible for the grace period will need to demonstrate either that they had planning consent as at 18 June; that they have successfully appealed a planning refusal made on or before 18 June; or that they have successfully appealed after not receiving a planning decision due by 18 June. They will also need to show that they had a grid connection and land rights in place. Projects that have met all these criteria and can demonstrate that they have struggled to secure finance from lenders since 18 June will be allowed extra time but no longer than nine months. In total, the Government claims the amount of onshore wind capacity that could be deployed by 2020 is still 12.3GW to ensure the nation meets its renewable energy commitments. Energy Minister Lord Bourne said: “We have a long-term plan to keep the lights on and our homes warm, power the economy with cleaner energy, and keep bills as low as possible for hard-working families and businesses. “To do this we will help technologies stand on their own two feet, not encourage a reliance on public subsidies. By bringing forward these amendments we are protecting bill payers whilst meeting our renewable energy commitments.” Source link

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Waterloo International rebuild set to start

Network Rail has revealed details of its £800m investment at London Waterloo station to bring the former Eurostar terminal back into use. London Waterloo is Britain’s busiest railway station. The number of passenger journeys has more than doubled in the last 20 years to 234 million per year, and further growth of 40% by 2043 is forecast.  The planned works are expected to provide a 30% increase in peak time capacity by 2019. A Skanska-led consortium including Colas Rail, Aecom and Mott MacDonald was selected for the project last year. They begin work on site this month. The former Waterloo International Terminal will be rebuilt, allowing platforms 20-24 to be brought back into use with modern facilities, new track and signalling and a layout suitable for domestic passengers. Platforms 1 to 4 will be extended to allow longer 10-car trains to run to London suburban stations. This work will take place during August 2017. A new station concourse near platforms 20-24 will also be built to make more space.     Waterloo International was designed by architect Nick Grimshaw and built by Bovis for £120m but had a short life. It opened in 1994 as the London terminus for Eurostar international train services. It was closed in 2007, after just 13 years of service, when the High Speed 1 Channel tunnel rail link opened and St Pancras and Stratford become the London stations for Eurostar. Further Images This article was published on 24 Mar 2016 (last updated on 24 Mar 2016). Source link

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Residential: A modern modular solution

2 July 2016 – by Neil Tague Next-generation modular housing is on the march, but can its champions overcome the historic conservatism of insurers, funders and house buyers? Necessity is the mother of invention. With demand for homes far exceeding supply, rising costs and limited availability of land, the gauntlet has been thrown down for the industry to innovate. Step forward modular housing, which is developed off site and brought to the site in ready-formed pieces (see box). It is not a new idea but it is a niche one and a concept that hasn’t always found favour with investors, insurers and mortgage lenders. Could it work on a larger scale and win over sceptics? Some heavyweights entering the market think it can. In February 2016, Legal & General announced it was to invest £55m in setting up a modular housing factory in a 550,000 sq ft Leeds warehouse. Similarly, Laing O’Rourke announced a £125m investment in offsite building. Gavin White, director of structural engineer Ramboll, says: “Housebuilders are under increased government pressure to deliver homes more quickly and to a better quality – two of the key strengths of modular home building. Working offsite can lead to superior quality of finish, economy of scale, increased productivity and safer construction.” The shorter on-site construction period means lower costs. Schemes already under way demonstrate the savings to be made. For example, the Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners-designed luxury Merano Residences on the South Bank in London saved nearly 10 weeks on a 12-month build using off-site manufacture (see box). Other advantages to modular housing include reduced onsite wastage and more accurate costing, says Peter Huf, lead architect at HUF HAUS UK. “Through thoughtful engineering, modular affords the opportunity to eliminate the majority of the challenges commonly associated with traditional build,” says Huf. It is a manufacturing solution to a construction problem – and if there’s been one area the UK government has favoured with high praise and hefty funding since 2010, it is manufacturing. Nick Whitten, associate director at JLL, says: “A hundred years ago, Henry Ford built the first assembly line and revolutionised the way cars were built. Manufacturing workers are between 1.5 and two times more efficient than construction workers, and with build cost inflation at 5-6%, the industry needs innovation.” Then there is the construction skills problem. Too few young people are joining the industry, pushing up wages and overall construction costs. All the content from this weekís magazine, including this article, is available in the new app. Richard Hyams of architectural firm AStudio, who has launched a new business, 63000Homes, says: “The twin problems facing UK society are a lack of homes, and a skills and jobs issue. Wouldn’t it be beautiful to tackle the two together? Out of crisis comes innovation. The tenure range is broadening, there are self-build projects, PRS is rising – it’s an exciting time. The old ways are no longer meeting housing need.” All this is fine – but ultimately, it is the suits who will determine how far this will go. If the funders, insurers and mortgage providers are not convinced by the modular movement, it will limit its application. Mark Farmer, chief executive of residential consultancy Cast, says: “The reality is that with new warranty products available and an improving awareness in the debt and investment finance sectors of the benefits of a pre-manufactured approach, innovative approaches no longer have to be risky. Historic problems securing mortgages and developers obtaining development financing for pre-manufactured housing are starting to be overcome.” Circle Housing’s Jerry Harkness, who is head of construction and design at the housing association, says it wouldn’t use any modular system that didn’t have an insurance-backed guarantee. “We’ve got to be able to sell it. It’s got to be robust, designed thoroughly to last as long and perform as well as any other new dwelling,” he says. From an investor’s point of view, there are advantages. Adam Jaffe, originator at Investec, wrote in EG in April that Investec would be “delighted” to fund modular projects, saying that the de-risking of construction is a huge plus. It’s easy to see why – the banks stand to get their money back faster, for one thing. If a given modular system is approved by the relevant bodies, the way is clear. Another potential hurdle is one of cultural change. The British house buyer is a conservative breed – for every funky Passivhaus in the broadsheet supplements, a thousand buyers will plump for a bog-standard brick semi. However, the utter starkness of the housing shortage might be leading more people to consider something different. It’s not like modular houses even look that different nowadays. Ian Killick, director at architect shedkm, says: “Visually, once the buildings are in place, it is very difficult to tell how they have been made. The first hurdle we faced was the mortgage providers, but once they saw the quality, they were all happy to back it.” Technology has advanced, and modern products are a world apart from the system-build horror stories of old. Modular schemes using materials such as cross-laminated timber have seen a surge in uptake, thanks to their now-proven track record in delivering cost-effective, attractive buildings. And 3D software can help with design and assembly processes. How L&G and Laing O’Rourke’s schemes progress will no doubt be a litmus test for modular construction on a bigger scale. They have the weight to make this work, because in manufacturing, scalability is key. Modular construction techniques could also allow homes to be added on to existing buildings or above transport nodes (see panel). There is a strong impetus from the industry and plenty of opportunity and potential application. If British home owners buy into it, it is an idea that could really take off. Source link

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Alumasc protection helps former World War II decoy bunker become a holiday home

Added Green Roof protection for former WWII bunker with Blackdown Green Roof and Derbigum Waterproofing Originally built in 1941 as a special decoy target for German bombers, The Decoy Bunker is tucked away in the rolling hillsides of Monmouthshire and has been fully restored as a unique holiday home. As the bunker had to blend directly into the hillside, a highly durable waterproofing system was needed to provide full protection against water travelling down from the surrounding landscape: a green roof waterproofing solution that would provide the desired ‘camouflage’ effect by using the existing soil and grass from the surrounding landscape. Alumasc’s Registered Contractors Span Roofing installed Blackdown Greenroof Drainage Layers, Intensive Substrate and Washed Pebble Ballast to finish the green roof. A Derbigum Black Anti-Root Built-Up System sits below the green roof and provides a highly reliable waterproofing solution and maximum peace of mind for the future, as the Derbigum system holds 40-year durability certification with the BBA (British Board of Agrément). To find out more about Derbigum Waterproofing Membranes click here, for more Green Roof Information click here.   Further details about Alumasc’s full range of waterproofing systems can be found at www.alumascroofing.co.uk or call the Alumasc technical team on 03335 771 500.

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RSS tests lifting beams at Crossrail

Rope and Sling Specialists Ltd. (RSS) has completed proof tests on three runway beams at the Durward Street shaft site, part of Contract C512, a main station contract worth £110m, awarded as part of Crossrail, Europe’s largest infrastructure scheme. RSS accepted a scope of work to test newly installed, temporary beams at two locations—Levels 1 and 3—that will be used to lower parts for escalator installations. This part of the project principally covers the implementation of internal and external walls alongside new staircases, escalators, and lifts for passengers to get to and from platforms. At Level 3, RSS performed a 4t proof load test on a 3.2t working load limit (WLL) beam, while the assignment at Level 1 involved a gantry system comprising two beams that provide a total lifting capacity of 8t. Each beam had a proof load of 5t applied for the tests, which were covered by Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) and will be subject to six-monthly inspections for the duration of the project. The gantry system at Level 1 is used at an incline for moving escalators into place. Graham Dawson, RSS depot manager, explained that the beams were all the same depth and width but different lengths. The beam on Level 3 was a 5.25m x 457 x 152 beam; at Level 1, the first beam was 13m x 457 x 152 and the second was 10.85m x 457 x 152. To conduct the tests, the Level 3 beam was fixed via bolts to a concrete floor, whereas brackets and strong backs combined at the other location, Dawson said. He added: “We had already spec’d the job two days earlier; we were onsite over a three-week period to conduct six-monthly LOLER tests on the project’s lifting gear. Ian [Thompson, RSS engineer / surveyor] and I were asked to complete the work at Level 3 first, as the pulling plate had been installed onto the floor in advance. The plate was used on three beams; we took measurements of the beam for the deflection readings, and checked the fixings to make sure they were correctly installed.” Once an exclusion zone was in place the RSS team installed a trolley, 5t chain block, 5.3t collar chain, and load cell via shackles to complete the test. The Straightpoint (SP) 10t capacity wired load cell was utilised with a Handheld plus reader, while a Leica laser-measuring device read beam deflections. The first deflection reading was taken from the floor to the beam, before various loads were put on the beam and subsequent readings recorded. The process was repeated at Level 1. Upon completion of the tests four electric chain hoists and trolleys, sourced from RSS, were attached to the beam for lowering of the escalators. Connecting the City, Canary Wharf, the West End and Heathrow Airport to commuter areas east and west of London, Crossrail is a major new rail link project designed to provide a world-class, affordable railway with high frequency, convenient and accessible services across the capital. BBMV, the joint venture encompassing Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall and VINCI Construction, will be constructing the project in three distinct parts including refurbishment of the existing Whitechapel Station in the Hammersmith & City and District Line cutting, the new station bridge concourse above the East London Line cutting and the new ticket hall behind the retained building fronting on Whitechapel Road.  

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DHF produces comprehensive guide to benefits of complete Timber Doorsets

Door & Hardware Federation’s (DHF) Timber Doorset Group has produced a comprehensive guide to the benefits of ‘factory prepared complete timber doorsets’.  The group actively promotes the commercial and legal benefits of specifying complete timber doorsets, as opposed to purchasing individual components from various sources; they are then made up on site.  And with an all-inclusive list of benefits now available in an easy-to-download publication, it is anticipated that building professionals such as specifiers, architects and contractors will achieve a wider understanding and recognise the advantages to purchasing a complete product, including those involved in the modular build market. The new DHF publication lists the many benefits of choosing a complete timber doorset, primarily, that these products derive from one single source of supply, are quality-controlled products and will ultimately, result in cost-savings as all necessary items are included.  In addition, using a complete timber doorset is a greener option, as they are engineered for energy efficiency and sustainability. “In everyone’s minds, recent events have brought to the fore, the premise that a poorly fitted door, or one that has had the integrity compromised, can be a liability,” explains DHF Marketing Manager, Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens.  “DHF believes that installing a complete doorset that has been tested as a complete unit, manufactured under a third-party certification scheme, installed and maintained by a company certified to do so under third-party certification, provides peace of mind, reduced installation time and ultimately, costs. “It is a ‘no fuss’ solution, with no need to purchase separate components as everything is included.  In addition, complete doorsets can be installed later in the building process, reducing the risk of on-site damage whilst works are on-going and are a perfect solution for modular builds.  There are so many advantages to purchasing a complete doorset and we believe that DHF’s latest publication will enable a greater understanding of the benefits of selecting these products.”

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John Elliott on Land Banking

John Elliott, Managing Director of Millwood Designer Homes, has decided to share his views and discuss the recent Government claims on house builders land banking in the UK. He explains that land banking is usually associated “with the claim that house builders deliberately hold onto land after being granted planning permission for commercial benefit or profit, if house prices increase”. However, accusing developers of storing up land is not the right way to tackle the current housing market. Unfortunately, this is exactly what the Government and the Mayor of London have been doing in recent months. John said that together with Millwood they are always on the lookout for more land in Kent, Sussex and further into Surrey. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government ordered a review that will look into the gap between planning permissions granted and the number of new homes being built, hoping to find out why more homes are not being delivered. Even though the Government has planned to increase the supply of new homes over the next few years, John believes that “the starting point for this will be delivering more land with consent in the right places. The South East continues to perform extremely well and more Londoners are exiting the capital and moving to the Home Counties. If this is where people want to live and are areas where demand is currently outweighing supply, the Government need to do more to provide the land for house builders to meet strong buyer demand.” What he believes is the reason behind this issue is the amount of “conditions that come with the consent as well as utility companies sometimes taking months before they start work, these are typically the primary causes of the delay, which can drag on, in some cases up to 2 years after planning consent is formally granted.”

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Why Hire an Architect?

Your house is probably your biggest investment, so when you think about refurbishing it or brining a few changes to it, why not hire a professional to help you with it? An architect can make sure that your vision becomes reality and Lonsdale Patent Glazing & Rooflights is giving you a few more reasons to employ a creative professional. 1. Peace of mind An architect spends many years in education, learning and perfecting the skills required to succeed. All architects are registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and if they follow a further set of requirements, they gain recognition by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). By choosing a professional you know that the correct insurance and management systems are in place throughout the process. 2. Creative design If you’re looking for an original and outstanding concept, then you must employ an architect. The creative eye of an architect will produce superior designs maximising space, light and symmetry truly capturing the essence of the building and catering to the needs of the homeowner. 3. Efficient budgeting Without the advice of a professional, the costs can easily spiral out of control, so when hiring an architect you not only get someone creative, but you get someone who knows how to be efficient. A good architect will advise you on necessities and suggest cost savings where possible, while making sure that you understand the confusing quotations from builders and suppliers. 4. Risk management Architects can advise on hiring suitable contractors and draft a contract that ensures work is carried out to the required building regulations, high quality and delivered on time. This way, you will avoid unwanted and unexpected extra costs and you will know exactly how much you are investing and when. Lonsdale Patent Glazing & Rooflights encourage the highest standards within the construction industry, ensuring clients receive the best possible experience from beginning until the end of their project. Get in touch for advice about how rooflights can enhance your building and to find your nearest RIBA architect use this useful search tool at https://find-an-architect.architecture.com/FAAHome.aspx.

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