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June 11, 2018

CITB commended for health and safety app

CITB has been commended for its CDM Wizard app. The team behind the app received its recognition at the prestigious Construction Health and Safety Group (CHSG) Annual Awards in London in March. The commendation was for the Beaufort Award – a trophy awarded to an individual or company for implementing

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BTL mortgage sales see 3% rise in June

BTL mortgage sales see 3% rise in June The latest data from Equifax Touchstone has found that during June, sales of buy-to-let mortgages increased by 3.0% against the previous month, reaching £2.7bn. However, compared to the same period last year, sales were actually down 28.6% (-£1.1bn). Residential mortgage sales hit

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Thames Water Had to Pay £120m for Leaks

Thames Water’s directors were found to not have enough oversight and control of the company’s leakage performance, with the company losing approximately 25% of all water that it treats and puts into its system. For its mistakes, Thames Water agreed to pay £65 million back to customers on top of

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Versatile Equipment Completes Supply Contract for Knights Brown

Versatile Equipment, a Kent-based sales and rental specialist, and Knights Brown have completed a major supply agreement, which saw Versatile provide the full-service construction business with give TA10P heavy-duty Mecalac forward-tip site dumper units. Each dumper was fitted with green flashing seatbelt beacons and road light kits for legal highway

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Heathrow expansion to go modular

Cabinet ministers have backed initial proposals for a new runway at Heathrow Airport, claiming it is an “historic moment”. As MPs prepare to vote on the plans ahead of the July 11 deadline, Paul Meagh, electrical and instrumentation services director at engineering solutions provider Boulting Ltd, explores how a modular

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Autonomous Driving: A Nod to Safer Construction

Autonomous driving could be the answer to the 10% fatality rate on construction sites caused by moving vehicles. The autonomous function is now moving beyond just passenger cars and transportation vehicles and expanding into the various sectors. The construction industry welcomes this exciting new addition to the fleet. Here’s what to look

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Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

June 11, 2018

CITB commended for health and safety app

CITB has been commended for its CDM Wizard app. The team behind the app received its recognition at the prestigious Construction Health and Safety Group (CHSG) Annual Awards in London in March. The commendation was for the Beaufort Award – a trophy awarded to an individual or company for implementing a new device or method of working that prevents accidents in construction. The CDM Wizard app, which has been downloaded over 50,000 times since its launch last year, has had rave reviews by people from across the industry. Professor Iain Cameron said, “It makes a tough-looking task straightforward and achievable,” while others have described it as “very easy to use” and a “very useful and productive app.” Kevin Fear, Health and Safety Strategy Lead at CITB, said:“Winning this award is great promotion for the app. The app is getting seen by the people who will benefit from it and therefore ensuring individuals in the industry are safe and healthy on site – that’s the important thing.” The CDM Wizard app has been successful in reaching small businesses working on domestic projects as well as larger employers. The app has also attracted use from colleges, universities and major contractors.  Source link

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BTL mortgage sales see 3% rise in June

BTL mortgage sales see 3% rise in June The latest data from Equifax Touchstone has found that during June, sales of buy-to-let mortgages increased by 3.0% against the previous month, reaching £2.7bn. However, compared to the same period last year, sales were actually down 28.6% (-£1.1bn). Residential mortgage sales hit another post-2008 high, growing by 2.6% on the previous month to £13.2bn. Year-on-year, residential sales were up 4.4% with a value increase of £560m. However, the rate of growth is slowing both in the short and long term; May’s growth rate was 1.5% lower than in June, while year-on-year growth was 16.5%, down 0.4% from the May year-on-year comparison.   For residential and buy-to-let mortgage sales combined, Northern Ireland was the strongest region for sales growth for the third month in a row, with sales up 11.3% on May. Meanwhile London saw the biggest decline in sales during the month, dropping 3.8% on the previous month. The data from Equifax Touchstone, which covers 92% of the intermediated lending market, shows that the average value of a residential mortgage in June was £191,577 (2015: £185,553), and £161,102 for buy-to-let (2015: £156,584). Iain Hill, Relationship Manager, at Equifax Touchstone, said: “June was another strong month for mortgage sales, despite an anticipated drop ahead of the EU referendum. Now an exit has become a reality, the really interesting stats to watch will be the July sales. There are a myriad of factors affecting house buying decisions and people will be weighing these up very carefully before deciding to take the plunge. The market is expecting sales to fall, but the extent of the impact is much harder to predict. We anticipate that lenders will react quickly and decisively to support sales, encouraging buyers with competitive new deals at lower rates.” Source link

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Thames Water Had to Pay £120m for Leaks

Thames Water’s directors were found to not have enough oversight and control of the company’s leakage performance, with the company losing approximately 25% of all water that it treats and puts into its system. For its mistakes, Thames Water agreed to pay £65 million back to customers on top of £55 million in automatic penalties leakage. Moreover, the company has committed to getting its leakage performance back in line with what it has previously promised it will deliver for its customers in 2019-2020. It will publish its performance each month in tackling leaks, appoint an independent monitor to certify the information in its monthly leakage reports and make addition reductions of 15% by 2025. “High leakage creates unnecessary strain on the environment, excess costs for customers and increased risk of water shortages. A well-run water company will have a good understanding of the condition of its pipes and will be able to reduce leakage over time. Ofwat has set all water companies a target of bringing down leakage by at least another 15% up to 2025 and expects further reductions beyond this date. Thames has assured us that they now have a grip on the leakage situation, but this should serve as a catalyst for the company to improve how it delivers on its wider commitments to customers,” said Ofwat chief executive, Rachel Fletcher. Thames Water will be now investing record amounts in personnel and infrastructure to find and fix leakage, including using the latest technology. However, the company pointed out that big water companies are in no better of a situation, with United Utilities having leakage rates of 25%, Severn Trent of 23% and Yorkshire Water of 23% as well. “Reducing leakage is really important to us and to our customers. We met our leakage targets for a decade but our recent performance has not been good enough. We let our customers down and for that we’re sorry. We have taken more control of how we manage the network and are investing significantly more in people and resources to tackle leakage, get back on track and then go beyond. Thanks to these changes already in place, our current leakage repair performance is our best ever at around 1,000 a week,” said Steve Robertson, Thames Water chief executive.

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Versatile Equipment Completes Supply Contract for Knights Brown

Versatile Equipment, a Kent-based sales and rental specialist, and Knights Brown have completed a major supply agreement, which saw Versatile provide the full-service construction business with give TA10P heavy-duty Mecalac forward-tip site dumper units. Each dumper was fitted with green flashing seatbelt beacons and road light kits for legal highway travel. “With the Knights Brown agreement, a one-size-fits-all solution simply wouldn’t cut it. With projects spanning highly diverse sectors including energy, aerospace, defence and utilities, equipment flexibility was key,” said Richard Young, Area Sales Manager at Versatile Equipment. “Thanks to Mecalac’s extensive range, we could offer a solution for every application. What’s more, thanks to rental-tough design and heavy-duty fabrication, each model offered dependability for the future,” he added. Manufactured and liveried at the Mecalac Construction UK headquarters in Coventry, the units were delivered ahead of schedule and ready for immediate operation. “When it came to updating our fleet, three things were essential – performance, efficiency and safety. Mecalac offered the complete package and, through Versatile Equipment, delivered above and beyond our expectations,” said Scott Best, Plant Manager at Knights Brown. “Now operational nationwide, the Mecalac units are already improving job site efficiencies and setting the standard for operator safety. A few innovative technologies, such as start stop and Capture telematics make fleet management easy – low fuel costs, simple servicing,” he continued. Knights Brown is a privately owned, full service, regional construction business with specialist energy sector capability delivered nationwide and in the ROI. The company operates in the following sectors: airports, buildings, coasts, rivers & ports, defence, energy, infra & public realm, waste and water. Versatile Equipment sell, hire, support and service a comprehensive range of Caterpillar Compact Equipment, Mecalac Products (formerly Terex) and Avant Loaders. A core aspect of Versatile Equipment’s business ethic is that the client gets the best – the best advice, the best service and the best machine for the job whether it is a CAT compact, a Mecalac Site Dumper or an Avant Loader.

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Heathrow expansion to go modular

Cabinet ministers have backed initial proposals for a new runway at Heathrow Airport, claiming it is an “historic moment”. As MPs prepare to vote on the plans ahead of the July 11 deadline, Paul Meagh, electrical and instrumentation services director at engineering solutions provider Boulting Ltd, explores how a modular build will benefit the £14 billion project.   Modularisation is not a new concept and has been used by construction and engineering firms for several years as a way of reducing the complexity surrounding the build or refurbishment of a project.   For many years, modular construction was thought to be largely box-type structures, providing a bare frame to accommodate construction site workers, large classrooms and residential homes. While the concept still provides benefit for these uses, more and more engineering projects, including the expansion of Heathrow airport, are incorporating the concept into their build as a way of minimising both cost and disruption to the client and end user.   The recent announcement by the UK cabinet about the proposed expansion of Heathrow airport has been welcomed by many, including ourselves. The expansion is estimated to create 60,000 new jobs and generate £70 billion in total economic benefits by 2050. While the site itself is in London, Heathrow plans to use the expansion to drive growth in off-site construction across the country.   If the vote is successful, a total of four offsite construction and manufacturing hubs will be established across the country, allowing for pre-assembled components to be constructed prior to installation at the new runway. These sites will create thousands of new jobs outside of London, ensuring that more than just the capital city benefits from the expansion.   At Boulting, we have 15 years of experience working with modular builds, part of which includes the design, fabrication and installation of the rail station services at Heathrow’s terminal 5. A total of 75 per cent of the project was modularised, enabling us to remove a vast amount of site activity to the controlled environment of a workshop. In addition to minimising disruption to the airport, modularisation improved the overall quality of the project and site safety while reducing the number of site man hours required and total time of the project.   Constructing on a dedicated fabrication site, such as Boulting’s facility in St Helens, overcomes these issues as the infrastructure is already in place. Experienced labourers are also at hand to build, test and commission a facility before shipping and erecting in its final location, ensuring a quicker and more cost-effective solution.   If the expansion of Heathrow airport is given the green light, its use of modularisation will be one of the largest in the UK. While the concept does have multiple benefits, the decision to use it should not be rushed and all factors should be carefully considered. Working with a leading provider of prefabrication and modularisation services, such as Boulting, can ensure the right decision is made for the project in the most efficient way possible.

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Autonomous Driving: A Nod to Safer Construction

Autonomous driving could be the answer to the 10% fatality rate on construction sites caused by moving vehicles. The autonomous function is now moving beyond just passenger cars and transportation vehicles and expanding into the various sectors. The construction industry welcomes this exciting new addition to the fleet. Here’s what to look forward to. The Future Is Here While it may seem as though manufacturers are still working out the teething issues in autonomous technology, the future is on our doorstep and 22 states in the U.S. have already passed legislation detailing the legalities of autonomous vehicles. This legislation is the beginning of the end of driving as we know it and the construction industry is hot on the heels of passenger cars and taxis for their piece of autonomous pie. From mining vehicles to dozers, those in the industry estimate these heavyweights to start making their appearance within the next decade. New Hope For Construction Workers Construction workers, and especially those working on the roads, often have to face dangerous situations to get the job done. Impact protection vehicles were designed to prevent collisions with the workers by featuring a crumple zone made for impact. Previously, these vehicles still needed a driver but thanks to autonomous technology, drivers are also now spared from potential impact. The Ability To Pick and Choose While the construction industry still needs to wait in line for its share of driverless vehicles, by the time they arrive on the scene, the passenger and transportation motoring world will already be flooded with used vehicles looking for a new owner. The first batch of autonomous vehicles will be around for eight years by the time construction vehicles make their appearance, which means upgrades are inevitable. Autonomous Vehicles Are Just A Part Of It Just when you thought autonomous driving was the only new technology making waves in the construction industry, predictive analytics comes along and swoops every hard hat right off their feet. This technology is a boon for the safety side of a construction site, as the analytics are able to prepare scenarios based on the information provided. Pair that up with autonomous vehicles and construction sites will soon have a 0% work accident rate. Innovative technology paves the way for safer construction sites and creates opportunities where workers feared to tread. The pairing up of technology such as autonomous driving and predictive analytics is a sure way to improve safety ratings at the very least. This will be a decade of growth and possibility for the multi-billion pound construction industry as it awaits the arrival of that driverless bulldozer.

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