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June 14, 2018

NuGen unveils shortlists for Moorside design competitions

NuGen has unveiled the shortlists of two design competitions for its proposed nuclear plant in Cumbria. In January this year NuGen commissioned the Royal Institute of British Architects to come up with designs for a visitors’ centre and office building at Moorside, as well as a train

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Zero-carbon homes set to be reintroduced

The move was made on Monday in the final session of the report stage of the Housing and Planning Bill and will see the reintroduction of the zero-carbon homes standard, which was scrapped by the government last July. Plans to row back on the government’s pledge to make new homes carbon

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CITB names successful bids in latest funding round

CITB has named the successful projects that it will support in its latest round of Flexible and Structured funding. The mix of successful bids includes training to kick-start the careers of under-represented groups, a programme to use drones to reduce health and safety risks in roofing, and upskilling middle managers

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Manufacturer fined after worker was crushed by door

A Worcestershire-based manufacturer was fined after a worker nearly lost his life when a door collapsed and pinned him to a baler. Hereford Magistrates’ Court heard that on 5 May 2015, two maintenance workers were replacing the bottom of a heavy sectional door at the factory. While removing the hinges

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Mixing Modular Construction and Traditional Building

A site in Gateshead will welcome both modular homes and traditionally built houses; therefore potential buyers have the possibility to compare the quality of both methods. Gateshead Innovation Village is a live research project led by housing provider Home Group, which will see a range of houses designs take shape

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University of Hull to Sell Thwaite Hall

The former hall of residence, Thwaite Hall, situated on the corner of Thwaite Street and New Village Road in Cottingham, will be put on the market by the University of Hull. The over 200-years-old property was closed as a hall of residence in August 2017 because of changes in students’

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FINAL BATHROOM PODS INSTALLED FOR OFFSITE SOLUTIONS’ FIRST TIMBER-FRAMED RESIDENTIAL SCHEME

Offsite Solutions, the UK’s leading bathroom pod manufacturer, has supplied the final batch of bathroom pods for its first timber-framed residential development. The project for Renaissance Retirement at Sandhurst in Berkshire is one of three luxury retirement schemes for the developer that are using Offsite Solutions’ high specification, factory-built ensuite

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PRESS-FIT COULD UNLOCK LIFE-SAVING POTENTIAL OF RETROFIT SPRINKLER SYSTEMS

Press-fit technology on modern sprinkler systems can save lives by facilitating quicker, easier and less disruptive installations in existing buildings, says Geberit, despite Dame Judith Hackitt’s omission of mandatory sprinkler installations in her review of Building Regulations and fire safety laws. The Hackitt Review has been criticised for its failure

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Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

June 14, 2018

NuGen unveils shortlists for Moorside design competitions

NuGen has unveiled the shortlists of two design competitions for its proposed nuclear plant in Cumbria. In January this year NuGen commissioned the Royal Institute of British Architects to come up with designs for a visitors’ centre and office building at Moorside, as well as a train station and accommodation for workers at its separate Mirehouse site. The Landscape Institute was similarly tasked with finding designs for “screening mounds” for the nuclear plant.   An independent panel of experts shortlisted five designs for each of the competitions. The eventual winners will get the chance to bid for a contract to help with the design of the nuclear plant. NuGen chief executive Tom Samson said: “We have had an overwhelming response to the competition, both in terms of numbers and the level of creativity in the designs. “The architecture and landscape community have embraced the challenge and have delivered some thoughtful, considered and visually breath-taking proposals for our Moorside Project. We’ve narrowed the entries down to five – but we’re very keen to hear what the public think of our selection.” Source link

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Zero-carbon homes set to be reintroduced

The move was made on Monday in the final session of the report stage of the Housing and Planning Bill and will see the reintroduction of the zero-carbon homes standard, which was scrapped by the government last July. Plans to row back on the government’s pledge to make new homes carbon neutral from 2016 were first mooted in the Infrastructure Bill in 2014. Yet at the time a survey carried out by National Building Specification suggested that 48 per cent of architects, consultants, contractors and clients thought that zero-carbon standards should be made compulsory. The backlash by the Lords, which saw the government defeated by 48 votes, could mean that all new homes built from April 2018 will now have to achieve the carbon compliance standard. The House of Lords also backed an amendment which would see local authorities require developers to build affordable housing on small-scale developments and another which would require all new schemes to include sustainable drainage systems. Commenting on the House of Lords defeat, UK Green Building Council CEO Julie Hirigoyen said: ”During the ten years prior to July 2015, the leading players spanning the housebuilding industry – developers, product manufacturers, contractors and engineers – got behind Zero-Carbon Homes, investing heavily and innovating to make it a reality. ”The unexpected and unwanted scrapping of the policy made a mockery of the government’s green credentials, and demonstrated complete disdain for the quality of the nation’s new homes and the industry’s investment.” She added: ”Having supported the Paris climate agreement with much fanfare, cutting carbon from new homes and buildings will be vital to achieving our commitments. ”Reintroducing the zero-carbon homes standard would be a clear next step on this journey, and would provide the certainty the industry needs to continue investing in new skills and technologies.”     Source link

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CITB names successful bids in latest funding round

CITB has named the successful projects that it will support in its latest round of Flexible and Structured funding. The mix of successful bids includes training to kick-start the careers of under-represented groups, a programme to use drones to reduce health and safety risks in roofing, and upskilling middle managers to boost infrastructure development. A total of 15 industry-led projects have been successful in this latest round, representing a total investment of just under £5M from CITB. This is the second funding announcement since the inception of CITB’s reformed project funding process last autumn. Together with the first window, CITB has committed to supporting 36 projects with a total value of over £12 million. Geeta Nathan, Head of Economic Analysis at CITB, says: “I am excited to announce the latest round of industry-led projects that will receive support from CITB. These high-calibre applicants have the potential to transform the industry and change the lives of many individuals, and we are pleased to be supporting them with industry investment. “It’s inspiring to think of the impact these projects may have not only in the near future but also in years to come.” The projects will run in various locations throughout Great Britain. Four are to be led by federations, the remaining nine by employers. Liverpool-based roofers Lacy Roofing will receive £15,000 in funding over 12 months to train five members of staff to fly drones to the Civil Aviation Authority standard. Robots for Roofing is the first project of its kind to receive CITB funding and has the potential to drastically reduce the risks to workers’ health and safety on site. Roofers will be trained to use drones to carry out surveys and find faults, rather than getting up on the roof itself to carry out these tasks. If the pilot project is successful, it could be rolled out across the industry. The purpose of this is to negate the need for staff to work at extreme height whist carrying out fault finding and surveys of roof works. This area of working at heights is a high risk and we look to reduce staff working at height, thereby negate the risk apportioned to them. Just under half a million pounds has been committed to a project led by Mitie Property Services to train and support 60 adults with high-functioning autism or similar disabilities, who want to work in construction. The funds will be used to expand an existing project, which developed a bespoke training and work experience programme for a young autistic man who contacted Mitie seeking his first job in the industry. Mitie will work in partnership with the National Autistic Society, Remploy, Geason Training and three other CITB-registered construction companies – ASC Scaffolding, Graham Roofing and RL Scaffolding to deliver the programme. CITB has also approved a bid by Kier for just under £210,000 over 18 months to promote the construction sector to career changers and under-represented groups. The project is a collaborative partnership between Kier, Midas Construction and ISG and their supply chains, in direct response to the construction employment challenges in the South West, which faces existing skills shortages and significant projects planned or underway. The project will be supported by the South Devon College, Plymouth Construction Employers Group and South West Women in Construction. CECA will receive £1.1m over three years for a new Infrastructure Development Programme. The funding will be used to develop a framework that will cover specialist knowledge and competencies required by middle managers in the UK infrastructure sector. Once developed, the framework can be rolled out consistently across the UK for all future training. It’s estimated that at least 7,000 individuals will be trained under the new framework over the course of the three year funding window.   To see the full list of successful bids for this round, please visit: http://www.citb.co.uk/fundingoutcomes The next opportunity to apply for Flexible and Structured Funding is now open. To find out how to apply, check out: http://www.citb.co.uk/funds Source link

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Manufacturer fined after worker was crushed by door

A Worcestershire-based manufacturer was fined after a worker nearly lost his life when a door collapsed and pinned him to a baler. Hereford Magistrates’ Court heard that on 5 May 2015, two maintenance workers were replacing the bottom of a heavy sectional door at the factory. While removing the hinges and brackets the door collapsed, pinning one of the workers between it and a baler that was next to the door. The worker suffered serious injuries including broken ribs and asphyxiation which led to a lost of consciousness for eight hours. He has since made a full recovery. HSE investigated the incident and found that managers had failed to recognise the risks involved in the maintenance work that was taking place. There was no appropriate equipment, instruction or training provided to the workers to ensure the method of work was safe. Essential Supply Products Limited of Enigma Business Park in Malvern pleaded guilty to Section 2(1) Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £2,714.10 in costs. For more information on safe maintenance visit HSE’s website – http://www.hse.gov.uk/safemaintenance/index.htm Notes to editors  The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/  and guidance at HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk       Journalists should approach HSE press office with any queries on regional press releases. Source link

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Dads can look forward to a relaxing Father’s Day, according to FMB research

Dads across the country can expect a well-deserved break this Father’s Day as new research shows that most millennials are tackling practical jobs around the home, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). The latest research by the FMB shows that despite well over half (57%) of Brits thinking that millennials are hopeless when it comes to DIY and other practical tasks, the following shows the top ten jobs 18-34 year olds have completed: 1) 70% have defrosted a freezer; 2) 66% have hung pictures or photo frames on a wall; 3) 63% have put together flat-pack furniture; 4) 58% have painted a wall or piece of furniture; 5) 57% have hung curtains; 6) 49% have watched a DIY ‘how to’ video; 7) 48% have sewn a button; 8) 44% have bled a radiator; 9) 43% have changed a fuse in a plug; 10) 36% have put up a shelf.   Commenting on the research, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “There’s a popular misconception that most young people rely on their mothers and fathers to complete jobs around the house for them because they lack the interest or knowhow to be self-sufficient. Our research shows that more than half of Brits think millennials are generally inept around the home. However, these new findings also reveal that millennials are actually accustomed to completing some tricky tasks, including DIY jobs. Two thirds of young people have hung pictures or photo frames on the wall and nearly as many have put together flat-pack furniture and painted something. This Father’s Day, dads across the UK can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that when they receive that lunch invitation to the home of their children, they probably won’t be asked to get their hands dirty.” Berry concluded: “To avoid dads across the country having to rescue botched DIY jobs, it’s important that millennials, and other generations alike, know their limits when it comes to DIY and home improvements. It’s one thing putting up a shelf but quite another attempting to knock down a wall or remove a structural beam. Our advice is, if in doubt, commission a professional builder to carry out your home improvement project. If home owners are looking to hire a builder, and aren’t able to find a reliable recommendation from a family member or friend, they should use the FMB’s ‘Find a Builder’ service. All new members of the FMB are vetted and independently inspected before joining and so home owners can rest assured that they’ll be working with a professional and quality builder.”

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Mixing Modular Construction and Traditional Building

A site in Gateshead will welcome both modular homes and traditionally built houses; therefore potential buyers have the possibility to compare the quality of both methods. Gateshead Innovation Village is a live research project led by housing provider Home Group, which will see a range of houses designs take shape on the one site. The site will be a place to compare and contrast modern methods of construction, improving the public image of modular homes. The first homes are being manufactured in the Yorkshire factory of Ilke Homes at the moment and they will be ready for delivery to the Gateshead site in just ten weeks’ time. “We’re all incredibly excited about this project as it will see a wide range of homes and construction methods being tried and tested together on the one site,” said Joy Whinnerah, Head of Delivery at Home Group. “Not only that, but we are really keen to understand what our customers like and don’t like about living in these types of homes. So we will be monitoring a range of aspects to check how these homes perform for the customers who live in them.” Apart from Home Group, the project is also being backed by Homes England and development partner ENGIE. “Not only is this unique project creating a step change for the way in which people view modular homes, but it is allowing us the opportunity to upskill the next generation of industry trainees, apprentices and graduates on modern methods of construction,” said Andrew McIntosh, Regional Managing Director for ENGIE. Neil Graham, Head of Accelerated Delivery, Yorkshire, North East and The Humber, Homes England also commented on the project: “In addition to Ilke Homes, Home Group is also working with Premier Modular, Xella UK and Icarus Light Steel Framing. There will also be six traditionally built, semi-detached homes on site. All homes will be for affordable rent and residents will have the opportunity to trial and test a wide range of smart technology products and green energy solutions.”

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University of Hull to Sell Thwaite Hall

The former hall of residence, Thwaite Hall, situated on the corner of Thwaite Street and New Village Road in Cottingham, will be put on the market by the University of Hull. The over 200-years-old property was closed as a hall of residence in August 2017 because of changes in students’ accommodation preferences. “Accommodation is a deciding factor for many when choosing where to study and the University has experienced a shift in demand towards high-quality, on-campus accommodation,” said Stephen Dale, director of estates at the University of Hull. “We have been investing in out accommodation portfolio as part of our ongoing commitment to provide an outstanding experience for students, which includes The Courtyard and Westfield Court on our Cottingham Road campus.” Handling the sale would be commercial estate agent Cushman & Wakefield. “Although the University no longer has a use for the building, we are keen to see a long term plan for its future be put in place and have been working closely with the local authority planning department to discuss the potential future use of the site,” added Stephen. The eventual purchaser and their intended use for the building will determine the nature and extent of work carried out on the site. Any proposal would be subject to relevant planning processes and legislation. “Thwaite Hall presents a rare and exciting opportunity to revitalise a high-profile building within a popular village location,” said Oliver Salisbury, senior surveyor in Cushman & Wakefield’s residential development team. “Discussions with the local authority have been positive and indicate that a number of uses are considered appropriate, subject to a high quality design which takes into account the conservation area setting and adjoining Grade II listed botanical gardens. We look forward to engaging with parties and maximising the site’s future potential,” he continued. Until a purchaser is found, the University will continue to ensure the site is secure.

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It’s a woman’s world ~ How STEM industries can attract more females into the sector

The recent Why not physics? – a snapshot of females uptake at A-level report foreword from Professor Dame Julia Higgins, claims that “an ill-judged quip that girls ‘can’t’ do maths, or physics is ‘too hard’, can lead to girls making life-changing decisions that alter the subject they study or the career they pursue.” In anticipation of International Women in Engineering Day on June 23, 2018, Lucy Speed, HR advisor at engineering solutions provider Boulting Ltd, explores what employers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) industries can do to attract more females into the sector.   Engineering contributes 26 per cent of the UK’s GDP every year, yet reports suggest that the industry is facing an unprecedented skills shortage. But what can employers realistically do to encourage the next generation of female graduates to consider STEM as a viable career option?   Role models and mentors Adopting a mentorship or simple ‘buddy’ system can help women that are joining the workplace feel like they aren’t alone in a disproportionate sector. Pairing employees up to share experience and knowledge helps to create an inclusive environment and can be beneficial in terms of retaining staff that thrive with social stimulation, particularly women.   According to the Women Engineering Society (WES), who set up its own mentorship program to specifically support women in STEM roles, those who participated in the scheme benefited from increased confidence, improved listening and coaching skills as well as employment progression. At Boulting, we support our staff with dedicated mentors who support employees to achieve their goals across all levels of the organisation.   Flexibility is key Providing a work environment that accommodates flexibility for different personal needs can also be beneficial in attracting female employees. Having an understanding for an individual’s needs, whether that be childcare requirements or being able to schedule time off work around holidays will allow your team members to reaffirm their work-life balance.   Natalie Pancheri, HR policy advisor at the London School of Economics also says that “embedding a culture of flexibility begins to chip away at the types of issues that can prevent women from advancing in their careers.” It really can be win-win all round.   Young minds By capturing the minds of the next generation of female STEM graduates, we will begin to see an increase in the number of girls pursuing a career in the sector. However, a lot of the work to do this must start at school level.   Integrating STEM-style learning through dedicated activities or guest speaker sessions from those in the industry into classrooms, will begin to pave the way for students to consider their future paths. Working with and supporting teachers to understand what a STEM career can actually entail will also open up conversations with students about what is possible.   Additionally, organisations, like Boulting, that incorporate student reach-out or collaboration programmes to help harness the enthusiasm and talent from younger generations has the potential to lead to more interest in STEM education and apprenticeship opportunities.   At Boulting we have a longstanding and successful apprenticeship scheme that has been the springboard for many employees’ careers in the organisation. Our scheme offers the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and experience across a wide range of engineering sectors including chemical, pharmaceutical, petro-chemical and renewable energy markets.   While some progress has been made to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM industries, women are still firmly in the minority. Particularly in UK engineering, where, according to the Women in Engineering Society (WES), the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe and only eleven per cent of the engineering workforce is female.   It’s important for organisations in the engineering sector to recognise the importance, and potential, of the future female workforce and secure any opportunity to help promote science, technology, engineering and maths as exciting and rewarding prospective career path.

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FINAL BATHROOM PODS INSTALLED FOR OFFSITE SOLUTIONS’ FIRST TIMBER-FRAMED RESIDENTIAL SCHEME

Offsite Solutions, the UK’s leading bathroom pod manufacturer, has supplied the final batch of bathroom pods for its first timber-framed residential development. The project for Renaissance Retirement at Sandhurst in Berkshire is one of three luxury retirement schemes for the developer that are using Offsite Solutions’ high specification, factory-built ensuite shower rooms. Under construction by the Hackwood Group, the Fleur-de-Lis development in Sandhurst will provide 42 spacious retirement apartments set in landscaped gardens. Offsite Solutions has manufactured 44 steel-framed bathroom pods for the project. Each ensuite shower room features ceramic-tiled finishes, walk-in rain dance showers with digitally-controlled thermostats, premium sanitaryware and fittings, and a mirrored cabinet – all fully fitted out offsite for a consistently higher standard of finish and quality. Offsite Solutions is also manufacturing shower pods for two further Renaissance developments in Wimborne, Dorset and Crowthorne in Berkshire which are now on site. The timber-framed structure for each scheme has been engineered to create a recess in the cassette floor for the installation of the bathroom pods. This solution allows the application of factory-built bathrooms to work within a timber frame, whilst ensuring level access floors. Commenting on the use of bathroom pods, Graham Snowley, Contracts Manager at Hackwood said, “This is the first time we have used factory-built bathrooms and we have found them to be a brilliant solution. The approach really takes the pain out of bathroom construction. It saves a huge amount of work on site and we have been able to dispense with several processes. The quality of bathroom pods is superior and more consistent compared to site-based construction – the fitting of pans and basins, for example, is more accurate in a factory environment. The use of pods eliminates at least six different trades and reduces construction time for the bathrooms to just three hours for the service connections – a significant time saving.” Nick Watkins, Development Director at Renaissance Retirement said, “The use of pods gives us certainty in both product quality and completion, and with no compromise on bathroom design and finish. The labour market, particularly for finishing trades, is very challenging for developers and contractors, particularly in the South East. The impact of these market fluctuations is completely removed if bathroom construction is carried out offsite. Offsite Solutions’ factory set up is impressive and their products are manufactured to a high standard.” There is now unprecedented demand for bathroom pods in the residential sector – for high-end apartment schemes, mixed-use developments, social housing and build-to-rent. This shift towards offsite is driven by the shortage of skilled labour, particularly in the South East; issues with consistent quality, and the construction industry’s poor delivery record with budget overruns and project delays. The use of an offsite solution for bathroom construction reduces the number of activities and trades on site. This achieves significant programme savings, quality improvements and reductions in waste of up to 50 per cent compared to site-based construction. The production line environment of pod manufacture provides consistently higher quality standards and much greater certainty of delivery on time and on budget. Pre-delivery testing is rigorous and quality assurance procedures are stringent for ready-to-use installation. Offsite Solutions offers a comprehensive and expanding range of bathroom pods to suit different building types and applications. Options include steel-framed pods with traditional tiled finishes for high-end apartments, student residences and hotels; robust and low maintenance GRP composite pods for student accommodation, care homes, social housing and healthcare; hybrid pods for specialist projects, and award-winning demountable GRP pods for ease of installation in refurbishment schemes.

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PRESS-FIT COULD UNLOCK LIFE-SAVING POTENTIAL OF RETROFIT SPRINKLER SYSTEMS

Press-fit technology on modern sprinkler systems can save lives by facilitating quicker, easier and less disruptive installations in existing buildings, says Geberit, despite Dame Judith Hackitt’s omission of mandatory sprinkler installations in her review of Building Regulations and fire safety laws. The Hackitt Review has been criticised for its failure to recommend a ban on combustible cladding products or the mandatory installation of sprinkler systems or automatic fire suppression systems in all new domestic buildings and existing tower blocks. Both measures had been proposed by RIBA as part of its recommended baseline prescriptive requirements ahead of the Hackitt Review’s publication in May. Now Geberit has highlighted the benefits of innovative press-fit technology in a new guide, designed to help specifiers, contractors, developers, engineers and local authorities to overcome the perceived challenges of retrofit installations. Geberit’s guide includes a foreword from Ann Jones AM, the Welsh Assembly Minister who successfully campaigned for sprinkler systems to be installed in all new build domestic properties in Wales. Covering a summary of existing legislation and perceived challenges to retrofit installations, it breaks down the barriers and presents press-fit technology as a viable solution that can help improve the safety of existing buildings – with or without mandatory installations. Antony Corbett, product manager for Geberit piping supply systems, said: “Sprinkler systems save lives but for too long the construction industry has had this perception that retrofit installations are messy, disruptive, unattractive and most importantly too expensive to ensure viability. “With press-fit systems this simply isn’t the case. Contractors and their customers can benefit from fast, reliable connections, with no hot works, lightweight piping and a clean finish. There are cost savings too – BSRIA calculates that the installation efficiencies of press-fit can deliver cost savings of approximately 27 per cent when compared with screwed steel pipework. “It was disappointing that Dame Judith Hackitt didn’t include mandatory sprinkler installations in her review in light of the Grenfell disaster, but the fact remains that sprinklers offer a viable, cost-efficient and proven fire suppression system which can and will save lives in the event of a fire. “We wanted to produce something that would help the industry to overcome any perceived barriers, highlight the benefits of press-fit and enable specifiers and contractors to confidently sell the benefits of modern sprinkler systems, even for retrofit installations.” Writing in the document, Ann Jones AM, Labour Assembly Member, Vale of Clwyd, said: “Often fire safety is seen as reacting to events rather than leading debate in order to avoid such dreadful tragedies and that is why a document like this is vital to keeping the conversation going and also offering learning experiences, building on those who have already taken steps to retrofit sprinkler systems into homes. “There can be no doubt that the installation of a sprinkler system offers a degree of security, protection of one’s home and many precious memories, it has a good environmental footprint and also reduces the burdens on public sector funding. But above all, no one has ever died from a fire related incident where a sprinkler has been installed. “This document will play an important role in helping to educate, agitate and hopefully organise those who have it in their power to fit sprinkler systems into existing properties.”  Download the guide To download Geberit’s free white paper, ‘Pressing matters: Breaking the barriers to retrofitting sprinkler systems in existing building stock’, and to learn more about the potential of retrofit sprinkler installations, visit https://www.geberit.co.uk/campaign/pressing-matters.  

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