BDC

Search
BDC Magazine

August 13, 2019

5 Ways to Reduce Your Household Bills

Are you considering ways to reduce your energy bills? Good, because last year the average gas and electricity bill in the UK was £1,138 a year, which is more than double what it was 100 years ago. Apart from the cost, a home that uses a lot of excess energy

Read More »

Innovation Hub New Project Approved

A new innovation hub is set to be developed in London for regeneration specialist U+I’s Plus X business. The £7 million project will see the Powerhouse building at The Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes redeveloped.  Since the historic site’s closure, which once housed the EMI HQ, many buildings have been

Read More »

Gatwick Airport Five Year Plan Revealed

A five-year investment plan has been set out for Gatwick Airport, which will see the facility extend the Pier 6 western, as well as introduce robotic parking and automated boarding technology. The Capital Investment Programme (CIP) also identifies the £187 million railway station development, new North Terminal car park, and

Read More »

Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

August 13, 2019

Leading manufacturer of structural insulated panels appoints specialist Business Development Manager

North West-based Hemsec is one of the UK’s largest and longest-standing insulated panel manufacturers.  To help drive further planned growth and to satisfy the building industry’s need for materials used in Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), the company has appointed an experienced sales professional in the construction sector, Paul Nicholls, as their Business Development Manager for SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels)  The potential for timber faced insulated panels to enable the construction industry to build better quality buildings, and to build them faster is enormous. Paul’s primary objective will be to educate and inform the sector of these huge opportunities, specifically with SIPs, and to showcase how with Hemsec as a supply chain partner companies can rest assured that they will have the highest certification standards available delivered on time, and in full.  Paul explained his new role and priorities. “I will be working with architects, developers and housing associations to explain how SIPs can contribute towards improving building insulation and sustainability, provide larger internal building dimensions, greater construction efficiency and fewer snags, thereby reducing overall operational costs and reducing the time capital is tied up in a project.  “Currently many professionals working in the industry are unaware of the key benefits SIPs offer, and my job will be to demonstrate why they are such an important solution. This in turn will help the industry to address the housing crisis in the UK, building more energy-efficient and affordable homes.”  Paul is working on a number of key projects for Hemsec. This includes a current Housing Association project where they are keen to explore the use of SIPs in their current building programme, recognising the need for innovative solutions and the benefits they offer as part of Modern Methods of Construction.  In addition to educating the sector about the benefits of SIPs, Paul will be working to develop Hemsec’s network of collaborators to meet the needs of businesses seeking everything from panel supply only to full turnkey solutions, the objective being to offer coherent and effective supply chain partnerships for all sizes of project, regardless of size or complexity.  Four months into his new role, Paul is excited about the potential of the business and is positive about the supportive culture that is an important part of the company’s success and longevity.  He said, “Hemsec is a great company to work for. It is very loyal to its local workforce, is family orientated, open and extremely welcoming. I firmly believe in our ambition to be quite different in the market place compared to our competitors, recognising the importance of developing strong business relationships.”    Hemsec is developing educational materials to facilitate SIPs usage in the construction industry and is in talks with secondary education colleges and the CITB to provide accredited learning. For more information please contact the company through Hemsec.com.

Read More »

5 Ways to Reduce Your Household Bills

Are you considering ways to reduce your energy bills? Good, because last year the average gas and electricity bill in the UK was £1,138 a year, which is more than double what it was 100 years ago. Apart from the cost, a home that uses a lot of excess energy is also contributing to the pollution and carbon emissions throughout the country. In our post on the ‘Top Tips to Reduce Energy Usage in Your Home’, it details how your appliances and heating system can be the biggest culprits when it comes to energy consumption. Fortunately, these are easy to remedy, and we are going to have a look at five ways to reduce your household bills. Upgrade Your Boiler Because more than half of your household energy bill is spent on heating, replacing an old and inefficient boiler can make a huge difference to your bill. Just ask Philip Dyte from London, who was recently featured in a Money Wise article about cutting energy bills. After he upgraded his flat’s old boiler, he noted that he saved over £100 on his yearly energy bill. HomeServe explains that when a boiler is old it is best to get it replaced as soon as possible. By upgrading your boiler, it is a good way to reduce the amount of energy consumption, as you can switch from a regular boiler to a combi boiler. This is the most popular type of boiler in the UK and can be a very economical option. Use Smart Thermostats While standard electric heating is extremely efficient, in the UK it is very expensive. In fact, it’s three to four times more expensive than a newer gas-powered central heating system. Using a smart thermostat and reducing room temperatures by just one degree can save you £75 a year. You can control these from your smartphone from practically anywhere and some can even learn your routine or adjust settings automatically based on the weather forecast. Home Insulation Insulating cavity walls and your loft can mean huge savings on your yearly energy bill, as well as getting double-glazing. Energy Saving Secrets states that laying thick 270mm loft insulation can save you up to £130 off your yearly energy bills, as a lot less heat will be lost through your roof. On the other hand, cavity wall insulation can save you up to £145 a year, while solid-wall insulation can save you £245 a year. This type of insulation is much more expensive to fit, however, the energy savings might be worth it in the long run. Meanwhile, double-glazed windows could result in savings up to £75-£100 a year, depending on the quality of glass. Energy-Efficient Appliances Apart from energy-saving LED light bulbs, choosing energy-efficient appliances in your home could save you money, too. Modern appliances tend to have energy ratings from A to G, with the former being the greenest and the latter the least green. Some appliances like fridge-freezer combinations have A+++ ratings and are much more efficient than appliances that are 10 years old. This is Money’s guide to energy efficient appliances, explains that households could save about £113 a year by switching to a more energy-efficient fridge freezer. An A+++ dishwasher could also save you £47 a year, while an A+++ washing machine could result in a savings of £34. Energy Efficient Lighting In the UK, lighting accounts for about 15% of a household’s energy bill. Upgrading from your standard light bulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs will cost just under £1.60 to run per year, whereas a traditional bulb is closer to £10. LED bulbs can save you £2 a year per bulb, and considering they cost less than £5 they will essentially pay for themselves in a few months. Getting into the habit of turning off lights when you leave a room is another good way to save on your energy bill.

Read More »

Innovation Hub New Project Approved

A new innovation hub is set to be developed in London for regeneration specialist U+I’s Plus X business. The £7 million project will see the Powerhouse building at The Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes redeveloped.  Since the historic site’s closure, which once housed the EMI HQ, many buildings have been transformed by U+I and it now comprises nearly 650 homes, 550,000 sq ft of office space, and 70,000 sq ft of retail and leisure facilities; including a cinema, gym, cafés and restaurants. The latest development will give Plus X the scope to offer 29,000 sq ft of BIM Level 2 standard accommodation ideally suited to start-ups and SMEs, as well as reinstating the building’s original Blyth Road frontage and creating an attractive pedestrianised piazza and café. International property and construction consultancy Gleeds will continue to project manage the scheme until construction begins on site, which is expected to be January 2020, before taking up its role as employer’s agent through to completion. Kevin Griffiths, Director at Gleeds, said: “The Old Vinyl Factory is a site with a fascinating history and incredible architectural heritage which has been given a new lease of life by U+I. The latest phase of works to reinstate the Powerhouse will not only serve to add to that story but will also support Plus X’s vision of accelerating the growth of hundreds of fledgling creative businesses. I am thrilled that Gleeds is to play such an integral role in the delivery of this exceptional building.” Richard Upton, Chief Development Officer at U+I, added: “By offering inspiring workspace, incredible facilities and countless opportunities for collaboration, The Powerhouse will play a key role in supporting young and established businesses and entrepreneurs to flourish. The Plus X Innovation Hub will further position The Old Vinyl Factory as a world-class creative and innovative campus. Our partnership with Plus X will allow us to unlock potential and drive business growth, innovation, collaboration and positive social impact among occupants and further transform the local area.” Plus X hopes to start welcoming entrepreneurial designers and engineers into its new premises by October 2020. 

Read More »

Gatwick Airport Five Year Plan Revealed

A five-year investment plan has been set out for Gatwick Airport, which will see the facility extend the Pier 6 western, as well as introduce robotic parking and automated boarding technology. The Capital Investment Programme (CIP) also identifies the £187 million railway station development, new North Terminal car park, and the expansion of both the international departure lounges in both North and South Terminals. A few emerging projects have also been revealed for the airport, which include a new special assistance airside lounge for the South Terminal, similar to the popular North Terminal facility which opened in 2018. These projects, and many more, will be delivered at Gatwick Airport over the next five years as the facility brings its total investment since 2009 to £3.21 billion.  Gatwick’s Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate said: “We always put passengers at the heart of our investment plans and it’s great to see how automation and technology can further enhance the passenger experience. The plans explore ways we can grow capacity sustainably, including providing more space in our departure lounges. This investment will support our existing airlines, help attract new airlines and provide an enhanced service for the millions of people who choose to fly from Gatwick.  “We have outlined our long-term growth strategy in our final master plan and the Capital Investment Programme we are sharing today, gives a more detailed view of our short-term plans which will continue to improve our service proposition and lay foundations for the future,” the Chief Executive Officer added. The CIP continues Gatwick’s strong environmental commitment. By joining VINCI Airports’ global AirPact policy – the first-ever integrated environmental programme in the airport industry – Gatwick will share best practice with the rest of the network on a number of projects in the CIP, notably electric and hybrid vehicles and recycling facilities.

Read More »

Doorways To The Past: What Manhole Covers Tell Us About Old Infrastructures

Jeremy Corbyn is known for his unusual love of manhole covers, which he notes to be markers of social history. While we tend to think of them as mundane necessities of our drainage system, there is indeed more they can tell us about the history of our infrastructure than first meets the eye.  What are manhole covers and why are they needed? Manhole covers have been around since Roman times, allowing access to inspection chambers so that drainage systems can be maintained. They also serve as temporary storage points for excess water to prevent it from flooding into the streets, and vary in size and thickness depending on location. Specialist manufacturers like EasyMerchant ensure that a range of sizes is available to meet the demands of heavy traffic and densely populated areas, and modern designs prevent unauthorised access to the drainage system.  Street jewellery  Besides their practical use, manhole covers have been described as ‘street jewellery’, often sporting colourful and unusual designs. An example of this is the special edition commemorative manhole cover installed in Whitechapel last year in honour of the engineers who removed the Whitechapel fatberg: a piece of recent history to add to the tapestry of stories told by London’s manhole covers. Commemorative and one-off designs like the one in Whitechapel may appear simply decorative, but over time, they come to tell important stories about a city’s history.  Historic markers  Countrywide, manhole covers have a story to tell; London is just an example, but its sheer size and history makes it a rich source of manhole history. Manufacturers names are embossed on cast iron covers, becoming functional by creating an anti-slip surface. Amongst these names, a glance at a London street might reveal the inventor of the first flushing public toilets, George Jennings. The toilet was so popular that the capital’s sewage system was unable to cope with demand, and this resulted in a large amount of sewage ending up in the Thames, which in turn led to The Great Stink in 1858. Also commemorated on London manhole covers is Thomas Crapper, known for his contributions to toilet improvement, and London County Council Tramways, which picked up an electrical current from slots in the road. The names of telegraph and electrical companies may also be spotted, serving as long-lasting reminders of infrastructures of the past.   Manhole covers are an essential part of a well-maintained drainage system, but they also provide important markers of the history of urban development. With each new cover that we add, we are contributing to the historic stories of our cities.

Read More »