BDC

Search
BDC Magazine

August 21, 2019

BALI National Landscape Awards 2019 tickets now on sale

Tickets for this year’s BALI National Landscape Awards, the largest landscaping Awards ceremony in Europe, are now on sale. With the Awards’ expert Adjudication Panel, led by Chair of the Adjudication Panel John Melmoe having completed their site visits for applicable schemes earlier this month and final deliberations set to

Read More »

How safe is it to visit Hong Kong?

It is unlikely that businesses with operations in Hong Kong or sending employees to the region will be unaware of the current unrest.  But some employers may be uncertain about the scale of the risks and what guidance to give to employees. Sebastian Liu, Global Threat Analyst for the Asia

Read More »

Sublime Spaces: The Art and Science of Casino Design

Across the globe, casinos are some of the most recognisable and iconic structures in existence. Unsurprisingly, a huge amount of time, effort – and money – go into the creation of a successful casino. From the exterior and the décor to the internal layout, everything in the casino design needs

Read More »

Aggregate Industries ups the tempo with low temperature asphalt

With the industry under increasing pressure to use sustainable materials in road construction, Aggregate Industries has launched Superlow, a low temperature asphalt enabling quicker, more environmentally-friendly project completion. Specially formulated for use on highways and road infrastructure schemes, this range of asphalt is mixed at 20°C-40°C lower than hot mix

Read More »

Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

August 21, 2019

FIS Sector Skills Pledge launched to galvanise the sector to work together

FIS is proud to announce that we are launching the FIS Sector Skills Pledge, designed to bring the sector together to secure future sector sustainability and address the skills shortages in key trades, we need to work together as a sector. This will ensure a steady supply of new entrants into the sector who will be trained and skilled tradespeople with the right qualifications for their trade to deliver the projects needed. Businesses can deliver lasting change by providing work experience, taking on apprentices and setting individuals up with skills and knowledge for long term careers. We want to inspire young people to choose careers in construction as a first-choice option, not the last. The FIS Sector Skills Pledge is a commitment from organisations and employers to become FIS Skills Champions and to embrace programmes that will help us as a sector to create a sustainable, competent and skilled workforce. The pledge will also highlight which businesses and employers are going the extra mile. To become FIS Sector Skills Champions, we need businesses and employers to commit and sign up to at least one of the following programmes: •     FIS BuildBack – allows businesses and employers to meet their social value obligations and unearth new workers in this dedicated programme to train and bring new individuals into the sector in the drylining trade. •     FIS BuildME – encourages new entrants from the college sector. It allows businesses and employers to meet their social value obligations and open their sites and offices to college learners for work experience opportunities. •     Qualify your workforce – committed to training the finishes and interiors workforce to NVQ 2 (equivalent) by 2020. Enabling your workforce skills to be recognised with the right matching qualifications. •     Showcase dedication to skills – commit to the 5% Club challenge, a dynamic cross sector movement of employers working to create shared prosperity across the UK by driving ‘earn and learn’ skills training opportunities. •     #iBuiltThis2019 competition – designed to inspire the next generation of construction workers – promote and encourage attraction into construction through a fun competition by showcasing the projects you have built and enter the competition •     Bringing you modern apprentices – without the pain! Iain McIlwee, CEO at FIS said “I firmly believe that together we are stronger and can make a lasting difference if we work together.  The Sector Skills Pledge is an industry wide campaign to improve sector skills sustainability, an exciting invitation to the sector to sign-up to the pledge and work in collaboration to deliver the programmes that will help to make this sector sustainable for all. Together we can show everybody including young people what fantastic career opportunities exist within the sector and attract the 1500 new entrants needed in the finishes and interiors sector” For more information and to sign up to the FIS Sector Skills Pledge visit our website at www.thefis.org/fis- sector-skills-pledge/

Read More »

BALI National Landscape Awards 2019 tickets now on sale

Tickets for this year’s BALI National Landscape Awards, the largest landscaping Awards ceremony in Europe, are now on sale. With the Awards’ expert Adjudication Panel, led by Chair of the Adjudication Panel John Melmoe having completed their site visits for applicable schemes earlier this month and final deliberations set to take place on 27, 28 and 29 August, excitement levels are rising for the industry event of the year. With a record number of entries submitted since 2009, the BALI Award Adjudicators have been busy over the summer judging schemes up and down the country, with early indications showing once again a very high standard of quality has been achieved. Looking to attend at a discounted rate? Early bird tickets are available, priced at £175 per person (full price £195) or tables of 10 for £1,550 (full £1,750) and 12 £1,860 (full price £2,100) ex VAT respectively. The early bird rate is only available until 23 September, so act fast to take advantage of the saving. The host for 2019, sport and lifestyle presenter Mark Durden-Smith, is looking forward to leading the ceremony on Friday 6 December at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London which also sees the return of Headline Sponsor Green-tech. With over 1,000 members, guests and VIPs expected to attend, tickets will sell quickly on a first-come-first-served basis. To purchase your tickets, visit baliawards.co.uk.

Read More »

How safe is it to visit Hong Kong?

It is unlikely that businesses with operations in Hong Kong or sending employees to the region will be unaware of the current unrest.  But some employers may be uncertain about the scale of the risks and what guidance to give to employees. Sebastian Liu, Global Threat Analyst for the Asia Pacific region at Healix International, the global provider of travel risk management and international medical, security and travel assistance services, has identified some of the key issues that firms should consider. “Overall, Hong Kong is assessed by Healix International as a LOW security risk country owing to the relatively low levels of crime, conflict, and militant activity. However, over recent weeks, ongoing unrest in the territory has resulted in significant operational and travel disruption, and has eroded confidence in the territory being a safe and reliable global hub for economic activity. Therefore, Healix currently assesses the risk of unrest to be HIGH in Hong Kong. “The likelihood of protests taking place in the short term is determined to be LIKELY and whilst the majority of the initial demonstrations were concentrated around government buildings in the vicinity of the Legislative Council (LegCo) in Central, more recently the protesters have changed their targeting patterns. Protests are increasingly impacting transport infrastructure, including Hong Kong International Airport [HKG], as well as the Mass Transit Rapid (MTR) network. Protests took place at HKG airport from 9th – 13th August, and resulted in the disruption of hundreds of flights on 12th and 13th August. Clearly this presents a very disruptive issue for businesses. “The risk of foreign nationals being caught up in the protests has also increased as the decentralised nature of them is making it more difficult to project the next protest location; ‘hit and run’ tactics are increasingly being used, with demonstrators avoiding prolonged confrontation with the police and moving from location to location on foot or via the metro. “Whilst the unrest is the current focus on Hong Kong, there is also a HIGH risk of natural disasters in the region, predominantly deriving from typhoons. The rainy season tends to run from April until October annually and the highest risk period for typhoons runs from July to September. Strong intensity typhoons can cause damage and localised flooding, and result in a significant impact to business operations. “The risk to foreign nationals from crime is, however, considered LOW. Non-violent and opportunistic crimes, notably petty criminality in the form of pickpocketing and snatch theft, are the most common.  And there is a slightly increased incidence of such crime in areas frequented by foreign nationals, including the Central, Admiralty and Wan Chai districts, particularly around nightlife areas. Areas with high pedestrian traffic, such as the large marketplaces throughout the city and the MTR network, present attractive targets as perpetrators are able to utilise crowds to remain undetected. Other pickpocketing hotspots include tourist attractions, like the Peak Tram and Star Ferry.” Healix advice to travellers visiting Hong Kong Travel to Hong Kong can continue but itineraries should be flexible owing to likely operational disruption in the short-to-medium term. Developments regarding the ongoing unrest should be closely monitored via social media, local news outlets, the Telegram encrypted messaging platform, and local internet forums, like the LiHKG website. Routes should be planned to bypass the vicinity of planned protest locations, and flashpoints for unrest. It is important to not stop, watch, film or take photographs of protests owing to the incidental risk of violence. Civilians, journalists and bystanders have all been targeted or indirectly impacted previously. In the event of encountering a potentially hostile demonstration, move from the area and return to a secure accommodation or office location. Black and white clothing have both been associated with protesters and counter-protesters; it’s advisable to refrain from wearing these colours on protest days. Also, limit carrying any items that may give the impression to the authorities of involvement in protests; this includes masks, hard hats and umbrellas. Refrain from political discussion in public and making statements on social media. If travel is essential through protest locations, the MTR is likely to be a better option as opposed to over-ground transport. However, business people should be aware that MTR services have been disrupted previously and delays may be encountered. Airport Express services may also be impacted on days when protests are due to be held at Hong Kong International Airport [HKG]. Remain aware of surroundings, especially when using the public transportation system or in high congestion areas such as tourist attractions. Abide by all official directives issued by the relevant authorities. Take note of typhoon warnings issued by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) and the type of signal issued. Businesses and facilities are expected to close when a Typhoon Signal 8 or above is issued. Utilise the ‘Watch Country’ function on Healix’s Travel Oracle app to receive notifications on alerts for potential security incidents and disruption. For more information about the security and health risks in Hong Kong visit https://healix.com/sharing-knowledge-and-news/hong-kong-travel-advisory/

Read More »

Sublime Spaces: The Art and Science of Casino Design

Across the globe, casinos are some of the most recognisable and iconic structures in existence. Unsurprisingly, a huge amount of time, effort – and money – go into the creation of a successful casino. From the exterior and the décor to the internal layout, everything in the casino design needs to encourage players not only to come but to stay.  Let’s delve a little deeper into what it takes to make a truly great casino. We’ll take a look at the changing aesthetic, how floors have changed, and shine a light on some casino design myths to see if there’s any truth in them. Through the Doors What’s outside may lure you in, but it’s what’s through the doors that will persuade you to stay. The exterior is all art, and limited only by imagination and physics, but the interior layout is where the science comes in. Past wisdom favoured a labyrinthine floor plan, with the intent of disorienting players and making it difficult for them to find their way out. This was coupled with a couple of tricks – no clocks or natural daylight – designed to make customers lose track of time.  These days, such deceitful practices are being replaced with an altogether friendlier approach. Rather than trapping players in a perpetual maze, these modern casinos strive to create a space that people actively want to stay in. High ceilings with natural light, tasteful and eye-catching decoration, and a spacious floor with clusters of slot machines rather than the old rows; all these combine to make a welcoming and relaxing room. This has been found to be a much more effective way of making people play more and longer, which is of course what the casino wants. Incidentally, the newer approach was something that the creators of online casinos sussed out right from the start. All the best casino sites provide a user-friendly interface, with a pleasing aesthetic to encourage players to stay. Have a look here for more on how casino sites try to optimise the player experience. Classic to Modern The casino design archetype is old-school glamour, and indeed most of the buildings that likely spring to mind are in the classical mode. Grand facades, ornately decorated, chandeliers – these are casinos straight out of a Bond movie. Las Vegas in particular excels at this kind of structure, going all the way back to the early days and continuing to the present. Notable examples are the faux Greco-Roman edifice that is Caesars Palace, and the Venetian with its life-size replicas of Venice’s most famous landmarks. Vegas may still enjoy extravagant glamour – witness the Palazzo, which opened its doors in 2008 – but elsewhere casino design has gone in bold new directions. Travel east to Macau and witness the futuristic fairytale that is the Gran Lisboa, or the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore which resembles a landing dock for an alien spacecraft. The designers can really flex their creative muscle with a casino, and it seems like every new building outshines the last in vision and spectacle. Fact or Fiction? There are plenty of stories about how casino design uses subliminal tricks to encourage people to play more – but how much truth is in them? One perplexingly odd feature of many casinos is the truly hideously-patterned carpet. This phenomenon is so widespread that many theories have been put forward as to the true reason for such poor taste. One is that the loud designs effectively hide dropped chips, so the casino can sweep them up later. Another suggests that they simply encourage players to keep looking up and at the games – and will thus be tempted to play more. None of this really makes sense, and the truth is probably something much more mundane; the patterns help hide stains from spilled drinks. Another myth was that some casinos pump in pure oxygen, to energise customers and keep them awake for longer. This one can be firmly filed under the fiction category, as doing so would be illegal and potentially dangerous. One thing that casinos do fess up to is pumping in pleasant smells. This one has science behind it, as studies suggest that people spend more when they are exposed to certain aromas. Which scents they use, however, remains a closely-guarded secret. 

Read More »

Aggregate Industries ups the tempo with low temperature asphalt

With the industry under increasing pressure to use sustainable materials in road construction, Aggregate Industries has launched Superlow, a low temperature asphalt enabling quicker, more environmentally-friendly project completion. Specially formulated for use on highways and road infrastructure schemes, this range of asphalt is mixed at 20°C-40°C lower than hot mix asphalt. As it requires less energy to manufacture than conventional asphalt, Superlow ensures a lower carbon footprint. The launch of this innovative solution comes just a month after the UK became the first ever country to legally commit to cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to ‘net zero’ by 20501. Under the Construction Sector Deal set out last year, the UK has ambitious targets to halve emissions in the built environment by 2025, reduce the initial and whole life cost of a project by a third, and speed up the delivery of vital new build and refurbishment projects. To help contractors meet these objectives, Superlow offers a whole host of real time and cost benefits. For instance, it reaches trafficking temperatures quicker than conventional hot asphalt enabling earlier reopening of carriageways to the travelling public, resulting in less road occupation, less traffic disruption and reduced build cost. With the equivalent performance characteristics of hot mix asphalt, when it comes to workability, however, Superlow remains compactable for longer at lower temperatures. This allows more time for full compaction and, as a result, enhanced durability. It’s also longer lasting, as lower asphalt temperatures during production reduces binder ageing and enhances in service life expectancy. Reflecting Aggregate Industries’ commitment to safety, low temperature asphalt is much safer than conventional solutions as it reduces nuisance fuming and lowers the risk of burns from material handling. Jo Wilkins, Head of Business Development for Asphalt and Ready Mix Concrete at Aggregate Industries, said: “With contractors and clients under increasing pressure to meet the Government’s ambitious sustainability targets, often the first step will be specifying more environmentally-friendly construction materials. “That’s why we’ve developed Superlow, a new range of low temperature asphalts which have a lower carbon footprint than traditional asphalt. As with all our products, our in-house team of technical experts will work with customers to enable quicker and more cost-effective project completion.” For further information about Aggregate Industries, visit www.aggregate.com

Read More »