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February 12, 2020

Expanding Developer Clinches a Share of £500M Building Contract

A North Wales developer is celebrating after clinching a share of a £500 million 10-year construction contract with a top social housing provider. Brenig Construction are the approved contractor for all Flintshire-based Wales & West Housing schemes in North Wales worth up to £2.5 million, as part of WWH’s commitment

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Bristol Uni Campus Gets New Library

Bristol Uni Campus Gets New Library

Plans have been put forward for a new flagship library at the University of Bristol’s Clifton campus. The state-of-the-art library will accommodate learning and research space, with capacity for around 2,000 new study seats, approximately 420,000 books and 70,000 journals and new study spaces. There will be exhibition galleries open

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Work Starts at Carlisle Cancer Centre

Work Starts at Carlisle Cancer Centre

The development of Carlisle’s £35 million cancer centre has officially got off the ground thanks to a recent brick-laying ceremony. Construction has commenced on the project for the Cumberland Infirmary following the recent demolition of the redundant 1970s infirmary tower block. Situated next to the main hospital, this two-storey structure

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Early Opening for Britain's Biggest Road Project

Early Opening for Britain’s Biggest Road Project

A £1.5 billion road scheme to upgrade the A14 is set to reach completion more than a year ahead of schedule. The delivery team behind Britain’s biggest road project, comprising Balfour Beatty, Costain and Skanska on behalf of Highways England, announced the early opening yesterday, 06 February. Designed to improve

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Tips for Sustainable Architectural Landscape Design

Building a beautiful landscape is a sensitive balancing act. On one hand, you want to end up with a beautiful landscape, and on the other hand, you want to keep the amount of resources consumed during the building process and through the life of the garden as low as possible.

Read More »

Forex Brokers in the UK

Until the late 20th century, Forex trading was only accessible to institutions. Today, large banks and corporations exchange currencies alongside individuals. Retail traders in the UK monitor finance trends and make profitable decisions with assistance from local brokers. These intermediaries do not only give access to the market but also

Read More »

Six wildly impressive hotels for your bucket list

Which hotels around the world have you been blown away by? Las Vegas is home to so many flamboyant structural designs, including New York New York and Caesar’s Palace, that make Sin City so appealing. The architectural cleverness is something which makes hotels so highly sought after. Gather some ideas

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024

February 12, 2020

Expanding Developer Clinches a Share of £500M Building Contract

A North Wales developer is celebrating after clinching a share of a £500 million 10-year construction contract with a top social housing provider. Brenig Construction are the approved contractor for all Flintshire-based Wales & West Housing schemes in North Wales worth up to £2.5 million, as part of WWH’s commitment to building 6,000 new affordable homes across Wales in the next decade. The expanding developer, based in Mochdre, near Colwyn Bay, employs 70 staff, 15 per cent of them apprentices and trainees, and has already handed over a £445,000 scheme for three new three-bedroom homes in Ruabon, near Wrexham. They are now well advanced on a £1.28 million project to build 12 one and two-bedroom apartments in Earl Street, Flint, which is due to be completed this summer. The company was launched in 2012 by former youth club pals from Glan Conwy Mark Parry and Howard Vaughan, who are now joint managing directors, and winning a place on the WWH framework is a significant step for them. Mark said: Alison Hammans, Wales & West Housing Development Officer, said: Howard Vaughan added: Brenig Construction has been one of the fastest growing construction companies in Wales over the past three years and their expertise extends to maintenance, social housing, commercial housing and plant hire. Last year they moved into their new headquarters at the business park in Mochdre which they built for another social housing provider, Cartrefi Conwy, and they currently have a full order book with over £40 million in contracts to be delivered over the next three years.

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Consumer engagement key with fewer than half of homebuyers aware of their home’s energy efficiency

New polling, published today, shows the scale of the challenge faced by the homebuilding sector as it holds a summit to plot a route map to net zero carbon housing and other environmental objectives. The summit, with delegates including Government officials, house builders, energy suppliers, material and appliance manufacturers and environmental groups will discuss the scale of the challenge and start to plot a road map for delivery. Today’s results, based on polling by Public First, show that 20% of people put environmental concerns in their top three biggest issues facing the country (higher than terrorism, access to quality education, taxation or public transport). However, over half (54%) of the people polled were not aware of the energy efficiency rating of their current home when they moved in demonstrating the need for further consumer education. Consumers put saving money over environmental concerns when assessing why they went for an environmentally friendly home; with the most popular adaptations being triple glazing and water saving devices. However, 20% of people said they had not lived in a home with any environmental adaptations and only 8% said they had lived in a home, or knew someone who had lived in a home, with a heat pump. 80% of people polled are living in a home with a gas boiler, underlining the scale of the task posed by the requirement to heat new homes without gas boilers from 2025. Whilst the industry faces a whole host of challenges to meet the Government’s commitment to net zero, taking consumers – future home buyers – on the journey will be absolutely key. The research also found almost a third of people (29%) think mortgage providers should factor in energy bills when assessing a mortgage application – more than those thinking the number of children should be considered! More generally, whilst over two thirds of people are positive about the Government’s net zero emissions target for the country, only 12% think they should focus on cutting emissions form homes, compared to 42% for factories, 23% public transport and 25% on cars. Consumer engagement is just one of the issues being considered today in London by a broad range of stakeholders looking at how the sector could deliver the Government’s challenging net zero emissions target from 2050 as well as other environmental objectives. Whilst the industry has made significant progress over recent years, the milestones for delivery are looming large including;  2020 changes to Part L of the Building Regulations, (the current options include a 31% reduction in emissions from new homes) 2025 introduction of Future Homes Standard (including the effective ‘ban’ on gas boilers in new homes) 2050 target for net zero emissions from homes. As well as implementing a step change in how new homes and hot water are heated, delegates will also consider the vast range of other challenges that come under the environmental banner, including; Delivering further thermal efficiency improvements to new houses Providing a robust electricity network that can cope with increased demand from heating systems, plus other new sources such as car charging points Developing a range of new environmentally friendly technologies, supply chains and the skills to manufacture, install and maintain them whilst keeping a mindful eye on the end user and the need to provide customers with usable and practical solutions. Creating developments that deliver increased biodiversity once complete Speaking today, Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation said; “The scale and scope of the environmental challenge we face is daunting, but it is one we are committed to tackling. Today was the start of a long journey that only underlined the broad range of stakeholders and issues involved. We have all committed to work together to develop a route map for how we deliver net zero homes and the range of other linked requirements. “Consumers will be key. Ultimately builders need to sell their wares and we need to ensure the homes and technologies are acceptable and deliver for the homeowner and the environment.” The polling also showed that; 37% of people said they would be willing to pay more for a ‘zero carbon’ new home; versus 36% who wouldn’t. Of those who say they would consider energy efficiency when moving home, 56% said it would be more for low ongoing bills compared to 39% who want to help the environment. Interestingly, when asked which outgoings should be considered by a lender when assessing a homebuyer’s mortgage application, almost 30% listed energy bills. Only current debts (51%) and council tax (34%) were higher. HBF is currently talking to lenders about a ‘green mortgage’. Of those polled 67% think new builds are more energy efficient. When those who were considering buying a new build were asked what factors might influence their views on deciding between two different home builders, ‘the respective companies’ environmental credentials was the third most popular answer only behind ‘reputation for quality work’ and ‘how attractive their home are’

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Bristol Uni Campus Gets New Library

Bristol Uni Campus Gets New Library

Plans have been put forward for a new flagship library at the University of Bristol’s Clifton campus. The state-of-the-art library will accommodate learning and research space, with capacity for around 2,000 new study seats, approximately 420,000 books and 70,000 journals and new study spaces. There will be exhibition galleries open to the public, an events space, a programme of activities, new public art and a café, all of which will be open to the whole community. Designed by a collaborative team formed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen, Hawkins\Brown and local engineers BuroHappold, the development forms part of the University’s wider plans to remodel its precinct around Tyndall Avenue. The library will replace The Hawthorns – a former hotel which currently houses some student accommodation, catering facilities and various offices. While modern in design, the library will be built in natural stone to be in keeping with the historic nature of listed buildings nearby. It features a stepped design to integrate with the local built environment. It will meet high sustainability standards, with a focus on natural light, a high level of energy efficiency, a low environmental impact, and green roof terraces. Plans also include a new civic square, with proposed new road layouts to improve traffic flow and public transport, enhance the pedestrian and cycling routes and make the whole area safer and accessible for everyone. A number of changes have also been implemented into the proposal thanks to last year’s public consultation, which sees a reduced scale above ground and new traffic management measures. Professor Judith Squires, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost at the University of Bristol, said: “We are grateful to everyone for the feedback they gave as part of the consultation in October. Their comments have helped shape our latest plans for the creation of a world-class new University Library. “It will not only provide an outstanding new space for our students and staff to research and learn but provides a unique opportunity for the University to create a new cultural space for all the citizens of Bristol to enjoy. The ground floor will be open to all and will be home to a new Cultural Collections Centre as well as a cafe, gallery and event spaces to host talks and exhibitions. “We are also planning to enhance the public realm around the new University Library, turning a congested road junction into a calm and welcoming civic space, making the roads safer and creating new accessible public space for everyone to enjoy.” Dr Mike Entwisle, Partner and Global Education Sector Lead at BuroHappold Engineering which helped design the library, has shed some light on the engineering behind this major project. “Central to our engineering response was the University’s requirement to achieve a truly sustainable building, promoting health and wellbeing, while meeting their ambition of moving towards a zero-carbon future. “Floor to ceiling windows and an atrium at the heart of the space maximises natural daylight and views to the study spaces, promoting social connectivity. Suspended ceilings have been omitted in order to expose the elegant structure and utilise the thermal mass of the concrete frame to provide climate change resilience. “Extensive building modelling has been undertaken to optimise passive and active environmental strategies and analyse a variety of future usage scenarios. The building will transform the student experience and enhance community engagement, and become an exemplar of sustainable and healthy building performance,” Dr Entwisle added.

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Work Starts at Carlisle Cancer Centre

Work Starts at Carlisle Cancer Centre

The development of Carlisle’s £35 million cancer centre has officially got off the ground thanks to a recent brick-laying ceremony. Construction has commenced on the project for the Cumberland Infirmary following the recent demolition of the redundant 1970s infirmary tower block. Situated next to the main hospital, this two-storey structure will allow the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust to bring all its core oncology services under one roof, while remaining connected to the Cumberland Infirmary for the benefit of those patients requiring additional treatment.  It will house a chemotherapy day unit, comprising 15 chairs and three single bedrooms, two medical linear accelerator (LINAC) radiotherapy machines and a CT scanner suite, as well as consultation and examination rooms, and clinical planning areas. In addition to the extensive medical facilities, there will also be a small cafe area for use by patients, visitors and staff. Andrew McNulty, director at Gleeds, who is serving as cost advisor on the project, said: “North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust has shown a huge commitment to improving the experience of those touched by cancer with this new building. It will not only ensure that patients benefit from the latest equipment but will also immeasurably improve the environment in which they receive the treatment they need. “Gleeds has extensive experience in the healthcare sector and I am delighted to be playing a role on this incredibly worthwhile project.” Suzanne Stanley, radiotherapy services manager at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, added: “This is a landmark moment for the project and we’re really excited that we’ll be able to provide such wonderful facilities to further enhance cancer services that is truly patient focused here at Cumberland Infirmary. “The new building will be state-of-the-art but it will also be homely. We want to make sure that when people come for their cancer treatment they are receiving it in a relaxing and comfortable environment, an environment that can put them at ease at what is often a frightening time.” Cumberland Infirmary’s new cancer centre is scheduled for completion in summer 2021.

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Early Opening for Britain's Biggest Road Project

Early Opening for Britain’s Biggest Road Project

A £1.5 billion road scheme to upgrade the A14 is set to reach completion more than a year ahead of schedule. The delivery team behind Britain’s biggest road project, comprising Balfour Beatty, Costain and Skanska on behalf of Highways England, announced the early opening yesterday, 06 February. Designed to improve journeys between the East of England and the Midlands, this key project will see a 21-mile section of the route improved and travelling times cut by up to 20 minutes. “The A14 is a vital route used by 85,000 drivers every day and including more than 21,000 hauliers transporting essential goods around the country,” said Highways England Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan. “Opening this scheme more than six months early and on budget shows what the UK construction industry can achieve working with Highways England on the Strategic Road Network. I would like to thank them for their focus on our joint success and for their one team approach. “Also, I would like to thank road users, residents and stakeholders for their patience and support during our work. This road is not just a piece of national infrastructure – it brings benefits to the region and local towns and communities too.” Work commenced in November 2016 and, with a previous completion date of Winter 2020, the route is now due to open six months early in Spring 2020. To open the scheme early, the integrated delivery team focused on innovative and sustainable construction methods. With the use of digital asset management and SiteVision – an in-field visualisation software – the team planned and designed complex routes in a safe and efficient way. In line with their commitment to sustainability, the project has also reduced its environmental impact by planting over 900,000 trees, using local materials and recycling excess soil for use on nearby embankments. Julian Lamb, A14 Deputy Project Director for the integrated delivery team, added: “The early opening of the A14 is testament to the collaborative and innovative team working on the project. With a focus on delivering a safe and sustainable road network, our expertise and capabilities have allowed us to deliver this project safely and efficiently, ahead of schedule.”

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Tips for Sustainable Architectural Landscape Design

Building a beautiful landscape is a sensitive balancing act. On one hand, you want to end up with a beautiful landscape, and on the other hand, you want to keep the amount of resources consumed during the building process and through the life of the garden as low as possible. The only way to achieve both things is to opt for sustainable architectural landscape design. Understanding Sustainable Landscape Design Landscape designers agree that sustainable landscape design has to use very few resources, ensuring to minimize input and maximize output. The way to do this is to find materials and plants that are sustainable and to monitor the amount of water consumed through the life of the landscape because water is a precious commodity. Managing Long-term Materials Because cost-saving is an integral part of sustainable landscape design, companies such as Architectural Landscape Design place an emphasis on using materials that last a very long time. Also, materials have to be cost-effective and make sense for the surface they are used on. Landscape designers will often use stones for outdoor areas that are not covered in plants. For this, you can go with stones or gravel, with gravel being the more cost-efficient option between the two. Gravel will last for a very long time and is a very good option for areas that have a lot of foot traffic, precisely because gravel is very hard to wear down. Gravel also ensures runoff is not trapped outside your house as it does not trap rainwater. When laying down gravel, try not to compact it as it will ruin the soil underneath. Also, getting rid of gravel is almost impossible, so be sure to use it on areas you are sure will never have plants on them. Plants and Irrigation In keeping with the theme of sustainability and low-cost options, try to find plants that acclimate will with your region’s climate. Try to find plants that will not be affected by the amount of rain, sunshine, humidity or other climatic factors in your region. Doing so ensures that you have plants that will last for a very long time. If you want some color in your gardens throughout the year, try to find perennial plants. These plants bloom for several years. That way, you do not have to replace the plants every year and you have a beautiful garden to look at through the life of the plants. Treat Water as a Scarce Resource Sustainable landscape design also calls for treating water as a scarce resource, especially in drought-prone areas. To do this, find areas that you can save water on. Start by using plants that require very little irrigation and plan out your irrigation schedule for nights or the early morning before the sun becomes too hot. When considering what plants to get to conserve water, choose native and exotic plants. Meadows are a very good option for those looking to reduce grassy areas in their properties to save water. Sustainable architectural landscape design can be both fun and challenging. Once you understand the principles behind it, like treating water as a scarce resource, keeping your costs down and using long-lasting materials, you will have a blueprint on where to start to get the sustainable landscape you have always wanted.

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Forex Brokers in the UK

Until the late 20th century, Forex trading was only accessible to institutions. Today, large banks and corporations exchange currencies alongside individuals. Retail traders in the UK monitor finance trends and make profitable decisions with assistance from local brokers. These intermediaries do not only give access to the market but also educate clients on the most viable Forex trading strategies. Dozens of companies are advertising brokerage services online. Due to the incredible popularity of Forex trading around the world, the existence of scam sites is not surprising. Since brokers handle their clients’ financial operations, it is vital to make the right choice. This article will help you identify reliable operators in your country. Crucial Selection Criteria Use the following list of factors to weed out scammers. See if you can answer these questions. 1.   Does the company comply with UK regulations? What regulatory body is it monitored by? The company must have a licence to conduct business in the United Kingdom. This information should be clearly stated on their website, as it is a sign of credibility. Check the list of regulating bodies carefully. After all, your financial flows will go through the broker. 2.   Do client reviews look genuine? Online feedback can hardly be perceived as a reliable source of opinions. However, when reviews are fake or paid, this may be deduced from the language. Look at specialized platforms with comparisons of Forex operators. 3.   How much are the transaction costs? The spreads (i.e., the difference between the Ask and Bid values) determine the broker’s commission for every transaction. Although it is natural to seek the lowest fees, remember that these must look realistic. 4.   Are there any hidden fees? Unscrupulous providers may use deceptive passages in their Terms and Conditions. Reliable brokers, on the other hand, make all the conditions transparent. 5.   How much is the minimum deposit? This usually depends on the type of account you open. Can you afford to start trading with this broker? 6.   Are their deposit and withdrawal methods convenient? This determines your ability to make transfers using the accepted methods. 7.   Does the broker offer comprehensive guidance? Renowned Forex providers supply clients with tonnes of educational material. Demo accounts should be available, so you can practice trades with zero risks. You should also be able to reach the support centre around the clock, at least on weekdays. Example: Trading with FXTM Established in 2011, this brand is now truly global. With 2+ million clients in 150 countries, it boasts impressive geographical coverage. In the UK, the company is subject to regulation by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). The mission of this entity is to protect consumers, enhance market integrity and promote competition in the finance field. Over the years, FXTM has collected over 25 industry awards. The firm is usually included in annual forex broker reviews. Importantly, all client funds are kept separate from corporate assets. This adds another degree of protection. Other competitive advantages include: efficient software optimized for portable devices (MetaTrader 4 and 5), competitive spreads, low minimum deposit requirement, regular promotions and loyalty bonuses, trading of currencies, stocks, CFDs and commodities, around-the-clock support on weekdays. Other UK Brokers Here are a few other brokers with positive trust ratings. All of them are regulated by FCA. Check the companies’ sites for exact terms and conditions of trading. IG CMC Markets Swissquote Saxo Bank.

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Six wildly impressive hotels for your bucket list

Which hotels around the world have you been blown away by? Las Vegas is home to so many flamboyant structural designs, including New York New York and Caesar’s Palace, that make Sin City so appealing. The architectural cleverness is something which makes hotels so highly sought after. Gather some ideas from our guide below and start planning your next escape… The Luxor, Las Vegas, USA It’d be rude not to start with a Vegas delight and, while there are many magnificent choices that could make this list, this Egyptian design is a building which doesn’t gain as many plaudits as it perhaps should. It’s arguably one of the most unusual actual designs in the Nevada hotspot (no weather pun intended!) with 30 floors to take in in the gigantic Sphinx. With huge pharaoh statues welcoming you in the lobby, the Luxor opened for business as the first (and only) pyramid-shaped hotel in Vegas in 1993 and remains an architectural marvel gracing the famous strip. Hoshinoya Fuji, Fujikawaguchiko, Japan Let’s face it — glamping is a worldwide phenomenon these days. There are so many luxurious pods popping up across the globe that could tickle your fancy. The Hoshinoya Fuji in Japan however offers something a little bit unique. Step inside your cosy pod and you’ll be met with an air-conditioned unit with an array of comfortable furnishings and an ensuite bathroom. But what’s so special about this spot? Well, the ceiling-to-floor windows provide an exquisite view of the scenery surrounding you — the awesome beauty that is Mount Fuji. While that may sound great, it gets better! You can step outside your space and onto a private timber decking area to fully bask in the natural glory. The patio isn’t just any plain space either. Instead, it includes hammocks and fire pits to allow you to relax in style. Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya Going on a safari adventure is on many people’s bucket lists. But, instead of being in the comfort of a vehicle driving up to the animals, why don’t you let the wildlife come to you? In Kenya you can do just that thanks to Giraffe Manor. This delightful hotel is found in one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings and enables the resident giraffes to pop their heads through the dining room windows in search of a treat. You really can’t get much closer to living with wildlife! Sun Cruise Resort, Jeondongin, South Korea Have you always fancied a holiday on a cruise ship but are wary about getting your sea legs? This quirky number in South Korea gives you all the luxury of a cruise liner while still being on dry land. With a claim to fame of having the best view of the sunrise in South Korea, the Sun Cruise Resort will see you spend your quality time aboard a liner that is carefully placed upon the cliff top of Jeondongin. With over 200 rooms, guests can take advantage of more than just the views, with a revolving sky lounge, night club, karaoke and sea water pool all on offer. Lover’s Deep Submarine, St Lucia Okay, so sometimes quirkiness comes at a cost — as is evident in this submarine offering. The underwater hotel can be yours for a little over £200,000 per night. Bargain, eh? Well, although this option is head and shoulders above the others on this list in terms of cost, for those with money to burn, this once-in-a-lifetime experience is ideal. Delve beneath the deep blue sea and you’ll have the choice to moor at your own chosen location, meaning you can take in any view you like, such as St Lucia’s stunning coral reef. Not only that, but you can also choose your own décor for the duration of your stay. While this luxury bedroom will be out of reach for most of us, it definitely deserves its ‘quirky’ title. La Balade des Gnomes, Durbuy, Belgium If dogs aren’t quite your thing, this Belgian boutique offers up an array of designs, including a Trojan horse. With 10 rather unique rooms, ‘The Walk of the Gnomes’ to give it its English name is situated in an elegant 17th Century town and gives visitors the choice of rooms that each could be at home on a Tim Burton movie set. Alongside the giant wooden horse on offer, you can also choose from the likes of a Macquarie Island room in which your boat-like bed mysteriously appears to be floating on real water and you’ll also find some sandy stretches! The world of hotels is a fantastic place and each year architects are outdoing themselves and producing some out-of-this-world designs. The main question is, what will the future hold for hoteliers? Article provided by leading UK decking boards retailer: Arbordeck. Sources

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