BDC

Search
BDC Magazine

June 4, 2020

Electrical safety guidance – England

The UK Government has on the 1st June 2020, released guidance on the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. There are three sets of guidance with separate versions released for landlords, tenants, and local authorities in England. Private landlords must ensure: Electrical safety standards are

Read More »

RLB RESTRUCTURES HEALTHCARE SECTOR WITH FOCUS ON THREE KEY WORKSTREAMS

Leading independent construction, property and management consultancy, Rider Levett Bucknall UK has announced a restructure of its healthcare sector headed up by Partner, Stewart Binns as National Lead. Taking the role alongside his existing position as head of Project Management in Yorkshire and Humber, Binns will lead the sector that

Read More »

Works commence on £3.9m renovation of King Edward VI School

Construction has started on the £3.9m renovation of King Edward VI School in Lichfield, with works being led by Midlands contractor G F Tomlinson for Staffordshire County Council under the Staffordshire Construction framework. This is the second contract secured by G F Tomlinson through the Staffordshire Construction framework for Staffordshire

Read More »
Survey Reviews Office Space Needs

Survey Reviews Office Space Needs

A survey of recruitment firms by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has revealed that 79% are reviewing their need for office space with almost a third (31%) stating that they will definitely downsize and almost half (48%) saying that they will not go ahead with office expansion plans.

Read More »

Property Market Is Given a New Lease of Life

The property website www.localsurveyorsdirect.co.uk reports that it has seen a sharp increase in activity in the UK housing market in the past fortnight following the slump due to the Coronavirus lockdown. JJ Heath-Caldwell, managing director of the business, says: “After a very buoyant start to the year, in mid-March to mid-April the number

Read More »

Manchester and Cheshire surfacing company lead by reputation

With over 25 years of experience of constructing paving in the Manchester and Cheshire areas, few companies can match the professionalism and knowledge of the Planet Surfacing team.  Now, this well-regarded company have just had their busiest ever start to the year, and this looks set to continue throughout 2020.

Read More »

Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

June 4, 2020

Electrical safety guidance – England

The UK Government has on the 1st June 2020, released guidance on the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. There are three sets of guidance with separate versions released for landlords, tenants, and local authorities in England. Private landlords must ensure: Electrical safety standards are met when the property is occupied during a tenancy. Every fixed electrical installation at the property is inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person. The first inspection and testing are carried out before new tenancies commence on or after 1 July 2020 and by 1 April 2021 for existing tenancies. Key questions answered WHAT DOES ELECTRICAL SAFETY STANDARDS MEAN? Under the Regulations, electrical safety standards mean that the inspection and test of the installation is carried out in accordance with the eighteenth edition of the wiring regulations BS 7671:2018 (the national standard to which all domestic wiring must conform). WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE AN EXISTING REPORT? If the landlord has obtained a satisfactory Electrical Installation Safety Report which is less than five years old, they should review the report to see what was recommended on it and consider how the property has been let since it was carried out. If big differences to the property have occurred, then it would be wise to get another check done. If no changes have been made, then the report will remain valid until the next inspection date specified. WHAT TENANCY TYPES ARE COVERED BY THE REGULATIONS? The Regulations apply to all tenancies apart from those listed as excluded tenancies which are social housing, shared accommodation with a landlord or landlord’s family, long leases, student halls of residence, hostels and refuges, care homes, hospitals, and hospices as well as other accommodation relating to healthcare provision. DO THE REGULATIONS APPLY TO HOUSES OF MULTIPLE OCCUPATION (HMO)? Yes, if an HMO is a tenant’s only or main residence and they pay rent, then these regulations apply to the property. Furthermore, these Regulations repeal the previous legislation which set requirements on HMO landlords. WHAT ABOUT NEW BUILD PROPERTY? The Regulations stipulate that all rented properties – even new builds – should have their electrical installations tested every five years. The Electrical Installation Certificate will certify that electrics are safe when they are put into service, but it will not identify any damage, deterioration, or defects that take place subsequently. After five years of use as a rented property, the UK Government believes it is sensible to ask landlords (who have not been living in the property) to ensure that the electrical installation is still safe. WHO CAN CARRY OUT THE CHECKS? Any Electrical Inspector employed to undertake the electrical inspection and testing within the property must have: Adequate insurance. This should include at least £2 million public liability insurance and £250,000 professional indemnity insurance. A qualification covering the current version of the wiring regulations (BS 7671). A qualification covering the periodic inspection, testing, and certification of electrical installations. At least two years’ experience in carrying out periodic inspection and testing See www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk and www.napit.org.uk/member-search.aspx How do the rules interact with the guidance because of COVID-19? The UK Government recognise that the restrictions imposed by current measures to minimise the infection risks from COVID-19 may make carrying out electrical safety checks more difficult, for example where households are isolating or where an individual has been advised to shield. Under such circumstances, provided the landlord can demonstrate they have taken reasonable steps to comply, they would not be in breach of their legal duties.

Read More »

British Safety Council announces the winners of the International Safety Awards 2020

The British Safety Council has announced the individuals, teams, initiatives and organisations who have won awards as part of the 2020 International Safety Awards Scheme (ISAs). These awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements around the world amongst those who have made exceptional efforts to ensure peoples’ health, safety and wellbeing. The Young Health and Safety Champion of the Year awards recognises the exceptional contribution of individuals aged 16-24 in ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of their colleagues and others. The winner this year is: Shewale Aniket Prabhakar, EHS engineer, PVVNL IDPS Additional RMU PKG, Ghaziabad, India (winner) The Wellbeing Initiative Award recognises organisations that can demonstrate a proactive and effective approach to improving employee wellbeing. This must be through a new or unique objective with a clear and measurable outcome, over and above the organisation’s routine work. The award is sponsored by Vitality Healthy Workplace, which provides a variety of services to help businesses to build a healthier, more engaged and productive workforce. The winner this year is: Ashgal ‘Health and Wellness Campaign’, India The Health and Safety Transformation Award recognises organisations that have changed or transformed any aspect of health, safety or wellbeing to a significant extent through the use of information. Applicants were required to describe the transformation, how it was used and its positive impact. The award is sponsored by Croner-i, one of the leading providers of information and guidance for businesses in fields such as health and safety, the environment and human resources. The winner this year is: Chr.Hansen New for 2020, the CEO Award recognises the leadership and strategic vision of a CEO who has made a vital contribution to the health and safety of their business and to wider society in 2019. The winner this year is: Matt Brabin, ISS, UK For the second year running the Team of Year Award recognises outstanding achievements resulting in a significant improvement to health, safety or wellbeing, from a collaboration of stakeholders. The winner this year is: ASHGHAL-DW002-P03 Roads and Infrastructure in West Muaither (Al Manasser) Package 3 New for 2020, the James Tye Award honours the founder of the British Safety Council. James campaigned tirelessly to improve the health, safety and welfare of people at work. He founded the British Safety Council in 1957 and continued to support it until he died in 1996. The winner this year is: Transport Corporation of India Ltd. (TCIL) Sector winners Construction and property – Gas Call Services Ltd Education – ISS Education, Working in partnership with University of the West of Scotland Eco-Campus Healthcare – Sodexo Healthcare at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust – Oxford Road Campus Hospitality – Arsenal Football Club Local government – FCC Environment – Wychavon Collections Contract Manufacturing – (joint winners) Advanced Proteins / Flexitallic UK Ltd – Cleckheaton Not for profit – Plymouth Community Homes Oil and gas – SP Armada Oil Exploration Pvt. Ltd.- Armada Sterling II Onshore – GardaWorld Security Services. Middle East & Africa Power and utility – ENKA İnşaat ve Sanayi A.Ş – Nizhnekamsk 495 MW Combined Cycle Power Plant Project Transport – Unipart Logistics Country/regional winners China – China Construction Engineering (Macau) Co. Ltd. – Macau LRT C385R  (LRT Depot) India – SP Armada Oil Exploration Pvt. Ltd.- Armada Sterling II Jordan – Indo-Jordan Chemicals Co Ltd Kuwait – Kuwait National Petroleum Company – Head Office Pakistan – (joint winners) Engro Fertilizers Daharki Fatima Fertilizer Company Limited – Plant Site, Sadiqabad Qatar – Urbacon Trading & Contracting – Qatar Saudi Arabia – Sadara Chemical Company. Packaging Center – MdR Operations Sri Lanka – China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd-Construction of proposed ODEL Mall & Department Store – Colombo 07 Turkey – ENKA Insaat ve Sanayi – Nizhnekamsk 495 MW Combined Cycle Power Plant Project UAE – (joint winners) Dubai Multi Commodities Centre China State Construction Engineering Corporation (Middle East) (L.L.C), R 1013/2D Improvement of Al Shindagha Corridor Phase 2 D ProjectSouth America – Planta San Miguel, Cementos Progreso UK/Ireland – Unipart Logistics Africa – Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited – Port Harcourt, Nigeria Southeast Asia (other) – Ed. Züblin AG, Singapore Branch Announcing the winners Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council said: “My warmest congratulations to all of the individuals, teams and organisations that have won awards within our prestigious International Safety Awards scheme. “The winners have made huge efforts to protect and enhance the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone in their organisations. All the winners and those who were shortlisted went the extra mile by dedicating additional time, resources and commitment to ensuring that their work, teams and workplaces remained healthy and safe during the previous year.” He went on to say: “I would also like to say thank you to all of the organisations who took time to apply for these awards and to our panel of judges who volunteered to adjudicate them.” He concluded his remarks: “The British Safety Council’s vision is that no-one should be injured or made ill through their work, anywhere in the world. By publicising the achievements of the winners of these awards, we can encourage other employers everywhere to follow their lead and give workers’ health, safety and wellbeing the priority it rightly deserves.” Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak the British Safety Council took the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 International Safety Awards Gala Dinner. The winners will receive their trophies and certificates by courier at the earliest opportunity.

Read More »

RLB RESTRUCTURES HEALTHCARE SECTOR WITH FOCUS ON THREE KEY WORKSTREAMS

Leading independent construction, property and management consultancy, Rider Levett Bucknall UK has announced a restructure of its healthcare sector headed up by Partner, Stewart Binns as National Lead. Taking the role alongside his existing position as head of Project Management in Yorkshire and Humber, Binns will lead the sector that has been realigned into three key workstreams, with new leads appointed from within the business to manage each workstream: Capital programmes – James Costello Estate strategy and masterplanning – Adam Hurst Six Facet Surveys – Brook Smith The workstreams align with core healthcare sub-sectors Acute, Primary and Mental Health and are central to RLB’s national healthcare plan and strategy. Binns, who joined RLB in 2018 after heading up the health division at Turner and Townsend, commented, “Healthcare is a sector that has shown strong growth at RLB.  It has therefore made sense to pause at this point and realign our structure and teams to ensure that we have the right expertise in the right place to be able to service our clients now and in the future.”   “Healthcare continues to be one of our central areas of growth as a business,” continues Andrew Reynolds, Chief Executive of RLB UK. “If the last few months have shown us anything it is how crucial healthcare provision is to all our lives and ensuring that we have healthcare estates that are maintained, adapted and agile will continue to be of national importance. We believe our new structure will support the drive for best practice and to deliver the best outcomes within the sector.”

Read More »

Works commence on £3.9m renovation of King Edward VI School

Construction has started on the £3.9m renovation of King Edward VI School in Lichfield, with works being led by Midlands contractor G F Tomlinson for Staffordshire County Council under the Staffordshire Construction framework. This is the second contract secured by G F Tomlinson through the Staffordshire Construction framework for Staffordshire County Council, led by Entrust Property Services – the first being the £5.2m Poppyfields Primary School in Cannock, which was successfully completed last summer within a major housing development in the area. The project involves the design and build of an extension to an existing building and the construction of a new modular building to provide much needed replacement teaching and auxiliary spaces at King Edward VI School. Building on a winning partnership from the successful delivery of the Poppyfields Primary school, G F Tomlinson again appointed Arc Partnership to provide architectural and engineering services for the scheme. Phase one of works at the Lichfield co-educational comprehensive for pupils aged 11 to 18, involves the construction of a new three-storey extension on the site of a former swimming pool, which had been closed for over ten years and was demolished as part of preliminary site-wide enabling works by ENTRUST prior to commencement. The extension will provide replacement teaching and auxiliary spaces, as well as an administration area on the lower ground floor, which will be the location of the school’s new student services area. Completion for this phase is expected in spring 2021. Phase two involves the demolition of existing accommodation and obsolete prefabricated buildings, to be replaced with the construction of a brand new standalone modular structure, providing modern and enhanced science laboratory teaching facilities at the school. Ideal Modular, part of G F Tomlinson’s existing supply chain, has been appointed to deliver the modular element of this project. Works for phase two are expected to be completed in winter 2020. During the course of the construction works, G F Tomlinson is looking to engage with both staff and students of the school. The site management team will perform virtual live site tours for the school to report project progress and allow them to raise any queries they have. Once government guidelines allow it, the contractor also plans to carry out regular site tours and school assemblies, as well as communicating the project’s progress through meetings with the school. Regular newsletters will also be distributed to the school and local residents. Chris Flint, director of G F Tomlinson, said: “We are pleased to be able to commence construction works for our client Staffordshire County Council, particularly in the current climate. The works will maximise space and upgrade the existing buildings at King Edward VI School. These important renovations will optimise teaching spaces and improve the overall educational experience for students and staff. “It has been rewarding to engage with Entrust Property Services again and we look forward to working for them and Staffordshire County Council to deliver this project, whilst continuing to build strong relationships with Arc Partnership and our other local supply chain partners over the course of both phases.” County Councillor Philip White, cabinet member for learning and skills said: “These works are being completed to ensure the site can accommodate an increased demand for pupil places at the school, as a result of new housing in and around the city. Once finished, the work will enable the school to expand by 150 pupils. “We have been planning for this for a while, and construction is taking place over the course of a year to minimise disruption as much as possible. I’m sure pupils and teachers will enjoy using the brand-new accommodation in September 2021.” John Doherty, CEO of Entrust Support Services, said: “We are proud to see works commence at King Edward VI School following ENTRUST’s master planning of a multifaceted brief across a split campus. This is a complex project which we are proudly project managing with our preferred contractor and we look forward to working with G F Tomlinson, Staffordshire County Council and the school to complete it. Once finished, these new teaching spaces will benefit the school and its pupils well into the future.” Jane Rutherford, headteacher at King Edward School said “With additional students joining us each year, this project will provide all our students and staff with access to improved facilities. We are looking forward to seeing the project completed during the coming academic year”. Staffordshire County Council is leading the project, with project management from ENTRUST, G F Tomlinson acting as main contractors, and Arc partnership acting as architect and structural engineer.

Read More »
Sheet Piling Expert Ready to Assist Construction Sector’s Rapid Recovery Plans

Sheet Piling Expert Ready to Assist Construction Sector’s Rapid Recovery Plans

One of the UK’s most respected sheet piling suppliers, Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd, is ready to assist the country’s economic recovery as the construction industry emerges from total lockdown and as Tier-1 contractors earnestly seek security in their supply lines. Sheet Piling UK has all bases covered when it comes to the assurances that the procurement managers of the UK’s Tier-1 contractors require, in order to safeguard their own financial security. Thanks to working with numerous Tier-1 contractors and decades of experience in the construction sector, Sheet Piling UK has an enviable amount of stock at its disposal, with 8000 Te of new sheet piles and 3000 Te of temporary sheet piles in store and a further 5000 Te of steel sheet pile orders already placed for June and July. Additionally, it has an exclusive agreement with Emirates Steel which will enable it to reliably fulfil forward orders, with planned quarterly shipments of sheet piles. This means the Sheet Piling UK team, already operating at 95% capacity, can fully commit to the safe, timely delivery of stock and human resource to Tier-1 contractor projects. Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd’s managing director, Andrew Cotton, says: “We understand the critical nature of secure supply, on time and on budget, for our valued Tier-1 contractor clients and have ensured that every element of our operation has been geared up for a rapid recovery post UK lockdown.  We can tick the box of every deliverable required and play our part in getting the construction sector back up and running once again. “Whilst we are painfully aware that some suppliers will not be robust enough to survive the coronavirus crisis, creating delays and additional costs in the supply chain, our stock, resources and liquidity mean we can allay fears and offer full support to any procurement manager. We understand that a strong construction sector is vital, if the UK is to enjoy a strong and resilient future. We are doing everything possible to support our sector as it seeks to get back up and running.” Sheet Piling UK has worked on some emergency projects throughout the lockdown and will be resuming work on smart motorway and HS2 infrastructure projects, using its unique £1.2m long-reach rig, the TM 12/15 LR. A sign of its stability and forward-looking approach lies in the commissioning of a second long-reach rig, with the same 8.1m arm but other capabilities. This rig is due for delivery in a few months’ time, to offer extensive and often unanticipated savings, to projects seeking to not just resume a schedule of works but alto catch up on time lost, by not having to suffer delays around the creation of temporary platforms on which the sheet piling rig can operate.

Read More »
Survey Reviews Office Space Needs

Survey Reviews Office Space Needs

A survey of recruitment firms by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has revealed that 79% are reviewing their need for office space with almost a third (31%) stating that they will definitely downsize and almost half (48%) saying that they will not go ahead with office expansion plans. Over half of the 112 respondents had offices in central London. With almost 40,000 recruitment firms in the UK, the research could make worrying reading for commercial landlords.  “We will not be returning as we had previously,” said one respondent, a life sciences recruitment firm with over 50 staff and offices in central London and the south east. “In fact, our productivity has spiked with remote working so we will be operating offices in the future with a rota of teams in attendance that will support social distancing. However, with a more productive remote work practice, we will look for smaller offices and rotas in the future.” Over half of the survey respondents (53%) expected to be back in the office within three months, over a third (37%) within six months and 10% next year. When asked about forward planning just over 30% said they were in the process of reading the Government guidance, almost half (48%) had read the guidance and were actively carrying out risk assessments and just over 20% felt that it was too early to plan anything. However, with recent announcements from companies such as Shopify, Facebook and Twitter saying that staff can work from home indefinitely, it is clear that those looking to return are contemplating a different way of working in the future: “We rent our office but I think the way we rent and use office space needs to change”, commented another respondent a technology recruiter with an office in central London. “We need a base in London for meeting with clients and candidates once it is safe to do so and somewhere to meet as a team once or twice a month. Landlords will need to look at how they rent out space.” The recruitment sector has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis and despite government support packages such as the Job Retention Scheme, 46% of respondents are still planning redundancies. Commenting on the results of the survey, Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo said: “The biggest two cost bases to recruitment firms are people and premises and so it is not surprising that companies are looking to reduce those costs against a backdrop of a significant fall in business and I hope that once we have some clarity on the Job Retention scheme post June, the percentage looking at redundancies will fall. However, what this research clearly shows us is that the age of the majority of staff being in the office five days a week is probably well and truly behind us.”

Read More »

Property Market Is Given a New Lease of Life

The property website www.localsurveyorsdirect.co.uk reports that it has seen a sharp increase in activity in the UK housing market in the past fortnight following the slump due to the Coronavirus lockdown. JJ Heath-Caldwell, managing director of the business, says: “After a very buoyant start to the year, in mid-March to mid-April the number of enquiries quickly dropped by 80% with the lowest activity recorded on the 14 April. Since then, the activity has been steadily rising and is now around 57% down (instead of 80% down). This is still low but we are seeing steady progress in response to some of the Government’s initiatives to get the property market moving again.  “Across our sites, we have seen a strong increase in activity, which is promising after everything was closed during the lockdown period. My expectation is that the number of enquiries will continue to rise as we go through this year. We won’t see the levels that we saw back in January and February, but things are definitely looking up.” Since lockdown restrictions were implemented in the UK in March 2020, more than 450,000 people have been unable to progress their plans to move house. Now, following a Government initiative, all buyers and renters will now be able to complete purchases and view properties in person, while estate agents, conveyancers and removals firms can return to work while following social distancing guidelines. Additionally, in another move to unlock the housing market, the Housing Secretary has announced a series of measures to get the country building homes for the future, including more flexible construction site working hours for builders, the use of social media to publicise planning applications and support for smaller developers with deferred payments to local councils. A new Charter has also been launched by the government and the Home Builders Federation, helping construction sites reopen in line with latest health and safety guidance. Local Surveyors Direct, which offers a property services price comparison engine, helps people source local property professionals, connecting home owners and home buyers with surveyors, architects, estate agents, conveyancers, domestic energy assessors, drainage contractors and other property-related professionals. These services are provided over the whole of the United Kingdom by a comprehensive network of suppliers which has been steadily built up since the website first started operating in 2005.

Read More »

Manchester and Cheshire surfacing company lead by reputation

With over 25 years of experience of constructing paving in the Manchester and Cheshire areas, few companies can match the professionalism and knowledge of the Planet Surfacing team.  Now, this well-regarded company have just had their busiest ever start to the year, and this looks set to continue throughout 2020. Home owners and business owners are not only looking for quality when it comes to choosing who will carry out their driveway or block paving work, the price is always going to be a large consideration as well.   Planet Surfacing have long prided themselves on their unmatched attention to detail, whilst ensuring that each project is completed smoothly and without a hitch.  It is this efficiency and experience that enables them to also keep their pricing affordable. The company, who offer a wide range of driveway paving services, have been thrilled with the level of enquiries that they have been receiving in the last few months. “The winter is usually a quieter time for us, but orders for this year have already exceeded our expectations.  I know that we have a great reputation in the Manchester and Cheshire areas, and it is possibly word of mouth coupled with the fact that we are always able to price each job really competitively, that I think has made the last few months so busy,” explained Dave COPELAND, founder of North West driveways company. Planet Surfacing are confident when it comes to new driveways, PIC (pattern imprinted concrete), general construction, block paving, paving designs, tarmac drives and groundworks, that no one can match their skills or prices. They source only the best quality materials from reputable suppliers well in advance, considering all of the client’s specified requirements to create their dream driveway.  “The whole team worked closely with us to ensure that everything was right before they started.  They upgraded the driveway a couple of years ago and have since resealed it to keep it looking as good as new.  It was a great service with a great price,” commented a recent client from Disdbury. It certainly looks as though this year is set to replicate if not exceed the success of 2019, when one of Planet Surfacing’s many stunning driveways was shortlisted as one of the best features of the year, in The Golden Trowel Awards.  The driveway also made it into the Golden Trowel brochure produced by PICS “pattern imprinted concrete supplies LTD.” For more information, be sure to visit  Planet Surfacing Or Contact Dave dave@planetsurfacing.co.uk Tel: 0161 9451208 Tel: 01625 460 238

Read More »