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December 16, 2020

How Software Can Support a Growing Field Service Business

If you run a field service business that is in the process of growing, it is essential you use software to support your operations and decision making. Read on to find out more. The Advantages of Going Paperless By using software for a field service business, your company can evolve

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Can modular construction rebuild the UK’s high streets?

Why town planners should use modular construction for Towns Fund projects In September 2020, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick, announced the first part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund. Over 100 towns in England will be given up to £1 million to rejuvenate their

Read More »

GODWIN AWARDED APPROVED SUPPLIER STATUS ON MAJOR NATIONAL DEVELOPER FRAMEWORK

UK RESIDENTIAL and commercial developer Godwin Developments has today (Tuesday 15 December) gained approved supplier status on Pagabo’s new national developer-led framework, worth £47 billion. The approval will enable Godwin to be directly appointed on developments or bid for contracts to deliver residential schemes such as housing, student, and multifamily

Read More »

RLB makes tracks with Midlands Very Light Rail Programme

RLB UK continues to make tracks in the Midlands by commencing this week on the third phase of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council’s innovative Very Light Rail (VLR) project, having value engineered a £3m cost saving to the client. RLB UK has also played a key role in Coventry City Council’s

Read More »

Lismore launches quarterly review of the Scottish investment market

More encouraging volumes in the second half of the year signal a cautious return of confidence and investor appetite for 2021 Leading independent property advisory firm, Lismore Real Estate today released its comprehensive quarterly review of the Scottish investment market. In a year like no other, with challenges across the

Read More »
Viessmann Develops New Air Ventilation Solution

Viessmann Develops New Air Ventilation Solution

Viessmann has created an air ventilation solution to combat the spread of COVID-19 in schools. The company’s unique new hybrid ventilation unit, the Vitovent 200-P, provides closed rooms with constant air circulation of filtered air. This greatly reduces the risk of occupants breathing in contaminated aerosols which can spread across

Read More »
ALB Group Delivers Christmas Cheer

ALB Group Delivers Christmas Cheer

Leading property development, investment and lettings company, ALB Group, is marking the festive season by donating thousands of pounds worth of Christmas presents to children in five hospitals across the country. The Nottingham-headquartered privately owned group, which has multiple companies specialising in the conversion, redevelopment and letting of residential and commercial

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Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

December 16, 2020

How Software Can Support a Growing Field Service Business

If you run a field service business that is in the process of growing, it is essential you use software to support your operations and decision making. Read on to find out more. The Advantages of Going Paperless By using software for a field service business, your company can evolve to entirely paperless operations. By transferring from a paper system to a software solution, you have the tools to: ·       Provide electronic invoicing. ·       Store data in the cloud online, so it can be accessed anytime and anywhere by anyone who has permission. ·       Capture information in pre-formatted and photo-enriched forms to help avoid errors. ·       Use instant messaging services to ensure all field teams and service centre staff are connected. ·       Save costs on things like paper, ink cartridges, printers, and photocopiers. Software Helps to Provide Accurate Estimates Pen and paper or spreadsheets are still commonly used by field service businesses like electrical contracting companies to come up with estimates. But manually estimating the cost of jobs is an inefficient way to work compared to using a software solution for electrical bidding and other field service bids. Manually estimating costs can lead to all kinds of issues. Most importantly, it can lead to services being priced incorrectly. With the right software, field service businesses have a system that gives them a precise overview of the time, expenses, and margins for every specific job, ensuring that accurate estimates can be given. It’s 2024. It’s time for contractors to update their tech. Quality FSM software and a device like a smartphone or tablet are all you need to do anything business-related on the fly. Aside from the work itself, of course. Software Helps to Solve Scheduling Problems One of the biggest logistical problems field service technicians and dispatchers encounter is scheduling issues. Scheduling challenges can become even more problematic as a field service company grows. Manually tracking where technicians are and where they have been can be difficult. But software alleviates that problem. The best field service business software provides accurate scheduling tools and can alert technicians in the field instantly. Most software also enables you to optimise appointment bookings so that technicians can plan the best routes to jobs and notify customers if they are running late.   Software Enables Field Service Businesses to Respond in Real Time The best software enables your business to respond in real time, which means many of your operations can become more efficient. For example, software allows your company to: ·       Optimise travel times for technicians, meaning they can arrive faster and spend less time in traffic jams. ·       Optimise service times, due to the fact that technicians have access to online details about things like customer data and spare parts. ·       Optimise workloads of technicians, because the ability to work more efficiently in all areas enables technicians to perform more service calls each day. Benefits like those above enable field service businesses to increase their productivity, and therefore, accelerate growth. Field Service Businesses Can Measure Growth with Industry-specific Data To grow a field service business, you need to be able to measure and track your company’s progress. To ensure you can do that, use a software solution where you can integrate your business parameters into the platform. Each business has its own specific Key Performance Indicators. After you have identified your specific KPIs, ensure your software can retrieve and analyse reliable field data for things like the number of service calls performed and the adherence to service legal agreements. Software Can Improve Customer Satisfaction If you want your field service business to grow, you must continually provide customer satisfaction. If you have problems with factors like schedules, timekeeping, and accounts, your customer satisfaction rates will soon drop. But as seen above, software solutions can help you avoid such issues. By utilising the right software solutions, your business will have all it needs to improve its performance and increase its productivity; both of which will help to foster business growth.

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Can modular construction rebuild the UK’s high streets?

Why town planners should use modular construction for Towns Fund projects In September 2020, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick, announced the first part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund. Over 100 towns in England will be given up to £1 million to rejuvenate their centres. Town planners should use the money strategically to make as much of a positive impact on the area as possible. Here, Nick Cowley, managing director of uPVC windows supplier Euramax, explores why modular construction should be part of this strategy. The initial £80 million investment into the UK’s towns will be used for various projects, including pedestrianising streets, creating green spaces and redeveloping high street units. When rebuilding high streets, town planners should consider the increasingly popular methods of modular construction (MMC). MMC involves manufacturing individual parts of a building in an offsite facility and transporting them to the site in a completed state. When building in busy areas like town centres, work needs to be carried out efficiently to achieve sustainable and durable results, with minimal disruption to residents. MMC offers planners a perfect solution to build back commercial areas thanks to its speed, safety and sustainability. Faster completion MMC can be carried out between 30 and 50 per cent quicker than traditional methods. By taking a manufacturing-style approach to construction, identical components can be made repeatedly in an automated factory environment. Typically, two eight-hour shifts are undertaken each day — more than would be achieved onsite — which increases output. Once individual parts have been manufactured, the indoor construction process can begin. According to a 2019 report conducted by McKinsey & Company, a team of five workers can assemble up to six 3D modules per day. Module assembly can be carried out at the same time as the onsite foundation work, which adds to the speed of modular construction. Fast completion is beneficial to town planners because it reduces the time that access to the developing area is limited. This allows planners to mitigate the impact of the project on residents, ensuring noise pollution and blockages on roads and footpaths are kept to a minimum. Increased safety Guaranteeing safety when using traditional building techniques can be complicated:  numerous tradespeople need to be coordinated in a small construction area, in potentially harsh weather conditions. In contrast, elements of a modular building such as electrics, plumbing and uPVC windows and doors can be fitted in a factory setting, improving control over the process. Safety requirements can be met with ease and weather conditions have no impact on the quality of construction. As construction workers complete the bulk of the project indoors, less time is spent in a potentially dangerous, open-air environment. MMC also reduces the risk to the public because it moves around 80 per cent of construction offsite. This is particularly important in busy towns: the more potentially hazardous work that is done in a controlled offsite facility, the less of a danger the project is to the public. Lasting sustainability Modular construction is more sustainable than traditional building methods because it requires less transportation. Entire modules are constructed in one location, which reduces deliveries by up to 90 per cent, lowering the industry’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The pre-fabricated approach to construction also allows for more thermally efficient builds. Constructing modules in a controlled environment allows workers to seal joints, install insulation and minimise thermal bridging more accurately, which can reduce operational costs by around 20 per cent. Town planners can also select components that are certain to improve energy efficiency. Windows and doors are typically some of the biggest culprits of heat loss, so it’s important to work with a reliable manufacturer to deliver project success. Euramax offers a wide range of energy efficient uPVC windows and uPVC doors that come with a ten-year guarantee, which can be manufactured and fitted offsite, making them an ideal partner for energy efficient builds. Rejuvenating town centres is key to driving local economic growth and maintaining a sense of community. Using MMC can help planners build quickly and safely without sacrificing sustainability, restoring their towns’ spark.

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HENLEY USES MMC TO FINISH BRENT TOWN HALL – DELIVERING 248 NEW HOMES FOR NOTTING HILL GENESIS

Henley Construct, a division of the Henley Homes Group, has completed the transformation of a former council office site in Wembley, handing over much needed affordable housing to Notting Hill Genesis. The developer has delivered 248 new apartments of affordable and private sale homes to the housing association, alongside circa 6,000 sq. ft of retail space to include a Sainsbury’s Local. The apartments, retail space and landscaped public plaza sit on the 1.9 acre site which was home to the outdated 1960’s council building, known as Brent House. The mixed-use development includes two linear buildings of five principle blocks ranging from seven to 10 storeys high. Henley Construct, a division of Henley, applied modern construction solutions for the scheme utilising DfMA principles for efficiency by building steel frames off-site in its own lightweight steel factory, Intelligent Steel Solutions. By controlling up to 40% of its supply chain, Henley favour the use of light weight steel frames its own developments as well as for its clients, including the social housing sector, due to efficient costs and tighter delivery programmes, without compromising on design, quality and sustainability. By manufacturing off-site, Henley aims to reduce its carbon footprint by minimising site waste removals, reducing traffic movements and using recyclable materials in construction.  Aaron Usmani, Director of Construction at Henley, comments: “Thanks to significant time and cost efficiencies due to our in-house manufacturing capability, we were able to deliver precision engineered, high quality housing of varying tenures at scale and pace for Notting Hill Genesis. This ultimately reflects our ethos that everyone should have access to quality housing, regardless of whether they are renting or buying.” “We are proud of what we have delivered at Brent House, which introduces a positive change to the immediate vicinity of the site, enhancing the character and wider regeneration of Wembley.”

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GODWIN AWARDED APPROVED SUPPLIER STATUS ON MAJOR NATIONAL DEVELOPER FRAMEWORK

UK RESIDENTIAL and commercial developer Godwin Developments has today (Tuesday 15 December) gained approved supplier status on Pagabo’s new national developer-led framework, worth £47 billion. The approval will enable Godwin to be directly appointed on developments or bid for contracts to deliver residential schemes such as housing, student, and multifamily schemes, as well as senior living projects. The EU-compliant framework, which will run for five and a half years, will assist Godwin in partnering with public sector organisations through single site development agreements valued between £20m and £40m across London, South West, East of England, East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, North West and North East England. In addition, the business will also be eligible to cover projects worth up to £40m in London, South East, Midlands and North of England, delivered through either special purpose vehicles, joint ventures, LLP or other corporate structures. Acting on behalf of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, the Pagabo framework will cover a range of developer-led schemes within the construction industry and is open to all public sector bodies including schools, universities, local authorities, police and emergency services, NHS organisations, health and social care providers and housing associations, as well as central government departments and the Ministry of Defence. The business secured a place on the framework after a rigorous OJEU compliant tender process, covering relevant experience, financial suitability as well as contribution to social value and technology implementation. Lindsay McCombe, senior development director at Godwin Developments, said: “We are really proud to have been awarded a place onto this prestigious national framework. As an established UK developer with credentials across the residential and commercial sectors, we bring over 20 years of experience in property – from identifying sites through to design, planning permission and full build – and have a solid track record in both single-site schemes as well as projects delivered via SPVs, LLPs or joint ventures. “We are also passionate about enhancing local communities by attracting investment and creating homes and jobs, improving public realm, skills and opportunities, growing infrastructure and the provision of affordable homes. Similar to the UK government, we see construction and support for the public sector as a key component of recovery and long-term prosperity. We look forward to working with procurement departments in our appointed regions to realise their regeneration programmes.” Jason Stapley, managing director at Pagabo, said: “With all our frameworks we aim to simplify the whole procurement process, ensure flexibility and provide greater choice for clients, all packaged up with OJEU compliance – our developer-led framework is no different in that respect. It will allow developers the ability to procure works through a compliant and simple to use framework and help the public sector with vital expansion plans, creating an overall more robust sector.  “We’ve been absolutely blown away by the response we’ve had in this tender process and are really pleased to be bringing a unique procurement offering to market with such a strong set of companies.”  Stuart Pratt, group development director at Godwin Developments, said: “It is fantastic to be concluding 2020 with news of our appointment to the Pagabo framework. Today’s award is an acknowledgement of our growing national capability, strong in-house team and exceptional advisory board – all of which will be able to support public sector teams across the country as they seek to improve infrastructure and services across their towns and cities. “I would also like to thank Pagabo for providing us with the opportunity to be a part of their programme, and we look forward to working closely with their teams over the next five years and beyond.” For further information on Godwin Developments visit www.godwindevelopments.co.uk    

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RLB makes tracks with Midlands Very Light Rail Programme

RLB UK continues to make tracks in the Midlands by commencing this week on the third phase of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council’s innovative Very Light Rail (VLR) project, having value engineered a £3m cost saving to the client. RLB UK has also played a key role in Coventry City Council’s recently securing almost £1.8m from the Getting Building Fund through Coventry and Warwickshire LEP. Appointed by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and Coventry City Council respectively, the RLB UK team is responsible for providing cost management and employer’s agent solutions on both projects, as well as supporting both councils in gaining funding for the pioneering transport technologies and associated transport schemes. Following commencement in September 2019, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council has so far seen the successful completion of phase one – site preparation works, followed by the start of phase two – construction of Test Track 1 (TT1) which will complete in January 2021. The 2.2km single test track will be fundamental to the evaluation of VLR technology. Phase three of the project will deliver the new national innovation centre, overseen by the recently formed Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO). The objective is to create a new Very Light Rail industry, supporting the manufacture and uptake of lower cost VLR solutions across the UK. With Coventry City Council’s VLR demonstrator vehicle currently under assembly and expected to be delivered to Dudley early 2021, urban Very Light Rail systems takes a step closer to being implemented on the streets of towns and cities across the UK. Innovation partner Ingerop and Warwick Manufacturing Group have been appointed to design a revolutionary track system to reduce the track form depth of this light rail system, which in turn reduces costs. RLB has been working with Coventry City Council and their design partners to ensure these objectives are met.   Andy Stamps, Head of Infrastructure for RLB UK comments, “The Very Light Rail programme is far more than just a way of connecting people. What this technological advancement does, is allow us across the UK to build transportation systems that deliver far greater value, without the traditional impact on the environment they occupy. This will bring accessibility and encourage social mobility to areas where the cost of other solutions prohibits investment. We are delighted to be involved in such innovative projects and ones that will surely shape the way we provide sustainable transportation solutions – not only in the UK but worldwide.” Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council said: “The Very Light Rail test track and national innovation centre is a key project for our borough. The new facility will develop innovative ways to reduce the weight and cost of railcars and track for a more affordable alternative to traditional rail and Metro transport. “The world’s eyes will be on Dudley as we work with partners to develop very light rail projects, which will revolutionise light rail technology globally. I’m looking forward to this project moving quickly through to delivery.” Nick Mallinson, Chief Executive of the BCIMO continues “this initiative is about developing a new form of low-cost rail based transport which will be manufactured and installed by UK companies and in particular supported by manufacturing companies in Dudley and the wider Black Country. We are pleased to be working closely with RLB who are demonstrating great vision and foresight in their involvement in the project.” Nicola Small, VLR Programme Manager at Coventry City Council comments “We opted to appoint RLB for our quantity surveying requirements due to their breadth of experience in the VLR field, their innovative approach, and their favourable and competitive rates. We have been delighted with their input into the VLR programme – it’s refreshing to work alongside innovative thinkers with a desire to solve complex problems by thinking laterally.”

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Overbury’s Stratford-upon-Avon College refurb to transform student experience

National office fit out and refurbishment specialist Overbury has delivered the first two phases of a comprehensive staged refurbishment project to transform the student teaching and learning experience at Stratford-upon-Avon College. Overbury has redeveloped Blocks A and B of the college campus as part of a significant investment in specialist facilities and equipment that began during the national coronavirus lockdown. The contractor worked with Associated Architects to reimagine the exterior of the 1960s building, with the creation of a new eye-catching main entrance to attract visitors from the A422 Alcester Road and adjacent Stratford-upon-Avon Train Station. The modern looking structure is complemented by the addition of new revolving entrance doors, stone flooring, new curtain walling and a feature entrance canopy, as well as a respray to existing cladding and windows to create a more welcoming approach. Overbury has delivered a full overhaul of the interior, with a rejuvenated reception area boasting sustainable features including LED lighting and feature timber clad walls. New management offices, breakout areas, toilets and meeting and teaching spaces have been created, with new tiled flooring and furniture throughout. Both blocks benefit from improved ventilation, with new data and feature acoustic, timber raft ceilings and reconstructed stairwells. Work on the 24-week refurbishment project began in a live campus environment in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and was completed in time for the start of the academic year. The project team included Novus as project manager, M&E engineer Couch Perry Wilkes and quantity surveyor RLF. Lindsey Stewart, chief operating officer, Stratford-upon-Avon College, said: “The College has embarked on an ambitious refurbishment project to re-imagine the campus at Stratford-upon-Avon College. We have been impressed at Overbury’s ability to continue working safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite all the challenges that this entailed they had delivered two refurbished blocks for us by September. Overbury has been a key part of that project in the first two phases and provided us with a high standard and level of quality which will be the benchmark we use going forward in future phases.” Alan Hastings, director of operations, Stratford-upon-Avon College, said: “Overbury has delivered a refurbishment project for the College that is a real step change for our campus and for how we are viewed by our stakeholders. One of the reasons young people choose a College like ours is because they are looking for a path and an experience that is very different to school. The refurbished buildings set us apart from that school experience. They deliver on the tone and feel we wanted, are visibly striking and visually interesting to students. From the start, the Overbury team has been very committed to meeting our needs. They have been responsive to change, pre-emptive and worked collaboratively with us in suggesting better alternatives to building solutions that we had not considered. We are delighted with the newly refurbished spaces, and our staff and students enjoy using them.” Penelope Mitchell, education and public sector business development manager for Overbury, said: “This refurbishment project represents a considerable investment in transforming the overall student experience and delivers new facilities that are second to none throughout Warwickshire. The focal point is the striking new entrance that provides a stronger street presence, drawing visitors into the college and supporting the future growth of the campus. It is especially pleasing to have completed the project given the challenges posed by a national lockdown. We’ve taken a really collaborative approach, working closely with colleagues at Stratford-upon-Avon College and the wider project team to find new ways of delivery that ensured the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone on site.” Overbury specialises in the fit out and refurbishment of higher and further education facilities. The contractor recently completed projects worth more than £4.4 million at the University of Birmingham and delivered the £1 million fit out of an Arts and Design Centre at Dudley College of Technology.

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Lismore launches quarterly review of the Scottish investment market

More encouraging volumes in the second half of the year signal a cautious return of confidence and investor appetite for 2021 Leading independent property advisory firm, Lismore Real Estate today released its comprehensive quarterly review of the Scottish investment market. In a year like no other, with challenges across the entire property market and global economy, Lismore reflects on 2020 and looks forward to 2021. Transaction volumes for Q4 are anticipated to end at circa £420m, which is some 30% up on Q3 at £320m. Against the annual five-year average, this will be around 50% down, but in the face of such significant headwinds, it is not surprising and more positive than many were predicting earlier in the year. After a relatively subdued first half of the year, volumes in the second half of the year have been more encouraging, meaning that total volumes for 2020 will end up at close to £1bn. Against this backdrop and with the roll-out of a national Covid-19 vaccine programme, Lismore predicts a brighter year ahead, with investor appetite continuing across the hottest ‘in vogue’ sectors of the market, including distribution and multi-let industrial assets, along with food anchored and well-located retail warehouse parks. Recent deals including the £31m sale of Sainsbury’s regional distribution centre in East Kilbride clearly illustrate this trend. The residential market will remain resilient in 2021, particularly student accommodation, senior living, care homes and build-to-rent. Indeed the BTR sector will chalk up its most successful year on record, including the £81.5m sale of Candleriggs Square, Glasgow, a 346-unit scheme in September. The rapid emergence of life sciences as a stand-alone asset class will continue, with a significant weight of money starting to discover the sector and its burgeoning opportunities. The standout office deal of the quarter was the £45m sale  of Quartermile 3 in Edinburgh by M&G to the German KanAm Grund Group. Colin Finlayson, Director at Lismore, said: “The outlook for 2021 is reliant on a successful vaccine roll-out to provide a much-needed literal and economic shot in the arm, along with the resultant lifting of Government lockdown restrictions. “If this happens we will see confidence returning and fear subsiding in the market, albeit Brexit will continues to loom in the background and cause uncertainty.” “Despite some concerns last quarter that the core plus sector was softening slightly, this has not (yet) happened and the continuing weight of capital circling this sector is helping to maintain pricing. “2021 is likely to see more opportunity for private equity. Patience remains a virtue and it makes sense for asset managers to add value where they can.” In terms of investor activity, some of the UK open ended funds have resumed trading and there has been orderly selling, with strong pricing being achieved for sales in the liquid sectors. Acquisition activity has been very focused on the safest sectors of distribution, industrial, long income and residential. Overseas investors remain prevalent and once current travel restrictions ease, we anticipate a strong comeback. The weight of global capital looking for a home has not diminished. Colin Finlayson concludes: “It is difficult to put into words the dramatic changes that the pandemic has caused to the economy and property market this year, but we are cautiously optimistic and look forward to increased activity and brighter times in 2021.” The Lismore Quarterly Review includes research on investor appetite and the evolution of real estate financing for 2021. In addition, it also features two in-depth interviews, one with a leading high street lender (RBS) and the other with Aberdeen Standard Investments. (Note from FR – may move this para into notes to editors) The full Lismore Quarterly can be seen here

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Lismore Investors seeking secure assets as weight of capital set to be chasing limited stock in 2021

A significant weight of capital will be chasing limited stock in 2021, according to new research from leading independent property advisory firm, Lismore Real Estate. Three quarters of investors surveyed by Lismore plan on being acquisitive during 2021, with the majority of those being funds and property companies. Stock is likely to be limited, as only 6% anticipate being net sellers and 20% remaining neutral. The research confirmed an appetite for more secure assets and, not surprisingly, the top three favoured sectors were distribution, followed by multi-let industrial, with food stores and residential in joint third place. More interesting is the tier below with both retail warehousing and offices receiving good interest. Private equity was the strongest supporter of retail warehousing. In the office sector, support came from private equity and investment managers. Funds surveyed do not view offices as a prime target next year. Hotels and high street retail, which have felt the full force of the pandemic downturn. were the two lowest ranked sectors. Opinion is split on bank appetite for lending to real estate in 2021, with funds and property companies being more bearish with 25% indicating a decrease against 15% indicating an increase. The overwhelming majority of private equity respondents were supportive of an increase. Lismore had a significant number of comments confirming that the increase in lending was from a fairly conservative base, and would be focused on the safer sectors of distribution, industrial, food stores and residential. Colin Finlayson, Director of Lismore, said: “Against the backdrop of the global pandemic, our research clearly illustrates that there still remains an appetite to invest in resilient sectors in 2021.  The weight of capital towards real estate remains strong and much of it has been patient this year, waiting for some certainty to return.  Outside of the most resilient sectors, transaction underwriting has been challenging this year which has curtailed activity.  But with a successful vaccine roll-out, we expect more confidence and transparency in the market in 2020, leading to an increase in activity.” The research was undertaken by Lismore during November 2020, with more than 80 insightful and qualitative interviews with a wide range of investors, including funds, property companies, investment managers and overseas/private equity. It forms part of the Lismore Quarterly Review, which also features two in-depth interviews, one with a leading high street lender (RBS) and the other with Aberdeen Standard Investments. The full Lismore Quarterly Review is here

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Viessmann Develops New Air Ventilation Solution

Viessmann Develops New Air Ventilation Solution

Viessmann has created an air ventilation solution to combat the spread of COVID-19 in schools. The company’s unique new hybrid ventilation unit, the Vitovent 200-P, provides closed rooms with constant air circulation of filtered air. This greatly reduces the risk of occupants breathing in contaminated aerosols which can spread across indoor spaces and hang in the air for hours, especially in winter when windows are more likely to be closed and heating operating. The Vitovent 200-P counteracts the danger of contaminated aerosols by applying the principle of displacement ventilation. This works by providing a constant supply of filtered fresh air into the room at low velocity through diffusers close to the floor, then extracting the air near ceiling height after it has risen due to heat exchange with occupants’ bodies. Good air quality and a comfortable learning atmosphere are ensured by the constant supply of fresh air with heat and moisture recovery, the continuous air circulation, and the extraction of air containing CO2 and VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) pollution. Viessmann’s Co-CEO, Maximilian Viessmann, commented: “As a 103-year-old family business, we are committed to designing living spaces for generations to come. Right now, it is crucial that we quickly and pragmatically safeguard our children to maintain a part of their social life and access to education in these challenging times.” The effectiveness of the Vitovent 200-P was proven in a pilot project at the Hans-Viessmann-School, a vocational training institution with about 1,000 students in the town of Frankenberg, Germany. Occupants of the school commented on the system’s quiet operation and a noticeable improvement in air quality. Work has since begun on supplying the system – which can be easily and inexpensively retrofitted by replacing a window panel with an isopanel – to a further 50 schools and social institutions in Germany. A separate announcement will be made when the Vitovent 200-P becomes available in the UK. In addition to making schools safer, the system can be equally beneficial in universities and other indoor spaces which remain open and busy with people despite the risk of coronavirus infection. The Viessmann Group also took measures earlier this year to help society fight the coronavirus pandemic by converting part of its manufacturing facilities in Allendorf, Germany, to produce its own ventilators, mobile intensive care units, respiratory protective face masks, and hand sanitizer. The design of Viessmann’s gas boilers, with their electronic gas and air connections, lent itself well to the design and development of a simplified ventilator in a short timeframe.

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ALB Group Delivers Christmas Cheer

ALB Group Delivers Christmas Cheer

Leading property development, investment and lettings company, ALB Group, is marking the festive season by donating thousands of pounds worth of Christmas presents to children in five hospitals across the country. The Nottingham-headquartered privately owned group, which has multiple companies specialising in the conversion, redevelopment and letting of residential and commercial properties throughout the UK, is gifting £15,000 worth of presents to children who will be receiving hospital treatment over the Christmas period. This is the fourth year running that ALB has donated gifts to children in hospital – and donations this year will reach communities in which the developer has been particularly active; including Kings Mill in Mansfield, Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax, Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham, Derbyshire Children’s Hospital and Arrowe Park Hospital in Birkenhead, Merseyside. This is the second consecutive year that the company has donated gifts to Arrowe Park Hospital in Birkenhead, following its work on the transformation of a local retail unit into 59 residential apartments in the town. As well as gifts, ALB is also donating a new television and Xbox to a local homeless shelter in Nottinghamshire. Arran Bailey, managing director at ALB Group, said: “As a company, we work to improve local areas through the regeneration, redevelopment and conversion of underutilised sites and properties, and we feel a responsibility to give something extra special back to these communities for Christmas. “The festive season is usually such a joyful time, but given the uncertain year we’ve all experienced, it’s going to feel very different for many this year – especially for those who have been and are separated from their loved ones. “We are so pleased and proud to be able to give some joy to children who are in hospital over the Christmas season, and we look forward to seeing the smiles on their faces once the gifts are delivered to the wards. “Our work takes us all over the country, but we are honoured to be so involved in the property industry throughout the East Midlands, where the company first began, providing quality residential and commercial spaces for people to enjoy.”

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