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January 27, 2021

City gives green light to flower power tower

A new 30-storey office tower with green walls and roof nestling next to London’s walkie talkie building has been approved by the City of London Corporation, CLC. Hong Kong-based developers Tenacity Group are behind the scheme which is the first tall building approved by CLC this year. The proposed new

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Mayor visits affordable housing site

A leading housing providers affordable homes development on the site of a former Coventry school has been given a mayoral seal of approval. Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, paid a visit to the site of the former Dartmouth School in Wyken which is being re-developed for housing association

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WITH ED&I, SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE

Equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) has long been a topic that has dogged the construction industry. There’s no golden bullet for fixing decades of limited progress, but the steps being made in the industry at the moment are nothing but encouraging, according to executive chairman of Pagabo, Gerard Toplass. Anyone

Read More »

Osprey – See the UK’s Heaviest Bridge, Moving

A few seconds footage are all that’s needed to convey the size and scale of the UK’s heaviest single-span bridge, being moved into place by Osprey at Gipsy Patch Lane, Bristol. Super-structure upgrades improve the quality of life On behalf of South Gloucestershire Council, Network Rail has been putting in

Read More »

Is Sustainability a Key Driver for Emerging Graphene Markets?

The market for graphene is at a tipping point, with long periods of R&D now starting to translate into significant purchase orders. For a long time, the graphene market was overwhelmingly driven by a ‘materials push’ whereby graphene firms worked hard to persuade markets of the properties and benefits of their

Read More »

£4 million Stock Investment for Leading Site Machinery Business

Morris Site Machinery has announced a significant investment in stock of its renowned Denyo generator and ArcGen welder brands and has taken delivery of £4 million worth of much sought after and affordable Stage IIIA compliant equipment. The £2.5 million stock of Denyo generators includes Renta 20’s, Renta 37’s, Eventa

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Smartroof Boosts Offsite Production Capability

Smartroof Boosts Offsite Production Capability

Smartroof, UK manufacturer of offsite, panelised ‘room in roof’ systems, has completed a £1.2 million investment in its Derbyshire production facility to drive efficiencies, improve quality and meet the growing demand for its modular roof system. The company is an award-winning manufacturer of ‘room in roof’ systems, providing a cost

Read More »
These Are the Priciest Interior Design Styles

These Are the Priciest Interior Design Styles

The way you choose to decorate your house reflects your personality. However, certain tastes can mean more money out of the pocket and experts at MyJobQuote.co.uk sought to find out which interior design style is the priciest! To do so, MyJobQuote.co.uk analysed the ‘shopping’ tab on Google for keywords related

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The Pandemic’s Effect on Project Work Revealed

The Pandemic’s Effect on Project Work Revealed

A new survey by Association for Project Management (APM), reveals the scale of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the project profession. The research found that the majority of project practitioners (70%) feel their ability to do their jobs has been negatively affected by the impact of the pandemic,

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Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

January 27, 2021

City gives green light to flower power tower

A new 30-storey office tower with green walls and roof nestling next to London’s walkie talkie building has been approved by the City of London Corporation, CLC. Hong Kong-based developers Tenacity Group are behind the scheme which is the first tall building approved by CLC this year. The proposed new tower at 55 Gracechurch Street, between Monument tube station and Leadenhall Market, offers 34,000 sq m of office space and 2,500 sq m of retail, cultural and open space. Fletcher Priest Architects’ design includes a garden terrace and a suspended treetop public walkway with panoramic views across London. The tower’s roof will harvest rain to irrigate the building’s plants and surrounding trees. Planning and transportation committee chair Cllr Alastair Moss said his organisation was positive about the Square Mile’s future despite the lockdown. “It is fantastic, therefore, to see this significant vote of confidence from the developers of 55 Gracechurch Street. “The building design embraces emerging development trends, such as flexible workspace, greening and access to fresh air – all of which were rising trends that have now been embedded into building design as a result of the pandemic.” Designed for healthy working The development’s ventilation draws on outdoor air which is filtered and also used to cool the office floor. Stones from the existing seven-storey building will be used as well as recycled steel delivering a 98 per cent diversion of construction waste to landfill. UK building research organisation BREEAM has awarded the tower an ‘outstanding’ rating – given to just one per cent of assessed buildings. Tenacity Group founder and chief executive officer Patrick Wong said: “Despite the events of the last 12 months and the changes and challenges we have all witnessed, Tenacity is quite clear that the era of the office is not over. Far from it. “We believe the future is bright for the right kind of space – space that 55 Gracechurch Street will provide – that embraces sustainability and provides flexibility, puts the needs of the workforce at its core but also engages with the wider community around it.” The new office areas include social and breakout zones and the building’s floorplan offers space for large businesses as well as SMEs and growth-stage companies. It is car-free offering more than 500 cycle parking spaces with wider pavements and new pedestrian routes at ground floor level. Bridging brokers Hank Zarihs Associates said property development funding was still there for innovative schemes attractive to employers keen for a presence in the City. A contractor has not yet been appointed to the scheme. Tenacity also has plans for a 33-storey tower at 70 Gracechurch Street, called The Forum, to offer around 600,000 sq ft of office and retail space.

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Mayor visits affordable housing site

A leading housing providers affordable homes development on the site of a former Coventry school has been given a mayoral seal of approval. Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, paid a visit to the site of the former Dartmouth School in Wyken which is being re-developed for housing association Stonewater, by local contractor the Deeley Group. It had been a redundant brownfield site for more than five years before Stonewater bought it from Coventry City Council, with plans to build 39 new homes, including 23 affordable rented and 16 shared ownership properties. On completion it will feature a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses and provide vital housing to the local community. The Mayor praised the plans to regenerate the site, highlighting how the project aligns perfectly with his region-wide championing of a brownfield first approach to housing. He said: “The two key components for building new homes in our region are for developments to be ‘brownfield first’ and then also affordable to the people who live in those areas. “The development in Coventry ticks both of those boxes and is an example of the great progress we are making regionally to meet the housing challenge. I congratulate Stonewater and the Deeley Group for bringing this project to fruition and look forward to seeing it at its completion and serving the local community.” Matt Crucefix, Director of Development (South and West) at Stonewater, said: “There is a genuine need for more housing of this type in Coventry and it has been a pleasure working with the Deeley Group to bring this scheme to life. “With every new development, we look for ways to invest in the local economy – by working with local contractors and suppliers – to ensure we add as much value to the community as possible. “We’re delighted to hear Andy is pleased with the progress of this site so far and look forward to welcoming him to the completed scheme along with our new residents, later this year.” Peter Deeley, Managing Director of the Deeley Group, added: “We are giving this redundant brownfield site a new life and helping to provide crucial new housing for people in the locality too. “It was a pleasure to welcome Andy to Tiverton Road to discuss our plans for the site and how that will support his housing programme across the West Midlands. “We are working closely with Stonewater to deliver the development and hope Andy will return to visit when the project is completed.”

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IG Masonry Support Hits The Mark On Aesthetic For Fish Island Village Project

When an east London development called for market leading, quality brick on soffit systems to achieve the architects’ desired visions, IG Masonry Support was more than capable of stepping up to the challenge. Fish Island Village, Hackney Wick is a 2.85-hectare mixed-use development which comprises 588 new dwellings, and hosts over 5500sqm of flexible and affordable commercial space. The development, a joint venture between the Peabody housing association and housebuilder Hill, will transform a once heavily industrial site into a community-focussed regeneration, with diversity and inclusivity at its heart. Haworth Tompkins was the lead designer on the scheme with Pitman Tozer and Lyndon Good designing individual blocks. It is a stunning site which comprises a swathe of one-four bedroom apartments across different areas. The development was delivered in three phases and completed in Autumn 2020. When it came to designing the exteriors, it was important to keep brickwork a continuing theme, in order to pay due attention and respect to the site’s traditional, industrial heritage. It is why IG Masonry Support was a perfect collaborator for this project, designing and supplying a range of products including its Welded Masonry Support (WMS), brick slip lintels and its renowned B.O.S.S. (Brick on Soffit System). The Challenge Neptune Wharf was a landmark project for IG Masonry Support. The deep brick soffits over the openings on Neptune Wharf’s facades and the flying beams on the courtyard elevation were integral elements of the architects’ visions. It was therefore important to ensure a seamless brick aesthetic featured throughout, from the main exterior right through to hidden areas. The Solution IG Masonry Support collaborated at the early stages of this development with architects’ Pitman Tozer, and Haworth Tompkins. Experts in brick slip soffit solutions, IG’s technical team designed and manufactured offsite solutions to achieve the complex brick detail on the facades of Neptune Wharf. IG was also awarded the design and manufacture of the Masonry Support System for the blocks. The development required a combination of Brick Slip Lintels and B.O.S.S. units to achieve the soldier bond detail above the window and balcony openings. Capable of accommodating any brick type or bond pattern, IG’s B.O.S.S. (Brick on Soffit System) provided the perfect solution for achieving the deep soffits above the balcony openings, these 215mm soffits spanned over 2300mm wide. IG employed Brick Slip Lintels to achieve the brick soffits over the smaller window openings. Flying beams that resemble classical colonnades with a modern twist feature on one of the courtyard elevations in the development. This architectural detail – designed in a half lap bond pattern – which has a 440m soffit was also achieved using bespoke-designed B.O.S.S. units. As well as achieving the brick detailing specified in the architects’ designs, IG Masonry Support’s solutions offered other notable benefits. The brick slip soffit solutions reduced the need for skilled labour onsite as the bricks were cut and bonded to the B.O.S.S. units in IG’s controlled manufacturing facility. Furthermore, the offsite manufactured products reduced installation time onsite and assured quality was uncompromised. IG Masonry Support goes above and beyond on all its projects and the Neptune Wharf development was no exception. Testament to the diligence of IG’s team, IG Masonry Support worked very closely with the architects and contractor throughout the project, holding installation talks and supplying supplementary material to ensure the contracting teams could install the products safely and easily. Fish Island Village, Hackney Wick is reinventing the way modern urban developments are created and occupied. IG is proud to have designed, manufactured and supplied masonry support and brick soffit systems across various areas of the Neptune Wharf scheme, assuring all the exteriors look good and function well into their bright future

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WITH ED&I, SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE

Equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) has long been a topic that has dogged the construction industry. There’s no golden bullet for fixing decades of limited progress, but the steps being made in the industry at the moment are nothing but encouraging, according to executive chairman of Pagabo, Gerard Toplass. Anyone that works in property and construction will tell you that there is not enough diversity in the industry, despite great progress being made over the last decade in particular. Just one in eight people who work in the industry are female, while a 2018 report on diversity showed that just 5.4 per cent of workers in the sector are BAME. As Amos Simbo, founder of the BPIC Network, said on the latest episode of Pagabo’s Building Blocks podcast, the fact that the topic of equality, diversity and inclusion – or lack thereof – is even being discussed shows how things have progressed, and how seriously it is now being taken in the industry. But just discussing it is no longer enough. Unfortunately, there are decades of poor practice on this front that need to be undone, and it’s no easy task. The experiences of Faithful+Gould’s Ella Sanders – who was actively discouraged from a career in construction while at school – illustrate that there’s still a way to go to mitigate the damage that has been done in the past, which is the key contributory factor behind the ugly statistics. It’s not something that is going to be done overnight, but the slow and steady progress being made currently is absolutely a step in the right direction. Especially given the industry’s historically poor performance around ED&I, it’s also important that we benchmark ourselves against other industries, see how we stack up and take learnings from their approaches where appropriate. Jenny Hinde – who, as executive director of The Clear Company works in ED&I across several industries, including construction – told us on the podcast that there is a real push from people working within the industry to get things right on the ED&I front, but this is largely coming from the bigger organisations. These companies are looking to take the lead and not be driven by their clients on embracing ED&I. However, this initiative doesn’t yet seem to be permeating down to SME level to the same extent and getting this to happen is an important stage on the journey. As Dara Jafari, associate director and ED&I lead at Faithful+Gould pointed out on the podcast, there is an important distinction to make between the professional side of the industry and the site work side. While both face similar challenges in terms of ED&I – and there has been a genuinely positive shift towards embracing the importance of a diverse workforce – the approach to tackling this can’t be one-size-fits-all. It’s important not to forget the “inclusion” element of ED&I. Jenny touched on the use of divisive language – “blue collar” and “white collar” being a prime example – and even the difference between the terms of employment for on and off-site workers as key indicators of the lack inclusivity. The question – as she put it – doesn’t just need to be “how diverse are we?”, but “how diverse and inclusive are we?”. The good news is that the shift is definitely happening. Those on the podcast that dealt with public sector clients all agreed that they had seen greater focus on ED&I in bid documents, and importantly that shift had progressed from questions about simple compliance to ones asking more about how it is being delivered in practice. Most impressively, there also seems to be a desire from those clients to learn more about that delivery, and how they can replicate it within their own structures. Acting upon this self-awareness is absolutely critical to ensuring we handle these challenge in 2021 and beyond. As Dara pointed out, it’s one thing for a board of directors to identify that they potentially have improvements to make where it comes to ED&I, but it’s quite another for them to recognise that – for that very reason – they themselves may not be best placed to solve the problem. It’s a long battle, and not one that is going to be won overnight. However, the positive steps being taken across the industry show us that we are moving in the right direction. You can listen to the most recent episodes of Pagabo’s ‘Building Blocks’ podcast on Anchor and YouTube.  

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Osprey – See the UK’s Heaviest Bridge, Moving

A few seconds footage are all that’s needed to convey the size and scale of the UK’s heaviest single-span bridge, being moved into place by Osprey at Gipsy Patch Lane, Bristol. Super-structure upgrades improve the quality of life On behalf of South Gloucestershire Council, Network Rail has been putting in a new railway bridge at Gipsy Patch Lane – a single-span superstructure that’s part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension scheme. This £57m investment should reduce congestion in the area and improve journey times for all road users with a new public transport system and an alternative to travelling by car. Supporting Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd, Osprey was asked to deliver a full suite of specialist logistics that could move the UK’s heaviest, single-span, reinforced concrete ‘portal’ structure. The approach was challenging. The video shows the single-span in transit on a 144-axle self-propelled modular transport (SPMT) unit with 576 individual wheels – and Osprey also used heavy-lift cranes and an innovative arrangement of hydraulic jacks and longitudinal beams. In all, the portal structure and the installation equipment weighed 5200 tonnes, over half the weight of the Eiffel Tower. Editors can view and share the video here: Removing the existing bridge, installing a new asset With a span of almost 25m, the new bridge at Gipsy Patch Lane replaces an existing single-arch brick structure. The installation needed a closure of the railway.   During the replacement, teams removed overhead railway line equipment, dismantled and removed the existing railway track and ballast, demolished and removed the existing bridge and excavated over 30,000 tonnes of earth. Using our in-house experience of transporting and installing other giant assets – everything from the same kind of railway engines that will use the Bristol line, to renewable wind farm turbines or nuclear power plant components – Osprey used a wide range of equipment to complete the move. The project experienced challenges but the SPMTs manoeuvred the entire portal into position, while the bracing effectively ‘held the walls apart’ to maintain its structural integrity during the move. Assets of this immense strength have flexibility built into them, which is a challenge that needs to be overcome during installation. Working collaboratively delivers innovation This way of working significantly reduced the amount of time our team needed to be on site, which is of instant benefit to project planning. However, it is also a benefit to the local community – it means their lives are disrupted far less. Osprey’s project manager, Mitchell Smith: “Our short video clip puts things into perspective. The Gipsy Patch Lane bridge is one of several in this programme of work for Network Rail, but it’s the largest and the heaviest. The project did face challenges, but we quickly found ways to adapt and, in fact, improve our health and safety approaches – making it possible to work very collaboratively with our suppliers, and move the single-span superstructure into place in the shortest amount of time possible.” The new bridge will bring communities together, reduce commuter times, and provide a boost to the business environment that helps the local economy. Mitchell continues: “The Gipsy Patch Lane bridge will reduce commuter times for several major employers. We’re proud to play our part in preparing for the future, helping our local Bristol community to re-establish even better connections with an improved transport network. What’s more, many of our team live in the local area, so it’s been very rewarding to be working on something that will have such a long-term impact – this new bridge should be here for at least the next 125 years.” The importance of upgrading infrastructure Efficient road and rail networks are crucial for the economy and renewed investment in transport and communication links is essential. Traditionally, a project like this might involve many months of disruption. In all, Gipsy Patch Lane itself has to be closed for around eight months, but we’re delighted to say the overall disruption is being reduced by the work we’ve been doing – working closely with our client, Alun Griffiths, to remove Network Rail’s older and narrower bridge and replace it with an impressive piece of smart, modern engineering.

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Is Sustainability a Key Driver for Emerging Graphene Markets?

The market for graphene is at a tipping point, with long periods of R&D now starting to translate into significant purchase orders. For a long time, the graphene market was overwhelmingly driven by a ‘materials push’ whereby graphene firms worked hard to persuade markets of the properties and benefits of their product. Now, that has transitioned into ‘market pull’, with key drivers coming to the fore.     IDTechEx continues to provide the most comprehensive independent market research on the field of graphene and other nanocarbons. In the latest update to their report, “Graphene Market and 2D Materials Assessment 2021–2031”, IDTechEx provides a granular outlook for the industry, including forecasts, manufacturer analysis, material benchmarking, price and applications. The tipping point for graphene is here but with so many manufacturers not all will become successful and some consolidation is inevitable.     Multiple drivers are emerging for graphene as the value-added material of choice. Graphene’s ability to enhance mechanical lifetimes – for example, through wear-resistant liners or anti-corrosion coatings – and greater thermal management requirements are two examples of prevalent forces.   However, there is another market driver emerging, one that is perhaps surprising but will have a major impact over the next decade – sustainability.   As Dr. Soroush Nazarpour, President and CEO of NanoXplore, puts it: ‘Graphene is a key ingredient when it comes to sustainability of many markets and applications. For instance, it enables closed-loop production practices for plastic processing; and it enhances the capacity and charging speed of Li-ion batteries. Graphene will definitely make the world a greener place.’   IDTechEx has identified three core application areas for graphene that can serve this key market driver.   Biobased and recycled polymers  Many territories – and the companies that operate within them – have committed to aspects of the circular economy, particularly the elimination of waste. This often means firms are seeking to reduce their consumption of single-use plastics and to increase the amount of recycled material they use.   But this is a challenge: recycled content is typically mechanically inferior to the virgin material, and incorporating a (‘non-green’) additive to overcome these limitations can defeat the sustainability objective. Also, it may still be insufficient in quality terms.   This is where graphene comes in. The multifunctional properties of graphene as a polymer additive are well known. Being derived from graphite, it also has an advantage over competing, fossil-fuel-based additives when it comes to enhanced sustainability. Graphene can be used this way within many diverse sectors, and even low-volume incorporation could generate big wins for graphene manufacturers – if they can scale appropriately and control costs. The most immediate is in graphene-enabled non-food packaging which IDTechEx expect to become a key growth area in the mid-term.    Beyond this, there is also the opportunity in bioplastics. Again, these can be improved to the necessary performance by utilising graphene’s mechanical and barrier properties. Packaging, coffee cups, and other opportunities are being explored from some of the largest customers through to young emerging companies such as Toraphene.    Energy storage  This is one of the most significant market movements of the 21st century – full electrification of our transportation is underway with a booming potential. Driven by legislation in the backdrop of a climate crisis the market landscape is quickly transforming. “Graphene batteries” are a headline that is seen readily but poorly used. Predominantly graphene is used as an additive with a high electrical and thermal conductivity coupled with beneficial mechanical properties. This can be used in either of the electrodes, the coatings on the current collector, or outside of the cell. For current generation lithium-ion batteries graphene will only have a modest uptake, mainly for those seeking fast charging solutions in the consumer section. This is most notably seen in the smartphone products launched from Xiaomi in 2020 and upcoming work from Real Graphene and Appear.   However, the greater potential lies in future developments, namely silicon anodes and lithium-sulfur batteries. Significant developments – enabled by graphene – have already been seen and there remains a high interest from nearly every graphene manufacturer. Graphene is certainly not the only solution being explored, but if companies can find a graphene-enabled solution it will be very significant for the industry.    What is more, graphene’s energy storage applications are not limited to batteries; graphene-enabled supercapacitors are gaining notable traction and could be critical solutions in conjunction with other energy storage devices (e.g. hydrogen). In this arena, Skeleton Technologies has had a very significant year, raising EUR 41.3m in a Series D funding round, announcing a partnership with Wrightbus, and signing a EUR 1bn letter of intent with an automotive manufacturer.   Concrete and Asphalt  Perhaps surprisingly, many graphene companies are currently exploring the potentials of concrete and asphalt markets. In their current forms, both of these products are significant contributors to climate change and would benefit from improved mechanical performance. Some early-stage trials have suggested that graphene could solve both problems, driving up sustainability and practical outcomes together.   Notable projects from the likes of Directa Plus have made headlines, and several graphene manufacturers have told IDTechEx that they are in advanced conversations with key players. The volume potential of these markets is huge – perhaps far greater than the other markets described in this article – and would completely change the outlook for graphene.   However, as is so often the case, there is a gap to be bridged between current interest and real orders. The building and construction industry has very fine margins and is notoriously slow to adopt. Thus, concrete and asphalt are certainly markets to watch, but there is some way to go yet.   IDTechEx provides critical independent analysis of the graphene industry and many other advanced materials and emerging technologies. The latest report, “Graphene Market and 2D Materials Assessment 2021–2031”, provides a comprehensive overview of the industry at a critical time.   For more information on this report, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/graphene or for the full portfolio of Advanced Materials research available from IDTechEx please visit www.IDTechEx.com/Research/AM.   Looking at related fields, IDTechEx also has dedicated market reports on polymer recycling technologies 2020–2030 and multiple energy storage categories, including li-ion batteries, solid-state and polymer batteries, supercapacitors, the electric vehicle market, and more.  

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£4 million Stock Investment for Leading Site Machinery Business

Morris Site Machinery has announced a significant investment in stock of its renowned Denyo generator and ArcGen welder brands and has taken delivery of £4 million worth of much sought after and affordable Stage IIIA compliant equipment. The £2.5 million stock of Denyo generators includes Renta 20’s, Renta 37’s, Eventa 37’s and the £1.5 million stock of ArcGen welders includes 200SSD’s, 400CC/CV’s and 500CC/CV’s all of which are now available for immediate delivery, backed by the professional, friendly support of the dedicated MSM customer service team at Four Ashes. With its 70-year heritage of reliability, Denyo generators are recognised for their stand out performance. The instantly recognisable purple Renta generators offer around 14-16 hours of continuous run time and are super silent with lockable fuel caps, multiple transportation options and a choice of sockets. The robust pink Eventa 37 offers a full 25 hour run time. Denyo is a thoroughbred within its marketplace and ensures reliability and efficiency with the lowest possible noise output. The Renta 20, for example, is super silent at just 60dB(A) at 7m, essential in meeting stringent health and safety site standards. The new ArcGen Welder stock includes the ever popular ArcGen Multi Process 500 CC/CV welder which features a brand new 2021 special offer – available on a first come first served basis until March 2021.  Richard Denholm, Sales Director at Morris Site Machinery commented: “I am thrilled to have such a compelling deal on these incredible powerhouses. They genuinely are a multi-purpose site essential: big on welding power, with the mig wire feeder and 500-amp heavy duty stick welding capability, but equally big on generator power too, with the 15kVA 3 phase capable of powering inverters and plasma cutters.  Underpin these credentials with the undisputed pedigree of the ArcGen brand name, and this really is a cracking offer to take advantage of in advance of the expected market-wide Stage V price hike”. For information on any of the products and prices, contact Sales Director Richard Denholm on +44 (0) 7872 818267 or email: richard@morrismachinery.co.uk

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Smartroof Boosts Offsite Production Capability

Smartroof Boosts Offsite Production Capability

Smartroof, UK manufacturer of offsite, panelised ‘room in roof’ systems, has completed a £1.2 million investment in its Derbyshire production facility to drive efficiencies, improve quality and meet the growing demand for its modular roof system. The company is an award-winning manufacturer of ‘room in roof’ systems, providing a cost effective, safer and more efficient method of constructing roof structures. The investment at the company’s Swadlincote facility will see manufacturing capabilities increase by an impressive 150%. It means they will have the ability to produce up to 25 plots per day. As part of the investment at the 48,000 ft2 production facility, attention has been paid to layout and flow of materials. Five state-of-the-art fabrication bays have been installed along with 18 new overhead cranes. To further increase the efficiency of production processes, new automated CNC saws enable safe, accurate and fast cross-cutting, while new roof and spandrel benches have been constructed to incorporate retractable airline hoses for improved safety. Whilst improving staff safety and reducing waste, the investment has dramatically increased the company’s production capability. Speaking about the company’s investment in its UK manufacturing operation, Kevin Sherlock, Managing Director at Smartroof said: “Following the continuing growth of our business it became clear we needed to further invest in our production facility to match the expectation and growth in demand from our customers. With housebuilders turning to ‘room in roof’ systems, this investment has allowed us to improve our output and support the delivery of UK housing programmes with an innovative system that meets the requirements for quality, safety and performance.” The Smartroof system is a complete roof solution, designed to offer housebuilders and developers a solution to maximising sellable space by creating rooms in roofs. Comprising a series of factory produced panels incorporating insulated roof panels, spandrel wall panels, dormers, roof windows, GRP chimneys, soffit and fascia, it is delivered to site and craned into place. Once in place, the roofs simply require roof tiling. The system has many benefits – less waste, better control of quality, safer to install – and meets the industry’s demand for solutions that allow us to build better quality homes, more efficiently. The investment programme has reinforced Smartroof’s position as one of the UK’s leading offsite manufacturers of ‘room in roof’ solutions, enabling the company to meet the housing sectors growing demand whilst improving working conditions of its growing workforce.

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These Are the Priciest Interior Design Styles

These Are the Priciest Interior Design Styles

The way you choose to decorate your house reflects your personality. However, certain tastes can mean more money out of the pocket and experts at MyJobQuote.co.uk sought to find out which interior design style is the priciest! To do so, MyJobQuote.co.uk analysed the ‘shopping’ tab on Google for keywords related to seven interior design trends: Minimalist, Scandinavian, Industrial, Rustic, Bohemian, Shabby Chic and Gothic. The study’s aim was to find out how much it would cost to furnish a one bedroom home in each interior design style. Gothic – £58,174 If you are a fan of the Gothic style, expect to spend a small fortune on your surroundings, with figures revealing this interior design style to be the most expensive to recreate in your house. You can bank on spending up to £58,174 on Gothic furniture for your home according to the products sold on the first few pages of Google! Why is it so expensive? Gothic furniture is more often vintage or made from solid wood materials which makes the products more expensive. The characteristic contour and ornaments take longer to produce and require skilful hands to do so, which also contributes towards the premium prices. Rustic – £6,994 In second place we find Rustic furniture, which can cost you an average of £6,994. While the design of Rustic furniture is simple, just like Gothic we find the usage of expensive wooden materials to be a characteristic of this style. The opposite of minimalism, the furniture is usually heavy and oversized. Shabby Chic – £5,807 If you are a fan of Shabby Chic designs, it can cost you around £5,807 to furnish a one-bedroom house. While the materials used are much lighter than Rustic furniture, the vintage aesthetic makes it one of the more expensive interior design trends. Industrial – £5,362 Following in fourth place, we have the Industrial style which can cost you almost £5,400 for a sofa, bed, dinner table, desk/dressing table, chair, wardrobe, bookcase, armchair and side table. The Industrial interior design style is simple but the usage of metal alongside coarse materials gives it an edgy look loved by many. Minimalist – £4,530 For those who prefer Minimalist interior design, less is more. And unless you are Kim Kardashian, a Minimalistic house can also mean you end up spending less money on furniture. In fact, you can expect to spend approximately £4,530 to furnish your house in this style. Bohemian – £4,204 For those bubbly souls who like to be surrounded by patterns and colours, the Bohemian interior design style is best. And luckily for them, the Bohemian style is the second least expensive style to recreate in your home, costing approximately £4,204 to buy the average priced products. Scandinavian – £3,861 Whether you are on a budget or are a fan of the airy and bright look, the Scandinavian design is the one for you, being the cheapest interior design style. In fact, it would cost approximately £3,861 to make your home look Scandinavian. Simple yet functional, this style makes use of materials such as hemp, leather and wood, making you feel connected to nature.

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The Pandemic’s Effect on Project Work Revealed

The Pandemic’s Effect on Project Work Revealed

A new survey by Association for Project Management (APM), reveals the scale of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the project profession. The research found that the majority of project practitioners (70%) feel their ability to do their jobs has been negatively affected by the impact of the pandemic, and that a quarter (26%) of all live projects are currently behind schedule or on hold. With England in the grip of its third national lockdown and tight restrictions in place in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the survey of over 1,000 project professionals, carried out for APM by research company Censuswide, reveals the impacts that the pandemic is having on the wider project profession. The main reasons given by those facing challenges since the start of the pandemic in March include: Balancing work with other responsibilities such as home schooling and caring for relatives – cited by 31% of respondents Difficulties in adapting to remote working – cited by 30% of respondents Important meetings and phone calls being cancelled for COVID-related reasons – cited by 30% of respondents Challenges of communicating with colleagues and stakeholders – cited by 29% of respondents Despite the findings revealing that the pandemic is having a negative impact in many areas, there have been a few positive effects. The majority of those surveyed (67%) reported that their employer has introduced new initiatives during the pandemic to support the mental health and wellbeing of staff. These include schemes such as mental health first aiders, dedicated wellness days and increased flexible working. Debbie Dore, chief executive of APM, said: “These continue to be challenging times, and many people in the project profession have been impacted, for reasons beyond their control. The importance of projects has never been clearer, and it is essential that project professionals are properly supported so that they can deliver positive change for the people, businesses and communities they serve. “It’s encouraging to see that new ways of working can have a positive impact when it comes to mental wellbeing and that employers are taking the mental health of their employees seriously. “As the chartered body for the project profession, APM has implemented and established new ways of working that are showing benefits to both our staff and the stakeholder groups we interact with. We have been working closely with our corporate partners to encourage them to do the same and share best practice. Working together with Mind we have also published a free-to-access mental health toolkit for project managers and their employers.”

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