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March 3, 2021

An Unstoppable Force – UK Construction Industry

The UK construction industry flexed its muscles yet again in February 2021, posting an astonishing £8.0 billion in new contract awards in the shortest month of the year research carried out by Builders’ Conference shows.  CEO Neil Edwards looks on admiringly but remains concerned at the industry’s ability to keep

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BLUEPRINT INTERIORS COMPLETE OFFICE FIT FOR GLEEDS BRISTOL

Leicester based workplace consultants and commercial office fit-out specialists Blueprint Interiors has completed the refurbishment of new offices in Bristol for international property and construction consultancy Gleeds. Gleeds has 73 offices in 20 countries worldwide, with 20 offices across the UK, including one in Nottingham. In October 2020, the firm

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Futurebuild launches The Lost Sessions

Because we don’t want the pandemic to result in lost time in the fight against climate change, Futurebuild is launching The Lost Sessions. The series of webinars will take place from March 2 to March 4, the original planned dates for the physical Futurebuild 2021 show and will identify the

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Ariel Presents Its Superior Dry Verge System

Ariel Presents Its Superior Dry Verge System

Merchants can edge ahead of the competition with the Coroverge Universal Dry Verge system, the proven dry fix roofing solution from Ariel Plastics that is fast, easy-to-fit and fully compatible with an expansive range of roof tiles. Developed and designed for ease of installation, the Coroverge Universal Dry Verge system

Read More »
Panattoni Set to Start Large-Scale Spec Development

Panattoni Set to Start Large-Scale Spec Development

Panattoni, the largest industrial developer in Europe, is set to start work on the second phase of its 1.6 million sq ft industrial park in Northampton. Panattoni Park Northampton is already the home to three former Panattoni buildings and will see further units delivered at 250,000 sq ft, 380,000 sq ft

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BDC 319 : Aug 2024

March 3, 2021

An Unstoppable Force – UK Construction Industry

The UK construction industry flexed its muscles yet again in February 2021, posting an astonishing £8.0 billion in new contract awards in the shortest month of the year research carried out by Builders’ Conference shows.  CEO Neil Edwards looks on admiringly but remains concerned at the industry’s ability to keep pace with its own success. There was a time when the confidence of the UK construction sector was a timid creature that was easily startled and that fled at the smallest sign of alarm.   But that timorous fawn of old has given way to a rampaging gorilla; a seemingly unstoppable force that has met head on the triple threat of COVID-19, Brexit and wider economic jitters.   And rather than running scared, the sector continues to charge forwards. In February – a cold and traditionally bleak month – the UK construction industry posted an astonishing £8.0 billion in new contract awards.   And this was no HS2-fuelled anomaly.   In the absence of a single £1.0 billion+ landmark project, some 340 contractors shared the spoils while each of the Top 20 on the BCLive league table won new work valued at more than £100 million during the month. Top of the pile was project management company Avanton, which was credited with two notable contract wins in the month worth a combined £980 million.   The largest of these – valued at £730 million – a new build housing development at Ruby Triangle in Southwark, south London.   Designed by renowned architect Farrells, the project comprises 1,152 dwellings together with retail business and community spaces and a public sports hall and gym.   The work will be carried out in conjunction with A2 Dominion Group. In addition to winning the month’s largest single contract, Avanton also won a £250 million urban village development at the former Homebase site in Richmond upon Thames.   That project will add a further 385 residential units to the UK housing stock, together with flexible business, retail and community space. In second place, and a long way behind in value terms, was Laing O-Rourke, which bagged a single £385 million contract in February.   That contract is the redevelopment of Whiteleys at Queensway in London’s prestigious Bayswater area and will include more than 100 new residencies, 20 shops and a new Six Senses hotel and spa. Interestingly – like the number one position – third place on the BCLive league table was secured by a project management company.   Tenacity International Group won a £200 million new contract award for a mixed-use development at Gracechurch Street in East London.   Split across 33 storeys, the development will include 72,000 m2 of flexible office space, 1,800 m2 of retail space and 1,500 m2 of public access space.   A free-to-access public gallery at levels 29 and 30 will offer views across London. The battle for supremacy in the most contracts secured in a single month favoured Morgan Sindall this month, the company temporarily wresting the crown from rival Kier Group with an impressive 26 new contract awards valued a combined £311.5 million (Kier Group won 21 new contract awards for £116 million to finish in 17th position).   The largest of the Morgan Sindall contract awards was a £120 million 500 dwelling residential development at Littlemoor in Weymouth. VolkerWessells claimed the number five position with a creditable eight new contract awards valued at a combined £269 million while sixth position went to BAM with £254 million across five contracts. Against the background of such an unseasonably positive month, it seems almost churlish to mention the negatives.   Despite the resurgence of Scotland (£458 million) and the exceptional performance of the Midlands (£774 million) and Yorkshire (£412 million), the regional imbalance still favours London that contributed an impressive £3.36 billion to the monthly total. A similar imbalance remains in the split of workload among the various industry categories.   The housing sector contributed £3.52 billion of known work and will have been a large part of a further £1.52 billion of mixed use and miscellaneous work.   Warehouses & Industrial units with £637.9 & Offices, with £479 million, came a distant second & third respectively. Also worthy of note is that the split between publicly and privately funded work, continues to widen.   By value, privately funded works accounted for around 80 percent of all new contract awards, suggesting a post-COVID tightening of the Government’s purse strings. And, like an ever-present elephant in the room, the spectre of a worsening skills shortage continues to haunt the sector.   Quite how the industry will meet the demand of £26 billion in new work in the space of just three months remains open to question. But, for the time being, the construction sector looks set to retain its position as the saviour of the UK economy. Quick review of BCLive table for February 2021 340 no companies were detailed as winning new contracts during February 2021 600 no new construction orders were researched by Builders’ Conference all detailed on the UK’s only Live league table of construction contract awards BCLive Avanton Ltd secured overall top spot with a single contract worth £980 million Morgan Sindall Group secured most number of new construction orders in the month with 26no totaling £311.5 million Builders’ Conference real-time verified, independent, construction information, sales leads and research has neverbeen more important in allowing all types of businesses to receive LIVE construction information. Ensure your business has access to evidenced based premier construction project information from across the UK by becoming a member of the Builders’ Conference. Discover what is really happening in UK construction as well as critically analysing ALL our data via our built in report writing service. Go to www.buildersconference.co.uk/how-it-works for more information. We are a not for profit organisation who are dedicated to maintain our high level of services for as long as possible with the financial support of our membership. We firmly believe because it is the UK construction industries own information which we analyse no one should be paying vast sums to read it! Proud to

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SO Modular puts investment in Passivhaus standards education into practice at two new schools

Timber frame construction specialist SO Modular is reaping the rewards of an investment it has made in a specific type of construction standard based around environmental standards and energy efficiency. The Neath-based company has made a significant investment in training all the employees in its fitting teams to educate them around the importance of air tightness and Passivhaus standards. Passivhaus standards relate to the energy consumed by buildings and the extent to which they are energy-efficient, comfortable and affordable, applying stringent standards and certification criteria to buildings. The training was carried out by specialist design and manufacturing engineer, Verity Moorhouse, who SO Modular is working with us as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, a Welsh Government initiative designed to help companies innovate by matching the skills and expertise of individuals in higher education with companies. The initiative also represented an important landmark in its journey to establish a formal training academy at its headquarters, the former Metal Box Factory, in partnership with Neath Port Talbot College and Cardiff Metropolitan University. It is the company’s objective to create a cutting-edge training academy that will lead the way in teaching many types of modern construction techniques.  SO Modular is putting the new skillsets of its team to good use on a number of important projects including two exciting projects with Lloyd & Gravell that will embrace Passivhaus standards. One is a new 270-place, English-medium primary school with 30-place nursery and up to 23 full-time places for Early Years provision, is being constructed adjacent to the current Ysgol y Castell in Kidwelly. The current facility will be demolished on completion of the new build to accommodate a MUGA sports field and car parking area.    SO Modular is also working on the Ysgol Gorslas project, a new £6.8million project that will create a new 210 pupil capacity school building on land located behind Gorslas Community Park.  The scheme will provide space to accommodate nursery provision and facilities which can be shared by the community such as a large hall, school field and a multi-use games area. It is hoped the new school building can still be completed by Spring 2022. The project has been developed as part of Carmarthenshire County Council’s Modernising Education Programme (MEP) in collaboration with the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Programme.   Both schools will be built to a BREEAM Excellent, and energy efficient Passivhaus standard. For both schools, SO Modular will build and install a timber frame structure including all steel and glulam’s required for the buildings as well as installing insulation to Passivhaus standards. Charlotte Hale, Operations Director, SO Modular, said: “We believe in the importance of training the next generation and the value of quality in everything we do. A training programme like this helps instil these values in our people, and ensures our staff are trained correctly.  “We understand that without the right training in place we cannot achieve the best results. Our aim is to inspire future generations to believe in producing a quality product and protecting our environment. “These are two fantastic projects to be working on. It is always great to be creating buildings that will play a vital role in educating and inspiring future generations. Evermore so when working with a partner such as Lloyd and Gravell who are such a remarkable Contractor to work with.  “We are also delighted to be able to apply Passivhaus standards to these builds. We have invested in training out staff in these standards and we look forward to putting that investment into practice.”

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BLUEPRINT INTERIORS COMPLETE OFFICE FIT FOR GLEEDS BRISTOL

Leicester based workplace consultants and commercial office fit-out specialists Blueprint Interiors has completed the refurbishment of new offices in Bristol for international property and construction consultancy Gleeds. Gleeds has 73 offices in 20 countries worldwide, with 20 offices across the UK, including one in Nottingham. In October 2020, the firm agreed a 10 year lease of 7,026 sq ft of office space on the second floor in the Aurora building within the Finzels Reach development in Bristol and appointed Blueprint Interiors to help them create a flexible, inspiring work environment. Blueprint Interiors carried out several workplace design workshops with users and stakeholders before presenting the final designs for approval. The company then completed the fit-out to create stylish open plan workspaces to encourage agile working. This includes welcoming reception areas, practical meeting spaces, collaborative innovative break out and kitchen dining areas that reflect the Gleeds brand identity and values. Commenting on the project, Rob Day, Chairman & Founder of Blueprint Interiors said, “Our design ethos is to create workplaces that inspire people to be happier, motivated and more productive. We thoroughly enjoyed working with the in-house team at Gleeds and helping them to deliver the base footprint for how all Gleeds offices in the UK will be designed in future.” Despite the fact Covid-19 has meant many employees working from home, Gleeds remains committed to providing staff with physical workspaces that encourage collaboration and a sense of belonging. Commenting, Rhys Davies, Gleeds Director heading up the new Bristol office, added “This move represents our first step in a shift in approach as we think about changing the ways in which we all work. We want our staff to have access to working spaces that are Covid compliant in the short-term and encourage collaboration and flexible working practices long-term. It’s also important to us that we occupy spaces which reflect our global commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and put us at ‘the heart of the action’ in terms of proximity to our natural client base. We’ve enjoyed working with the entire team at Blueprint Interiors, who were sensitive to our requirements and carefully interpreted our brief to develop an innovative and welcoming space.” Arranged over seven floors and set around a spectacular full height atrium, the building provides a new benchmark for sustainable development in Bristol achieving BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and LEED ‘Gold Standard’..  Shortlisted at the BREEAM Awards earlier this year, the building boasts Platinum Wired accreditation for connectivity and digital infrastructure. The design in the new Bristol offices incorporates high-end audio-visual equipment, new IT and telephony systems, and dedicated break-out working and client zones.

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Futurebuild launches The Lost Sessions

Because we don’t want the pandemic to result in lost time in the fight against climate change, Futurebuild is launching The Lost Sessions. The series of webinars will take place from March 2 to March 4, the original planned dates for the physical Futurebuild 2021 show and will identify the actions needed to achieve net zero. In partnership with the Edge, The Lost Sessions: Positioning ourselves for COP26 and beyond – a plan for the built and natural environment will take place from 12:00pm to 1:15pm each day. Each webinar in the series will explore the key issues the industry must address to trigger systemic change and create a plan for the future of the natural and built environment.   “We’ve held Futurebuild’s renowned conference every March for the past 15 years — we couldn’t leave it a whole year without delivering the high-level content you’d usually find centre stage,” explained Martin Hurn, event director of Futurebuild. “Although the next physical event will not take place until 2022, we cannot wait until then to take action. The Government has declared its aim to build back better and to reduce our emissions by 68 per cent by 2030. To do so, we must act now. The Lost Sessions are a new platform for built environment experts to share their advice with the industry and create an action plan to prepare the UK for COP26 and beyond.” Each webinar in the series will focus on one of the most important issues facing the industry. The first webinar, Learning for the future – biodiversity and net zero as standard — will explore the future of built environment education so that future students will have the knowledge and skills to adapt the built and natural environment for the future. The second webinar — Putting nature at the heart of decision making — will explore the role of the construction industry in protecting the natural environment and identify actions needed for systemic change. The third and final webinar — Construction led action for net zero — will explore how the industry can respond to the climate challenge and put plans for net zero into action. To find out more about the speakers and topics in The Lost Sessions series and to register for each event for free, visit www.futurebuild.co.uk.  

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Ariel Presents Its Superior Dry Verge System

Ariel Presents Its Superior Dry Verge System

Merchants can edge ahead of the competition with the Coroverge Universal Dry Verge system, the proven dry fix roofing solution from Ariel Plastics that is fast, easy-to-fit and fully compatible with an expansive range of roof tiles. Developed and designed for ease of installation, the Coroverge Universal Dry Verge system provides a neat mortarless finish at roof verges on new build and retrofit projects. The system is a 100% mortar-free, dry fix solution, offering a hard-wearing, durable and attractive finish to the roofline without the inconvenience of using mortar bedding. Manufactured from lightweight, modern plastic materials that are easy-to-install and weather- resistant, the Coroverge Universal Dry Verge system protects the roof verge from wind uplift, pest infestation and weather degradation in accordance with BS 5534. Available in Brown, Anthracite Grey and Terracotta, this all-weather system includes Starter Piece, Verge Section, Batten Clip, and Angled, and Half-Round Ridge Caps options to suit the ridge style. Fully adjustable for installation with tiles of between 260mm-350mm gauges, the Coroverge Universal Dry Verge system is quick and easy to install, and offers a wealth of features so that installers can fit with confidence, giving a more superior dry verge solution for both new build and renovation projects. The temporary ‘True-Line’ guide in the Starter Piece ensures it is correctly lined up with the tiles, guaranteeing a perfect and secure alignment on the roof, whilst a handy cut out area provides the flexibility to work around existing gutters. Attention to detail and consideration of the installers needs have played a crucial part in developing this product. The Verge Sections are not handed to fit both the left hand and right hand sides of the roof verge for ease of installation. The ‘True-Connect’ locators fit the ‘True Mount’ allowing adjustable positioning of the Verge Sections to suit various tile gauges. An in-built ‘drip strip’ allows rainwater to run off the Verge, avoiding wall staining and potential damp. There are flex points on the Ridge Caps which allow for differing roof angles and a choice of angled and half round options to suit the ridge style. “With the construction industry reaping the benefits of dry fix products, the Coroverge Universal Dry Verge System is fast and simple to install, and fully compatible with a wide range of tiles. It’s set to become the go-to, hassle-free dry verge system for merchant customers, offering a clean, attractive and maintenance-free finish,” said Paul Goddard, Sales Director of Ariel Plastics. Offering the widest choice of roofing sheet, rooflights and roofing accessories available in the UK, industry leader Ariel Plastics is renowned for providing specialist roofing and glazing solutions for any application. The Coroverge Universal Dry Verge system complements Ariel’s extensive Corodrain roof drainage and Corovent roof ventilation portfolios. To assist each outlet in selling the Coroverge Universal Dry Verge system, merchants can also benefit from a free Display Unit with every stock order.

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Panattoni Set to Start Large-Scale Spec Development

Panattoni Set to Start Large-Scale Spec Development

Panattoni, the largest industrial developer in Europe, is set to start work on the second phase of its 1.6 million sq ft industrial park in Northampton. Panattoni Park Northampton is already the home to three former Panattoni buildings and will see further units delivered at 250,000 sq ft, 380,000 sq ft and 430,000 sq ft, totalling over another 1 million sq ft at the park. The second phase of development at the Park comes after Panattoni successfully speculatively developed and let 625,000 sq ft of space to Eddie Stobart Logistics. Winvic Construction Ltd have begun construction on the three new spec units will be developed over two phases, the first being units 250,000 sq ft and 430,000 sq ft with steels emerging in the coming weeks. Finally, the 380,000 sq ft which will commence later in 2021.  “We’re delighted to be continuing the development of 1 million sq ft in Northampton, after only recently completing the three units for Eddie Stobart. This shows that Panattoni has the confidence to deliver speculatively, knowing that the market needs more space,” said Oliver Bertram, Development Director at Panattoni. “This park gives businesses an ideal base to serve key markets across the UK, with direct access to the country’s major motorways. Market interest remains high in this area and we are committed to providing the right spaces for businesses to expand their operations. The new units at Panattoni Park Northampton will do just that.”  Each will benefit from the same prominent location based on junction 16 of the M1 motorway, which will see tens of thousands of cars pass the occupiers’ logos each day. All three units will be built to 15m clear internal height and benefit from 50m yards. Northampton sits in the so-called ‘logistics golden triangle’, considered to be the UK’s most strategically important location for distribution. Panattoni Park Northampton is only 20 miles from the M6 and A14.   The completed buildings will be built to a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’ and have an ‘A+’ EPC rating. Local services have been improved on site as part of the development, with the Red Lion Truck Stop parking area being expanded to accommodate more vehicles, as well as an HGV filling station being added to the existing set of pumps. The section 278 road that leads to the truck stop and main development has also been improved to give better access to the motorway. Once fully occupied, the development could support over 1000 jobs.  “This next phase of development in Northampton demonstrates the success of our high-level business strategy in the UK and the speed and scale at which we work. There are limited opportunities in the UK that will deliver a 1 million sq ft spec option and it’s an important build for industry as a whole and one that we anticipate will soon be let quickly,” added Matthew Byrom, Managing Director at Panattoni.

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