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September 1, 2021

Firethorn Expands Portfolio with Yorkshire Site

Firethorn Trust has acquired a substantial site at Sherburn-in-Elmet in Leeds, as it continues to grow its national logistics portfolio. The 37-acre logistics site forms part of the wider Sherburn2 scheme, which spans 75-acres and is owned by Yorkshire-based development and investment company, Glentrool Estates Group Ltd. Firethorn has now

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FINANCIAL VIABILITY TAKES CENTRE STAGE IN EARLY PLANNING PROCESS

The financial viability of property development is taking on an increasingly important role in the planning and plan-making process. While financials have always been key to the success of any development, changes to national planning policy and related practice guidance have shifted the focus and priority. And, according to national

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Helensburgh Waterfront Development – significant progress one year on

Helensburgh’s state-of-the art leisure centre is on track to open in 2022, despite the construction challenges brought by the global pandemic. One year after construction began, the main building is structurally complete, with the external Lomond stone blockwork and glazing installed, there are new flood defences for the town and

Read More »

The best locations for new-build availability by the sea

The latest research from Warwick Estates has revealed which coastal locations offer the most new-build availability for those looking to buy by the seaside. Warwick Estates analysed new-build availability across 45 of the best coastal towns across the nation based on the number of new builds available on the current

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Victoria PLC announces plans to move to Worcester Six Business Park

An international flooring designer, manufacturer and distributor has announced plans to move part of its UK operations to the Worcester Six Business Park as it looks to grow the business. Worcestershire-based Victoria PLC, the UK’s largest flooring manufacturer and distributor, has specified leading developer Stoford to deliver a bespoke unit

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Refurbishment Works at University of Lincoln Campus Complete

Refurbishment Works at University of Lincoln Campus Complete

Midlands-based contractor G F Tomlinson has completed a programme of refurbishment works at the University of Lincoln’s Riseholme Park campus, just north of the city. The 400-acre site, which comprises the Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology (LIAT), Riseholme Hall, an equestrian centre, Plowright House, woodlands, grasslands, watercourses and a working

Read More »
East Midlands Architecture Practice Bolsters Team

East Midlands Architecture Practice Bolsters Team

Lincolnshire-based architects and urban designers, PolkeyCollins, has welcomed two new members to its architecture team as part of its planned growth strategy. Jason Hall and Connor Horgan have joined the practice as senior architect and architectural technologist respectively. The hires come as part of PolkeyCollins’ five-year growth strategy to further

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Tips for Managing Cash Flow in Construction

Managing cash flow in construction can be complex. Good cash flow ensures that there is enough money available to cover all types of expenditure during a project, including the suppliers, materials, salaries, and other day-to-day activities. Efficient and sufficient cash flow is vital for any construction business to be successful.

Read More »

12 Roofing Options To Consider For Your New Home

Building your home is an exciting but daunting experience. After laying the foundation and having the framing of your soon-to-be house, the next step is to install your roof. As it protects you against the outdoor elements, choosing the roofing material for your home can be a frustrating decision you

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Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

September 1, 2021

Firethorn Expands Portfolio with Yorkshire Site

Firethorn Trust has acquired a substantial site at Sherburn-in-Elmet in Leeds, as it continues to grow its national logistics portfolio. The 37-acre logistics site forms part of the wider Sherburn2 scheme, which spans 75-acres and is owned by Yorkshire-based development and investment company, Glentrool Estates Group Ltd. Firethorn has now exchanged contracts with Glentrool, in a deal that will allow the delivery of up to 660,000 sq. ft. of new logistics warehousing across one or multiple buildings, suited to a range of occupiers, from SMEs to larger manufacturing and distribution companies. Situated within an established commercial and industrial location at Junction 42 of the A1(M), the new site lies immediately adjacent to Sherburn Enterprise Park, which is home to several large multi-national occupiers including L&G Modular Homes, Eddie Stobart, Sainsburys and Clipper Logistics. The scheme provides excellent connectivity throughout the UK, with close proximity to Leeds, the M1 and M62, coastal ports of Hull and Grimsby and regional rail and airports. Dan Green, Associate Director at Firethorn Trust, commented: “We are very pleased to have exchanged contracts to acquire this impressive 37-acre site in Sherburn-in-Elmet, which we believe will be a strong addition to our growing UK logistics portfolio. “It provides an excellent opportunity to add new, institutional quality warehousing to our existing pipeline in a strong local market experiencing record levels of demand and take-up, and historically low vacancy rates and supply levels. “As occupiers continue to adapt their supply chain and distribution models to fit the post-Covid economy, demand is expected to remain at these levels in the medium term, whilst the increased drive to e-commerce is further fuelling occupational demand. “This acquisition is another example of our strategic approach to identify sites in strong locations across the UK for development and unlock opportunities to deliver modern, high-quality warehousing solutions, highly-sustainable schemes and economic benefits for the wider region.” Jeremy Nolan, a director of Glentrool says: “We are delighted to have brought this site to an advanced state of readiness, delivering a serviced plot that will enable Firethorn to swiftly develop high quality units for occupiers. “The wider Sherburn2 site has excellent road and rail links and, given the neighbouring Sherburn Enterprise Park is already home to significant multi-nationals, we anticipate Firethorn will enjoy great success in attracting similarly prestigious occupiers.” Firethorn Trust was advised by Lambert Smith Hampton and Stephenson Harwood and Glentrool was represented by Colliers International and Carter Towler.

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FINANCIAL VIABILITY TAKES CENTRE STAGE IN EARLY PLANNING PROCESS

The financial viability of property development is taking on an increasingly important role in the planning and plan-making process. While financials have always been key to the success of any development, changes to national planning policy and related practice guidance have shifted the focus and priority. And, according to national planning and development consultancy Lichfieldsthese necessitate a change in approach for those seeking to promote the Local Plan process. “Increasingly there is a ‘frontloading’ of viability assessments to the plan-making stage. The impact and shift of emphasis cannot be overstated. Financial viability assessments are now very much in the planning realm,” said Simon Coop, planning director at Lichfields. In a new piece of research undertaken by Lichfields, entitled ‘Fine Margins – Viability assessments in planning and plan-making’ the practice offers a comprehensive overview of the way in which viability assessments are being conducted and for the purpose of area-wide viability studies to inform local plan preparation. Simon Coop added: “Recent evidence we have gathered and analysed, in the residential housing market, suggests that the soundness of local plans is increasingly being fought on a viability battleground. “Viability is a critical but often misunderstood concept, and one that is central to the delivery of housing sites and the successful implementation of local plan strategies.” Drawing upon several years’ worth of evidence from local plan and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) viability studies from across England and Wales, this research into the residential housing sector helps to bring greater clarity to an area of practice in which there are many misunderstandings. Will Christiansen, who carried out much of the research, explained the findings should ideally reduce confusion and create more meaningful debate on this issue between developers, planners and local authorities. Will said: “Changes introduced in 2019 are really starting to impact the sector. There is widespread confusion in planning practice and guidance and this piece of Insight aims to demystify some of this and become a key reference document across the industry. “Having a housing scheme that stacks up from a financial perspective provides a sound basis for a development scheme to come forward. If the value generated by development (GDV) is equal to or greater than the total costs, then the scheme is viable and can go ahead.” Traditionally, he explained, it was usually commercial surveyors who undertook financial viability assessments, and this was often later in the planning and development process. Today, he said, this is now centre stage and at the forefront of planning new housing developments. Planning policy in England and Wales now seeks to ‘front-load’ all consideration of development viability so that is given a much greater emphasis at strategic plan preparation stage. “The assumption that flows from this is that developments that accord with the strategic plan will be viable. However, local plans provide a long-term framework for development, and it is essential that they are sufficiently flexible to account for changing circumstances, such as rising costs and potential changes in the development values over the next 10-15 years,” said Will. Lichfields hopes the research will be useful to those wanting: To gain an overview of the concepts, inputs and outputs that underpin viability assessment in a housing development context; To understand in greater detail the links between viability assessment and planning; and To scrutinise local plan (or CIL) viability evidence (or underpin independent evidence) with reference to a robust national dataset. A copy of the Fine Margins Insight report is available https://lichfields.uk/content/insights/fine-margins Founded in 1962, Lichfields offers a broad range of planning and development consultancy services including development management, consultation, economics, EIA, heritage, neighbourly matters and urban design. Its clients include developers, landowners and operators in the housing, retail, leisure, commercial, waste and recycling and infrastructure sectors; as well as local authorities and government bodies.

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Helensburgh Waterfront Development – significant progress one year on

Helensburgh’s state-of-the art leisure centre is on track to open in 2022, despite the construction challenges brought by the global pandemic. One year after construction began, the main building is structurally complete, with the external Lomond stone blockwork and glazing installed, there are new flood defences for the town and landscaping is well underway. When it’s complete the council’s £22 million development will provide residents and visitors with new swimming and studio pools, and a gym and café with stunning views of the Clyde. Access for all The Helensburgh Waterfront Development is designed to be fully accessible for all users and includes: Pool pod access facilities to enable wheelchair users and anyone with mobility issues to independently access the pool. A moveable floor in the studio pool, making it easier for all swimming abilities A Changing places toilet with hoist equipment and a changing bench Employment and Next Generation Skills As the local economy starts to recover from the impact of the pandemic, the build continues to support local employment. There are over eighty people working on site and many local contractors working on the project.   The project is creating vital training and experience for people starting out with their careers. The Council and its construction contractor Heron Bros Ltd offer a number of work placements and ongoing learning including: Apprentice civil engineers and stonemasons Trainee quantity surveyors Civil engineering graduates Apprentice joiners, plumbers and electricians Councillor Gary Mulvaney. Policy Lead, Financial Services and Major Projects: “This development not only offers a first class facility for residents and visitors, it provides vital skills and training to the next generation, and support for the local economy now when it needs it. With ongoing Covid restrictions, it has taken a huge team effort from the Council, Heron Bros and our internal and external design consultants to get us to this important milestone. It is remarkable to think of the progress to date considering the back office staff behind the Waterfront Development are working remotely to deliver the project. The progress achieved in the face of considerable challenge is a testament to the power of partnership and professionalism. Congratulations to everyone involved.” Cathal Heron, Regional Director for the Main Contractor, Heron Bros:  “Heron Bros is extremely pleased with the progress made to date as we mark such a key milestone for the project. The celebration represents a high point not only for the project build, but for the entire project team, who have worked so effectively together in making such impressive progress.” The project is supporting a number of community projects with donations from Heron Bros to local charities and material supplied to help initiatives including the Helensburgh Community Centre. The Council appointed contractors Heron Bros Ltd to start work in August 2020. The project represents investment in Helensburgh of more than £22.3 million. This includes £5million awarded from the UK Government Libor Fund and £100, 000 from SportScotland.  

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The best locations for new-build availability by the sea

The latest research from Warwick Estates has revealed which coastal locations offer the most new-build availability for those looking to buy by the seaside. Warwick Estates analysed new-build availability across 45 of the best coastal towns across the nation based on the number of new builds available on the current market as a percentage of all properties listed for sale. The research shows that on average, just five per cent of all homes currently listed across coastal locations are new builds. However, Newquay in Cornwall offers the best chance of a new-build by the sea, with one in five homes currently listed for sale coming via the new homes sector. Shoreham-by-Sea in the South East is also home to some of the largest levels of coastal new-build availability, with new homes accounting for 12% of all homes currently on the market. Poole (11%) and Margate (10%) are the only other coastal locations where new-builds account for more than 10% of current for sale stock, while Deal (9%), Exmouth (9%), Scarborough (9%), Herne Bay (8%), Falmouth (8%) and Littlehampton (8%) also make the top 10. In contrast, there are currently no new-build homes listed for sale in Burnam-on-Sea, Stubbington or Fleetwood. COO of Warwick Estates, Bethan Griffiths, commented: “The property market DNA of many coastal locations has long been decided and the lack of available space means you will probably be hard-pressed to find a new-build with sea views. However, as our research shows, some coastal favourites are home to a limited level of new-build stock and so the dream of a new-build by the sea isn’t completely out of the question. While the chances are higher in some areas compared to others, those with their heart set on such a purchase should be able to find a coastal new-build contender in almost every region of the UK market.” Table shows new-build availability in each coastal town based on the number of new-builds for sale as a percentage of all homes listed for sale Location Region Total stock listed for sale New-build stock listed for sale % proportion of NB Newquay South West 373 74 19.8% Shoreham-by-Sea South East 407 47 11.5% Poole South West 2696 290 10.8% Margate South East 719 75 10.4% Deal South East 462 43 9.3% Exmouth South West 524 48 9.2% Scarborough Yorkshire and The Humber 1017 93 9.1% Herne Bay South East 728 61 8.4% Falmouth South West 325 27 8.3% Littlehampton South East 950 78 8.2% Ramsgate South East 588 46 7.8% Great Yarmouth East of England 1,045 81 7.8% Christchurch South West 508 36 7.1% Felixstowe East of England 523 34 6.5% Whitstable South East 625 40 6.4% Folkestone South East 830 49 5.9% Worthing South East 1895 111 5.9% Weymouth South West 762 43 5.6% Weston-Super-Mare South West 1561 88 5.6% Southport North West 1,374 75 5.5% Broadstairs South East 429 23 5.4% Torquay South West 1289 66 5.1% Formby North West 275 14 5.1% Clacton-on-Sea East of England 993 49 4.9% Lowestoft East of England 1,031 49 4.8% Bournemouth South West 3777 159 4.2% Eastbourne South East 1,698 71 4.2% Seaford South East 314 13 4.1% Cleethorpes Yorkshire and The Humber 348 14 4.0% Bridlington Yorkshire and The Humber 483 18 3.7% Bexhill South East 1,027 36 3.5% Bognor Regis South East 1102 37 3.4% Skegness East Midlands 290 9 3.1% Southend-on-Sea East of England 1,134 30 2.6% Paignton South West 812 21 2.6% Redcar North East 423 8 1.9% Clevedon South West 275 5 1.8% Hastings South East 1,571 21 1.3% Blackpool North West 2,106 25 1.2% Morecambe North West 561 5 0.9% Lytham St Anne’s North West 824 5 0.6% Whitley Bay North East 340 1 0.3% Fleetwood North West 313 0 0.0% Stubbington South East 187 0 0.0% Burnham-on-Sea South West 246 0 0.0% Average 39760 2118 5.3% Data sourced from Rightmove (25/08/2021)          

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Victoria PLC announces plans to move to Worcester Six Business Park

An international flooring designer, manufacturer and distributor has announced plans to move part of its UK operations to the Worcester Six Business Park as it looks to grow the business. Worcestershire-based Victoria PLC, the UK’s largest flooring manufacturer and distributor, has specified leading developer Stoford to deliver a bespoke unit at the business park, which will house one of its businesses, Alliance Flooring Distribution. Stoford has this week submitted a planning application to Wychavon District Council for a 180,121 sq ft unit for the company, which has been a major employer in Kidderminster since 1900 and has agreed a 15-year lease for unit 7.  The facility is expanding its existing locations and will be operational in Q4 2022. Edward Peel, Development Manager for Stoford, said both Stoford and Victoria PLC are committed to reducing their carbon footprint.  To achieve that, the base build of the unit will be net carbon zero in operation and will feature extensive electric vehicle charging points and photovoltaic panels on the roof. Two new ponds are also being created as part of the build, which will help to further improve the green infrastructure on the business park, providing an attractive setting and new wildlife habitats. “Attracting yet another global player to Worcester Six is a real success story,” he said. “The building of unit 7 will enable Victoria PLC to continue its growth plans, which can only be good news for the local economy. We’re looking forward to working closely with it as we develop its plans for a sustainable new base. “Worcester Six is living up to its reputation as a game-changer development. Ambitious businesses are keen to come here and take advantage of the strategic location, the high quality builds and the attractive environment that the business park sits in.” Philippe Hamers, CEO for Victoria PLC, said a new, bespoke building for Alliances UK headquarters will future-proof the business and allow the continued growth of the Victoria PLC brand portfolio and its third party customers. It hopes to create an additional 60 jobs over the next five years. “This move will allow us to further develop and grow our workforce using local skills and we are hoping to develop a work experience and apprenticeship scheme in the next two years to complement this and aid our continued growth,” he said. “The location of Worcester Six is perfect. This gives immediate access to the motorway network. Combine this with how long we have been an employer in this area, the local workforce who have great experience in flooring and the fact that we are able to future-proof our business by building a fit for purpose headquarters in an attractive setting with all of the green credentials we are striving for, offers an exciting future for us.” In the past three years, Worcester Six has welcomed Marmon Food and Beverage Equipment, Siemens, Spire Healthcare, Kimal, Kohler Mira and IONOS.  Victoria PLC was advised by Brasier Freeth and Stoford by BNP Paribas and Harris Lamb. For details about the scheme and other units that can be provided, contact the agent: Charles D’Auncey at Harris Lamb – charles.dauncey@harrislamb.com or Ben Wiley at BNP Paribas – ben.wiley@realestate.bnpparibas

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The ultimate guide to building your dream open-plan living and dining area

Traditionally, a home would be divided into separate living and dining spaces. Today, however, homeowners’ tastes often call for one large, multifunctional space where all of the property’s required amenities for living and dining are integrated. So, could you build an open-plan area like this for your own home? The simple answer is yes – but you would have to navigate a fair few obstacles on your way to realising a combined space that would fit the above-mentioned description while also meeting your own needs. Consider your specific requirements Before you start sourcing supplies for your project, think about what you would personally like it to achieve from a practical point of view. For example, would you like to play music in it? Would you want it to include dedicated storage compartments? The Homes & Gardens website has advice for what you could do in either of these scenarios. You should also order materials based on the space’s intended design – such as by ordering industrial table legs if you are aiming for this kind of look. Look into whether you will need planning permission You could create an open-plan living and dining area by refitting existing space, building an extension or, indeed, doing both. However, your choice will affect what planning permissions, if any, you will need. While propertypriceadvice.co.uk notes that many local authorities allow certain extensions to be built to the rear of a property without any need for planning permission, you should contact your local planning authority before starting any work. Even just removing a wall can require planning permission. Take building regulations into account, too Even if your particular project turns out not to need planning permission, you should heed that all extensions would have to satisfy building regulations. These touch on all aspects of construction – including ventilation, insulation, heating and fire protection. Building regulations approval can be obtained by making a full plans application if you are set on substantial redesigns or by submitting a building notice application if the works will be minor. Figure out when to seek professional assistance For example, if your project will include a complicated extension, you might need to hire an architect who could help you with matters such as design and technical drawings. Meanwhile, if the dining part of your open-plan space is set to incorporate a kitchen, you should get in touch with a kitchen designer – ideally early in the project to help prevent time-consuming revisions later. Let natural light shine through where possible Accommodating sunlight in this way can help enhance the brightness and airiness of your new space. Fortunately, there are various daylight-enhancing measures you could take for it – such as installing glazing and a lengthy row of bi-fold or sliding doors. Alas, even after you have done all of this, sunlight could struggle to reach those parts of the space furthest from the glass – in which case, you could seriously consider adding roof lights or a roof lantern if either option would be practical in your particular situation.

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Refurbishment Works at University of Lincoln Campus Complete

Refurbishment Works at University of Lincoln Campus Complete

Midlands-based contractor G F Tomlinson has completed a programme of refurbishment works at the University of Lincoln’s Riseholme Park campus, just north of the city. The 400-acre site, which comprises the Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology (LIAT), Riseholme Hall, an equestrian centre, Plowright House, woodlands, grasslands, watercourses and a working farm, has undergone extensive refurbishment works to the value of £4.7 million. Secured through the Scape Regional Construction framework, the project was delivered over two contracts by G F Tomlinson alongside architects CPMG and PolkeyCollins – to provide improved learning and research facilities for university staff and students at the site’s existing buildings, including Riseholme Hall, Plowright House, the on-site stables used by Bishop Burton College and Riseholme Park Farm. The site, part of which is located within a registered historic park and gardens of special historic interest, is home to the buried remains and earthwork of a medieval village – a settlement which was established there in the late 11th century. #Works to the Grade II listed, early 18th century Riseholme Hall, saw M&E systems upgraded including new lighting and intumescent door fixings to meet current fire regulations, as well as redecoration throughout the building. New security door scanning technology was also installed to each office and meeting room within the building, and included the installation of a new kitchen and café area, shower room and toilet facilities. Externally, essential repairs were carried out to protect the fabric of the historic building, including liquid coating the roof, replacing leadwork and replacing timber. Refurbishment works of the existing equestrian centre and farm included upgrading the barns and stables with new roofing, lighting and adding an extension to one of the barns. A new roundhouse was also constructed for the farm livestock – providing a lighter environment, separate sections and easier channels for livestock movement and managing veterinary visits, as well as a raised viewing area for staff and students to enable safer teaching. New lighting, fencing, timber cladding and guttering were also provided to two of the farm’s existing agricultural buildings – with a new extension including welfare space for students constructed at one of the buildings. G F Tomlinson also carried out refurbishment works to Plowright House, which is used by Barclays, and houses an Eagle Laboratory Farm. Formed in partnership with the University of Lincoln’s Institute for Agri-food Technology and Agri-Robotics research centre, the Eagle Laboratory Farm supports entrepreneurs with the latest technology, co-working and dedicated business spaces, a robotics lab, a demonstration packhouse and model refrigerated supermarket aisle, all intended for the aim of furthering innovation in agricultural technology. This is the second major project that G F Tomlinson has completed where the University of Lincoln has been a key stakeholder following previous redevelopment works to the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park in 2016 (owned jointly by the University and the Lincolnshire Co-op). Whilst on site, G F Tomlinson recycled 97% of its construction waste, with 83% of local labour and 77% of local spend sourced and achieved within 40 miles of the site. “The agriculture research and teaching facilities at Riseholme campus are recognised as one of the best institutions in the world, and the major refurbishment works have delivered vast improvements to the site to enable the continuation of important research, innovation and education,” commented Craig Stopper, framework manager at G F Tomlinson. “We are proud to have worked with the University once again to help bolster its fantastic further and higher education resources and facilities for students all over the world who choose to study there. “As a company, we pride ourselves on the social value we can deliver to improve the communities and areas in which we work, and through the Scape Regional Construction framework, this is another project that has enabled us to provide excellent environmental and economic benefits to Lincolnshire and the wider East Midlands region.”

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East Midlands Architecture Practice Bolsters Team

East Midlands Architecture Practice Bolsters Team

Lincolnshire-based architects and urban designers, PolkeyCollins, has welcomed two new members to its architecture team as part of its planned growth strategy. Jason Hall and Connor Horgan have joined the practice as senior architect and architectural technologist respectively. The hires come as part of PolkeyCollins’ five-year growth strategy to further propel the thriving business forward. Two years into the strategy, the firm is ahead of its projections – achieving its expected year third year results in year two. Jason joins the senior team and brings with him over 23 years of experience including six years working in Asia. In his new role, Jason will be working alongside directors Daniel Collins and Clive Polkey and the studio team, to continue the practice’s standard of delivering outstanding projects. Member of the Architects Registration Board (ARB), Jason completed his diploma in Architecture at The Bartlett, University College London before achieving his Part 3 qualification at Westminster University. On joining the PolkeyCollins architecture team, Jason said: “This is a vibrant practice with a fresh approach to design and client service, and a rigorous focus on quality which is what attracted me to the company. I’m joining a skilled team and I’m pleased to be bringing my global experience and to be part of the studio’s continued success and growth.” As an architectural technologist, Connor will be assisting the architectural team and supporting them to drive projects forward, while finding appropriate and buildable solutions to any challenges that may arise. With two years of industry experience undertaken alongside his studies, Connor brings plenty of energy and ideas after graduating with a degree in Architecture from Nottingham Trent University this year. “I’m really pleased to be a part of the PolkeyCollins team, I have always admired the way the practice approaches its projects and the team environment was appealing. I’m grateful for the opportunity to develop my skills and to be able to work my way towards achieving my chartership in Architectural Technology (MCIAT) while working with the great team here,” said Connor. PolkeyCollins provides architectural design services across multiple sectors including education, retail, urban design and leisure. The team are currently working on projects in London, Ipswich, Lincoln, Reading and Southampton, but cover all areas of England. “Two years ago my co-director Clive and I wrote a strategic five-year growth plan. The practice had been performing well and we wanted to harness that whilst being ambitious with our plans for growth over the next few years. We have ambitious plans for the practice, and we are proud to be ahead of our targets enabling us to recruit talented individuals, such as Jason and Connor,” commented Director of PolkeyCollins, Daniel Collins. “It’s a pleasure to welcome Jason and Connor to the PolkeyCollins team. They both bring a unique and valuable set of skills that will be most beneficial to the practice as we move forward with a number of high profile and significant projects. We have a great culture in the team and Jason and Connor will be a big part of that. They are joining at an exciting time.” PolkeyCollins has a strong pipeline of work lined up throughout 2021 and into 2022 with plans to continue hiring in the future as part of the practice’s strategic five-year growth plan.

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Tips for Managing Cash Flow in Construction

Managing cash flow in construction can be complex. Good cash flow ensures that there is enough money available to cover all types of expenditure during a project, including the suppliers, materials, salaries, and other day-to-day activities. Efficient and sufficient cash flow is vital for any construction business to be successful. Some of the most common cash flow problems in construction businesses Some of the most common things that cause cash flow problems include poor management of orders, out of date systems, not setting up an initial payment before the start of a project and taking on too many projects at any one time.  Tips for improving cash flow  Cash Flow is not just about managing the budget, but managing all parts of the project that will affect the budget, including how the project is run, obstacles and risks, time and resource management and more.  Management The first step is sufficient management of the project. Ensure that you are clear on what projects are in the pipeline, their key milestones, budget and timeline. It is also important to manage the payments for the project, and ensure this is obtained before the start date or agreed for certain milestones.  Risk management  When planning the project, and throughout the project, it is crucial to track the risks that may cause constraints. There are problems that you can foresee, which should be taken into account when planning times, supplies and budget. There are also problems that you cannot predict. Make sure you monitor risks throughout the entire project, so if they do arise, they can be managed quickly.  Monitor  Throughout the entire project, you should not only track the risks, but also the actual vs. estimated schedule and budget. If this is monitored regularly, then any obstacles that arise can be managed accordingly, and all parties involved can be made aware. It is important that you can quickly see how each project is going and how it affects the overall budget. This allows sufficient time for steps to be taken and finances to be adjusted where necessary.  Resources  Sufficient resource tracking can ensure that you not only remain compliant but also stay within time and budget requirements. Track the incoming supplies, track contractors workload and make adjustments wherever is needed.  Improve systems and processes If everything in the project is running smoothly, it could be your systems and processes that are holding you back. Consider reviewing how your systems are currently working for you, and where changes can be made. For example, could you invoice quicker? Are you following up on unpaid invoices promptly? Are you processing change orders quick enough?  Make sure you conduct regular reviews on your systems and process, to see where improvements can be made. Alternatively, a guide to your annual filings will help you compare income statements with cash flow statements, so you can identify any red flags.  If you want to improve cash flow, it is important to consider all aspects of the project and how they impact the timeline and budget, the adequacy of the systems and processes you have in place and the visibility of project requirements and supply chains.

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12 Roofing Options To Consider For Your New Home

Building your home is an exciting but daunting experience. After laying the foundation and having the framing of your soon-to-be house, the next step is to install your roof. As it protects you against the outdoor elements, choosing the roofing material for your home can be a frustrating decision you need to make. With various roofing options to choose from, it can be challenging to find the right one that fits your home’s aesthetics and functionalities.  With that said, this article would make it easier for you. Provided below is a breakdown of the different roofing materials available, highlighting their benefits and weaknesses so you can choose the right one for your home’s needs. 1. Asphalt Composite Shingles  Being the most common material offered by roofing companies like Smith Roofing and others, asphalt composite shingles are preferred for their efficiency across several climates and environmental conditions.  Its upfront cost is generally low, depending on your area. Asphalt shingles can resist water and can be designed to resemble wood, tile, and slate shingles. It’s easy to install, maintain, and repair, making it an excellent option for the basic American first-time homeowner.  They do, however, have a shorter lifespan than most materials and require replacement after about two decades. 2. Slate Shingles Slate shingles are a mainstay roofing material option for homeowners who accept only the finest. This roofing material features timeless beauty and comes in numerous shades and colors with pleasing textures. This is why most historical buildings and luxurious homes choose it as their roof. Genuine slate roofing is made from thin sheets of real stone that can last for centuries. It’s no wonder why it’s called the ‘forever roof,’ outliving homeowners and generations. Since slate tends to cleave off thin sheets, this material is easy to quarry, making it suitable for roofing. Plus, its longevity also makes it eco-friendly since a single slate roof lifespan equates to 3-4 roofs being replaced and thrown in landfills in its time. Slate roofs are entirely fireproof and can withstand snow, high winds, heavy rains; also, they don’t grow mold or fungus. With such significant advantages, you should expect a slate roof to be expensive. While it’s durable, slate shingles tend to break easily when hit with force from hail and other debris. Repairing the damage can be pretty costly too, especially that you can’t go the DIY route. Slate shingles will require highly specialized skills to install and repair. However, if you’re interested in making a life-long roofing investment, then slate shingles will be your best choice.  3. Rubber Slate Tiles If you’re looking for a greener, safer, and more lightweight alternative to authentic slate shingles, rubber slates are a good option. They’re convincing stand-ins for natural slate tiles that it’s virtually impossible to distinguish from the real ones. This material is constructed from engineered polymers combined with recycled rubbers and plastic.  Synthetic slate tiles are fire-resistant and are effective against external fire exposures. They’re also quite lightweight, making them suitable for houses that can’t support the heaviness of natural slate. They’re also cheaper than real slate and can be trimmed to make custom adjustments to roofs. Although synthetic slate tiles may not be as durable as real stones, rubber tiles usually come with a long warranty of up to 50 years.  4. Rolled Roofing This type of roofing material is preferred for low-slope residential roofs and out-buildings such as sheds, garages, shops, and other utilitarian structures. A rolled roofing features long rolls of asphalt- and mineral-saturated material topped with mineral granules. They come in large strips of thin roofing rolls of about 36 ft. long by 36 in. wide that are easy to cut and customize as needed.  However, it comes with several disadvantages. You don’t get a lot of color choices; also, it’s not that appealing and it only lasts about 5-8 years. Still, rolled roofing provides a convenient, fast, and cheap way of covering sloped-roof buildings such as home workshops where aesthetics isn’t that important. 5. Wood Shingles And Shakes Do you want something appealing with a rustic aesthetic? Go with wood shingles and shakes. Wood roofs are among the most attractive roofing materials, making them a popular option for luxury houses. Wood shingles and shakes are generally manufactured from 4 kinds of trees— redwood, red cedar, pine, and cypress. While both are made from natural wood, there’s a difference between wood shingles and shakes.  Shingles are usually thin, wedge-shaped wood slabs produced by precise sawing. This offers an even and clean look to your roof. Shakes, on the other hand, are produced by splitting wood and features thicker wedges with rougher textures. These rough edges somewhat give a unique rustic look that many homeowners desire. It offers a lot more dimension, particularly when layered together.  While properly installed wood shingles or shakes can last between 25-40 years, they’re a poor choice in high-moisture areas as well as places prone to wildfires. The good news is some wood shingles are treated to be fire-resistant, preventing premature decay in some climates. Some wood materials like pine are also treated with preservatives to keep the pesky insects and early decaying and rotting.  6. Built-Up Roofing (BUR) One of the oldest material choices for flat roofs or low pitch roofs, built-up roofing systems has been here for over 100 years. Sometimes called tar and gravel roofs, a BUR system is constructed with several layers of roof felt saturated with asphalt. The felt is applied in overlapping layers, forming a barrier of 2-4 layers of thick material. Then, a coating of finely crushed stone is embedded in the hot tar over the top, creating impenetrable and durable roofing. It can have a different number of layers or plies, depending on what you need. BUR systems are often applied directly to roof decks or insulation. They’re great for warmer climates and can be walked on without any damage. On average, they have a lifespan of 15-30 years, but some well-maintained BUR systems can

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