BDC

Search
BDC Magazine

January 18, 2022

Abtec Building Technologies partners with Acutrace to enhance the energy monitoring portfolio

A new partnership between Abtec Building Technologies and Acutrace will help organisations across the UK benefit from enhanced energy measurement as the drive to deliver smarter, more efficient buildings intensifies.  Acutrace is a cloud-based energy measurement and sustainability platform designed to provide businesses with reliable and accurate energy consumption data.

Read More »

Applications Now Open for New Construction T Level

A new Construction T Level qualification is now open for applications at the UK’s only specialist further education construction college. Leeds College of Building is one of a select number of education providers across England chosen to deliver a T Level programme in Design, Surveying & Planning for Construction from

Read More »
Council and Modular Housing Supplier to Tackle Homelessness

Council and Modular Housing Supplier to Tackle Homelessness

Cornwall Council has entered into a landmark deal to buy SoloHaus ‘micro homes’ to help tackle the housing crisis and homelessness with modular housing. A total of 29 self-contained modular one-bedroom homes have arrived in Cornwall and are set to be deployed to sites in the coming months. The Council

Read More »

Construction worker temporary visa needed for London

The capital’s mayor Sadiq Khan is pressing the government to create a new 12-month visa for construction workers so London can meet its goal of 66,000 new homes a year. Mr Khan warned there is a risk affordable homes targets will be missed because building firms can’t find staff in

Read More »
Burrington Estates Announces a Successful 2021

Burrington Estates Announces a Successful 2021

The continued strength of the South West property market and the launch of a new division in Central England made 2021 a successful year for Burrington Estates. This puts the company in a robust position moving into 2022 with a wide range of new homes developments due to launch this

Read More »

GMI Construction Group appoints Lee Powell to new CEO role

Appointment central to realising its long-term vision for sustainable growth GMI Construction Group PLC has appointed Lee Powell to the newly created role of Chief Executive Officer to realise its vision of long-term sustainable growth. One of the UK’s largest independent construction companies in the North of England and The

Read More »
Brandt Design Launches the White House Project

Brandt Design Launches the White House Project

Creative and inspiring British interior design specialists, Brandt Design, modernise the much-loved classic Shaker-style kitchen into a fresh and vibrant family living space for a large countryside home in the affluent village of Radlett, Hertfordshire, as part of its White House project. Beautifully refined and practical by design, this timeless kitchen

Read More »

Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

January 18, 2022

Abtec Building Technologies partners with Acutrace to enhance the energy monitoring portfolio

A new partnership between Abtec Building Technologies and Acutrace will help organisations across the UK benefit from enhanced energy measurement as the drive to deliver smarter, more efficient buildings intensifies.  Acutrace is a cloud-based energy measurement and sustainability platform designed to provide businesses with reliable and accurate energy consumption data. It uses a Measure, Visualise, Analyse and Control (MVAC) process to help organisations save energy, and reduce costs and carbon emissions. The platform can interface with any building management system and existing energy meters, with data accessible 24/7 from any web-enabled device. The data gathered can be used within  sustainability reporting to achieve international certification and standards such as ISO5000, LEED and the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). With Abtec acting as Acutrace’s System Integration Partner in the UK, it opens a new market for the Dublin-based software company whilst enhancing Abtec’s existing energy monitoring portfolio with customers able to integrate the platform into their building management projects to create smarter and more efficient buildings. Dave Watkins, Director of Abtec Building Technologies commented: “Making simple changes to how we manage buildings can have a significant impact on energy consumption and carbon emissions. In the face of rising energy costs, we are finding that more than ever, carbon-conscious businesses are seeking out solutions that help them create more efficient buildings. Acutrace’s measurement platform complements our existing building energy management services, and this new partnership allows us to offer customers across the UK a complete approach to monitoring and measuring their energy use so they can save energy and reduce carbon emissions.” Aidan McDonnell, CEO at Acutrace, added: “Abtec has a proven track record in delivering successful energy management projects from start to finish. Their turnkey building management offering combined with the Acutrace energy measurement and sustainability software platform will provide businesses and building owners with complete peace of mind when tackling energy measurement projects. We have already collaborated with Abtec on several projects, including the iconic Leadenhall Building in London. The strength of the relationship we have built ensured that when we sought to appoint a System Integration Partner in the UK, Abtec were the logical choice. By working in partnership with them we can ensure our customers across the UK have access to full project support as they reduce energy consumption and decarbonise their buildings.”   

Read More »

Key Walsall industrial development site moves a step closer to starting after securing grant funding

Development of the site – branded Parallel 113 will see the speculative development of a 113,000 sq ft grade A specification warehouse logistics unit with construction expected to commence in March. St Francis Group has today announced that it has secured grant funding from the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver a new, speculative 113,000 sq ft warehouse/logistics scheme at a site in Walsall. The site at Darlaston Road, branded as Parallel 113, sits within the Black Country Enterprise Zone and will create a high-quality warehouse/logistics unit, with construction set to commence in March. The development will remediate a brownfield site of just over 2.5 hectares close to Junction 10 of the M6 which is currently undergoing a £78 million enhancement by Highways England to increase capacity and reduce congestion. The development had already been given the green light by Walsall Council’s Planning Committee in autumn 2020 and is being developed speculatively.   When occupied the scheme will provide up to 200 new jobs. The new Darlaston train station, which also received the go ahead in 2020, is set to open on the Walsall-Wolverhampton line by 2023. Speaking about the award of the funding St Francis Group Development Director Gareth Williams said: “We are very happy to be able to announce today the award of this multi-million-pound funding which moves construction of the Parallel 113 scheme a stage closer. There is a chronic shortage of mid-box sized logistics accommodation currently right across the west midlands conurbation and this development will go some way to addressing that. The building will be constructed to a Grade A standard and specification and ideally suited to a range of flexible occupier requirements.  We are already fielding a strong level of interest and look forward to further announcements in due course.” Speaking about the development, Deputy Leader of Walsall Council, Cllr Adrian Andrew said: “This decision allows us to move forward with a scheme that will provide valuable jobs and a welcome boost to the local economy. The council and its partners have invested a great deal of effort to get to this stage and I look forward to work beginning on site in the near future This is another piece in the jigsaw of building back better in our Borough. Walsall is open for business and a great place to invest.’ *** To download a high resolution CGI of the proposed development click https://momentus.box.com/s/5g6h6oo8meon23s53i0hwkiau6meadej  *** For further information visit : www.parallel113.co.uk

Read More »

Applications Now Open for New Construction T Level

A new Construction T Level qualification is now open for applications at the UK’s only specialist further education construction college. Leeds College of Building is one of a select number of education providers across England chosen to deliver a T Level programme in Design, Surveying & Planning for Construction from September 2022. At the heart of the course, a 45-day industry placement opens opportunities for the brightest talent entering the market. T Levels are a new, two-year qualification for 16- to 19-year-olds. Designed with employers, each T Level is equivalent to three A levels and has been developed to meet industry needs and prepare students for work.  To gain approved provider status, the College applied to the Department for Education demonstrating a positive commitment from local employers and detailing the specialist equipment and expertise offered. This application was backed by the College’s Good Ofsted rating in 2019. Leeds College of Building is one of only a handful of providers in Yorkshire to offer the Design, Surveying & Planning for Construction T Level, and the only specialist further education construction college to offer this in the UK. The T Level will use industry-standard equipment at both its North Street and South Bank Campuses, delivered by expert staff from the construction industry. According to the Department for Education, T Levels give students the skills to progress and help rebuild the economy following the Coronavirus pandemic. Typical employment on completion might include technician roles in architecture, building services, civil engineering, surveying or town planning. Nikki Davis, Vice Principal at Leeds College of Building, said: “Leeds College of Building is the UK’s only general Further Education college specialising in Construction and the Built Environment. As such, we are perfectly placed to work with our established network of regional and national employers to enhance T Level opportunities for students. “T Level students at Leeds College of Building will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and specialist teaching expertise. Students also benefit from established progression opportunities within higher and degree-level apprenticeships at the College and employment opportunities through our construction partners. “Leeds College of Building is committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion. This new qualification will help us to better serve the region’s young people and workforce, opening up even more opportunities into high paying, skilled jobs.” Caddick Construction Limited is one of the employers offering Leeds College of Building T Level students work placements. Debbie Watson, Social Value Manager (Yorkshire) at Caddick Construction Ltd., said: “The new T Levels are a great alternative to entry-level qualifications as they help students gain valuable ‘on the job’ experience whilst undertaking their qualification, which will give them a great advantage going forward in their career.  It will also help employers gain an early insight into the latest talent pool, helping with recruitment and social value benefits.  It also helps us to develop the knowledge, attitude, and skills of the students entering the built environment. “Whilst working with us, students will spend time in each department at both our offices and on our sites to understand the workings of the main contractor.  Students will also spend time with our consultants, such as the Architect, to understand how projects get to site, as well as spending time with subcontractors on our projects learning more about life on site.” Time is split between 80% classroom learning and 20% industry placement lasting approximately seven weeks. All students will develop a general understanding of construction, including accurate and appropriate measurements, construction methods and building regulations, digital engineering techniques, design principles and processes, mathematical problem solving, and sustainability and environmental impact. In addition to the core content, students at Leeds College of Building will specialise in surveying and design for construction and the built environment. They will also study laser scanning – a land surveying method that can accurately measure and collect data from buildings and landscapes. For more course information and entry requirements, visit www.lcb.ac.uk or email admissions@lcb.ac.uk. Alternatively, if you are a business owner who could support students through T Level work placements, please email epearson@lcb.ac.uk and find out more about the business benefits and financial incentives available.

Read More »
Council and Modular Housing Supplier to Tackle Homelessness

Council and Modular Housing Supplier to Tackle Homelessness

Cornwall Council has entered into a landmark deal to buy SoloHaus ‘micro homes’ to help tackle the housing crisis and homelessness with modular housing. A total of 29 self-contained modular one-bedroom homes have arrived in Cornwall and are set to be deployed to sites in the coming months. The Council has bought the modular homes from The Hill Group, based in Waltham Abbey, Essex. SoloHaus, the brainchild of Hill Group founder, Andy Hill, have been designed to provide exceptional modular, self-contained accommodation in a supported environment to tackle homelessness. Cornwall Council joins Cambridge City Council, Ipswich Borough Council, the London Borough of Haringey and several housing associations in the east of England in using SoloHaus to support those that need it. “This marks a real tipping point in this Council’s approach to solving the housing crisis. The opportunity to buy these units was only identified at the end of August and officers have worked extremely hard over a very short period to turn this around,” said Olly Monk, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning at Cornwall Council. “These homes are ready to be dropped onto sites and provide top-quality accommodation, with all fixtures and fittings included. They are an evolution of the cabin-style emergency accommodation that we have provided in Truro and Camborne and, over time, will remove the need for those type of pods, which we have leased. “Buying and deploying permanent quality modular homes such as these will allow us to put homes in key locations throughout the Duchy. This is about us recognising that there are people in our communities that really need our help, and us providing them with an exceptional quality housing solution that can be deployed quickly. This is another example of what we’re doing to prevent using insecure B&B-style accommodation for vulnerable people. It’s about treating those people that need our help with dignity and respect. “Alongside everything else we’re doing – such as buying and refurbishing disused properties, purchasing homes at new developments and building innovative new ‘move-on’ sites – they will play a vital role in making sure that nobody need sleep rough in Cornwall or have to be housed in unreliable B&B or hotel accommodation. I very much hope that this is the first batch of many SoloHaus units for us in Cornwall.” The homes are built in a factory in Shrewsbury and feature the highest standards of sustainability, efficiency, safety and durability. They can be easily transported on a lorry and the Council will be working with Cormac to deploy the new homes to sites throughout the Duchy. SoloHaus homes are well-placed to help solve the housing crisis in Cornwall as they are designed to be robust enough to be deployed on a permanent basis, while retaining the flexibility to be picked up and moved from site-to-site for short-term use if necessary. With a 60-year minimum lifespan and construction warranty, the modular homes have been designed with the help of leading homelessness charities to provide a safe, secure, comfortable and independent place to stay for people who are homeless or have been homeless in the recent past. SoloHaus units are provided fully furnished with a kitchen, living and dining area, bedroom and bathroom. They are built to an attractive, Building Control-approved design and can be used in either a single storey or two-storey arrangement, with minimal groundworks, needing only electric, water and waste connections. They have integrated cabling for broadband and TV and a single air source heat pump provides warmth for six homes.

Read More »

Construction worker temporary visa needed for London

The capital’s mayor Sadiq Khan is pressing the government to create a new 12-month visa for construction workers so London can meet its goal of 66,000 new homes a year. Mr Khan warned there is a risk affordable homes targets will be missed because building firms can’t find staff in the wake of Brexit and the pandemic. “Tackling London’s housing crisis has always been one of my top priorities. We’ve worked tirelessly over the last five years to get London building again, and the construction sector forms a key part of London’s Covid recovery plan,” said Mr Khan. He is calling for a regional shortage occupation list to allow London and other cities to attract and retain staff in sectors with acute labour shortages. Labour shortages are holding up projects The Federation of Master Builders, FMB, trade survey for the third quarter of 2021 found nearly two-thirds of local builders had paused jobs due to lack of labour. The trade body added nearly half were struggling to recruit in key skills such as bricklaying and carpentry. FMB chief executive Brian Berry said: “Short-term solutions like emergency visas will be a real shot in the arm for an industry under pressure.” Affordable housing provider MTVT, Metropolitan Thames Valley Trust, chief executive Geeta Nanda said: “The shortage of qualified construction workers is causing delays and is putting pressure on the costs of building much needed new homes.” Finance brokers Hank Zarihs Associates said development finance lenders had noticed smaller builders often had to extend loan repayment deadlines due to setbacks caused by labour shortfalls. The number of EU construction workers in London fell by 54 per cent between April 2017 to April 2020 according to Office of National Statistics figures. The UK-born workforce is expected to dwindle over the next five years as an estimated ten to 20 per cent reach retirement age. London Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Richard Burge said: “This is a long-term challenge – we need to bring more young people into opportunities in construction.” In September the government launched a service where large companies could transfer 25 per cent of their annual apprenticeship levy pot to smaller businesses to offer apprenticeships.

Read More »

Britain’s gas grid to be ready to deliver hydrogen across the country from 2023, energy networks announce

Britain’s gas grid is set to be ready to start to blending hydrogen around the country from next year, helping provide families with more secure, homegrown energy supplies, new plans published by energy network companies announce today. Energy Networks Association (ENA) has published Britain’s Hydrogen Blending Delivery Plan, setting out how all five of Britain’s gas grid companies will meet the Government’s target for Britain’s network of gas pipes to be ready to deliver 20% hydrogen to homes and businesses acround the country from 2023, as a replacement for up to a fifth of the natural gas currently used. It will also mean that Britain’s fleet of gas-fired power plants will be able to use blended hydrogen to generate cleaner electricity. The companies are also calling for the UK Government to double its domestic 2030 hydrogen production target from 5GW to 10GW, to ensure that as much hydrogen as possible is produced from sources here in the UK, to better protect homes and businesses from international gas market changes. Blending 20% hydrogen into the gas grid will reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent of 2.5 million cars a year, without any changes needed to be made to people’s cookers, boilers or heating systems, ENA says. Britain’s Hydrogen Blending Delivery Plan sets out: A new ‘Target 2023’ timeline that all five of Britain’s gas network companies will follow, to ensure homes are able to benefit from hydrogen as a replacement for up to a fifth of the natural gas currently used, from the winter of 2023/4 onwards. Two options that the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy should choose from for the energy infrastructure changes that need to be made to allow hydrogen blending to happen from 2023 – a Strategic Approach and a Free Market Approach. The legal changes that must be made by Government and regulatory bodies across five key ‘Market Pillars’ to ensure gas network companies can start blending hydrogen into the gas grid from 2023. The Plan builds on the progress made by gas network companies through the HyDeploy project, which has demonstrated that blending hydrogen with natural gas is feasible and safe. The project began blending hydrogen into the public gas network in Winlaton, Gateshead, in summer 2021. David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, says: “Whether it be heating our homes, powering our businesses or generating cleaner electricity, hydrogen will help drive up our energy security, while driving down our carbon emissions – and Britain’s gas grid companies are ready to get on with the job of delivering that. “This plan sets out the changes needed to deliver cleaner, more secure energy supplies for all. What’s key is that the Government does its bit too by lifting its target for homegrown hydrogen production this decade. Doing that today will help gas grid companies deliver for tomorrow.”

Read More »
Burrington Estates Announces a Successful 2021

Burrington Estates Announces a Successful 2021

The continued strength of the South West property market and the launch of a new division in Central England made 2021 a successful year for Burrington Estates. This puts the company in a robust position moving into 2022 with a wide range of new homes developments due to launch this year. The award-winning housebuilder, headquartered in Exeter, completed 179 homes in 2021 and kickstarted its national expansion with the help of £13.5m investment from BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor. Founded in 2013, Burrington Estates is well known in the West Country as a creator of high quality homes carefully designed to suit modern lifestyles. It has delivered over 700 new homes to date, with ambitious targets of reaching 600 homes per annum by 2025. “We are in an optimistic position as 2021 draws to a close thanks to a very buoyant property market throughout the past year. While the initial buyer boost which followed the start of the pandemic stabilised, prospects for 2022 look positive with sustained buyer demand both in the South West and across the country. A typical Burrington Estates development really hits the sweet spot, combining excellent edge-of-village, semi-rural locations with premium quality design and finishes that really appeal. Buyers are well aware that they have to be willing to move quickly and potentially buy off-plan if they want to secure their home of choice,” said Mark Edworthy, Managing Director at Burrington Estates. Central to Burrington Estates’ growth strategy is its expansion into the Midlands and Home Counties with the launch of its new Central division. Its first development outside the South West was Tilehurst Green in Binfield, a community of 60 new homes that recently launched off-plan. The expanding Central division will launch two developments in Oxfordshire in early 2022 – a collection of 21 homes in Deddington will be available off-plan from January and also a new homes scheme in Carterton that will be launched in March. Show homes for both will follow later in the spring / summer. Devon and Cornwall have always been Burrington Estates’ heartland and its recent success in the region was bolstered by the post-pandemic surge in buyers moving to the South West. At Harbour Reach development in Fowey, Burrington Estates sold and completed all 46 private and affordable homes during 2021, creating a popular and attractive new community. Other success stories include Ash Tree Cross at Carnon Downs in Truro where the sale of seven private and seven affordable homes completed earlier in the year; and Stowford Mill in Ivybridge where the first three phases sold out by the summer. In total, Burrington Estates completed 118 private homes and 61 affordable homes in the South West in 2021. Strong demand for high quality homes in the South West looks set to continue into 2022 and Burrington Estates has several exciting new developments coming soon to meet this demand. At its landmark Winslade Park development near Exeter, the housebuilder will unveil a collection of 40 luxury apartments overlooking the Grade II listed manor, and 38 prestigious new build houses in the grounds of the estate. Other exciting new releases include the second phase of the highly successful EXIII development in Topsham, as well as significant new homes developments in Hayle, Bude and Bovey Tracey. Burrington Estates has built its reputation on creating high quality homes and attractive, enduring communities with a strong sense of place. From medium to large scale developments, high-quality mixed-use schemes, luxury individual homes and careful renovations, developments span a wide range of property types. It carefully tailors its homes to the needs of buyers to suit evolving lifestyles and places emphasis on the quality of design, build and specification, as well as ensuring market leading levels of customer satisfaction.

Read More »

GMI Construction Group appoints Lee Powell to new CEO role

Appointment central to realising its long-term vision for sustainable growth GMI Construction Group PLC has appointed Lee Powell to the newly created role of Chief Executive Officer to realise its vision of long-term sustainable growth. One of the UK’s largest independent construction companies in the North of England and The Midlands, it is preparing to expand into other regions and sectors and the new CEO will implement a strategy of achieving constant and controlled growth while maintaining its debt free status. The company, which has offices in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and Teesside, is forecasting an annual turnover in excess of £350m for 2022 and has already secured £300m worth of opportunities. Lee, previously the company’s Divisional Managing Director for Yorkshire, has already overseen exceptional growth in Yorkshire, together with its recent expansion into the North East region – establishing an office in Stockton-on-Tees, with a dedicated team of local professionals headed by a newly appointed Operations Director. GMI Construction Group, which provides specialist design and build capabilities spanning multiple sectors, is currently involved in a range of high-profile projects, including: £200M development to create a train manufacturing plant, infrastructure and rail supply chain village for Siemens Mobility in Goole, East Yorkshire £30M office building at Thorpe Park, Leeds 437,000 sq. ft fulfilment centre for an online fashion retailer at Fradley Park in Lichfield, Staffordshire A new-build residential block comprising 259 apartments over 11 storeys, forming part of the £200M Becketwell regeneration scheme in Derby £30M extension to a helicopter manufacturing facility It already counts major companies and significant brands such as Tritax Symmetry, St Modwen, Scarborough Group, Graftongate, St James Securities, The Alumno Group, Opus North, HBD, Peel Land & Property, Muse, Legal & General, and Evans Property Group among its clients. David Shann, Chief Executive of GMI’s parent company Highgrove Group PLC, said: “Lee’s appointment to this newly-created CEO role underlines our commitment to strengthen and grow our presence in the regions where we already operate, as well as looking towards developing new opportunities. “As CEO, we believe Lee has the experience, energy and ability to take GMI to the next level. Equally at home on site or in the boardroom, he has already proven to be a major driver within the business and is responsible for helping create our enviable reputation for delivering quality developments on time and within budget.” Lee Powell, CEO of GMI Construction Group, said: “I’m enormously proud to become CEO of GMI Construction Group, a role which is focused on growing our presence in our operating regions and facilitating growth of the business in a controlled and sustainable manner. “As the UK continues to level up across all of its key regions, I want to ensure GMI is right at the heart of that growth and powering forward with our expert team of industry leading professionals who continue to deliver excellence on project after project. “I am however consciously aware that GMI needs to implement that growth byretaining those values that has delivered success to this company and our clients. These include using local suppliers and sub-contractors whenever possible, as well as creating educational opportunities, to bring maximum economic benefit to the communities we are operating in.”

Read More »
Brandt Design Launches the White House Project

Brandt Design Launches the White House Project

Creative and inspiring British interior design specialists, Brandt Design, modernise the much-loved classic Shaker-style kitchen into a fresh and vibrant family living space for a large countryside home in the affluent village of Radlett, Hertfordshire, as part of its White House project. Beautifully refined and practical by design, this timeless kitchen is the ideal space to cook, dine and entertain the entire family and Julia Steadman, Commercial Director at Brandt Design says: “As a design studio specialising in bespoke kitchens and living areas, we have noticed that demand has been growing over the past two years for rooms which maximise the link between homes and gardens. ‘Bringing the outside in’ has therefore become increasingly important as we are socialising more at home and this has led to a greater appreciation of how being closer to nature can boost our health and wellbeing.” Soothing shades feature upon the company’s made-to-measure in-frame Heritage kitchen furniture, which is finished in a mix of Pavilion Grey, Treron and Down Pipe hand-painted finishes by Farrow & Ball. Walnut interiors are included throughout, and the hero island unit is shown in a dark grey Down Pipe finish, with statement extractor unit, streamlined TV unit with integrated deep-fill drawers and pocket doors in dark green Treron. The Pavilion Grey painted kitchen is both functional and spacious, maximising the scenic views of the beautifully manicured gardens, which enhance the traditional in-frame furniture arranged in a generous l-shape for easy navigation. 20mm Quartz worktops in Frosty Carrena custommade at Brandt Design’s dedicated fabrication centre provide a strong, easy-to-clean, ultra-hygienic work surface to prepare and cook food and to finish, a vintage antique mirrored splashback gives depth and added perspective.  For added drama, the Brandt Design team introduced to the White House project a distinct corrugated design technique upon the canopy hood and central island unit. Designed to wrap around existing elements in the room, the vertical lines and ribbed texture of this unique surface solution add new areas of interest and visual texture throughout the space, elevating the look and feel in an intriguing and individual way. Premium appliances include a heritage-style Chalonnais range cooker by LaCanche, seen here in a Graphite finish with brass trim, plus a range of Siemens built-in refrigeration, Miele Active Plus fully integrated dishwasher, and Caple under-counter wine cabinet to further enrich the working triangle. Discreetly concealed by the beautiful dark green Treron finish is a Westin Cache 1100 canopy hood and opposite, Gun Metal grey kitchen sinks and taps finish the look.

Read More »