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February 1, 2022

PRIME SECURE LAUNCHES WIRELESS EVACUATION ALARM TECHNOLOGY, REDUCING BURDEN ON LEASEHOLDERS PAYING FOR 24/7 WAKING WATCH BY 82%

Prime Secure’s Fire Safety division, the Waking Watch Initiative, has launched the UK’s first affordable, wireless common fire alarm system, V-Fire*, which removes the need for expensive waking watch fire marshals in high-rise buildings with flammable cladding. In the wake of the Grenfell disaster, thousands of leaseholders across the UK

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KAWNEER BLOWS THE DOOR OPEN WITH AA®720 ANTI-SLAM TESTING

Kawneer UK has successfully carried out a dynamic opening force test (anti-slam) on their AA®720 open-out door fitted with the Dorma TS93G G-N closer. Essentially, the test applies a load to simulate a severe gust of wind forcing the door open. It assesses the ability of the G-N closer to prevent

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9 million UK adults plan to buy a property in 2022

New research among more than 2,000 UK adults has revealed how many people are planning to buy a new home or property investment in 2022: 18% of UK adults intend to buy a property this year – rising to 34% among 18–34-year-olds 14% of renters plan to buy their first

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Ministry of Furniture invests in new talent with swathe of hires

Ministry of Furniture, the company which emerged from Remploy Furniture, has made a further investment in its workforce, creating seven new positions, six of them new hires, as it enjoys further growth on the back of its enhancement of its offering during the pandemic. The new appointments, which span design,

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Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

February 1, 2022

LCR AND NETWORK RAIL BRING £150M MIXED-USE SITE IN HEMEL HEMPSTEAD TO MARKET

In a move that will enable the delivery of c.450 new homes, 40,000 sq ft of commercial space and enhanced passenger facilities, LCR and Network Rail have commenced on the sale of a 7.4-acre site adjacent to Hemel Hempstead railway station. The site’s proximity to the station gives it unrivalled connectivity and transport links, and it sits close to key local amenities, including supermarkets, restaurants and cafés, leisure facilities, schools and nurseries.  It also backs onto Blackbirds Moor, a popular walking destination, part of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and home to the Box Moor Cricket Club. Andrew Ferguson, regional director at LCR, said: “After much hard work over the past 24 months, we’re excited to have reached this next key project milestone as we implement our masterplan and bring the site to market. Coupling easy access to London with open green spaces and high-quality community assets, this site represents an unmissable opportunity to unlock new homes, commercial space and public value”. JLL has been instructed to support the selection of a development partner. Sajaad Ahmad, director at JLL, said: “We are delighted to bring such an exciting opportunity to the market and are seeking for a partner who shares LCR and Network Rail’s vision and ambition for creating a new vibrant residential community in Hemel Hempstead.” LCR and Network Rail formed a partnership in 2018 to identify opportunities to free up underutilised land for residential development at and around stations across the rail network. The two organisations will work alongside landowners to pool or acquire the critical mass of land required for new development at every station, before securing planning and bringing opportunities to market alongside other key government agencies, including Homes England. The partnership recognises the importance of a collaborative process in creating new, market-ready opportunities. Bringing together the unique and complementary skillsets of the public, private, rail and real estate sectors is key to unlocking development across these often-complex brownfield sites.

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Three in five UK commercial landlords struggling to attract tenants for traditional office spaces

Flexible workspaces to consume 44% of landlords’ portfolios by 2026, up 11% New research among more than 200 UK commercial landlords has revealed how many are struggling to secure tenants for their office buildings as demands shift during the pandemic. It found: 62% of UK commercial landlords are struggling to attract prospective tenants to fill their traditional office spaces at present 64% have seen a “notable shift” in tenants’ demands during the pandemic At present, landlords dedicate an average of 33% to flexible and co-working spaces – by 2026, this will rise 11% to 44% More than three fifths of the UK’s commercial landlords are struggling to attract tenants to traditional offices as businesses’ workspace demands have changed rapidly during the pandemic, new research by infinitSpace has revealed. The European flexible workspace provider has commissioned an independent survey among 204 UK commercial landlords, all of whom own one or more office buildings in the UK. It found that 62% are currently struggling to attract prospective tenants to fill their traditional office spaces. Almost two thirds (64%) reported having seen a “notable shift” in tenants’ demands during the pandemic, including terms and use of space.  As a result, seven in ten (71%) office landlords plan to increase their flexible workspace offering in the coming five years.  infinitSpace’s research found that UK commercial landlords currently dedicate an average of 33% of their office portfolio to some form of flexible or co-working spaces. By 2026, this is forecast to rise 11% to 44%.  Since the start of 2020, 59% of office landlords have begun offering shorter and more flexible leases. Over half (52%) added new facilities to allow tenants to collaborate when inside the building, such as meeting rooms or breakout areas, while 63% have added facilities to improve the wellbeing of tenants, such as a gym or relaxation space.  Wybo Wijnbergen, CEO of infinitSpace, said: “What businesses want and need from their office has been steadily evolving over the past decade, but the pandemic has kicked the pace of change into overdrive. Our research shows that, as hybrid working becomes commonplace and businesses look for more collaborative and engaging workspaces, many landlords are struggling to attract tenants if they don’t have flexible offerings.  “Encouragingly, most office landlords are responding to this challenge. From the terms of the leases and the facilities on offer, to the ways their workspaces foster innovation and offer a great tenant experience – commercial landlords are evidently looking to transform their buildings to fit the ‘new normal’.  “Our data shows that many traditional offices will be converted into flexible workspaces in the coming years. In many instances, this will involve the landlord themselves entering into a long-term, inflexible lease with an operator, which then runs the flexible workspace in their building. But instead, office landlords should feel empowered to manage their own brands. This will lead to a more diverse and dynamic commercial real estate market.” Founded in late 2020, infinitSpace works with landlords to transform traditional office space into modern, flexible and inspiring workspaces. With its software and app, infinitSpace also ensures maximum traction with tenants as businesses’ demands evolve. 

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PRIME SECURE LAUNCHES WIRELESS EVACUATION ALARM TECHNOLOGY, REDUCING BURDEN ON LEASEHOLDERS PAYING FOR 24/7 WAKING WATCH BY 82%

Prime Secure’s Fire Safety division, the Waking Watch Initiative, has launched the UK’s first affordable, wireless common fire alarm system, V-Fire*, which removes the need for expensive waking watch fire marshals in high-rise buildings with flammable cladding. In the wake of the Grenfell disaster, thousands of leaseholders across the UK have shouldered the financial burden of either a wired alarm solution, or a waking watch fire marshal, which could cost more than £340,000** a year for a medium-sized 6-storey block of 34 flats. With experience across construction, corporate and property sectors, Prime Secure has utilised its wireless technology expertise from its CCTV systems, to develop the solution – a fully compliant common fire alarm system – costing just over £61,000 a year for a same sized property. Currently, waking watch fire marshals maintain a presence on each floor of buildings identified as having dangerous cladding; continually patrolling the interior and exterior 24/7, in order to detect a fire, raise the alarm, and carry out the role of evacuation management. Rented rather than bought outright, the alarm system negates the need for these expensive marshals, a requirement for more than 460 buildings across the UK, which the company estimates will constitute an average leaseholder saving of 82%. The announcement follows the closing of the Government’s Waking Watch Relief Fund, a £30 million fund for the costs of installing an alarm system in buildings in England with unsafe cladding, with only a third (179) of the 460 buildings identified as at risk were successful in applications. The Government’s own findings suggest the interim measure of waking watch fire marshals can cost between £12,000 and £45,000 per week per building, depending on the number of individuals and hours covered. As the financial burden will now be shouldered by residents, Prime Secure says a cost-saving tech solution is now more important than ever. According to the company, the pre-configured V-Fire solution is quick and easy to install, without any impact on existing fire compartmentalisation, with its high-tech nerve centre capable of monitoring and controlling any number of BS EN54 certified heat detectors. On every deployment, Prime Secure provides each high-rise development with a personal client liaison manager. Prime Secure’s Duncan Cromb said: “The updated guidance, in the event of fire in buildings with flammable cladding, is to simultaneously evacuate all residents. In buildings with unsafe cladding, thousands of residents across the UK have had to pay for the deployment of cost-prohibitive waking watch marshals to adhere to this. “However, common fire alarm systems can do the same job a lot quicker and more cost-effectively. Our solution is specifically designed for this use and can be cheaply and easily converted to a permanent simultaneous evacuation alert system for exclusive use by the fire brigade, and in line with a stay-put evacuation policy, if and when the flammable cladding has been replaced. “Wireless technology has helped to revolutionise security in the construction industry – with CCTV towers replacing security guards, delivering massive cost savings, and increasing effectiveness – and now it is the waking watch market’s turn. The V-Fire common fire alarm system is rented at an affordable monthly cost per apartment, with the option to either remove or convert the system to a common fire alarm in the future, should building regulations change, as is widely expected. “We actively engage with the site and with teams to give property owners and residents the peace of mind they deserve. Currently, no other system offers this range of features, which makes the launch an industry first and a really exciting venture for Prime Secure.” The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), in conjunction with ARMA; Fire Protection Association; Fire Industry Association; OPTIVO; and Institution of Fire Engineers, recently stated: “Building owners should move to install common fire alarms as quickly as possible to reduce or remove the dependence on waking watches. “This is the clear expectation for buildings where remediation cannot be undertaken in the ‘short term’. This approach should, in almost all circumstances, reduce the financial burden on residents where they are funding the waking watches.” Find out more out Prime Secure’s V-Fire here: www.waking-watch-initiative.co.uk/v-fire 

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UK Land Estates looks to help create jobs with Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate expansion plans

MORE than 250 jobs could be created under plans to expand Tyne Tunnel Trading estate to create additional high-spec industrial and retail facilities. UK Land Estates, the largest commercial property and investment company in the North East, has submitted plans to North Tyneside Council which aim to transform the 5 hectare site of the former Corning’s glass works on the Tyne Tunnel Estate into more than 14,000 sq m of industrial-led units. The site, which is part of the 2 million sq ft Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate in North Tyneside, will be developed into a mix of industrial and trade units, along with two drive-through outlets providing much-needed amenities on the estate.  On completion, the development is expected to create up to 270 jobs. The £12.5m expansion would also support an extra 45 jobs in its construction phase and could help create more than £2.8m worth of extra economic value for the area every year. With direct access to the A193 linking to the A19 – which forms part of the National Strategic Highway Network – the estate is easily accessible with good transport links. Keith Taylor, managing director at UK Land Estates, said: “This is an exciting development that we’re hoping will bring future investment and create jobs in several industries. “It is a strategic site with excellent connectivity to the north and south thanks to massive investment made in the local road network over the last five years removing bottleneck junctions on the A19 and providing an upgrade to the Tyne Tunnel. It is situated perfectly to serve businesses in North and South Tyneside and Newcastle areas as well as markets to the north and south of the region. “With the site being derelict for decades, it’s an exciting opportunity to develop the land into an attractive site which will provide ambitious businesses with best-in-class units to grow and expand. “This would expand our footprint on the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate and add another set of high-quality, easily accessible industrial units to our portfolio.” The development will be built in phases with a first phase of the road infrastructure works and the two drive thru units, which will then be followed by the development of the industrial units in response to demand with units varying in size from 1,820m2 to 7,030m2. Occupiers would also benefit from their close proximity to local amenities such as Silverlink Shopping Park and Tesco Extra. Research by leading property agency Knight Frank, indicates that supply chain disruptions, depleted stock levels and the impetus for greater resilience is driving demand from companies for industrial and logistics property. In addition, a number of online retailers continue to have requirements for facilities to accommodate increased sales volumes and, due to falling vacancy rates, options are extremely limited. Mark Proudlock, Partner at Knight Frank, said: “Rarely have we experienced this level of demand with such little stock to offer. “This development of new units designed to meet the needs of companies seeking to expand, as well as new companies looking to invest in North Tyneside, would be extremely welcome.”

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HUMBERSIDE HYDROGEN PLANT ‘MASSIVE STEP FORWARD FOR GREEN FUTURE’ SAYS GMB

Unlike some ideas, hydrogen fuels provide an opportunity to safeguard jobs and industry whilst reducing our carbon footprint says GMB Union  GMB has hailed plans for a Humberside hydrogen plant as a ‘massive step forward’ to secure jobs and a green future for the gas industry. The union welcomed the submission by Norwegian firm Equinor to build the plant, which has been backed by six potential users including British Gas owner Centrica and chemical giant Inneos.  If given the green light, the project could provide up to 600MW of hydrogen with the potential to triple production, as well as creating more than 2,000 jobs in the region.  Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said:  “Unlike some ideas being mooted, hydrogen fuels provide an opportunity to safeguard jobs and industry whilst reducing our carbon footprint.  “This development not only ensures heavy industry gets the power it needs but helps secure a future for our gas grid.  “This is vital as it could use the current gas network whist protecting well paid, unionised gas jobs in the industry.   “Britain can become a market leader in this technology, which could become a major exporting industry if we can lead the way.   “GMB fights constantly to secure decent jobs whilst managing the just transition to a carbon neutral future.  “Developments like this provide real confidence it can be done.” 

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NEW APPOINTMENT AT THE ISLAND QUARTER TO DELIVER ‘ONCE IN A CAREER’ DEVELOPMENT

NOTTINGHAM’S city within a city, The Island Quarter development, has strengthened its project delivery team with the appointment of Steve Thornton as project manager. Bringing more than 35 years’ experience in the construction industry with him, Steve is set to add impetus to the development team, ensuring each phase is completed on schedule. Steve stepped into the role in October 2021 and is responsible for assisting the wider team with the planning for each phase of the development. Having worked in the industry since 1987, he has been brought on to The Island Quarter due to his extensive build experience and additional involvement in civils projects. Steve said: “I’m delighted to be a part of the team delivering The Island Quarter to Nottingham. Developments of this scale and significance don’t come along very often so it’s a once in a career opportunity. For me, it is particularly remarkable to play a role in bringing it to fruition as I’ve lived in Nottingham for almost 30 years, it’s the place I call home, and I’m excited to create a space the city will benefit from for generations to come.” Prior to this role, Steve worked on a range of developments across the country, from the Canary Wharf Project in London to his recent work on the local Lace Market Point. Steve pairs his strong built environment knowledge with his further experience in civils, which lends itself to the demands of the The Island Quarter site, where a mixture of both is required. Robert Ware, chief executive of the Conygar Investment Company, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Steve’s expertise to The Island Quarter. He’s already making an impact on the efficient running of the site, having hit the ground running earlier this year. As work on site is rapidly progressing, and phase 1A is set to open in Spring 2022, Steve will play a pivotal role in pushing the plans forward, on time, working with the relevant parties to do so. “We are continuing to develop our plans for the later stages of the site, at the same time as delivering the initial ones. Steve’s role will ensure the pre-construction procedures are in place and that progress is monitored once work begins, a position that will be vital as we advance through to completion at each phase.” The Island Quarter will open its doors to Canal Turn, the first phase, in spring 2022. Meanwhile, planning approval is expected within the next few weeks for phase 1B, which includes a hotel, 247 apartments and extensive food and beverage outlets. To find out more about The Island Quarter and Canal Turn, please visit: theislandquarter.com  

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KAWNEER BLOWS THE DOOR OPEN WITH AA®720 ANTI-SLAM TESTING

Kawneer UK has successfully carried out a dynamic opening force test (anti-slam) on their AA®720 open-out door fitted with the Dorma TS93G G-N closer. Essentially, the test applies a load to simulate a severe gust of wind forcing the door open. It assesses the ability of the G-N closer to prevent the door from opening violently and slamming against adjacent walls.  The leaf size tested was 1080(W) x 2718(H), equating to 2.9sqm door area. The Dorma TS93G (EN 2-5) closer has an ‘active backcheck’ and G-N slide channel featuring a cushioned limit stay. The closer is fitted to a drop plate and secured to the door leaf with rivnuts and machine screws. Successfully tested, at Wintech, to a simulated wind load of 1.4 Pa, the AA®720 door opened to a 90 degrees restriction set by the limit stay. Anti-slam capability is becoming a more common requirement, typically for medium/high rise balcony applications. Kawneer UK produces high performance aluminium curtain wall and unitised systems, commercial entrance doors, framing systems, windows and sliding solutions, at its purpose-built manufacturing facility in Runcorn, Cheshire. Find out more about AA®720 Series Door Systems: View Here

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9 million UK adults plan to buy a property in 2022

New research among more than 2,000 UK adults has revealed how many people are planning to buy a new home or property investment in 2022: 18% of UK adults intend to buy a property this year – rising to 34% among 18–34-year-olds 14% of renters plan to buy their first home in 2022 14% of existing homeowners plan to move property, while 6% plan to purchase an additional investment property  63% expect house prices to rise in 2022, compared to 8% who predict they will decline  One in five UK adults plan to buy a property in 2022, new research from Market Financial Solutions(MFS) has revealed. The bridging lender commissioned an independent survey among more than 2,000 UK adults. It found that 18% intend to purchase property this year, including 34% of those aged 18-34. Among renters, 14% plan to buy their first home. Among existing homeowners, 14% plan to sell up and move home in 2022, while 6% hope to purchase an additional investment property. Of those planning to buy a property this year, 43% say they will look in a different area to where they currently live because the rise of remote working means they do not need to be in the same location. Half (50%) want a property that has more space as the pandemic means they spend more time at home. Two thirds (66%) of prospective homebuyers are worried about inflation and rising house prices, which they say will hinder their chances to buy in 2022. Further, 38% said that the complexities and long waiting times involved in getting a mortgage are a major challenge when looking to buy a property.  MFS’ research also revealed how UK adults expect house prices to perform over the coming 12 months. The vast majority (63%) believe they will rise, with 29% predicting they will stay roughly the same and 8% thinking they will fall. More generally, the study showed that 40% of UK adults say the pandemic has changed what matters to them in a home – this is particularly true among those aged 18-34 (53%).  Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS, said: “After a frenetic year for the property market in 2021, in which house prices rose sharply, there is a great deal of speculation as to how 2022 will unfold. Our new research shows we should not expect any sudden slowdown; the fact that 18% of UK adults – over 9 million people – intend to buy a property in the coming 12 months shows that demand remains sky high. “Yet our research also underlines the challenges that stand in front of prospective buyers. The so-called ‘race for space’ means that competition for certain properties – such as houses with gardens and spare rooms for home offices – will be fierce. Meanwhile, rising inflation, the potential for further interest rates hikes, and delays in securing mortgages, could also act as stumbling blocks for those looking to buy property. “Forward planning will be crucial for anyone looking to buy a new home or invest in property. Having their finances in order and, if required, a lender in place will ensure they can act with speed and confidence, which will improve their chances of being successful in a competitive market.”  

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Ministry of Furniture invests in new talent with swathe of hires

Ministry of Furniture, the company which emerged from Remploy Furniture, has made a further investment in its workforce, creating seven new positions, six of them new hires, as it enjoys further growth on the back of its enhancement of its offering during the pandemic. The new appointments, which span design, production and operations, have been made by the firm on the back of an expansion and diversification of its services, a move prompted initially by the COVID-19 pandemic. Terry Mortimer has joined as a technical designer and estimator. He has more than 20 years’ experience in bespoke design. Qualified in Revit, Autocad, and 3D Studio Max, he has a technical background with the ability to carry out surveys, produce detailed technical plans and product drawings. He will work alongside Whitney Harris who has joined as an interior designer. Whitney is a graduate interior designer with Revit and 3D visualisation experience who joins from Do Digital. David Bond joins as a production operator through the Government’s Kickstart programme. David, a blacksmith in his spare time, previously worked as an observation assistant at Hawkeswood Ecology. He will also benefit from a rigorous training programme at the company in line with the company’s social aims. Ministry has also recruited Adrian Badcock as a production operator. Jake Webb joins the sales team as a fitted furniture sales specialist. Jake, who will be responsible for developing vector sales across the education sector, brings a depth of experience in the construction sector where he has worked as a sales estimator. He can use CAD and Revit and has Graphic Design qualifications. Samantha Garnett joins as purchasing manager. Samantha is an experienced procurement and product manager with an extensive background working across a range of sectors in both the retail and automotive industries. Reporting to the operations director, Samantha will manage strategic procurement activities across multiple category spends negotiating the best deals and managing the suppliers. Finally, Kay Wood has been promoted to project coordinator. She has a wealth of customer service experience having worked for Remploy for 22 years and Ministry for five years in sales and customer service roles. She will be responsible for ensuring that projects are delivered to the highest standard. Ministry is enjoying a period of sustained growth, partly on the back of changes it made in the business prompted by COVID-19. Now, it is eyeing growth and diversification in line with its values and aims as a company in 2021 – and is investing in the people, systems and skills to allow it to leverage that. This also includes anticipated growth in the commercial, construction and education sectors over the next 12 months. Having realigned the company’s working practices and offering in the past 12 months, it now offers clients a seamless journey over the timeline of a big project – from concept to completion. In Wales, as a framework supplier for The National Procurement Service (NPS) for Wales, it can offer its suite of services to all public sector bodies. Graham Hirst, Managing Director, Ministry of Furniture, said: “We are delighted to see five new faces join the company as we consolidate some of the changes we made through the pandemic and realign our values to ensure we are always offering the best possible customer service. The appointments will help to strengthen and improve departments throughout the business as we gear up for 2022.”

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‘To rebuild trust we must deliver buildings that are safe’, says Dame Judith Hackitt at IET national building safety conference

Dame Judith Hackitt has stressed the need for competency, accountability, and responsibility to be at the heart of the new building safety system at an event at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, in order to rebuild the public’s trust in providing safe homes for people to live in. As keynote speaker at the IET National Conference for Electrotechnical and Building Safety Competence on Monday (31 Jan), Dame Judith Hackitt also reiterated the importance of a culture change in the whole built environment sector ahead of regulatory change – to incentivise good building practices, with disciplinary sanctions for those who exploit the system.  She explained how legislation will incentivise the take up of professional registration, which in turn will help to demonstrate competency, and stressed how the focus must be on delivering quality buildings that are safe, with genuine engagement with residents needed to rebuild trust. She explained how there is currently a very fragmented way of looking at buildings, e.g., separate walls, separate electrics, separate foundations, when in fact we need these things to work and be addressed in totality. Linking this to competency and quality assurance, Hackitt explained: “It is not good enough for people to simply say ‘my bit’s ok, it’s the other people who got it wrong, not me’. We need to start getting people to work together, to collaborate, and recognise that it is the overall outcome that matters.”  She continued: “What matters is that everyone should be able to feel safe in their home, that is everyone’s right, irrespective of the type of dwelling that they live in. And that’s why we need to have this risk-based approach, and why competence and quality assurance must become part of the new culture across the whole of construction.” The IET National Conference for Electrotechnical and Building Safety Competence, which is being delivered virtually across two dates, aims to bring experts together, working with or within the electrotechnical sector and in building services/safety related roles with a key focus on individual competence, accountability and continuing professional development.  Sir Julian Young, IET President, said: “Professional registration is an important milestone for any engineer or technician, as it demonstrates professionalism, competence and personal commitment to the engineering and technology sectors.  I encourage all our members and beyond to adhere to our Knowledge Network and Rules of Conduct, which provide guidance and informational sources to support people to make good decisions and act ethically.  “I assure you that the IET is working with appropriate trade associations and Trades Unions to help bring about a step-change in the level of relevant training, upskilling and professionalism of those working in the industry: it will not be easy or quick, but we are determined to make a positive difference and, ultimately, to raise the status of engineers and technicians across the UK.” Part 2 of the conference is taking place virtually on Monday 21 February 2022 at 10am. To find out more, please visit IET Events (theiet.org).

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