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September 8, 2022

CITB funds mental health first aiders for construction apprentices

CITB is investing £90,000 to fund a pilot scheme which will provide mental health support for apprentices from the start of their construction industry careers.  Optima UK Ltd will train further education construction tutors to be Mental Health First Aiders so they can support construction apprentices during their learning. Apprentices

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The Affordable Homes Programme since 2015

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) forecasts that it will spend £20.7 billion on new grant funded homes through three rounds of the Affordable Homes Programme between 2015 and 2032.1 However, the Department could be more ambitious in how the Programme supports wider government objectives, such as

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How to Make Sales and Marketing Materials for a New Development

Marketing is the key to turning a new development into a successful venture. This is because it will help you capture audiences and convert them into leads. So, your revenue and profits depend on proper marketing and branding. Sales and marketing materials are vital to successful marketing for new development.

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Robert Hirschfield Architects Design Intelligent Home

Robert Hirschfield Architects Design Intelligent Home

London-based architects Robert Hirschfield Architects have announced the completed renovation and restoration of a large Arts and Crafts period home in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Now, the home benefits from extra space, as well as being intelligently and emotionally connected all the way through. To encourage the family that owns the

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AI Fundamental for EU to Reach Its 15% Gas Reduction Target

AI Fundamental for EU to Reach Its 15% Gas Reduction Target

Arloid Automation, a global leader in AI-based solutions designed to simplify MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering) systems management for a broad portfolio of real estate, states that the use of AI within any building management system could lead to significant savings of up to 30% on energy and coolant

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Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

September 8, 2022

CITB funds mental health first aiders for construction apprentices

CITB is investing £90,000 to fund a pilot scheme which will provide mental health support for apprentices from the start of their construction industry careers.  Optima UK Ltd will train further education construction tutors to be Mental Health First Aiders so they can support construction apprentices during their learning. Apprentices will also be given mental health awareness training in bite size four hour sessions. This will mean the apprentices have the knowledge and education during learning, at the start of, and throughout, their career in construction. There will also be one-to-one support.   The team at Optima UK are all set to go and will begin training both instructors and apprentices in September.  The courses will be run by trainers accredited by Mental Health First Aid England and deliver 29 courses, all with 16 delegates, to hubs of colleges across the UK. In the space of a year, they will have trained 464 tutors and 464 apprentices, as well as offered one-to-one support to around 100 apprentices.  The CITB investment comes after a study compiled by the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and CITB, highlighted the toll poor mental health is taking. Research* showed 26% of construction workers had experienced suicidal thoughts and 91% felt overwhelmed. Tragically, two construction workers take their own lives each day.  CITB CEO Tim Balcon, said: “We need to make sure everyone is at ease talking about their mental health and this comes down to a culture of making it OK to speak up… giving apprentices the confidence to do that from day one, will hopefully make them feel supported in the industry. When staff are supported and happy in their work, and in my view, they will stay in the industry longer.”It has already been proven that having an open approach to mental health as a core value in your firm can save lives. At scaffolding firm CASS UK, a culture of mental health support played a major role in giving two young staff members the confidence to come to the aid of a vulnerable person they realised had climbed up on scaffolding on a site they were working on in Exeter. Karl and Kieran (pictured below) were quickly aware that something was not as it should be when they saw someone trying to climb the scaffold. They stopped what they were doing and took the time to speak to this individual who was obviously troubled. They managed to talk him down and stayed with him until help arrived.  Kieran said: “We knew that what we were seeing wasn’t normal, and there was no doubt that we wanted to help this young man. We didn’t see it as being an act of kindness or wanted any credit for what we did, we just didn’t want this person to do anything that we could stop or help with.   Karl said: “We are aware of the rise in mental health especially in the construction industry and we wouldn’t hesitate to help anyone again in this situation.”  Tim Balcon added: “CITB funding with help foster this positive attitude to mental health from day one of your construction career and we don’t expect everyone to be hero like these two young men but the knowledge it is good to talk will foster a healthy attitude and in turn save lives.” Larraine Boorman, CEO of Optima UK, said: “Optima is so proud to be involved in this ground-breaking project.  “The CITB is to be congratulated, first for its research into a major issue in the industry, and secondly for then taking action by launching this pilot project. As we can see, the statistics show there is a real problem in the sector, but with the right training, education, and support, we can make a real difference to people’s lives.” This UK-wide pilot scheme will aim to understand how mental health education and support can contribute to improved retention for individuals during their apprenticeship in construction, as well as reducing their likelihood of experiencing mental health issues.  Working with CITB, Optima UK will be rolling out an awareness campaign aimed at colleges, tutors, and apprentices, with materials based around the questions, Are We Ok? Are You OK? Look out for the campaign launching week commencing 12th September 2022. CITB has already partnered with Laing O’Rourke, the Lighthouse Club and Samaritans to train 8,000 mental health first aiders in the workplace making mental health information and support, accessible and relatable to small and medium construction employers. 

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Two new logistics centres at Prologis RFI DIRFT to increase capacity by nearly one million square feet

Prologis UK, a leading logistics property company, has announced it will speculatively develop two new logistics centres at Prologis RFI DIRFT in Northamptonshire – a park recognised as the most successful intermodal road-rail hub in the UK. Designed to best-in-class sustainability standards, both buildings – DC327, with a floorspace of 327,044 sq. ft.  and DC628, with a floorspace of 627,707 sq. ft. – will be net zero in construction. They are also  targeting a BREEAM “Excellent” accreditation, an achievement less than 1 percent of  new non-domestic buildings in the UK manage to achieve. In operation, both units will achieve an EPC A rating, including solar PV array installation which can flex to meet customers’ energy needs. Due to complete in summer 2023, the construction of these new logistics centres follows the development of a third rail terminal, linking to the existing DIRFT infrastructure and the West Coast Mainline railway. The site enjoys close proximity to the M1 and M6 motorways and to the A14 and A5 trunk roads. “This building is the exciting next step in our speculative development programme,” said Sally Duggleby, Vice President of Capital Deployment and Leasing, Prologis UK. “Our customers rely on us to provide modern, high-quality facilities in prime locations, and we work hard to anticipate their requirements.” The popularity of rail freight as part of a balanced, sustainable and resilient supply chain has grown over the past decade and today, over 6,500 trains – the equivalent of 200,000 freight containers – pass through the park each year. DIRFT is already home to household brands, such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco, and  Prologis UK has recently built a new landmark facility for Royal Mail site, which serves as the company’s largest parcel hub in the UK.

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The Affordable Homes Programme since 2015

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) forecasts that it will spend £20.7 billion on new grant funded homes through three rounds of the Affordable Homes Programme between 2015 and 2032.1 However, the Department could be more ambitious in how the Programme supports wider government objectives, such as how it contributes to the government’s net-zero commitments, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). DLUHC intervenes in the housing market to try to ensure there is sufficient supply of affordable housing. The Affordable Homes Programme (the Programme)2 provides grant funding to housing providers in England to support the costs of delivering affordable homes. There are two main iterations of the Programme that are running concurrently, the 2016 programme and the 2021 programme. The NAO found that the Affordable Homes Programme’s targets have a focus on the number of new homes built. The 2021 programme has clear targets about the tenure (e.g. for rent or for sale) of housing it wants housing providers to provide, but there are few targets based on wider factors such as the quality or size of homes or environmental standards. DLUHC has not fully defined the wider outcomes it wants from the Programme, such as reductions in fuel poverty and the creation of mixed communities or set out what success would look like. There is a forecast shortfall of 32,000 in the number of homes to be delivered compared with published targets for the 2016 and 2021 programmes, as at May 2022. Under the 2016 programme, DLUHC forecasts it will achieve 96% of its target for housing starts, but some of these homes will not be built until 2032. DLUHC’s forecast is that Homes England and the Greater London Authority (GLA) will collectively achieve 241,000 starts, against a target of 250,000 starts, by March 2023 (this target includes some homes not directly funded through the Programme).3 Under the 2021 programme, DLUHC expects 157,000 new homes will complete by the time the programme has ended in 2028-29 compared with its target of ‘up to 180,000 should economic conditions allow’.4 It does not expect to meet sub-targets for supported homes (homes with support, supervision, or care provided alongside) and is at high risk of not meeting a sub-target for rural homes. There is also a risk that fewer homes are completed than currently forecast because of building cost inflation, a shortage of materials and labour and other challenges. The NAO found that DLUHC had inadequate oversight of the GLA in the 2015 and 2016 programmes. DLUHC receives performance reports from the GLA, but these contained insufficient information on GLA’s management of the Programme, for example lacking information on spending. In October 2021, DLUHC found that between April 2015 and October 2021, it had given the GLA £1.8 billion of funding which the GLA had committed but not yet used to pay housing providers. DLUHC accepts these payments were a basic error of programme management. DLUHC has started to make improvements to its governance and oversight of the Programme, including in data and performance reporting. There is a lack of strong incentives for housing providers to deliver affordable homes in areas of high housing need or in the most unaffordable areas. The Programme is not delivering a high proportion of affordable homes in areas that the Department assesses have high general housing need. In addition, housing providers are delivering fewer homes in more unaffordable areas, measured by the difference between local house prices and wages. The Programme could bring greater value to other parts of government. When designing the 2021 programme, DLUHC considered how it could generate cross-government benefits in relation to housing benefit spend, the number of people in temporary accommodation and adult social care. However, it did not include savings in temporary accommodation or adult social care costs from providing supported housing in its economic modelling. Potential savings in these areas are not factored into the way DLUHC allocates the Programme’s funding and the kind of homes delivered. If DLUHC used the Programme to deliver more affordable homes in London, this would lead to significantly higher savings on future housing benefit costs (including the housing element of universal credit). DLUHC and Homes England did not include any specific targets relating to reducing emissions under the 2021 programme. Before the end of 2022, the NAO recommends that the DLUHC should develop plans to mitigate the risk that the objectives for delivering affordable homes may not be achieved, and continue to improve its oversight of the Programme. For the next iteration of the Programme, DLUHC should consider what information it needs to improve its understanding of housing need in local areas, and review how the programme sets and monitors the Programme’s targets and sub targets and be clear how the Programme is contributing, when feasible, to wider government objectives, such as net zero and savings for other departments and local government. Gareth Davies, the head of the NAO, said: “Since 2015, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities has made improvements to the running of the Affordable Homes Programme, but there are still areas it needs to address. “It should reassess targets to ensure the Programme is delivering affordable homes in areas that need them the most. It should also use the Programme to bring about greater value to other parts of government, and advance wider efforts around net zero.”

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Building services firm celebrates topping out of latest phase of London’s £150 million-pound Hallsville Quarter development

Building services and engineering consultants FHP has celebrated the completion of a key phase of a £150 million residential development in London with a ‘topping out’ ceremony. The move sees the end of work on phase 3 of the Hallsville Quarter in Canning Town, which is a mix residential development consisting of 620 units across four blocks and varying in storey heights from nine to 14 floor levels. Part of a wider £3.7bn urban regeneration programme, the Hallsville Quarter is a new £600m town centre for Canning Town being created in conjunction with Linkcity, Newham London Borough Council and other project partners. It’s part of an ambitious project by the main contractor Bouygues UK that aims to regenerate and transform the broader East London area. Completion of phase III will also deliver a range of new healthcare facilities and provide 378sq. m of new offices, over 1,500 sq. m of leisure and community space, 259 car parking spaces and extra public spaces and landscaped gardens. FHP has provided a comprehensive range of mechanical, electrical design and plumbing (MEP) 3D Revit services for RIBA Stages 2 – 6 of the scheme. This has involved design work to ensure the building and its occupiers will benefit from the highest levels of air quality and reduced levels of noise. Heating and domestic hot water for the building will be provided from the already completed first phase of the development, through an intermediate plate heat exchanger sub-station located in the building’s basement to serve all blocks.  Each building was constructed using Bouygues continental frame method with all party walls and external façade being formed in reinforced concrete, and as such the small power and heating services having to be imbedded within the concrete structure.  As the project was designed in 3D Revit, FHP was able to provide construction setting out information early in the design and build process with the knowledge that all imbedded services and recessed outlets were in the correct position at the time of the concrete pour. The topping out ceremony was attended by FHP managing director Tony Hewitt along with the developer Linkcity and its main stakeholders One Housing Group and Grainger, and Hawkins Brown Architects, Sweco Structures and the Bouygues construction team – marking the final stages of major construction work on a building due to fully open in 2024. Tony Hewitt said: “We are delighted to celebrate this topping out milestone for the Hallsville Quarter development. We are proud to serve as building consultants on the project from concept to completion for this complex project. It showcases the best of workplace design and the knowledge and understanding, which spans both buildings and the design and construction process, that we can bring to flagship projects.”

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Glencar announces expansion of Midlands team with the appointment of new Operations Director

Mark Green joins from ISG and assumes the role of Operations Director working out of Glencar’s expanding Midland’s office. Glencar, a leading UK construction company that was recently ranked amongst Europe’s fastest growing businesses has today announced that it has hired Mark Green into the role of Operations Director. Mark will be based at Glencar’s expanding Midlands office based in Solihull, Birmingham. Mark joins from Construction Services Company ISG after more than 21 years with the business. He initially started out at ISG Pearce as Operations Manager and more latterly held the position of Divisional Operations Director based in Bristol, where he was also Account Lead for Tesco. In his role at ISG Mark oversaw leading programs of work along with large individual projects on the Tesco retail account together with several large multi-million Amazon distribution schemes. Speaking about the announcement Glencar CEO Eddie McGillycuddy said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark into the business who brings significant experience and expertise which will strengthen our Midlands office significantly. We continue to experience extremely strong growth right across the Midlands market and industrial/logistics sector so this appointment will not only strengthen and expand our team but enable growth through increased resources and customer partnerships. Talking about his appointment Operations Director Mark Green said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity with Glencar and very happy to be joining during a time of such rapid growth and regional expansion with many exciting projects under construction across the Midlands and in the pipeline. I have worked in the construction industry for many years and my values reflect those of the company; working as a team to put the customer first and grow strong, strategic partnerships. I look forward to working with the Midlands team to build repeat business and further growth.”

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How to Make Sales and Marketing Materials for a New Development

Marketing is the key to turning a new development into a successful venture. This is because it will help you capture audiences and convert them into leads. So, your revenue and profits depend on proper marketing and branding. Sales and marketing materials are vital to successful marketing for new development. What are sales and marketing materials? Sales and marketing materials are vital in attracting customers to your business and nurturing existing ones to generate more revenue. So, sales and marketing materials refer to all the materials you use to promote your business. Examples of sales marketing materials are sales aids, sales & compliance training materials, promotional pieces, electronics, and equipment used by sales representatives. Company websites and social media are also sales and marketing materials. How to make sales and marketing materials Now that you know the basics of sales and marketing materials, we can move to the steps for making them. Below are some tips: Keep it simple When creating sales and marketing materials, always remember to keep it simple. This means that you should use easy to understand language and graphics. Avoid using jargon as much as possible. Use images and infographics to make your points more understandable. Start with branding Branding refers to giving meaning to an organization or specific products by shaping them into clients’ minds. The key to branding is making your company or products memorable to clients. You can do this by creating a unique LOGO. Your logo can be a striking image. For instance, you can source a fantastic image related to your business and edit it with tools like the picture background remover to turn it into a custom LOGO. You can also create your LOGO from scratch using digital tools or hire professional assistance. Besides the LOGO, your new development’s name is vital in branding. The goal is to ensure clients recognize your products or company every time they see the LOGO or name. So, create a catchy name that will stay in clients’ minds. Your slogan is also another essential branding tool. A slogan is a short and memorable phrase that represents your company’s mission or values. It should be something that will resonate with clients and make them want to do business with you. Some of the best slogans are: “Just Do It”- Nike “Finger-lickin’ good”- Kentucky Fried Chicken “The breakfast of champions”- Wheaties “We try harder”- Avis Coming up with the materials The next step is coming up with the materials you want to use for sales and marketing. You can come up with effective sales and marketing materials by: Once you have narrowed down the sales and marketing materials you want to create, the next step is producing them. The production procedures and tips may differ depending on the material types. However, it would be wise to try out the following tips: Marketing your new development The most crucial part of making sales and marketing materials is promoting your new development. There are numerous ways of marketing your products, but some of the most effective are: Conclusion You can switch up your new development’s sales and marketing materials depending on how audiences respond to them. For instance, paying attention to reviews would be wise because you will see what materials work and those that do not. Switching them up or upgrading will also help you maintain clients’ interest.

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Robert Hirschfield Architects Design Intelligent Home

Robert Hirschfield Architects Design Intelligent Home

London-based architects Robert Hirschfield Architects have announced the completed renovation and restoration of a large Arts and Crafts period home in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Now, the home benefits from extra space, as well as being intelligently and emotionally connected all the way through. To encourage the family that owns the house to make better use of the under-utilised lower ground floor level, which opens out onto the rear garden, the architects created greater floor to ceiling heights. “To better enjoy this level, we excavated down to create more generous floor to ceiling heights, as well as introducing a double-height space in the dining area, up towards the ground floor, to allow for a better connection across the two levels,” said Director Robert Hirschfield. A large, diagonal bay window was an original feature of the building that had previously looked down the centre of the garden, until a neighbouring house was built in close proximity. To fix that, the architects looked at restoring the window back to its glory days and the view from the ground floor is now far-reaching across the garden’s woodland and tree canopy. “We restored the majesty of this architectural feature by pulling back the ground floor at this point, creating a double-height window. Those enjoying this feature at lower ground level are enveloped by the banquette, with a backdrop of greenery seen through the windows,” explained Hirschfield. Robert Hirschfield Architects also wanted to encourage the use of the lower ground floor in order to create more space downstairs. Therefore, the kitchen and dining area have both been relocated into one open-plan space, which sits alongside the snug TV room located below the new study. Better connections are afforded between the floors through the use of internal glazed partitions. The living room on the ground floor has also enlarged and panelled to create a dual feeling of period detailing and space. There are also painted timber shutters that can be closed off to give a sense of privacy. In keeping with the traditional Arts and Crafts style, the use of timber as a material lends a handcrafted quality throughout the project. The internal doors have also been remade as interpretations of the existing period panel doors. There are three new staircases running through the home, all of which work independently from each other. “These were designed to create more leisurely movement around the house and encourage the user to pause at the end of one flight of steps before going on to the next one, a ‘staircase promenade’ if you will,” concludes Robert. Building, Design and Construction Magazine | The Home of Construction Industry News

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AI Fundamental for EU to Reach Its 15% Gas Reduction Target

AI Fundamental for EU to Reach Its 15% Gas Reduction Target

Arloid Automation, a global leader in AI-based solutions designed to simplify MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering) systems management for a broad portfolio of real estate, states that the use of AI within any building management system could lead to significant savings of up to 30% on energy and coolant use. In this sense, AI could be further used by EU member states to help reach the voluntary 15% gas reduction target. Member states agreed to reduce their gas demand by 15% compared to their average consumption in the past five years, between 1 August 2022 and 31 March 2023, with measures of their own choice, according to the Council of the EU. The importance of reducing energy demand cannot be overemphasised largely due to supplies from Russia being significantly reduced, erratic and they may be stopped altogether. Arloid’s AI system can be implemented without any hidden costs, which makes it one of the cheapest and easiest ways for EU states to significantly reduce energy consumption with no upfront costs and get a step closer to reaching their gas target. Once installed, companies can start savings and, once those savings have been established, a percentage fee can be charged. For a company to reduce its energy usage with Arloid’s AI system, it needs to follow a series of simple steps. In the first instance, a virtual building identical to the one where savings are to be made is produced. This digital building has the same construction materials, location, climate and personnel attributes as the real one in order to help AI make a series of simulations based on live data from the real building. This process takes about a month, which is a lot faster than if it was done by building services engineers or property managers in the real world. The AI intuitively adjusts the heating, ventilation and cooling settings, thus resulting in real savings. Imagine a world where all these changes are automatically done – then imagine what can be achieved. It’s not only saving energy and money, but improving comfort too. Arloid’s AI uses Deep Reinforcement Learning to automatically manage the operation of HVAC systems in a wide range of buildings via a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN). It then makes decisions based on reinforcement behaviour and real-time data to provide faster optimisation and better HVAC performance. By controlling each HVAC device in the system and dividing the building into distinct heating and cooling micro-zones, arloid.ai provides more control of the environment and better user comfort. The technology is gaining ground not just in Europe but across the world with actual savings being achieved over 56 million square feet. This includes real estate and many types of commercial building such as retail premises, hotels, medical centres, warehouses. By reducing energy use the cost savings can counter the effects of energy supply issues, higher prices and inflation. AI should now top the political agenda right across the EU to help member states reach their voluntary gas reduction target of 15%. It’s not as difficult to achieve as it may first seem because new technology can play a huge part for very little outlay. At any rate it’s an obvious and achievable first step towards EU goals and for those countries encouraging dimmed lights and shorter showers there is another way! Building, Design and Construction Magazine | The Home of Construction Industry News

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